Vans World Cup 2012: Sunset Beach, Oahu
They say there’s no priority in a four-man heat. Not so at Sunset. The North Pacific holds right-of-way throughout. There’s no jet-ski assistance for paddlers, and even if there were, this would still be the hardest wave in the word to surf. Even the caddies are scared shitless here, and getting caught inside of a west peak is probably, still, the most terrifying experience in surfing. Sunset Beach is a black diamond if the sport ever had one, exposing human weaknesses like a psychic giving an MRI. Between the minefield of currents, backwash and wide-swinging sets, just making a wave here from the peak past the bowl to the channel is an accomplishment. Finding a true-blue barrel is heroic. Making one is legendary.
An amazing day of competition at Sunset, which is rarely this clean or pretty. Not a World Title contest, but one of the three events in Hawaii’s prestigious Triple Crown of surfing, which some surfers regard even more highly than the World Title. The contest looks to resume tomorrow with a building new swell on the way.