Perfect Bar team rider and San Diego native Dustin Fiero shares his predictions for this year’s Vans Triple Crown of Surfing – a prestigious three-event showcase series that features the world’s top ranked professionals on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii – returns for its 32nd season this winter.
Reef Hawaiian Pro—Nov 12th to Nov 23rd—marks the first stop of the Vans Triple Crown. The event runs at Alii Beach Park, where Haleiwa’s tricky reef is capable of delivering hollow rights and powerful closeouts. Most often, the winner at Haleiwa is the surfer who can handle themselves in a variety of conditions and have the stamina to continually fight the rip, heat after heat.
- Keep an eye out for Jamie O’Brien and Mason Ho, their radical air game and consistent turns are a force to be reckoned.
The World Cup of Surfing—Nov 24th to Dec 6th—is the second jewel of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. Held at Sunset Beach, the big wave event is steeped in tradition, as the infamously long and shifty ride is held in the highest esteem by big wave surfers around the globe. A true test for any waterman, the waves at Sunset are spread across a huge playing field, which challenges the fitness of the surfers to get in the right spot to catch the best and biggest waves. Notorious for being unruly and complex, only a few dedicated surfers have mastered the lineup and the powerful waves that pour down the point.
- When the surf gets bigger and waves more powerful look for the usual suspects to step into the limelight like local legends Zeke Lau and Sunny Garcia. They have been surfing the Hawaiian breaks for years and have mastered the lineups at the three stops on the Triple Crown.
- Kauai’s Gavin Gillett and Evan Valiere are right at home at Sunset and always willing to make the convenient trip to crush dreams.
The Billabong Pipe Masters—Dec 8th to Dec 20th – marks the final stop of the Vans Triple Crown and the final event of the ASP Men’s World Tour. An iconic and historic wave, the Banzai Pipeline is often referred to as the best wave on the planet. Part of the allure of Pipeline is that with the perfection comes consequence. Pipeline is one of the most dangerous waves on the planet. It has claimed more lives than any other wave in the world—one fatality a year, on average—inflicts numerous injuries and breaks boards for a hobby.
- John John Florence and Kelly Slater are undoubtedly the favorites at Pipe. However, Slater is nursing two broken toes that could spell disaster for his world title hopes.
- If Mick Fanning smells blood in the water be certain that he will surely rise to the occasion.