[Ed’s note: The ChachFiles is a travel-based photo series in which photographer Ryan “Chachi” Craig lets us ride shotgun on his strike missions around the world, looking for new angles on some of the best waves and most intriguing personalities in surfing. Check out his latest gallery here.]
After a brief period of smaller surf and swirly winds to start the New Year, the North Shore rewoke once again and started to light up during the back-half of January. Like clockwork, the Volcom Pipe Pro ran in absolutely perfect conditions and sizeable surf at the start of the waiting period. Even before the event got underway, swells pulsed big enough for Jaws and Waimea to break.
During the decline of the swell, there was one afternoon where Pipeline was churning out second reef bombs. Large wash-throughs kept the crowd somewhat in-check but any and everyone who wanted to give Pipeline their best shot lined the shoreline and battled the swift current through the Gums sandbar to get out into the lineup (myself included). Many days leading up to the event had extended moments of perfection and there were plenty of freesurfs between heats that were awe-inspiring as well.
After the event wrapped up, a northeast wind swell turned Ehukai Beachpark into a mini Greenmount of sorts and the fun continued until Wednesday evening, when north winds finally ended the run of idyllic conditions and surf. But what a run it was while it lasted.
It now feels like the North Shore season is coming to a close. With the last event of the season now in the rearview mirror, soon the North Shore will go back to what the North Shore is like when no one is there.