Billabong Pipe Masters Early Forecast

Craig Brokensha
Swellnet Analysis

It's been nearly six weeks since Italo took out the Meo Rip Curl Pro, his third contest win for the year, though amazingly he's not in the running for the title.

It's a showdown between Gabs, Jules and Filipe heading into the Billabong Pipe Masters but the smart money says it's all Medina's to lose - gamble responsibly etc.

For a summary of the title scenarios heading into the Pipe Masters click here.

The past month has provided enough big wave action to whet our appetite, but will Pipe provide a spectacle deserving of a title showdown?

Through the middle of this week an oversized (12-15ft) long-period groundswell will strike the Hawaiian islands, but come the weekend, we'll be on the backside of the swell and winds look to become an issue.

Right now, a low linked to Wednesday's swell is sitting south of the Aleutian Islands and will weaken into this evening, however a burst of gales on its south-western flank should produce a reinforcing N/NW groundswell for Friday.

This swell will ease into Saturday, the first day of the waiting period, dropping from 6ft to occasionally 8ft at Pipe, and with that northerly direction, Backdoor will be a viable option. Meanwhile, fresh and gusty E/NE-NE trades will create windy and tricky conditions that may also favour Backdoor over Pipeline.

Sunday will be smaller and weaker with leftover 3-5ft sets and likely a lay day.

A new northerly groundswell is expected to arrive later in the day and peak Monday morning, generated by a strong storm developing north of the islands over the weekend. A great fetch of N/NW gales will be projected through Hawaii's northern swell window, with the swell coming in very north and likely offering 6-8ft sets Monday morning but again with gusty E/NE trades.

From here the outlook goes quiet until later next week when we should see a prolonged but mid-period and undersized northwest swell filling in. At its peak on Friday/Saturday (the 14/15th) we may see 4-6ft waves with favourable E/NE trades.

There's hints of a possible larger and stronger swell developing late in the waiting period from a strong low off Japan, but we'll provide running updates in the comments below.

Comments

Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone commented Tuesday, 4 Dec 2018 at 5:11pm

I really hope they don’t hold it in 4ft pipe and it’s a air show...

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Tuesday, 4 Dec 2018 at 10:43pm

Couldn't agree more NB.

Give me a good Pipeline barrell any day.

OllieB's picture
OllieB's picture
OllieB commented Tuesday, 4 Dec 2018 at 5:39pm

The men's tour should be run in the same fashion as the big wave tour. Only hold the events when the conditions align. I do not want to see the worlds best surfers in mediocre waves!

I understand the local sponsorship/broadcasting issues around this, but just imagine if there were 12 events a year, all held at spots where the waves were firing!

maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley commented Tuesday, 4 Dec 2018 at 7:54pm

Or break the events down into regions and have a waiting period for each. ie can run Snapper, Bells and Margs any time in any order in the 1 month window. Much better chance of getting it good. Problem is the footprint is so much bigger than the big wave tour it's very unlikely to ever happen

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Tuesday, 4 Dec 2018 at 8:57pm

"just imagine if there were 12 events a year, all held at spots where the waves were firing!"

Shit yea OB I'd vote for that.

It all comes down to cost.

Perhaps Zirk and Mark should get their cheque books out?

Afterall, without a doubt, surfing is the best sport in the universe.

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Tuesday, 4 Dec 2018 at 5:49pm

The trials are usually held first inside the waiting period too.
3 “maybe” swells, it could turn out great, or it could be shit. Let’s hope it goes their way. Its never a good sign is it when it pumps for weeks leading up to an event..

wax-on-danielson's picture
wax-on-danielson's picture
wax-on-danielson commented Tuesday, 4 Dec 2018 at 7:59pm

It’s been Wilson taking on Team Brazil by himself all year so hopefully it is pumping so he can get up!

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Tuesday, 4 Dec 2018 at 9:05pm

Julian Wilson and Owen Wright in the final.

Now that would be great!

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Wednesday, 5 Dec 2018 at 1:07am

Backdoor Blitz by w s l.........
Best waves going to the trials.........

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 5 Dec 2018 at 11:52am

Medina can tube-ride Backdoor, but if it is held mostly at Backdoor: massive advantage to natural foots.

belly's picture
belly's picture
belly commented Wednesday, 5 Dec 2018 at 12:28pm

I'm normally pretty positive but it's basically looking crap based on my quick chart read. Good swell for trials, 2 days of pretty sizey backdoor then nothing significant. Agree, need Medina to fall early

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 5 Dec 2018 at 12:33pm

Yep it's not going to be pumping Pipe, more so raw, windy Backdoor.

The storm generating the swell for Sunday/Monday has been upgraded in strength and we're now looking at 8ft+ sets out of the north through most of Sunday, easing from 6-8ft Monday but with strong trades.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 5 Dec 2018 at 2:13pm

those trades look gnarly

pittsy's picture
pittsy's picture
pittsy commented Thursday, 6 Dec 2018 at 8:02am

Major bummer, still hoping for Jules but I dunno Medina's pretty deadly at backdoor (plus the margin for higher scores on the backhand seems to be lower at backdoor...).

pittsy's picture
pittsy's picture
pittsy commented Thursday, 6 Dec 2018 at 8:11am

Just had a look at the Waimea surf cam and holy shit it looks insane, mostly due to the tightly clustered pack of 50+ dudes on big boards, a clean up set would be chaos

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 6 Dec 2018 at 8:30am

Looks like the Sunday swell - second day of the waiting period - has got a little bump up.

Also, agree with Steve, the trades are gonna be tricky. They're blowing hard from sunrise to sunset with no relief for the first week of the waiting period. At that strength there'll be times when they come around the corner and blow crossshore into Pipe making a mess of it, putting even more emphasis on Backdoor.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Thursday, 6 Dec 2018 at 8:45am

Boo hoo, Sunset is off again.

Was hoping to see them tackle it at size.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Thursday, 6 Dec 2018 at 10:09am

John John officially out of pipe or just a rumour?

geek's picture
geek's picture
geek commented Thursday, 6 Dec 2018 at 10:18am

official, wsl announced on facebook

belly's picture
belly's picture
belly commented Thursday, 6 Dec 2018 at 10:33am

The 8-11th system is quite long lasting but it looks like its best work is on the wrong side of the Aleutian Islands.
GFS today giving some love to the 13th system but the other models not on board yet.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Friday, 7 Dec 2018 at 2:49pm

Looking better now. Looks like slight to moderate upgrades all round.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 7 Dec 2018 at 2:51pm

Yep, not back to back days of surfing but plenty of windows to pick the eyes out of, and there are those two larger swells showing later in the period, one being too big.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 7 Dec 2018 at 5:12pm

Incredible!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Still the luckiest bastard on Earth! Yesterday afternoon. Photographed by @zoard

A post shared by Mark Healey (@healeywaterops) on

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Friday, 7 Dec 2018 at 5:22pm

that from today Craig?

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Friday, 7 Dec 2018 at 5:58pm
simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Friday, 7 Dec 2018 at 6:01pm

Says yesterday arvo on his insta

simba

Timmy 56's picture
Timmy 56's picture
Timmy 56 commented Friday, 7 Dec 2018 at 7:49pm

What about Cam Richards ride as well , arguably better!!!!

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Saturday, 8 Dec 2018 at 1:24pm

Anyone know if the trials are on tomorrow (first day of the waiting period)?

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Saturday, 8 Dec 2018 at 2:46pm

That’s what they normally do at this event Freeride, so as long as the waves are good, they will call it on. The heat draw for the trials is out on WSL. Heat 1 starts with a bang

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Sunday, 9 Dec 2018 at 5:19am

Yep. Big names in heat one.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Saturday, 8 Dec 2018 at 3:10pm

Healey on a 9ft stick. Incredible wave and yeah Cam Richards even better!

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Sunday, 9 Dec 2018 at 5:35am

Off for the day today and KP saying probably nothing for the next 2-3 days.