Forecast: The Pipeline Masters

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Analysis

Starting on Tuesday December 8th, the Pipeline Masters will be the first men’s CT event of 2020. Under the New World Tour Order, Pipe will be the season opener and not the closer as it has been for almost three decades.

How that changes its entertainment value remains to be seen. As the last comp of the year, the Pipe Masters was many contests in one, with each knockout heat changing the end-of-year rankings. It decided who’d be on tour next year, determined world champions, and it ended careers.

All that’s now disappeared, yet considering the brutal nature of the wave, Pipe should be able to make up for the shortfall in drama as long as it gets swell.

So will it..?

The lead up to the comp will be very active with an extra-large NW swell hitting Hawaii on Wednesday the 2nd - size will be around 15-20ft+ with all day light easterlies! - followed by four more days with waves between 6 and 10 ft.

Then on Monday the 7th - one day before the waiting period begins - another significant NW swell will hit the North Shore. This swell looks similar in size to the one previous, peaking around 15-20ft+, too large for Pipe, but the question will be whether the swell drops enough overnight so organisers can sound the hooter on Wednesday the 2nd - the first day of the waiting period.

The low that creates the swell will bomb - i.e drop 24hPa in 24 hours - however it’s positioned closer to the Hawaiian Islands than is ideal, meaning there’ll be a wide range of periods in the mix so it’ll appear raw and slightly ragged, and even though the swell will have dropped to 12-15ft on Wednesday morning (and then will drop further through the day) there’s only an outside chance competition will run.

There is, however, a very good chance the women will run at Honolua Bay, so fear not, Webcast Watchers, you will be entertained!

Wednesday the 9th will dawn with the swell edging more towards the NNW and waves in the 6-8ft range tapering towards 4-5ft as the day draws on. Winds are at present forecast to be light SE and possibly even S, which is a mild worry for a swell direction that favours Backdoor, yet aside from that there’s a strong chance competition will run on Wednesday.

By Thursday, the swell will be down to 3ft, reducing further through the day, with light and variable winds - possibly another competition day - with Friday, Saturday, and Sunday similarly small.

Whether the organisers choose to run competition during those three small days will hinge upon the development of another large swell at the far end of the forecast window. It’s too far off to have any certainty on size or timing, however considering the active state of the North Pacific they have reason to be optimistic about another round of large swell to finish the contest in.

We’ll continue to provide developments of the Pipeline Masters forecast in the comments below.

Click for Swellnet's North Shore forecast and WAMs

Comments

michaelperry's picture
michaelperry's picture
michaelperry commented Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020 at 2:53pm

Anyone know who will actually turn up, given COVID etc, to make it a decent contest.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020 at 2:58pm

Of the Aussies, Ace Buchan has reportedly pulled out as with quarantine he'd miss Christmas. Apparently a lot of the younger crew are going and staying in Hawaii till the Sunset comp in mid-January and then travelling to Santa Cruz.

Bit harder for the older surfers with families to be away for so long.

I'm expecting more wildcards and alternates than usual this year.

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020 at 3:06pm

Julian is going

tack616's picture
tack616's picture
tack616 commented Wednesday, 2 Dec 2020 at 10:09am

Morgan Cibilic and Connor O'leary are heading over also

GODS QUAD's picture
GODS QUAD's picture
GODS QUAD commented Wednesday, 2 Dec 2020 at 1:21pm

+ Avoca Jesus

michaelperry's picture
michaelperry's picture
michaelperry commented Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020 at 3:15pm

If they fail to get the best of the best for the first leg of the tour, and I'm not putting down the young guns, surely it raises questions about legitimacy of world title at end of year.

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020 at 3:30pm

I think they’ll get virtually everyone. Owen is the only other risk for what I can see scrolling down the list

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout commented Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020 at 3:36pm

Much like the NBA season just gone, it won't really count.
Insert a massive asterisk next to this years champion.

jacksprat's picture
jacksprat's picture
jacksprat commented Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020 at 3:55pm

Those with a chance at the title will be there (Medina/Ferreira/Florence - knee dependent). Everyone else are merely bit players and basically irrelevant but for their own personal ambitions.

onetimeonly

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020 at 4:37pm

If Italo wins the world title, does that stamp him with three in a row?

pigdog's picture
pigdog's picture
pigdog commented Wednesday, 2 Dec 2020 at 10:04pm

If...will period.
Have you watched his vlog. Tearing the joint to shreds..... after he lands 2 airs on a wave.

evosurfer's picture
evosurfer's picture
evosurfer commented Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020 at 4:56pm

jacksprat ever seen Jack Robinson surf?

IF im not surfing im racing

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020 at 6:13pm

Maybe Tom Carroll could get on the alternates list. Based on his exhibition heat a few years back I reckon he'd give some of these young whipper-snappers a run for their money.

boogiefever's picture
boogiefever's picture
boogiefever commented Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020 at 6:36pm

T.C....hahaha. or what about dingles the greenskeeper from down near ballina way.... He fucken rips!!! World champ for sure. What a fucken shitshow this wsl has turned out to be.....

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 commented Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020 at 6:44pm

For some reason I have very little interest in this. Usually I would be chomping at the bit to see World Title race at good pipe. In saying that, if the conditions are good, I'll more than likely tune in, but I have very little enthusiasm this time around.

boogiefever's picture
boogiefever's picture
boogiefever commented Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020 at 6:46pm

I hear rabbits is looking for a gig after bowing out of the parliament race....let him win.....

nextswell's picture
nextswell's picture
nextswell commented Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020 at 7:38pm

If you put aside the ridiculous idea that people are travelling internationally in the current climate, pipe masters is exciting. For me, the start of Xmas period officially begins with early mornings watching pipe.

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020 at 9:21pm

I got my wild card entry in the mail and am staying at John John's.

Frogg

Indo70's picture
Indo70's picture
Indo70 commented Wednesday, 2 Dec 2020 at 6:10am

Maybe we should be betting on who doesn't get Covid rather than who will do well in the title race. - Long time reader - first time typer .

Daz 'cuppa' Baxter

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 2 Dec 2020 at 1:31pm

Still a ways off, but the last few model runs have tempered the swell that's due to hit Oahu the day before the waiting period. If this pattern holds it increases the chances of the comp running on the 8th.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 2 Dec 2020 at 1:38pm

I doubt anyone will get covid if they follow basic hygiene.

all those furphies about catching Covid in the ocean have turned out to be false.

you're about as safe as you can possibly be out in the ocean, in the Tradewinds.
Hitting the bottom at Pipe notwithstanding.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Wednesday, 2 Dec 2020 at 1:58pm

I wouldn’t be so confident about that Freeride. Diseases are unpredictable.

An ex girlfriend of mine got said she got gonorrhea from a bus seat . Funny thing was the only bus I ever knew her to catch was on the same night she went on a hen’s night to a male strip show . Unlucky ! *

* Jokes .

Indo70's picture
Indo70's picture
Indo70 commented Thursday, 3 Dec 2020 at 6:52am

Sorry about the late reply, I had to ring the Swellnet IT helpdesk as I was struggling to find the letter 'g' on the keyboard . I'm not so good with all this modern tech stuff. Yeah Blowin , diseases are very unpredictable , as are (ex ) girlfriends. I had an ex who blamed me for giving her gonorrhea . I thought I had a very strong case considering we hadn't had sex yet . Unlucky ! *
How did we get off the Pipe forecast so easy ?

Daz 'cuppa' Baxter

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Wednesday, 2 Dec 2020 at 2:51pm

Unusual to get large swells early season in a La Niña?

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 2 Dec 2020 at 2:57pm

not really a La Nina pattern as far as the synoptics go in both North and South Pac.

looks more like an El Nino pattern.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 2 Dec 2020 at 3:13pm

Yep!

Duesouth's picture
Duesouth's picture
Duesouth commented Wednesday, 2 Dec 2020 at 3:05pm

Yeap, south ocean is cranking out the storms relentlessly at the mo, and La Niña appears to have crawled into a cave. She’ll be back...my tomatoes will appreciate it, their not enjoying this 10c rain and W’tly gales!

brownie48's picture
brownie48's picture
brownie48 commented Wednesday, 2 Dec 2020 at 5:33pm

I hear Owen is out?

mpeachy's picture
mpeachy's picture
mpeachy commented Thursday, 3 Dec 2020 at 9:29am

Amped to have pro surfing back. Unless one of the very top guys pull out, there is no asterisk on anything.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 3 Dec 2020 at 9:41am

Looking at the 'bombing' low and it's still on track with the central pressure currently forecast to drop from around 1000hPa to 960hPa in a 24 hour time period, and continue to drop down to 947hPa.

The low will move quite quickly through Hawaii's swell window, but with core wind speeds reaching Hurricane Force (65-70kts) on top an active sea state, we'll still see an XL N/NW groundswell for Monday morning.

The peak in size will likely be fairly short-lived owing to the fast movement of the low, and Tuesday could be contestable from dawn and not as big as first mentioned in the article above.

We've got plenty of follow up swell on the cards as well.

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Thursday, 3 Dec 2020 at 12:06pm

A bit of solid Waimea for your lunch break ;-)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnNrd-VjLsQ

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono commented Thursday, 3 Dec 2020 at 12:20pm

Very nice set just now...

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Thursday, 3 Dec 2020 at 12:24pm

Odd amazing looking outer reef (3rd reef pipe?) set here too
https://explore.org/livecams/hawaii/hawaii-pipeline-cam

He who hesitates is lost

Kellya's picture
Kellya's picture
Kellya commented Thursday, 3 Dec 2020 at 12:41pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I59kFI-uWQc
Good angle here as well.....dudes out on some sort of canoe. Not sure if they are lining up for one?

dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope commented Thursday, 3 Dec 2020 at 1:01pm

just tuned in to see the canoe take one all the way thru.. mental!

Ride on

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 3 Dec 2020 at 2:21pm

Epic Peahi today.. check his stories!

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Thursday, 3 Dec 2020 at 3:15pm

No I would have nightmares.

GODS QUAD's picture
GODS QUAD's picture
GODS QUAD commented Friday, 4 Dec 2020 at 9:25am

farrrrrrk that!

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Friday, 4 Dec 2020 at 9:40am

To help reduce a neck injury...

30footer1

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono commented Friday, 4 Dec 2020 at 9:52am

...and the same situation from front view. Check where Kai Lenny is, about to wear it on the head.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 4 Dec 2020 at 11:27am

So heavy!!!

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 4 Dec 2020 at 11:27am

Perfect!

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Thursday, 3 Dec 2020 at 3:18pm

So no Covid restrictions at all in Hawaii? They never copped it?

sideshow's picture
sideshow's picture
sideshow commented Saturday, 5 Dec 2020 at 8:04am
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Saturday, 5 Dec 2020 at 10:21am

That death line doesn't look flash.

theolderIgetthebetterIwas's picture
theolderIgetthebetterIwas's picture
theolderIgetthe... commented Thursday, 3 Dec 2020 at 10:34pm

what an amazing still shot from NF..
never seen a big wave shot from that angle..
obviously not the goal... but an awesome freeze frame - one that I'm glad to view from the couch with a glass of vino

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono commented Friday, 4 Dec 2020 at 9:48am

He's having a fair crack at it, looks thick and mean too

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Friday, 4 Dec 2020 at 4:21pm

I saw some side on footage of this same wave. So committed. Hows the way it's already spitting behind him as he drops into it. Total nutjob!

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Friday, 4 Dec 2020 at 10:54am

wow, thats balls-out commitment.

monkeyboy's picture
monkeyboy's picture
monkeyboy commented Friday, 4 Dec 2020 at 11:03am

How good is that pipeline cam !!

on a long enough timeframe...

Kellya's picture
Kellya's picture
Kellya commented Friday, 4 Dec 2020 at 1:28pm

Yeah, that pipe cam has got my day sorted at work.

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Friday, 4 Dec 2020 at 8:36pm

My upset tip is for Medina to exit early

Early for him being sub semi finals

jacksprat's picture
jacksprat's picture
jacksprat commented Tuesday, 8 Dec 2020 at 9:13pm

Final Italo versus Gabriel.

onetimeonly

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 11 Dec 2020 at 12:59pm

The chance of Pipe running over the weekend is slim to nil. 

The next likely day is Monday (our time, Sunday theirs) with a mid-range swell due under light easterlies. Similar conditions on Tuesday albeit slightly smaller.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Friday, 11 Dec 2020 at 4:04pm

Pipe masters Monday morning, low tide Monday arvo.

Perfect.