Haleiwa Challenger Series - Forecast Update
With the Haleiwa Challenger event waiting period to kick off this Saturday (Hawaiian time - early Sunday Aus time), we have an updated forecast that shows more promise through the second half of the window.
In the lead up to the opening day, large levels of northerly swell will impact the North Shore, generated by a significant but fast-tracking low forming south of the Aleutian Island chain yesterday.
This swell will be easing by Saturday, but we've got a tricky, poorly aligned pulse of large N/NE groundswell due to take its place.
The low responsible for the N/NE energy will deepen from a trough shedding off the original low, south of the Aleutians, with it forming north-east of the Hawaiian Island chain tomorrow.
A fetch of gale to severe-gale NE winds will project towards Hawaii, producing a large, prolonged NE tending N/NE swell for Saturday and Sunday, backing off Monday.
As pointed out in the early forecast article, swells with any north in them are sheltered by Pua'ena Point, so forecasting the amount of size that'll refract into Haleiwa is a tricky business.
Exposed spots on the North Shore can expect waves in the 12ft range, but inside the bay at Haleiwa, waves in the 6ft range are more likely through the opening day, easing back from 4-6ft on Sunday, then smaller and to 3ft Monday.
Due to the close proximity of the low to Oahu, unfavourable, moderate-strength N/NE trades are due on Saturday, though it'll be much cleaner on Sunday with lighter E/SE offshore winds ahead of a weak NE sea breeze. Both these days look to be contest days.
Monday will be clean all day but small, with a fading swell and fresher easterly trades.
Now, as the low north of Oahu generates the large, close-range swell, we'll also see a strong, favourable swell producer forming 4,000 kms to the west. This low is expected to deepen significantly off the Kamchatka Peninsula during tomorrow, generating a fetch of severe-gale NW winds and moderate to large NW groundswell that'll arrive in Hawaii on Tuesday, peaking into the afternoon.
The direction is ideal but the longer period nature will see a bit of energy lost to Haleiwa's outer reefs - Avalanche to the west, Pua'ena Point to the north. Mid-period NW swells perform the best. With this in mind we can still expect chunky 6ft surf to develop through the day along with favourable trade-winds. Currently the best day of the period.
The swell will start to ease on Wednesday but with the drop in period, we should see still see fun, contestable 5-6ft waves through the morning, backing off to the 3ft range by the close of play.
Longer term, there's the possibility of one more swell before the waiting period closes on the 7th but at this early stage it looks weaker, not matching the quality of Tuesday's waves.
So while not epic, there'll be a number of good surfing days within the waiting period. We'll keep a keen eye on how the weekend's northerly swell performs.
NE swell? Backdoor skeleton bay?
Love these detailed forecasts Craig..... hope the real pros get great some waves.
Finding places and waves I didnt know even existed.is a bonus....eg. Kamchatka Peninsula?
Could be a really nice left hand point for the go-pro sponsored @
waves a plenty if .... the Russian mafia leave office, the community embrace glasnost again.... tourisms & trade returns to that vast northern land called USSR... just what out for the volcanos, icy blizzards, politics, chaos, etc
Hawaiian waves & the Aloha spirit are more desirable ATM
Funky forecast , too much east, too much west. Long period refaction is tricky.
Haleiwa the last place to get waves on the northshore.
They should be holding this contest at sunset.
Anywhere but sleepy haleiwa.
Hi Craig, I'm heading to Oahu on 10/12 for a week with 3 nights on the north shore. Any recommendations for a middle aged first time Hawaii visitor in respect of waves? Am planning to give Laniakea and Rocky Point a crack. Anything more than 6 foot Aussie is probably out of my range though.
If the north shore's maxing out, 7th hole at Kahuku golf course can be a good option depending on the wind.
Jockos/Chuns is worth a look.
And also Backyards if Sunset is on the smaller side. Super fun and punchy shifting mostly right wedge entries into a fast down the line wall onto a shallow but flat inside lava reef. Good to escape the crowds. Body surf Ke Iki as well when it gets chunky. Also go for a swim out at Pipe with flippers when bigger, can easily get into the channel and back in safely if competent at reading the surf/lineups. Jump out in front of Backdoor/OTW.
A lot depends on your skill level and fitness, swell size and swell direction.
Chuns & Jockos definitely worth scouting out for an intermediate.
Maybe inside pua'ena ("chocolates") when other spots too big.
Many doable spots in small/medium swells, always worth just doing a lap of the kam highway to find something to your taste.
Always watch for a good while before paddling out (can be long intervals between large sets), and be aware of whether the swell is building (can happen very quickly).
Don't bother with Lanis unless the swell is north.
I've always had fun on the Rocky Rights/Gas Chambers stretch when it's 4-5 feet or so. Also, as Craig said, Backyards can be a blast.
It's possible to bucket list Pipe and Backdoor when they're small. I once paddled out on a small day at Off The Wall with a mate - a North Shore first-timer - with the intention of drifting down the beach and picking off whatever came our way.
We'd drifted down the beach a couple hundred metres, when, sitting amongst a bunch of stone-faced locals, my mate asked in a loud and chirpy voice, "So what's this wave called then?"
Immediately, everyone within fifty metres turned their heads and looked at him like he was from the moon.
We were at Pipeline.
You're mate is awesome. I love that, skewering surfing protocol and cultural history in one chirp.
That's some funny shit stunet.
I 've watched a Japanese tourist go over the falls whilst I was inside the barrel .
That was definitely a wave / vision ill never forget. Wasn't a small day either.
Do you still talk to your mate?
Or have you held onto that one for life? Bet that was one quite walk back to the house.
I saw a jap do the same thing.... still paddling while going over the falls on a solid Ulu's peak & 20min later paddles back out for more.... totally stunning tenacity....limited holidays and skill set, poor bast'ed
Just on Backyards- it's a huge reef and there can be really fun lefts in W angled swells on the Velzyland side of the reef.
Cheers everyone for the suggestions. As a goofy footer Jockos had caught my eye Freeride. Had not thought of Backyards but sounds like could be alright if the swell is small enough. Had not planned on giving Pipe a go as, besides the wave itself, just seems too hectic but would be would be great to even just get a feel for it being in the water with flippers.
Not sure if your bringing boards , so if you need boards I recommend checking out the sugar mill area.
North shore surfshop.
Or even Surf and Sea.
All have new and used boards that suit the waves for Hawai'i.
The boards are glasses thicker for the juice.
Start swimming laps of your local pool. Get fit early, arrive prepared!
Thanks for the tip Lanky Dean. I've arranged to hire a board from the Eric Arakawa surf shop, which I think might be in the area you mentioned. I wanted to bring my own but I am travelling with the family and we are heading to Canada afterwards so luggage allowance is maxed out as is. Plus I didn't want to be lugging boards around for the rest of the trip. I looked at trying to send boards home when we are leaving Hawaii but from what I could find was not viable cost wise.
Have started doing laps the last couple of weeks but suspect it might be like shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic :)
Thoughts anyone on whether it'll definitely be on tomorrow morning?!
The contest is off for today and tomorrow as “we have a decreasing northeast swell and it's the wrong direction for Haleiwa” (contest director Marty Thomas).
Hey Stu , did ya mate get any waves as you drifted though the Pipe ?
Looks like we've got a much more significant low forecast to form north-west of Hawaii over the coming days, producing a large swell to end off the waiting period. It's gonna be great watching!
Those long-range ECMWF anomaly charts were a little off the mark.
TBH I've found the Challenger Series a real slog.
But the thought of JJF in 8ft Haliewa has me salivating.
Trestles should be a challenger series event.
They had waves at the first one and waves at the last one.
I just don't have the time anymore.
I did watch the cold water classic that one was interesting.
That should be a challenger event.
I have a feeling Elo thought the Challenger Series would've progressed further by now. By that I mean, it would've had more contests to fill the long gaps. As it is, the series loses momentum between comps, viewers having to constantly be reminded whose placed where and what's at stake.
Worse, having a slow CS season exacerbates the crazy long gap between the end of one CT season and the start of another. If surfers aren't in the final - the one day comp at Trestles - then they have a five-and-a-half month off season.
That doesn't work. It's too long; surfers will become competitively rusty. Reckon I've seen Matt McGillivray jump off more bridges than surf heats this year.
I feel like the tours are going to require a fairly comprehensive rethink and soonish.
It doesn't feel like it's working at all.
It's supposed to be some exciting tour, primarily in the "off" season but it's turned out to be the same ol, same ol QS slog in shitt surf with huge fields that no-one gives a fcuk about.
Do the CT surfers still have to enter at least 1 challenger event? Can't see Phil or Italo in the draw, and they haven't surfed any others this year. Does that mean that they forfeit the #1 and #2 spots? Congrats Jack, world champion by default haha
1.11 CT Surfers Rules:
c) During each Surfing Season, CT Surfers must compete in at least two (2) Challenger Series Events in different Regions, one of which must be licensed by the WSL Regional Office that controls the country of which the CT Surfer permanently resides for tax purposes.
If there are no Challenger Series Events licensed by that WSL Regional Office, then a QS5000 Event from that Region or a Challenger from another Region must be competed in as a substitute.
CT Surfers who have been on the CT for ten (10) years or more only need to compete in one (1) Challenger Series Event, which must be in their Region.
If there are no Challenger Series Events available in their Region to compete in, the CT Surfer must compete in a QS5000 Event in their Region or a Challenger Series Event outside of their Region.
Failure to comply with this Rule will result in discipline imposed in accordance with Rule 14.11.
Thought they may have entered the Saquarema 5,000 but their names werent on the draw.
Damn only a fine. $10000
Who's going to get up at 4.30am Wed (GMT+11hrs)?
How’s the way those lows keep spinning off Japan in the forecast. Looks like an epic December.
It looks good but they're tracking away to the north-east so not ideal. Instead of being slower moving or pushing south-east in direction.
Thursday's swell looks to come in bigger than yesterday's, pushing to 8ft to occasionally 10ft so it should be good viewing!
Here's the source.