Pipeline in May?! Thanks Typhoon Surigae

Magicseaweed

by on

Updated 13d ago

Pipeline in May? You better believe it. A strong 6ft@16 seconds NW swell pulse rifled into Hawaii on May Day, setting off the world's favourite wave. And though the sand was a bit funky, the trade wind a bit too much, there were more than a few gems peaking through for the lucky ones.

And, how's that cover image? Thomas Van Melum going head first into a Pipe drainer. Absolutely sublime body whomping goodness. Anyway, we called this session a few days out – and while the swell was certainly in the water, sometimes Mother Nature just doesn't want to play ball.

Forecast: Pipeline

Tosh Tudor.

Tosh Tudor.

© 2021 - Christa Funk

You're probably wondering – how did Pipe get swell in May? And the answer is, it's thanks to Typhoon Surigae, the strongest every recorded in April that spun up from the Philippines, along Taiwan before letting loose in the North Pacific.

“Over the past few days Surigae weakened and moved across the north of the North Pacific, ending up off the Alaskan coast by Monday,” explains MSW forecaster Tony Butt.

Kalani Rivero.

Kalani Rivero.

© 2021 - Christa Funk

“The pulse of swell that it generated reached Hawaii from the northwest during Friday morning with initial peak periods of around 18 secs.

“By late Friday, wave heights at Pipeline, for example were six feet or more, with moderate easterly wind. The swell ran through until at least Monday (yesterday), only gradually losing its punch. Winds remained mostly moderate from an easterly quarter.”

Max Beach.

Max Beach.

© 2021 - Christa Funk

Keep an eye on all storms in the North Pacific by looking at our swell chart here.

This graph shows the percentage of days that had a ridable wind swell (7 seconds period or more) or groundswell (10 seconds period or more) of over 3ft. It also shows the dominant wind direction. Not all of these days will necessarily give great surf, and very short lived wind swells or longer period secondary swells may produce surf not recorded, but it gives a clear idea of the seasonal trend and a rough guide to the chances of scoring something ridable.

This graph shows the percentage of days that had a ridable wind swell (7 seconds period or more) or groundswell (10 seconds period or more) of over 3ft. It also shows the dominant wind direction. Not all of these days will necessarily give great surf, and very short lived wind swells or longer period secondary swells may produce surf not recorded, but it gives a clear idea of the seasonal trend and a rough guide to the chances of scoring something ridable.

Travis Smith.

Travis Smith.

© 2021 - Christa Funk

Zeke Lau.

Zeke Lau.

© 2021 - Christa Funk

Thomas Van Melum, take a bow.

Thomas Van Melum, take a bow.

© 2021 - Christa Funk