In today's age of hyperbolic claims it's becoming increasingly hard to find anything that lives up to its promised hype. Fortunately, this year's El Niño isn't one of them.
As early as last spring surfers were being promised a healthy dose of goods this winter. Those old enough to remember the 1997/98 version were licking their chops. The rest weren't really sure what to think...but not anymore. And certainly not in Hawaii, which has been enjoying one if its best seasons more than a decade since El Niño began its December deliveries. Is it over? Probably, not, but a quick review of this season's highlights to date are enough for us to say (especially heading into Valentines Day) that we love you El Niño. Please don't leave us!
December 2: Carissa Moore Clinches her 3rd World Championship Title at perfect Honolua Bay, and celebrates by winning the event.
December 6: The Pe'ahi Challenge becomes an instant classic as the world's best big-wave surfers embark on the most incredible paddle-in event...ever.
December 9: Epic Pipe Invitational Australia's Jack Robinson steals the show during an epic trials showdown at serious Pipe to earn a spot in the Billabong Pipeline masters.
December 17: The Pipeline Superheat Slater, Fanning, John John clash during the Pipeline Masters.
December 17: The World Title Showdown goes down to the wire, and Adriano De Souza proves that tireless effort actually does pay off.
January 15: Jaws Day of Days Aaron Gold, Shane Dorian, Ian Walsh and a hardcore crew of chargers take on the what many are calling the best day ever at the renowned Maui break.
February 2: King Kelly Lives and breathes at the Volcom Pipe Pro, winning the event in perfect surf, which kicked off an epic week of Pipe conditions that followed.