Vans Triple Crown Brings the World’s Best Wave Riders to Oahu’s North Shore

By Andy Beth Miller

Vans Triple Crown 2017

For more than three decades, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing has been the reigning king of all surf competitions — the proverbial brass ring that all wave worshippers and riders set their sights on scoring. But the Triple Crown wasn’t always so glorious, grand or golden. In fact, its beginnings were quite humble, tracing back to one small ragtag group of gung-ho Hawaiian surfers on Oahu’s North Shore in 1971.

It was here, armed with just a simple card table and a handful of folding chairs for judging, that world champion surfer Fred Hemmings helmed the inaugural Pipe Masters event (at the time they called it the “Hawaiian Masters”). The small round-up of six surfers that competed that day pales in comparison to the droves of elite athletes that vie for the crown today, and the grand prize of 1971 — a whopping $1,000 — is literally less than 1% of what the title winner will be expected to rake in at this year’s victory rally.

The Vans Triple Crown Has Three Crown Jewels

Photo: Bevis Chin.

And while the collective size of both the surfers and amassed spectators has grown exponentially, along with the increased winner’s purse, one thing that has remained the same are the swells of the North Shore winter — on the right day, they are still as monstrous and still as captivating as ever. And they are still the high stakes waves that truly separate the cream of the crop riders from the amateurs. The specific structure of the Vans Triple Crown is set up as three separate surfing events held at various venues along the North Shore’s famed seven mile miracle stretch — the Hawaiian Pro, Vans World Cup of Surfing and Billabong Pipe Masters.

HAWAIIAN PRO

The Hawaiian Pro is the first of three events in the Vans Triple Crown series. Held annually at Aliʻi Beach Park in Haleʻiwa, the 2017 holding period is November 12 – 24, 2017.

VANS WORLD CUP OF SURFING

The Vans World Cup in the second of three events in the Vans Triple Crown series. Held annually at Sunset Beach, the 2017 holding period is November 25 – December 6, 2017. (It appears this year’s artwork has a slight discrepancy from the World Surf League’s website regarding the starting date of the holding period.)

BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS

The Billabong Pipe Masters is the final of three events in the Vans Triple Crown series. Held annually at Ehukai Beach Park’s famous Banzai Pipeline break, the 2017 holding period is December 8 – 20, 2017.

The Prize Purse

Photo: surfglassy. UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 09: Tuesday, 9 Decemeber, 2008. Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. Billabong Pipeline Masters, Banzai Pipeline, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii. Basque surfer Aritz Arinburu (Spain) (pictured) advanced through round 1 of the Billabong Pipeline Masters on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii defeating Pipeline specialist Kalani Chapman (Haw) today. Arinburu's convincing two wave heat total of 15. 00 points (out of a possible 20. 00) was enough to see him sideline the Hawaiian to earn his place in round three. The Billabong Pipeline Masters is the final stop on the ASP Men's World Tour and includes 64 surfers, 40 of which are ASP World Tour competitors, the rest of the field is comprised of five replacement surfers, three event nominated wildcards, 14 Pipeline specialists, one Tahitian invitee and one Vans Triple Crown contender. The event provides the last opportunity for ASP World Tour surfers to cement their spot on the 2009 ASP World Tour. (Photo by Kirstin Scholtz/ASP/CI via Getty Images)

Photo: surfglassy.


At the culmination of the three individual competitions, the Vans Triple Crown awards the title of overall champion to the surfer who accumulates the highest marks over all — crowning a new surfer king, considered by most to be the highest honor one can achieve within the professional surfing community.

With a total purse of over one million dollars over the three events plus a $50,000 bonus for the overall champion, the Vans Triple Crown promises to pack near endless thrills for spectators and surfers alike this year, so be sure to come out to Oahu’s North Shore this November and December.

Event Details & Live Streaming

To find out more information about this exciting event and for LIVE STREAMING visit http://www.vanstriplecrownofsurfing.com .

The events are held on the biggest and best 4 days of surf during their holding periods. Wave conditions are usually 15 feet plus. You can check their website each morning for updates on competition days, which run from about 7:30 am to 4 pm. Admission is free and parking is first come, first serve.

CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT THE 2015 CHAMPION.

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