The North Shore Weekender

The North Shore might be loved, but for most of the year it lies neglected. Veteran photographer, Sean Davey, stuck around to capture the intermittent late season swells, illuminating a much changed, but still spellbinding, seven mile miracle.

Words by Sean Davey.

Although there has been surf most days here on the North Shore, it's been far from pretty most of the time, with howling trade winds tearing the lineups to pieces. Finally we had a few moments of respite over the weekend, igniting a Pipeline that few will recognise. There has been a massive build up of sand in front of Pipe over the past couple of weeks. The lagoon was so far out, you had to paddle or swim out to it, and it was right dead in front of the wave. It made for some interesting images, particularly looking back at land. Now that the sandbar has morphed again into a sandpit, there have been hoards of people walking out there, and many of them losing valuable electronics when a wave washes over the berm. Just look at a couple of these wave images and it's easy to imagine them rolling right into the lagoon.

I went to shoot Flynn down at Rockies a couple of afternoons ago, but it started maxing out shortly after he paddled out and there really weren't a lot of good photographs happening, despite the water having an amazing Carribeanesque glow to it. I did snag a few shots of Flynn and a couple of other locals like Burger Ripper and Justin Lambert. You could see from Rockies that there were some pretty decent looking waves happening at both Sunset and Pipeline, as witnessed in a few of these long shots. After Rockies, I still had another hour of light to shoot this fast rising swell, so I cruised on down to Pipe, not really knowing what I'd get. I was kind of focused on my arty fart stuff more so than shooting the surfing outright, but again, I walked away with some keepers for sure.

There really seems to have been a bit of a generational shift this season with some familiar faces being replaced by others.Sean Davey

The next morning certainly did have size, but was super inconsistent early on. I just hung around for a couple of hours, intending to return after midday, but I got busy back in the studio and never made it back. It was mainly just boogers, along with Flynn Novak, Keoni Jones, Jamie Obrien and Reef McIntosh. Other surfers started filtering out much later on. There really seems to have been a bit of a generational shift this season with some familiar faces being replaced by others. The sandbars at Pupukea are going to be sooo good this week when this swell gets smaller. Going to be epic for body surfing.