Thousands of surfers, photogs, movie makers, groupies, industry muckety mucks, and assorted ripe smelling transients have come and gone from Hawaii's North Shore as the "Surf Season" officially closes. The Triple Crown is done. Joel Parkinson took that world title after being hornswoggled so many times by his mate Mick Fanning. Kelly Slater has plugged enough feathers in his cap with hies 11 titles to give someone else a shot.
But for the Hawaiian locals, this is just time to tolerate the circus. Their goal is to make it through Christmas vacation and one last push through the sometimes stormy road of January. Once the hoopla dies, the lineups begin gaining elbow room and lesser known venues can become downright uncrowded. The deep winter swells of December and January that can often appear more like windblown skyscrapers will begin to groom and calm, becoming oh so inviting as the trades mellow under radiating sun.
Sure, you still have plenty of "visitors" scratching for their share, but the North Shore air is pleasant and unhurried as folks take time to talk story as the swells gradually subside heading into summer. Maybe it's too early to think about eight foot west swells in February washing over clean reef and clear water, sparkling secret spots peeling with just a few bros catching it just right. A moment in time frozen forever. Maybe some relish those stormy days of January that can often catch you off guard with deceivingly clean faces and wide open barrels or maybe you love the contest spectacle of the competition season. Either way, Hawaii is a one of a kind treasure for surfers, regardless of your wave riding or wave observing perspective. It literally has it all.