January was a strange month on the North Shore, the buzz of John John taking the World title was still the talk of the town, the vibe to go surfing was beyond contagious as always, the only issue was... we didn't have any waves.
The month started super slow with consistent yet weak 2-4ft swells lapping the shore everyday for the first 10 days of the month.
As always, there is confidence in large swells that travel across the North Pacific, and mid to late January had a couple of intense systems that would directly hit the famous 7 mile miracle.
The first swell was a solid one from the NW around 16 seconds, The Backdoor shootout would run the length of the swell period and allow some of North Shores finest to display their local knowledge and enjoy some world class waves at their local break.
The main event of the month or even perhaps the season would happen on the 19th January, the much anticipated swell hit over night with the sound of thunderous giants unleashing their power onto the Pipeline Backdoor reef, keeping everyone awake throughout the night.
At first light, you could truly see the power and spectacle that is Pipeline on its day, the worlds best surfers and underground chargers lining the beach as they size up some of the biggest and heaviest pipeline they have ridden.
This swell was a little more West and much bigger in size (3-4 times overhead with occ bigger sets at 18 seconds) with 2nd and 3rd reef lighting up and also causing some chaos and carnage with endless broken boards and bruised egos washing up on tho the beach.
For some riders, the day would be the best of their surfing life, Sebastian Correa scoring a WOTW contender at Backdoor that I'm still not sure if he has come out of yet! John John Florence, Josh Kerr, Koa Rothman and many more Pipeline legends were also on hand to score what could possibly be the day of the season.