Pipeline: it all started in 1961 with Phil Edwards

In December 1961, Phil Edwards rides the first ever wave at what was then called Banzai Beach. Legendary filmmaker Bruce Brown captured history and surfing would never be the same.


Pipeline is the queen of the waves. Widely considered the iconic arena for surfing, Pipeline has earned its name in an eight-foot surfing day, back in December 1961.

Mike Diffenderfer, a surfboard shaper, was traveling with Phil Edwards and Bruce Brown in the region. After a small, yet historic session, the group returned the next day to capture the second surf session ever at Banzai Beach.

Fortunately, footage from that day can be seen in the movie "Surfing Hollow Days". In the meantime, Diffenderfer suggests naming the break Pipeline.

Apparently, he thought that the local waves looked like the massive concrete pipes stored in a nearby construction project. Pipeline, Banzai Pipeline. The interesting blend.

Rapidly, the quality and prestige of the new Hawaiian spot spread through the surfing community. In 1962, Pipeline already had its local surfers and regular visitors.

In 1963, the song "Pipeline", by The Chantays, boosted worldwide recognition. An instant hit in the radio and a promotional souvenir for the wave peak.

Time would unveil all the surfing possibilities of Pipeline. The famous steep left-hander (also known as First Reef), the Backdoor train, the Second Reef (with large unbroken wave faces) and the Third Reef (extra large waves).

Today, Pipeline is one of the most challenging waves on Planet Earth. Who would imagine that concrete pipes could be such an inspirational picture for the world's most well known surf spot?