In December 1961, Phil Edwards rode the first ever wave at what was then called Banzai Beach. Legendary filmmaker Bruce Brown captured this ride; securing its place in history. Surfing would never be the same.
Pipeline is the queen of the waves. Widely considered the iconic arena for surfing, Pipeline earned its name on that eight-foot surfing day, back in December 1961.
Mike Diffenderfer, a surfboard shaper, was traveling nearby with Phil Edwards and Bruce Brown. After a small, yet historic, session, the group returned the next day to capture the second surf session ever at Banzai Beach.
Footage from that day can be seen in the movie "Surfing Hollow Days". Diffenderfer suggests naming the break Pipeline.
Apparently, Diffenderfer thought that the local waves looked like the massive concrete pipes stored in a nearby construction project. He suggested naming the break Pipeline.
Pipeline, Banzai Pipeline. A compromise, of sorts. Word of quality at this new Hawaiian spot spread through the surfing community. In 1962, Pipeline had a solid crew of local surfers and regular visitors.
In 1963, the song "Pipeline", by The Chantays, boosted worldwide recognition. An instant hit on 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) were all waiting to be discovered.
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?