Pipeline: the history of the surf break started in 1961 with Phil Edwards

In December 1961, Phil Edwards rode the first-ever wave at what was then called Banzai Beach. Legendary filmmaker Bruce Brown captured the ride, securing its place in history. From that moment on, surfing would never be the same.

Pipeline is the queen of all waves. Widely considered the iconic surfing arena, it earned its name on that eight-foot surfing day 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 film the second surf session ever at Banzai Beach.

Footage from that day can be seen in the movie "Surfing Hollow Days."

Diffenderfer thought the local waves looked like the massive concrete pipes stored in a nearby construction project, so he suggested naming the break "Pipeline."

The 1960s: Pipeline Goes Global

Pipeline, Banzai Pipeline. A compromise of sorts.

The word spread quickly, and within months the new Hawaiian spot was already known by the surfing community.

So it's no surprise that by 1962, Pipeline had a solid crew of local surfers and regular visitors.

In 1963, the song "Pipeline" by The Chantays boosted worldwide recognition. It was 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 (a right-hand wave), 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 image for the world's most famous surf spot?

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