Salute to Pipeline at the California Surf Museum
As the winter season winds down on the North Shore and Pipeline goes back into hibernation, we can’t help but reflect on the rides that this magical wave continuously produces. Year in and out we see it all unfold, but sometimes there’s nothing better than recounting the past, and some of the most legendary surfers to have ever ridden Pipe. This past Saturday evening we did just that at the California Surf Museum in Oceanside for the Salute to Pipeline.
A packed house was on hand to listen to the likes of Pipe Masters Founder Fred Hemmings, Pipe Contest Director Randy Rarick, the first woman to ever surf Pipe, Joyce Hoffman, and Mr. Pipeline himself, Jock Sutherland. Also in attendance were legendary Pipe Masters Gerry Lopez, Shaun Thompson and Rory Russell. After a few margaritas were downed by all it was time for some storytelling. The MC for the night was ex-Surfer magazine editor and Salute to Pipeline founder Jim Kempton. Jim did a fantastic job of probing everyone with questions we all wanted answers to, and getting out those stories no one had ever heard. Joyce Hoffman recounted the harrowing moments before she became the first woman to ever paddle out to pumping Pipeline. Shaun Thompson admitted to how petrified he was of being a backsider at the wave and what a roll-of-the-dice it was to knife the drop out there. And Gerry Lopez remarked how perfect of a venue the California Surf Museum was to speak on a wave as special as Pipeline. The crew was absolutely epic, and the entire crowd was captivated throughout the evening. It was a night to remember if you’re a fan of surfing, history or just great storytelling.
The California Surf Museum in Oceanside is truly one of a kind. With everything from relics like Duke Kahanamoku’s first competition board and Eddie Aikau’s rescue board to timeless trophies and cameras, this museum is exploding with surfing lore. Make sure to stop by to check out the Salute to Pipeline exhibit when you’re in the area at 312 Pier View Way in Oceanside, or visit them online at surfmuseum.org.