Vans World Cup of Surfing

Sunset - The Proving Ground

Dec 01, 2017

Professional surfing's formative milestones can be traced directly back to Sunset Beach, which is home to one of Hawaii's most revered waves. Sunset, more than any other wave on Oahu's North Shore, was where surfers have long come to prove themselves against pure Hawaiian power. Its expansive lineup extends more than a quarter mile off shore, and is home to massive mountains of water crashing violently over coral reef. Riding it well requires a well-rounded approach to big waves: making late drops, racing long walls, and braving huge barrels on the inside bowl.

In the late '70s, when the dream of a world tour was just beginning to feel real, events like the Cuervo Classic set fire to the movement. "More than any other wave in Hawaii, Sunset was our proving ground," says Shaun Tomson, the 1977 World Champion. "And as much as things have changed, they remain the same. For a young guy who wants to get on the Championship Tour, Sunset is still the single most important event of the year."

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