SUNSET BEACH (HawaiiNewsNow) - After being quiet for most of November, big surf finally arrived on Oahu's North Shore.
Waves were in the 10 to 15 foot local style range at Sunset Beach Sunday, with some 25 foot face waves on the outside breaks, big enough to hold the Vans World Cup, the second jewel in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.
"This is actually the first really big swell of the season," said Randy Rarick, executive director of the Triple Crown. "So far, it's been unusually small. As i said we went all though, or almost all of November with no big surf, so it's the first really big swell."
The 10 to 25 mile per hour gusts made for some windblown and rough conditions at Sunset, and some of the surfers said it was difficult to get a good ride. "Even though the conditions are a bit testy, these are the best surfers in the world, and so they're really making it look good, even though it is really hard to ride," Rarick said.
The weather was also a little on the chilly side for some.
"Notice the coats," said Honolulu resident Nancy Terrell, who wore a jacket to the beach. "I mean, to us, this is cold!"
Even if the waves aren't exactly ideal, the big surf still draws the world to the North Shore.
"It's my first time to the Pacific Ocean actually, and that's pretty amazing," said Alax Beck, who was visiting Hawaii for the first time from Germany. "I just heard it's not really ideal surf conditions, but to me, yeah, it's pretty awesome. It's pretty stunning."
"The waves are a little sloppy today. No tunnels or anything like that, but it's always a pleasure to come out to the North Shore to enjoy Sunset Beach. You can't beat it," Terrell said.
Cameras draw in the world as well, covering the competition for cable and on the Web, showcasing the best surfers doing their thing.
"A lot of people have planned their whole vacation around this, and so they want to see the big surf," said Rarick. "And even if they're not surf aficionados, they come down and 'ooh' and 'aah' and they get to watch the surfers do their stuff, so it's kind of a win-win for everybody."
"We wouldn't miss it. We love it," said Terrell. "We're waiting for the 'Eddie Would Go,'" said added, laughing.
Waves are forecast to decline slightly through the week, but should still be big enough to keep the surf coming, the competition going, and the spectators watching.