The Vans Triple Crown Surfing Event is a Hawaiian specialty series of professional surfing events, offering three events to men and three events to women. For the men, those events are the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa Ali’i Beach Park; the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach; and the Billabong Pipeline Masters at the Banzai Pipeline. The women’s events are the Vans Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa Ali’i Beach Park; the Roxy Pro at Sunset Beach; and the Billabong Pro Maui at Honolua Bay, Maui.
All events, with the exception of the women’s Billabong Pro Maui, are staged on the North Shore of Oahu – a coastline world famous in surfing terms for its clockwork winter swells that reach 50 feet in height.
The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is second only to surfing’s world title as it is considered to be the ultimate test of a surfer’s ability to master the big waves at three unique venues – each with its own set of challenges for the surfer.
In 1971, with a card table, 10 folding chairs, six surfers and $1,000 in prize money, former world champion surfer Fred Hemmings staged the first Pipe Masters event (originally called the Hawaiian Masters). From this humble beginning, Hemmings saw the potential that the North Shore had to offer the sport of professional surfing and decided to create a series that would test surfers’ abilities at Pipeline and two other challenging, world-class waves. In 1983, he organized the first Triple Crown of Surfing and created a separate professional surfing title in Hawaii to set apart the three Hawaii events—the Pipe Masters, the World Cup of Surfing and the Hawaiian Pro—from the established international professional surfing circuit, to honor the best surfer male surfer in Hawaii’s big and powerful surf.