Three factors inspired the concept of this exhibit: the legendary reputation of the wave at Pipeline, the epic history of the Pipeline Masters contest, and the virtuoso skills and equipment of the surfers who have challenged it. While the world has been enthralled with this unique wave-break, no one has officially paid homage to the wave-riders who have successfully navigated inside Pipeline’s hollow tubes. As much as any other spot, Pipeline has helped develop surfboard design to meet an ever-increasing set of challenges. Surfers push the limits nowhere more than at this fabled reef and the shapers who created the boards they rode hold a special place in surfing’s lore.
The surfboards displayed in this exhibit offer a rare glimpse of iconic equipment ridden by the masters of Pipeline. Just as importantly, this exhibit presents a history of board design from the mid-60s to the present day.
The exhibit includes pioneers and local heroes but focuses primarily on the winners of the Billabong Pipe Masters event, the longest running and most prestigious surf contest in surfing’s history. The photographs capture iconic moments when barriers were broken, contests won, duels fought, records were set, and history was made. To the surfing world, a Pipe Masters title is the pinnacle of the sport; an honored achievement that sets a surfer in a special, elite class. Entire careers have been spawned out of riding Pipeline. Surfers from dozens of countries travel here to prove their ability in the caverns of Pipe. Make your mark on this wave and go down in surfing lore.
See and hear the legends of Pipe talk about the surfboards you see here and the waves they rode on them on the video monitors in the exhibit.
While there is no way to properly honor all of the great surfers that have ridden Pipeline, this exhibit is dedicated to all of the men and women who have paddled out into the vertical vertigo that is the drop at Banzai Pipeline and ridden inside it.