Rebuttal Argument-rowanstudent6

The Problem with Pipe

The Banzai Pipeline, located on the North Shore of Oahu, is considered by many to be the best wave in the world. It hosts multiple contests annually, including the Billabong Pro Pipe which pits the best surfers in the world against each other in a competition each January. Kelly Slater, an eleven time world champion and the greatest surfer of all time, has claimed to have caught the best wave of his life at Pipeline and the wave has been called the deadliest wave in the world due its amazing yet dangerous conditions. However, Pipeline is not the best wave in the world. It is too easy.

Pipe is what? You heard me. Despite claiming the lives of countless surfers and sending many to the hospital every year, the Banzai Pipeline is too easy a wave to be the best surf break in the world. The conditions reach can range from eight to twenty feet and the wave provides a channel for surfers to paddle out easily (Warren, 2022). However, this provides easy rides for those in the lineup. The large conditions and difficult paddle out allow for surfers to have an easy ride towards the beach. New Jersey surfers have to weave their way through groms and novice surfers to even have a chance at an enjoyable ride.

The Banzai Pipeline is a proving ground for up and coming surfers and as a result, it has a way of dealing with crowds that New Jersey surf does not. Massive sets and a dangerous, shallow reef prevent surfers from getting out into the lineup which allows only the very best to make it out. However, this is not new as Pipeline has been a challenge since its inception, “For nearly 60 years, this frightening gift of nature has stood out as one of the most challenging and perfect waves on the planet. While first believed to be unconquerable, Pipeline soon became the wave by which all others would be judged (Warren, 2022). However, this does not make it the best ride as it ensures that those who make it to the lineup have clean ride in which they only need to focus on the wave. New Jersey lineups are crowded and spread throughout the water as there is not one particular break. As a result of dredging, New Jersey surf breaks can break anywhere and everywhere, so lineups can become packed between jetties.

This further adds to the challenges that make New Jersey surf the best because every aspect of surfing is challenging here. From the crowded lineups to the small, mushy surf which breaks in different places every year. Pipeline has been breaking on the same reef since its creation which allows surfers like Jamie O’Brien and Eli Hanneman to make a career of surfing just one wave. New Jersey surfers must find where their favorite break has moved to each year and adapt to the changes that dredging brings.

Pipeline is also located in paradise. The average water temperatures in Hawaii range between 73 degrees Fahrenheit and 81 degrees Fahrenheit while many New Jersey surfers often battle with temperatures just above freezing (NOAA). This means that while surfers at Pipeline are sitting out in an empty lineup in board shorts, Jersey shore surfers are in five millimeter wetsuits with frozen beards. New Jersey surfers struggle to stay warm out in the lineup while Hawaiians enjoy balmy ocean temperatures.

The fact remains that New Jersey surfers deal with more difficult conditions than those of their Hawaiian counterparts. The Banzai Pipeline is a dangerous wave, but is manageable by the number of professional contests that occur annually. Jersey Shore surf tests every aspect of a surfer from their mental toughness in order to paddle out in frigid water to their quick thinking in order to handle crowds in the water to their adaptability to ever-changing lineup conditions. The New Jersey surfer embraces adversity and paddles out regardless of the struggles that lie ahead.


Mechanics of Surfing Pipeline and BackdoorSurfline. 6 January 2022. 19 April 2023.

“”Coastal Water Temperature GuideNational Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. 19 April 2023.

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