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My First Season On the North Shore: A Filmers Perspective 


Thoughts on the season?

Arriving right at the beginning of December we received our first proper Pipe swell around the 5th December and leading up to the Pipe Master there definitely were a lot of people in the water. My first experience with the very hungry and feisty lineup. 

From a filmer’s perspective you could say it was almost as intimidating as it would have been in the water. I arrive as one of a few girls with a camera, to a 20 meter stretch of predominantly male videographers and photographers. Looking further down the beach you could see perhaps more people with cameras as there are men and women in the water.

Shan in her happy place

Being my first time here I was blown away with the quality of waves I witnessed with Off the Wall, Rocky Point, Vland and of course Backdoor and Pipe.The locals however felt and explained why most swells this season were good but not great. Many had said ‘We haven’t had many proper Pipe days’ clean days where Pipe is a playful picture perfect 4-6ft barrel and many surfers and ocean photographers are capable of getting amongst it. When swells did arrive the sand was in the wrong spots, a backwash was gnarlier than ever or the direction would have a bit too much NE and close out for Pipe. 

The Pipe masters during the women’s final had one of the best Pipe conditions I’d seen all winter. Watching the men in the morning and the women’s final was insane. By the time they finished the rounds of the mens after due to the rising swell it was almost way too big for Pipe when the men’s final commenced.

Right before the backdoor shootout around the 31st December there was a day, when Pipeline was non-existent, a sandbank wave had formed predominantly just to the right of Pipe and turned into a right hand point break all the way to backdoor and almost off the wall. We also then had a fun run of days for Off the Wall around two weeks after, during the 14-17th of Jan.

Moana 2024 Pipe Masters Champion, Captured by Shannon Hayes

Pipe Masters 

During the Pipe Pro event we had a fun first two days running the mens, however during the starting rounds of the womens it was unfortunately 1-3ft backdoor windy, unsurfable QS comp grind. 

However, the finals day for the event really turned on. Also would say one of the best Pipe days I had witnessed for the whole season.

Watching Betty Lou, Molly Pickles, Caity Simmers and Caroline Marks sending it on as many waves during the quarters, semis and finals had me goosebumps the whole time.

I literally was watching the best women’s surfing go down in history, in person. I felt this beautiful energy of hope and inspiration for where women are pushing themselves harder than before with surfing.

Later that evening, Moana Jones Wong scored her wave of the winter. A huge Pipe wave she had been longing for all season.

The news about Carissa Moore leaving the tour and how that allowed Soph McCulloch and Luana Silva to come back on tour. Soph happened to be here on holiday and didn’t know this would happen so as soon as she got the news, without a flinch, she extended her trip to compete in these events.

Image by Shannon Hayes

Female Stand outs?

I would have to say Caity Simmers, Betty Lou and Molly Picklum. All these girls did so well in the recent events. 

Female standouts during the winter is hard to say, I feel like I was very much with Moana the whole winter and would have to say she is the only female surfer that takes on Pipe waves in such an intimidating lineup. When I filmed at other spots like Rockys, Pupukea Sandbar and Vland, I can’t help but love to watch Coco Ho’s surfing and her beautiful style.

An insight to Hawaii so far for people around the world?

Hawaii can be experienced in so many different ways, person to person, year to year. Hawaii is a place where travellers are constantly coming and going. The winter is a very seasonal time, like a big festival during the swells and comps until it’s all over it becomes significantly more quiet again.

It is such a beautiful place, so intense and full of energy and power just like the wave Pipeline itself. 

Getting amongst the surf scene, it is a small and family-like community, where you see your friends at Pupukea Foodland all the time and get a text from a friend to go to their home sauna and do ice baths sessions some afternoons.

first of many seasons in Hawaii

I spent a lot of my time around Moana and her community of friends at the Volcom house and surfer girls series on Amazon Prime. Through Moana I was fortunate to experience some cultural hula dancing practice and jiu jitsu with her sister some nights. 

Also through other friends, in the surfing community and filmmakers I was around Koa Smith, Jay Alvarez and Griffin Colapinto during the odd sauna/ice bath session and morning Joe Dispenza meditation. These surf athletes there were very health and mindset oriented, which was amazing to be around and get inspired to follow through with some good habits to take home into my routine.

All in all my first season in Hawaii is one to remember and I can’t wait for the next. 


A 22 year old female surf videographer passionate about pushing and growing female surfing. She is one of the only females in the world challenging the men to become one of the best surf videographers in history.

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