Never Forget

P> “Growing up, Pipeline was the wave all of us wanted to surf. When we were little, we all used to sit around and look at pictures and movies of Pipeline. It’s just the most prestigious and scariest wave you could possibly think of. As a couple crazy kids from Santa Monica, we thought we could pull it off–my friends Andy Chuda and Travis Musselman and me. Our parents called us crazy. There was no way in hell we could go to Hawai‘i and risk our lives for some wave. We did it, though. We rode Pipeline. My two friends, Andy and Travis, loved it. Unfortunately, Mother Nature sometimes isn’t so nice. Pipeline is one of the most dangerous waves in the world because of how much water moves over the reef. It’s never easy catching a wave, and once you do there’s the whole challenge of making it. I lost two of my best friends out there. A lot of people might not think about dying at Pipeline because their best friends didn’t die out there, but every time I come down to the water I feel it because mine did.”–Strider Wasilewski

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When I moved to Hawai‘i, the first thing I did was get a post-office box down the road in nearby Kahuku. When the lady gave me the key, I went and opened up my new box. Inside, there was an old piece of mail addressed to a Mr. Travis Musselman, who died surfing Pipeline in March of 2000. I nearly packed my bags and left right then and there. However, instead of bolting back to the mainland, I decided to treat it in a positive manner and go catch a couple waves for a guy I never knew and never would. This wave is for Andy and Travis. Shane Dorian at Pipeline.–Justin Cote