GALLERY: Waimea Pumps Ahead of Hawaii Mega Swell

Jason Lock

by on

Updated 51d ago

T-minus one day until Jaws and the rest of Hawaii are going to be blitzed with a colossal run of swell. It is perhaps the biggest we've seen in years, potentially bigger than THAT day in 2016. And THAT day in 2018 - the morning of which, Hawaii residents received a false warning of a ballistic missile strike. We know this thing tomorrow is going to be big. Perhaps even too big, the kind of swell even the hardiest of hellmen and women look at and say 'nah'. And just yesterday, Waimea pumped as a precursor for what's about to happen tomorrow.

You see, Waimea was set off thanks to a random low that swung by Hawaii, it appeared quickly and deepened north of the islands, much closer than the other lows we've been seeing. But this is just the lemon next to the pie, a warm up for the next, XXL brute that is due to bear down on Hawaii. Of course, we'll be bringing you all the action as it comes in.

Forecast: Waimea

Here's our swell chart from Thursday (yesterday) through to Saturday. You can see this low that set Waimea off. Then, behind it, is the swell we're all waiting for.

Here's our swell chart from Thursday (yesterday) through to Saturday. You can see this low that set Waimea off. Then, behind it, is the swell we're all waiting for.

Lensman Jon Reiter was on hand at Waimea to shoot this warm up session. “It was sick,” he said. “Lighting was amazing, kinda bumpy here and there but it cleaned up right before sunset. It was a bit slow but when the tide dropped enough it really got going – loads of people were psyching.”

Breaking down this swell MSW forecaster Tony Butt said: “The storm that produced Thursday’s big swell developed almost in the middle of the North Pacific as a peripheral system on the southern flank of a larger low centred way to the north. It deepened almost directly north of Hawaii, and developed a north-westerly fetch much closer to the Islands than other storms we’ve seen recently.

Bettylou Sokuro Jonhson.

Bettylou Sokuro Jonhson.

© 2021 - Jon Reiter

“This resulted in a relatively short-period swell (I’m talking about 15 secs or less compared with over 20 secs for other recent swells) arriving from the north-northwest.

“For most big-wave spots, the more period the better because longer periods mean more focusing and hence more wave-height enhancement. But Waimea is different, the swells have to pass by the outer reefs first, which can suck up the swell if the period is too long. As a result, Waimea can become slow and inconsistent.”

© 2021 - Jon Reiter

And, want to know what tomorrow is going to be like? Our breakdown, here.

Luke Heflin.

Luke Heflin.

© 2021 - Jon Reiter

Jake Maki and Mike O'Shaughnessy - sharing's caring.

Jake Maki and Mike O'Shaughnessy - sharing's caring.

© 2021 - Jon Reiter

Kelta O'rourke.

Kelta O'rourke.

© 2021 - Jon Reiter

© 2021 - Jon Reiter

Bettylou Sokuro Jonhson.

Bettylou Sokuro Jonhson.

© 2021 - Jon Reiter