The sandbar that everyone's focused on right now – or, at least, it was last week – was Australia's Snapper Rocks. Fair enough, as it's one of the world's best.
However we'd like to turn the clock back a touch to a different, much more gnarly sandbar: the one that sometimes menaces Backdoor and Pipeline, transforming the otherwise shallow reef breaks into even shallower, heavy beach bombs.
In February, just as we were about to turn our attention to the Southern Hemisphere, an email came from filmer Jacob Vanderwork, who spent most of his winter hanging on the North Shore. 'Sand bar got crazy yesterday,' was all he wrote, before providing a link to some clips. We clicked right away.
First, there were heavy clips from non-sandbar Backdoor and Pipe, with guys like John John and Nathan Florence, Mark Healey, and Tom Dosland. This was already gold, but the next few clips, featuring John John, Jamie O'Brien, and Koa Rothman at Backdoor, were a fresh, gnarly look at the hazards – and highlights – of surfing one of the world's best rights at its meanest. Enjoy the bumpy ride!