Huge Monday

A spectacular day at Pipeline, on Oahu's North Shore, on January 17, 1972; still remembered for producing some of Pipe's biggest, smoothest, best-formed surf. Daybreak revealed a building eight-foot west swell; by late morning, 12-foot waves were fringing over Second Reef and streaming into First Reef, where they stood and hucked themselves into enormous tropical-blue tubes; by mid-afternoon all surfers were taking off at Second Reef.

Hawaii's Gerry Lopez set the pace until he was hit in the...