Big waves, swimsuits and the chance to watch some of the worlds best surfers risk their boards — and perhaps even their lives — brought tens of thousands of spectators to Oahu’s North Shore on Dec. 14 for the final event in the 2013 Vans Triple Crown.

The indefatigable Kelly Slater slid down the face of barreling 10- to 15-foot waves at Bonzai Pipeline to take home his seventh Billabong Pipe Masters title, beating out Hawaii surf star John John Florence, who at 21 is two decades younger than Slater.

Florence earned enough points to win the Triple Crown, and Mick Fanning, of Australia, was named the 2013 ASP World Champion.

HuffPost Hawaii and Civil Beat sent award-winning photographer and videographer PF Bentley and HuffPost Hawaii Associate Editor Carla Herreria to capture the action and find out what draws people to surfing and the culture that surrounds it.

About the Authors