Hawaii Five-O


Weekly one-hour CBS-TV police drama series, filmed on location in Hawaii, starring Jack Lord as the steely-eyed and taciturn detective Steve McGarrett. Hawaii Five-O ran from 1968 to 1980, making it television's longest-running police show at the time. Surfing rarely figured into Hawaii Five-O, but surfers often tuned in to catch the title shot of a huge, empty, churning wave, famously set to a brass-heavy theme song recorded by the Ventures.

The location of this wave has long been a surf world mystery. Its length suggests Ala Moana, in Honolulu, and that was the presumptive choice for years. Not so, said Surfer magazine in 1980. "The monster wave in the Hawaii Five-O tag is Sunset Beach, reversed." Surfmovies, an exhaustive book on surfing in movies, television, and video published in 2000, said it was Pipeline. California surf moviemaker Dale Davis was said to be the photographer, as was Don Brown, also from California. In 1990, the San Diego Reader newspaper reported that CBS cameraman Reza Badiyi filmed the wave on the North Shore, just off "a rocky peninsula"—Badiyi didn't know the break's name—which would almost certainly put the location at Rockpile, a reef just west of Pipeline.

An updated version of Hawaii Five-O debuted on CBS in 2010.