November 21st, 2014
Opening Day @ Haleiwa, but this picture makes it look a lot better than it was
Locals still rule in a pack of pros. Rick Shinabuku
This past August was one of the best we have ever seen, September was active and October had some fun waves, but November has been a bit of a dud as usual. We have had plenty of surf, but the majority of it has been real close together intervals with overlapping swells and just kind of a mess for the most part. There have been a few windows in between however which kept surfers smiling. We did have one solid 15 foot plus swell, but the majority of the sizable surf was in onshore conditions. Unfortunately the next solid swell looks like it may prose the same onshore weather pattern and the long run of North swells have jammed up the sand at Pipeline, but Backdoor has been fairly decent.
The HIC event kicked off in somewhat sloppy surf, but it cleaned up here and there making for an exciting final which slotted Danny Fuller in the top spot at the start of the winter contest season. Dusty Payne claimed the title at the Reef Hawaiian Pro and now surfers are waiting for the start of the Vans World Cup on Nov 24th. I had to catch my breath when I drove by Sunset and saw all the heavy equipment and a crane hoisted 100 ft into the air just to build the contest scaffold. It is a huge upgrade from its former glorified tent status, but I think I liked the old one better, you know the one that could be set up and taken down with a set of human hands; hands that typically shared and cared about the surf culture and lifestyle that these contests were promoting. Surfing, like everything else nowdays has become more of a product used to generate profit than a lifestyle. It makes me wonder what comes next for a sport that has been somewhat severed from the soul of its roots. My husband and photographer Sean Davey keeps harping about the lack of sponsored surfers in the line ups stating that nine out of ten of them don't even have logos on their boards. That makes sense however, since giant corporations are only interested in mass marketing, rather than fueling lifestyle brands that only appeal to an intimate audience. At the same time the artillery of photographers has been reduced to a bare minimum meanwhile drones are swarming around like flies and every pro surfer paddles out with a go pro hanging out of his mouth.
It is interesting that with all the hoopla surrounding the Triple Crown this year, it is not quite as busy as I expected it to be ...... not yet anyways. Don't get me wrong, the lineups have been really crowded for the last couple weeks with a whole set of new keikis that look completely different from last years pool, but it doesn't seem like the main ship has arrived yet. I am thinking that Thanksgiving holiday may be the time for that. Still yet, the traffic was backed up past Vland during the HIC at Sunset so get ready to wait.
The women will return to Hawaii for the 2014 competitive season. Target is hosting their WCT event on Maui and there will be a women's invitational for the first time at the Pipemasters. They held a women's expression session during the Pipe Masters a couple years ago, but this time it looks more official with the structure of an actual event including eight women.
This month we mourned one year since Button's passed away and said aloha to Kalani Foster who died in September from liver cancer. It was a "celebration of life" at Ali‘i Beach Park that was packed full of Kalani's friends from the old generation to the new. It was a beautiful time for those who took part and it was great to hear that some top pro surfers and companies pitched in to help out and make it all happen. Perhaps it is in these moments that we remember why surfing means so much to all of us, it is the people we meet and the memories we share together in the sea.
September 22nd, 2014
photo by Sean Davey
I have not been blogging too much because I have just been surfing... and surfing... and surfing... and surfing. We have had a continual flow of waves from town to country since the hurricane swells last month which have produced a consistent flow of 2-4 foot surf. The last two weeks of August offered town swells in the 3-4 foot range during the peak days which were Aug 22 -23 and the 29th. The surf did not wane much between the peak days, it would die down to 2-3 then 1-3 and then come back up.
September kicked off with a solid 3-5 foot country swell on September 9th followed by the biggest south swell of the season on Sept 15-16th. The south swell produced some 6 foot sets that were tapping the buoy in the Big Bowl with super glassy early morning conditions and sea breezes off and on throughout the day. Guys who stuck around, scored when the onshore wind changed and there were just a few guys in the water. Kala Alexander came down to the Bowl that day and broke his board inside the barrel under his feet on a solid buoy set so the swell had some juice. During the solid south swell country produced 3ft plus surf for about three days so there were waves for everyone. Town and country have quieted down a bit since then, but both sides still have fun surf with beautiful conditions.
It has been super hot outside, but beautiful in the water. It is so nice to surf without a wetsuit and not even be cold. The trades finally came back today after a couple of still, humid weeks. It seems like hot weather coincides with good surf so maybe we can be hopeful for the upcoming season which started fairly early and looks to continue throughout the next couple weeks with a few more fun little swells followed by another decent looking south swell.
Aloha & RIP to legendary surfer Kalani Foster who died on September 15, 2014. He has been fighting liver cancer for about a year or so. Check out the memorial video , go to his Facebook page and feel free to donate to his ohana fund. We will keep you updated on a paddle out for Kalani.
There were a host of beach cleanups this past weekend so thanks to all who are keeping our beaches clean. Sometimes I think the tourists must assume we have a maid to come and clean up after their mess, and I guess we do ........us.
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Mid July to mid August has been more active than usual in the islands. The south shore had a week long swell from July 12-20th which was as big as anything we have had all summer and the coconut wireless suggests that some west side locations offered a few six foot sets. As I mentioned in my last blog, I missed the whole thing because I was on the mainland and when I returned the water at Ala Moana Bowls was the dirtiest and smelliest I have seen seen the 2006 sewage spill. A couple days later there was a mean onslaught of jellyfish, one of the worse we have seen in ages, followed by another sewage spill in the Ala Wai. Last week the whole world watched as Hawai‘i prepared to take a direct hit by hurricanes Isselle and Julio, but in reality we have been hit a lot harder by storms that never received any national coverage. It was kind of funny to watch the national news network's try to hype of the waves after there wasn't much damage to report; it was like, if you want to hype up Hawai‘i surf you should come back in January.
Although we dodged severe damage from all the hurricanes so far, the water has been brown all around the island since I came home almost a month ago. It has varied from light brown to dark brown, itchy and smelly but, surf on the Northshore in August, we don't care, we are like pigs in the mud. Following the east swell last week, we received a north, west, and southwest swell all at once so the line ups have been pretty uncrowded at times which can make the brown water a little more creepy. Both North and South shores are expecting another bump late tomorrow into the weekend and beyond.
Sage Erickson won the 6-Star Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro in a final against Tatiana Weston-Webb. Although Erickson is known as a California girl, she spent her early childhood here on the Northshore with her Dad Greg. The guys are gearing up for the trials in Tahiti, and the forecasts are looking pretty good. Hopefully we will get some sizable late south swells in September which can be really good to get us in shape for winter.
a hui hou!
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While there were a wide array of fourth of July celebrations across Oahu this year, there was not much selection for surf. All sides the island were small as south swells seem to have come to a screeching halt for the past week or so and the last swell was downgraded taking almost an hour for the predicted soft four foot sets. Although there was a nice fun run of 2-3 occ 4 foot swells in June, we have not had much for size at all. Matter of fact, even five foot waves have been very scarce this summer and there has not been anything above that which is a let down after last year which offered three rounds of swells that were pretty much as big as town can hold in the time period before the fourth of July.
Bowls has seen a consistent run of contests however. Last weekend, the Triple Crown of Town hosted by No Rep Boardshorts ran their second leg at Bowls. Although the waves were tiny, Cole Yamakawa was able to find enough waves to take the shortboard and Kai Sallas the longboard division. Next Thursday and Friday, will host another pro contests, yet again at Bowls on the 10th and 11th. Arnette will be holding their free surfing contest. Contestants simply show up early and register with no entry fee required.
Makua Rothman recently won the Billabong big wave event in Peru. Koko Ho will grace the pages of ESPNʻs SI body issue and Carissa Moore will have a special ceremony honoring her selection into the Surfers Hall of Fame on July 25th.
Da Hui had itʻs 36th annual paddle board race yesterday on the fourth, just before Turtle Bay kicked off a nice array of fireworks at 8pm. Today, July 5th, JGeeks and Alex Marley will be performing. Hawaii Surf N Sea will host another paddle board race on July 12th. The Northshore has had a little trickle of waves for the past few days, but as usual, holiday weekends on the Northshore are not so nice since it is so packed you canʻt move. Lanis got up to about 3 feet on Wednesday, but it was so packed with long boarders, SUPs and even surf skis that the hardcore guys have to find somewhere else to surf. I guess some more man ini waves are expected on the Northshore for Sunday.
The Honolulu Museum of Art is hosting several surf flicks this month that might be worth checking out. You can view the schedule online.
There is a big south swell stirring for the middle of the month which makes sense because I will be on the mainland, donʻt you hate that. Then again, almost every swell predicted has been downgraded so far this summer so I guess I should not fall into a state of depression just yet. Ah, the woes of being a surfer.
a hui hou.
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After a long and disappointing Spring, the Summer has been quite welcome this year. Most of March, April and even May were plagued with cold N-NE winds, a lot of rain and and very few west swells which are poor conditions for the Northshore. We had a few windows of surf here and there that were fun, but nothing special and they did not last long before the northerly trades played back into the picture. Summer started out with low swell and a lot of surf contests. The state meet was held at Ala Moana Bowls around the end of April and then the first real swell occurred during the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge, but the peak of it arrived one day later on May 17th with a couple 5 ft sets which were the biggest waves we have seen so far. The Local Motion Surf Into Summer scored some really good 2-3 ft surf during their contest this year which included a pro division for the first time. It was won by Seth Moniz with Isaiah Moniz in 2nd, Fynn Novak 3rd and Kekoa Cazimero fourth. Also new to the event this year was a shapers heat which was won by Bouvey Bradley.Even with the pro division the Local Motion still had the same fun vibe that always makes everyone feel included. The T&C Gromfest kicked off the weekend before the Memorial holiday and last weekend hosted the Surf & Sea SUP contest on the Northshore. This past weekend the Northshore Ocean Fest kicked off at Turtle Bay which is a benefit for ocean education while Chinaʻs Wahine Surf Classic was running in Waikiki. Last night the Republix Music fest hosted Makua Rothman, Steel Pulse, Matisyahu, and Rebelution. As you can see no one has an excuse to be board this summer with so many events and venues.
The Hawaii Surfing Championships is holding a "town triple crown professional contest series" this summer which includes short boarding and long boarding for both men and women. The first leg sponsored by Norepboardshorts was held at Kewalos, the next event is at Ala Moana Bowls and the final will be held at Sandy Beach.
Check out this cool feature on Jeannie Chesser. Kauai surfer and wildcard Tatiana Weston-Webb won the GoProChallenge at Fiji for filming a pretty nuts barrel and she beat all the guys. She won the Womenʻs Pipe Championship a few years ago when she was just about 14 or 15 years old. Malia Manuel and Aleeza Quizon were also standouts throughout the womenʻs competition which offered solid 6 foot surf. Sebastian ‘Seabass’ Zietz has just signed with Sobe as the new "brand ambassador".
It looks like a long run of fun surf this week with the peak of the south shore swell landing on Kamehameha Day. Make sure and you get your fill because there may be a long flat spell after that.
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