After the Backdoor Shootout, the waves dropped and small perfect waves prevailed through most of the ten day gap between contests. It was fun surf for everyone. Unfortunately however, the next solid swells occurred right on time for the influx of bodyboarders and surfers who came to practice for the two back to back events. The Volcom contest started out with an unreal west swell which got bigger than expected washing out by midday, forcing contest directors to cancel after just a few heats. They then ran on a more marginal day before lucking into the best day all year on January 30th. Early that morning in the dark, I saw an white water break way outside and all the way across looking like and 18 ft sets. The first two hours were a bit warbly and washy, but by midday the waves were pretty incredible. A long period straight WNW swell with second reef sets is hard to come by, especially in the last couple years. By that evening it looked like perfect Pipe, but it was so crowded after the contest that the guys riding waves from the second reef were bumping into surfers on the first reef and falling off. The swell dropped a lot by the next day, but the contest ended with one of the most exciting finals ever. John John Flourence beat Jamie O'Brien and Kai Barger in the last few minutes of the heat. Right now, it is Boogieville at Pipe as their event will start on February 15th. Banzai Betty seems to be considering running Jr mens in her event this year. If so, she will take the whole 3 or 4 days allotted for her permit from March 1-15.
A new company called Sun Bum which features a wide variety of sun care products has innovated a new form of surfing contest which met the islands for the first time yesterday (Februrary 2nd). The Bum Rush, as they call it, is initiated at an unannounced location and $1000 is awarded to the free surfer who is surfing the best on the day. Sun Bum makes it clear that this is not even necessarily the best surfer, but just one person who their team of judges selects. Yesterday the Bum Rush showed up at Haleiwa with local judge Kawika Foster and Dustin Boshart awarding Kai Matsumoto with the $1000 award. You can find out more at bumrushtour.com