GEN NEXT V 1 4 # 2 Mason Ho
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FLY HIGH. STAY DRY.
Koa Rothmanâ€™s Pipeline bomb in January blew apart surf community social media threads, quickly becoming a viral sensation. The wave was claimed as the Wave of the Winter by the masses, and not only handed Koa the first place check at the 2017 Da Hui Backdoor Shootout; it was also a foreshadowing of an epic run of swells to come during the latter part of the winter season. Photo: Laserwolf
TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S / D E PA R T M E N T S
04 Free Parking 12 Editor’s Note 14 News & Events
GREEN UP ‘N GO™ + HIGH PROTEIN + LOW NATURAL SUGAR
48 Aperture 70 Environment 74 Surf Art 78 Industry Notes 82 Last Look
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TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S / F E AT U R E S
2017 DA HUI BACKDOOR SHOOTOUT
Recapping the biggest waves, highest scores and highest drama at Hawaiiâ€™s most unique surf contest.
We sit down with 5 surfers on the forefront of the progressive surfing movement to understand how they define progression, how their homebreaks molded their surfing and what airs and rotations we can expect to see in the future.
TALK STORY: EZEKIEL LAU Chronicling the improbable road to World Tour qualification of Ezekiel Lau with help from friend and teammate Kanoa Igarashi.
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EDITOR'S LETTER By Cash Lambert Just because the Triple Crown season is over doesn’t mean that Hawaii’s winter season and all that comes with it - big names and even bigger waves concludes as well. By the New Year, winter season still has a handful of contests remaining, along with the opportunity for unprecedented swell. For example, in early January, the Da Hui Backdoor Shootout ran in “the best conditions the contest has ever seen,” creating an arena of glory and nearly tragic gore, an event recapped on page 20. The Volcom Pipe Pro in early February didn’t disappoint either. These storylines and epic runs of swell had everyone clamoring about the things
to come in 2017, relegating the headlines of 2016 to a dwindling sight in the rearview mirror. In short, this issue is all about just that: looking forward. On page 38, we celebrate the forward thinkers, the innovators, the avant-gardes and the progressives of our sport in a feature dubbed Generation Next, where we sit down and rattle off questions with 5 surfers who are on the forefront of the progressive surfing movement: John John Florence, Conner Coffin, Filipe Toledo, Leonardo Fioravanti and Kanoa Igarashi. What will the future of progressive surfing look like, according to John John? “Doing extra spins like Albee Layer and maybe, I
don’t know, a backflip followed by 2 snaps and then a full rotation air or something like that,” he says in the feature. “That’s what I think is going to be the future of surfing: combinations.”
an answer. “It’s definitely going to be going forward... When you see 12-year-old kids doing full rotations and alley oops….when they’re as old as John John, who knows what will happen.”
“A lot of people would say progression is in the air, and I feel that it is,” points out Conner. “Progression, to me, is also about going down the face of a wave, with steeper drops, bigger drops. The way surfboards have changed let’s you get into different parts on the wave, and progressive surfing also means turning harder and faster.”
In the spirit of moving forward, we also talk with Hawaii’s newest face on the World Tour - Ezekiel Lau, recapping his incredible story of qualification, including the moment he “blacked out” after realizing that he had indeed made it onto the Tour, and what we can expect to see from him throughout the 2017 competitive year.
“I think in 10 years... I really don’t know where surfing will be,” says Leo, his eyes hyperfocused in an attempt to determine
All that, and and so much more. Although we’re over a month and a half into a New Year, by putting this issue together,
we as a staff realized that it’s never too late to take some of the advice gleaned from the interviews and commit to a year of being progressive in some way. What exactly does that look like? It could mean a change in surfing style or adding new boards to the quiver, even changing up the place called homebreak. In a more personal sense, it could mean bringing to life plans previously put on hold, chasing after a deep-seated career passion, or speaking out with a new idea. Those with their hands on the control board of surfing are moving the sport forward at a rapid, innovating pace, and we, as an industry, as fans, and as people, can be inspired to do the same.
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HALEIWA INTERNATIONAL OPEN CONTINUES CONTEST TRADITION FOR 47TH YEAR The 47th annual Haleiwa International Open held at Haleiwa Ali’i Beach Park December 26-28th was as legendary as its contest heritage, thanks to two factors: monumental swell and an eclectic group of local surfers. With nearly 5 decades under its belt, the contest is considered the longest amatuer running contest in the world. Started by Rell Sunn and Earl Dahlin as goodwill event for Japanese surfers, it wasn’t long before the international surf community joined in. Every year, the divisions are full with beach entries and alternate list added to the names on the heat sheets. In recent years, Haleiwa regular, Hurley Surf Team Manager and surfing ambassador Joel Centeio has taken the event under his wing and continue the legacy set forth by Aunty Rell and Uncle Earl. With the help of the Hawaii’s top surfing coaches Jason Shibata, Kekoa Bacalso, Fred Patacchia as judges, the Foster Family, countless volunteers, sponsor’s Hurley, Surf N Sea, Matsumoto’s Shave Ice the event will still go on as part of the North Shore’s surfing history.
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E V E N T S
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The monumental Christmas day swell provided this yearâ€™s playing field with the event been held on a 4-6ft NW swell with offshore winds and contestable for the three days straight, December 26-28th. One of the highlights of the event for decades has been the Masters division, and this year was no different. Style maestros Ross Williams, Jack Johnson, Matty Liu, and Lifeguard Adam Lerner gave Haleiwa and the conditions on hand a good run down. Ross casually won the Final with smooth power turns and phenomenal wave selection while Jack scored behind him with a lengthy barrel and flowing style. Matty and Adam followed in 3rd and 4th.
Other divisions followed with boys, girls, the highly contestable Jr. and Open Mens, Womens, and Masters in both shortboard and longboard. The event also saw 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater giving a go in the commentators booth. Perhaps this is a foreshadowing? Only time will tell.
H YAT T R E G E N C Y WA I K I K I
ALA MOANA CENTER KOKO MARINA
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Boys Short Board 1st Eli Hanneman 2nd Daiki Matsunaga 3rd Dylan Franzman 4th Lucas Vicente
Open Men’s Short Board 1st Mike O’Shaughnessy 2nd Keoni Piccolo 3rd Lucas Godfrey 4th Pomai Hoapili
Junior Men’s Short Board 1st Keoni Piccolo 2nd Koa Matsumoto 3rd Mo Freitas 4th Shayden Pacarro
Masters Shortboard 1st Ross Williams 2nd Jack Johnson 3rd Matty Liu 4th Adam Lerner
Women’s Shortboard 1st Moana Jones 2nd Britney Penaroza 3rd Betty Lou Sakura Johnson 4th Ewelei Wong
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E V E N T S
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FIELD NOTES: KOA ROTHMAN WINS THE 2017 DA HUI BACKDOOR SHOOTOUT “The best conditions the contest has ever seen.” This claim, bold as it may be, can be attributed to any the competitors, Uncle Eddie himself and other contest personnel at the 2017 Da Hui Backdoor Shootout. Whether you were on Pipeline’s golden sands during the event or viewing video clips that recapped the action, it’s hard to argue with the claim. Day 1 ran in 6-8 foot glassy conditions. Day 2 saw a reinforcement of swell that rose throughout the day, reaching the 15-20 foot range and Day 3 saw a continuation of epic, headline worthy conditions. But with such monumental swell came glory and nearly tragic gore.
Koa Rothman’s solid surfing during the 3-day event put him in the top of the leaderboard, and his 12-point barrel ride vaulted him into first place overall.
NEWS & EVENTS / DA HUI BACKDOOR SHOOTOUT
On Day 2 of action, the North Shore’s own Kalani Chapman almost drowned. By now, you’ve seen the footage of Kalani, such a strong, fearless and collected surfer rendered powerless in the foaming whitewater. Thanks to the help of Seth Moniz, Nathan Florence, Terry Ahue, the Hawaiian Water Patrol and the lifeguards, he was resuscitated and taken to the hospital, where he were he was further stabilized and in good spirits. The news of Kalani spread like wildfire from one team house to another, creating a heavy atmosphere amongst the salty and warm air. A contest unlike any other with a format unlike any other, the Backdoor Shootout is the only competition where you can score a perfect, 12-point ride. Just ask Koa Rothman and Ryan Hipwood, who both nailed the score. The format works like this: competitors surf an equal amount of times in a non-elimination design. They do so without jerseys, and judges recognize competitors in the lineup based on their style. The best scores are tallied in each round, and number of rounds dictates how many waves are counted. A simple makeshift heat sheet taped to a square board next to the contest scaffolding alerts surfers as to which heat they’re surfing in, and who they’re surfing against. The points ceiling is raised to 12, too.
20-year-old Seth Moniz proved that not only is he growing in stature and maturity; his wicked backhand is improving as well, which helped him finish 4th overall.
Another unique element to the format is the call to surf or not surf. It’s something voted on by the surfers themselves, and with a stout WNW swell on hand on January 12, 13 and 14, the vote was clear. Team Weedmaps, who entered the Shootout with a talented roster, outscored all other teams, including Team Volcom and Team Da Hui Wax, with help from Bruce Irons’ 10.83 point ride and his 5th place finish overall, Mason Ho’s 11.83 point ride and his 3rd place overall, and Tyler Newton’s high-scoring Off the Wall barrel. In a tight competitive field, it was one wave that served as an exclamation mark to Koa’s solid performance throughout the contest, pushing him into first place. What made the wave different from other high scoring waves, including Ryan Hipwood’s 12-point barrel ride (which helped win him
Already having a standout winter, Mason Ho added to his 2016/2017 accomplishments by scoring 3rd place, helped in part to a high scoring 11.83 Pipeline barrel.
Tai Van Dyke
NEWS & EVENTS / DA HUI BACKDOOR SHOOTOUT
NEWS & EVENTS / DA HUI BACKDOOR SHOOTOUT
the Performance Award), Jamie O’Brien’s 11-point ride or Mason Ho’s 11.83 ride? Well, other than the size, the fact that Koa was so deep that the wave violently spit moments before he came out of the cavern. “I’d just like to say thank you to my dad, Auntie Mahina and the Da Hui family,” said Koa at the awards ceremony, holding his $40,000 prize check. Looking into the annals of the contest, he’s one of the only Da Hui members to win the event, along with Johnny Boy Gomes. “That was the best wave of my life, I don’t know how I made it. I’d like to wish Kalani a speedy recovery, too. Everybody’s rooting for you. You’re a warrior.”
In a high risk and high reward contest arena, Seth Moniz happened to be in the right spot at the right time. Aided by Nathan Florence and Terry Ahue, Seth helped rescue Kalani Chapman, who was knocked unconscious underwater in the maxing swell.
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NEWS & EVENTS / DA HUI BACKDOOR SHOOTOUT
Men's Final 1 Koa Rothman 2 Jamie O’Brien 3 Mason Ho 4 Seth Moniz 5 Bruce Irons 6 Billy Kemper
Bodysurf Division 1 Todd Sells 2 Kai Santos 3 Aaron Ungerleider 4 Keali’i Punley 5 Pomai Hoapili 6 Kyle Foyle 7 Dan Aitchinson 8 Abe Lerner 9 Sean Enoka 10 Joel Badina 11 Chris Robinson 12 Nick Droze
Longboard Division 1 Lance Ho’okano 2 Dino Miranda 3 Phil Rajzman 4 Makamai Desoto 5 Bonga Perkins 6 Joel Tudor
Stand up Division 1 Keahi De Aboitiz 2 Mo Freitas 3 Kai Lenny 4 Bullet Obra 5 NolandKeaulana 6 Robin Johnston 7 Pomai Hoapili 8 Kainoa McGee
While the Backdoor Shootout gives Hawaiian surfers the chance to claim fame at the contest, a few adopted members of the North Shore community, including Ryan Hipwood, competed and made the most of their opportunity.
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What’s your favorite album, Noah? I’ve been listening to the Weekend’s new album Starboy, it’s pretty sick. Been playing any song on repeat lately? I’ve just been listening Goosebumps by Travis Scott featuring Kendrick Lamar. What about a pre surf song? Moves by Big Sean. Any pre contest song to get you hyped up before a heat? I usually don’t listen to music before heats, I’m talking with my Dad and things like that. But if I do listen to a song, it’s probably Hype by Drake. What about cruise jams? Frank Ocean for sure, and Landon McNamara's new album has some sick songs. Does anyone influence your taste in music? Any close friends or family? I listen to the stuff my Dad enjoys, like rap. 30
What kind of music would you play if you were cruising with a girl? I’d just play what I like. I think girls like country music… I mean, my mom likes country music. Give us the last 5 songs in your playlist. Starboy by the Weekend Goosebumps by Travis Scott Still Here by Drake Bone Marrow by G-Eazy Billie Jean by Michael Jackson If you’re stranded on a desert island and only had one album to listen to, what would the album be? I’ve never really liked an entire album besides the Weekend’s recent album, and if you listen to any album over and over again you get tired of pretty quick. Maybe try to not get stranded on an island. Any lyrics that you've heard recently that really dig? “Peter, Piper picked a peppers/ I could pick your brain and put your heart together” in Travis Scott’s Goosebumps, featuring Kendrick Lamar. It’s pretty clever and sounds sick!
Q U I C K
Q U E S T I O N
IF YOU COULD ADD ONE NEW LOCATION TO THE WORLD TOUR… Conner Coffin “I’d say somewhere in Indonesia would be awesome. I loved the Keramas event a few years ago, I didn’t get to surf but I watched it. Rincon wouldn’t bum me out either.”
Kanoa Igarashi “A spot that I would add to the Tour would be Indonesia. All those waves are so perfect, machine like. From Lances Right to Lakey Peak...Indonesia would be my dream place.”
Filipe Toledo “I would want to add somewhere in Indonesia. Any spot there would make for a good WCT event. Maybe the Mentawais or Macaronis.”
Carissa Moore “I've watched JBAY, and that event looks amazing. I think it'd be really cool to have a girls event there, but there's also the shark factor. It looks like an incredible wave and I'd love to go there one day.”
Jack Freestone “Put Keramas back on! Or a contest in Bali. Anywhere in Bali would be nice.” Torrey Meister “This is out of left field, but it's something I feel passionate about. The top 32, they're already the best surfers in the world and I have faith in them when it comes to bigger waves. It'd be super cool to have a CT event at Jaws, just to try it out. Watching guys like Gabriel Medina or Filipe Toledo, that'd be super cool. They're such talented humans that I feel they would just rip. They'd be really scared, like we all are, but the drive they have when the compete is very passionate. For me, the best surfer in the world is the guy who can rip 1 foot waves and surf huge waves.”
Kolohe Andino “Macaronis, it'd be sick. The wave has barrels, turns and airs. Guys would rip super hard there. We already have Teahupoo and Pipeline, two big barreling waves and lots of right points, so a left point would be rad.” Tyler Wright “Indonesia. There's a few places you could set off a contest there with the warm water, nice skies. Otherwise, we’ve got it pretty good right now.”
H O W - T O
HOW TO PULL A CLUB SANDWICH WITH KEKOA CAZIMERO Sequence: Tony Heff Location: Rockies Step by Step Breakdown: 1 Choose your line. The Club Sandwich is one of my favorite moves, but the section needed for it doesn’t come very often. I’ve grown up watching Jamie O’Brien do it at Backdoor, and I saw it in a contest, too, at Haleiwa with Ola Eleogram. The waves were 6 feet and Ola needed a 4, so he took off on a closing out wave during the last minute and there was no turn he could do, so instead he improvised, pulled a Club Sandwich, and got like an 8. It’s a pretty technical turn, but it can be pulled it if you’re moving fast and thinking on your feet.
2 See the section, and commit to it. At the same time, the move is all about improvising. I don’t go into a wave thinking ‘I’m going to pull a club sandwich’. My first choice was to do a huge arc or turn, but I saw the lip throwing and committed to it. 3 Blow the tail. It’s basically about doing a blow tail / grab tail reverse, but doing so in the most critical part of the wave instead of a blow tail at the end of the wave. After you make the turn, your nose is in the water, so it's kind of like a nose pick.
4 Throw yourself right in the peak of the pocket. One of the most critical parts is to grab rail depending where the board is. In the sequence, you can see that my board is flat, facing land and the nose is in water. The move is hard to explain, I’m actually laying on my living room floor trying to reenact it haha. 5 Hold the tail and flip it. When you whip it, the whitewater momentum carries you back out. Like I said, it only happens when the wave barrels in the next section, so to avoid taking the lip to the head, you grab rail, and the thing catapults you backwards. It feels as if you’re doing a backflip.
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It’s no secret that the benefits of hours spent training in the gym and consistently surfing can be ultimately negated by poor posture. With so much sitting in our daily lives, from work to commuting and leisure, we often let our guard down. Shoulders roll forward, backs lose their curves and necks protrude forward. Long term speaking, this makes us susceptible to injury. That’s why we decided to give Intelliskin a try. The Intelliskin wearable product was created by Dr. Tim Brown, a medical director for the ASP as well as professional volleyball tours in the 1980s. To help athletes, he utilized functional taping, which helped and continues to help competitors train and play despite their injuries. This method quickly became a staple in the world of athletics, and because athletes were asking for his help so often, Dr. Brown tried to create wearable technology mimicking the taping technique. After several trial and error sessions using old wetsuits and rashguards, the first shirt was born. Today, it’s endorsed by a host of athletes across a wide spectrum of sports, including surfing.
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EX A M I N I N G T HE M OD ER N MOVEMENT OF PROGRESSIVE SURF I N G By Cash Lambert
Higher aerials, unthinkable rotations and spray-infused turns: by all accounts, 2016 was undoubtedly a year of unprecedented progression in the sport of surfing. 720s. Airs at Peahi. Waimea Bay highlight reels. Unanimous 10s. Expectations were surpassed, jaws were on the floor, and “are you kidding me?” inundated social media threads. As 2016 drew to a close and the surf community reminisced on the year that dripped with salty progression, the next question was simple: what’s next? What new heights can surfers achieve in 2017, having already set the foundation for rapid expansion? We decided to pose this question to a select group of surfers: John John Florence, Conner Coffin, Filipe Toledo, Leonardo Fioravanti and Kanoa Igarashi, in order to find out where their progressive motivations come from, how they define progression and how injuries play into their mindset. While they couldn’t give us a clear indication of what insane airs and turns we can expect in the future - and understandably so - they did provide tasty breadcrumbs based on the progression they are seeing in lineups today.
In 2016 you did it all: you won the In Memory of Eddie Aikau, won the World Title and the Triple Crown. What’s your motivation to continue pushing your skill and your progression in 2017? I’m not going to think of it as doing better this year. Instead, I’m going to work on all the little mistakes I made in 2016 and better myself. I have a lot of things that I can do better. When I won the World Title, I felt as though I could have kept going and kept getting better. So I’m looking forward to continuing that, just tweaking things here and there. Progressive surfing: can this continue to improve as well? Or do you think there’s a ceiling as to how far it can go? I don’t think here is a ceiling. The things guys are doing in freesurf world...I think that should come on Tour. Doing extra spins like Albee [Layer], and maybe, I don’t know, a backflip followed by 2 snaps and then full rotation air or something like that. That’s what I think is going to be the future of surfing: combinations. So combinations are what we have to look forward to? Yeah. Albee’s tricks, those will be the new air reverse, too. If you don’t do a huge one, it’s going to be scored a 4.5. It’s hard to say where surfing is going to go, it has progressed so far in just the last 10 years. You see guys like Filipe doing the craziest airs in heats, and I’m hoping to see guys at JBay taking off and doing a carve, right into an air with a snap, barrel and air, just continuing to mix it up.
Progressive surfing can mean a host of different things, so what’s your definition of it? Progressive surfing is trying to take surfboards to a new place on a wave whether it is in the air or on a face, just faster surfing and with surfing more power, more flow, connecting with big combos. A lot of people would say progression is in the air, and I feel that it is. Progression, to me, is also about going down the face of a wave, with steeper drops, bigger drops. The way surfboards have changed let’s you get into different parts on the wave, and progressive surfing also means turning harder and faster. When we’re younger, we emulate those we see on edits. As you’ve grown, do you continue to emulate guys like Dane? Or do you have to find your own style?
Watching a ton of footage helps. To me, some of the turns Dane [Reynolds] does in his recent edit Chapter 11...those are my favorite turns. I look up to him for raw power and unpredictability. Growing up, I saw Dane surf around home, and I was always excited to watch him. He progressed not just in the air but also with turns... we think of him as powerful but he knows when to be light and when to be powerful. He has that dynamic to his surfing, and he does airs you don’t expect because he does crazy turns too. John [Florence] is pushing it a lot, riding smaller boards in bigger waves. I love watching footage and saying ‘ok I did that turn where could I have finished it to get more speed to go into another big turn instead of wasting time in between...I could have thrown an air in there too’ and so forth. As progressive surfing continues to reach greater heights, how is it that you’re staying not only with the trends,
but ahead of them? I always watch other people’s surfing. I’m not going to copy that guy, but I’ll pick up on nuances and try to make it my own. You pick up a little here and there and try to do your own thing. Watching yourself helps... having that critical eye for that was good but how can I make it better and how can I make it my own comes into play. For me, it’s about trying not to push as hard and position myself really critically so I’m not overpowering the wave. It’s minute stuff but creative carves or rail turns and how can you make it different...that’s what separates you from what everyone else is doing. How did growing up near Santa Barbara influence your surfing to be progressive? I grew up surfing point breaks every day, and I rode longboards and single fins,
eggs and weird boards like that. I didn’t start riding shortboards until 8, but I had surfed since I was 4. Riding longobards and surfing point breaks, that has a lot to do how I approach surfing. Back then, Taylor [Knox], Dane those guys weren’t doing airs at Rincon, because why would you do an air when you could ride the wave to the freeway? I gravitated towards their surfing and it fit the waves, doing turns and carves and watching guys with good style. What you enjoy doing on a wave, that’s what I gravitate towards, and also how I tried to develop in my surfing. Even with those guys people who say power surfing is dead, yeah they do airs and incredible surfing on face but that gets them through 70 percent of their heats or more. This year, John developed that side of his surfing more and it paid off. He went to airs when he needed to use them but he had strong side to compliment that. I think it’s about developing the whole package.
What do you think the future of progressive surfing is going to look like? Maybe airs going down like backflips and stuff like that…I also feel like it will go more to even bigger turns, everything all flowing together. Someone in a heat may pull a crazy air and go straight into a huge turn, I think that will be happening more and more. Boards will start to change, too. I’ve been riding the same equipment for a while, and I’m no shaper, but I feel as though it’s bound to change. And the whole wave pool thing….who knows what’s going to happen with that, it’s progression of our sport. I’m sure there will be events in a wave pool at some point.
FILIPE TOLEDO You started out the 2016 competitive year with an injury at Snapper Rocks while landing an air. As progressive surfing continues to move forward, are injuries something that’s on your mind as a consequence of going too big? Surfing progressive is amazing to watch, but for the guy who’s surfing that way, there’s a risk to get injured. I was always doing crazy airs, trying to put surfing on another level and
that happened, I got injured. I’ve been working on training to do maneuvers and not thinking about getting injured. Once you think about getting injured, it happens. It was hard, because I was fired up to start the season and then I had to stay out of surfing for 2 and a half months, and I’m still working to get to 100 percent. But I used it as a time to get healthy and eat better. I watched the contests from the couch, and when you do that, you see things differently. How would you define progressive surfing? Is it more about airs, turns or both?
Progressive surfing, that’s when you try to take sport to another level. It’s about trying to improve and not just with airs, but with big turns. And then we see things like Jamie O’Brien taking softops out at Pipeline, I think that’s progressive. It’s trying to improve and making things different. When you’re on a wave looking at a section, what’s your mindset? Once I’m on the wave, I don’t think about what I’m going to do. Of course you have to read the wave, whether it’s
going to barrel or have an air section. My thought process is that when I stand up on a wave, it could be my last wave, so I want to do a new maneuver or go big. I don’t think about two floaters and a turn - I think about going big. Every time I paddle for a wave, that’s my opportunity to do something crazy and land it and everyone’s going to talk about it and I’m going to feel good. Take us back to your grom days: who were some of your biggest influences? And how did you mesh those influences with your style?
I always watched the movies, the edits. I’m a big fan of Mick [Fanning], Andy and Bruce [Irons]. The style that I surf, it’s more like Dane, Matt Meola and Chippa Wilson. I try to mix it up and get a bit of Mick Fanning with Chippa Wilson, mixing that and putting it in the water. When I turned pro, I said now I have to improve, because all those guys are always getting better. Today, I still watch all their movies, and it gets me pumped to go surf. Have any words of advice for the younger generation on the best way to keep pushing the sport forward?
Keep focused, and believe in your dreams, because sometimes it gets really hard. keep. Keep a close relationship with your family, you have go to school and just, you know, charge. Go big, try to do some new things every day and try to improve everyday and have a good relationship with God. Its simple, but it is the best advice: Training, school, family and God.
LEONARDO FIORAVANTI The average surf fan can name a handful of surfers from places like Australia, Hawaii, California, and Brazil. Coming from Italy, you’re certainly an outlier: how did your hometown influence your surfing style? I started surfing near Rome, where I grew up. There was a little beach club we went to where the owners were surfers, so they put me on a surfboard. After that,
all I wanted to do was spend time on the beach and surf. It’s been my lifestyle and has turned into a career. I was lucky enough to go to France and Portugal and surf when I was 8 or 9, and got picked up by Quiksilver at 10. If there was a day of waves at home, I’d surf all day because we don’t get to surf all day. For me, all I want to do is have fun and enjoy things. Growing up in Italy, there were so many things to do at home like soccer, skiing, and I wanted to have fun. I try to bring that into my surfing.
Airs, turns, wave pools: how do you describe progressive surfing? Surfing is progressing, but power surfing is still important. It's the base. The best surfer is not the one who knows how to do a crazy air or big carve. If you want to win or be in top 10, you have to do airs, power turns and every kind of style. It’s very important to have everything in your repertoire. I’ve been working on being consistent in everything and I can pull out something in the last second of a heat. Also, progressive surfing is mainly about innovation. As we’ve seen in the last 5
years, the airs and the turns John John, Albee, Dane have been doing are on a different level and this new generation is bringing the surfing level to the next step. I think it's going to keep on going up and there’s going to be more guys like John and Albee doing crazy turns and crazy airs and bring our current level to the next level. Certainly you’re training to be on the forefront of the progressive movement. Besides training on your own, are you learning from your peers as well?
There’s a few guys I’ve had a lot of heats with this year, like Ethan Ewing, Griffin Colapinto, Kanoa and Zeke. When you battle one of your friends or someone the same age as you in the water, you become enemies and it pushes the level of surfing up. Even when I surf with friends Kanoa or Zeke, we’re having fun but pushing each other to bigger things. I hope we’re going to be competing against another for the next 10 years. In 10 years, when you all may still be competing against one another, what will we be saying about progressive surfing?
I think in 10 years... I really don’t know where surfing will be. It’s definitely going to be going forward to the next step, maybe everyone's going to do 540s or maybe no one will do another one. When you see 12-year-old kids doing full rotations and alley oops like Eli Hanneman, when he’s as old as John John who knows what will happen. We have to wait to find out, and the level will be high.
KANOA IGARASHI Although progressive surfing may look different from one person or another, what fuels it is motivation and a desire to push forward. Growing up in Huntington Beach, how did you develop that passion? I was hooked ever since my Dad pushed me on a surfboard at age 3, but it came second to school. Surfing was something I felt like I had to earn in order to do, because I would have to do a certain amount of homework before surfing. I was always trying to surf as long as I could get to the beach before dark. So the hunger built inside of me. I made the most of it, accepting the fact that I had to go to school and all I thought about during class was surfing. Winning at the NSSA level got me addicted, and I wanted to keep taking it to the next level. And growing up in Huntington was the best thing that could
happen to me. It made me search for waves... It also made me always on the hunt wanting to get good waves. And you're bilingual - for the younger generations filling the ranks in the QS, is it important to be able to speak multiple languages? My first language was Japanese. I grew up with that in the house, learning English at school so I have a tongue for learning new language. Japanese is such a hard language... I have surfing friends from other countries, and I’m open to learning the language and the culture. Our Quiksilver team manager taught us from a young age to always try and meet new friends, don’t just stay in a small group because we’re going to be going to these countries for a long time. I don’t look at it as work, I like learning Portuguese while
in Brazil. Now I’m learning French. I never studied them in school, but my friends from other countries are in my ear so that forces me to learn. When you think about progressive surfing, how important is flow? I think flow is such an important factor that no one really gets. For me, progressive surfing isn't one air or full rotation. I think it's the guys who can consistently do and do it with flow, going from maneuver to maneuver is so hard and technical and one little arm degree and placement can make a big difference. Guys doing big carves into full rotations, I think that's the future of surfing. Anyone can can pump down line and do full rotation... they have all the time in the world to do it. The guys who can fit into small sections I think
are the most progressive. I think that's what I wanna be one day. Guys like Filipe and Gabriel. Why do you think the sport is advancing so rapidly? It’s advancing because of technology, not just technology with surfing but technology with humans. Some of the stuff the companies are doing...slow motion cameras, crazy tech with wetsuits, we’ve never had the opportunity to see how fast we’re we're going on a wave or see if our foot was in right place. Cameras help with the technical parts of the sport. Surfing is turning into a real sport with it being in the Olympics... people are taking it more seriously and that makes it more interesting to watch.
Ryan Hipwood Photo: John Weaver
Kaimana Henry Photo: Keoki
Kelly Slater Photo: Tony Heff
Mason Ho Photo: Tony Heff
THE STORY OF WORLD TOUR QUALIFICATION WITH EZEKIEL LAU By Chris Latronic and Tyler Rock Ezekiel Lauâ€™s 2016 mission was simple: to make it onto the World Surf League Championship Tour. Although the Hawaiian had a stellar year traveling on the QS grind, Zeke remained one slot out from making the dream Tour going into the Vans Triple Crown. With an early round loss at Haleiwa and a semifinal QS points battle at Sunset, Lau was only 50 points away from qualifying. With nothing more that he could do, the 24-year-oldâ€™s fate came down to Quiksilver teammate Kanoa Igarashi. In order for Zeke to make the tour, Kanoa would have to double qualify at the Billabong Pipe Masters, which meant that the World Tour rookie would have to surf his way to the Quarterfinals. This high drama led to one of the greatest performances in brotherhood surf history as Kanoa made it not only to the
Quarterfinals, but to a second place finish, making Zeke's dream come true. After the victory fog settled a bit, we sat down with the acclaimed duo and for their insights on the most exciting contest day of the 2016 year.
Now that you’ve had time to think about the emotional rollercoaster that was your qualification experience, how does it feel to know that you’ll be competing fulltime on the WCT? It feels pretty good, I don’t know if it’s fully sunk in yet. I’m stoked. I can’t believe I’ve actually made it on Tour, it's been a goal of mine for so long...I’ve come so close so many times, it's unreal. I’m sure it will continue to sink in further in the next couple weeks. Growing up in Town, you were involved in so many sports, surfing included. Why did you choose surfing as a career? During high school, yeah I was doing a lot of sports, and surfing was something I liked to do. I wasn’t sure which path I was going to take, whether or not I was going to go to college. One year Jason Shibata took me to do a few QS’s in El Salvador and Mexico, and I ended up winning the first and getting second in Mexico. That’s when I decided to really pursue surfing as a career, and I later won the HIC Pro. Those events really reassured me that this was something I wanted to do. When I played soccer, I wanted to be like David Beckham. When I played basketball, I wanted to be Lebron James and for me surfing was about being like Sunny Garcia and Andy and Bruce [Irons]. While
those sports aided with school, it was the opposite with surfing. It was a sticky situation because I loved surfing more than any other sport, but it was hard to do with school so I’d go to practices and at the end of the day I was hoping there’d be time to surf. Did spending time out of the water extinguish your motivation, or increase it? I’d go weeks at a time without surfing, because it was hard to get to the beach. Plus, in the wintertime, there’s no waves on the South Shore. But I still loved it, and that reassured my passion, it was what I wanted to do it more than anything else. During your grom days, you were under the tutelage of esteemed coach Dave Riddle, known for teaching Andy and Bruce Irons, Dusty Payne, Coco Ho and others. How did he influence your surfing during your most formative years? Being with Dave molded me. He taught me everything about the North Shore, from surfing Haleiwa to Pipe and so much more. I was really fortunate and blessed to have met Dave. I was a kid from Town and knew nothing about surfing on the North Shore, and that’s why I call him the Mayor of the North Shore. He put me in the right places at the right time, he was my second family. I spent weekends with him and would go back to school during the week.
Was there a pivotal moment in between your early years and your time on the QS
where you learned what it would take to eventually qualify for the World Tour, or was it more of a step by step growth process? Everything’s been a learning curve trying to reach that goal of qualification. There’s been ups and downs, different sponsorships, different coaching, it's a lot to get used to. Including the travel: I’m from Hawaii and I’ve always traveled, just not to the magnitude that I have in the last few years. It’s a lot to take in at once, and I feel like I’m getting more used to it, being able to adjust and figure it out. With Quiksilver, I now travel with Leo [Fioravanti] and Kanoa [Igarashi], and it's been a long ride but I wouldn’t want it to have happened any other way. Let’s talk about how it all went down: You came into the 2016 winter season on the cusp of qualifying, only a single spot outside of the top 10. In order to jump into that last slot, you’d have to do well at the Vans World Cup. Sunset was crucial, even Haleiwa before that because I could have closed it out there. I came into Sunset feeling good, and I put together a few good heats. It was in the quarterfinals that I thought I could lock it up, because if I made that heat, I would have jumped into 10th. But with a few guys close to qualification still making heats, everything kept shuffling. I was in the first heat and the announcers said I made it, but there were still 4 or 5 more guys close to qualification still surfing. I made it to semis, with 3 others going
for qualification: Frederico Morais, Jack Freestone, and Tanner Gudauskas. I had to get 3rd, and I placed 4th in my semifinal. Jack got 3rd and qualified and I was one place away from making it. How did you handle the result? I accepted it, telling myself I gave it a good run and stayed positive. I’ve been improving slowly every year and that's all I can ask for. This year, it all came down to Pipe with my career in Kanoa’s hands and he did it, he put on the best performance of his life and I’m glad I got to benefit from it. Kanoa, what was your mentality going into Sunset?
For me, overall, I felt like I had a bad year. Coming into Pipe, I was glad the year was over and that I had another chance to get on Tour. When I really looked at my results for the year, I won two 6 stars, and that's not something everyone’s doing. So I took a moment to myself, realizing it wasn’t a bad year, I didn’t lose first round in any CT event and won one heat in every contest. I felt like I was surfing 40% and I didn’t get to show my real surfing and compete how I wanted to compete. It was a year of new places, new scenarios and new pressures and it got to my head. I wasn’t at ease before contests, I had so much head noise. Before coming to Hawaii, I confirmed a spot on the 2017 CT in Brazil, so I realized that Pipe was my chance to be open and relaxed, and that’s where my mind was. That was until the qualification thing came up with Zeke.
When did you realize the magnitude of the situation Kanoa, that you’d have to run the table to help push Zeke onto the World Tour? I didn’t realize how much pressure Zeke had on himself. It’s so hard to compete at a high level when so many people around you saying ‘this is your contest, this is it, you're going to get it done here’. It looked like he was handling it all well. He did step up, I was on the beach at Sunset in the rain cheering and I felt like I was in the water with him. When he came up just short at Sunset, everyone looked at me and all the attention shifted my direction, with everyone knowing that I was the only one who could help. Right away I said ‘I’m going to thrive off this pressure’ and surfed Pipeline right after the Sunset contest ended. Zeke told me ‘hey do it for yourself and if it works out great but don’t worry about it, because I was the one off by 50 points’. But inside I knew he was saying ‘you better do this’, you know. It was exciting, I’ve never felt that pressure before and it gave me the opportunity to show what I had. Zeke, what was it like to watch Kanoa face Keanu Asing back in Round 2, who needed to win in order to improve his chances to requalify on Tour? Was it bittersweet? I saw the heat draw with Kanoa and Keanu and thought ‘well that makes things awkward for me’. Keanu and I talked about it the day before and either way, it’s a win-win because I’d be stoked for Keanu and I know Keanu would be stoked if Kanoa won and pushed me
through. We both have to make a living and we’re fighting for the same thing. If it was him and I man on man in a heat, it’d be the same thing. Competition is not going to ruin a friendship, we put it all out there and leave it in the water. Kanoa, on the last day of the Pipe Masters, were you pumped up and motivated to see your goal through? Or feeling the pressure?
Well, I wasn’t expecting to compete that day. The night before we were cruising at Lei Lei’s, and I went to bed at 1 am, woke up and the waves looked bad. I went back to bed and got the text, started getting pumped up and surfed in the heat with Kelly and Jordy and I made it through, and I was thinking ‘wow I didn’t even think we were going to surf and now I’m into the quarters’.
Talk to us about the Jordy Smith Quarterfinal heat, Zeke. All Kanoa had to do was beat Jordy, who has having an excellent winter season, having already won the Vans World Cup. If Kanoa did that, your lifelong dream would be fulfilled. I was sitting on the couch, the same place where I was sitting when Kanoa won his heat earlier, and I didn’t want the cameras to see my poker face. I saw Jordy get his first wave and I don’t know if I fell asleep or blacked out or what but the next thing I know I was jumping and cheering. I don’t remember watching Kanoa’s wave live. I was tripping, shaking and I couldn’t control my breathing. Kanoa got his second wave and I said this is really happening and when the horn rang, I was so stoked for him, he was looking at me pointing. It’s crazy when you rely on your
friends to do it for you. I remember asking him ‘would you have done this if you hadn’t been pushing for me to qualify’ and he said he didn’t know. What about from your perspective Kanoa? Talk us through the Quarterfinal matchup with Jordy.
Going into it, the right guys lost in the right heat and I knew I was coming up against Jordy, and he had the Vans Triple Crown title on the line so I knew he was going to be coming full swing. Everyone was telling me ‘you got this’ and in my head I told myself ‘you know what I do have this because I feel better than ever’. But at the same time it seemed like no one had faith in me, I could see it in people's eyes. The webcast was on and I heard guys like Ross Williams say that I was about to face Jordy, and how it was unlikely I could win but that’d be sick if it happened. I was glad I heard that and said to myself ‘screw these guys’ and I went out there and I didn’t back down. I pushed Jordy deep and everything was going to plan. He got his 7 and I said whatever, I didn’t think that wave was that good. I told myself that I wanted an 8 or 9 to shut every one up so I took off deep on purpose and I gave it biggest pump, almost fell off but kept pumping just screaming through the barrel. I was looking for an opening and came out and looked straight at the Quiksilver house, where I could see Zeke claiming it from
the couch. How could you see him if he was sitting inside? I felt like I was inside the room with him. From that moment on, I said it's game on. I got the score, paddled back out, had chicken skin, guys were freaking out. After you get a big score, that’s when you have to step it up. I could feel everyone thinking about it, thinking about Zeke qualifying... I held Jordy off and as soon as the horn blew this feeling came down my whole body, just chicken skin from the whole heat. I was in a state of shock, looking at Zeke in the yard, his arms in the air. It was what I imagined for weeks, just see him claiming it from the water. What did that win do for you after a difficult year? I didn’t crack under pressure, I didn’t let my emotions get to me. I’ve been cracking under pressure all year and at such an important time I was able to thrive from it. I got back to the beach and everyone was in such a good mood, it felt like a dream. I kept pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, I left marks from pinching so hard. What was the reaction from the community like, Zeke?
to our sponsors, performers, artists, volunteers, and many others for helping make the 2016 Benefit for the Country on December 3, 2016 a tremendous success!
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I felt bad that I couldn’t reply to every single message I received. There was so many... It made me feel good, everyone was so supportive. You don’t realize how many people are behind you and support you until times like this. I want to give back to people who have given so much to me and to stoke them out makes me happy. For it all to fall in place, it feels good. In March, you’ll suit up at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast. What are your expectations? I’m going to set certain goals I want to reach but I’m also going in without any real expectations. I want to be a sponge and learn from people and adjust as I go. I’m open to learning and I’m ready to get to that next level. What about someone you’re looking forward to competing
against? It’d be sick to surf heats with Kelly, and I haven’t had any heats against John [Florence] since I was a kid. It’s going to be crazy to be in heats with guys like Filipe Toledo and Gabriel Medina...For it to finally become reality at Snapper, I don’t know how it’s going to feel exactly.
What’s your record competing against John John? My amateur record against John... I think I’ve beat him a few times, but he’s smoked me. I remember my first event at Sunset I was 7 years old, John would have been 8 or 9. We were surfing at Vels, and all of a sudden 6 to 8 foot sets started pumping outside. I was riding my 4’11” and my dad said ‘you’re out there, because the girls are going out there John is going out’ and I was scared, putting my jersey on. On the first set everyone gets
pounded and the lifeguards lost their boards and are swimming, all the kids are scattered. All of a sudden I see John double arm dragging from the point getting barreled all the way across and I was thinking ‘what the heck is this kid on’. I caught some whitewater and went in after that. John’s always been on a whole other level. By qualifying, you’ve achieved the dream of all dreams for surfers, so what’s your advice to the groms out there who are chasing your path?
Take your time. Whatever it is, it doesn’t have to come right now. I felt like growing up, you know when I wanted something I wanted it at that moment. But going to school and waiting, it’s ok to let yourself mature and wait for when it’s actually time. Traveling with Jason Shibata when I was young, I said that I
wanted to do a full year competing. I did 2 events and wanted to go home because it was so gnarly dealing with the stresses of travel. I was stoked to go back home and be with my friends at home. It’s important to cherish those moments and do things like Prom. Go to Prom, it’s one of the funnest times of your life. What can we expect from you in 2017? Expect me to go 300% in everything I do. I’m going to give it my all, get some good results and try to take down some big names for Hawaii. I want to represent Hawaii the best I can. Expect me to come out of the gates firing.
And many more!
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longer recognizable. We call these tiny pieces, microplastic or mesoplastic. This happens to all plastic products, not just the fork. Photodegrade is the opposite of biodegrade. Is it dangerous?
SYMPTOMS OF PLASTIC POLLUTION ON EAST SIDE BEACHES AND HOW YOU CAN HELP By Kahi Pacarro Makapu’u to Kahuku are trashed! Not sure if you’ve been to a beach on our beloved East side lately, but if you haven’t, let us tell you: they’re the dirtiest we’ve ever seen them. We believe that the largest influx event of plastic washing ashore is happening right now. The influx is even catching the eye of our mainstream news, and chances are you’ve seen news coverage in the mornings about the recent wave of marine debris washing ashore on the beach. Let me tell you what I told them during my interview, and then take it a little deeper: Why is this happening? Marine Debris (Plastic Pollution) is a symptom of society’s over consumption. Not just of plastic, but of almost everything. Cleaning beaches is not going to solve the problem. It will remove what’s washing ashore, but it won’t stop more of it from coming in. Well then what do we do? We need to clean beaches because the buildup of plastic pollution will make them unusable for us and other animals, like endangered monk seals and sea turtles. Cleaning also provides a huge wake up call for the cleaner, which leads to more poignant solutions. What is really needed to be done is a multi pronged approach at reducing the use of plastic. What’s up with all the small pieces of plastic? When plastic enters the ocean it enters into a vicious sloshing cauldron with giant waves, hungry animals, and m ore d ebris. Most vicious is the unrelenting beaming sun that catalyzes photodegradation (photo - sun / degradation - breakup). These forces take what may have been a plastic fork and break it up into hundreds, if not thousands, of tiny pieces of its original self. In this state, the plastic fork is no 70
Yes. Hell yes. Plastic is lipophilic, which means that it attracts oil. Stormwater runoff from cities and agricultural areas like Haleiwa or Honolulu dump unfathomable loads of toxic pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, phthalates, car products and more into the ocean. Many of these are made with oil and are called Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). Once in the ocean, these POPs come across your old toothbrush, a plastic comb, that plastic fork, or the tiny pieces of microplastic. Attracted to each other, the POPs and the plastic combine to become even moretoxic. Wait, it’s gets worse! The microplastic laden with toxic POPs often resemble fish eggs, larvae, or smaller fish. A recent study also proved that photodegrading plastic emits the same smell that phytoplankton does therefore attracting seabirds and larger animals to high concentrations of plastics and encourages ingestion. In other words, animals in and flying above the ocean are eating our toxic coated plastic because they think it’s food. When fish eat the plastic laden in POPs, it makes the fish themselves toxic. The plastic in their stomachs and intestinal tract leach POPs where it then drifts into the fatty tissues of the fish. This happens because fat is oil based and therefore lipophilic acting like a magnet for the POPs. The plastic, is
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pooped out if it can, but part of its toxic load remains. Toxic chemicals are ending up on our dinner plates and in our own bodies as a result of ocean pollution. That’s because of biomagnification. We are at the top of the food chain (most of the time), and we eat fish that have eaten hundreds of smaller fish, who ate smaller fish, who may have eaten toxic plastic. When fish eat plastic and the toxins enter their fatty tissues, they often get eaten by larger fish. The toxins build up in the next fish even though they’re not actually eating the plastic. As the predator chain moves higher, so does the load of toxic POPs in the fatty tissues. As more research comes out, we will begin to see how this is having an effect on us. We do know that these toxic chemicals are often estrogen-mimicking endocrine disruptors and can have a detrimental effect on the body during certain developmental time periods. Pregnant women already know not to eat apex fish like ahi and swordfish due to risk of mercury poisoning. It may be soon recommended to also not eat them to reduce exposure to endocrine disruptors. We are the problem, we are the solution. Let’s take an inventory of the chemicals and plastics we use and reduce them. Most importantly let’s grab a friend and head to an East side beach and clean it up. In short, let’s stop ignoring the fact that we are poisoning ourselves and do something about it. Not only for us, but for the generations that come after us. Kahi Pacarro is the Executive Director of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.
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SURF ART / DAVID WIGHT MAKES WAVES FROM MOLTEN GLASS By Tiffany Foyle
It makes sense that the container holding 700 pounds of molten glass at 2,000 degrees is called a crucible, because by definition, this is precisely a place of severe test or trial. Artist David Wight likes to think of it as a huge pot of honey, but honestly it looks more like a vat of lava. David learned to surf around the same time he learned to blow glass, quickly learning that everything in life is similar to glass and surfing. “Once you learn to work with the energy within molten glass or the moving ocean, you learn to flow with it and be present,” he described. “When you’re not present or trying to force your will, the glass breaks or you fall off the wave.”
Upon arriving home and attempting to set his career path in the right direction, he asked himself what he wanted to bring to people’s lives. The answer was: the sound of water. He began to make water fountains for people’s homes and office spaces. That’s when David fell upon a glass shop in his neighborhood. “The owner of the shop said he would teach me how to blow glass in exchange for help around the shop,” David recalled. “I decided I was going to capture the essence of water in solid form and make glass water fountains.”
You can see David Wight’s glass waves at almost any Wyland Gallery in the world, including the location in Haleiwa. His wave sculptures are inimitable and truly capture a love of water. His journey as a renowned glass sculptor began 23 years ago and is centered in this passion for water.
After learning to blow glass, he made glass water fountains, but David felt inspired to create solid sculptures that embodied the essence and movement of water itself. His experimentation led to utilizing ancient Italian tools along with new tools and a unique style of working with glass never before seen. He worked to capture the power and awe of water in its most dynamic form: the wave.
Growing up on a lake and doing every lake sport imaginable, the Bellingham, Washington native realized that water was meaningful and perhaps the core of his purpose on Earth. After a waterfall vacation to the Caribbean, he was sure that the sound of falling water was therapeutic and important in people’s lives.
David’s favorite waves he’s made so far are the Neptune series, which are very diverse in color and shape. “I never know where it’s going to go and it’s the most creative,” David said. “I have no preconceived idea of what shape it’s going to be, which I prefer. Not having any expectations is the best way to create. When you
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try to make a specific thing, you are forcing it. Nothing positive ever comes out of forcing something to be.” While David is the one creating the sculptures, it takes a team. He shapes molten glass with large tools made of iron or steel, but the glass has to be reheated every 30 seconds. This rhythm of torching and heating means he has a crew of people bringing him things at the right time, shielding him to not get burned as much, and helping the newly formed piece of glass to a furnace where it becomes solid glass. Metal oxides that look like collections of colored sand can be added to the glass, which creates fantastic colors within his waves. And even though David wears a lot of protective gear rendering him the likeness of a baker/astronaut, he always gets burned. “The heat is intense so it’s not really if, it’s how much,” David described. “Since I am wearing protective gear it’s more like steam burns.” Just like the visions he’s conquered before this, David’s imagination is set on something new, yet rooted in where this all began: waterfall chandeliers (made out of glass of course). He is currently working on a 120-piece glass chandelier that hangs 14 feet from the ceiling to be installed in a home in Florida. Like many artists, David went to school and earned a business degree when he first flapped his wings from his parents’ nest. He landed an office job with that degree, and then realized his true calling was elsewhere soon after sitting at a desk. David still lives and works in his hometown of Bellingham, Washington. Surrounded by the Cascade Mountains and the San Juan Islands, Bellingham offers inspiration to his work as does spending as much time as he can in Hawaii. The business degree — and any worries he may have given his parents when he began to pursue art — have now come full circle as David’s business is booming. It’s also become a family venture as his two cousins help him run the business as well. “If you’re passionate about something, pursue it at all costs,” he said. “It took years to get to the point where I do this for a living and there were so many opportunities to stop because it seemed so impossible. But I kept going. It takes a tremendous amount of hard work to make a dream into a reality. Anything is possible though if you just keep going.”
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The World Surf League released the 2017 schedule of events covering the men's and women's Samsung Galaxy Championship Tours (CT), Qualifying Series (QS), Pro Junior and Longboard tours as well as the WSL Big Wave Tour (BWT). "With the crowning of John John Florence and Tyler Wright as the 2016 WSL Champions, surfing is being pushed to incredible new heights," said Kieren Perrow, WSL Commissioner. "The design of each year's schedule is to create a varied format of high-quality venues through which we can determine the best surfers on the planet. Very excited to see what next year brings and we may have a few more announcements to make before the season commences." 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Men's Championship Tour: Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast - March 14 - 25, 2017 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro - March 29 - April 9, 2017 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach - April 12 - 24, 2017 Rio Pro - May 9 - 20, 2017 Fiji Pro - June 4 - 16, 2017 Corona Open J-Bay - July 12 - 23, 2017 Billabong Pro Teahupo'o - August 11 - 22, 2017 Hurley Pro at Trestles - September 6 - 17, 2017 Quiksilver Pro France - October 3 - 14, 2017 Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal - October 17 - 28, 2017 Billabong Pipe Masters - December 8 - 20, 2017
Kekoa Collective’s grand opening celebration on Saturday, January 21 brought in a thick crowd to its new store in the Ward Warehouse, located at 1050 Ala Moana Boulevard #1140. “We are overwhelmed with gratitude from our community of surfers, yogis and jiu jitsu practitioners on the island,” said Dewey Doan. “We want to thank Romulo Barral, Primo beers, Kona Red, Moskova, and other for contributing and co-sponsoring our fun filled event. From our ohana to yours, we are grateful for your support.” Kekoa is a lifestyle apparel brand inspired by passions for traveling, surfing, yoga and jiu jitsu, and for more information, visit KekoaCollective.com.
"The WSL remain dedicated to putting the world's best female surfers on the best waves possible and the 2017 schedule is a reflection of that commitment," said WSL Women's Commissioner, Jessi Miley-Dyer. "2016 has been the third year of a stable platform for the WSL Top 17 and I'm really glad that we are able to continue that into next year. Each year we come back to these locations and see an elevation in performance so I'm excited to see what next season delivers." 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Women's Championship Tour: Roxy Pro Gold Coast - March 14 - 25, 2017 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro - March 29 - April 9, 2017 Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach - April 12 - 24, 2017 Rio Women's Pro - May 9 - 20, 2017 Fiji Women's Pro - May 28 - June 2, 2017 Vans US Open of Surfing - July 31 - August 6, 2017 Swatch Trestles Women's Pro - September 6 - 17, 2017 Cascais Women's Pro - September 21 - October 1, 2017 Roxy Pro France - October 3 - 14, 2017 Maui Women's Pro - November 25 - December 6, 2017
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INDUSTRY NOTES DaKine is super excited to announce the launch of the new Pe’Ahi surf leash, which until this season was only available by being gifted one on the cliffs of Haiku-Pauwela in preparation to paddle into one of the biggest waves on earth. The world’s first and only 7/16" (11mm) leash measuring 12’ long is comprised of the highest quality urethane Dura-Cord for maximum strength with 100% marine grade stainless steel swivels. This is combined with a 2” (50mm) triple wrap ankle cuff with Easy Clip release pin for maximum safety.
On December 5th, Vans screened its much anticipated Positive Vibration film at the North Shore Marketplace Lawn in Haleiwa. The film chronicled how the Gudauskas brothers collected surfboards and donated them to the communities within Jamaica, giving young adults their first ever surfboards, as well as the opportunity to begin surfing. Visit Vans.com for more information about the film. In addition, Dakine has redesigned its popular Cyclone Pack - a staple among our surf team - to offer airtight storage and waterproof protection for any on-water mission. Designed for surf trips by boat, the new Cyclone II Dry Pack 36L is comprised of tough Cordura® fabric technology to resist tears and abrasions with waterproof welded construction and a roll-top closure to keep your gear dry. The pack features a fully airtight two-way purge valve to inflate or compress air within the bag. When compressed, the pack is more easily storable and when inflated the bag offers buoyancy for in-water transfers. With a heritage steeped in Hawaiian surf culture, Dakine is also excited to announce two new artist collaborations within its Spring/Summer 2017 collections that celebrate the spirt of aloha, Plate Lunch for the men’s collection and Furrow Surf Craft for the ladies.
Cyrus Sutton’s film Island Earth, presented by Reef, screened to a large crowd at Waihuena Farm on the North Shore on December 5th. The film served as an expose on GMOs and how they impact the Hawaiian Islands. After the conclusion of the film, Cyrus and Dustin Barca led a discussion about how the community can become further involved. To see more information about the film, visit Reef.com. 80
In late November, a collection of the world’s most renowned big wave surfers gathered together at Turtle Bay for the 2016 Big Wave Safety Summit, a three day event that examines topics like CPR, AED certification, apnea training, on water training modules and demonstrations, case scenario analysis, and more. Led in part by leading water risk management technician Brian Keaulana, the event saw the likes of Greg Long, Trevor Carlson, Ben Wilkinson, Mark Healy, and more.
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While most kids were opening presents on Christmas morning, Noah Beschen found himself something money canâ€™t buy. Photo: Keoki