Free in Hawaii Volume Volume11 11Number Number10 11
JOHN JOHN FLORENCE
Creators & Innovators
Canyons Jacket / 7 S e a s We t s u i t
Hayden Cox of Haydenshapes
T H I S W I N T E R , B I G WAV E R I D I N G C E L E B R A T E S A S P E C I A L M I L E S T O N E : T H E 3 0 T H Q U I K S I LV E R I N M E M O R Y O F E D D I E A I K A U .
SHO P THE COLLECTION
Q UIKSILV ER.COM / ED D IE
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Flynn Novak takes flight. 5’9” Simon Anderson Early Bird. shot: Nelly
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FREE PARKING Welcome back to the greatest show in professional surfing: The North Shoreâ€™s own Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. Picking up where we left off last year, the drama climaxed when Mick Fanning clinched the World Title as it came down to the Billabong Pipe Masters, finishing the year in dramatic fashion. If you can find a spot on the beach at Haleiwa, Sunset or Pipe, youâ€™ve got the best view in the house. Surfer: Mick Fanning | Photo: Brent Bielmann
Cover Story /
THE ART OF ALOHA Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Poster Art There is an unmatched feeling of excitement that takes place each year, from November through December, along the North Shore. Fame and prestige follow in its footsteps, and a certain buzz can be felt in the water and on the beaches. The 32nd annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing returns this year in full force, bringing with it the thrill and anticipation that has been building for the past ten months on the ASP World Tour. Throughout its 39 days of motion, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing highlights a variety of features. From high-performance surfing to beach clean ups and sustainability initiatives, the event has created a rich surfing heritage that is completely unique in the industry. With decades of history comes an equal number of champions, trophies and highly collectible poster art, and it’s this chosen artwork that seems to kick off the season. Seeing the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing posters hanging in shop windows symbolizes beauty, power and pride for the North Shore’s own world class showcase. Born and raised on the North Shore of Maui, Gregg Kaplan is the artist behind this year’s Vans Triple Crown of Surfing poster art. Owner and artist of Plate Lunch, a Hawai’i-based brand that specializes in aloha shirts, tees, hats and accessories, Gregg aims to create artwork that embodies the spirit of aloha. “I really wanted to pay tribute to Hawai’i and the rich history of this contest series,” he explains. After a successful year creating the art for the 2013 Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset, Gregg was asked and honored to design the 2014 poster for the North Shore’s trifecta of celebrated surfing events. The art for this year’s Triple Crown was made from re-purposed plywood using a combination of techniques that include painting, block printing and stenciling. “The original art piece measures around 2’ x 3’ and features a crazy shot of Pipe by Daniel Russo,” explains Greg. The artist/surfer/skater/husband/father worked to bring a local Hawai’i feel to the art. “It was actually inspired by Hawaiian Flag quilts, also known as Ku’u Hae Aloha,” Gregg says. “ I am drawn to the simplicity of these designs and the attention to detail and craftsmanship that went into them. It isn’t as apparent in the final version, but there are still quite a few elements that hold true to the original concept.” Follow Gregg on the Plate Lunch Instagram @platelunchspecial for events during this winter season. And be sure to follow the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing this season too @vanstriplecrownsurf. And while you’re at it, check out @freesurfmag too!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
VANS TRIPLE CROWN OF SURFING / EVENTS & VENUES – 40 Everything you ever wanted to know about the Triple Crown
THE WORLD TITLE RACE – 54 Scoops on this year’s drama
ASP 2014 TIMELINE – 54 A month-by-month account of 2014
BOARD STORY – 66 Randy Rarick takes us through the evolution of surfboards
JOHN JOHN FLORENCE – 76 Homecoming King
LET’S GET CRITICAL – 86 The Women’s World Tour returns to Hawai‘i
DEPARTMENTS Free Parking – 20 Cover Story – 24 Publisher’s Note – 26 News & Events – 30 Women’s Pipe Invitational –90 Spotcheck: Honolua Bay – 92 Perspectives – 94 Dark Horses – 106
Aperture – 124 Stewardship – 142 Pau Hana – 150 Surf Art – 156 Fit For Surf – 160 Industry Notes – 168 Autograph Page – 174 Last Look – 176
Celebrating 32 years of surfing history, the 2014 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is poised to be bigger, better and more exciting than ever.
The world title race for these ladies is hot and heavy and the beautiful swells at Honolua Bay will make for a great finale, giving the ladies the due credit and prestige they deserve.
Grace / A-Frame
Giant Aleutian storms generate massive ocean swells thousands of miles away. As those giant walls of water come marching toward the North Shore of Oahu, well, so too do the hordes of top athletes from around the planet. Top surfers from Australia, South Africa, Brazil and the US mainland - to name a few - come by the hundreds if not thousands to test their mettle in what many in the sport consider surfing’s “7 Mile Miracle.”
On the men’s side, it might first appear that world points leader Gabriel Medina from Brazil is looking solid to clinch the World Title. This would historically be the first time ever a Brazilian would find himself in the number one spot at the year end, and it’s been a long time coming with the absolute bloom of talented surfers coming out of that country.
Also known as the North Shore of Oahu, this 7-mile stretch of beach holds some of the most phenomenal surf breaks found anywhere on the planet, and in massive powerful conditions the world’s top surfers will vie for big points, giant money and huge prestige.
At this writing, Brazil’s Medina is 6,500 points ahead of number two surfer Kelly Slater and over 10,000 points ahead of number three Mick Fanning and number four Joel Parkinson. The points tell one story, but history is in the making. Surfers number two, three and four in the world hold between them 15 world titles! No betting man alive would count 11x world champion Kelly Slater out at this stage.
There’s a brand new injection of excitement and stoke in the governing body of the Association of Surfing Professionals. The prize purses have gotten richer, the media and press more global, the webcast is stunning and this year’s Triple Crown will see the benefits of all this! As if the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing prize purse of over $1 million isn’t enough, there will be an additional $50,000 bonus prize for the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing champion! Another big step in the right direction was the reintroduction of bringing the women’s tour back to Hawai‘i at Honolua Bay this year on Maui.
The good news for us spectators is the top surfers in the world are surfing at a higher level than we’ve ever seen before in waves big and small. Enjoy the show and remember, it’s not over until the last horn blows. - Mike Latronic Publisher
Editorial Publisher Mike Latronic Associate Publisher / Editor Lauren Rolland Photo Editor Tony Heff Art Director John Weaver Multimedia Director Tyler Rock Ambassador-at-Large Chris Latronic Editorial Assistant Sean Reilly Intern Cole Yamane, Scott Martinez Staff Photographers Brent Bielmann, Tony Heff, Chris Latronic, Mike Latronic, Sean Reilly, Tyler Rock Free Thinkers Tiffany Hervey, Daniel Ikaika Ito, Jodi Wilmott
Senior Contributing Photographers Erik Aeder, Eric Baeseman (outbluffum.com), Brian Bielmann, Ryan Craig, Jeff Divine, Pete Frieden, Dane Grady, Taylor Ivison, Bryce Johnson, Ha’a Keaulana, Ehitu Keeling, Bruno Lemos, ManaPhoto, Zak Noyle, Shawn Pila, Jim Russi, Spencer Suitt, Cole Yamane
Contributing Photographers Paulo Barcellos, John Bilderback, Kyle Burnett, Brooke Dombroski, DoomaPhoto, Damea Dorsey, Rick Doyle, Paul Fisher, Isaac Frazer, Pete Hodgson, Kin Kimoto, Laserwolf, Tim McKenna, Dave “Nelly” Nelson, Heath Thompson, Bill Taylor, Wyatt Tillotson, Patrick Vieira, Jessica Wertheim, Peter Corey Wilson, Jimmy Wilson, Peter “Joli” Wilson
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H YAT T R E G E N C Y WA I K I K I ALA MOANA CENTER KOKO MARINA WINDWARD MALL WAIKELE
QUEEN KA窶連HUMANU CENTER KUKUI MALL L A H A I N A G AT E WAY
HIP 2B SQ PER-FLEX 5.0 BOARDIES
L O C A L M O T I O N
Kirstin / ASP
News & Events
JJF TRIUMPHS AT QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE North Shore’s John John Florence claimed the Quiksilver Pro France on October 5th, navigating the shifting 6 to 8 foot barrels at the primary site of Hossegor’s Le Gardian along the southwest coast of France. Event No. 9 of 11 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour, the Quiksilver Pro France existed as a crucial stop in the hunt for this year’s world surfing crown, as well as a critical opportunity for those looking to requalify for next season’s elite tour. Florence proved to be the events most in form surfer from the start, consistently notching up the highest scores of each round and surfing with unparalleled comfort and confidence in the ever-changing conditions. His win over Jadson Andre (BRA) was secured with committed barrel rides and power surfing and marks the second WCT victory of his career (the first being in Brazil in 2012).
Poullenot / ASP
“It has felt like such a long event and I’m so pumped to get the win in the end,” Florence said. “We’ve had every type of condition for this event and even finishing in barrels was a lot of work. There was a lot of water moving out there and Jadson (Andre) was always going to be a tough opponent. He looked super strong against Jordy (Smith) in the Semi. Pumped on the win here, and the support from the crowd was really impressive.”
Top 10 Rankings AFTER Quiksilver Pro France 1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 56,550 points 2 – Kelly Slater (USA) 50,050 points 3 – Mick Fanning (AUS) 43,600 points 4 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 43,100 points 5 – John John Florence (HAW) 41,950 points 6 – Taj Burrow (AUS) 41,700 points 7 – Michel Bourez (PYF) 40,250 points 8 – Adriano De Souza (BRA) 37,550 points 9 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 35,400 points 10 – Kolohe Andino (USA) 34,650 points
WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR HEADS TO MAUI, GILMORE VICTORIOUS AT CASCAIS WOMEN’S PRO Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) claimed victory at the Cascais Women’s Pro in October, after defeating Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) in a powerhouse battle of a final. Gilmore and Fitzgibbons competed in 2 to 4 foot waves at back-up site, Bafureira, and Gilmore posted the day’s only nine-point ride to secure the win against Fitzgibbons. This triumph sees Gilmore overtake Fitzgibbons in the rankings and the yellow jersey for the final event in Maui. “I can’t believe I won this event,” said Gilmore. “I was struggling in these waves, but I managed to find two pretty decent scoring rides. Sally (Fitzgibbons) was super tough to beat and that was a really hard one, it’s so crazy, I’m so happy I won! I’ve had such an incredible time here in Portugal, Cascais, it’s such a beautiful town and I think when you feel happy in the place that you are, you always seem to get a good result.” Stop No. 9 of 10 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP Women’s World Championship Tour, the Cascais Women’s Pro was a vital stop on this year’s World Title race and offered crucial points toward requalification. Following the event, only Gilmore, Fitzgibbons and Tyler Wright (AUS) remain in contention for the 2014 surfing crown, which will be decided at the final event of the year, the Target Maui Pro.
BANDIT The Bandit breaks all the rules as to what type of waves a mini-board can be ridden in. Designed to be ridden 3-6” shorter than your everyday shortboard, the Bandit catches waves easily and grovels well in small mushy conditions. However, this design should not to be regarded as a groveler only. It is a high performance shortboard in a mini-board disguise. It’s fast and loose. It squirts through flat sections and powers through the pocket. The Bandit is a barrel of fun and plenty of fun in the barrel. Add one to your fall quiver, and you may find yourself riding it all winter long. Tail shapes: Squash, Bat Tail and Swallow.
Get Ready For Winter HIC Surfboards and Boardshorts
AMPLIFIER The Amplifier Model evolved from Eric’s popular K4 design that was modified for Joel Centeio. The tail rocker is slightly more relaxed than the K4 and the concave is amplified through the mid-section of the board. This increases forward lift for more front foot acceleration and speed. The position and shape of the concave creates better grip and drive through bottom turns with more speed heading into the lip and beyond. This model has become a favorite of both Joel and Josh Moniz, and is a great high-performance choice for intermediate to advanced level surfers. Tail shapes: Squash, Thumb, Round Pin and Swallow.
“TAKAPUNA” Octo Stretch Boardshort
ROUND PIN This design is a solid and proven performer in Hawaiian surf, as well as around the globe as a travel board. It’s extremely fast, responsive, and provides lots of drive and stability through hard rail turns. Its ability to go from small to medium to larger surf, makes it a must-have for any serious surfer’s quiver. Optimum Wave Type: 3 to 8 ft. hollow reefs, beach and point breaks.
With over 20 different Eric Arakawa models to choose from, HIC’s got the right board to take your surfing to the next level.
Ala Moana Center
Street Level, Mauka
News & Events
APNEA & WATERMAN TRAINING FOR BETTER SURF SURVIVAL By Chris Latronic The Big Wave Surfing Revolution is here, and with the biggest push in plus-sized surf performances that big wave history has ever seen. However, with this adventurous sport comes unique dangers, and many surfers risk life and limb to chase the vigorous expedition for behemoth waves. A number of dreadful things can happen when out in the big surf, but the best way to be proactive is to minimize risk factors by being fully prepared mentally and physically. That means training, training, training. How do you train for this? Everyone around the world would probably agree that the longer you can hold your breath underwater, the longer you would be able to survive underwater. Recently, master scuba dive trainer and big wave surfer Ricardo Higashi Taveira has been offering professional instruction in the fields of apnea breathing and basic waterman training. Based on the North Shore of Oahu, Ricardo invited the Freesurf crew, along with Billabong ambassadors Rainos Hayes, Moana Jones and the Moniz trio (Micah, Isaiah & Josh), for a 2-day seminar to help maximize breath holding potential. Apnea is basically a technical term for holding your breath. Members of the seminar were able to train and improve breath capacity by going to their limits, and then passing them by staying calm at the moment when the urge to take a breath is at maximum pressure on the body. The first day was spent in a classroom with some light mental bookwork. Then it was off to a 15-foot deep pool, where everyone practiced waterman rescue techniques and apnea exercises in a controlled environment. At the end of the day, everyone made dramatic improvements with their breath holds. What started at about 45 seconds to a minute, increased to 2 to 3-minute breath holds. It goes to show that no matter how old or young you are, using proper techniques can go a long way. For Day 2, the group hit the beach at Waimea Bay, where apnea training continued with a series of breathing exercises on the beach. Next, participants jumped in the ocean and repeated many of the exercises and techniques learned in the pool session, along with a few new ones. Rock running is described as one of the best apnea exercises to train for heavy surf events. So after a few rock-running sessions across the bay, everyoneâ€™s lungs were fully energized and ready for wave action. For more info on Ricardoâ€™s Apnea & Water Training sessions, contact him at www.Hawaiiecodivers.com.
News & Events
2013-14 Tyler Newton by Zak Noyle
- with açaí • greek yogurt • whole fruit 2012-13 Nathan Florence by Tony Heff
2011-12 Billy Kemper by Zak Noyle
STEEP & DEEP PIPELINE PHOTO CHALLENGE The 4th Annual Steep and Deep Pipeline Photo Challenge in memory of Pipeline master Sion Milosky is coming up! A panel of notable Pipeline specialists and industry professionals will pick one winning image caught on camera, that best depicts the steepest and deepest Pipeline/ Backdoor wave of the 2014-2015 winter season. One surfer and one photographer will each win cash, a handsome prize package and of course bragging rights! Contest runs from November 2014 - February 2015.
Chunky Strawberry Bowl
Açaí Primo Bowl
For details on the contest and how to register, visit www. livelikesion.com and Instagram @steepanddeeppipeline or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration date and time will be announced soon, so stay tuned! Past “Steep and Deep” winners include Billy Kemper / Zak Noyle, Nathan Florence / Tony Heff and Tyler Newton / Zak Noyle.
News & Events
SURF CENTER CLEANUP AT ALI’I BEACH Photos: Tiffany Hervey On Saturday, October 11th, North Shore community members gathered at Ali‘i Beach Park to be part of a Beautification Project that was hosted by Friends of Ali’i Beach Park, a non-profit organization. “This is a very special start to taking back the place that made so many of Haleiwa’s community members the solid souls that they are today,” describes Kanani Oury, product of the Surf Center, general manager of Haleiwa Joe’s and one of the organizers for this cause. “We hope to give the kids of the next generation a safe place to find healthy after-school activities, a second home and ocean safety mentors.” The goal is to restore the ocean fun and after-school programs for the youth that once thrived at the Surf Center, and gain access to the second story of the building, where the equipment for the programs is still stored and in good condition. On October 11th, volunteers worked to repaint the surf center building and clean up the surrounding area, while Haleiwa Joe’s catered a free breakfast and lunch for everyone. The team is focused on getting the area zoned as a public space, (rather than the movie set that Baywatch Hawai’i left it as) so it can be used again for the community. Friends of Ali‘i Beach have started a petition that will be available to sign. To be part of the movement or for more information, contact Kanani Oury at (808) 388-0389.
PHOTO: ERIC BAESEMAN
Style Color Lens Hinges Additional
KON100 Kona Gold Metal Brown/Flash Mirror/Polarized/Poly Carbonite HD (PC) Stainless Steel Spring Laser Engraved Logo
St Co Le Hing Additio
Carbonite HD (PC)
Style Color Lens Hinges Additional
KAP100 Kapu Black Matte Smoke/Polarized/Poly Carbonite HD (PC) Stainless Steel Foil Stamp Logo
G AV I N B E S C H E N
News & Events
HAWAII’S OCEAN SPORT HEADQUARTERS
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This is how you get there, find the ocean at Surf N Sea! 62-595 Kamehameha Hwy. (808) 637-SURF (808) 637-9887
NSSA HAWAI’I STOP #5 AT SUNSET BEACH Consistently providing a great service to the young surfers of Hawai’i, the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) once again found themselves at Sunset Beach on the North Shore for the fifth stop of their all island tour. Of the over 80+ NSSA events run nationwide, stop #5 at Sunset Beach has to be the most elite competition of them all. Not only is it held at arguably the most difficult surf spot in the world, but Hawai’i’s best student-rippers also make the trek to the 7 Mile Miracle to eagerly perform in uncrowded epic surf. This year saw a more than ample offering of swells to test the young groms to their limits. Although a few cleanup sets did barrage through the lineup at times, the surf stayed consistent and almost perfectly contestable the entire weekend. Congratulations to all the participants and a big mahalos to NSSA Hawai’i for a solid event.
NSSA Hawai’i Stop #5 Sunset Beach Results
Open Womens Final 1st Moana Jones 2nd Kahanu Delovio 3rd Mainei Kinimaka 4th Brisa Hennessy 5th Brittany Penaroza 6th Honolua Blomfield Open Mini Grom Final 1st Keanu Taylor 2nd Ty Simpson-Kane 3rd Levi young 4th Diego Ferri 5th Shion Crawford 6th Luke Swanson Open Juniors Final 1st Cody Young 2nd Barron Mamiya 3rd Logan Bediamol 4th Brodi Sale 5th Wyatt McHale 6th Kanaloa Ng Open Mens Final 1st Shayden Pacarro 2nd Noa Mizuno 3rd Kaulana Apo 4th Joey Johnston 5th Elijah Gates 6th Christopher Bluthardt Open Girls Final 1st Summer Macedo 2nd Kailani Jones 3rd Zoe McDougall 4th Keala Tomoda-Bannert 5th Kelta O’Rourke 6th Julie Nishimoto Open Boys Final 1st Dylan Franzmann 2nd Sammy Gray 3rd Eli Hanneman 4th Brodi Sale 5th Kai Luna Paula 6th Isaiah Briley Open/Explorer Longboard Final 1st Moana Jones 2nd Ocean Tsutsui 3rd Honolua Blomfield 4th Kelta O’Rourke 5th Tabbi Knudson
Explorer SUP Final 1st Mason Schremmer 2nd Ty Simpson Kane 3rd Lola Schremmer Explorer Super Grom Final 1st Keanu Taylor 2nd Ty Simpson Kane 3rd Diego Ferri 4th Levi young 5th Luke Swanson 6th Kaiser Auberlen Explorer Girls Final 1st Summer Macedo 2nd Kelta O’Rourke 3rd Gabriela Bryan 4th Sara Wakita 5th Zoe McDougall 6th Julie Nishimoto Explorer Juniors Final 1st Noa Mizuno 2nd Shayden Pacarro 3rd Cole Alves 4th Joey Johnston 5th Koa Yokuto 6th George Leong Titcomb Explorer Menehune Final 1st Jackson Bunch 2nd Brodi Sale 3rd Isaiah Briley 4th Dylan Franzmann 5th Eli Hanneman 6th Tyty Kirby Explorer Womens Final 1st Brisa Hennessy 2nd Dax McGill 3rd Zoe McDougall 4th Mainei Kinimaka 5th Honolua Blomfield 5th Gabriela Bryan Explorer Boys Final 1st Finn McGill 2nd Barron Mamiya 3rd Tony Nunez 4th Cole Alves 5th Wyatt McHale 6th Makana Pang Explorer Men Final 1st Elijah Gates 2nd Cole Alves
9/29/14 9:51 AM
Spotlighting the three jewels of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is anchored in three distinct waves of varying degrees of intensity that each require a unique approach by the surfer. To truly calculate the impact of this world-class professional surfing series, one must factor in the dynamics of the events themselves and the specialty surfing that occurs at each one. These are legacy events that encompass not only the history of pro surfing in Hawai’i, but that have crowned the ultimate champions of the sport for more than three decades. While the governing body of pro surfing - the ASP - sets the criteria for the size of prize purses and points allocation for all world tour events, there is nothing regular about the power and circumstance that each of the three Triple Crown events delivers physically and emotionally. Each event plays into the strengths and weaknesses of certain surfers, and this is key since these are the final events of the year. It is also Hawai’i – the home of surfing, so it’s only fitting that in addition to crowning an ASP World Champion, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing recognizes a champion of the Hawaiian season: one surfer who stands out as the most complete and consistent athlete of the series. They will be awarded the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title and join a prestigious who’s who of surfing.
On location and mind surfing the three arenas One of the truly unique aspects regarding the art of surfing is the diversification of "The Playing Field." The location of each surf break comes with its own unique seascape, and with that provides a brand new “canvas” for the surfer athletes every time they stand up on a wave. From location to location, each particular surf spot has its own personality and depending on swell direction, tide and winds, the end result is always unique. Be they long winding sandbar point breaks, shifting reef breaks and beach breaks or more serious reef slabs that hit the same spot every time, the modern professional surfer must adapt and thrive, or disappear from the top brackets of the World Tour. Successful ASP professionals step up to the occasion by putting their own signature of diversification onto the different walls of water that are coming at them. For those who follow the sport regularly, there is great interest in the mix of details pitting athlete against location. Strengths and weaknesses of each surfer are tested event by event and this story is only magnified in Hawai‘i during the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. Each of the three venues of the Triple Crown possesses unique characteristics, and all can be ridden to the realm of "death-defying" capacity.
Local standout, Kekoa Bacalso
I REEF HAWAIIAN PRO HALEIWA, ALI‘I November 12 - 23 and if the swell delivers, strong walls at Haleiwa could well play into the Tahitian’s favor again.
Haleiwa town is considered the “gateway“ to surfing’s “7 Mile Miracle,” so it’s only fitting that event number one, the Reef Hawaiian Pro, is indeed the gateway to the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.
The Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa has historically been a temperature gauge for the year-end rankings. It’s a “who’s who” look into the pecking order of athletes that are hoping to prove their mettle in Hawaiian waters.
With a heavyweight ASP PRIME status, this first event of the VTCS is the second to last event of the ASP season and heavily impacts the world tour ratings. The $250,000 overall prize purse and $40,000 first prize definitely adds to the excitement!
Because functional wave heights here range from 2 foot to 12, Haleiwa offers a variety of opportunities from “hot dog” or progressive maneuvering on the smaller side, to full blown power carves and barrels when the waves are pumping. The Reef Hawaiian Pro really opens
Last year’s winner Michel Bourez took his momentum to fuel a breakout season on tour this year. He has been a regular standout this season 42
Kirstin / ASP
Cestari / ASP
Rowland / ASP
2013 Reef Hawaiian Pro champ, Michel Bourez.
up opportunities to a diverse range of potential champions. Goofy foot surfers will have their work cut out for them, as the list of champions here definitely stacks in favor of the regular foots. Since 1985, only two goofy foot surfers have taken top prize â€“ Barton Lynch in 1988 and Conan Hayes in 1999. Regular foot surfers have dominated - especially Hawaiian Sunny Garcia who takes top honors of nailing 5 titles!
Pull up a patch of sand and enjoy.
ALI’I BEACH PARK Haleiwa is also known as Ali‘i Beach – a term not used lightly in Hawai‘i, as “Ali‘i” refers to royalty. Haleiwa has long been a favorite surf spot of locals and visitors alike and the wave size ranges between 2 feet and 12 feet before starting to close out. That translates to about 20 foot faces! Bordered by Haleiwa Harbor on one side and a great big open grassy field on the other, Haleiwa Beach Park is a wonderful place for families to spend an enjoyable day at the beach and a great venue to kick off the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. In the winter months, between October and April, Haleiwa lights up with good surf. Super sensitive to swell direction, the break is best on a hard west swell. Under 4 feet Haleiwa features a right and a left and is a fun hotdog of a wave either direction. There’s even a separate little reef on the north side called Peaks that provides a feisty right-hander. Once the swell gets over 4 feet, the outer sections of Haleiwa come to life and the wave can get critically steep and hollow on good west
swells. And let’s not forget the infamous Haleiwa riptide. The bigger the swell and the more north the swell, the more difficult and powerful the riptide becomes. Conditioning and strategy come in the play because on a typical big day, you could get sucked outside the break by the strong riptide faster than you can battle against the current. Making important timing decisions is critical. Where and when to paddle out and over into the peak can make or break the competitor on a big day. Also, the more northerly direction the swell the more broken apart and short the ride is, with a greater focus on the end section that has become known over the years as the “Toilet Bowl.” Infamous for its shallow, scraggy and powerful close outs, the Toilet Bowl is the cause of much dismay, crazy wipeouts or worse. This particular venue presents a bit of a challenge to the traveling surfer, as top performance would be clocked in on specialized equipment for different sized waves. This means the traveling surfer needs to bring a wide range of surfboards with them for this event.
On the right wave, this section can offer up a heavy barrel.
Toilet Bowl. The end section of Haleiwa drains over shallow reef, allowing for big finishing maneuvers and dramatic wipeouts.
Whitewash reform, fun for the keiki.
Kirstin / ASP
The Peak. Predominant right equals long rides, while the left on smaller days can run toward the jetty.
Kirstin / ASP
Kirstin / ASP
Kirstin / ASP
Cestari / ASP
Local threat Marcus Hickman in prime position.
Sunrise at Sunset.
II THE VANâ€™S WORLD CUP OF SURFING SUNSET BEACH November 24 â€“ December 6
Big surf, big points and big money. This event carries a prize purse of $250,000.
The Vans World Cup of Surfing is the second jewel of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing and the last qualifier event of the 2014 ASP season. Held at Sunset Beach, this world famous big wave event is soaked in tradition, and with an ASP PRIME rating, the impact of this competition is as big as the infamously long and shifty waves that Sunset Beach is known for.
Since 1975, the World Cup has carried different names and sponsors, but each year what really comes to the front is the rich surfing history at Sunset Beach for this event. Considered the proving grounds for modern day power surfing, it is one of the longest running events in pro surfing history and a true mark of achievement for each champion. Like the Reef Hawaiian Pro, the Vans World Cup has been dominated by regular foot surfers- surfers who surf with their right foot in the back as opposed to goofy footed surfers who surf with their left foot behind.
A PRIME rating is the highest level on the ASP Qualifying Series and you can bet the drama will be high for the athletes on the cusp of qualifying, needing to end the year in the Top 10 to qualify for the elite World Championship Tour. 46
Cestari / ASP
While veteran Sunny Garcia has two World Cup victories under his belt, it was fellow Hawaiian surfer Michael Ho who shocked the surfing world and number counters by winning the event three years in a row from 1985 to 1987! Also noteworthy is that Aussie Joel Parkinson was the only other surfer thus far to have clocked in three victories here. Fellow Aussie and goofy footed surfer Tom Carroll won twice.
Beyrick De Vries in the belly of the beast.
Last yearâ€™s champion, Hawaiian Ezekiel Lau, could do himself a big favor with a repeat performance. Currently sitting in 91st at this writing, Lau knows first hand how the Vans World Cup could play nicely into his power brand of surfing and the future of his career.
Venue / Sanders
SUNSET BEACH Recorded for posterity in the fabled books of surfing, Sunset Beach reigns as one of the most powerful and challenging waves on the planet.
the lofty peaks at Sunset may be beautiful to watch, they are always powerful and usually treacherous to ride.
Sunset Beach is located farthest north of all three event venues and breaks excellently on almost any swell direction ranging from the west all the way to the northeast. The quality of the ride is mostly dependent on wind conditions and tide, as opposed to swell direction. But while
The venue breaks from 2 to 15 foot before starting to close out. Once again, each surfer must be prepared mentally and physically for a drastic spread in numbers in wave size as well as possess a variety of surf equipment to tackle Sunset with its many personalities.
West Peak, shifty apex on big west swells
Kammies, at times has been a backup sopt for the event when the waves at sunset donâ€™t produce
Inside Bowl, heaves massive barrels on the right north or north-west swell
Grandstand / bleachers, best viewing
Most surfers who ride big waves regularly would consider Sunset Beach one of the most consistent, powerful, challenging and exhilarating locations in the world. Even on smaller days Sunset Point can be packed with power, but on days over 6 feet, it becomes a different animal entirely.
After 10 feet and into the 15-foot range, the true glory and challenge of Sunset becomes apparent. The raging peaks, torrential currents and massive walls have made and broken many a career as the tour season ends in Hawaiâ€˜i. While some will register the best sessions of their lives, others are left frustrated, confused and utterly exhausted.
Boneyards, shallow section, best not to surf
Sunset Point, breaks mainly on north and smaller swells
Valâ€™s Reef, inside section
Surging shore break, be cautious
Additional parking lot
Willi Pipe dream.
III BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS BANZAI PIPELINE December 8 - 20 Former world champion surfer Fred Hemmings was indeed a visionary. With a skeleton outfit of a card table, a few folding chairs, a half dozen or so surfers and only $1,000 in prize money, Hemmings put together the first Pipe Masters event and changed the future of professional surfing forever. Several decades later, the Billabong Pipe Masters is the pinnacle event of professional surfing and stands unchallenged as the most prestigious stop on the Samsung Galaxy ASP World Tour. The Billabong Pipe Masters is the last stop of
the Vans Triple Crown and the final event of the ASP World Championship Tour for the men. While at this writing it remains to be seen if this event will affect the world title race, ask any surfer - a win at the Billabong Pipe Masters carries bragging rights far beyond points and cash. This grand finale carries an overall prize purse of $500,000 and $100,000 to the winner. Not a bad payday for proving yourself as the world’s greatest tube rider of 2014! If the world title hasn’t already been sewn up in Portugal, you can bet that last year’s Pipe champion Kelly Slater will be poised and ready to pull out all the stops to put those top points 50
in his favor. World number one Gabriel Medina would have the odds stacked against him as Slater, the “most winningest” surfer on the planet, has won the Masters a record 7 times! And between 1994 and 1996 he nabbed it three times consecutively! Although Pipeline is predominately a lefthander, the honor roll here has oddly been controlled again by regular footed surfers, especially in the past two decades – attributable to the fact that Pipe also includes the lengthy barreling right-hander of Backdoor Pipe, which has been the scene of many a showdown. No single event in surfing history can define a
Ryan Chachi Craig
There’s not a bad seat in the house.
John John going Backdoor, Nat Young going Pipe, rainbow going off.
The Pipe Trials
Top 34 surfers in the Billabong Pipe Masters. Typically, these wildcards will come up against the #1 and #2 seeded surfers, so expect an exceptional show as Pipeline's best tackle the ASP tour leaders!
In recognition of the specialized nature of Pipeline and the extraordinary experience and performance level of local "Pipeline specialists", this year's Billabong Pipe Masters offers an unprecedented $100,000 Trials event.
In addition to the wildcard berths, the winner of the Trials will receive $10,000 as well as a minimum main event purse of $8,000. The Trials runner-up will receive $8,000 as well as the minimum main event purse.
career better than the Billabong Pipe Masters. Expect this yearâ€™s tournament to be as exciting ever!
The Trials will be held on the first day of competition at Pipe, and will be internationally broadcast live. The event will shine a light on Pipeline's top local riders, two of whom will win Wildcards to compete against the ASP's King Kelly, 2013 Pipe master.
Perhaps the most talked about, photographed, heralded, feared and surfed reef on the planet is the infamous Banzai Pipeline, home of the ultimately prestigious Pipe Masters. The Pipeline is named so for its huge, heaving, hollow barrels breaking over shallow reef offering rides of a lifetime to those who dare to take the insanely steep drops. Pipeline starts to take shape from 3 feet to 15 feet. Sometimes on 20foot swells, Pipeline can still retain its form, rolling in from the billowing outer reefs almost a mile out, in to the first reef where the wall of water hits a shallow reef shelf and is forced to pitch over in a massive tube. Generally a big left-hander over 10 feet, Pipeline has a partner break called “Backdoor,” which typically comes to life on a northwest swell of 8 to 10 feet or smaller. Both Pipeline and Backdoor offer some of the most stunning surfing entertainment on the planet, as spectators on the beach are able to watch only a mere 50 yards away from the grinding action.
PIPELINE On big days, all beach goers should be cautioned to consult with local lifeguards about the dangers of even walking close to the waters edge. With a strong swell and steep beach, even event structures have been known to get sucked out into the ocean. Pay special attention to your little ones if you are a parent! Stick to dry sand! Equipment for this venue is a little easier to narrow down because whether the waves are 3 feet or 15 feet, it’s all about surfboards to ride the barrel.
This is the last world championship venue of the season and a huge pressure sieve for those competitors in the mix to win the Triple Crown and or the ASP World championship tour. Pit the worlds best surfers with the biggest craziest most consistent barrels and add in the pressure and prestige of big time points and money and you’ve got the greatest surfing show on Earth! pau
Second Reef, the right wave can cap and reform onto First Reef when the waves are above 12ft.
Off The Wall, Pipe’s neighbor offers up rights and lefts and a lot of close outs. some years has been a backup spot for the event.
Aint’s...it ain’t Backdoor and it ain’t Off The Wall.
Backdoor, fast and hollow right-hander. First Reef, hollow and most famous section of Pipe.
Third Reef, outside section that breaks on the biggest swells.
Gums, sandbar end section of Pipeline left.
Ehukai Beach Park, showers, bathroom and parking.
By Tyler Rock
DAWN OF A NEW ERA Professional surfing has seen a lot of change this year. Some of them are blatantly obvious- a new CEO and Tour Commissioner, added venues like J-Bay and Margaret River, increased coverage of the Women’s and Big Wave Tour, a new and consistent commentary team and an enhanced, record-setting live broadcast that provides heaps of great insight about our beloved athletes.
Since 1976, when Peter Townend was crowned professional surfing’s first world champion, aspiring pro surfers world wide have dreamed of winning this illustrious title. Having that claim can legitimize truly special talent, bring with it money, fame and success, and most importantly bragging rights of being the BEST surfer of any given year. Over time, repeated champions have left their mark on the sport, proving that consistency and success go hand in hand. Mark Richards did it four times. Tom Curren, Andy Irons,
Some of the changes are less overt, but equally valuableZoSea Media Holdings, Inc now owns the ASP; prize purses increased from $425,000 to a minimum of $500,000 for men’s World Championship Tour events; and from $110,00 to $250,000 for women; and the controversial One World Rankings system has been cut and a new format introduced. All of these improvements have been widely embraced, especially by the athletes themselves. This year we may have witnessed the most dramatic single season changes in the sport’s fabled 38-year pro history. Athletes and fans alike agree that these changes have elevated the sport to a level previously only dreamed of. The World Championship Tour of surfing has been reborn. Following is a key outline of major improvements we experienced this year.
2014 ASP commentary team is announced. The international nine-man commentary team is composed of Pat Parnell, Joe Turpel, Ross Williams, and Martin Potter and will be supported by Peter Mel, Rosy Hodge, Todd Kline, Strider Wasilewski and Ronnie Blakey.
GoPro is announced as the exclusive camera sponsor for the Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) and the ASP Big Wave World Tour (BWWT).
Hayden-Smith / ASP
RACE FOR THE TITLE
All eyes on Medina as he blazes a trail for the #1 spot.
Cestari / ASP
Samsung announces title sponsorship of the ASP World Championship Tour, now the Samsung Galaxy ASP World Tour.
March The World Tour awakens. Snapper Rock hosts the “new” ASP’s first event of the season. An in form Joel Parkinson appears to be the man to beat, racking up three of the top 10 single waves and the highest heat score of the contest. With the lead and 20 minutes left in the final heat competition, Parko snaps his board. Gabriel Medina seizes the opportunity, claiming victory at WCT Stop #1, Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, to launch a season that has him poised for a world title.
RACE FOR THE TITLE
Cestari / ASP
and Mick Fanning have won it three times each. And we all know that guy Kelly Slater who owns a remarkable 11 world titles. But beyond the upper echelon of top rated pro surfers come the journeymen, the one-hit wonders, and the best to never be crowned a world champion. To win the world title is no easy feat. In the last 10 years, there have been only three names atop the Men’s ASP rankings come year’s end: Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson. These three regular foots have had a stronghold on the world title with some epic battles along with way. But this year, things are different. There’s a new name blasting its way to the top and guess what, he’s not a regular foot, an Australian or an American. Gabriel Medina, 20, has been both touted and doubted. The Brazilian goofy foot came onto the World Championship Tour scene in 2011 with guns blazing, claiming two wins in his first year on tour (which was actually a half year, going back to when the ASP did a mid-year rotation). That was followed by a mixed bag of results with moments of brilliance and others lackluster. But something clicked for Medina this year. Starting out with a win at the first event at Australia’s Snapper Rocks, a wave that few would have picked Medina to take out, he took that momentum and never looked back.
With wins in Australia, Fiji and Tahiti, Gabriel Medina is looking unstoppable.
John John Florence hucks a massive front-side 360 aerial, defeating World Tour superstars Kelly Slater and Gabriel Medina in round four of the Rip Curl Pro Bell’s Beach. The maneuver landed John John the first perfect 10 of the season.
Cestari / ASP
The Drug Aware Margaret River Pro showcased Australia’s wild, wild West. Bouncing between Margaret River and the Box, WCT Stop #2 displayed massive power carves, weightless aerials and critical barrel riding. Michel Bourez’ go-for-broke approach landed him atop the podium, besting Kelly Slater in the semi’s and contest stand out, Josh Kerr in the finals.
Kirstin / ASP
Kirstin / ASP Medina in Fiji, en route to victory.
Why the change this year? Well, the rapid rise of new blood and young faces to the top ranks has been more than obvious. With the likes of Miguel Pupo, 22; John John Florence, 22; Nat Young, 23; and Kolohe Andino, 20, finding their form, this is only the beginning of a new domination. We are at a momentum shift with the power of pro surfing now in the hands of the young guns.
Michel Bourez solidifies himself as a world title contender, taking home his second win of the season at the fourth stop on tour. The Billabong Pro Rio was a classic beach break competition, hosting an array of throaty tubes, extensive ramp sections and open-faced runners. Do or die surfing provided spectators with dramatic upsets and incredible feats of athleticism.
Kirstin / ASP
Defending World Champion Mick Fanning wins WCT Stop #3 and Australiaâ€™s final leg of the tour: the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. This stop was highly competitive, inspired some intense paddle battles and saw duels within duels. However, Mickâ€™s result and thirsty surfing proved triumphant over fellow Australian Taj Burrow in a critical final.
Kirstin / ASP
Kirstin / ASP
RACE FOR THE TITLE
ASP defending World Champ, Mick Fanning’s consistent finishes and a win at J-Bay keep him in the race.
So where does Medina fit into all this? Medina has seen a lot of junior competitive success on his way to the World Championship Tour, primarily relying on his cutting edge air game. With that, the critics were quick to question the full scope of Medina’s abilities in ‘serious’ surf. Winning a world title means consistency and the talent to perform in any and all conditions. And that is exactly what Medina has proven this year. At Snapper, Gabriel utilized a solid and traditional backhand attack to take out local favorite Joel Parkinson. After some slight slip-ups in the next three events, especially in his home country of Brazil, he came back into form in Fiji mixing powerful turns, barrels and airs to take out fellow young gun goofy-foot Nat Young, claiming his second victory of the year. When Cloudbreak didn’t deliver the freight train solid lefts that we’ve seen in the past, some were quick to attribute Medina’s win to the lack of sizable surf. But the critics were silenced
Quite possibly the best event in South Africa’s history, the final day at Jeffrey’s Bay for the J-Bay Open was nothing less than epic. The world’s best surfers tore apart the world’s best right hand point break at WCT stop #6. Experience proved key, and the Australians dominated with technical brilliance. A step above his contemporaries, a fit and focused Mick Fanning took home his second win of the season. Kirstin / ASP
Gabriel Medina regains the lead in the WCT ranking and snatches his second win of the season at the Fiji Pro. While the surf wasn’t as large as we’ve seen in the past at Cloudbreak, it certainly was one of the most groundbreaking. Out of the top 9 finishers, 8 of them were under the age of 30. Standouts like Medina, Nat Young, John John Florence and Kolohe Andino led the charge for the next generation of World Champions. Kirstin / ASP
Preserving ancestral connections
Photo: Learners visit Loko Ea, a traditional fishpond located on Kamehameha Schools’ lands in Hale‘iwa, to restore the site to a productive functioning resource for Hawai‘i’s people.
By developing future cultural resource managers, we are helping to preserve the historic and cultural identity of Hawai‘i’s wahi küpuna.
RACE FOR THE TITLE
Hayden-Smith / ASP
at the very next event in Tahiti. In what many are calling the best pro surfing experience ever, Medina took out King Kelly in conditions that any right-minded person would have picked Slater to win in. Medina’s competitive skills are hard to ignore. The kid means business in the water and knows what it takes to build momentum heat by heat, bringing his A-game when necessary. Rarely making priority mistakes and with the ability to turn an average wave into a huge score, Gabriel’s proven well-rounded game fits perfectly into the judging criteria: Speed, power, flow and innovation; both on his forehand and backhand, Gabs ticks all the boxes. Despite strong finishes in West Oz, Rio, Tahiti and Trestles, Slater has yet to clinch a victory.
At the time of writing this piece, at the start of the penultimate event in Portugal, several scenarios are in place to guess who might win the 2014 Men’s ASP World Title. Hawai‘i’s John John Florence is suddenly an outside contender by virtue of a late hot streak that started in Tahiti, moved on to Trestles and broke through with a win in France. Florence is arguably the most in form surfer at the moment and has the ability to play spoiler. But while
many (except Medina) are hoping for the title race to go down to the last event, the Billabong Pipe Masters, the upper hand still sits with Medina. Unless he goes down uncharacteristically early in Portugal, followed by solid finishes by Kelly, Mick or Joel, it’s all over. In a season filled with 11 WCT events, stacked heavily back to back in the tail end, a strong finishing push can make or break a world title campaign, depending on which side you are on. For Medina, his consistency and momentum has seemed to waver slightly, however still managing quarterfinal finishes in California and France. It’s
Teahupoo hosts the best surf contest ever. Not one drop of water was out of place during the Billabong Pro Tahiti. Back-to-back 8 to 10-foot swells exploded over the shallow reef break, awakening the cyclonic thick-walled cavern. The judges awarded seven perfect 10’s, two of which belonged to Slater. But tour frontrunner Gabriel Medina proved victorious, claiming his third win of the year.
ASP announces that at the start of the 2015 season they will change their name to the World Surf League (WSL)
Kirstin / ASP
During the semi-finals of the Billabong Pro Tahiti, Kelly Slater and John John Florence went blow-for-blow in what is now considered the best heat ever surfed. Both surfers posted a two-wave total of 19.77 in massive flawless Teahupoo.
Jordy Smith captures his first win of the season in a buzzer-beater final at the Hurley Pro Trestles. Big power carves and critical wave selection guided the South African to the top of the podium, but it was runnerup John John Florence who established himself as the world’s most inspiring surfer. Johns John’s trademark forehand gouge, flawless rail work and lofty air game made his contemporaries look downright ordinary.
Rowland / ASP
HARLEY INGLEBY Photo by: Harley Ingleby
ACCESSORIES + APP & SOFTWARE
See the full lineup at gopro.com
RACE FOR THE TITLE
Gabriel feeling the pressure going into Portugal and Pipe? It’s his title to lose.
Kirstin / ASP
For John John, the momentum seems to be in his court, and while a world title run this year is a stretch, his in-tune form will see him well positioned going into the 2015 season. For Mick, back half momentum has seen him clinch world titles in the past, but inconsistent results this year have hurt him as they have for Joel as well. And Kelly, while consistently placing in the quarterfinals or better, has been the first to admit he hasn’t really found his groove this year, unable to take an event win. If he taps into the mojo that won him 11 previous titles, anything is possible.
Kirstin / ASP
hard to imagine Medina losing before the later rounds in Portugal, which makes it really tough for anyone to gain ground on his points lead. With the ball in his court and destiny in his own hands, Medina looks poised to take the title. Holding a lead of over 5000 points, simply pacing the rest of the contenders is all Medina needs. Despite the abundance of media attention focused towards Medina’s campaign, the real pressure to perform now lies in the rest of the field. Gabby has done the hard work already, he just needs to keep it in gear and bring it on home.
Coming into the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing and the conclusion to this year’s tour in Hawai‘i, there are several battles going down. The top tier may still be fighting over the world title, but at the other end, the bottom ranked surfers on the World Championship Tour are fighting to keep their spot, and the top ranked surfers on the Qualifying Series are looking to jump onto the big stage. To be in the big leagues of surfing, aka the ASP Top 34, the year end finishing top 22 ranked surfers off the World Championship Tour automatically get their spot back on for the next year. The top 10
One of the few men to stop him is Slater. Can he pull another rabbit out of the hat?
John John Florence brings to life what the surfing world knew was imminent: victory at WCT stop #9 with yet another showing of brilliance. Two weeks shy of his 22nd birthday, the young Hawai’i surfer was the obvious stand out at the Quiksilver Pro France, navigating the shifty 8 to 10-foot beach break with ease, and consistently earning the highest scores of each round.
October Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal begins. The 10th stop on the WCT, Peniche, is home to some of the best waves in Europe. As the season’s biggest storms descend upon the Portuguese coastline, supertubos begins to pump. The best surfers in the world battle it out over a dredging sandbar offering left and right barrels with plenty of air sections. The world title may be decided here prior to the tour’s arrival to Hawai’i.
Poullenot / ASP
THE WOR LD WHERE’S CLAY BEEN? Don’t worry about where Clay’s been. He’s been just fine, thank you. Instead of worrying about whether or not to button his top button or what color leg rope will best match his new boardshorts, Clay’s
been surfing. He’s been on his own trip. Doing shit like this. His world has been just fine: kine grinds, Maui vibes, killer kush, and solo sessions. How’s your world? The World Is SUPER.
IS SUPER .
PHOTO: BIL LY W ATTS
C L AY M A R Z O C HA P T E R 3
S URFBOA RDS & APPAR E L . TH E WO R L D I S SU PE R .
NOW LI V E
Kirstin / ASP
RACE FOR THE TITLE
Leaving off with France, John John’s win puts him in the top 5 going into the last two events.
As the winter swells converge onto Oahu’s North Shore and the Vans Triple Crown contest arena’s kick into full swing, the clashes will continue to ensue and top-notch surfing will take heat wins. And by the time you are reading this article, the ASP World Title may very well be decided. Medina could silence all, take the win in Portugal, and claim his and Brazil’s first surfing World Title. But for fans of surfing, we hope for the ultimate showdown at the ultimate venue: The Banzai Pipeline. The most exciting scenario is a race coming down to the end, with multiple contenders still battling in perfect barreling waves. The last two years have seen epic showdowns with Slater battling Parkinson and Fanning. The new blood in this year’s race is invigorating. With Medina holding pole position, we truly are seeing the momentum shift that has been brewing. And the summation of all is an exciting future for the ASP and surfing as a whole. It’s On!
ranked surfers from the Qualifying Series are given the call up for the upcoming year. Add in two ASP wildcards and 34 of the world’s best are ready to do battle. Whether fighting to stay on the WCT or just trying to get there, the first two venues of the Vans Triple Crown are crucial. As the last Qualifying Series events of the year and both offering major Prime rated points, a lot of shuffling can go down as battles get tight. Adding to the excitement and drama are the low ranked WCT surfers trying to re-qualify via the QS. Being on the bubble means your destiny could go either way, and after a year’s worth of surfing, these events are SERIOUS.
The 32nd annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing comes to the North Shore of Oahu. The richest and most esteemed series in surfing’s history is a six week long event, held each year from November 12 through December 20. The Vans Triple Crown has long been considered the most prestigious title, rivaling the ASP World Title. It is awarded each year to the top-performing surfer after three uniquely challenging ASPrated events- the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa, the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach and the Billabong Pipe Masters at Banzai Pipeline.
The Billabong Pipe Masters, the final stop of the Vans Triple Crown and the 11th and final event of the ASP Men’s World Tour, is the perfect venue for the culmination of both series. An iconic and historic wave, the Banzai Pipeline is often referred to as the best wave on the planet. A new feature of this year’s Billabong Pipe Masters will be the Pipe Trials – a $100,000 event-within-event that will shine a spotlight on 32 of Hawai’i’s Pipeline specialists who will vie for two Pipe Masters wildcards on the world stage.
Kirstin / ASP
The Triple Crown Evolution of the Modern Surfboard By Chris Latronic
There is no one in the world more versed in surf history than shaper and Triple Crown of Surfing godfather, Randy Rarick. Having traveled the world a few times over, Randy always came home to Sunset Beach on the North Shore of Oahu to shape boards and surf the winter season at the same house heâ€™s lived in since 1975. Witnessing the evolution of the surfboard first-hand from its humble origins, Randy was graciously available to sit down and share with us a Triple Crown Board Story.
Vintage board aficionado and craftsman, Randy Rarick, in his element.
BOARD STORY /
Courtesy Surfing Magazine
BOARD STORY / RANDY RARICK
Randy hitting the lip, 1976.
What was the state of surfboards during the inception era of the Triple Crown of Surfing? Before the Triple Crown was conceived, everyone was riding predominantly single fins, with some exceptions to riding twin fins, but only in smaller waves. The single fin surfboard technology included the wide tip forward with a more tear drop shape and with the rails pulled back to a narrow pintail. Heavy everything.
â€œSimon Anderson introduced the 3-fin thruster, changing the nature of surfboards from that point on. He won competitions at Bells and Pipeline and that was it! Everyone jumped on the bandwagon. â€œ
Where did the real technological game changer come in to play? Simon Anderson introduced the 3-fin thruster, changing the nature of surfboards from that point on. He won competitions at Bells and Pipeline and that was it! Everyone jumped on the bandwagon. This focus shift plumed the emergence of a new young crop of surfers who really embraced the thruster. Adding 2 outer fins, now you got more bite on the wave. You can put more area into your tail, more width in the middle and less volume in the nose, allowing for more maneuverability, more speed and more dynamic progressive surfing.
A new batch of old goodies.
The Ho brothers, Michael and Derek, went on to win back and forth Triple Crown titles for the next 6 years by really showing the thrusters’ full potential at that time.
of Kelly and Sunny, Andy and Bruce Irons exploded onto the surf scene with evolutionary progressive Hawaiian power. Andy became the Icon of Hawaiian surfing- being happy, local grown and shredding like no ones business.
What came next? In the early to mid ‘80s, Sunset Beach was the dominate spot for the Triple Crown competitions. Gary Elkerton emerged by using a little bit bigger and meatier surfboards, allowing him to really muscle through the strong surf at big Sunset. He was successful in winning two Triple Crown Championships doing that. The early ‘90s brought Kelly Slater. Kelly was this new fresh faced kid who just came out of the blocks firing. His surfboards were thin with lots of rocker and worked very well at Pipeline and OTW, but not so much at Sunset. Kelly has never won at Sunset, his boards worked terrible out there. That’s when Sunny Garcia came along. Sunny used the advantage of bigger and thicker boards to enhance and progress his power surfing, leading him to 6 Triple Crown championships. After that we had a few other local guys follow Sunny’s path for success, like Kaipo Jaquias and Myles Padaca. They used their experience and power surfing to do the talking on a little bit more combined Sunny G and Kelly Slater board technology. Then the era of the Irons brothers came along. Following in the footsteps
So it seems like Kelly Slater has been a part of the technological renaissance for the most part, to present day no less. Who came next in the evolutionary tale of the Triple Crown surfboard? Then John John came along and changed high performance surfing at Sunset Beach forever. Instead of having the traditional thick, meaty, rhino chaser gun, John went for a shorter, stronger and lighter board. Usually you take off on the outside peak, fade into it, pull around to the inside section… He (JJF) forgot about the outside peak and moved to the inside because his boards were smaller and thinner. But his boards were also made for Hawai’i, so even though they were smaller, they were designed for Hawaiian power. He was able to take off later, pull under the lip quicker and redefine Sunset surfing. I was blown away at how the old school approach to Sunset was totally disregarded by this new school technique. What’s a typical day at Sunset look like nowadays? What kind of boards are surfers riding? On a typical day at Sunset you can observe the full spectrum of surfboard/surfer evolution. You’ll see Owl Chapman and his crew with
BOARD STORY / RANDY RARICK
Courtesy Surfing Magazine
BOARD STORY / RANDY RARICK
Randy surfing St. Michael’s, 1973.
thick old school big boards… Get in late, fade fade fade, set it up, straight line it and make the wave all the way to the channel. Then you got younger guys on shorter boards sitting on the inside bowl surfing the modern style. Some guys are really good, like Parko and Jordy Smith. The bigger guys do really well at Sunset especially. Let’s focus more on Pipeline. How was surfboard evolution critical to riding what is now one of the most famous waves in the world? For Pipeline back in the day, the guy who really took it to the next level was Gerry Lopez. He became known as Mr. Pipeline and has attributed his success at the notorious surf spot to the design innovation of ‘down rails’. The lower rail line allowed him to put his edge in earlier, allowing him to pull up into the barrel and successfully make it out of the wave. The renowned Tom Carroll snap was a result of the directional changes brought on by the new innovations in surfboard technology… literally. From your experience, what designs are most of the Pipeline successors riding now? Nowadays we have seen a real renaissance of guys trying old designs again with a newer twist to them. Going a lot shorter with a lot less volume. Kelly Slater is leading the way in that respect… again. Just a few years ago he rode a board at Pipeline that wasn’t dreamed of being used before. Eliminating the volume in the front and concentrating in the middle and in the width, making it thicker. This new design made him able to maneuver easier in and out of the barrel. John John Florence, being small in stature at the early stretches of his professional career, rode really small boards. Working closely with shaper Jon Pyzel, JJF had boards specifically shaped for him at an early age and with his continued success has inspired a new generation of frothing groms ripping on high performance boards. Where have ‘aerials’ come into play in Triple Crown surfboard evolution? Aerial surfing became a big factor in the progression of the surfboard. Aerials have never been a big factor in Hawaiian surf competition, but have been in the free surfing aspect. So this is where a lot of the old school Hawaiian power guys got left behind. But a new crop of progressive Hawaiians are knocking at the World Tour doorstep. Look out for guys like Ezekiel Lau and Keanu Asing to make a powerful impact.
FEATURED STYLE | CASA SUEDE
SURFING GENERALS WARNING: Wearing Sanuks may induce an extreme lack of depression, unprecedented levels of comfort, an overwhelming sense of joy and insanely unadulterated good times. Visit sanuk.com to lose all pretense (and potentially your mind) Disclaimer: We at Sanuk are completely responsible for any hysterical behavior and /or gratuitous nudity that may ensue.
BOARD STORY / RANDY RARICK
Balancing work and play.
Haleiwa, on one of those smaller days, would probably be the best scenario for a surfer’s aerial game to be the most lethal. Sunset and Pipeline, not so much. What is the future of surfboard technology? Composition. What they are made out of. Realistically, we’ve been making boards the same way for 50 years… Basically a foam blank with fiberglass on top. There have been a lot of things like epoxies and other components you can put into a surfboard, and I think the more shapers that embrace and adapt those materials into their designs, then you’re going to see more stronger, lighter and faster boards, which will allow for more mind-blowing maneuvers.
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Eventually we’ll have powered surfboards. We already got WaveJet surfboards, which can propel a surfer into waves without paddling. The problem is that it’s too heavy for a professional surfer to progress surfing. But the concept is there. The motors and batteries will get lighter and it will be professionally functional one day. For big wave surfing, the guys are back to 4-inch boards because they need paddle power. They’ll develop a new foam that will be super light and super buoyant so they can bring the volume of the board down from a 4-inch thick beast to a more big performance board that they can manage much better. pau
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THE DEFENDING TRIPLE CROWN CHAMPION’S ROAD HOME TO PIPE. By Jodi Wilmott (With special thanks to Ross Williams & Jason Rem for interview support.) There’s a time in September when a palpable shift occurs in the waters off the North Shore of Oahu. It comes after the last Southern Hemisphere swell sweeps through Tahiti and hands the torch to the Northern Hemisphere. It’s a primal stirring those who intimately know this shoreline notice. There might not even be waves at the time, but something has changed. The color of the water seems a shade darker. There’s a frenetic movement and an underwater force you can literally feel that tells you the season just turned. Big waves are coming, and with them, the best surfers on the planet and the most famous surfing series in the world: the Vans Triple Crown. It’s the high point of the year for those who call the North Shore home. It was around this time 22 years ago - in 1992, that a young Kelly Slater ushered in a new dawn for professional surfing in Hawai’i, winning the Pipe Masters and claiming his maiden ASP world title. Just days earlier, John John Florence came into the world at Kapiolani Hospital in Honolulu, and was brought home to the North Shore in time to hear Pipeline erupt with Slater’s ascent to the throne. Looking back, we now know that Slater changed the face of surfing forever. His contribution of a seemingly infinite number of records, game-changing performances and world titles he amassed is one half of the story. But perhaps more important was the career path he represented for countless young pro surfers behind him, along with the inspiration to fuel every single one of them going forward. Pipe was at the apex of that.
JOHN JOHN FLORENCE
“I’ve grown up looking up to him,” Florence says of Slater. “He won his first world title the year I was born, it’s so crazy! By the time I knew who I liked in surfing, he had won a few world titles already. So growing up my whole entire life I looked at Kelly like ‘King Kelly’, like anyone does.” To grow up as a young surfer on the North Shore is to grow up spending nine months of
your year waiting and preparing for the three months that the world’s best will be in town... each year growing taller, growing stronger and chipping away at the progression of surf breaks and pecking orders that line the road to the ultimate wave on Earth: Pipeline. John explains: “Growing up in Hawai’i, everyone comes here for those three months of the year and everyone knows that the whole surfing world comes to town for the Triple Crown. So growing up and being able to see those guys surf Pipe and seeing the best surfers in the world come and surf my home breaks every day for the whole winter was
John John’s comfort level at Pipe is due to his level of commitment.
pretty inspiring. It inspired me to get out there. “I first started surfing Pipe... I don’t remember what age exactly, but I just remember sitting in the channel for like 3 hours and maybe getting one wave, if that. I’d just sit there and wait and wait and wait and maybe I’d get a little corner wave and be pretty stoked. And I did that for so long. It seems like 4 years. And towards the end of it I knew I had to go out there and start catching more waves. “I think once you break that barrier of learning how to commit into the waves, that’s when everything changes. When I was little I
And that’s where we return to the story of John John Florence... because, in a way, his story is inextricably tied to Slater’s.
remember paddling for a few waves and getting stuck in the hesitation and getting so worked you know you don’t want to do that again. Once you get over that barrier of not hesitating – committing 100% - that’s when everything changes. Once I was able to do that, the whole wave changed for me. Being able to go and see a bigger one and knowing you want it... when you make it, it’s the best feeling in the world.”
was impeccable, his style a slick and futuristic blend of skate and surf. Living at Pipe, guided by a grounded, surefooted young mom who equally ripped on skateboard and longboard, and with the motivating company of two younger surfing brothers, it appeared his road to surfing greatness was destined to be as singular as the North Shore’s Kamehameha Highway itself.
As the years progressed and Slater’s domination continued, the tiny blonde-haired grom from Pipe started to garner major attention. Barely four feet tall, his positioning
In November of 2005, as Slater closed in on his 7th world title, 13-year-old John John, wide-eyed and in a cinched up contest jersey at Haleiwa, stepped into his future,
becoming the youngest surfer to ever compete in the Vans Triple Crown. Just six years on, in 2011, John had grown into a 6-foot tall, filled out 19-year-old with power to burn. Opening his Triple Crown campaign with a semi-final finish at Haleiwa, he stampeded to a momentous win at solid Sunset, but narrowly lost in the quarters at Pipe to none other than Slater. Armed with a string of stellar heats that included a perfect 10, John’s dream was cut short by his hero in what would stand as the highest scoring heat and highlight moment of that year’s Pipe Masters. It ended with a priority blunder by Florence, coupled with a
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magical last minute score from the veteran Slater. The 5th place finish was enough to secure John his first Vans Triple Crown title, but the Pipe Masters still eluded him. Since then, the memorable moments for Florence have started to mount, including his first WCT win in Rio 2012, and a second Vans Triple Crown title last year that he will now defend. But the back half of the 2014 ASP season has rung loud and clear with proof of the competitive brilliance we’ve all been waiting to see from Florence; that extra ingredient that would push him past “world’s greatest freesurfer” into the exclusive realm of champions. It was at Teahupoo, in August, that one of the most exhilarating competitive exchanges in history went down in the semi-final duel between Florence and Slater. Dreamlike, heavy barrels produced an inspired exchange of genius tube-riding only a master and his prodigy can share. There were no rookie mistakes, no mystical veteran magic, just an epic volley of extraordinary talent that incredibly ended in a near-perfect draw of 19.77 points. It didn’t even matter that the count-back went Slater’s way. What does winning or losing by 0.1 really mean? It had been a heat like no other. And just like that, like the change of the seasons, you knew that something was different. John had arrived. “There was no way I could be bummed about it,” Florence said of that experience. “There was definitely something to learn there. The feeling I had in that heat when I needed the score in the end, there was no doubt in 80
At only 22, John John has arguably clocked more barrel time than most surfers have in a full lifetime.
my mind that I could get it. I knew that if the wave came, I was just going to go. To have that feeling, that confidence that you can get it, is pretty amazing. So that’s what I strive for in every single one of my heats. I had that in Brazil when I won (my first) event... that feeling that if the wave comes to me, I can do it.” September. Trestles, California, and he tapped into that feeling again. John Florence, Kelly Slater and Adriano De Souza in Round 4. Those who had been caught up in the post-Teahupoo critiques of what might have made the difference for Florence were soon quieted. With layers of technical nuance, subtle additions of torque and flair, Florence was brilliant. He rhythmically threw down knives of nines that could have easily been bullseyes if the judges weren’t
John John’s rail game is second to none.
holding onto fractions for what might still come. John’s roll was incredible, including a damaging blow to Slater’s world title hopes three rounds later in their semi final. Then another hair-splitting final that went against him, this time with Jordy Smith. John had the crowd eating from his hand. October, and on to France. Momentum built like an Atlantic storm as John dismantled bomb after beach-break bomb. One by one, they all fell to Florence, including world title contender Mick Fanning and an inspired young Brazilian finalist, Jadson Andre. And then there was John, back on the winner’s dais after two close calls and two years between victories, now with a sea of followers ready to raise him up. At this moment, he is the greatest surfer in the world. He’s the man to beat. Having just celebrated his 22nd birthday, John is home at the Pipeline. He’s the defending Vans Triple Crown champion. All eyes are on him. It’s a feeling of pressure he’s known since he was in single digits. It has grown as he has, and along the way he has learned how to deal with it. Just surf, and the rest will take care of itself. Every true Florence follower knows what’s on John’s mind. For as much as he cherishes his Triple Crown titles, and as fulfilling as his recent victory and present form feels, he knows he’s not there yet. His goals are clear: A Pipe Masters title and an ASP World Title. It’s what every surfer dreams of. If he can do it while Slater’s still gunning, all the sweeter, and how fortunate for us to see two of the greatest surfers in history push each other higher. It’s a collision of cosmic talent from two different generations. And the seasons are changing. You can feel it. The story of John John Florence seems like it will play out much like his own recent description of a single wave at the Pipeline. When asked how it feels to surf that wave, he is at once carried away and totally absorbed, like nothing else exists:
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SHOW US YOUR TEETHS
JOHN JOHN FLORENCE WEARS THE FOLD WITH HAPPY LENS™
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Paddling back out for the next wave. The best is yet to come.
“Am I going? Am I in the spot? All the adrenaline starts building. You’re looking around. You start to paddle. Guys start to back out. You feel obligated to go. I’m pretty committed. You start going. Someone’s yelling to go right. They hesitate for a second. Oh no. I’m going left. You have the big drop to make. You’re on the boil. Finally you get to the bottom of the wave. The thing just starts to throw over and you’re hoping that it’s not a wide one, ‘cause you weren’t looking. You were thinking about people or something else. Once you make it to the end of the wave, you’re stoked, even if you come falling out of the barrel. It’s like, ‘I’ve made it!’ And all that happens in five seconds.” John’s life story takes place on hallowed surfing ground, on a wave of exponential intensity that requires an instinctual approach fine-tuned across a lifetime. Its power is packed into an instant that sets your senses on fire. This wave has traveled a thousand miles to meet him, and in a singular moment will further define his destiny.
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LET’S GET CRITICAL
THE WOMEN’S WORLD TOUR RETURNS TO HONOLUA BAY, MAUI By Tiffany Hervey
For more than 300 years, women have been surfing. Hawai’i’s Queens are captured in historical imagery, competent and skilled in the very surf we hold contests in today. Gidget and Blue Crush popularized the art form, ushering in many more bikinis into the lineups of the ‘60s and the millennium. Surfing grew beyond a lifestyle and into a competitive sport — especially with the advent of The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) — the sole governing body of professional surfing, crowning surfing’s undisputed world champions since 1976. Old media guides show some of the first records for the women competing in the precursor for the ASP world tour were from 1977. Margo Oberg, who lived in a tree house in Hawai’i, won the world title that year. At that time there were two events in California, one at Haleiwa, one at Sunset and a “Waimea Pro” event. Margo won that. Her combined prize purse for the year was $19,500. Lisa Andersen and Layne Beachley grew women’s surfing in popularity via surf videos, and pushed competition to new heights on the world tour throughout the 90s. Beachley has won the most world titles — seven — a record that has yet to be broken on the women’s tour. It was also during this time of exponential growth in the surf industry that the women benefitted from highly challenging world tour stops like Tavarua in Fiji and Teahupoo in Tahiti. The ASP has become a huge platform for female surfers to not just win some money doing what they love, but to launch legitimate careers with longevity. Today, top ranked surfers Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons, Tyler Wright and Carissa Moore are earning upwards of $200,000 in prize purses alone. The current ASP Women’s World Championship Tour (WCT) consists of the top qualifying 17 professional surfers in the world competing in 10 events. The women’s WCT has three stops in Australia (Gold Coast, Margaret River and Bells Beach), two stops in California (Trestles and Huntington Beach), Fiji, Brazil, France, Portugal, and this year, the girls are back to compete at Honolua Bay, Maui for their final WCT event: The Target Maui Pro. Aside from the pioneering Margo, Hawai’i’s only ASP world champ is Carissa Moore, who won world titles in 2011 and 2013. Competing as a wildcard in the past at Honolua Bay, Moore will this year return as an established member of the Top 17. “It’s been a while since the Hawai’i girls have been able to perform in front of their home crowd, and I think it’s going to be so exciting and special to finish the tour in Hawai’i,” Carissa contends. “These are easily some of the best waves on the planet and they’re set in the most beautiful location… Honolua Bay is the ideal platform for the ASP Top 17 to perform upon and I am so thankful that Target and Schick Hydro Silk have stepped up and brought a venue back in Hawai‘i for the women.”
THE WOMEN’S WORLD TOUR RETURNS TO HAWAI’I
“Maui as the season-ender to the elite women’s schedule is a great enhancement to the ASP season and having Target’s support is very exciting,” Jessi Miley-Dyer, ASP Deputy Commissioner, said. “We have the most talented female surfers ever in this season’s Top 17 and one of the most exciting races for the crown in recent history. Honolua Bay is truly a world-class wave and the Target Maui Pro is an excellent way to cap off a historic season.”
Kirstin / ASP
Currently ranked #5 on the WCT, Kauai’s own Malia Manuel hasn’t surfed an event at home in Hawai’i in over five years. “It’s extremely exciting to be able to end the year in Hawai’i,” Malia says. “It’s a huge delight. The waves in Hawai’i deserve to have an event, and I know all the women are thrilled that ASP has given us that opportunity again.”
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This year, something new is happening: A Pipeline ASP Women’s Specialty event will be held within the same time frame as the Billabong Pipe Masters (Dec. 8 - 20). The ASP says the longer term goal for this event going forward is for it to continue on and become part of the women’s Vans Triple Crown, which they are looking forward to steadily rebuilding. “This event will showcase the progression and level of technicality that women’s surfing is achieving,” Vans Triple Crown Media Director Jodi Wilmott explains. “Being held within the same time frame as the Billabong Pipe Masters ensures that the ladies will be a feature of the most highly viewed event in professional surfing. Their event will be held on a day of surf optimally in the 6 to 10-foot range, which will see them truly perform.”
There will be eight women invited to compete: the top four from the ASP WCT ratings, then the next top two Hawai’i surfers from the ratings, and two wildcards selected by ASP women’s commissioner, Jessi Miley-Dyer. The prize purse for this event will be $10,000 total.
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SITE OF THE WOMEN’S TARGET MAUI PRO 20° 59’ 48” N 156° 39’ 11” W By Tiffany Hervey Honolua Bay: Dreamy, point-break right, located on the northwest corner of Maui. The wave bends into the cliff-and boulder-lined bay, passes through the Cove takeoff area, and arranges itself into a long, fast, perfectly foiled wall that spins through two or three bowl sections, according to the Encyclopedia of Surfing. It is Maui’s most famous wave and is often thought of by surf historians as the coming-out location for the shortboard when Australians Bob McTavish and Nat Young rode the break in 1967 on their new vee-bottom boards. Way before that though, starting in 1947, Oahu surfers George Downing, Wally Froiseth and Russ Takaki are said to have been the first to surf Honolua. When Honolua Bay, the site of the ASP women’s world tour final contest from 1999-2009, was without a sponsor heading into the 2010 season, the event was cut from the tour. This year, for the grande finale of the 2014 Dream Tour, Honolua Bay is back and will decide this year’s ASP women’s World Champion. The world’s best female surfers will be competing at this highperformance wave from November 24 - December 6, 2014. Contenders for the ASP World Title are Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons and Tyler Wright… all from Australia. The type of surfer that shines at this wave is “someone who is willing to have a go, and willing to push the limit,” says Tyler Wright. “I’ve never surfed it over two-foot, but like any wave in Hawai’i, I assume when it gets big, it gets heavy,” she adds. “I am so looking forward to competing at Honolua Bay at the end of the year,” Carissa Moore says. “It is one of the best waves in the world — a perfect, peeling, powerful right point break.” In addition to world-class surfing, Honolua Bay is a Marine Life Conservation district, home to world-class diving when the waters are calm. The bluffs overlooking this break are where the last open space in West Maui begins and is a region rich in history. As many open spaces and pristine ecosystems often are, this area is repeatedly at the risk of private and commercial development, so the community often rallies to protect it. Perhaps one of the most special elements of this spot is that on May 1, 1976, Honolua Bay was the launching point for the first successful voyage of the Polynesian voyaging canoe, Hokule’a, which navigated from Honolua to Tahiti without the aid of any modern equipment — the first time such a voyage had taken place since the end of the migration between the two archipelagos over 700 years ago.
SPOT CHECK: HONOLUA BAY
A COMMMUNITY OF MEMORIES For over three decades, the Triple Crown of Surfing has graced Oahu’s North Shore and made a lasting impression on everyone involved. Whether a tour surfer, local grom, business owner, lifeguard, photog, shaper or simply a spectator, everyone has their own story to share. We asked nearly 30 people what their most memorable Triple Crown moment was, and each response is unique, helping to describe the event’s rich 32-year history.
The Triple Crown of Surfing has been around for 32 years, what’s your most memorable experience ever?
Liam McNamara / pro surfer / business owner of North Shore Surf Shop “Michael Ho winning the “Marui Offshore Pipe Masters “ was my most memorable experience.”
Kiron Jabour / pro surfer / Triple Crown competitor “The year Andy Irons beat Kelly Slater in the final of the Pipe Masters was epic! Coming back from combo’ed, and then getting that 10-point ride going Backdoor… I’ll never forget that one. Andy was a pure beast!”
Saa Tamba Ginlack / owner of Tamba Surf Company “Andy beating Kelly of course. I was there and he gave me the yellow jersey he was wearing… I have it framed and hanging in my Kauai store.”
Oliver Kurtz / pro surfer “The one moment that stands out the best is during the Pipe Masters when Dusty Payne needed a 9.8 with 20 seconds to go and a crazy north set magically appeared and he got the wave to win his heat and re-qualify for the tour… That was pretty rad.”
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Perspectives / Brian Bielmann / professional photographer “Andy beating Kelly to win the world title in Hawai‘i at Pipeline. Kelly is the greatest competitive surfer of all time and Andy took it. It was so emotional, I loved the whole vibe that everyone was caught up in. I loved seeing that smile on Andy’s face, and seeing Lyndie right there with him. They were so happy!”
Pete Hodgson / surf photographer “The long road that the Triple Crown has traveled is actually amazing. Starting out with card tables and bullhorns on the beach and no TV coverage to where it is now as the pinnacle of surfing competition. This was a Herculean effort with amazing results. World titles coming down to the last minutes of a heat in the worlds best surf venue is as exciting as surf competitions can get. I think that the surfers and those who were there at the beginning would be stoked with the results of their efforts to bring surfing to the masses. Long live The Triple Crown!”
Grant “Twiggy” Baker / BWWT 2013-2014 Champion “My two most memorable experiences was watching Jordy Smith win the Sunset event a few years back with a crazy display of power rail surfing, and then of course that proud moment last year when Beyrick De Vries got that amazing barrel at maxing Sunset! South Africans have always done well out at Sunset and it’s great to see the younger guys are carrying the torch into the future.”
Tatiana Weston-Webb / ISA World Junior Champion “My favorite moment about the Triple Crown was probably being able to watch my good friend Sebastian “Seabass” Zietz finally break through and win the first event he’s ever won and qualify in the same year.”
Bret Marumoto / shaper “I always enjoyed the Pipe Masters the most... In 1993, Derek Ho entered the Pipe Masters with a chance to become the first Hawaiian ASP World Champion with Tom Carroll, Gary Elkerton and 1992 ASP Champion (1st title) Kelly Slater in the final. It was not going to be an easy task for the Hawaiian. Watching the event from the Pipe house front yard when Gerry Lopez still owned it at the time was surreal. Looking up to the third story of the Pipe house, I could see Mike Ho and Gerry guide Derek in the line up each heat. We all watched as history was being made, as Derek Ho surfed his way to victory! I was very fortunate to have shaped the surfboard that Derek rode in the final.”
Perspectives / Brent Bielmann / professional photographer “Kelly Slater’s rodeo attempt at Pipe like 12 years ago. I was a kid and I remember standing on the beach when it happened. I was dragging around a cooler full of sodas on a boogie board making that $$. He didn’t make it, but everyone was losing it. It was awesome ha.”
Kirstin / ASP
Doug Palladini / VP/GM Vans North America “I grew up in Los Angeles, with the pages of Surfer Magazine taped to my bedroom walls. I dreamed of Gerry’s arched turns impeccably timed to drape under the hook at the Banzai Pipeline. My first board was a Lightning Bolt shaped for Rocky Point that I surfed at Topanga nonetheless. And then, one day, I woke up as the Publisher of Surfer Magazine, struggling through deep sand in the North Shore’s pre-dawn hour with Editor Steve Hawk to meet Randy Rarick and Bernie Baker and listen in on their ruminating over swell angle, threatening Kona winds, and incoming tide as they contemplated the morning call. I don’t remember what they ended up deciding about whether to run or not, but it didn’t matter to me: The magazine pages on my wall had come to life and I was right in the middle of it, right where I always wanted to be. And I have been incredibly fortunate to have been right in the middle of it ever since.”
Scott Sisamis / Vans team manager “The most memorable moment for me would have to be John Florence’s first Triple Crown. John really wanted a wild card, he was 12 or 13 and everyone was pretty skeptical, but we ended up giving John the slot and Haleiwa was going off. John was in a heat with Shane Dorian and he took off on this bomb. John handled himself like a veteran and still does to this day. That heat was just a first glimpse into what John is capable of and it was amazing to see.”
Jason Magallanes / pro surfer “So many good memories, but that showdown with Andy & Kelly really stands out in my mind... Andy being combo’ed and coming back in last the 5 minutes with that 9.5 & 10, truly incredible. AI forever!”
Justin Lambert / owner of CHANCE’EM “It was the semi-final heat of the Pipe Masters in 1995, Kelly Slater versus Rob Machado. The waves were incredible with pristine conditions in 8 to 10 foot surf. Witnessing my two most favorite surfers in the world, kindly exchanging perfect wave after perfect wave… well let’s just say that it was simply amazing to watch! I remember Rob needing to secure a 3rd place finish in order to win the world title and Kelly needing to win the entire event in order to take out Rob. With so much at stake for both competitors during this event, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I watched Rob get spit out of the sickest barrel going straight into a highfive with Kelly.”
Jon Pyzel / shaper / Pyzel Surfboards “I have lived here for the last 22 years and I don’t think I have missed a single Triple Crown in that time. For me, the best moment was a few years ago when I got to watch John John become the youngest ever Triple Crown winner at age 19, riding boards that I made him! It was a really special day for him and all the people that are close to him, and I think that includes most of the North Shore community!”
Mike Coots / professional photographer “The 2003 Pipe Master final Andy vs Kelly was the most nail-biting heat I have seen in person. Andy was surfing so radical and confident. Watching Andy beat Kelly and win the world title was all time; everyone from Hawai’i and especially Kaua’i was united with pride and joy that afternoon. That heat brought the entire state together with jubilation and celebration!”
Greg Griffin / shaper / Greg Griffin Surfboards “There were certain points in Tom Carroll’s last competition days when he was unmatched. He was just incredible. You can see the picture of “The Snap” but it doesn’t even compare to what it was like when you actually saw it. Every single wave, he completely free fell sideways on purpose. He had this thing where his board would fall out from underneath him, he would land on it, and then he would pull it and the lip landed right where he landed. He was instantly barreled. That guy is just incredible. Now you have John John. He does stuff that people don’t even catch, where he does a similar thing and he pops right on the inside on purpose. It’s a perfectly calculated thing.”
Dustin Barca / pro surfer / Kauai mayoral candidate “Derek Ho winning Pipe and becoming the first Hawaiian World Champion was the first great moment. Tom Carroll’s turn at Pipe was iconic. Andy beating Slater is a timeless gem. Seabass winning the Triple Crown was one of the biggest highlights of my time!”
Russi / ASP
Barron Mamiya / NSSA National Champion “It was when Andy Irons was paddling for the back door wave and needed a big score. Kelly tried to paddle battle Andy, but Andy got the wave and a perfect 10 in the last seconds, and won the Pipe Masters. I think I was 6 years old.”
Kahea Hart / Hawai‘i Surf Team coach “When Derek Ho won the first world title as a Hawaiian. That gave me chicken skin as he rode a wave to the beach.”
Josh Moniz / pro surfer “I have a few favorite moments but one that sticks out to me is when they did an expression session heat at the Pipe Masters before the final and it had my dad, Dane Kealoha, Michael Ho, Derek Ho, Shaun Tomson and a couple other legends. My dad wasn’t surfing that much at the time and borrowed my older brother’s 7’0 and he actually ended up getting a pretty sick Backdoor wave.”
Jesse Merle Jones / professional surfer “My favorite experience was getting to caddie for the late Andy Irons in 2003. Kelly Slater lost early in the Sunset event and it was Andy’s single shot and catching up to him in the ratings. Andy was absolutely on fire at Sunset and I got watch the whole event from the channel! Needless to say, Andy got second in that event and went on to win the title at Pipeline and the rest is history!”
Ryan Chachi Craig
Kirk Ziegler / North Shore lifeguard / jetski rescue unit “Watching John John and Slater in the Pipe finals from the ski! The beach was shoulder to shoulder packed, standing room only, and I had one of the best seats in the house watching two of the best surfers in the world do battle! I didn’t need a pair of binoculars because they were getting spit out at Pipe a couple feet away from me. It was unreal!”
Kaipo Guerrero / surf contest announcer
Mike Stangel / Beach Chaplin of the Triple Crown “The best ‘Kodak Moment’ of the Triple Crown for me was the last day of the Pipe Masters, last year (2013). The World Championship would be determined that day. Mick Fanning was the points leader by a hair, but Kelly Slater was in hot pursuit - and you can never count out King Kelly! The pressure was on for Mick to win his next 2 heats and he’d be crowned the World Champ for his 3rd time. When Mick showed up that morning, he was not his usual super-stoked self. He looked like he hadn’t slept much the night before. He was silent and intense. He won his next 2 heats that day and was again crowned the World Champ. To make that day even better, John John Florence went on to win the 2013 Triple Crown award, and Kelly Slater won the 2013 Pipe Masters. All this happened within a matter of hours, witnessed by some 15,000+ people watching on the beach. What a stoker!”
“As a kid, I remember watching Tom Curren surf Haleiwa and being blown away by his flow and finesse. Later, when I made it through the Pro Class trials to get into the World Cup, I had Tom Curren and Richard Cram in the second round, and they were the number 1 and number 16 seed at the time. Both were my favorite surfers. I wouldn’t paddle for a wave if they were paddling for it. I lost obviously, but what a great experience. Nowadays, just being able to work with Triple Crown has been a dream job.”
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DARK HORSES THE HAWAI‘I FACTOR
By Tyler Rock
Each year an international frenzy of top competing pros head to Oahu’s North Shore to compete in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. And while the diverse talent from a growing number of surfing nations cannot be ignored, history has shown that it’s the local Hawai’i surfers that hold the home court edge. Dating back to the inaugural Triple Crown in 1983, won by Hawai’i’s Michael Ho, the Hawai’i athletes have claimed victory in 21 out of the last 30 years. This list represents our top Hawai’i contenders you may not have thought of. Plugging away on the qualifying series, these Hawai’i hopefuls are ready to put it all on the line for the big W. Keep an eye out during the three event series for these guys to take some scalps.
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KEANU ASING Current Rank on WQS: 7 As Hawaiâ€™iâ€™s top ranked surfer hopeful to qualify for the 2015 WCT, Keanu Asing will be looking for a good showing to secure his spot for next year. Having competed in the Triple Crown for several years now, the young regular foot from Ewa Beach may have his breakout year taking out top seeds along the way.
Current Rank on WQS: 51 Torrey Meister has seen ups and downs in his career but this top 100 surfer has been on the upside this past year. After winning the Oâ€™Neill Cold Water Classic last year and a sponsorship with Oâ€™Neill, Torrey has seen a newfound determination. Having proven himself at all three of the Triple Crown venues, and living mere steps away from Sunset Beach, look for Torrey to crack a final and turn some heads.
Current Rank on WQS: 64 Mauiâ€™s Granger Larsen has been on the cusp of qualifying for several years and can mix power carves with fins free innovation at ease. Right at home on the reef breaks of the North Shore, the regularfooter can be a threat in any conditions.
Current Rank on WQS: 70 As one of the most exciting surfers to watch, the North Shoreâ€™s own Mason Ho is comfortable both in the air and the barrel. Having seen victory at Sunset before, Mason draws on his natural talent and instinct, and with his father and legendary surfer, Michael Ho, in his corner, Mason has the tools necessary to see success.
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Current Rank on WQS: 84 Somewhat of an underground ripper, Kiron Jabour could prove a nightmare for some of the top seeds during this yearâ€™s Vans Triple Crown. Growing up on the North Shore with sparring partners such as John John Florence, Kiron is comfortable in any conditions the North Shore can throw at him. Big or small, Kiron can put on a show.
Kirstin / ASP
Current Rank on WQS: 91 Powerhouse Ezekiel Lau has seen success during the Vans Triple Crown taking out the Vans World Cup of Surfing last year at Sunset Beach. Mixing natural talent and burning determination, the hard working Honolulu native is an intimidating draw for any top seed. With an air game on lock and devastating rail work, Zeke has the tools to tackle any of the venues.
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Current Rank on WQS: 102 Kauai boy Gavin Gillette has been in the game for a while now seeing sprinkles of success throughout his time competing in the Triple Crown. When Gavin gets on a roll, heat wins can easily come his way. His whippy approach and go for broke attitude with nothing to lose could see him take out a few big names in any of the locations.
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Current Rank on WQS: 85 Taking some time off from competition to recharge his batteries, Dusty Payne is looking stronger than ever. With an amazing amount of raw talent, the big results seem to be eluding Dusty, but once the momentum starts shifting his way, watch out! Dusty has the all-around skills to beat just about anyone on tour and with a little bit of luck, could find a bucket of success at this yearâ€™s Vans Triple Crown.
Surfer: Derek Ho | Photo: Eric Baeseman
Surfer: Damien Hobgood | Photo: Ryan Miller/A-Frame
Surfer: Kiron Jabour | Photo: Tony Heff
Surfer: Shane Dorian | Photo: Brent Bielmann
Surfer: Eala Stewart | Photo: Zak Noyle/A-Frame
Top - Surfer: Matt Wilkinson | Photo: Ryan ‘Chachi’ Craig
Bottom - Surfer: Kekoa Bacalso | Photo: Tony Heff
Surfer: Gavin Gillette | Photo: Dan Merkel/A-Frame
Surfer: Nathan Florence | Photo: Brian Bielmann
Surfer: Dege Oâ€™Connell | Photo: Brent Bielmann
Surfer: Julian Wilson | Photo: Rafaski
S TEWAR D SHI P /
Kirstin / ASP
How the 32nd Annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing takes care of its backyard
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By Daniel Ikaika Ito The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is a resident of the North Shore and like every good citizen of the Seven Mile Miracle it recognizes its kuleana (responsibility) to its home. This event was born and raised in The Country and as it matured so has its socio-environmental consciousness. The Triple Crown is partnering with Sustainable Surf as a designated “Deep Blue Surfing Event,” a five-tiered program that guides brands and producers to greatly increase their event’s sustainability. As the most prestigious surf series in the world, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing has an opportunity to show the world what it means to be a steward of the land. “I would like to see the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing become the model for sustainable and positive impact events around the world via the ASP World Tour, and for the state of Hawai’i,” explains the event’s media manager, Jodi Wilmott. “Our sport is based in nature, art, health and wellness– it is in our best interests to play our part in preserving that lifestyle and its inherent opportunities for many more.”
In its 32nd year, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is stepping up its stewardship of the North Shore to preserve its home for future generations. Grassroots initiatives like beach cleanups and repainting the beach park bathrooms of the three venues (Ali‘i, Sunset and ‘Ehukai) are in place. As well as more sophisticated eco-endeavors like organic and locally served food for the event staff, free Internet access for the public and giving the world’s top ranked surfers bicycles for the winter to reduce the amount of cars on the road and encourage others to do the same. The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing’s sustainability efforts is a three-prong plan of
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attack (environmental, social and economic), utilizing strategic partnerships with several different organizations. Here is the sustainability trifecta of this year’s Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. Environmentally Yours What happens when you throw stuff away? Do you really know where “away” is? The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is bringing back Sustainable Coastlines Hawai’i (SCH) to make sure that the event knows and educates others as to where “away” is located. Many times, “away” ends up being a beach, but SCH will be helping to reduce waste through partnering with local Waiehuna Farm and Bokashi Buckets to convert compostables into soil, recycle the HI-5’s and convert the remainder into energy utilizing our H-Power Facility (trash to energy). H-Power currently consumes 90% of Oahu’s trash and produces 7-10% of the island’s energy. While Sustainable Coastlines Hawai’i Executive Director, Kahi Pacarro, is stoked on reducing landfill impact, he also wants to point out that burning our trash is not the answer. According to Pacarro, the solution is multi-pronged with the main focus on the reduction of plastic use and the increased use of sustainable renewables.
“With the Triple Crown, what we see is the opportunity to increase people’s awareness to what is actually littering our beaches,” says Pacarro. “Our goal is to show people first hand what’s littering our beaches and then foster the connection that the debris is the same stuff we use everyday. Then encourage changes like reducing uses of single-use plastics and cleaning up every time you go to the beach. Specifically for the Vans Triple Crown, the ability to reduce source-point pollution is exciting, and teaching more people about this will only help to create more coastal stewards.” Last year, the environmental non-profit organization (NPO) helped the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing mitigate 100% of its C02 footprint, divert 25% of its waste from
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In addition to the heavy lifting, Sustainable Coastlines is also helping the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing crunch the eco-numbers by coming up with a set of metrics that shows how much debris is diverted from landfills and beaches. Kahi and the NPO also realize that the most prestigious surf series in the world provides a great soapbox to help raise the eco-
consciousness of the collective surf world. “If you can get these surfers to start understanding things, like trash is more than just trash and I should be composting and recycling and maybe not drinking so many single-use plastics, or not using that plastic fork that you’re only going to use for 10 minutes […] every single piece of plastic that was created is still here today,” explains Pacarro.
“So if we can get these surfers to understand this and their followers on social media […] and through videos, then the other people that look up to these people will follow suit. We want to inspire these surfers, these administrators and the owners of these companies to realize that they can have an impact in improving this world by simply understanding some of the issues that the world is facing right now.” Socially Adept: VF Corporation
residents and resources at the same time. For the past 32 years, the world’s most prestigious surf series has given close to $1million worth of grant money and donations to the community. The event has gifted everything from lifesaving equipment and a rescue vehicle, to a great variety of educational programs in schools across the North Shore.
Not only is the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing responsible to stimulate the local economy for six weeks, but also care for the North Shore’s
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Kimberly Matsoukas states, “Equally important to protecting the environmental resources of the North Shore is supporting the local community.” “Events like the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing can have a positive social impact in addition to economic and environmental benefits,” Matsoukas adds. “One example of a social benefit is the monetary support for local organizations.”
healthy reefs, surfing could not exist. For that reason, brands like Vans have a vested interest in maintaining a healthy ocean environment and therefore making their events more sustainable,” explains Matsoukas. “Creating positive social impact is also critical because local community members are a key stakeholder and vital to the success of any surf event.” Sustainably Economical: Turtle Bay
Last year, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing annual charity golf tournament raised $40,000 for local non-profit organizations. In addition, proceeds from event merchandise goes to schools on the North Shore. So maybe you buy your nephew or niece a Vans Triple Crown of Surfing t-shirt to help someone else’s nephew or niece’s school make improvements. The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is investing in sustainability and the local community at the same time to keep this amazing event running for another 32 years. “First and foremost, surf events depend on a healthy environment to operate. Without clean water, clean beaches and
As the host venue of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, Turtle Bay Resort wants to set a precedent for how a hotel should operate sustainably. The most-recent improvement to the property is the installation of 1,600 photovoltaic panels on the roof, which produce 400 kilowatts of electricity. Turtle Bay Resort also dedicates 469 acres of its land to farming locally grown produce for their guests and the community, as well as conserving 665 acres to retain open public beach access in perpetuity. “In 2009, the process to begin identifying the Resort’s responsibility to becoming sustainable and reducing its carbon footprint began with the creation of a Green Committee,” says Turtle Bay Resort Events Manager, Marc Winchell. “Comprised of members from the Facilities, Rooms, Culinary, Human Resources, Spa, Purchasing and Executive Teams, the Green Committee has been able to cohesively work in making changes for a greener future.” In an effort to alleviate the amount of traffic during the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, Turtle Bay Resort runs a shuttle service from the hotel to the event. During the Billabong Pipe Masters last year, two, fully-loaded 14-passenger vans made round trips of people four times a day from the hotel to ‘Ehukai Beach Park. The resort is not only investing in their guests’ experience, they are also donating funds to the local community as well. “Operating the only resort on Oahu’s Fabled North Shore is a distinction and a responsibility we take seriously. As one of the area’s largest employers, our staff is an integral part of the fabric that makes up this breathtaking stretch of coastline, giving us a deep understanding of the needs of our communities,” says Winchell. “That’s why in 2012 we launched the Turtle Bay Foundation, which aggregates, enhances and oversees the resort’s numerous charitable contributions to various community organizations. This includes advancing the preservation of historic and cultural sites and environmental stewardship; educational and cultural activities; health care, housing and job-training programs; and educational organizations and scholarships.”
ROSS WILLIAMS HAWAI‘I’S OWN ROSS WILLIAMS
Pau Hana /
By Lauren Rolland
The perks of working the Dream Tour.
t the start of this year, the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) announced their core commentary team for the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT). Ross Williams, along with Pat Parnell, Joe Turpel, Martin Potter, Peter Mel, Rosy Hodge, Todd Kline, Strider Wasilewski and Ronnie Blakey now light up the webcasts at every event on the WCT, which consists of eleven stops throughout the year. On a brief return to Oahu, Ross has some breathing room before the next event and the family man will hang home, enjoy the company of his wife and three young daughters and get some late season surfing in. “Ironically, I think I surf more when I’m at home,” Ross mentions. Since he and the other commentators remain busy throughout each event, surfing comes next to the job expectations. But this career does allow for some decent water time, and somehow they’re able to squeeze in a session between the early wake up calls, morning shows and 8 to10 hour days commentating. Ross not only stays involved with the industry, but also with the ocean and traveling the globe. To maintain a career in surfing is all he could ask for in life. Part of the Momentum generation of surfers who made an impact during the 90’s (which also included pros like Kelly Slater, Shane Dorian, Rob Machado and Taylor Knox), Ross is known for his time on tour (10+ years), freelance writing for publications like SURFER Magazine and ESPN.com, coaching 15-year-old surfer Noa Mizuno and now, joining the commentating team for the ASP World Championship Tour. “It’s a great job for former athletes because of their wealth of knowledge, experience and respect in the sport,” Ross describes. “They know it.” Ross knows it through and through. The surfer’s trajectory in surfing has been well executed. From going pro during his senior year in high school to regular finishes in the top 15 on the ASP World Tour, the Pupukea local knew at a young age that surfing was his path and passion. At around age 30, Ross suffered a bad ankle break, which shifted him from the competitive field into a different life altogether- becoming a husband and father. The toughest part of Ross’s job today isn’t the long days on camera and it isn’t the pressure of being on point 100% of the time. Those aspects are where Ross excels. The toughest part of the job is being away from home and away from family. As with all things though, there is counterbalance. Ross expresses that the coolest part of the new gig is the travel aspect. “For more than one reason,” he explains. “The places themselves are awesome, but it’s also memories for me. These are all places I’ve been before, so it’s nice to be able to revisit those memories.” Experiencing the world (and its waves) is touted as one of the best aspects of a pro surfer’s life. And the professional 150
ROSS WILLIAMS - HAWAI‘I’S OWN
Ross talks, lives and breathes surf.
is first to admit that although travel can be tough, it’s a great perk to the career, especially for someone as passionate as he. Natural, calm and confident as a commentator, you might be surprised to know that the webcasting job is anything but smooth. “We’ve got our monitor and our co-announcer we’re talking to, an earpiece where the directors are talking to us, the scoreboard that we’re constantly keeping an eye on and then the live action happening in front of us,” Ross describes. “If you’re not on your game you can be like a deer in the headlights and not respond to anything. It’s all about multi tasking.” Ross says he’s gotten more used to it, but striving to keep the webcast interesting and dramatic while still being articulate at the same time can be challenging. It is something the team strives for though, which is apparent because the webcasts do run smoothly, with few hiccups from the audience’s perspective. As for the individual commentating members, Ross says the relationships are organic. “We’ve all bonded really well. We travel to every event together, we have lunch and dinner together, and it’s not like we have to. It’s not like ASP told us we have to hang out together, it just kind of happened that way.” Each member recognizes the importance of their job, “and at the same time we’re all having fun,” Ross illustrates. The members maintain a good attitude too, both on camera and off. They have been a wonderful team to witness thus far in the WCT and it’s easy to see why Ross was chosen as part of it all. Ross’s strengths are in his knowledgeable background of the sport and his ability to articulate the action happening in the water. “I try not to glaze over anything positive or negative that’s happening, I like to expose it,” he simplifies. The color commentator’s strategy is to include the audience in whatever drama is happening, instead of sugar coating the competition. “I like to talk to the audience as if I’m sitting on a deck with my peers and
Gash in his leg
I was surfing punchy, head high beach break on a weird shallow tide, pulling into closeouts, going on every wave I could. I got sucked up over the falls and tried to pull back with my board between my legs. The outside fin went in and out of my leg so fast, I didn’t even know it had happened. The fin was that sharp. It missed all my major muscles, and did not cripple me, but the doc said it was perilously close to my femoral artery. This was the most pain I have ever been in. I now use only Pro Teck fins and love how they surf, great drive, smooth, and fluid, plus no more nasty fin cuts! I am now pulling into close outs with peace of mind, knowing that I will not get cut again! God Bless. -Josh Walker
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we’re watching surfing,” Ross says. Keeping it PG-rated, of course. Giving credit where credit is due, Ross’s co announcer Pat Parnell makes a point to introduce Ross as a Momentum generation surfer during the webcasts. This plays a big role in the regular footer’s reputation, and the man recognizes how neat it is to be part of the prestige. “It was one of those transitional generations that made an impact, partly because we had Kelly Slater in our peer group, but then there was Taylor Steele’s films, so all the stars kind of aligned. It was really awesome to be part of that, to have influence.” The surfer also says he’s never tried to avoid the Momentum generation tag because “it is what it is. It kind of defines my career,” Ross explains. “Obviously I’m proud of my surfing and what I’ve accomplished in my career, and I’m really fortunate to be part of a group that’s made an impression on people.” Now Ross is making an even more lasting impression. As a 2014 ASP WCT color commentator, he is still as passionate as ever about surfing, and believes this love is what led him to the profession. “I’m really happy to have this career because it keeps me where I’m familiar.” With a few other webcasting jobs under his belt, a vast knowledge of surfing and a way with words, color commentating is second nature to Ross Williams. “For me, my main goal is keeping the surf IQ really high,” which is what we’ve seen from Ross and Martin Potter and the other commentators. With a solid team like this one, the core audience should feel confident in the future of pro surfing.
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TRIPLE CROWN TROPHY ARTIST, JOHN NIPPOLT
Carving Out A Name
By Lauren Rolland
Each year, the champion of the Triple Crown of Surfing stands atop the podium to be honored, and each year the winner hoists a heavy wooden trophy above his head in triumph. The award is carved with great detail and matches the year’s Triple Crown poster art almost exactly. Sometimes it radiates color, other times the wood grain speaks for itself.
In addition to carving every year’s Triple Crown trophy, John Nippolt also carved the perennial trophy in 1989, on display at Turtle Bay’s North Shore Watershed.
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Originally from Long Beach, California, the artist has called Hawai’i home for 41 years. Ironically enough though, just this past September John left Hawai’i and moved to San Juan Island in the Pacific Northwest. Quite possibly the biggest question on everyone’s mind is, will John Nippolt continue to carve the iconic Triple Crown trophies? “I’ll keep doing it for as long as I can!” the artist laughs. John got his start in wood carving when he was a senior in high school. The teen needed money to hitchhike the southern California coast to surf, so he began carving signs for companies. The surfing businessman pitched and sold them to restaurants, shops and businesses. “Everybody needs a sign company, that was my logo,” John chuckles. But the craftsman’s start in art began much earlier than teenage years. “My mom allowed me to draw on my walls when I was a little boy,” John describes. “I was always drawing, my whole life. All my catechism books had spaceships shooting holes into the hand of God.” With an intact sense of humor and a raw talent for art, it seemed inevitable that John would create an interesting career path for himself.
John Nippolt isn’t necessarily a name that might ring familiar to surfers or artists, but the man’s artwork surely will. John is the name behind the wooden carved trophies that the Triple Crown champion wins each year. The artist has been carving these masterpieces for 26 years, but there’s more than double that amount of Triple Crown trophies out there in the world. “Some years I carved 2 or 3,” John says. And when the women’s events have run, he carved those trophies too. It seems that each year the trophies get better and better and after 26 of them, the master carver still recalls his very first one. It was Gary Elkerton, back in 1989 and the trophy was carved out of beautiful glowing koa. “10 or 12 years after he won that trophy, I saw Gary on the beach,” recalls John. “I asked him if he remembered me, and he didn’t know me from anybody.” But once John told Gary he was the man who carved his first Triple Crown trophy, Gary frantically grabbed a woman off the beach to snap a photo of him with John. “’Hey, hey, take a picture of me and my mate!’ he said, it was pretty funny,” says John. “He told me that was one of his favorite awards.” The trophies seem to gain their own history based on who wins them. After Andy Irons won his 1st Triple Crown title, Billabong wanted to do a photo shoot with Andy and the trophy. The award was mailed to the Billabong Waikiki Shop, and when the postal service dropped it off, they asked for a signature from an employee in order to release it. Turns out that ‘employee’ was just a random guy in the shop, and he signed for the package and made off with Andy’s trophy. “Billabong had to hire me to re carve it!” John exclaims. “But the second time around, it was a better carving.”
Later in life, John became a fine arts instructor and the art department chair at Kaimuki Middle School and Kalani High School on Oahu. Art teaching and surfing is what has kept him youthful, and between the sculpting, painting, fine wood working and embellishing of furniture, the man seems to have done a little bit of everything. John is even the author of a surf sci-fi trilogy called Surf Fu, which he is in the process of revising and publishing. When Hawai’i became home in the early ‘70s, John began creating surf carvings for the Fountain of Youth Series on Kauai in 1973. Ever passionate about surfing, he later moved to Oahu and remained in the scene in and around Waikiki. Throughout the years, Mr. Nippolt kept up with the sport and its growing success in the media in Hawai‘i. One day on a whim, in the spring of 1989, the artist decided to look up Randy Rarick’s number in the phone book. “I asked if he did any awards for the surf events he was putting on,” recalls John. “Randy is a man of few words, but he knows what he likes. When he came over and saw what I was working on, he said ‘wow, that looks like just like the poster’ (for Fountain of Youth). And it began.” Creating a 3-dimensional work of art from a 2-dimensional poster is an expertise that comes with time, talent and patience. “You really arrive when you start doing that stuff,” the craftsman mentions. “With carving, as I matured, it just came along with me.” Each trophy takes John about 4 to 5 months to carve, but the process is very fulfilling. “I’ve gotten these things to really come alive,” he describes. These wooden trophies have etched their way into the surf memorabilia scene, but furthermore, they have become part of surfing’s history. “We all want to be part of something, we really do,” the artist describes. “And surfing is all I ever wanted to be part of.”
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SURF MEDICINE By Lauren Rolland
What other professional sport requires that the players pit themselves against one of natures most fickle, dangerous and powerful forces? Sure, in football, hockey, MMA, etc. you’ve got man on man contact injuries that rival some of the worst, but in surfing, your biggest opponent is the great and ever changing ocean. This uncontrollable environment can throw a variety pack of punches at athletes at any given time. The ocean is an element that many consider outside of their comfort zone. But for the world’s best surfers, this is where they’re most at ease, like an artist in a studio or a dancer at the barre. The salt water is
also where these athletes excel. The ability to expertly read the ocean, reef, wind and currents and anticipate what will happen is a skill that is acquired through experience. This refined ability gives expert surfers a more competitive and calculated edge. Yet despite this intimate knowledge, as with all competitive sports, injury is almost inevitable. With surfing, there’s a whole list of harms that are completely unique. Surfing requires the player to deal with the unpredictable forces of nature, so it’s no wonder why a team of injury and rehab professionals are onsite at surf events. For the Triple Crown, when the waves of the North Shore are so commanding that they rattle and shake the windows of Kamehameha Highway residents, a comprehensive team is crucial. Dr. Leland Dao, long time physician for the Triple Crown of Surfing and medical consultant to the ASP World Championship Tour, began working
FIT FOR SURF /
Fit for Surf /
The team at Contemporary Sports Therapy and Kaena Kai Clinic.
with the ASP in 1997 and has been present at the Triple Crown events ever since. As an avid surfer himself, Dr. Dao has an intimate understanding of the sport’s injury potentials and is therefore an important onsite component during the competitions. Dr. Dao also owns and operates a high-patronage practice in Haleiwa known as Kaena Kai Clinic, Family Practice and Sports Medicine Center. This clinic offers a wide range of services for everyone, from professional athletes to stay at home moms to the elderly. Nextdoor to Dr. Dao is Lauren Reinert MS, ATC, CSCS of Contemporary Sports Therapy, offering everything from physical therapy and sports medicine to injury evaluations, rehab, prevention and performance development. Like Dr. Dao, Lauren is building her reputation on the North Shore with many surfers, both professional and amateur. Some of her clients include Kelly Slater, Sunny Garcia, Koa and Makua Rothman, Freddy P., Kai Otton, Dustin Barca, Dax McGill, Mahina Maeda, Billy Kemper, Gabriel Medina, Ezra Sitt, Kahea Hart and Ian Walsh. “At the beginning of the 2013 Triple Crown, I got pounded at Beach Park and did a grade 3 tear on my right MCL,” explains Australian pro surfer Kai Otton. “Luckily Lauren was on hand to rehab the injury, and what looked to be the end of my Hawai’i season became a miraculous recovery. I was able to compete in the Pipe Masters five weeks later.” “I broke my collar bone snowboarding last year,” says North Shore professional surfer Koa Rothman. “When I came home and got surgery, the doctor told me it was going to be about 2 to 3 months ‘til I could be back in the water to surf. When Lauren was helping me, I felt good after about six and a half weeks. So I went to Tahiti and put it to the test, and it was all good.” Koa went on to get the cover shot of Freesurf’s 2013 June issue with his ‘Tahitian Pearl’ of a wave at Teahupoo during this trip. World tour surfer and Sunset beach local Freddy Patacchia says, “working with Lauren was a pleasure.” Facing a possible career ending over an ankle
“I love working with Lauren, but I kind of hate it at the same time because she really reveals my weaknesses. The good side of it is that she knows how to solve them,” says Slater.
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Fit for Surf /
If you make it through this, the road to recovery is the easy part.
injury in early January 2013, Freddy P mentions “her therapeutic work, physical rehab training and positivity got me back in the surf in 4 months. I was back in competition feeling 100% confidence in my ankle. I now continue to work with Lauren to maintain that physical confidence and injury prevention.” Eleven time World Champion Kelly Slater has also spent time at the Contemporary Sports Therapy clinic. “I love working with Lauren, but I kind of hate it at the same time because she really reveals my weaknesses. The good side of it is that she knows how to solve them,” says Slater. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Lauren moved to Hawai’i in 2007 to pursue a Masters degree in sports medicine at the University of Hawai’i. She began working with surfers during her second year of grad school and was introduced to pro surfing brothers Koa and Makua Rothman. This launched Lauren’s sports medicine care with North Shore surfers. In 2012, Lauren met Dr. Dao through Dr. Clayton Everline during the Pipe Masters event. Dr. Dao invited Lauren to assist him with the 2013 Volcom Pipe Pro. Impressed with her wide variety of skills and compassion for the surfers’ injuries, Dr. Dao began recommending patients Lauren’s way. At this time they realized there was a real need for sports medicine and physical therapy on the North Shore. Deeply imbedded in the unique surf scene of this location, Dr. Dao knew the demand was growing, and so on September 1st, 2013, Contemporary Sports Therapy opened up adjacent to Kaena Kai Clinic in Haleiwa town.
Along with integrating surf medicine into the clinic, Lauren also presented a more complete sports medicine team to Dr. Dao for the Triple Crown events. As a kinesiologist and athletic trainer, she’s worked to bring a more comprehensive crew of professionals to the beaches of Haleiwa, Sunset and Pipeline during the prestigious events. The professional surfing scene is now outfitted better than ever with a variety of experts to keep surfers safe in the water. But Lauren and the team don’t only work on the surfers. “We take care of the videographers, we take care of the people that are putting the scaffolding together, we see the judges, we’ve even helped spectators, we see everybody,” the kinesiologist describes. “The Triple Crown is such an event, and the people behind the scenes that are part of it all become this whole family of staff. By the end you at least recognize all the faces.” The team at Contemporary Sports Therapy and Kaena Kai Clinic are all passionate about surfing and aim to provide awesome service to the community. “We want everyone to be well and feel good and perform higher than expected,” Lauren says with a smile. “At the end of the day, it feels good knowing I improved somebody else’s life.”
Fit for Surf /
The fitness zone.
Surf Medicine Advice for Surfers: 1. The Form Roller is your FRIEND. Quads, IT Band, Glutes, Erector Spinae and QL (low back muscles next to spine), Lats, Rhomboids. You can look up specific techniques on YouTube or contact a professional for help.
2. Keep the trunk and the core strong by utilizing the abdominal muscles in the correct fashion.
3. Maintain good range of motion in your spine in all directions, flexion/ extension, side bending and rotation.
4. Keep your hips strong and mobile. Look for exercises that focus on gluteus medius stability with trunk rotation.
5. Keep the shoulder joint healthy through scapular stabilization exercises, capsular flexibility stretches and rotator cuff strengthening.
6. Keep the mid back muscles strong. The position of the shoulder blade on the rib cage is much more important than whatâ€™s actually happening at the shoulder. The shoulder is a very small insignificant joint and the real muscles are on the back. You want to make sure you have that integration of the shoulder blade with the rib cage and the whole trunk in order to be able to drive power in your surfing from your arms.
7. Include exercises that demand joint proprioception. Google it. 8.
Be specific with your exercises: What does surfing require? What does your body need to meet that requirement?
9. Keep your legs STRONG. Include different variables with your lower body training. Example: higher weight & lower rep (muscle strength/ power): lighter weight & higher rep with a slow motion pace (tendon strength and joint integrity).
GoPro launches Hero 4! The highest performance line of capture devices the company has ever made, HERO4 is available in two editions, HERO4 Black at MSRP $499 and HERO4 Silver at MSRP $399. “For the past twelve years, our passion has been to make it easy for people to self-capture jaw dropping, professional quality footage of themselves engaged in their favorite activities,” said GoPro Founder and CEO, Nicholas Woodman. “That passion led us to embark on our most ambitious design and engineering effort ever, and the result is nothing short of the ultimate GoPro— the HERO4 Black. We can’t wait to see what the world captures with it.”
Close call for Sandy’s. Earlier in the season, there was some interesting talk about changing the name from “Sandy Beach Park” to “President Barack Obama Sandy Beach Park.” When beachgoers were asked their opinions, many responded negatively, saying the change wouldn’t benefit the area. The name change was officially knocked down on October 9th, so Sandy’s will stay the same. Dot Com Now Dot Surf. You can now register for a .surf web address, since they went on General Availability to the public on October 1st. The launch of the world’s first .surf top level domain by registry operator Minds + Machines is part of a major overhaul of the Internet’s top level domain system by ICANN, the Internet’s governing body. “For anyone associated to the surfing industry a .surf identity makes total sense,” says David McIntosh, Founder and CEO of SurferLiving. Kelly Slater recently released a new single called “Feelin’ The Feelings”, which is a bilingual duet with Karina Zeviani of Nouvelle Vague (who you might’ve heard vocalising for Thievery Corporation and other such Café del Mar-esque vibes). Download it on iTunes or watch the video on freesurfmagazine.com. We all know Slater jams with the likes of Jack Johnson and Eddie Vedder, so maybe the 11-time ASP world champion is working on a new career angle for a full-length solo album…
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“The judges used an all-new formula for scoring the rides. They would determine a level of difficulty for the ride, then multiply it by the wave’s height to give them the score,” said show co-producer Sam George. “The top three rides from all three episodes were tallied up and that’s how we arrived on the final scores. You couldn’t ask for a better finish than for it to come down to Puerto Escondido the way it did, and with Twiggy’s injury, it was very dramatic.”
Twiggy was named winner of the inaugural “Big Wave Hellmen” Challenge during the finale of the three-part ESPN series. The fivesurfer “Hellmen” crew consisted of Shane Dorian, Grant “Twiggy” Baker, Greg Long, Mark Healey and Ryan Hipwood, and saw them travel from the unforgiving waters of Maverick’s and Cortes Bank in California to the formidable Jaws in Hawai’i, ultimately setting the stage for a dramatic finale finish.
Ever wish you could get away from the crowded line ups and surf your very own private surf break? Well now you can! That is if you have between $100,000 and $100 million in liquid assets to spend! PrivateIslandsOnline.com lets you search for private islands for sale all over the world, so you can find remote reefs with beautiful waves. Once you buy the island, all you have to do is figure out how you’ll get there. Hopefully you have a private plane too.
Albee Layer’s newest shred flick, “Attractive Distractions” is now available on iTunes. Catch Albee, John John Florence, Clay Marzo, Chippa Wilson, Hank Gaskell, Kai Barger, Dege O’Connell and more as they travel the world to surf the waves of Maui, Australia, New Zealand, Mentawais, Portugal and the West Coast.
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“McNamara Surf Trip” is a brand new web documentary that was premiered by Turismo de Portugal on October 10th, at Carcavelos beach. Hawai’i surfer, Garrett McNamara, takes a one-of-a-kind surf adventure that spans 21 days, 7 regions, 2 archipelagos, 4 flights, 2,441 miles, 14 hotels and 11 surf spots in search of unique experiences and amazing waves. Watch Garrett’s incredible surf trip online at portuguesewaves.com/mcnamara/#/.
Surfing Magazine’s first ever full-length film recently hit the web, spotlighting the world’s best surfers under the age of 20. “Teen Age” features a plethora of talent, including Hawai’i’s own Kalani David, the Monizes, Eli Hanneman, Finn McGill and many more! Julia Mancuso, American World Cup alpine ski racer, showed mettle on mountains, but this time it wasn’t in the snow. The Olympic gold medalist recently charged the heavy waters of Fiji in huge Cloudbreak, and photographer Ian Bird was there to capture the proof.
“Death 2 Hipsters”, an absurdist comedy that features a particularly harsh take on the apparent influx of hipsters in the lineup, is now available on iTunes. The surf film features Andrew Gesler, Flynn Novak, Rich McMullin, Sam Hammer, Rob Kelly, Mike Gleason, and more — so rest assured that it has its fill of hard-charging sections.
Vissla is proud to collaborate with premium Japanese wetsuit maker BeWET. Lighter, warmer and stretchier, the wetsuits are available now in a 3/2 or 4/3 at vissla.com. All of the wetsuits are hand made in Japan using polychloroprene made of limestone. The limestone is sourced in the Kurochime Mountains area in Niigata, Japan and the factory uses only hydroelectric power. This makes it self-sustainable and eco friendly, plus corn oil is used as softener instead of petroleum additives. Electric presents the latest release in the ‘Be Cool Man’ capsule by Capt. Fin. Known for style on land and in water, Captain Fin has created a movement bigger than himself. The iconic Captain Fin style comes from his love for colorful vans from the 70’s, cult classic movies from the 80’s and all the ‘radness’ of the 90’s. These new shades are available now online and at select retailers. Catch the Wyland Show in Haleiwa at Wyland Galleries in the North Shore Marketplace, happening December 6th from 4pm-9pm. And don’t forget about the annual Surf Art Show, which is taking place on December 13th from 5pm-9pm at the same place. Special guests include local Hawai’i celebrity artist Heather Brown, 2014 Reef Hawaiian Pro poster artist Eric Able, and Eduardo Bolioli, prominent surf artist of the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. Meet and mingle with other artists including Colleen Wilcox, Christie Shinn, Steven Power, Welzie, Troy Carney, Walfrido and many more! Hawai’i artist Jan Tetsutani will be debuting new artwork, Christmas cards and trucker hats at the 28th Annual Island-wide Christmas Crafts & Food Expo at the Neal Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall on November 28th through the 30th, 2014. Go to www.jantetsutaniart. com for more details!
El Niño is forecast to begin in the next 1-2 months and last into the spring of 2015 in the Northern Hemisphere, according to a statement released by NOAA. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center also stated, “this El Niño will likely remain weak ... throughout its duration.”
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LAST LOOK Hold your breath, itâ€™s about to go down. Bruce Irons leaves us with a classic Pipe Masters moment. Photo: Brian Bielmann