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Kelly Slater pulling into the impossible, again. Photo: Tony Heff

COVER STORY By Blake Lefkoe It’s that time again. Powerful ocean swells that have traveled thousands of miles begin to explode on our reefs and shores. Salt spray fills the air, traffic congests the roads and surfers pile into Foodland, tracking sand throughout the store as they load up on beer and groceries. Hoards of watermen and women from all over the world descend on the North Shore lineups, while ocean and beach photographers vie for the best spot to capture the talent and tourists arrive in droves, flocking to the island to watch it all unfold. Winter has arrived. Every November, for the last thirty-three years, the Van’s Triple Crown of Surfing shows up to help kick start the season. The event consists of three contests and between the bleachers, massive tents, scaffolding, throngs of people, jersey-clad, world-class surfers and bumper-to-bumper traffic, it is impossible to miss any one of them. But before a single structure goes up, or the competing surfers even arrive, there is one reliable tradition that confirms, above all else, that the circus is indeed coming to town. Each year a different artist is asked to design the artwork that will be used on the posters, t-shirts, banners, hats and other event paraphernalia. This year’s creation, and Freesurf’s cover, was painted by the infamous surf artist, Rick Rietveld, whose art contains a miasma of waves, old school, nose-riding longboarders, classic cars, Polynesian imagery, guitars and a scattering of famous people with trippy hair. All of the artist’s paintings have a very psychedelic feel to them, and the 2015 Triple Crown poster is no exception. This is Rick’s second time creating the artwork for the Van’s Triple Crown. The first piece was made for the 1998 event and was another masterful blend of surfing and island life. The painter’s talent, creativity and sense of originality are extremely apparent in all of his work. It is no surprise that this California native has not only made a name for himself in the art world, but has also had a successful career in the surfing industry. After graduating from a prestigious art school, Rick co-founded MAUI & SONS, a surfwear company that became famous as a result of the art, designs and logos he created for it. When the entrepreneur eventually left the business, he was bombarded with work offers from clothing companies and contest directors alike. In addition to the massive contribution this designer has made to the clothing and poster world, he has also won numerous awards and his art has been published in a wide variety of magazines and collections. These days, the artist works out of his studio in Long Beach, California and divides his time between the two things he loves most, painting and surfing. Be sure to keep your eyes open for this year’s Vans Triple Crown of Surfing imagery and see Rick’s talent and creativity come to life on the North Shore. pau

TABLE O F C O NT EN T S 18 Free Parking 20 Cover Story 24 Editor’s Note 28 News & Events 45 North Shore’s Top 5 Parties 48 The Evolution of Sunny Garcia 50 Pancho Sullivan Retires 54 PIPE INVITATIONAL 56 HAWAI’I HITMEN 68 WHO’S WHO OF THE VTCS 73 WOMEN’S WSL RACE 74 VTCS EVENTS & LOCATIONS 86 2015 WORLD TOUR RECAP 96 HAWAI’I SCENARIOS: 2016 100 APERTURE 112 PROFILE / FREDDY P 118 Quality Time / The Monizes 122 Environment 126 Fit For Surf 130 Wahine Spotlight 134 Grom Report 138 Community 148 Big Wave Leashes 152 Pau Hana 156 Surf Art 160 GoPro 168 Events Calendar 170 Industry Notes 172 Memorial 174 Last Look

Model: Ka ‘imi Amaral Photo: Heff

Wake up. Check emails. Thumb through social media. Shower. Eat. Out the door. To the office. 8 hours of nonstop work. Home around 6pm. Eat. Shower. Sleep. Do it all over again. I’m sure I speak on behalf of many when I say that the work week can be demanding. I was in the midst of an especially hectic day when it dawned on me I hadn’t been in the water or seen the sunset in weeks. Two things I try to enjoy as often as possible, and they had completely evaded me. After realizing this, I began working on being conscious of the little things. Acknowledging the smell of white ginger. The sound of dove birds or the padding of rain. The view of valleys and open farm fields on a commute. It’s easy to be engulfed in the daily grind, and in my case, necessary at this time of year. However, it’s just as important to appreciate the small, simple things that help bring us back to reality. If we really pay attention to these little things, sometimes it’s all we need to feel refreshed after a long day. This time of year is especially busy for the surf industry. The spotlight has graced the big stage of the North Shore and everyone has spent the past few months preparing for QS events, the culmination of the Championship Tour, winter parties, kickoff

events, and some of the best free surfing on the planet. We’re finally in the midst of everything and it’s all hands on deck. Don’t get me wrong. This season is what we at Freesurf look forward to most - when the pros have all converged in our backyard and the waves are explosive and the energy is at an all time high. It’s the kind of excitement you feel when summer changes to autumn and that internal fall feeling is rousting you awake, reminding you that this season brings storms, big waves, the holidays and the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. This issue is dedicated to the latter, celebrating 33 years of distinction and highlighting the most noteworthy aspects of the prestigious surfing series. The Vans Triple Crown is our favorite time of year and Freesurf has spent many hours putting together a special edition that offers insider knowledge into the industry’s most anticipated time. Combine that with epic images from years past and you’ve got 180 pages of rich content – our biggest issue of the year! – to flip through. We tip our hat to three of surfing’s most memorable athletes, Sunny Garcia, Pancho Sullivan and Fred Patacchia, in this issue as they hang up the jersey this year to pursue other endeavors. Find out what Freddy P.’s

plan was all along for his grand retirement announcement in our exclusive interview on page 114 and learn what he’s looking forward to most this winter… In stark contrast, the up and coming Moniz boys tell all about their fresh experience competing in the Triple Crown on page 120, as dad Tony relives his days as a pro surfer as well. We also have the Who’s Who (page 82) of the VTCS so you can ID the kingpins of the industry, and the Hawai‘i Hitmen of Vans Triple Crown competition, (page 58) who are known to cause a fair share of upsets to lively up the events. From North Shore’s best parties to the pillars of Vans’ sustainability program and all the fun stuff in between, this Vans Triple Crown issue of Freesurf will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the events, and why we work as hard as we do to deliver the goods. We’re skipping out on wave time and sunsets for this! But only because we love what we do, and find fulfillment in long working days… especially when they’re spent at the beach. Welcome to the North Shore’s most exciting time of year. Lauren Rolland Associate Publisher // Editor

Surfer: John John Florence | Photo: Ryan Chachi Craig



Publisher Mike Latronic Associate Publisher Lauren Rolland Photo Editor Tony Heff Art Director John Weaver Multimedia Director Tyler Rock Ambassador-at-Large Chris Latronic Social Media Manager Keoki Saguibo Editorial Assistants Dan House, Cash Lambert Staff Photographers Brent Bielmann, Tony Heff, Chris Latronic, Mike Latronic, Tyler Rock, Keoki Saguibo Free Thinker Blake Lefkoe

Senior Contributing Photographers

Erik Aeder, Eric Baeseman (outbluffum.com), Brian Bielmann, Ryan Craig, Jeff Divine, Pete Frieden, Gonzo, Dane Grady, Taylor Ivison, Bryce Johnson, Ha’a Keaulana, Ehitu Keeling, Bruno Lemos, Mana, Zak Noyle, Shawn Pila, Jim Russi, Jason Shibata, Spencer Suitt, Tai Vandyke

Contributing Photographers

John Bilderback, Marc Chambers, Brooke Dombroski, DoomaPhoto, Rick Doyle, Isaac Frazer, Pete Hodgson, Kin Kimoto, Laserwolf, Tim McKenna, Dave “Nelly” Nelson, Nick Ricca, Heath Thompson, Bill Taylor, Wyatt Tillotson, Corey Wilson, Jimmy Wilson, Peter “Joli” Wilson, Cole Yamane Senior Account Executive Brian Lewis Business Coordinator Cora Sanchez Office Manager Nate Leclair FREESURF MAGAZINE is distributed at all Jamba Juice locations, most fine surf shops and select specialty stores throughout Hawai‘i. You can also pick up FREESURF on the mainland at Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores and select newsstands. Ask for it by name at your local surf shop! Subscribe at freesurfmagazine.com Other than “Free Postage” letters, we do not accept unsolicited editorial submissions without first establishing contact with the editor. FreeSurf, Manulele Inc. and its associates is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged submissions or their return.

Watch Board Stories on Channel 12, or 112 digital in Hawai`i or at OC16.tv

One-way correspondence can be sent to P.O. Box 1161, Hale‘iwa, HI 96712 E-mail editorial inquiries to

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VI S S L A IS A WORL D JUNI OR SU RFIN G CHAM PIO NS HIPS AT O C EAN S ID E , CA By Chris Latronic Photos: Chris Grant, Sean Evans / ISA Notoriously known as the Junior Olympics of Surfing Competition, The International Surfing Association's World Junior Championships has been the greatest stepping stone for junior surfers looking to become the sport’s future professionals. From Keanu Asing to Freddy Patacchia; Filipe Toledo to Gabriel Medina; Tatiana Weston-Webb and Coco Ho to Carissa Moore, this is the event that boosted them into the world lime light of surfing stardom.

contestants endured a long road of heats to survive into the coveted final day where gold medals and glory were rewarded. Fortunately, with the help of El Niño, Oceanside (and California in general) received a solid swell throughout the opening days of the event. Locals and visitors alike were quite baffled at the presence of such trunk-able warm water conditions and off shore, perfectly barreling waves.  

This year the prestigious ISA event returned to sunny California where Oceanside was its arena for battle… and oh what a battle it was! With the biggest participant field in its history, 37 nations from across the globe brought a maximum of 12 of their best surfers in hopes of gaining Olympic style surfing recognition on an international stage.  

In the early days of the competition, defending gold medalists Team Hawai‘i were thriving in the bigger than normal surf with most of all their contestants making several of their main round heats. But as the days went on, the surf changed by the hour, switching back to California’s grayer coastline characteristics with smaller waves. Conditions pressured a majority of Hawai‘i’s most talented surfers to an early trip to the Reperchage (2nd chance) round, where one more lost heat would lead to certain elimination.  

With a 4-man, no priority system and double-elimination format,


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.

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AMPLIFIRE The Amplifire Model evolved from Eric Arakawa’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. The Amplifire is a great high-performance shortboard for intermediate to advanced skilled surfers. Available Tail shapes: Squash, Thumb, Round Pin and Swallow.

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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 reef, beach and point breaks.

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Comfortable with home field advantage, Team USA was on a roll from the very start of the event, with almost all of their surfers dominating their early round heats until the last two days. Under 16 Boys contestant, Stevie Pittman (USA), made the most of every heat, displaying keen local knowledge of the Oceanside surf spot. Pittman rode majority of his waves all the way to shore, garnering huge scores straight to the top of the podium and earning the coveted Gold medal. The Under 16 Girls division grand final was 50 percent Hawai‘i occupied by the dynamic duo, a.k.a SUMMER-BREEZE (Summer Macedo / Brisa Hennessey) who shared advancing positions throughout the event. But the final showdown was all about Maui’s Summer Macedo, who saved her best performance for last. Comboing the field in the first half of the heat, Summer proved that she is the best Under 16 Girl in the world. Hawai’i’s 2-time Under 16 Girls champion, Mahina Maeda (HAW), returned this year moving up to the stacked Under 18 division in hopes of continuing her consecutive streak of world championships. But this year proved to be riddled with obstacles. Enter returning ISA women’s world champion Tia Blanco (USA) and French powerhouse Tessa Thyssen (FRA), add local Billabong girl standout Frankie Harrer and you got yourself femme fatale of epic proportions. Using powerful rail turns and a patented backside hack, Tessa Thyssen (FRA) was too much to handle for the Americans and lone Hawaiian to take down, becoming the first French Under 18 Girls champion in the last 5 years. The true climax came in the Under 18 Boys division, which looked on paper like a future WSL event final. And with a new swell

Summer Macedo


reinforcement showing up just in time, it was a fireworks show to say the least. Top Japanese ripper Shun Murakam looked solid throughout the event but was unable to emerge past the behemoths that be, settling for Copper. USA’s Jake Marshall was in fine form as usual, but his effectively invasive tactics proved not enough to break the top 2 spots. France’s Nomme Mignot had an air reverse landing ratio at almost 80 percent every time he surfed, but even with a combined heat total of 17.43, it was still a far cry from the Golden pedestal.   Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) has been the lone representation of his nation for practically his entire career and with this being his last year of eligibility in the ISA events, he was all in. In final, Fioravanti went berserk, throwing down a 10-point ride and a 9.23 in the first 10 minutes. Remember, this is the same Italian junior who broke his back at Pipeline, Oahu just about a year ago on a horrific wipeout. Leo’s performance was something beyond inspiring, look forward to a bright future for this 17-year-old athlete. Italy must be truly proud.

OVERALL TEAM STANDINGS: USA - Gold France - Silver Hawai‘i - Bronze Australia - Copper


Team Hawai‘i

Girls under 16 finalists

Jamie O’brien wears the Body Glove

Spring Suit • photo: Brent Bielman






39T H AN N UAL NO RT H S HO RE M EN EHUN E S URF CO N T ES T 2015 By Cash Lambert Water balloon fights, giveaways, an empty Haleiwa lineup with 3-4 foot clean conditions and an entire beach teeming with the feeling of youth! Yes, a surf event exists where all of these occur and yes, the competition ran on hallowed North Shore grounds: the 39th Annual North Shore Menehune Surf Contest at Haleiwa’s Ali’i Beach Park, which saw action on October 17th, 18th, 24th and 25th. “It was really fun and glassy but I kinda brought too big of a board today… I’m riding a 5’ 0”, says 10 year old Dakota Briley at the event, with brothers Isaiah, Ryder and dad, Shawn Briley. “This contests brings out some of the best kids in Hawa’i,” continued Isaiah, 12 years old and squinting in the afternoon sun. Standing on the warm sand and flanked by an alleyway of sponsor tents like Sun Bum, Surf N Sea, North Shore Surf Shop and many others, you’d never guess that those showcasing whipping bottom turns, cranking hacks and deep drops into well overhead waves consisted of keiki ages 3 to 12 years young. “Watching my son and my daughters compete is pretty special,” says renowned power surfer Pancho Sullivan, while watching the action with his 8-year-old son, Kanekoa. “I feel like at this event, they’re surfing with their friends and it inspires them and makes them realize they can push themselves a little bit on their own... and ride bigger waves than they’re normally on.” Which is part of the right of passage, it seems. Heaps of pros, such as the Moniz family, John John Florence, Tatiana Weston-Webb, Alessa Quizon, Freddy Patacchia and Pancho himself competed in their first heats at past Menehune Surf Comtests. “Growing up out here on the North Shore, this was one of the only events we had,” Pancho continues. “I competed 3 years in a row when I was 12 and under and it’s pretty amazing to see the generations come through this event.” What did quiet Kanekoa think of the competition? “My heat, it was good,” he said softly. “I liked the set I caught cause I like to go down the line. My favorite thing about {the Menehune Surf Contest } is





Luana Coelho

surfing and boogie boarding in the shore break and seeing all my friends.” The shore break, perhaps more treacherous than the bombing swell itself, looked like a mixture of fun and frenzy and foam! All day, packs of menehune scratched for fast breaking waves and somehow avoided collision after collision while telling their parents it was a “warm up” for their upcoming heat. “It’s our duty to pass on the torch to the next generation,” said Bradley Wicklund, whose two boys were frequents in the shore break and contest waves. “This is one of the few beaches where it’s family-oriented ... I remember having uncles and aunties pot lucking, everyone helping each other out. It wasn’t an ‘I’ thing, it was a ‘team’ thing and it didn’t matter if you were a bodyboarder, longboarder ... We were all enjoying the ocean.”


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Congratulations to all of the competitors and participants of the 39th North Shore Menehune Surf Contest!




Greay / ISA




Mike Coots

IS A WO RLD ADAPT IV E S URFIN G CHAM PIO NS HIP By Dan House The first ever ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship took place September 24-27 at La Jolla Shores, San Diego with sixty-nine competitors from eighteen different countries participating in the event. ISA president, Fernando Aguerre, said, “This is history in the making . . . I know many of [the athletes] and I've surfed with some of them . . . For them, this is the best thing that's ever happened because they have overcome a lot of challenges and, on top of that, surfing's a very challenging sport." Many surfers had to raise their own money to participate in the event with some even selling their own cars to be able to afford the travel expenses.

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Surfers of varying abilities were broken into four different divisions: Stand, surfers that can ride standing; Upright, surfers that ride sitting or kneeling; Prone, surfers who ride in a laying position; and Assist, surfers that require help catching waves. Gold medalists from the event were Mark “Mono” Stewart (AUS) in Stand, Fellipe Lima (BRA) in Upright, Bruno Hansen (DEN) in Prone, and Jesse Billauer (USA) in Assist. Team Hawai‘i, coached by Rainos Hayes, had success at the event with Darian Haynes placing fourth in the Assist division and Mike Coots placing fourth in the Stand division. Excitement and stoke at the event was palpable for both competitors and the thousands of spectators on hand. Jess Billauer commented after his win, “After I got injured, competition was not something that I thought about, and now I am the ISA World Champion. It’s amazing to be a part of this and have all of the countries involved.” Mark Stewart, the Stand division winner, was equally as excited as

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Jesse saying, “It’s a dream come true. I think every day I’ve had a tear in my eye seeing people who are so dedicated and love the ocean as much as I do. I’ve been waiting 35 years for this event, but I now know that the sky is the limit with Adaptive Surfing. The future is in the hands of all the young people you’ve seen here this week. I can’t wait to see what happens next.” Surfing is such an uplifting and grounding activity in many people’s lives and seeing the adaptive athletes overcome such challenges was heartwarming and inspiring to say the least. Bruno Hansen from Denmark, who won the Prone division, echoed this sentiment after winning. “I’ve been training hard for ten years, trying to get my mind in the right place. I lost my way completely and surfing brought me back to where I am.” Kauai’s Mike Coots, who lost part of his right leg from a shark attack, had an interesting perspective at the competition, using the event as an opportunity to study other competitors surfing technique. Coots told the Huffington Post, "In Hawai‘i, we don't see many people walking around with a prosthetic, let alone surfing with one. You can try to look on the Internet to see other people, but to actually see things up close and ask questions . . . it's really neat. Everybody here has their own way of doing things." In summation the event was a great success that will certainly grow and inspire people the world over. ISA president, Fernando Aguerre reiterated this notion after the event. “This is an ISA World Championship that will be talked about for years to come. Adaptive Surfing history has been made in La Jolla. I would like to congratulate the four athletes that received Gold Medals, but also at all 69 competitors who took part in this historic competition. All of the athletes will return home as ambassadors of Adaptive Surfing. This is only the start of something much bigger and wider reaching that we will see grow and develop in the years to come.”


VOLCOM HOUSE PARTY People spilling into the streets and the beach, music loud enough to hear from blocks away, and legendary surfers mingling with the standing room only crowd at the Volcom house... and that’s not including the prestigious history behind the post-Billabong Pipe Masters Volcom Party. Think Andy and Bruce Irons, Kaiborg, and Dave Riddle celebrating a family lit dynasty in the early 2000’s. Now, expect sights, sounds and serenades from team riders like Dusty Payne, Alex Gray and Gavin Beschen and a monster crowd. It all begins once the final horn blows.

THE LIFEGUARD PARTY While most stand on Waimea’s sands and watch 5-10 story whitewash detonate into consistent explosions, it’s the North Shore lifeguards who keep a watchful eye and act as the last line of defense between surfers and the ultimate price. So it’s only fitting that the community raise its glass in their honor at the annual Lifeguard Association benefit. Food, drinks, live music and an opportunity to hear stories of Hawai‘i’s finest watermen battling the harshest elements make for one memorable night during the winter season.

Kahala Sportswear and Outrigger Resorts are proud to present “World Voyage.” Proceeds from this collaborativeprint support the Polynesian Voyaging Society and their worldwide journey for a sustainable future. ALA MOANA CENTER HALEIWA STORE LOTS WHALERS VILLAGE KAHALA.COM


SURFER POLL John John in a tux! Kelly Slater in khakis! The WSL gals looking beautiful! Notably one of the biggest nights in surfing, the Surfer Poll at Turtle Bay provides a definitive reader-based ranking and awards ceremony on the popularity of pro surfers, waves, aerials and more. Besides looking back on all things competitive surfing in 2015, the event also gives the surf community the opportunity to see how each competitor cleans up. 

NSCLT BENEFIT FOR THE COUNTRY The North Shore Community Land Trust Benefit for the Country is a party with a purpose; to give to the hallowed North Shore lands. Every dollar raised during the benefit and at the silent auction will be funneled back into the nonprofit organization, and here you can meet industry bigwigs, talk to the future of the community and give back while doing so.

VANS BBQ (SORRY, INVITE ONLY) Not only is Steve Van Doren an icon and a visionary; Mr. Vans himself can work the grill quite well. Vans team riders like Leila Hurst, Dylan Graves and Pat and Tanner Gudauskas discovered this at the annual Vans cookout party last year that emitted the values that Vans holds dear: creativity, authenticity and originality. Though this year’s event is an invite only party, hook your arm around anyone with a plusone invite. ALA MOANA CENTER • HALEIWA STORE LOTS WHALERS VILLAGE • KAHALA.COM

TH E E V O L U T I O N OF S U N N Y G A R CI A By Mike Latronic Photos: Joli

Most sports enthusiasts have little concept of the dedication, work, preparation and determination required to be a winner -­much less a world champion. Former World Champion surfer Sunny Garcia has spent more than two thirds of his 45 years of life putting on jerseys, and battling the time clock in all kinds of ocean and weather conditions. For literal decades he has employed everything in his arsenal to overcome any competitor who might get in the way of his ultimate mission: winning.

“I think I won my first event at ten years old. And I was hooked,” says Sunny.And why? “I hate losing. Card games, driving somewhere with someone in a different car, just wanting to get there first, I don’t know. It’s one of those things. Wanting to surf better than the next guy, wanting to do better off the lip, wanting to get a better barrel. I think that keeps us young. It really does.”

But you know he wants to. The man is admittedly in the best shape of his life (via a rigorous new training campaign for doing marathons, yes marathons, and more recently the Ironman.) So let's just call it an evolution, as we all must evolve. “For me, the last couple years have been all about giving it back to the kids, also helping out Mauli Ola. Every year, give back a little more, a little more. I’m not sure at this point how much I have to offer to the surf world in terms of competing myself. The next step would be give my full time and attention to the kids and give back that way. But that¹s not coming without some reservation... “It’s always a hard decision, because the competitor in me still has that ‘never say die’ attitude and I still feel like I have that competitive fire. It is a tough pill for me swallow.” Sunny Vincent Garcia is the winningest surfer Hawai‘i has ever known. His accolades began at age 10 and went on to add to a record 6 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing titles, an ASP World Title in 2000, and most recently the HIC Pro at Sunset Beach in 2012. He is also the current Grand Masters World Champion in the International Surfing Association. Successes like these fuel a certain level of adrenaline rush and burning desire that few on this planet will ever experience.

The use of the word "retirement" for any high-level competitor carries deeper implications for individuals who devote their lives to performing and winning. In the case of Sunny Garcia, the word makes little or absolutely no sense. Lets get real. Sunny Garcia has indeed accepted a mentoring position with WSL to help guide the youth coming out of the Hawai‘i region. It would indeed be a conflict of interest of sorts for Garcia to paddle out and spank those up and comers he coaches.

Ultimately, Sunny has evolved and realized that giving back to the next generation in his territory is the best menu item. Does that mean he will NEVER put on a jersey again? We all doubt it. “It would be a retirement from the WSL and retirement from serious competitive surfing ... but really can there ever be retirement for a competitive surfer? There really never is, right?” (Laughs). pau

Cestari ./ WSL

PANCH O S UL L I VAN RE T I R E S One of Hawai‘i’s greatest power surfers and top form competitors is hanging up the jersey, looking to focus on other areas in his life. Still one of the stand out performers at any line up on the planet – and particularly in ‘waves of consequence’ – 42-year old Pancho Sullivan enters this year’s HIC Pro looking to qualify for his final Vans Triple Crown Series, and then retire from competitive surfing. “I’ve come to a place in my life where work and family commitments have become my priority,” says Sullivan. “And I feel like it’s time to pass the torch to the next generation. I get to officially paddle out in the HIC Pro and leave it out in the water and know that this is the last time I surf in this event.” Sullivan realizes the focus and commitment required to perform at that high level, and talks about the pressure that’s put on professional surfers. “Being a professional surfer takes a lot of dedication and a lot of planning. It’s an emotional rollercoaster ride. You train for these events to get your equipment in order, you eat the right food, there is so much that you put into it and if you’re not focused 100% you’re going to not have the confidence or be second guessing yourself during heats. Having a full time job and a family, it is hard to commit to that level of training and sort of be on call all the time. The events are based around Mother Nature and the surf that’s on offer. I have work I need to get to, and kids to pick up, and there is another generation of guys completely dedicated and focused on just the event and competition. There are so many layers to it and it just takes a lot of commitment and dedication to be successful at it.”


By Mike Latronic






Mike Latronic

Freesurf sat down for an interview with Pancho to talk about his past, future and what this current winter season is looking like. What are some of your top highlights competing or free surfing? You know, thinking over the course of my career some of my most memorable experiences were on surf trips with just a handful of people. Those experiences allowed me to really absorb the cultures and languages and friendships I made over the years. Competitively I always aspired to win a Triple Crown. Unfortunately that never came to fruition for me, but I was fortunate to have success on the North Shore and I won at Sunset, Pipe and Haleiwa. Winning multiple times out at Sunset is something I am really proud of because that is my home break. And getting a chance to compete against Kelly Slater in the Faith Riding Pro and surf against obviously the best surfer of all time in really good waves, and win over Kelly was a highlight. Just being in the event is such an honor. On any given day there are 50 other people in the water and to be out there with just three other guys, it’s like pinch me. So professional surfing is in fact a dream job? I think that being a professional surfer people have the perception that there is not much work involved and it’s really easy. But just the cost factor of getting to these events, you prepare for them, you fly halfway across the world, you might have a low tide heat and it’s a high tide spot and you just didn’t get any waves and there goes five thousand dollars down the drain and then you fly off to the next venue. You basically have to be diligent about your body and equipment, and basically become a travel agent. There are so many layers to it, it’s not like you just you go surfing every day. There are so many things you have to put into it to be successful. There are just a lot of different layers … but it has been a huge blessing in my life. It’s 52

been so educational being so young and leaving the North Shore, which has a really small tight knit community. Really being exposed to so many cultures and meeting people all over the world has enriched my life beyond anything I could have imagined. What are you expecting for this winter season? I am really excited. I know at this point there will be some emotions. I’ve spent the better part of my life competing in the Triple Crown and it was something I was so focused on growing up. And being able to touch and feel the event as a kid and pick up trash for Randy Rarick and watching all my idols compete and then competing myself, I think that there will be… maybe, just a bit of relief, a bit of sadness, definitely. It will take a little bit to process all of the emotions. There comes a time when you have to evaluate where you are at and there comes a time to just move on. Coming to that realization was a step to truly move into the next chapter of my life. Any advice for the next generation of competitive surfers? I would say to the next generation of competitive surfers just to have fun with it. In surfing you lose a lot more than you win, but it’s a blessing to have found something that you are so passionate about and that you enjoy so much. If you can keep that as the reason why you do it, and don’t let the results dictate how much fun you have, then I think you will be a success no matter what. pau











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PI PE I N V ITATIO N A L By Tyler Rock Photos Brent Bielmann

PRIZE MONEY BREAKDOWN ($100,000 total purse): 1st - $10,000 2nd - $8,000 3rd - $6,000 4th - $5,000 5th - $4,000 7th - $3,500 9th - $3,000 13th - $2,500 17th - $2,250 25th - $2,000


With Pipe as center stage for not only the Vans Triple Crown, but also all Hawai‘i surfers on the North Shore, the Billabong Pipe Masters Invitational is a trials event giving 32 Hawai‘i surfers a shot to get into the main event. As a specialist barrel riding contest, these trials serve as a proving ground for the state’s best, giving bragging rights to the two individuals who can battle through the field finishing first and second in the final. And a cash prize purse going out to all involved gives extra incentive to show up and blow up. Along with the trials will also be a one heat Women’s Pipe Masters Specialty event, comprised of the top women surfers in a go for broke duel in surfing’s greatest arena.   Format Breakdown: • 32 Man format • 4 Man Heats with 4 Man Priority (Top 2 Advance) • Top 2 Finishers Advance to Main Event   Field Breakdown: • 16 seeds from 2015 Volcom Pipe Pro 1. Mason Ho 2. Ezekiel Lau 3. Ian Walsh 4. Hank Gaskell • 5 top ranked Hawai’i QS Seeds (after 5. Kalani David Vans World Cup event) 6. Kaimana Jaquias 7. Mikey Bruneau • 5 top ranked Hawai’i Regional seeds 8. Jamie O’Brien (after Vans World Cup event) 9. Myles Padaca 10. Billy Kemper • 4 Billabong Sponsor Seeds 11. Seth Moniz 12. Gavin Gillette. • 2 Vans Sponsor Seeds 13. Nathan Florence   14. Ola Eloegram 15. Bruce Irons 16. Evan Valiere

Danny Fuller, Jamie O’Brien

2014 EVENT QUALIFIERS: 1st – Reef McIntosh 2nd – Makai McNamara

Olamana Eleogram

Makai McNamara

Alex Smith



Makai McNamara

North Shore grom turned underground slayer, Makai McNamara turned more than a few heads last year when he advanced through the Pipe Masters Invitational into the main event. A battler in any of the Triple Crown lineups, Makai has been honing his skills while quietly staying under the radar. While the tour pros may glaze over his name in the heat draw, watch out, Makai is ready to pounce.

Masurel / WSL

By Tyler Rock

P rofil ing twe lve top c o n tend ers gu nn ing f or t h e Trip le Crown .

Everyone has their favorites when it comes to competition the ‘on paper’ picks, top seeds, underdogs, spoilers and local heroes. But the one determining factor that no one can predict is the actual surf, as the competition always comes down to who gets the best waves and performs. With any stroke of luck, this El Nino season will produce swells that will come to play in our favorite arenas on the North Shore, and here at Freesurf, we’ve compiled our top picks of Hawaii Hitmen, the warriors who are ready to do battle and take some names.

Billy Kemper

Maui’s Billy Kemper has been playing the game for a number of years and while he often chooses to chase big swells instead of events, his competition blade is still sharp. While Billy can do it all in both big or small waves, a bigger bump in the forecast will suit him well with his fearless approach and go for broke style.

Cestari / WSL

Jamie O’Brien

Sloan / WSL

While Jamie is best known for his impressive Pipe antics, he is no slouch in high performance waves like Haleiwa and Sunset. JOB is likely to focus his efforts at Pipeline, battling it out in the Pipe Masters Invitational to get a shot in the main event where he could easily do some damage and play spoiler to a number of World Tour campaigners.

Keanu Asing

While Keanu had a strong showing in last year’s Triple Crown to push himself onto the Championship Tour, he has unfortunately found himself in the position of needing results once again in the finishing leg of this year to re-qualify. But that seems to be where Keanu operates best. When his back is against the wall, Keanu’s determination switches to autopilot and much needed results can be pulled out of the bag at the dismay of his competitors.


(808) 979-SURF (7873)

(808) 923-0442

(808) 887-1091

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Ezekiel Lau

Laurent / WSL

Waiting for his chance to crack into the big leagues, Zeke is within striking distance of climbing the ladder to the WCT. He will be happy finishing the tour in his home waters and, like his sparring partner Keanu, will be feeding off of determination and will power to win no matter what competitor might be in his way. He has done it before taking out the World Cup at Sunset Beach, look for Zeke to capture some big results this season.

Reef McIntosh

As a Pipe specialist, Reef was able to win the Pipe Masters Invitational last year claiming a wildcard into the coveted Pipe Masters. While he fell to a freakish Kelly Slater in rugged conditions during the main event, Reef’s prowess along the Pipe reef is up among the best. Given prime conditions, the bigger the better, Reef can easily takeover a heat and take out some World Title hopefuls along the way.


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Cestari / WSL

Mason Ho

Dusty Payne

Last year’s Reef Hawaiian Pro winner, taking it in epic comeback fashion, Dusty Payne has proved he has the raw talent to take out events. But unfortunate luck has seemed on his side much of the time with injuries and tough breaks. Dusty is currently surfing stronger than ever and if he can tap into the mojo of last year, watch out!


Watch out for Mason Ho, born and bred on the North Shore, surfing DNA flows through his body and the last few seasons have seen Mason reach levels of success in event wins at both Sunset Beach and Pipeline. A master of both big barrels and small wave antics, Mason poses a major threat at any Triple Crown venue, just give him the waves.

Kirstin / WSL

Evan Valiere

Kirstin / WSL

As a Kauai native, Evan is content surfing the great waves of his home waters and nurturing his new family, all with a smile on his face. But once he puts the competition jersey on, Evan means business. Tackling Pipeline has become a favorite activity for the goofy foot, and multiple finals appearances including a win at Sunset Beach, show Evan is capable of taking down heats on his way to a good result.

Sunny Garcia

On the verge of retiring from competitive professional surfing, Hawaiian surfing vet Sunny Garcia has been through it all. Still one of the most powerful surfers anytime he enters a lineup, Sunny demands attention and respect and will no doubt battle it out in any conditions thrown his way. The six-time Vans Triple Crown winner will be looking to go out with a bang, whether that means claiming victory again or taking out tour surfers anywhere along the way.


Masurel / WSL

Joel Centeio

Latronic / WSL

Joel’s got a lot of heat experience. As a long time tour chaser he has managed a victory at his home spot in the 2009 Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa as well as victory at Sunset Beach, and even a perfect 10 point ride in last year’s Pipe Trials. While no longer on the hunt for qualification, Joel’s nothing to lose attitude could take him deep in any of the three events.

Tanner Hedrickson

Tanner is a battler and chomping at the bit to take down some big names. With a final’s berth at this year’s US Open in Huntington Beach, Tanner has shown his small wave game is on point, but his feisty approach also suits him well in the bigger stuff and like many neighbor island pros, Tanner has spent many a winters among the North Shore lineups training for big heat moments to take his shot.

The Original

Wyland Galleries



WHO’s WHO of the Vans Triple Crown By Tony Heff

Jake Laub

Year after year the surf masses descend on the tiny stretch of coast between Haleiwa and Turtle Bay. Heroes are born, champions are crowned, and history is written. But as the sea is made of many drops, those individuals who make up the whole of the Vans Triple Crown are as important to the complex as the hydrogen atom is to two oxygens. Although most on our list of the VTCS “Who’s Who” need no introduction, we at Freesurf are happy to highlight those key players that we are excited to see return for more epic action that we expect from this Seven Mile Miracle.

The Guru: Gerry Lopez Legendary Hawaiian waterman Gerry Lopez just may be the most widely respected surfer of all time. Mr. Aloha himself, this former Pipeline Master, and "Godfather" to the sport / art of surfing has won the hearts of every generation of surfer, from the early pioneer days, to today's littlest grom. The mere mention of his name seems to conjure up a healthy mindset, and somehow makes you a better person. One of the great pioneers of Pipeline, Gerry's fearless and mental approach to life in and out of the water, coupled with his impeccable style, made him a god among men. Success was inevitable for Gerry and the man has just about done it all. From surfer, to entrepreneur, to Hollywood actor, and back, he now spends most of his days in the mountains of Oregon, snowboarding and teaching yoga and meditation. But every year we are graced with his presence as Gerry gives away the trophy for the Billabong Pipe Masters. And you'd be hard pressed to find a single surfer who isn't absolutely stoked to see his contagious smile.


The Ring Leader: Jodi Wilmott If there's one person responsible for the success of this year's Vans Triple Crown, it's Jodi Wilmott. Needless to say there's a mountain of pressure and expectation riding on this paramount event spanning four decades of surfing history, but no one bears the load with as much grace and ease as Jodi. That's probably because this isn't her first rodeo. Jodi has been behind the scenes of the Vans Triple Crown for so long that she knows all the nuts and bolts by name. But this year, Jodi wears the official title of Executive Director of the VTCS, passed down to her by longtime director Randy Rarrick. And who else better to take it on? Jodi has lived and breathed this contest for 25 years and has just about seen it all. If you have a question, Jodi probably has the answer. But be sure to ask nicely. As graceful as she may be, Jodi has been known to stand up to, and straight up call-out the most intimidating of surfers.

Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the last 25 years, Kelly Slater should need no introduction. We'll spare you the whole spiel about how he's 11x world champ, the most winningest surfer ever, and has dominated surfing going on three decades now... and we'll just say that Kelly is king, and his castle is Pipeline. Slater has won the event seven times, and when in the water during a heat at Pipe, the beach is packed. Literally standing room only. Surfers who draw him in a heat know, they better get a perfect 10 in their scoreline if they want to take down the king. They also know, that isn't enough to beat the master and they should probably back up their 10 with another 10. Either way, watching Kelly surf is a spectacle in itself. So pull up a patch of sand at Ehukai Beach Park if you can find one and pay homage to the king. The greatest surfer of all time.


The King: Kelly Slater


The Dominator: Sunny Garcia No other man has dominated Hawaiian waters quite like Sunny Garcia has the past three decades. With six titles already under his belt, this year Sunny’s back for more, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to see him don a jersey again. At 45 years of age, he’s still one of the most feared men to draw in a heat. The very name ‘Sunny Garcia’ is synonymous with power. And it never gets old seeing his signature man-hack, displacing bathtubs of water on waves that quake the knees of most surfers. We’ve heard rumor of this being his last year of competition, but don’t rule out a second wind from this never-say-die Hawaiian gladiator. After all, his new hobby is running marathons and competing in Ironman competitions.




The Godson: Mason Ho Win, lose, or draw, watching Mason Ho in a heat is a treat you won't want to miss this year. Easily one of the most entertaining and unpredictable surfers to ever stand on three fins, Mason's balls out approach to riding waves has even the best surfers checking the heat sheets for a chance to see him perform live. Being the son of 2x Triple Crown winner and Pipe master Michael Ho, as well as nephew to former world champion Derek Ho, you could say Mason has big shoes to fill. But with his playful nature and carefree vibe, you'd never guess. Whether free surfing, in a contest or post heat interview, Mason Ho is one to watch.


Cestari / WSL

The Rookie: Italo Ferreira

The Lifesaver: Terry Ahui The roots of Da Hui, or Hui o He’e Nalu, go deeper than we have time to explain, but let's just say we couldn't have an event without the Hawaiian water patrol. The North Shore of Oahu is an arena of epic proportions and the backbone is, and has always been, these caretakers of the ocean. Year after year the lifeguards of the North Shore are called to action, sometimes showing up before dawn and working beyond dusk. These men know these waters so deeply, it is the stuff of legends. They are the unsung heroes of our heroes. Terry Ahui, one of the godfathers of this hui, continues to carry the torch now for decades, and teaches this ancient wisdom to the next generation such as his son, Kamalani, and others like Ikaika Kalama, Kawika Foster, Kyle Pao, Clifton Botelho, David Stant, and too many others to name.

Masurel / WSL

One surfer that has undoubtedly turned heads on tour this year is Italo Ferreira. The rookie phenom from Brazil shook up the tour and the top ten with clean carves and an aerial game to match his high flying Brazilian counterparts. And on par with his countrymen, Italo seems poised to take the surf world by storm. But Hawai‘i can make or break a successful finish to end the year, and as the tour inevitably concludes at Pipeline, it will be interesting to see if Ferreira can translate his small wave game into the big surf, and match power with power.

Sloan e/ WSL

The Hometown Hero: John John Florence In front of the eyes of the world, the supergrom turned superman grew up with the Vans Triple Crown showdown literally in his backyard. That can play heavy on the mind of a young surf stoked grom who by the way, had his first movie part at the tender age of 5. John John has taken it all in and spit it back out by becoming the world’s most electric and well-known surfer. Although JJF competed in his first Vans Triple Crown contest at just 13, and already holds two VTCS titles, you could argue that John John is just getting started. This CT season JJ slipped from the top ten ranks due to injury, but even with the handicap, we believe that this winter, there’s no better bet for the title than Mr. Florence.


The Voice: Ross Williams


North Shore’s own Ross Williams is the voice of a generation. A generation that said goodbye to the past and blazed a trail into the future. Ross starred in the groundbreaking films by Taylor Steele where he and his peers, including Kelly Slater, wowed and entertained the surf masses, and the aptly named “Momentum Generation” changed the game forever. Fast forward 20 years and Ross has traded contest jerseys and movie parts for a full time gig calling shots on the dream tour that is the WSL CT. Having grown up surfing spots like Haleiwa, Sunset and Pipe, Ross possesses an intimate knowledge of the Seven Mile Miracle and the keen ability to translate that into words. And as the days of the past, Ross and crew seem to have elevated the game once again as the webcast these days is so engaging that even the surfers who are at the actual events are tuning in to hear the live commentary. We know we will this coming Vans Triple Crown Season.

The Freesurfer: Dane Reynolds The surfer's surfer, and the crowd favorite, Dane Reynolds will be quietly making his way around the North Shore this contest season. He'll likely be surfing out of the way spots, staying in a remote location of the North Shore, and probably surfing a few heats, taking a casual approach to a time and place that many competitive surfers think of as ‘do or die.’ But the artist that he is, Dane has admittedly struggled with the concept and mindset of competitive surfing to the point where he left the tour altogether. But one of Dane's main sponsors, Vans, has granted him an invite to the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, and in doing so has allowed him to continue to make his mark on this beautiful canvas of Hawai‘i, like a true artist should. After all, this all started as an art, not a sport.


SUMMER MACEDO TAKES GOLD Congratulations to Summer Macedo on winning Gold Girls U-16 at the ISA World Junior Surfing Championships. Mokulele is proud to be the only Hawai ‘i airline with a surf team so we know what it takes to get you and your board to where the waves are firing. That’s why we provide over 100 daily flights to O ‘ahu, Maui, Moloka ‘i, and the Big Island. Call 808-495-4188 or visit mokulele.com and show this ad to get your board a free ride.


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Competition, action, sheer athleticism – it all culminates on the North Shore of Oahu for the most celebrated surfing series in the world, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. Known as the longest running and most prestigious surf event in history, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is comprised of three gems – the Hawaiian Pro, Vans World Cup of Surfing and Billabong Pipe Masters. This year the series again offers $1,185,000, including the $100,000 Pipe Invitational, and a $50,000 bonus for the Vans Triple Crown Series champion. In 2014, more than 30% of the total prize purse stayed in Hawai‘i with local surfers.

Each location of the Vans Triple Crown is anchored in three distinct waves of varying degrees of intensity. Haleiwa, Sunset and Pipeline represent the diversification of surfing’s ‘playing field’; 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.

With a history like no other, this coveted series is the finale of the World Surf League (WSL) Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour and also the deciding factor of many competitors’ careers. After 33 years of distinction, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing returns this year with even more excitement, as waves and athletes collide for an anticipated season of big surf, thanks to an El Niño strong year. Showcasing the endurance and versatility of approximately 170 surfers, the world’s best flock to the North Shore in a larger-than-life fight for points, money and glory at the world’s most elite waves.

HAWAIIAN PRO ALI‘I BEACH, HALEIWA NOVEMBER 12 - 23 Featuring the top 128 surfers in the world, the Hawaiian Pro takes place at a powerful beach break known as Haleiwa at Ali‘i Beach. Haleiwa town is considered the ‘gateway’ to the 7 Mile Miracle, so it’s only fitting that event No. 1 – the Hawaiian Pro – be the gateway to the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. With a heavyweight QS 10,000 status, the first event of the VTCS is the second to last event of the WSL Championship Tour season and heavily impacts the ratings.


Top: Dusty Payne, Reilly | Bottom: Trophy | Cahill Bell-Warren | Dusty Payne, Sloane / WSL

An easy spectator experience, this event allows for front row seating on the sand as surfers tackle the tricky conditions that make this wave so noteworthy. 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 footers have been event winners – Barton Lynch (1988) and Conan Hayes (1999). Regular footers have dominated Haleiwa, especially Hawaiian powerhouse Sunny Garcia who takes top honors of winning five titles here! Flanked by the Haleiwa Harbor on one side and a grassy field on the other, it’s an amenable venue to kick off the Triple Crown of Surfing.

FEATURES • • • • •

128 surfers $250,000 prize purse Qualifying Series (QS) 10,000 The gateway to the North Shore Defending champion: Dusty Payne, Maui

WAVE CHARACTERISTICS • Haleiwa is a dominant right breaking wave with a left breaking wave on the smaller days. • The inside section of the right is nicknamed ‘The Toilet Bowl’, which drains over shallow reef, allowing for big finishing maneuvers and dramatic wipeouts. • Best on a hard west swell. • Under 4 feet, Haleiwa features a right and a left and is a fun hotdog of a wave in either direction. There’s even a separate little reef on the north side called Peaks that provides a feisty right-hander. • Over 4 feet, the outer sections of Haleiwa come to life and the wave can get critically steep and hollow on good west swells.

INSIGHT • Facilities include public restrooms, showers, picnic tables and lifeguard patrol. • Beach bordering shrubs and trees provide small amounts of shade, while the monkeypod trees in the grassy park offer more shaded areas, however the best views of the surfing is right in the sand. • This venue is located off Haleiwa Road, through Ali‘i Beach Park, on the west end of the harbor, not to be confused with its more northern sister, Haleiwa Beach Park, which is located next to Pua‘ena Point on the north side of the harbor.

Beyrick De Vries | Photo Joli

VA N S W OR L D CU P OF SU RF I NG SUNSET BEACH NOVEMBER 24 - DECEMBER 6 The second jewel of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, this world-famous big wave venue showcases the extraordinary level of fitness each surfer must possess, since the waves are spread across a very large playing field. The Vans World Cup of Surfing is held at Sunset Beach, one of the most powerful and challenging waves on the planet. As the last qualifier event of the 2015 WSL Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour, tension is high for the athletes on the cusp of qualifying for the 2016 tour.

Top to bottom: Michel Bourez | Chris Ward | Contest site | Sunset lineup, photos: Sloane / WSL |

Considered the proving grounds for modern day power surfing, Sunset is one of the longest running events in pro surfing history and a true mark of achievement of each champion. 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 feet. range, the true glory and challenge of Sunset becomes apparent. A wide band of beach makes Sunset a fun place for families, just be wary of the shorebreak as it has been known to sweep people off their feet and into the impact zone within seconds.

FEATURES • 128 surfers compete • $250,000 prize purse • QS 10,000 • Defending Champion: Michel Bourez, Tahiti

Top to bottom: Matt Wilkinson | Trophy | Michel Bourez and Dusty Payne, photos: Sloane / WSL

WAVE CHARACTERISTICS • A dominant right breaking wave ideal for high performance, big wave surfing. • The West Bowl is a notorious barrel machine. • Sunset breaks excellently on almost any swell direction ranging from the west all the way to northeast, however the quality of the ride depends mostly on wind conditions and tide, as opposed to swell direction. • The lofty peaks are beautiful to watch, but always powerful and usually treacherous to ride. • Can break from anywhere between 2ft. - 15ft before closing out.

INSIGHT • Public restrooms and showers are located across Kamehameha highway. • Spectator viewing is on the sand and in the sun, with spots of shade provided from beach-bordering shrubs and trees. • Binoculars are recommended for best view, since surfing takes place more than 100 yards out to sea. • Competition will not take place on Thanksgiving Day.

The final world title deciding event of the Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour, the Billabong Pipe Masters, takes place at one of the most intense and exhilarating surf locations on earth – the Banzai Pipeline. Spectators can revel in this IMAX theatre-like venue, where surfers free fall twenty feet down the face of waves a mere 10 yards away. Regarded as the most dangerous wave in the world, Pipe has claimed more lives than any other wave – on average, one a year. Despite the death toll, Pipeline still attracts many wave riders because of its perfect shape and power. These beautiful, barreling waves are produced from swells hitting the shallow reef, and are the standard by which all other barreling waves are compared. Ground-shaking performances happen at Pipe and three champions are crowned, it is the culmination of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing and a display of power like no other.

Taj Burrow | Photo Joli


Ace Buchan | Photo Latronic



• Day 1 is comprised of the Pipe Invitational, which features 32 of Hawai’i’s best Pipe surfers and offers an additional $100k prize purse • 36 surfers compete in the main event • Overall $525,000 prize purse • Stop No. 11, final stop on the 2015 WSL Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour • Defending Champion: Julian Wilson, Australia

Miguel Pupo | Photo Heff

• Predominantly a left-hander, Pipeline also includes the lengthy barreling right-hander of Backdoor. From a surfer’s perspective in the water, the left breaking wave is Pipeline. The right breaking wave is Backdoor. • Waves are best on a west or northwest swell. • The most dangerous wave in the world; more surfers have died riding Pipe than any other surf break. • Beautiful, barreling waves are produced from swells hitting the shallow reef below. • Pipeline is made up on a series of different reefs – first reef, second reef and third reef.

• Newly restored restrooms, showers and picnic tables are available on upper grassy level of the beach park. • There is very little shade on the beach, aside from the sand bordering shrubs. • This wave is the ultimate viewing experience for spectators because the waves break just 35 yards from shore. • Cell phone service is spotty here. • This year marks the 45th annual Pipe Masters event, which began in 1971.

Julian Wilson | Photo Kirstin / WSL


Kelly Slater | Photo Brent


2015 WOR LD TO U R R ECAP By Dan House

QUI K S ILV E R P R O G O L D C O A S T G o ld C oa st , Q u een sl and, Austral i a Felipe and Julian came out swinging during the Snapper event. From the get go it was obvious Felipe had found another gear from the year prior and Julian picked up right where he left off after claiming the Vans Triple Crown and the Pipe Masters titles in 2014. Filipe smashed the final against Julian scoring a 9.60 and a perfect 10, setting the tone that he was going to be a force to be reckoned with, err at least in head high and below waves.


Top to bottom: Julian Wilson, Kirstin / WSL | Filipe Toledo, Cestari / WSL | Filipe Toledo, Kirstin / WSL

This year’s Championship Tour didn’t always see the best surf, but fans did see a more polished webcast, Ross Williams providing actual insight during heats, an unwelcome appearance by a man in a grey suit, and progressive surfing in small and big waves. Riding momentum from 2014, many of the younger guys continue to step up, putting on memorable performances at each contest and beating the tour’s elite from the previous decade plus. Talent wise the WSL is in good hands and will be fine when Kelly, Taj, Parko, and Mick decide to finally bow out from competition. Here is a brief rundown on what unfolded on the 2015 WCT thus far.

RIP CURL PRO BELLS BEACH Bells Bea ch , V ictoria , A u stra lia

Top to bottom: Adriano deSouza, Cestari / WSL | Mick Fanning, Cestari / WSL | Mick Fanning, Kirstin / WSL

Mick Fanning and Adriano de Souza tied the final. Fitting because these two would go on to trade blows the rest of the year for the number one and two spots in the WCT rankings. Adriano was visibly bummed after losing but he would bounce back in no time. For the time being though, Fanning would come out of the event with the ratings lead.

World Tour Race DRUG AWA R E MA R G A R E T R I V E R P R O Mar ga r et R i ver, Western Austral i a

Top to bottom: John John Florence, Cestari / WSL | Adriano deSouza, Cestari / WSL | Adriano deSouza, Kirstin / WSL

A number of heats were run at The Box during this event. Which was a real bummer if you were a goofy foot because it looks damn near impossible to find your way through one of those caverns on your backhand. However, Nat Young stepped up for the goofys arm-barring a nuts one in round three and scoring a 9.0. Nat rode that momentum back over to the main peak where he earned a semifinal finish only to be stopped by John John on his way to the final. Wouldn’t you know it, John met up with Adriano in the final and the Brazilian took the win and the ratings lead. Adriano surfed solid all event and it looked like the Brazilian was picking up where Medina had left off from the year prior.

OI RIO PRO Ba rra d a Tiju ca , Rio d e Ja n eiro, Bra z il

Top to bottom: Italo Ferreira, Morigo / WSL | Supertubos, Cestari / WSL | Filipe Toledo, Morigo / WSL

Felipe did his spin to win all the way to his second victory of the year. He put on a clinic this event for how to surf fast and progressive in marginal conditions. Felipe surfed amazing, had he not won we would have been surprised. It’s hard to believe this is still a stop on the “Dream Tour.” The International Olympic committee has serious concerns about the appalling water quality in Rio. After breaking promise after promise to improve water quality the Brazilian government has thrown their hands in the air saying they can’t fix infrastructure that would improve conditions to ensure the health and safety of athletes competing in various aquatic sports during the 2016 summer Olympic Games. I guess we have to wait and see what will happen for next year’s tour stop and the summer Olympiad. Certainly there are better waves in Brazil anyways.

F I JI P R O N am ot u , Ta va r u a , Fi j i

Top to bottom: Julian Wilson | Taj Burrow | Julian Wilson and Owen Wright, photos Kirstin / WSL

This contest was sick. The waves were awesome and we finally got to see the world’s best open up in “Dream Tour” worthy waves. Julian had a strong showing this event earning a strong second place finish and bagging another keeper result for a world title run. The event was all about Owen Wright though. The tall and gangly Aussie stormed his way through the event claiming one WCT scalp after the next. Owen’s dominance was on display from round three on never scoring below a 16-point heat total. Oh yeah, and you probably heard that he had two perfect 20 point heats; one of them being in the final. Pull up the heat analyzer because it’s well worth another watch.


J- BAY OPEN Jeffrey s Ba y, E a stern Ca p e, S ou th A frica

Top to bottom: Mick Fanning | Mick Fanning and a Great White | Julian Wilson and Mick Fanning, photos Kirstin / WSL

The Fanning shark fiasco was so gnarly. It got the attention of the mainstream media all over the world, video of the “attack” garnered millions upon millions of YouTube views, and the Australian Sports Hall of Fame bestowed upon Mick and Julian the “Spirit of Sport” award for their actions that day too. Understandably the surfers were rattled after the shark encounter and the rest of the final was called off with both finalists received 2nd place points. The way the points shook out allowed Adriano de Souza to narrowly keep the ratings lead heading into the South Pacific.

BI L L A B O N G P R O TA H I T I Te ahu p o’ o, Ta h i t i , French Pol ynesi a

Top to bottom: Jeremy Flores | Gabriel Medina | Jeremy Flores, photos Cestari / WSL

After a bit of a bumpy start to the year, Gabriel Medina returned to form and earned a second place in the event. CJ Hobgood, who announced that 2015 would be his last year on tour, made a few clutch heats and earned his best result of the year with a semifinal finish. Owen kept his momentum from Fiji in heaving lefts making the semifinals. Had Owen made the final, he would have wrangled the leaders jersey away from Adriano, but it was not to be. Jeremy Flores won the event, which was good to see after he has been kicked around the basement of the tour in more recent years plagued by poor results, indecisive equipment choices, and a suspension for storming the judges’ tower at J-Bay in 2014. If that wasn’t enough Jeremy took a digger into an Indo reef this past June resulting in a gruesome facial laceration. The injury caused him to miss the J-Bay event, but Jeremy slapped a Gaff helmet on his dome and packed pit after pit on his way to victory. Everyone loves a good comeback story and a guy who wears his heat on his sleeve.

HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES Lower Trestles, Ca liforn ia , U.S .A .

Top to bottom: Mick Fanning, Rowland / WSL | Gabriel Medina, Morris / WSL | Mick Fanning, Morigo / WSL

There was so much hype going into this event about the recent progression in surfing and how all the younger guys were going to take to the air and blow their fins out all over the cobble stones. To the young guys credit they kind of did, but it was the down and dirty surfing of Mick Fanning and Adriano de Souza who mostly stuck to the face with huge gaffs, wraps, and lip blasts leading both of them to their second finals clash of the year. The final was a dog fight for a win and the ratings lead as the two veteran competitors traded blows in 2-3 foot wind swell. Both competitors opened up with 6’s, built momentum and later earned midrange 7’s with both ultimately bagging 9’s on their score cards. When the dust settled Fanning came out on top with his surfing being just a bit cleaner and sharper than the Brazilian bulldog’s. With the win, Fanning was able to take the ratings lead form Adriano. Adriano has a lot of haters, but the guy deserves a lot of credit and respect. He absolutely rips, his grit and determination are second to none, and he strikes us as a genuine person. Historically, Adriano has also been one of the only guys that can really rattle Kelly Slater’s cage. Moving forward it seemed as though the momentum swung into Fanning’s corner.

Landes, Aq u ita in e, Fra n ce The Euro leg is tough to follow: start, stop, check the other bank, maybe start, but then call it off, upside down jet skis, check back in a few hours, waves could be good, waves could be crappy. France is a marathon of waiting punctuated by bursts of action when the conditions finally come together during the favorable tide. When the event was green-lighted it was all about Medina. Medina stomped huge backside rotations in the final and in round four. He also packed some of the better barrels of the event. Medina’s year started out a bit shaky, perhaps suffering a world title hangover from 2014, but if there was any question about Medina’s competitive dominance that was certainly squashed by the end of the event. Bede Durbidge, WCT workhorse, had a good event finishing runner up to Medina. Bede is a bit hot and cold. You won’t hear from him for a few events and then out of nowhere he will drop huge scores, unapologetically taking down the big dogs as he did here and in Rio. Fanning made the quarter finals with Adriano de Souza one upping him with a semifinal finish. The result wasn’t enough for Adriano to regain the ratings lead over Fanning. However, the real story was that Medina’s win earned him enough points to begin nipping at Mick and Adriano’s heels for world title contention.

Top to bottom: Gabriel Medina / WSL | Adriano Desousa, Poullenot / WSL


By Dan House Carissa Moore and Steph Gilmore made the first two finals of the year and were in position to again trounce the field for 2015; much like the two have been doing since 2007 when Gilmore won her first world title. However, Steph Gilmore sustained a fractured fibula during a free surf at the Margaret River contest, causing her to miss the next five events. The Gilmore vacuum was immediately filled by Courtney when she beat Carissa in the final at Margaret River. During that event you could see Courtney was now a legitimate threat coming off of an injury plagued 2014: more power, more consistency, and improved competitive acumen. From Margaret’s, it’s been a dog fight between Carissa and Courtney. Both have three wins and both have had the leader’s jersey in 2015. Carissa’s wins came at Snapper, Bells, and Lowers and Courtney’s were at Margaret River, Rio, and Portugal. Other surfers on the women’s tour have flashed here and there with Sally Fitzbibbons winning Fiji, Johanne Defay winning the US Open, and Tyler Wright returning to form with a win in France. Going into Maui it’s all about Carissa and Courtney. Honolua Bay’s long right wall is a great canvas to showcase their brand of powerful forehand hacks and snaps and plays into both girls’ hands. Carissa probably has the edge for the title since the event is in Hawai‘i, she is the defending champion, and has some room for error. Courtney needs to come into the event guns blazing and hope for Carissa to slip up at some point, and then storm her way to the final. World title scenarios are as follows: • If Carissa makes the Final, she will win the World Title. • If Carissa loses before Quarterfinals, then Courtney needs to make the Semifinals to win the World Title. • If Carissa makes the Semifinals, Courtney has to win the Target Maui Pro to take the Title. • If Carissa loses in the Quarters and Courtney takes runnerup in the event, the two would have to have a surf-off to determine the World Title after the event.

Kirstin / WSL

Kirstin / WSL

Rowland / WSL


WOMEN’S WCT QUALIFICATION Each year the top ten surfers from the WCT and top six from the WQS qualify for the following year’s world championship tour. Oahu’s Carissa Moore is sitting at number one on the WCT, and is a lock for recurrent qualification from now until eternity. Moving down the ratings however, things get a little murky and speculative for Hawaiian WCT requalification. Kauai’s Tatiana Weston-Webb and Malia Manuel are sitting at eighth and ninth respectively going into the last WCT event of the season on Maui. In all likelihood they are safe to re qualify within the top ten WCT cut off, but finishing the year with one more strong result will solidify their positions. In addition, Tatiana is tied with Sage Erickson for first on the women’s WQS and Malia is tied with Alessa Quizon for sixth. So if the wheels fall off on the WCT side they will make it through the backdoor on the WQS. Coco Ho, ranked eleventh on the WCT, and Alessa Quizon, ranked thirteenth on the WCT, sit just below the top ten safety zone. Both need solid results in Maui to re qualify on the WCT tour. If the rankings don’t shake up too much after Maui, there will probably be two or three double qualifiers from the WCT: Tatiana, Malia, and Nikki Van Dijk (who is ranked tenth on the WCT). Alessa did some work on the WQS this year and is tied with Malia for sixth on that tour. So Alessa should find her way on the WCT in 2016 from the qualifying tour. Double qualifiers could be Coco’s saving grace for a 2016 WCT bid as she is ranked eighth on the WQS. All in all we are just going to have to wait and see how the final rankings shake out after Maui. A number of girls are bunched up around the top ten bubble and many are capable of jumping a few spots, or falling. On the WQS, that tour is pretty much done, with the one remaining event in Chile taking place November 4-8. But there aren’t enough points up for grabs in Chile to change anything at the top of the WQS rankings.

HAWAI’I SCENARIOS: 2016 By Dan House

Morigo / WSL

As much as we’d like to report otherwise, the case next year for a strong Hawai‘i athlete presence on the World Surf League’s Championship Tour is a bit bleak. Writing this just after the dust has settled on the France event. Dusty Payne hasn’t made it past round three all year, Fred Patacchia retired, Sebastian Zietz hasn’t made it out of round three either, sans a 9th at Margaret River, and Keanu Asing is hanging on the circuit by the skin of his teeth. As for John John, he is doing ok but only after a much needed quarter final placing in the last event in France. John John will likely qualify with ease for some time to come as long as he stays interested and his knees and ankles hold out. There are also some younger guys climbing the WQS ladder; serious characters capable of barging into the main event.

Keanu Asing

A focused CT Rookie Keanu Asing moments before taking down reigning WSL World Champion Gabriel Medina on his home turf. Morigo / WSL


Sloane / WSL Cestari / WSL

Mason Ho

Clockwise: Mason Ho, in need of a big finish this Triple Crown season to chip away at his CT ranking, currently in the low 40s. Even with his freesurf and film endeavors this year, John John Florence sits just outside of the top CT’s top 10. We know that Sebastian Zietz has the ability to pull a win at a moments notice - a la the 2012 Triple Crown - and he’ll need that and his underdog mentality to work out of his mid 20s ranking on the QS.

Ezekiel Lau

John John Florence and Fred Pattachia

Cestari / WSL

Sebatian Zietz

Cestari / WSL

If Ezekiel Lau doesn’t sneak onto the CT this year, it’s only a matter of time given his physical acumen and nostalgic power surfing.

Fred Pattachia

Dusty Payne

Fred came on tour, Fred carried a Hawaiian flag with him to every tour stop, Fred had heart, Fred was fun to watch, Fred jumped on a rock, and Fred retired in grand fashion at Lowers. Bummer because he was one of the classic characters on tour, but another Hawaiian down for 2015.

Rowland / WSL

Watching Dusty and Sebastian free surf, it is clear they have WCT talent. They wantonly impose their will on waves via giant gaffs that would make Sunny Garcia or Johnny Boy proud, stick ankle shattering airs, and miraculously navigate heavy pits the world over. For some reason though, they haven’t found a sustainable act on the WCT. Sure it’s dog-eat-dog on tour, but we have all seen Dusty’s video parts. Those edits are compelling evidence to his generational leading talent. As for Sebastian, the Kauai boy has had flashes here and there on the WCT. If he channels his inner Nat Young and does more bread and butter surfing, finishing out his waves, he could find the points needed to make more heats. Accomplishing an amazing feat by winning the Triple Crown a few years back, Sebastian obviously has competitive game and we all want to see him do more damage on the WCT, rattling the cage a bit more.

Cestari / WSL

Sebatian Zietz

Cestari / WSL

Cestari / WSL


Keanu Asing

That being said, Sebastian is within striking distance of WCT requalification with a solid result or two; Dusty not so much. On the World Qualifying Series side these two have a bit more work to do. Both are hovering around the lower 30s and the cut is technically at the top ten, but will drop to the top thirteen or possibly further with some WCT double qualifiers on the WQS. Do I think Dusty will tap into that magic of last year, winning an event in ultra-dramatic fashion, coming from deep in the QS field to qualify for the big show, and having the Triple Crown title just narrowly wrangled from his hands? No, but I certainly think he is capable of smashing some heats and earning the points needed to requalify. Especially if the waves are good and big. Sebastian needs to find a bit of mojo on the QS or the CT; totally doable. 98

Keanu may not have the flash or panache that other CT vets or young guns have, but the kid has heart and strategic foundation. Heart can go a long way and his searing desire to succeed is tangible through the computer screen. Keanu is another bubble boy and it appears he stacked most of his chips on the CT side of the table. As of October 21st he is sitting at number 75 on the WQS ratings and needs a whole heap of points to qualify over there. Interesting given that 2015 was Keanu’s first year on the WCT and some thought he would have hit the WQS harder. A few more clutch heat wins here and there on the CT may see the Hawai‘i athlete just eek his way through the turnstile and back on the CT for 2016.


Kirstini / WSL

Granger Larson

John John Florence

John John, he’s gnarly and will wave the Hawaiian flag on tour for a long time to come. Furthermore, betting on the 23-year-old to win a world title or two by the end of his CT career isn’t a bad idea either.


Hawaii young guns: Tanner Hendrickson is right there for CT qualification. Blazing his way through the U.S. Open last summer and finishing second. Tanner earned some cash, 8,000 points, and a real chance to graduate to the big leagues. In his current position it won’t take much for the Maui surfer to make the jump from QS to the CT,

yoked, the kid is tatted, the kid has power, and he’s not screwing around. If Zeke isn’t on the CT in 2016 it won’t be long after before he is. Some guys seem to be stuck in WQS purgatory for a long time before finally making the jump to the WCT or moving on with their lives. Granger Larsen has been knocking on the door for a few years now. Granger’s got steez, power, and some air game. It would be great to see Granger usurp the place of some of the tour’s less aesthetically pleasing surfers, but that will take some work as he is in the mid-50s of the QS. W figure he needs two solid results north of 5,000 points each to get on the WCT.

Tanner Hendrickson

but there is still work to be done and a whole slew of hungry and very talented surfers looking to leap past him in the ratings.


Ezekiel Lau is going to have another look at qualification in 2015. He sits in that mid 30s QS range and a banger result at one of the three remaining QS 10,000s could see him on tour no problem. The kid is

Ezekiel Lau

Josh Moniz and Mason Ho are in the bottom quartile of the QS as of writing. Both would make great additions to the tour given they ooze style, enthusiasm, and aloha. However, they are going to need a Hail Mary to make it this year. We group these two in with Zeke; one day they will probably qualify if that’s what they want to do. Or, Mason will keep doing airs over rocks and Josh will keep getting pitted and smashing lips, both while smiling of course. This paints some sort of picture for the upper echelon of Hawai‘i’s top competitive surfers at the moment. The current WCT has a few American dudes lingering around, Australia is always going

to be well represented as far as we can tell, Brazil has clawed its way into a legitimate force to be reckoned with in recent years, and a sprinkling of a few other countries have filled the WCT roster. For Hawai‘i, John John is going to be the anchor in the near and distant future with a smattering of other islanders flirting with WCT requalification, qualification, not making it, or falling off. It is a cruel, unforgiving world at times. Surfing has changed a lot in the wake of some traumatic events and an influx of non-endemic dollars flowing in recent years. Pro surfers now have full time coaches, trainers, agents, corporate sponsors, and a laser focus. A long, long, way removed from pro surfing’s inception when teenagers were sent out into the world to figure it out on their own more or less. Surfing originated in the islands and it would be a shame to have a pro surfing future without a strong group of Hawaiian surfers on tour representing the birthplace of the sport and the spirit of aloha. Fortunately there are still a lot of points out there for WCT qualification in 2016 with three WQS 10,000s to go. It’s not too farfetched of an idea that a few Hawaii surfers will flare up and nab a handful of coveted WCT spots either this year or in the near future. Stay tuned. pau






JD Irons | Photo: Tony Heff







Clay Marzo | Photo: Dooma



Makana Eleogram | Photo: Jon Spenser



Zeke Lau | Photo: Mana



Billy Kemper | Photo: Keoki



Albee Layer | Photo: Gavin Shige


Kirstin / WSL


DROP DA MIC HAWAIIAN STYLE RETIREMENT Intro by Chris Latronic Interview by Lauren Rolland

Even from young kid days, Fred Patacchia always had his own way about things, anything and everything. Freddy was never afraid to speak his mind and never in short supply of a friendly smile. With a talent for surfing that was noticed early on, the North Shore local qualified for the World Championship Tour in 2005, where he started an elite career off in fine form by winning the coveted Rookie Of The Year award. Freddy P went on to compete on tour for the next decade but only with moderate success, besting his stellar rookie season with 12th place end rating in 2008.   Growing up as a professional surfer is a career track tendered to the few, and those few usually don’t last that long. And more often then not, professional surfers don’t leave the world tour on their own accord. The phrase “falling off the tour” gets used a lot and never with a positive under tone. It seems that once you’re disqualified from the limelight of surfing’s highest stage, it’s a rare feat to ever return back to it.  Fred Patacchia broke the mold this year with his historic exit from the WSL world tour at the recent Hurley Pro at Trestles, CA. After looking to be in the best form of his career, Freddy went out and retired from the WSL tour with a bang. The 33-year-old shocked the crowd and the world. First, Fred threw down one of the greatest displays of backhand surfing at Trestles ever witnessed, garnering a perfect score 10 point ride. Knowing it was his last wave on tour and being the genuinely nice guy he is, Freddy P graciously tried to triangle one of his competitors so they could advance to the 3rd round instead … but to no avail. In his “drop the mic” moment, Fred broke the news during his post-winning interview.   As soon as he came home to Hawai‘i, we had to catch up with the newly retired Freddy and get the scoops.


To sum up my entire career as a surfer would be tough. I think I just would say it was a joyride. I had a fantastic time doing it, I loved what I did, I did every event, and I surfed every session with love and passion. And I had a blast! You know I feel like I walked the line of being focused, but not too focused, pretty well. I really got to enjoy the places that I’d been and enjoy the cultures and accept those different styles of living and I really got to experience the world. Not just my pro athlete end of it, but, as a human being, and I felt like I really got to enjoy and experience a lot through pro surfing. It felt like surfing was just a byproduct of everything else I got to do because I’d be doing it anyway. All I had to do was put on a jersey and we called it competitive surfing, but I was doing it anyway. What would you say the highlights of the CT for you personally were? The highlights of the CT were making the CT. When I first made it Mark Occhilupo was still on tour, Sunny Garcia, Kalani Robb, Shane Dorian, Andy was fresh on tour, Bruce was fresh on tour, Taj Burrow. I felt like when I made it that was the best part of my career because all those guys - the young guys, and the older guys I looked up to so much … So it was really like I got to hang out with all the people that I looked up to throughout my entire life. That was the climax for me, just becoming not only a peer but also a friend. A friend of the family, someone they called to go out and drink beers with or have dinner with, it was just so surreal to me that these guys liked me haha. They wanted to hang out with me. That was the highlight for sure and even moving on to today, getting to hang out with the world’s best surfers, like the John Johns, the Filipe Toledoes, the Mick Fannings and Joel

Parkinsons is one of the coolest experiences ever. I’m such a groupie haha. I’m a full surf groupie as well as a surf professional. So I guess I win both ways. What are the downfalls of the CT? The downfalls of the CT would definitely have to be the strain on your soul, on your heart, on your ability to compete at the highest level. You’re constantly moving from place to place so there’s not really one spot you can call home. You’re constantly battling with where you’re going to stay, where you’re going to eat. After a while I got better at staying at the same spots, eating at the same spots, making everything very routine so that it felt homey to me, and eventually I was able to find a home in every place. But trying your best and trying so hard and then Mother Nature doesn’t give you the wave or you get a bad call from the judges… just certain things not going your way, you see that happening over time and it’s stressful, it hurts, it tears at every part of you because you want to do so well for the people counting on you, for your friends at home watching, for the fans that have supported you since day one. There is a lot of pressure there that you as an athlete feel and that gets to you. Whether people can admit it or not, it really, really, really does. I think it goes for every athlete in every sport too. A lot of these athletes are carrying their families and even employing their friends in a way, so there is a lot of pressure to perform. And the second you don’t perform you could be gone, you could get clipped from your sponsors, you could fall off the WCT tour, and your paycheck can get cut drastically, and then all those people that were counting on you … it’s just a lot. It’s a lot.

Rowland / WSL

You spent 11 years on tour, how would you sum it all up?

Aren’t you? Well everyone is. But you are retiring from the tour. Yeah. Tell us that ten-point ride. Were you waiting for something big like this to announce your retirement? Well it really was something that I was dealing with during Snapper, even before Snapper, which is the first event of the year in February. And it was kind of just eating away at me - whether I wanted to keep doing what it was I was doing. It’s stressful, and I’m one of those guys that go off feelings. And I want to be happy. I want my family to be happy, and in order for them to be happy I have to be happy. So I fell out of love for competitive surfing.

Skinner / WSL

I wasn’t free surfing as much; I wasn’t going to the gym as much because I thought why? Why am I putting myself through this? Do I really have to? Do I really have to prolong my career another two or three years before maybe I’m pushed out by the younger generation? Like when do I make this choice? In Tahiti is where I really made the choice. I told the guys at WSL, ‘guys I only want to surf my first heat at Lowers, I’m hoping you guys can replace me.’ At the time they said they could and that was really it. I put my foot in the ground and I just told myself that that was going to be my last heat on the WCT tour.

It took me a while to get there. I have no shame in saying that I have my chi aligned. I was trying all these different things, and the chi thing actually really worked, it helped. I talked to sports therapists, I spoke with Ross Williams a lot, other ex professional surfers that have gone through the same sort of thing that I’m going through, because mentally and emotionally it’s a lot. People don’t realize that and it was weird for me to have to ask for help. Like, do I really need to talk to a psychologist or a sports therapist? Do I need that? I’m a strong human being, do I need that? And I did. It really helped me close that book and say ‘yes, that is that day, that is the heat that I’m going to call it on.’ And to get that wave, that just happened organically. That night I couldn’t really sleep, there were a hundred ways I thought it was going to end in my head. Getting a 10 and an 8.90, I think it was the highest heat total of the event, it was the only perfect ten of the event. I mean, I didn’t think it would ever end that way for me. Especially knowing that that was my last heat. It wasn’t spontaneous at all, it was the universe giving me a high five and saying ‘hey Freddy you’re out see you later, have fun on this wave.’ And I did. So you had a retirement plan all along? We did have a plan to a certain extent; everyone that I had told was still on the fence of whether I was going to actually follow through with the plan. I knew in my mind I was, even my wife was telling me, “You can always change your mind, five seconds to go you can always change your mind and it can be like this thought never happened.” But in my head I knew it was going to happen. And I think the second my wife and daughter were on the beach and they had the flag and the leis… It felt very Hawaiian, it felt very local and it just melted me. I wasn’t expecting that because we kept it from a lot of people. And Kelly Slater was down there and Owen Wright, and some of the Hawai‘i guys that were still on tour and we didn’t tell any of them, they

Kirstin / WSL

Switching gears to what’s recently happened… you’re retiring, or not retiring, or on a hiatus… what are you calling it? They’re calling it retiring? haha



just so happened to be there at that time, and they all came out and greeted me and it was so surreal and so magical. I don’t know what it is, I might have done something really good in another life or maybe I’ve done pretty right in this life to deserve that. How did you feel when you hit the beach, was it a feeling of relief? I came in with like four minutes left. I had shaken hands with Medina and Bede Durbidge, they were out there with me and the second they congratulated me, and they both had very nice things to say about me as a person and about my career. And to hear that from them felt really good. And then knowing that I was going into another chapter in my life, it was scary but it felt so great. It was the biggest weight off my shoulders. I knew that I no longer had to… I don’t know, produce in that sort of capacity as a competitor. I always want to be a role model, but you almost get to shed that as well. It’s a lot of pressure being a role model for young kids as well. It was one of the most alleviating feelings I’ve ever had in my entire life. It felt fantastic hahaha. You said you want to spend more time with your family. Tell us what that means and what that looks like for you in the coming years. Another reason why I ended it at Lowers is because I know I’m going to have to do something after surfing. No one just sits around and does nothing. So I intend to not put a jersey on for the rest of 2015, re gather my thoughts and possibly do a few events come 2016. I’m not going to compete in the Triple Crown. No Pipeline, no Haleiwa, no nothing. I intend to go to the events to cheer on my friends that are in the event, bring my daughter, my wife, and son down there and just enjoy those events. Not have to get up a 6am and surf Sunset, Haleiwa, and Pipeline first thing in the morning. I get to sleep in, I get to wait for the call, I get to do things that normal people do. I get to look for parking haha. I get the full spectator experience and I look forward to that. I’m a fan and I am going to do those things. Just being home with my family and doing the kind of everyday normal dude life is what I want to do for a little bit. Eventually I’m going to have to get a big boy job and I don’t mind it. I’ve been talking to Quiksilver about that already and they are finding a position for me. But I’d also like to work with different foundations. I’m working with the Young and Brave. They help support young kids that have leukemia; they help support their families. I want to be able to be part of those kinds of things. I also want to do things like the great Aloha Run because they donate to some fantastic things. The Fourth of July race here on the North Shore because it supports our local lifeguards and junior lifeguards. I look forward to doing those kinds of things within our community where I can help. I want to do things that don’t necessarily make me money, but make me happy. In 2016 are there specific QS events you want to focus on? Yes. 2016 I am hoping to surf the Lowers Pro, the Triple Crown, and a few select events. I haven’t looked at the schedule yet, but I want to go to places that I want to compete at. Waves that I’ve maybe never surfed before. Waves that I think hold merit and are waves that should be highlighted on the QS tour because it gets such a bad

name, but there are some really good waves. They may not be the waves that you get the most points or have the biggest star to them, but they are world-class waves. I also just want to travel and surf. I want to get barreled again, I want to go and chase a swell. I haven’t done that in so long. The tour just keeps me so busy and every time that there is a break within the tour I’m doing things with my family. I want to chase some swell with my family now, go to Tahiti for a week, and bring them with me. I don’t want to completely stop being a pro surfer. I want to be a different kind of pro surfer, a different kind of person. Who’s going to win the world title this year? Mick Fanning is going to win the world title this year. No if, ands, or buts about it. I really think he’s looking in form. He always kills it in France and Portugal and even here in Hawai‘i he really excels. I really think it’s going to be really tough to beat him. Hands down Mick Fanning. Who is your favorite surfer? My favorite surfer right now would probably have to be Owen Wright. I really like the way he surfs. I like that fact that he shows up to Tahiti when there is swell, when it’s big and he is out there charging. He knows how to ride the barrel, he knows how to do airs, he knows how to do big turns, and he mixes up his maneuvers beautifully. I’ve really been in awe of the way he has been surfing lately. I think that people’s favorite surfers should change a lot because people are changing frequently and surfing is changing. So as of right now Owen is my fav. He’s still in world title contention, I think he can do it, but I think Mick is just freight training. Mick has the mojo right now.

Favorite moments on tour this year? First of all would be the day I stepped away. That perfect ten was amazing and just having everyone there for me and all the support, texts and emails I’ve gotten could go down as top five days in my life. But then I loved Snapper Rocks; Freddy’s rock was a lot of fun. It was something that I’ll look back on and laugh and cheers over beers with. Getting to celebrate my sons first birthday in Tahiti was awesome. I brought the whole family there so we were all together, we had a nice little party for him where we made haku leis and a couple of my surf buddies came and we celebrated together. That was really special because he is not going to get to know his dad as a professional surfer. For him to experience that with me when he turned one was nice. Turing one is a big thing in Hawai’i so we did it in Tahiti and it was special. pau



Cestari / WSL

By Chris Latronic

Seth Moniz

TONY MONIZ, DA PATRIARCH Tony Moniz is one fearless Hawaiian who never gives up or says he can’t do something. Tony’s whole career is a testament to the powerful yet easy going natural footer who was born and raised in Honolulu. Someone who sincerely never gives ‘no’ for an answer, even when asked to do the most outrageous of tasks – he might give you a first 120

glance of surprise (like seeing a big fresh set on the horizon) – but he’ll immediately tap into this beautiful graciousness and Aloha spirit to try and decipher a helpful solution to the problem. Tony is a doer, leaving all the talk for later or sometimes never. The epitome of hard work and dedication of what it means to follow your dreams and passions, Tony is a father, husband, uncle, brother, friend, hero and more. The Moniz Legacy starts with this man. "I followed my passion. Day one in Waikiki I surfed, youngest of 4 kids. I think I was 5 years old. Surfing was always sacred to me, it was my quiet place.” Tony excelled quickly in the early stages of competition surfing, winning a boys division state title at the age of 14 (much like his sons’ achievements today). But surfing wasn’t a top priority in his

family at that time, and the concept of making a living as a professional surfer wasn’t in Tony’s vocabulary. "Right out of high school I did odd jobs. Did work for City and County, for the honey wagon.” One day Tony Moniz had a dream, woke up and pursued it. "I gave my dad a call from the job site working for City and County and said, ‘I’m thinking of taking a leave of absence for 3 years. I want to surf.’ I thought dad would have snapped and thought I was crazy, because with City and State I had security, and if I did stay there I would have a retirement check right now, although retirement isn’t in my vocabulary. Pops said follow your passion, your dreams.”

it wasn’t such a big deal. Personally to me the big deal was the Duke Classic, getting into the Duke classic was my dream as a child.” But Tony also became involved in the Triple Crown during its beginning stages. Recalling the old judging criteria for a moment, it was a grueling process for both athletes and organizers, and Tony was on the forefront of its attrition. But the young Hawaiian sucked it up and never stopped battling. “We would have to surf trials, there weren't just two rounds either. It was like 4, maybe 5 rounds of trials. No money until you got to the top 16. All the seeded guys would be sitting and waiting for us. Making it from trials to finals, I did it several times... no paycheck.

Thus the real pursuit began. "I gave my 2 weeks and had a few bucks saved. Sold my truck and bought a ticket to Australia and never returned back to work again." "Through my junior years I watched Michael (Ho), Derek (Ho), Bobby Owens, all da guys in the ‘70s and ‘80s. I was competing against these guys that were on the tour and it looked fascinating, all the light and magazines, so I just went for it. It’s incredible, I got to travel around the world.” One thing led to another, sponsors came along the way with results. Although success abroad was good, surfing at home was where Tony shined. The Triple Crown started in 1983 as a small, grass roots event. At the time, it was still overshadowed by the Duke Kahanamoku Classic, which was an ultimate goal for Tony. "I remember the first time they announced the Triple Crown

"6-man heats the first time, then 4-man heats. There was no priority. And here’s the heaviest thing in 4-man heats; top 4 waves. Some were top 5 waves. It was crazy just getting there. Talk about conditioning. No jet ski assist either. You would surf 5 times and by the time you got to the final, you’re hammered, cramping up in your arms … it was like the Ironman.” Although the formats were taxing, Tony was a very consistent competition surfer and always found a way to break out with a positive result. Earning enough prize money from each contest to travel and move on to the next venue comfortably, Tony lived a lifestyle with surfing at its forefront. "It was my dream to compete, earn a little buck. I got 2nd in the Billabong Pro, made $3,500. If I won, it would have been $10k! That was a lot of money back then. Of course,

the judges had pieces of paper and pencils back then, they didn't use pens in case they needed to change the score. Didn’t need whiteout, probably didn't have whiteout. We were the guinea pigs of professional surfing." The Triple Crown helped Tony travel around the world. Budding sponsors such as Local Motion came to the table, recognizing the potential of this Hawaiian powerhouse. Fast forward to the Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing now. It’s one of the most prestigious events in the world and the closest thing to winning a real world title. "Hawai‘i’s the proving grounds, it always has been and always will be," says Tony. “Stoked to have the Triple Crown and see how it transpires to people's careers. If you do good there, you put your name on the map. You will prolong your inheritance of sponsorship.” After taking a break from surfing professionally for 13 years, Tony is now back in the mix of competition travel, as his sons, Josh and Seth embark on their on version of his past life with dad by their side as guide, coach and mentor. "I love being in this part of their lives,” says Tony. “I never really taught them anything about surfing until they wanted to compete. Now they’re in it for the long haul and being where they are now I’m



thankful they chose their own path. It was never about my dream, I’ve always told them that if there was any time you want to pull out it’s up to you go to school and find a job. "When I’m watching I love every moment, cheering, coaching… just the nerves. There are so many ups and downs. It’s such a tough rollercoaster ride for me.” Now that Josh and Seth have graduated from high school, Josh is on the Qualifying Series grind, trying to qualify for the WSL tour. Seth, 15 months Josh’s junior, graduated from high school early to also focus time on being a professional surfer. "It’s a life they love. They get to meet people all over the world, and they get to bring their glory back to Hawai‘i,” Tony says. “Getting some Hawaiian blood on tour would be huge for us. If they can find themselves on the World Tour one day... that would put a big smile on my face." (He’s already smiling.)



Josh’s first Vans Triple Crown of Surfing experience happened by accident (he says). We call it fate. Josh entered the HIC Pro, 4 star at Sunset with guidance from his dad and sponsors and the rest is history. “They told me to enter the Triple Crown in case you make heats in the HIC Pro. I was 16 and wasn’t expecting much, just happy to get into the 4 star event. The next thing I know I’m making the semis and I’m into the Triple Crown starting the next week. I was tripping out!”

Moniz family and friends Kaito Kino and Keiki Lindo watch Isiah’s nailbiter heat at Sunset.

and I was tripping out. I thought I’d make the heat when I got the score. The next thing I knew I was in 4th and everyone else got 8s. That's when I realized how good everyone surfs in these pro events. I got a 4 and was super lucky to have made it through. When you're surfing with pros they don't care what the scores are, they never give up and the level of confidence in their head is so much higher than anything I had surfed before that. It was a super cool experience. "Same thing happened at Sunset. I told myself I wasn't going to think like that. I remember getting a pretty good score in tough conditions that day. No one was making any scores for the last couple heats and I was feeling confident. But then I didn’t catch another wave. I was stuck with a 2 and everyone else had gotten big scores. I paddled in pretty shocked. Now I definitely know what not do. Huge learning experience, again.” This Vans Triple Crown, Josh is looking to draw from his confidence and learn from his past mistakes.

The first event was at Haleiwa with 6 feet solid surf during Josh’s stacked first heat. The young surfer learned quickly that competition in the Triple Crown is next level.

"I’m finally comfortable. The last few years it’s been uncomfortable for me surfing with pros. I’ve been watching all these guys and surfing with them, and being in the Triple Crown has helped me plenty and now I’m ready."

"I was so nervous, my first wave I got an 8

Looking back, Josh had to give thanks

to the newly implicated Junior events and its plethora of opportunities that, indeed, boosted him to the Prime-Qualified status he retains. "The junior pro at Pipe and Sunset do so much for us. Once you put a jersey on and it’s 8-10 feet it’s a completely different thing. You have pressure to get two waves in 25 to 30 minutes at Sunset! It’s the hardest thing ever. We surf there for two hours and if you’re lucky you get 5 waves. Having a jersey and needing two waves is super difficult. It helps get the juniors ready for the HIC Pro and the Triple Crown cause everyone’s goal from Hawai‘i is to get into the Triple Crown, and that's what the junior circuit does. I think if you win the overall rankings you get into the Triple Crown, which could get you onto the prime series or even the QS 6,000s. That’s a big boost we get from the Hawai‘i region. "That’s the best part of Hawai‘i. I only surfed three events in three months and that put me into 6 star events. It’s my first year on the primes! It benefits us so much with getting seeds. It usually takes a full year of competing on the lower rated QS to get into the prime series. We have a huge advantage, and so do the younger kids coming up.” Josh and Seth have been battling and pushing each other since birth. With both of them now chasing the WSL tour, their family bond and combined work ethic could prove lethal for all who stand in their way.

Cestari / WSL

that is pretty tough at a young age. I went out there with no expectations, like I had nothing to lose. I tried to surf it like a free surf and back then there was no priority. It was so hard to surf against those guys. They could out paddle me really well so I just went with the flow, I knew the spot better than some of those guys and I stuck with what I knew. Knowing the spot in the back of my head helped a lot." Seth had a couple of great heats at Haleiwa and Sunset. Not to mention the junior surfer looked to be on really good boards and was feeling comfortable in the lineup. Earning 8’s and 9’s against some of his older role models, Seth was feeling strong and confident.

Josh Moniz

"It’s pretty cool being able to travel and do the QS with Seth. This back half of the year has been my first real QS quest traveling by myself. Next year Seth is jumping on, traveling around the world with him and seeing new things, new waves, meeting new people, it’s going to be cool. We push each other to surf better. We don’t get crazy in heats but we push each other more. When I see him win something it fires me up and same when he sees me do well. If I see him do something progressive, I think I can do it too, and we push each other a lot in and out of the water."



Going into his third year competing in the Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing, Seth Moniz is the youngest of the Moniz clan at the tender age of 18 yet already seems like a seasoned veteran. But the young gun will always remember the valuable insight his father taught him growing up.

"When I was young we’d have amateur events, my dad was always coaching us, telling us where to sit when it was west or north swell. Experiences, hearing his stories, it’s good to have a dad that has experienced those events… someone who has won some and lost some. And it’s good for him to share, it helps a lot." Up until the last few years, there was not much of a junior pro circuit to enter in Hawai‘i. With the addition of WSL sanctioned Junior Pro events at Sunset and Pipeline, young surfers were able to gain valuable points close to home and potentially qualify for the Vans Triple Crown. "I’m getting into the Triple Crown Of Surfing from the WSL junior ratings because I’m in the lead in Hawai‘i and that’s great to have. It’s good experience and the WSL gives us that opportunity in these big events at Triple Crown spots. When I was little, my older brothers were surfing events abroad because there were no junior events in Hawai‘i and as soon as we started slowly getting into the junior division, they brought junior events to Hawai‘i. First at Pipe, then Sunset and hopefully it keeps growing. Stoked we have that and I get to stay home and do some contests.

"On the waves I thought it'd be a 6 and then it was a 9 and I was thinking, holy crap. I was pretty surprised with all the scores and I looked at the clips and realized, ‘oh I can do this.’ This year I hope I can do better. I made round 3 and hopefully I can top that.” Much like brother Josh, Seth was surprised by the level of surfing in the big leagues while encountering some of his childhood heroes. "Josh Kerr was in my heat that I lost against, and that was pretty cool. He was my favorite surfer since I was little kid. I had a left and pulled in and I should have came out. If I made that, I would have got the score for sure. But just being out there with them and trading off waves… I was going from 1st to 4th, 1st to 4th and back and forth. I’ll always remember that heat. "Approaching this Triple Crown, I’ve been surfing and training and trying out new boards. I’m seeing how it goes heat by heat and wave by wave. I was having too much fun surfing in those heats, sometimes catch too many little waves and making a few more mistakes then a should have. I've learned from that. I’m going to be selecting good waves. I know that all I have to do is surf and I can make heats.” Watch the Moniz boys take on the world’s best. Coming soon to the Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing. pau

"My first year was 2013, I was 15 years old. It was a great experience. For me I was super nervous, this was my first real big event in the pros. Just surfing with guys at a level like



EL NIÑO SMALL TALK By Lauren Rolland

Warm ocean waters have lasted into the fall and winter months in Hawai‘i and residents have been relishing in consistent waves sans springsuits. Currently in the midst of what looks to be one of the strongest El Niños in recorded history, the season kicked off with a bang. Hurricanes, tropical storms, warm weather and steady swell are a few of the results the island archipelago has experienced thus far, but researchers predict we’ll likely see more El Niño effects with a 95% chance it will last till spring 2016. What is El Niño exactly? It’s not, as Chris Farley’s ‘97 SNL skit might portray, one particular storm, and it’s not a hurricane like Guillermo, Kilo or Hilda – it doesn’t even get a fancy proper name. In fact, research shows that an El Niño system can last anywhere between 9 to 12 months, some even as long as 3 to 4 years, and each one is uniquely different from another. El Niño is an outcome of sea-surface temperatures rising, which explains Hawai‘i’s unusually warm water during this time of year. This rise in ocean temperatures begins when the trade winds that usually blow from east to west weakens, thus setting off a chain reaction of weather impacts. Forecasters declare an official El Niño based on three things: ocean temperatures rising (NOAA requires temps to be at least 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit above average for three straight

months), weakening of prevailing trade winds, and storm rainfall veering to the east (due to lack of trade winds.) While it looks like the peak of El Niño won’t occur until late winter (January-March), the Pacific waters surrounding the islands have already seen a record-breaking 15 tropical cyclones (previous record was set at 11 in both 1994 and 1992.) After keeping a close watch on the ocean, climate and atmosphere patterns, weather forecasters announced that El Niño is officially upon us. Not to mention hurricane season doesn’t officially end until November 30. NOAA and National Weather Service (NWS) surf forecaster Pat Caldwell explains why we should stay prepared even past the hurricane end date. “With warmer than normal ocean waters around the islands, tropical cyclone activity odds remain above average into early December,” Caldwell says. “It’s true the odds get less with each passing day into fall, but there is still a chance.” Not only have the islands seen record-breaking cyclones this season, we also experienced an interesting phenomenon with three hurricanes passing through Pacific waters this summer. For the first time ever, three Category 4 hurricanes were spiraling at the same time in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. Kilo, Ignacio and Jimena occurred


in late August and early September, and the satellite image that went viral showed the three massive storms – with wind speeds exceeding 130mph – churning within only a few hundred miles of the Hawaiian Islands. This year’s strong El Niño is being compared to the granddaddy of all El Niños, which occurred the winter of 1997-98 and caused flooding in California and the southeast, an ice storm in the northeast, and tornadoes in Florida, among other global destruction. For Hawai‘i, the ’97 El Niño brought heavy vog, warm winter weather and drought, not to mention 30-40 ft. surf on Oahu. Depending on where in the world you live, El Niño will affect the weather, wind and water differently, so it’s hard to say whether El Niños are necessarily “good” or “bad.” While it may provide much needed rain to California, it won’t be enough to end the 4-year-long drought. And in other parts of the world, like Peru, El Niño is expected to bring devastating floods whereas India and Australia foresee severe drought. While science can’t be 100 percent certain on predictions, research does show that no two El Niños are alike. So what exactly stands out this year to make this one so unique? Caldwell says it’s the massive warmer than normal pool of water in the NE quadrant of the Pacific (from Dateline to Americas, and tropics to Alaska). “The warm pool is

unprecedented in size and duration … and influences the jet stream, which in turn steers the storms,” Caldwell says. Prior to ’97, strong El Niño years were also recorded in 1991-92, 1982-83 and 197273. While the most recent strong El Niño caused dry weather in Hawai‘i, the event of ’82 brought Hurricane Ewa right in time for Thanksgiving. For most of us, the big question has everything to do with the waves. We live in Hawai‘i after all, and the North Shore of Oahu has turned its attention to the Vans Triple Crown – the most anticipated surf event of the year – and everyone is hoping for something big. Yet Caldwell says the Triple Crown waiting period (November 12 – December 20) is a bit early for the primary El Niño effect, which focuses on mid December to March. But don’t forget, this year we’re looking at a STRONG El Niño. “For Triple Crown period (fall), strong El Niños can give Hawai‘i a few whopper swells from central and western Pacific tropical cyclones.” If you were around during Typhoon Ivey in the fall of 1991, you witnessed a good example of this phenomenon, when Pipe was at an all-time high in late September. It might well end up being a year of the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau, which has been eagerly

anticipated since it was last held in December of 2009. So where does this leave us in terms of looking ahead to what El Niño might bring this winter? “Four out of the five most recent strong El Niño winters had above average number of days of giant surf – 20’+ Hawai‘i scale, or 40’+ peak face, top spots,” says Caldwell. “Those are good odds for ample outer reef activity this winter. All five strong El Niños had above average number of days of high surf – 8’+ Hawai‘i scale, or 16’+ peak face – odds do not get any better. Local weather during strong El Niño winters is drier (sunnier) and winds favor light/variable or gentle to moderate W-component winds (from SW to NW), which would mean abundant glassy dawns with sloppy conditions filling in mid morning and holding to near dusk along the seven-mile miracle.” We find ourselves now in November, facing one of the strongest El Niños in history, and Hawai‘i is looking forward to big surf, warm, dry weather and warmer ocean temperatures. If our islands can evade hurricanes, typhoons and tropical storms for the remainder of the season, we may be of the lucky ones to boast El Niño 2015-16 as a favorable phenomenon. pau

FIT FOR SURF Daily Qi Gong routine and lately just about every other day with yoga.

EVA N VA L I E R E PR E PARI N G F O R T H E N O R T H S HO RE S EA S O N By Dan House Photos: Bryce Johnson

Surfing isn’t easy. Anyone attempting the sport for the very first time is going to be gassed in under an hour. Surfing greenhorns will use muscles they didn’t even know existed and spend huge amounts of energy navigating the big blue washing machine. To surf professionally on the North Shore requires elite levels of physical fitness, stamina, and mental fortitude. From paddling to the lineup through giant surf, to finding one’s place in the pecking order, to finally catching a wave, and at that moment performing a series of body contorting maneuvers across the face – professional surfing is a whole other ball game. Once that first circuit of the above routine is completed you need to get back into the lineup and do it over and over again. Evan Valiere has had considerable success on the North Shore with an event win at Sunset and major magazine covers at Pipeline. The 31-year-old has been one of the standouts on the North Shore year in and year out for quite a while now. To surf at Evan’s level takes major dedication. Being physically fit, finding the proper boards for a wide range of conditions, eating clean, and learning how to compete in premiere events against the best surfers in the world are just a few of the challenges pro surfers have to face. One of Evan’s most endearing qualities is that he is a really good guy and full of aloha. Evan was gracious enough to answer a few questions about how he is preparing for the 126

North Shore winter season and contests. While Freesurf has covered Fit For Surf topics on things like jiu jitsu, crossfit and yoga in the past, this is our first interview with a surfer who practices Qi Gong, which is a Chinese health practice that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intentions. How did you get into Qi Gong and yoga? Someone mentioned that I may like Qi Gong so I took a seminar and practiced it ever since. Yoga has always been around my family and it is just something that I have liked since I was young. In what ways do Qi Gong and yoga help you stay fit for surfing? Qi Gong is a lot of stretching and breathing. But overall I feel it mostly helps me to be mentally sharp and focused, it’s more meditative. This helps me remain calmer when the waves are critical and helps keep my heart rate lower when I am paddling fast. It also makes my recovery times quicker. Yoga also helps in that way, but I get a more physical work out and strength in yoga than in Qi Gong. In yoga a lot of the poses strengthen hips, lower back and legs that ultimately support lots of the positions that you get into while maneuvering your board. It just feels good, they are both great lifestyle practices with overall benefits. What is your regiment with these types of cross training?

Do you still have a training program going? I remember your little “Wild Hair” program you had going with Keale Chung and some of your other friends a while back. Are the “Wild Hairs” still getting together and training? Team Wild Hairs was a short lived run over at Barca’s gym, just doing exercises and boxing drills. I feel like my lifestyle is training and preparation on its own. Seeking out good food and supplements, daily Qi Gong and yoga practice. Spending

time in the water surfing, or teaching surfing at my surf school, and riding my mountain bike all help to keep me tuned. But right now is a good time for me to take it next level again! Do you ever work with a coach for competition or ironing out technique for different maneuvers or waves? Or have you just always figured it out on your own? Coach Russell Lewas has given me many insights in the past on technique and heat strategy. I have also used my own experience to notice certain things that work for surfers in general and certain things that work for me personally. What drives you to keep doing these events? Are you looking for a paycheck or do you thrive on competing and testing yourself? I just like to compete with the best surfers. It lifts my level of surfing and I hold myself to a higher standard of living and preparation before the events. It’s motivation. I also feel that this is my best platform to show my abilities, as I have not participated on too many photo or video travels or big wave ventures. What advice would you give someone who is surfing Pipeline for the first time and is looking to get a good wave? What is the best way to prepare for surfing Pipe or some other heavy waves for the winter?


Pipeline is always there. There is opportunity for those who seek it. Always be respectful of the pecking order, and the danger and power of the wave. It could take your life. That being said, put in your time, build your confidence on small ones, and when the bomb comes don’t hesitate. Surfing a wave from Pipeline has to come from within. You have to desire it, you have to love that excitement and commitment of taking that risk.

industry in acceptance and recognition are no longer important to me. My family has been taking me to the North Shore of Oahu since I was two years old to enjoy the ocean and play in the waves. All I want to do now is surf and enjoy the North Shore and get the biggest barrels and best waves of my life. That’s all that is important to me, just for the fun of it. My wife Brittney and daughter Jaya have helped put that into perspective for me.

What advice would you give to someone competing in the Triple Crown for the first time? Learn and understand the ocean and the waves. The ocean is powerful, you just have to learn how to work with it and get into rhythm.

If the waves go flat leading up to winter how do you stay active and in surfing shape so that you can remain sharp and surf to your fullest potential? I surf almost every day at home, or I am in the water teaching surfing. I also have my Qi Gong and yoga routine. I am always ready. I do the fine tuning for a specific wave or event when it’s on my radar.

When the waves aren’t good during the competition season it seems there is quite a bit of down time. What do you do to fill that time? I have plenty to do running a small business, spending time with my family, I can almost always find a way to ride waves or get in the water. I am always moving. You have a family now. How does that change your approach to the North Shore season? The things that I once wanted from the surf

Is it more difficult to progress as a surfer as you get older? I have improved throughout my entire surfing life. I know more about technique, surfboards, waves, and myself than I ever have. Keeping it exciting is everything. You have to keep learning and stay creative. Diet is very important for any athlete. When you are training and working on getting more fit, what kind of foods or

drinks do you gravitate towards? Does your diet change during the actual events? My diet is always stable. I like GMO free, organic foods, I was raised that way. I will boycott anything else if I possibly can. The next level is eating specific foods that help with certain things that the body needs. Nothing specific really. In your experience what is the best cross training for surfing? Qi Gong has helped me mentally, spiritually and physically all in one practice and that has helped to put me in alignment with the ocean and focused when I am riding waves. I have been practicing on a regular basis for almost 12 years now. Is there any more wisdom or advice you can impart on our readers that will allow them to be more fit and improve their surfing or longevity in the sport? Yes. Always surf after a warm up. For longevity in this asymmetrical sport it is good to do activities to physically balance your lower back and legs and neck. pau






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Realtor-Associate | RS-72653



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We know you’ve been a California transplant for some time now. Have you spent much of 2015 there, or more so traveling?

A splash of bright pink color illuminates California's cold and gray lineups. It moves swiftly and precisely: spray erupting, quick yet smooth carves. On shore, a lone cameraman’s shutter click click clicks, trailing the blaze of pink. Eye-catching for anyone standing on shore, the surfer represents originality, playfulness and confidence.

“I’ve been here for the most part, especially for the U.S Open and all that madness. Vans, my sponsor, is located here and that means doing a lot of stuff, we actually just did a big collaboration with Disney. I don’t have a set schedule… I don’t think any pro surfer does and with Vans, we work on designs and collaborations together. I try and travel as much as I can to film. I actually just went to Indonesia to get out of my wetsuit. Besides Indo, I went to Mexico, did some music festival things in Chicago. I didn’t really have a crazy traveling year since I’m not on the QS. I just freesurf, so I’m not running crazy to every part of the world and if I go on a trip it’s to film and surf quality waves. This year I’ve done a lot of trips to Northern California because, well... it’s amazing.

By Cash Lambert Photos: Gage Hingley

It’s not that Lelia Hurst needed to make herself stand out more; the 22-year-old's contest surfing does just that, plus her charismatic personality tacks on even more charm. So why the change in hair color? “I wanted something different,” the Hawai’iturned-California transplant will tell you. Which is the exact mentality this natural blonde took towards her surfing career. After a discussion with Vans years ago, Leila downed the freesurfing pill and has yet to look back, all in the name of change. “I stopped doing contests and ever since then my career has blossomed in a different way,” she says. Leila’s day to day activities quickly shifted: Video edits. Plane tickets to locations she can’t wait to see. A hand in product design with Vans. Even road trips up Highway 1 to destinations of her choice. We recently caught up with the creative wahine on her 2015 year and had to ask: will that pink wash out in Hawaiian waters?

Trips often teach us lessons that are impossible to learn in our comfort bubble. Has this been the case for you as well this year? Right! In Indonesia we stayed at this camp that was... ghetto. No toilet seats. It was all squat pots. No toilet paper... we were living so differently than we do in California and it had me thinking... People live so simple over there and in the US we think we need so many things. We want more and more and over there they have literally one of everything. One sheet, one bigger blanket, everything. There’s no doubles or triples. It’s really basic. It’s what we all miss out on. We

think we need so much and we don’t. Have you been able to make it back home to Kauai this year with so much going on in California and trips like these? I’ve only been twice. I get so homesick! Kelia Moniz is here in California with me and when I’m with her it makes me feel like I’m at home. Back home, I just hang with my parents and surf and I’m obsessed with my dog. She’s a golden retriever, and I swear every golden retriever I see is one is the nicest dogs ever. Her name is Honey girl, and she’s been on 3 Vans t-shirts. Vans will turn my photos into graphics, and they chose photos of her. Back home, you grew up with the likes of Sebastian Zietz, Alana Blanchard and Bethany Hamilton. What’s it been like to watch their ascent into the pro surfing spotlight? I feel like I’m so used to it, because everyone from Kauai has done so well. Alana, Bethany and myself used to watch Andy and Bruce. Bethany is incredible, she’s done such good things and Alana was just at my house the other day. I hadn’t seen her in 3 months. All of us, we barely see each other because we’re never there. And with so many ‘Staff Picks’ section edits on Vimeo, we see why you’re rarely home. It seems like you’re always filming somewhere. How do these ideas come about? My filmmaker, Matt Pagan, is really talented. I just have to surf and do my talent and he


designs the project in a way that he wants to do it. It takes so much work; it takes months and it’s only two minutes of video. That’s if you want it to be perfect. Now that has become a goal of mine to keep creating other staff picks. What other goals have you made or achieved in 2015? I’m currently working on a video that’s of different trips I recently went on. My sister has a walking disability [called Spina Bifida] and she’s going to be in a video and that’s my main goal: to finish a good video about my surfing and my story with my sister. And my personal goal... I’ve never figured that one out. It always changes... but yeah my main goal is to get a good video that I’m happy with and proud of. And this winter in Hawai’i I’m just going to surf and film and enjoy the Triple Crown madness. One of the videos we recently watched was of your sister’s involvement with Life Rolls On, an organization that takes those with disabilities surfing. What was it like to share your love of surfing with her? It was epic! We’ve done it a few times, the first time was amazing. The coolest thing ever. I cried the whole time we did it and each time it’s emotional. It’s crazy that she can be in the ocean with me. It affects her in such a positive way.

You’ve been with the “original surf brand” Vans for 9 years now. How did you get linked up in the first place? Reef McIntosh actually asked them to sponsor me. They are particular about who they put on their team, so it’s such an honor and it’s just been epic, growing to what it is now. We all like each other. I get to hang out with the Gudauskas brothers and they’re hilarious. Vans is a cool brand, they stand for cool things, and it’s fun to be creative. I’m so happy to be with them. And I’ve been surfing since... forever and been sponsored since I was 9. There’s been times in my life when I’ve questioned what do with my career. With surfing, it’s so easy to get into a groove, with contest after contest and all these things you can do for years and years. So I stopped doing contests and ever since then my career has blossomed in a different way. I enjoy surfing so much more, because I enjoy going places and I get to explore and make a video out of the places. That’s what changed a lot of things in my life. I needed change. I didn’t think that [freesurfing] lifestyle existed, and I tried the QS. But I decided to commit to freesuring and Vans completely backed me. I said ‘I’m going to run with it and make it my best’. It’s just different than what a lot of surfers are doing and it’s hard to trust yourself but I’m so much happier and have had so many more

opportunities that I’ve always wanted. Like the collaboration with Disney. That’s huge for me. I also get to ride different boards when before I’ve ridden only plain shortboards. Now it’s longboards, twin fins, single fins. I didn’t know how to ride them before. Besides experimenting with other boards and traveling, what have you filled your extra time with this year? Well, I dyed my hair pink. I was bored and I needed to change something. My dad was freaking out and I said ‘hey I’m gonna surf 5 times it’s going to be gone’. It washes out. And my sister’s getting married, and we’re all planning that. But overall, just working on being a better person every day. And with the winter season now here, what are you looking forward to the most? All the people out at Rockies! Kidding. I really love seeing everyone at the Triple Crown, because in California I’m far away and I enjoy seeing the people I grew up with. Plus Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love being home for that too. pau  

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Grom Report: Cole Alves GROM REPORT

CO LE ALV E S By Cash Lambert Photos: Marc Chambers

Try to speak with Cole Alves before a surf heat and chances are you’re going to have to compete with Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and company for the Maui native’s attention. Why? Led Zeppelin’s Dazed and Confused is part of Cole’s pre-heat jam, whether that’s near home in Lahaina Harbor or at the Rip Curl Grom Search at Uppers in California. As Cole begins his stretches, the band’s crowing lyrics typically slip into his ears: You hurt and abuse tellin’ all of your lies/ Run around sweet baby, Lord how you hypnotize.  And my how the 14-year-old hypnotizes during his heats and freesurfs: cranking turns. Blowing tail. Roundhouse cutbacks with ease, threading tight barrels, putting turn after turn on long rights…Which is why the 8th grader has a laundry list of sponsors: Rip Curl, Futures, Glenn Minami Shapes, Dakine, Watermans sunscreen and Hi-Tech Surf.  We recently caught up with the regular footer to find out his plans for the winter season, only to find out that a throat injury had sidelined him for the previous two weeks. It’s the most time he’s ever been out of the water.  134

Like a musician without his instrument, Cole may be in a daze, but he’s not confused. His goals and ambitions are clear, and we expect to see him in the water any day and in full preparation mode for upcoming contests and challenges. And when the grom does get in the water for the first time since like, forever? His favorite song seems to know the feeling: Sweet little baby, I don’t know where you’ve been/ Gonna love you baby, here I come again.

What’s your first surfing memory? When I was like 3. I was on my dad’s board in Waikiki; I think I was at Queens. He took me out into the shorebreak, super small. I never really stood up. And then I didn’t surf when I was 5 or 6, I really started when I was 7 or 8. There was a Menehune Mayhem contest on Maui, and I did really bad, but I started surfing a lot more and my dad really pushed me. He fully supported me wanting to do it, and so the next year I won the Menehune Mayhem. That was around 2010. Then really started doing NSSA, and did both NSSA Nationals and Surfing America the next year.  

Any particular surfer that you are mimicking? John John! He’s the best surfer in the world to me. Super sick style...he makes everything look easy, like when he gets barreled and does turns. Just super unique and yeah I’d like to surf like him. I’d like to be like any pro. John John...he’s super cool. How are you balancing school with surfing?  I go to a private school, so they let me take off and they give me the work before I go on trips. My parents, they like me to get good grades and they want me to do good in school. What kind of training are you doing to prepare for upcoming competitions? Last year I trained with Pancho Sullivan, and he helps me when I go to the North Shore. He fully helps with those types of bigger waves, working on carves and all that, turns, even barrels. I train every Tuesday, and we do a lot of leg stuff. Just loosening everything up, then a full training session. 


Tell us about your worst wipeout. I got really worked at Pipe. I nose dove, fell and the lip landed on me. It was a pretty good sized day. Or when I went to Bali this summer. We were surfing at a right with a dry reef in front of it. I fell and more sets came by and dragged me on the reef. That was at Bingin, and that one was worse because I got all cut up. But at Pipe I got pretty worked too. And your biggest supporters?  My dad. He’s been supporting me since day one because he’s  a surfer and he likes it and I like it too. When he was younger he moved from Japan to Oahu and he grew up at Kaiser’s. Now he gives me tips. He usually just says go big, do bigger hits, talks about wave selection.   What are you currently preparing for at the moment?  The Rip Curl grom search National Final and it’s at Uppers in October. I’ve just been trying to surf a lot and get stronger but for the past two weeks or so I haven’t surfed because

of neck problems. But I should be back in the water in a few days. So I’ve just been stretching and keeping loose.

Town or country? Country 

Now we’re going to do a bit more rapid fire questions. Ready?

Pushups or Situps? Pushups 

Pre-surf song? I like Dazed and Confused by Led Zeppelin before I go in heats Saying/quote to live by? Go big Leash/no leash? Leash  Dream trip? I’d like to go to Tahiti  Cheeseburger or Chicken fingers? Cheeseburger  Favorite lay day activity? When I went to Bali, they had a pool there and I really got into it. Favorite person to follow on social media? Kook slams  Air or Turn? Turn 

Skiis or snowboard? Snowboard 

Fruit or Vegetables? Fruits  Last concert you attended? None...we don’t have much on Maui  What do you want your first car to be? A Toyota Tacoma, cause it’s a truck and you can put your board in the back Any last words for the Freesurf audience? Um....have a nice day! pau


VANS TRI P L E CR O W N K UL E AN A By Lauren Rolland

It’s a humid morning. The winds are calm, yet the excitement in the air creates an opposite atmosphere. The buzz runs up and down Kamehameha Highway, along the sand and throughout the beach park, like a current of electricity. A clean NW swell filled in over night and the waves are overhead. The contest has been called on. Pipeline is living up to its machine-like reputation and everyone – competitors, media, organizers, tourists, fans and locals the island over – are all congregated at Ehukai Beach Park. This is the day, one of four at Pipeline, that the entire surf industry has been waiting for. The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing hosts thousands of visitors to the North Shore each winter for its trifecta of prestigious events, and with ground-shaking waves and career-making performances it’s no wonder so many gather to witness it live. While the Billabong Pipe Masters sees approximately 17,500 total beachgoers when the contest is on, the North Shore itself averages around 56,000 people every week of the year. According to the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, roughly 52 percent of visitors that come to Oahu come to the North Shore. Over the course of its 33-year history, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (VTCS) has recognized the impact of visitors to the 7 Mile Miracle and strives to malama (take care of) the community in many different ways. “We actually haven’t tried to grow our spectators,” says WSL Hawaii General Manager and Vans Triple Crown Executive Director, Jodi Wilmott. “That’s why we’ve invested so much over the years in broadcasting Live to millions around the globe and in Hawai‘i via the web, Apps, and Oceanic Time Warner Cable.” Majority of the working team of the VTCS live on the North Shore and are aware of the impact, including Wilmott.

Thanks to Organizations such as the North Shore Community Land Trust and other caretakers of the North Shore, the beloved stretch of coastline has relatively changed little over the decades, as shown in this image taken Circa 1977. Photo: Steve Wilkings

“We understand the number of visitors the North Shore experiences on any given day of the year and the last thing we want to do is exacerbate that.” After decades of distinction, VTCS is committed to an extensive sustainability program that spans beyond the 39 days of the series. Beginning at the first day of build out in Haleiwa for the Hawaiian Pro and lasting until the final day of tear down for the Billabong Pipe Masters, the Vans Triple Crown has sincerely stepped up its stewardship of the North Shore for future generations. Like most local residents, VTCS recognizes its kuleana (responsibility) to be environmentally and socially aware and works in line with non-profits, local businesses and organizations. “We don’t rely on volunteerism,” says Wilmott. “We choose to employ nonprofits and organizations to work with us - being sustainable means being able to afford to keep your lights on and we want to help our partners do that.” Not only has the VTCS maintained a watchful eye on its environmental impact, but they’ve also transitioned into becoming a global model for sustainability within the surf industry. Led by the World Surf League (WSL) and Vans, the VTCS has developed into a progressive surfing series that not only celebrates the sport, but aims to partner with the community on fundamental levels as well.

COMMUNITY / For example, 35,894 single use water bottles were saved last year by providing athletes and crew members with reusable bottles and FloWater dispensaries. 7,500 organic meals were served to athletes, officials and sponsors by Ke Nui Kitchen, which sources local, organic ingredients that are 100 percent GMO-free. All plates and utensils from these 7,500 meals were of compostable materials and shredded to speed up the composting process. 60 percent of trash collected during the events was diverted from the landfills and HPower by Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii and turned into reusable resources. 80 percent of power needs were met with renewable biodiesel fuel. Alternative transportation was provided for athletes, staff and spectators via bikes and shuttles from Turtle Bay resort. Beyond these sustainability initiatives, there is also a community integration that continues to grow each year. In 2014, 16 different organizations were financial beneficiaries of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing coming into town, including The Surfrider Foundation, North Shore Community Land Trust, Department of Parks & Recreation, Mauli Ola Foundation, North Shore Chamber of Commerce, local public schools and more. This year, organizers of the prestigious surfing series are looking to build on these initiatives to further involve and enrich the community. But before the sustainability and community output can be established, the partnerships must be developed. The building blocks of any good business, VTCS’ partnerships are an integral part of being an environmentally and socially conscious surfing series. Aligning with the North Shore on similar goals of sustainability and conservational awareness, the VTCS provides partnerships, community support and social benefits for the betterment of the North Shore.

 By Dan House The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing has a large fan base in and out of the state of Hawai‘i. The pageantry and tradition is a staple in the sport of surfing, drawing a lot of attention from the endemic surf media and mainstream media alike. The events can make or break surf careers and are more often than not run in waves of consequence. Monetarily, the Vans Triple Crown is beneficial to the North Shore and Hawai‘i as a whole. They also positively showcase Hawai‘i to future visitors outside of the islands via various media outlets and the live webcasts.

Prize purse

$1,185,000 No. of athletes competing


To better understand the ways in which the VTCS has applied these initiatives, the overall program is best broken down into three core values: COMMUNITY, SUSTAINABILITY and PARTNERSHIP. This trifecta is the reason why VTCS is becoming a standard, by which all other surfing series are measured, a model for the industry to develop and improve. The VTCS provides the opportunity for scores of community organizations, schools, non-profits and local businesses to benefit and flourish, and is working hard to incorporate meaningful partnerships and goals into their progressive program.

No. of nations represented


Including South Africa, Tahiti, Italy, Ireland, Argentina, Hawai‘i, Australia and USA.

Let’s take a closer look at what exactly has been implemented in the past and what this means for 2015 and the future. COMMUNITY It’s not hard to see the vast community support VTCS has provided throughout its 33-year history. From cleaning the shorelines and protecting open spaces to maintaining public facilities and supporting the digital media lab at Waialua Intermediate High School, VTCS has dedicated time, money and hard work to ensure that the North Shore community is well taken care of. Take a look at the restrooms at Ali‘i Beach Park or Ehukai. Renovations include new paint, interior tile, flooring, sink and toilet upgrades, which provide visitors clean accommodations and ultimately offer lasting benefits for residents. In 2014 Vans Triple Crown spent close 140

No. of people on live webcast & production crew




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COMMUNITY / to $35,000 on similar Haleiwa/Ali‘i restroom restorations and this year close to $40,000 at Ehukai. Another great example of community support is the relationship the VTCS has with the North Shore Community Land Trust (NSCLT). Every year, the NSCLT hosts a Benefit for the Country event, which raises money to help protect and preserve the open spaces and natural areas throughout the North Shore, from Kahuku to Kaena Point. The cornerstone of this year’s Vans Triple Crown events, the NSCLT Benefit for the Country aims to raise money through the fundraiser’s dinner and silent auction. Doug Cole, Executive Director of the NSCLT, says the benefit is an “Annual opportunity for us to come together as a community and celebrate how wonderful the North Shore is.” If you live in Oahu’s countryside and enjoy the open spaces of Pupukea-Paumalu, the 1,100-acre coastal bluff system of hiking trails that overlooks Pipeline, you have NSCLT to thank. And after last year’s Benefit for the Country fundraiser and this year’s dedication, the non-profit was also able to successfully conserve 630 acres of land from development at Kawela Bay and Kahuku Point, with the support of VTCS. “Our mantra as an organization is ‘if we dream big, big things will happen,’” says Cole. “Preserving Kawela Bay and the Turtle Bay property was a huge dream we set a few years ago, and by the time we hold the Benefit this year, that {goal} will have been finalized and completed. It’s my hope that at our Benefit, or around that time, we’re setting the next big dream together. What that will be, where it will be, I think we just have to look around us on the North Shore and see all this beauty and look for those opportunities.”

No. of LIVE webcast plays

14.5million Page views on WorldSurfLeague.com:


Total hours of digital video of the Vans Triple Crown watched

4,596,729 Total reach on Facebook


These success stories add to the well-being of local residents and future generations, and are just one of the many ways the prestigious surfing series works with the community to improve the North Shore lifestyle. “I think Vans Triple Crown has done a great job of supporting a lot of great community efforts and trying to be a good partner to the community,” says Cole. “From restoring and renovating bathrooms to helping maintain the shoreline, they’ve done a lot of things and I think it has been a good partnership. We’re really pleased to be adding this to the long list of ways that we can partner with each other and with the surfing community, Triple Crown and the North Shore.” SUSTAINABILITY Walk along the 7 Mile Miracle shoreline and you’ll witness another outcome of the VTCS in our backyard – clean beaches. Vans has once again committed to a wide-ranging sustainability program that spans the entire series, staying true to their vested interest in protecting the planet and improving global communities for future generations. Initiatives such as waste diversion strategies with Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, providing organic, non-GMO local meals to VTCS staff and athletes with Ke Nui Kitchen, reducing single use water bottles by implementing Flowater systems and providing alternative transportation to event sites have all been applied once again to the 2015 VTCS season.

Economic impact to state of Hawai‘i

$~24 million Average wave face height we expect this winter during strong El Niño

20 feet Largest wave face height expected this winter

50-60 feet Donations (cash and in-kind) to local community groups

$75,000 minimum

COMMUNITY / Vans’ Sustainability department is a frontrunner in the movement. Kim Matsoukas is the Director of Sustainability for VF Corp, a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel and footwear, which includes Vans as one of their top five largest brands.

No. of event meals served to athletes, officials, and sponsors


“Vans has always believed in doing the right thing and we’ve had employees who’ve pushed this forward in a grassroots way since the brand’s inception,” says Matsoukas. “But over the last few years, Vans has made a concerted effort to build a real strategy around sustainability, to measure how we are doing, to set goals and to integrate sustainable thinking into different functions.” All these come into play when developing the Triple Crown, and Vans has progressed to make these pillars a priority for the surfing series. “We recognize how special the North Shore is and how gracious the local community is to host the event each year,” Matsoukas says. “Vans wants to make sure this event enhances the local environment and gives back to the community every year. We do this mainly by working with local partners like Pacific Biodiesel to power the event with diesel made from the used cooking oil from local restaurants. We also partner with Sustainable Coastlines, who do an excellent job of managing our recycling and composting program and educating spectators on the importance of reducing plastic use.”

No. of single use water bottles saved by providing athletes and crew with reusable bottles and FloWater dispensaries

35,894 No. of years the Series and events have been running: Vans Triple Crown Series

For the third year in a row, Vans Triple Crown has teamed up with Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, a local nonprofit that inspires communities to care for their coastlines through fun, hands-on beach cleanups. Hired to provide a comprehensive 45-day resource management strategy during the Triple Crown, Sustainable Coastlines is in place to keep the beaches clean, minimize waste and educate the public about resource management. Kahi Pacarro, Executive Director of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, has been fine-tuning the non-profit’s collaboration with VTCS and the community for years. “We started with a real bare bones approach to trying to divert as much waste from our HPower and landfill facilities,” explains Pacarro. “Going on year three we’re really excited to up our game, and learn from the last couple Triple Crowns and other events we’ve done to provide a really good resource management program.” Last year, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii collected 3,111 pounds of trash overall from the events. Of that, 1,500 pounds was compostable and 1,000 pounds was recyclable, meaning that the program was able to divert 60 percent of the trash away from HPower and the landfills, and turn it into a resource for other avenues. The switch to labeling the program ‘resource management’ as opposed to ‘waste diversion’ was made to “Bring value to every single aspect of the waste stream,” says Pacarro. “If we just called it waste diversion, that would mean that we’re dealing with some type of waste. But the reality is, here in Hawaii even the trash that gets thrown away is a resource because we’re converting it to energy at HPower. So we’re bringing value not only to the compost and the recyclables, but also to the trash as well that we can’t recycle or compost here on island.” Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii will implement resource management tents and bins throughout the contest sites, as well as host a beach cleanup every day right after lunch to make sure none of the trash finds its way into the ocean. Furthermore, Pacarro and his team have designed an Education Station, a 20-foot mobile container that acts 144

33 years Billabong Pipe Masters

45 years Vans World Cup of Surfing

41years Hawaiian Pro

31years The Triple Crown aligns more strongly with visitors’ public image of Hawai‘i than the NFL, Pro Bowl or PGA Golf Tournaments.

The Vans Triple Crown is Hawai‘i’s most sustainable event, and most globally viewed event.

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Kahi Paccarro. Photo: Keoki

as a classroom with a movie screen, located across from Pipeline at Waihuena Farms. Striving to inform the public about trash, resources and the importance of keeping our beaches clean, the Education Station is open during contest days and is free to the public. PARTNERSHIP Vans Triple Crown has spent decades cultivating meaningful partnerships with organizations, schools and businesses for the betterment of the community. The North Shore Community Land Trust, Ke Nui Kitchen and Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii are just a few examples of these collaborations, with VTCS continuing to pick up new partners each year. Na Kama Kai will be a new partner and beneficiary this year. A Hawaiian ocean-based program that aims to work with the youth, Na Kama Kai was founded by Makaha resident and well-respected waterman Duane DeSoto. Recently inducted into the Duke Kahanamoku Hall Of Fame, DeSoto is a world champion longboarder and humanitarian that aims to spread knowledge and passion for the ocean to the community and future generations. “It’s imperative when we have such a big event like {the Vans Triple Crown} that we have a connection back to the community,” DeSoto says. “What we bring as a nonprofit is a hands-on ocean education program, accurate cultural teachings, and a connection to the people. Having the Triple Crown at Haleiwa, we will simultaneously be doing work at Haleiwa Beach Park as a giveback and direct connection back to the keiki of our community.” During this year’s Hawaiian Pro in Haleiwa, Na Kama Kai will be hosting an interactive beach day on Sunday, November 15 to educate keiki about the importance of ocean safety. The clinic will be presented by industry partner Reef.

Developing a 5-part curriculum, Na Kama Kai will introduce and educate about ocean safety, conservation and cultural connection. The day will include curriculum from a Polynesian Voyaging Society instructor; an ocean safety station where students learn how to read the ocean and be aware of surroundings; a one-one-one paddle session with Na Kama Kai volunteers to expose the keiki to the ocean in a safe environment; a canoe ride up river to learn about the importance of our ahupua‘a and keeping our rivers and land clean; and a stewardship and conservation station to learn about marine debris, endangered species and cultural relationships. “Nobody knows Hawaiian culture better than the Hawaiians, and what Duane and his ohana offer through Na Kama Kai is truly a gift to all who get to experience it,” says Wilmott. “Reef will be partnering with WSL Hawai‘i through our 2016 youth development program and saw Na Kama Kai’s clinic as a perfect way to kick off their involvement.” Other great partnerships with the VTCS include Mauli Ola Foundation, FloWater, Turtle Bay, North Shore Chamber of Commerce, Surfrider Foundation, Department of Parks & Recreation, Surfline, GoPro, Freesurf Pedal Power, Friends of Waialua Bandstand, Sunset Beach Elementary, Chance’Em and the Wailaua Surf Team, Ke Nui Kitchen, Malama Pupukea-Waimea and more. The Vans Triple Crown is continuing to make a positive impact on the North Shore and as the most prestigious surfing series in the world, has the opportunity to show the world what it means to be a steward of the land. pau

By Dan House

Winter in Hawai‘i is synonymous with big waves. Big waves requires big boards. Most likely some sort of flotation vest and you’re also going to need a bigger leash. That pinner comp leash you were running all summer isn’t going to cut it when you stack on a gigantic wave. Every accomplished surfer has experienced the hollow and sinking feeling of their leash breaking. Cartwheeling underwater thinking to yourself ‘how am I ever going to resurface and get back to the beach.’ No longer tethered to your precious piece of flotation and most direct access to dry land can be a big reality check. Dakine’s Surf Marketing Manager and Maui local, Micah Nickens, gave us insight on the Peahi leashes the brand has been providing to many big wave hellmen the last

few winters. Micah also shared tips on what leashes us mortals should be using in much less death defying waves.

scale. We figure if we can build a leash to withstand Peahi’s power, then we are looking pretty good for everything else.

Characteristics of big wave leashes: The Peahi leash is 11mm thick. Our original Kainui big wave leash is 7.93mm thick, to put it in perspective. Up until this season we only made a 12’ length, but we have a 9’ version coming out for spots like Mavs. The rest is a secret :)

When to use: It depends, Kala (Alexander) uses them with his SUP’s when he surfs big Sunset. Those boards are a lot heavier than your typical surfboard, so they snap leashes a lot easier. I would say that once you are on a 9’ board or bigger then you’re probably in waves that require that leash. My riders use the leash at pretty much every big wave spot now. That’s also why we are making a 9’ version. You need the 12’ length for Peahi. There’s a better chance of not getting sucked over with the wave. Smaller boards don’t pull quite as hard, so less length tends to work better. Plus less tomb stoning.

Leash building process: Basically we built the leash with the same application as we would our Kainui Pro Comp; we just scaled it to handle a much larger and heavier wave. We’ve made adjustments to the Peahi leash every season thanks to the R&D from our Peahi crew. Then we apply that same application to all the leashes on a smaller

Research & development: Haha, it’s on

Chris Latronic


Brent Bielmann

BIG WAVE LEASHES WITH MICAH NICKENS / going. Every season I sit at the top of the trail and talk to the boys about how we can better this leash. Sometimes they are a wealth of info, and sometimes they are too rattled to think about it. It’s a pretty emotional experience for these guys. I’ve been yelled at and praised in the same hour. Somehow it’s my fault if things don’t work out, but if it’s a life saver, then I become a hero. I just hand them out… Size & thickness: It’s funny, the WCT guys use the Kainui pro comp leash pretty much any time they compete. I’m always holding my breath when they get pounded by a solid one. The reality is, the Kainui Pro Comp is made for small waves. I’d keep it under 4’ (Hawaiian scale). Once the waves start reaching a consistent 4’ and maxing at around 6’ I’ll use the Kainui Team, anything bigger and you should be using a Kainui 7’ 5/16” or bigger. When you are chasing mountains, maybe consider looking me up for a Peahi leash. Replacement: Leashes are not indestructible. They eventually wear down and break. You leave them in the sun, or never rinse them after a surf, you’re going to deal with a shorter life span. I like to switch my leashes once a year. Especially if they’ve been stretched out from a lot of water time. However, I have friends who haven’t switched them in years. They seem to be holding up just fine. Advantages of using or not using a leash: There is no option for that at Peahi. Unless you’re insanely wealthy and have a dozen Peahi boards at your disposal, the leash is a must. I’m probably not the right guy to ask, but I know that the leash becomes your life line should you knock out under water. Shaun Lopez told me the other day that he routinely climbs his leash when he’s being held down for longer then he’d like. In my opinion, you should always use a leash in waves of consequence. Pipe might be another story, the leash can cause the board to break easier. Plus, it’s always connected to you when you’re getting heavy donuts. Which could lead to added injury. I guess it depends where you at? A lot of guys opt not to use leashes at Puerto for that same reason. Maybe just wear a little added flotation, just in case you go unconscious. Better safe than sorry!

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LET’S MAKE MUSIC By Blake Lefkoe Photos: Tony Heff

“ M o s t o f t h e m a te ri als I ’ v e used to f ix a nd repa ir Surf n Sea we re sc a v eng ed f ro m o t h e r b u i l d i n g s to rn down on t he Nort h Shore. I ’ m a lwa y s on t he lookout for wood, e i t h e r f o r m y u k u l e l e s o r f o r repa irs a t Surf n Sea . The termites sta y busy. ” -Joe Green Joe Green, owner of Surf n Sea and Haleiwa Ukuleles, grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. When the craftsman wasn’t surfing, he worked as a carpenter and occasionally, a mechanic. In 1977 Joe’s buddy, Rozo – who had traded in life on the east coast for the epic waves on Oahu – called him up and told him to get on a plane. Joe had just been laid off from a construction job of seven years, and the two-hundred-dollar-a-month room offer in Rozo’s house on the North Shore was too good of a deal to pass up. The carpenter moved to Hawai‘i that same year. For six months, he surfed his brains out while collecting unemployment, but before long, the surfer became a married 152

business owner with a growing family. Joe has accomplished a lot in the last four decades of living on the island, not the least of which is following his newest passion for playing and building ukuleles. In addition to being a carpenter, surfer and mechanic, Joe is also an avid musician. “I’ve been playing music a long time; harmonica since I was twelve-years-old and singing since the early ‘70s and I’ve been in at least a dozen bands here on the North Shore.” About twelve years ago, this musician began playing the ukulele. He heard Brother Iz’s rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and thought, “I really want to play this song.” So he bought

his first ukulele from North Shore local, Dr. Diltcher, and began taking lessons. Joe fell in love with the instrument immediately. For as long as the musician could remember, there had always been original songs floating around in his head, but never had a good instrument to compose on until he started playing the uke. “It really made my songwriting take off by just picking up this instrument. I learned five or six chords and it was like a revelation. I must have written 40 songs at this point. I’ve only recorded one CD, but I’m currently working on my second.”


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LET’S MAKE MUSIC / This songwriter had been playing the ukulele for five years when a lifeguard friend gifted him one. The young man told him he was getting rid of all his old ukuleles because he was going to learn how to make them himself. Joe was intrigued, “Hey, I want to do that!” Not long after speaking to the lifeguard, the craftsman hooked up with luthier Leif Anderson and began building the instruments. “The ukulele thing came really naturally because I’m good with my hands. The ukuleles that Dr. Diltcher builds are very, very well done; he’s amazing with his hands, very delicate. Being a carpenter I’m good with wood, but I didn’t know how to do the finer touches.” Being a lifelong woodworker helped Joe pick up the art quickly and before long, he was going above and beyond, doing things others were not. One of the most original features found on these customs ukuleles are the floral, Polynesian designs that the artist carves into them. The idea originated when the woodworker began creating instruments for the winners of the Reef Hawaiian Pro. It all started in 2010, when the Reef Contest Director bought one of Joe’s custom ukuleles to use as the prize in that year’s contest. Joel Parkinson won it. Everyone involved was so stoked on it that the director asked the ukulele builder if he would make eight more for 2011. Joe thought that they would hold more significance if they were carved with a design related to the event. For the next four years, the prize maker engraved these beautiful, handcrafted instruments with elements of each year’s Triple Crown

poster artwork. The finished results were not only exquisite works of art, but the carving actually improved the sound of the instruments. Another unique attribute of Joe’s ukuleles, both the ones that are for sale as well as those made for the contests, is what they are built out of. Instead of simply using the more traditional Koa and Mango hardwoods, Joe also uses Opuma, “A wood that not many people use,” says Joe. “It grows all over the place here; people usually cut it down and throw it away, but it’s a very beautiful wood.” Similarly to how this forager uses scavenged wood to fix-up and rebuild the Surf n Sea

building, he also incorporates used materials into the construction of his ukuleles. “I like to reuse wood if I possibly can and some of the older wood is much better than what you buy these days. The fret boards and bridges are all made from wood that we salvage from Surf n Sea.” Joe has also begun the distinctive trait of incorporating “an actual surfboard stinger style called a T-band … which looks and makes the uke’s neck stronger. It’s an older style of stringers. It’s usually balsa 3/4-inch with 1/8-inch redwood on either side of it. The older longboards have that kind of layout. It’s very strong, that’s why they did it, and works very well in the ukuleles.”

The parallel between boards and ukuleles transcend the physical structures and applies to the actual act of surfing and playing music as well. There is a deep-seated connection between these two activities and this man who has dedicated much of his life to both, gives his take on the similarities. “You know what the relationship is? It’s the rush you get when you ride a wave. It’s the adrenaline. That’s the addicting part of it. Music is very much like that. Especially if you get on stage and have an audience that’s tuned into what your doing. That’s the biggest connection.” The extraordinary success of Surf n Sea has enabled this hard worker to spend most of his time doing what he loves; going surfing, playing music and building ukuleles. “I try to get in the water everyday, mostly in the mornings and afternoons. Rarely is there a day when I’m not working on my ukuleles. I usually do that at night. My shop is at my house so it’s pretty convenient. I can slip down there and spend an hour, or all day. It’s a Zen thing. I can get in there and before I know it it’s one, two o’clock and my wife’s calling me asking if I’m ever coming to bed.” And when it comes to his wife, Joe is nothing but smiles. “My wife is the one that has kept me together all these years. There’s no way I could be where I am right now if it wasn’t for her. She’s one of the strongest individuals you’ll ever meet. All these years, we’ve done it together.” pau

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Follow Kimi Werner’s hand as she begins drawing on a white canvas and you’ll catch a glimpse of the hues and sights that make her tick: the mountainous backbones of Oahu. The dark blues that fill the deep sea. A medley of fish and other sea creatures (specifically, octopus) that frequently end up on her dinner table. The outdoors and its aforementioned beauty has been more than both work and play for the Hawai‘i native who has quite a shimmering resume: winner of the National Spearfishing Championships in 2008, an induction into the Hawai’i Freediving Hall of Fame five years later, and even serving as Patagonia’s Provisions Ambassador, along with a heap of other sponsorships for the amount of time she’s dedicated towards conservation efforts. Holding onto a great white shark’s dorsal fin should fit under ‘experience’, right? “My parents always taught to never take more than you need, and to always take care of the land and the ocean, because it’s what will take care of you,” Kimi says with her soft but direct voice. “It wasn’t until I was getting back into diving as an adult that I started thinking of [my actions] as being environmentally conscious.” Thus, art organically developed as a way to vent the sights and scars she'd seen. “My love for art came from my love for nature and that’s what keeps me inspired to paint,” Kimi says. “I don't always think about why I react the way I do or why I do what I do in the water. It's instinctual. That’s how I feel when I'm painting: I just put a color down and know what color I’m going to go for next and if I actually try and think about it, that interrupts the process.” Although many of the blank canvases she’s been recently drawing on are made to hang on the walls of art galleries, others are in the shape of pairs of white Vans shoes. Vans, known for its frequent work with sustainability measures, partnered with the conservationist for a campaign “playing off the idea of ‘treading lightly’”, according to Kimi. “The idea for an art show came … that I could paint the shoes and we could collaborate.”


But the event, taking place on December 5 at the North Shore Community Land Trust Benefit for the Country and backed by Vans, isn’t Kimi’s first involvement with donating her art. Last year, the philanthropist sold 10 pairs of painted Vans shoes with proceeds split between two non-profit organizations: Sustainable Coastlines and Malama Pupukea-Waimea. “I found out that Jack Johnson actually said he’d match the profit,” Kimi says with a laugh. “That was a total coincidence.” And at last year's North Shore Community Land Trust Benefit for the Country, she donated yet another pair of painted shoes as well as a painting to the silent auction.

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“The painting was a collaboration that was framed by Ben Wilkinson, a pro surfer here on the North Shore who is very environmentally conscious,” the artist says. “He made a beautiful frame out of reclaimed wood that he found. That painting ended up selling to John John Florence, for $750. And the donated pair of shoes were won by Pete Johnson, Jack's brother.”

the same mindset; they have a bottom line, what they can get out of places and out of a community. They’re not thinking about how to give back and how to leave a place even better. The fact that Vans is willing to collaborate with such an issue in Hawai‘i ... that’s what they all should do. It’s setting a great example.”

This year, she’s donating all of the winnings from her hand drawn and painted 15 pairs of shoes to the North Shore Community Land Trust. “I thought it was the best idea, since the two pieces the year before were big bids for them,” Kimi says. “They stand behind what I do: they’re not just for the perseveration on the North Shore. Nothing makes me more proud than to see local community taking an issue into its own hands and going for it.

Which according to Kimi, is not only what she believes in, but it’s also what the entire concept of ‘tread lightly’ is built on. “It’s important to live an examined life. What Vans is doing is a perfect example of that, if they're going to come to Hawai‘i and have the Triple Crown, then they're going to have to look at what they can do for this local community to not just minimize the footprint but to actively give back and leave something better than when they got here, whether it’s working with the community, children or culture.”

What will she be painting? “Mainly ocean art and all of my passions: fish, coral, octopus and underwater seascapes. I think it's really important when choosing something to pursue that you are authentically passionate about it. For me, it’s the ocean. The reef. All the animals that live in it. When it comes down to the core, it’s what I connect with: those underwater features.” At the core of the conservation movement during the Vans Triple Crown is the company behind the entire event, and for Kimi, that equates to invaluable progress. “Just having a set influential, mainstream yet core company become a platform to bring awareness to these things and give back to community sets a great example. A lot of corporations don’t have

And not just working with them, but understanding the local heart and determining which tasks and projects the community senses is of utmost importance, according to Kimi. "That’s what [Vans is] doing and that’s something that everyone should be able to do," she says. "And because of their commitment to sustainability and their great help to the North Shore Community Land Trust, I’m hoping it’ll set the example for anyone." pau

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H O W G O PRO CAPTURED TH E E YE S O F THE SURF I N D U STRY By Cash Lambert It’s a narrative that we love to hear about: humble beginnings. The waterlogged and dinged first surfboard for a now contending sponsored surfer. A businessman’s first sale of a t-shirt out of his truck that later exploded into a core surf brand. A photographer receiving a few dollars for his first published photo now serving as the photo editor for one of surfing’s most prestigious publications. And a single surf trip that inspired the idea for a billion dollar company that would change the face of surfing and the entirety of action sports for years to come.

Mikala Jones

G O P RO /

Jamie O’Brien Or so was the case for Nick Woodman, the founder and CEO for GoPro.

I. HISTORY By now, you’ve seen the advertisements and photos that consistently flow in from the mountable camera and its different models. Perhaps just as interesting as the product itself and what it produces is the story behind its inception, and that story begins with failure. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Nick Woodman injected his time, energy and capital into two startups that returned little. Marking the ventures as failures, the born and bred Californian embarked on a five-month surf trip to Indonesia and Australia. That’s when his billiondollar idea came to mind. Wanting to take photos during surf sessions, the passionate surfer realized such a product had yet to exist. Unless you have a high-end camera lens and a photographer on the beach, your other option for photos during a session is a cheap and disposable camera that won’t produce the quality you’re hoping for. So Woodman strung together a 35mm camera and tied it to his hand with rubber bands. Thus, the

entire GoPro concept began with this strap - a simple idea turned brilliant. This idea of cameras and straps and surfing continued to resonate in his mind throughout the trip. Like when Woodman spied leashes that could serve as more suitable straps ... and he began experimenting. But mostly continued surfing. Upon returning to America, the entrepreneur at heart continued tinkering with strap ideas and eventually secured enough capital for a small start up. With sales from bead and shell belts purchased in Indonesia, combined with a generous loan from his parents, Woodman was poised to make a business move. Soon enough, the surfer designed the exact strap he wanted for the prototype, but quickly realized technology wasn’t up to par. This is when Woodman realized what was missing in the business structure: the product should not only be a strap, but a camera as well. He shipped off makeshift models to a Chinese factory and received successful prototypes in return. Woodman went on to employ a small staff that drove bright yellow Penske trucks to trade shows throughout

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the surrounding areas, sealing the void in the marketplace.

photography and videography began with a simple concoction of an unyielding passion to fold and Woodman’s never ending mind-search for a void to fill. A narrative that will continue to push and evolve not only the businesses that surrounds our beloved sport of surfing, but also surfing itself.

Sales followed, and Woodman pushed the gas pedal to the floor: instead of cashing out on his initial prototypes, the businessman kept perfecting the product. Durability and photo quality began to increase with each new camera model. Video capabilities followed, along with high definition. Like a rock rolling down a mountain, Woodman and company watched as the product took over the action sport marketplace, which it still maintains today. What began as a clunky camera in a waterproof housing with a wrist strap has now transformed into a bevy of other makes and models, like the Hero, the Hero4 Black and the Hero4 Silver. Even those with wireless capabilities have hit the market as well. And the brilliance of GoPro’s marketing is that it is essentially performed by every customer and ambassador. Seen a firsthand account of Shane Dorian charging Pipeline? GoPro. How about Alana Blanchard carving on an Indonesian dream of blue and white? GoPro. And Kelly Slater in a tight barrel, racing toward the setting of the sun? You guessed it: GoPro. Easily and understandably lost in the sales and the busywork and the new models of GoPro is that the current leader in action sport


II. ATHLETES What does it take to be a GoPro-sponsored surf athlete, having the dreamy job requirement to capture yourself surfing as much as possible? According to Dustin Aron, GoPro Sports Marketing Manager for Board Sports, it revolves around a simple trait. “We support athletes that instinctively share the love and passion we have at GoPro,” Aron says. “Athletes that have the ability to shoot GoPro content on their own and collaborate with our internal teams on original GoPro content productions. Overall, good people that make a positive impact on surfing, their communities and are excited to spread the GoPro stoke.” Although 13 of the athletes that fill the rank of GoPro’s sponsored team are Hawai‘i-based, a Florida native surfer steals most of the views from clips online. With about 100 surf videos on GoPro’s YouTube channel, there are roughly 29.4 million views, with an average of 303.2k

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views per video. And 5 out of the top 10 are Kelly Slater related.

Though there's no distinct count, it's believed that a large percentage of these views come from avid and pro surfers alike.

With much of the surf industry now entrenched upon the famed seven mile stretch to close out the season, GoPro is saving its best for last: The company is kicking off it’s GoPro Challenge, with aims to highlight all WCT competitors.

Such as North Shore hellman Jamie O'Brien. "It's like you relive the moment!" he says in regards to watching clips. And how has it changed his surfing? "It has in a lot of ways. It's just amazing to capture every moment, whether it's surfing Pipeline or just filming for our show, Who is JOB?. It's great to build constant content."

“This GoPro Challenge kicks off in Maui on November 21 (with the women) and wraps after the Pipe Masters in December with the men on the North Shore,” says Aron. “One winner will take $10k for the best GoPro clip, or $15k for rocking a camera and jersey during a heat in competition.”

And POV charger Mikala Jones, who consistently packs "two or three" GoPro's during his surf trips, says that his favorite clips include Koa Smith on Skeleton Bay's infinite lefts "or anything from J.O.B. or Shane Dorian." 

Also adding to the event mix is the GoPro Talk Story at SURFER the Bar on December 7, which includes top water photographers and GoPro athletes talking about GoPro's influence on surf photography.

He adds: "It's a bonus to capture a good moment. Plus you see little detail that you normally wouldn't see or hear. Then you can hit rewind."

An event that on the surface will fill seats and intrigue, but more so it's yet another example of how far Woodman's simple idea - along with passion, dedication and a bit of luck - has truly come. pau

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November 7

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HIC Pro Beach Cleanup, 10am – 12pm, Mokuleia’s Army Beach. Meet across from Dillingham Airfield, beach side of Farrington Highway. Prizes from HIC and Vans will be given away. Lunch provided by Cholo’s Homestyle Mexican. Find out more at oahu.surfrider.org.

November 12

Rentals, Lessons, & Sales Meeting All Your Surfing Needs With Aloha! Now four convenient locations... Waikiki, Hale’iwa, Long Beach NY & Rockville Centre NY


Hawaiian Pro begins. First jewel of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. The Hawaiian Pro takes place at Ali‘i Beach, Haleiwa and will run on the four biggest and best days. 8am to 4pm, public welcome.

November 14

Surfrider Foundation John Kelly Awards, 6pm – 10:00pm. Waimea Valley. Tickets available for purchase at johnkellyawards.com.

November 15th

Na Kama Kai day at Ali‘i Beach. To take place amid Hawaiian Pro. Public welcome.

November 20

Freesurf and Waimea Valley Present FREESURF FEST, a community event geared toward the surf and beach industry. Taking place at Waimea Valley from 2pm till 10pm, guests can enjoy vendor booths, music, activities & exhibits, a keiki costume contest fashion show, plus a feature surf film by Volcom and beer by Kona Brewing Co. Admission is free, all ages welcome.

November 21

Target Maui Pro begins; Honolua Bay, Maui. Contest window closes on December 4.

November 24

Vans World Cup of Surfing begins. Second jewel of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. The Vans World Cup takes place at Sunset Beach and will run on the four biggest and best days. 8am – 4pm, public welcome.

November 26

Thanksgiving. No events will run on this day. Enjoy the holiday!

December 2

North Shore Community Chamber of Commerce Christmas Party (benefit), Turtle Bay Resort, 6pm. For more information, please visit gonorthshore.org.

December 3

Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Opening Ceremony, 3pm at Waimea Bay, public welcome. Contest waiting period ends February 28, 2016.

December 4

Sunset Beach Elementary presents Surf Night.

December 5

North Shore Community Land Trust Benefit Dinner, 5pm at Mokuleia Polo Fields. For more information, please visit northshoreland.org.

December 6

Surfer Poll Awards, Turtle Bay Resort, invitation only.

December 7

Vans Golf Charity Tournament, Turtle Bay.

December 7

GoPro Talk Story, SURFER the Bar at Turtle Bay.

December 8

Billabong Pipe Masters begins. Third and final jewel of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing and culminating event of the WSL Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour. The Billabong Pipe Masters will run on the four biggest and best days and is held at Ehukai Beach Park, North Shore Oahu from 8am – 4pm, public welcome. Contest window closes December 20.



FreeSurf Fest Friday, November 20th Local Vendors / Music / activities @ 2 Movie @ 7-Free Entry

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Waimea Valley is hosting a Freesurf Fest every third Friday of the month! Locals and visitors can enjoy food, live music, surf industry booths, entertainment, beer by Kona Brewing Co. and a feature surf film to end the night. A great evening for all ages, this event is FREE to the public, and lasts from 2pm – 10pm. Don’t miss this great community event on the North Shore!

To inquire about vendor space, please email info@freesurfmagazine.com

The Tokyo Organizing Committee has named surfing as one of five new sports it will petition the International Olympic Committee to include in the Games of the XXXII Olympiad. Others sports include baseball/softball, karate, indoor climbing and skateboarding. The Olympics will take place August 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. The Hi-Tech Kahului store got a new Volcom poster featuring local Maui boy Dusty Payne. Fittingly, it matched the in store sculpture near perfectly. The sculpture was fabricated in 1990 by Jerry Morgan when the Kahului location was opened at 444 Hana Highway. When the store moved to its present location at 425 Koloa Street in 1995 the “Surfer” sculpture was brought along. The only changes Jerry made to the “Surfer” were to lengthen his board shorts and shorten his hair. The Mauli Ola Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing hope and confidence to people living with genetic diseases, launched the second annual Battle for the Breasts. Powered by Surfline, and supported by Ambry Genetics, the contest features sixteen top female surfers competing for a chance to win up to $125,000 total in hereditary breast cancer genetic testing vouchers for cancer center foundations across the United States. “I am so proud to be part of Battle for the Breasts. This is a great cause to support breast cancer awareness and encourage women to learn more about their risk,” said professional surfer Bethany Hamilton, who was last year’s winning surfer. “During Breast Cancer Awareness month, you can visit Surfline.com, where you can watch some amazing surfing skills and learn more about hereditary breast cancer.” This year, a handful of Hawai’i athletes are taking part in the contest, including Bethany Hamilton, Alana Blanchard, Alessa Quizon, Carissa Moore, Coco Ho, Mahina Maeda, and Tatiana Weston-Webb. Can’t get enough Laird? Well fortunately you can now get more Laird with the launch of Laird Apparel LLC. Laird Hamilton who you know as big wave surfer, waterman, and fitness guru is coming out with a three collection line: Off Shore, Fitness, and Lifestyle. The line is rooted in design and functionality and is inspired by Laird’s active lifestyle. Laird Apparel launches fall 2015 with board and fitness 170

shorts, hybrid surf and polo shirts, fitness and studio pants, premium and graphic tees and technical hoodie jackets ranging from $30-$120. You can purchase Laird Apparel at www.lairdapparel.com and at Ron Robinson in Santa Monica, California. Retail outlets will expand from there. Scott Hawaii just revamped their line of slippers that will be available soon. The locally owned and operated company offers slippers inspired by comfort, function, value, and rooted in aloha. Check them out at www.scotthwaii.com and always remember to CHOOSE ALOHA. SLOWTIDE launches by industry veterans Kyle Spencer, Wylie Von Tempsky & Dario Phillips. A line of premium art-inspired beach towels, SLOWTIDE is inspired by all bodies of water and the owners’ love for art. Dyed fabrics, mixed paints, manipulated pixels and collaboration with artists and photographers helped to create the debut collection, which can be found at select retailers including Aloha Beach Club, Clips, Aloha Exchange, Thalia Surf and General Admission. Check out the lookbook online at www.slowtide.co. O’Neill has partnered with Parley for the Oceans to create initiatives that will aim to help end ocean plastic and create awareness that the oceans are in need of help. O’Neill is one of the original surf brands out of Santa Cruz, California, and Parley for the Oceans is an organization that raises awareness about the beauty and fragility of the oceans and works to conserve them. The partnership will kick off in Spring/Summer 2016 with clothing line made of plastic collected from the oceans. Parley for the Oceans founder Cyrill Gutsch commented: “Our coastlines are under attack from a wide range of threats, and no group is more aware of that reality than the surf community. Developing a smarter replacement for existing plastic is the challenge that lies ahead. Collaborating with O’Neill is a crucial step in this journey.” Calling all keiki who attend Sunset Beach Elementary, Waialua Elementary, Laie Elementary and Wahiawa Elementary – Freesurf magazine is bringing Pedal Power back to the North Shore! Encouraging keiki to ride their bikes to school, the Pedal Power campaign spans the duration of the Vans Triple Crown and aims to reduce the amount of cars and traffic on the road each day. Every week, schools will give away a Vans Triple Crown prize pack to one lucky winner, and at the end of the 7-week campaign, the grand prize will be raffled off – a brand new BIKEFACTORY cruiser bicycle. For more information, contact your school admin or call Freesurf at (808) 638-7395. In last month’s Bombucha Issue we made a mistake. The caption from the Sewage Dilemma article read “Heavy rain in September sent 50 million gallons of sewage into the pacific, closing beaches to the public.” That was flat out wrong, the spill actually took place on August 24, 2015 and was roughly less than 500,000 gallons. Our apologies on the misprint.

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MANA M E M O RI AL By Keoki Saguibo The meaning of “Aloha” goes a long way in context. Used obsessively in mainstream media to promote the lifestyle of the Hawaiian culture or the everyday ritual of saying, “hello and goodbye,” Aloha to many runs deeper; It is a way of life. Those who truly look beyond a greeting or a word used to portray positive notion live it daily. You can feel the love around these people in a simple gesture, their daily vocabulary, also in their actions. Jeffrey “Mana” Walthall was an ambassador of Aloha and lived his life as such. If you had the opportunity to get to know Mana and spend some time with him, you would soon realize there is no other name more fitting for him. A simple smile from Mana, which means power in the Hawaiian language, and you can’t help but feel like you have a friend for life. The overwhelming amount of love coming from something so simple, a smile, was powerful . Mana was good at spreading this and did it well throughout the community. Mana surfed his way into heaven on October 13, 2015 from heart complications during a surf session at his beloved break, Makaha Beach. The community paid their respects to Mana and celebrated his life at his home break on October 24, 2015. With hundreds in attendance, you couldn’t help but feel the Mana with every speech and every tear shed. But most off all, the Mana was felt in the aloha shared between one another. Taken to soon, Mana you will be greatly missed, but your Aloha still lives on. pau


FreeSurf Fest Friday, November 20th Local Vendors / Music / activities @ 2 Movie @ 7-Free Entry

Join Freesurf at Waimea Valley for an inaugural launch party and ongoing Freesurf Festival each month. A family-friendly community event geared toward the surf and beach industry, Freesurf welcomes local residents and visitors island-wide to the beautiful venue of The Valley. To inquire about vendor space, please email info@freesurfmagazine.com


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2015 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing


2015 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing

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