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F R E E Billy Kemper. Photo: Brent Bielmann I n

H aw a i ’i

INVITEES Aaron G old Albe e Layer Bruce Irons Clyde Aikau Tom Carroll Dave Wassel Garre tt McNamara Grant Baker Gre g Long Ian Walsh Jamie Mitchell Jamie O’Brien Je re my Flores John John Florence K ala Ale xander Ke lly S later

Koh l Christensen

Ben Wilkinson

Derek Dunfee

Makua Rothman

Jamie Sterling

Brock Little

Mark Healey

Billy Kemper

Nath an Fletcher

Shawn Dollar

Noah Joh nson

Carlos Burle


Peter Me l

Kealii Mamala


Ramon Navarro

Gabriel Villaran


Reef McIntosh

Michael Ho


Ross Clarke- Jones

Kai Lenny


Shane Dorian

Kahea Hart

Ricky G rigg

Sunny Garcia

Nathan Florence


Damien Hobgood


Kalani Chapman


Takayuki Wakita



Ryan Hipwood


Danny Fuller


Danilo Couto

Nic Lamb


Mark Matthews

Anthony Tashnick

Todd Chesser

Koa Rothman

Rusty Long


With this Jaws bomb in early December, Shane Dorian seemingly foreshadowed what the conclusion of the 2015 contest season would look like: high, nailbiting drama from start to finish. Photo: Kirstin / WSL

Kirstin / WSL


Brent Bielmann


By Brent Bielmann When you’re at Jaws, everything is happening so fast. It looks big and huge but you don’t really grasp it until you later you look at the photos. At that moment you’re immersed in the scene and it's not until you have a minute to soak it in that you realize “wow, this is crazy.” That’s how I look at this photo. I work for Reef and flew over specifically to shoot Billy Kemper at the Jaws Challenge in December. It definitely was windy and wasn’t ideal Jaws, but it was the biggest Jaws paddling I’ve seen so far, and I was shooting from DK Walsh’s ski. More than anything, those guys were going for it and they weren't holding back. You could also tell the camaraderie, that everyone was stoked to be involved and be a part of the contest. Billy is so good out there. He fully deserved to win the event from beginning to end. There’s not a lot of guys who find the waves that connect from the North peak into the West bowl. Those are usually the biggest ones, too. In my mind, he’s one of the gnarliest guys out there. It’s no shock that he won, by any means. This was the first ever contest held at Jaws, and no matter how many more they have or who wins them...for Billy, he’s the first guy to ever win the Jaws contest. You can never take that away from him.

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. Available Tail shapes: Squash, Bat Tail and Swallow.

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ROUND PIN This design is a solid and proven pr performer in Hawaiian surf, as well as around the globe as a travel board. It is the go-to model for all of our pro team riders when conditions get serious on the North Shore. 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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N e w s & E vent s / Features



B I K I N I S , C LOT H E S & A CC E S S O R I E S

38 2015 Year in Review 48 Winning Words 54 Triple Crown Rundown 64 Aperture


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Cover Story


Publisher’s Note


News & Events




Grom Report


Industry Notes


Last Look


Model: Kate White Photo: Tony Heff

Brent Bielmann




Publisher Mike Latronic Associate Editor Cash Lambert Editorial Assistant Dan House Photo Editor Tony Heff Art Director John Weaver Multimedia Director Tyler Rock Ambassador-at-Large Chris Latronic Social Media Coordinator Keoki Saguibo Staff Photographers Brent Bielmann, Tony Heff, Chris Latronic, Mike Latronic, Tyler Rock, Keoki Saguibo Free Thinkers Bryan Altman, Blake Lefkoe, Jeff Hawe, Lauren Rolland, Arielle Taramasco

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

Contributing Photographers

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“There is no substitute for hard work” once said Thomas A. Edison. For those that say and believe all of existence is purely a reflection of some kind of pre-plotted destiny, I say check yourself. Our new 2015 WSL World Champion Adriano De Souza is no Golden Child but the 5’6, 136 lb surfer from Sao Paulo, Brazil is one of the hardest working athletes on the WSL tour. De Souza’s tenacious approach to surfing in competition lends the 28-year-old a very credible reputation as a feared opponent. Having landed in the top ten six times in the past ten years, De Souza proved that determination is certainly a factor in destiny. Kudos to this year’s runner up in Mick Fanning, as the former World Champ saw his 2015 title dreams fade in the closing moments of the second semi final at the Billabong Pipe Masters, when De Souza took out wildcard Mason Ho to nab the World Title. De Souza went on to claim victory in the final against former WSL World Champ and new Triple Crown Champ Gabriel Medina. It was an intense, nail-biting, uber close World Title race and as WSL has said again and again in their marketing volley: “You can’t script this.” Inside the pages of this month’s Freesurf, we recount and highlight the moments of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing that no one could really script. Freesurf also gives you a “Year in Review” as an additional look back, and tons of local news and of course the athletes, characters and happenings that make our beloved sport so unique. My New Year’s resolution? Keep working hard. Mike Latronic Publisher

Andrew Christie





Ryan Chachi-Craig



MC, Sunny Garcia

Cameras flashing, a spotless Red Carpet, whiffs of perfume and cologne in the air and everyone in the surf world looking dazzling! Though all of this was to be expected at the 2015 Surfer Poll, the celebration where SURFER magazine honors the fan-favorite men and women as well as top videos and performances from the year, there were a handful of unexpecteds at the annual gala of surfing. Like John John Florence, who everyone imagined would sweep up one, two or even three awards. But by the end of the night, John was smiling in front of a camera with 4 awards, triple the amount of any other professional surfer present. The 22-year-old secured the number 1 spot in the Men’s Poll - overtaking Kelly Slater, who came in second to John - as well as Movie of the Year for View from a Blue Moon, Best Performance and Best Maneuver. “When I first started riding for Hurley, they asked me what I really wanted to do,” said Florence, wearing a wrinkle-free button up dress shirt. “I said I wanted to do the (World) Tour and I wanted to make a movie. “Those guys kind of gave me the freedom to do this and travel the last couple of years. I couldn’t have done it without all my friends, my family, my mom, my brothers, they supported me through the whole thing.” The Florence family notched one more award for their North Shore mantlepiece with brother Nathan claiming the Best Barrel award for pulling in deep to a Teahupoo bomb.


Carissa Moore, the newly crowned three-time World Champion, was all beauty and smiles and expectedly took top honors in the female category. “There is no way I won the SURFER Poll,” said Moore. “This is so cool. You know I have so many people to thank for this incredible year. I first off want to thank all the girls that are surfing so well this year. I want to thank my dad, my boyfriend and my family of sponsors. I love the surfing community so much.” Surfing fans recognized the Brazilian storm as well, voting Filipe Toledo, the rapidly spinning and charging and smiling Brazilian as the A.I Breakthrough Performance Award. Gabriel Medina, who as of early December remains in the hunt for the 2015 Men’s Title, secured a 5th ranking on the Men’s Poll. One of the biggest surprises of the night came with the Best Series category. While the majority of the crowd expected Jamie O’Brien’s eye opening stunts in ‘Who is JOB 5.0’ to take home the trophy, it was actually Peter King and his #TourNotes series, which goes behind the scenes at every stop on the World Tour that won the fan’s vote. “Everyone knows the JOB series is way better, [they] must have some inside track or something,” King said while laughing in his acceptance speech. And all the other acceptance speeches, from John John to Mick Fanning and Sally Fitzgibbons, were sincere, full of thanks and

Ryan Chachi-Craig


John John and fans.

appreciation, and comical in their own right (we’re looking at you, Dane Reynolds). The strangest speech went to Kelly Slater, who filmed himself giving a thank you oration with his iPhone while in an airplane bathroom. The video drew laughs and quizzical looks throughout the crowd, but perfectly summed up the night that was the year in review for 2015: funny, full of surprises, and a retrospective reminder of just how close the global surfing community is to one another.

2015 SURFER POLL RESULTS Men’s Poll Winners #1 - John Florence #2 - Kelly Slater #3 - Mick Fanning #4 - Julian Wilson #5 - Gabriel Medina #6 - Owen Wright #7 - Dane Reynolds #8 - Filipe Toledo #9 - Kolohe Andino #10 - Joel Parkinson

Women’s Poll Winners #1 - Carissa Moore #2 - Sally Fitzgibbons #3 - Coco Ho #4 - Stephanie Gilmore #5 - Alana Blanchard

Movie of the Year View From A Blue Moon (Blake Kueny and John Florence) Best Performance John Florence, View From A Blue Moon Best Short Sampler (Marine Layer) Best Documentary The Fisherman’s Son (Chris Malloy) Best Web Series #Tournotes (Peter King) Worst Wipeout Niccolo Porcella, Teahupo’o Best Barrel Nathan Florence, Teahupo’o Best Maneuver John Florence, View From A Blue Moon Heavy Water Jamie Mitchell Agent of Change North Shore Land Trust A.I. Breakthrough Performance Filipe Toledo


QUIKSILVER IN MEMORY OF EDDIE AIKAU OPENING CEREMONY On Thursday, December 3, some of the world’s most talented and renowned surfers gathered at Waimea Bay to take part in the prominent and annual opening ceremony for the 31st Annual Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau. As bumper to bumper traffic crowded the street outside of Waimea Beach Park, the invitees congregated together, standing in front of their towering big wave surfboards, as Hawaiian Kahu Billy Mitchell provided the first blessing and spoke of Eddie’s instinctively protective nature and how each surfer should watch out for one another at all times. After the ceremonial blessing, the group paddled out into the Bay and formed a floating circle. In the middle sat Clyde Aikau, who further spoke to the group of pros and legends of his brother and the importance of safety and family. The 31st annual celebration was of special importance to Clyde himself, because the 66-year old announced it would be the last time he would lead the paddle out. With the commemoration over, all eyes are now on the swell charts in hopes that the El Nino winter will make the Eddie go.

Matt Catalano




C u t Up C o l l e c t i o n


VS_KAMALEI-FREESURF-12-2015.indd 1




12/14/15 4:17 PM

Matt Catalano

Clyde Aikau

The 2015/2016 Invitees (listed by first name alphabetical order) Aaron Gold Albee Layer Bruce Irons Clyde Aikau Dave Wassel Garrett McNamara Grant Baker Greg Long Ian Walsh Jamie Mitchell Jamie O’Brien Jeremy Flores John John Florence Kala Alexander Kelly Slater Kohl Christensen Makua Rothman Mark Healey Nathan Fletcher Noah Johnson Peter Mel Ramon Navarro Reef McIntosh Ross Clarke-Jones Shane Dorian Sunny Garcia Takayuki Wakita Tom Carroll

Official Alternates (in seeding order) Mason Ho (Aikau Pick) Danilo Couto Mark Matthews Koa Rothman Ben Wilkinson Jamie Sterling Billy Kemper Shawn Dollar Carlos Burle Kealii Mamala Gabriel Villaran Michael Ho Kai Lenny Kahea Hart Nathan Florence Damien Hobgood Kalani Chapman Ryan Hipwood Danny Fuller Nic Lamb Anthony Tashnick Rusty Long Derek Dunfee Brock Little

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Honolua Bay is one of thee most prized and perfect waves in Hawaii (maybe even the World). Add the best female surfers in the world and you got yourself an impeccable show of epic proportions. Whenever Honolua Bay breaks, it’s special and beautiful to witness. But to get out into that lineup and trek into that majestically bellowing wall of turquoise water is a feeling beyond comprehension.

TARGET MAUI WOM Brent Bielmann


This year the WSL returned to the famed Maui province well equipped to bring the women’s final stop on the Championship Tour to the global viewing public. With this spectacular venue set, there was a World Title awaiting its victor. Enter the Drama. Looking for her 3rd World Title, Carissa Moore was effervescent at one of her favorite waves in the world. “It’s a place I love to surf and it just lit a fire underneath me and got me excited for this season,” she said. Carissa had to fend off title challenger Courtney Conologue, who needed a stellar result to supersede the Oahu girl’s 3rd crowning. Having won this event before, Carissa showed few missteps, rampaging through to the the semifinals with relative ease. Meeting her in that semifinal was fellow Hawaiian tour mate, Alessa Quizon. Bouncing back after an average year on tour, Alessa found some of her old hometown spunk, using her wicked backhand attack to net her the best result of the season and plenty of momentum towards next year’s run. With a solid swell forecast filling in and flawless conditions, the women were frothing at an all time high. But all pressure was on Courtney Conologue. She surfed confidently all event, but found herself on the chopping block after some last minute heroics by Aussie Nikki Van Dijk, which sent her into the fourth round, where she matched up with an in form Coco Ho. Needing a big result to re-qualify for the 2016 WSL Tour, North Shore’s own Coco Ho was on a mission to rip and rip hard. Dismantling each wave with poise and finesse, Coco powered her way to her round 4 matchup with Courtney, knowing its crucial implications. But with perfect waves reeling at a lineup she grew up surfing, Coco prevailed. Defeating Courtney Conologue and securing Carissa Moore’s 3 World Championship Title. “I knew going into the heat what was on the line, I knew I could win it for Carissa,” Ho said. “Also I knew it was important for me. I just wanted to go in and surf and get waves. Hearing the final horn blow and the crowd start cheering I just started crying and so stoked for Carissa and myself making a heat.” Coco went on to the semifinals where Sally Fitzgibbons ended the young Hawaiian’s Honolua run with swift forehand combinations, advancing her to the final with newly crowned Carissa. The final was a storybook dream ending. A building swell, pristine conditions, 2 best surfers in the water, and the whole world watching.


The Target Maui Women’s Pro saw high drama between Hawaii’s own Carissa Moore (pictured) and Courtney Conlogue, who were both vying for the 2015 World Title in pristine Honolua Bay conditions.


Cestari / WSL


Carissa Moore

There were fireworks right off the start as Carissa destroyed her first keeper wave of a 9.5. Sally Fitzgibbons kept it close but she was just behind the bar. Every wave Sally would get, Carissa’s would be better. Then the wave of the day rolled in with the reigning world champion sitting in the perfect spot. It was the Honolua wave we all dreamed of catching and as everyone watched, it seemed we were all there in the barrel with her, filling us joy and overwhelming stoke. I’m pretty sure the judges felt it too. It was a unanimous perfect 10 point ride. “You can never feel it til the end and this is definitely the moment,” said Moore. “That was the biggest barrel I’ve ever gotten in competition and I’m just so thankful for everything.” “Just sitting in the lineup and having those perfect conditions, trading waves with Carissa was amazing,” said Sally Fitzgibbons. “It was her time to shine and she’s certainly a deserved champion.” Moore’s 2015 WSL CT Road to the Title

Cestari / WSL

Roxy Pro Gold Coast: 1st Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach: 1st Women’s Drug Aware Margaret River Pro: 2nd Oi Rio Women’s Pro: 3rd Fiji Women’s Pro: 9th Vans US Open of Surfing: 5th Swatch Women’s Pro Trestles: 1st Cascais Women’s Pro: 9th Roxy Pro France: 3rd Target Maui Pro: 1st

Coco Ho



W W W. I TA K E B I O A S T I N . C O M



Carnage, drama, 24 of the world’s best big wave surfers, 40-50 foot Pe‘ahi waves and all of it live! Essentially everything about the World Surf League’s 2015 Pe’ahi Challenge at Maui’s famed break was unprecedented. Indeed, it was the first time such a contest was held at Jaws. And thanks to the computer wizards of today, it was also the first time an audience could tune into such heroics in real time. Also unprecedented was the swell: multiple commentators noted that the size pushed the line between paddling and towing in. And how fitting it was that Maui’s own Billy Kemper would be the first to take home the winning trophy. The Ho’okipa native with a smooth face, bright eyes and remarkable smile had nerves and legs of steel, locking into one high scoring ride after another throughout the duration of the event. His mindset, his plan, his rhythm and his good looks continued into the much anticipated final against Albee Layer, Greg Long, Ian Walsh, Gabriel Villaran, and Shane Dorian. It was Billy that swung for the fence first in the final, maintaining his balance while streaking down a deadly and towering Jaws wave that earned him an 8.00. After the 25-year-old backed it up with a 6.77, time became his biggest competition. When the hour long final concluded, Kemper and all his grit and fortitude and tenacity stood victorious! “This is a dream come true,” Kemper said. “We’ve been talking about this moment for years and to have a paddle event in my backyard at, to me, one of the most premier, outstanding waves in the world, means everything to me. I just want to dedicate to this my brother. To paddle Pe’ahi has been a dream of mine for a very long time and to be out there with some of my favorite surfers and best friend - I’m just speechless.” And speechless were the viewers of the contest, watching these fallible men in the form of tiny dots paddle into shifty and spooky swell the size of 4-5 story buildings. With wipeouts inevitable, water patrol and lifeguards were on alert from sunup to sundown, tasked with plucking surfers from


At the first ever Jaws event, Maui’s Billy Kemper stood out among a field of talented and legendary watermen, earning an unprecedented first place and a bevy of points towards the Big Wave World Tour leaderboard.


Greg Long

the avalanche of whitewash and being the last line of defense between the athlete and the ultimate, watery price. Another notable standout from the event and its unprecedented glory included Hawaii’s Albee Layer, who came in second to Kemper while riding the shortest board of the competition: an 8’8”. “I was just trying not to psych myself out so I hung out with a lot of friends,” Layer said. “My shaper, Sean Ordonez, just keeps going smaller and smaller with my boards and it keeps working better and better for me. I’m just really trying to get in the barrel - I’m not trying to get the biggest wave. That’s the wave I’m always looking for - the barrel. They’re a little harder to find but eventually you’ll get one.” California’s Greg Long, undoubtedly a legend in the big wave arena, came in third overall at the inaugural event behind Kemper and Layer. Long also scored a 9.00 - the highest scoring wave of the day - by disappearing into a behemoth of a foamy barrel. “It was probably one of, if not the best waves of my life even though I didn’t make it,” Long said of the wave. “It’s been a dream of mine to catch one of these barrels and to see that vision. It’s the perfect direction to do it and get the waves from way out the back. Paddling in it looks impossible to make it all the way to the channel but then you get around that first section coming from behind and you’re set. I was lucky in that heat with the wind settling down a bit and a couple multiple wave sets to clean it up and then that wave came through – just was out the back and got the greenlight to catch it.”

Cestari / WSL



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Billy Kemper

Maui’s Ian Walsh, fresh off his 2015 HIC Pro victory at Sunset Beach, had one of the heaviest wipeouts of the day, but like a true gladiator draped in red and gold, the 32-year-old didn’t let it rattle his mettle. “There was just a chandelier coming down and it hit my back shoulder and feel like I didn’t penetrate the water at all - just started spinning on the face then a long drop over the falls,” Walsh said. “It takes a lot longer than normal days of surfing when you go over the falls here, so you have a lot of time to think about your mistake. Then it’s really violent, everything is flying everywhere and you’re trying to feel the tension on your leash to make sure the board is not close to you. Just a lot going on - but you’re really just focused on holding your breath and trying to get back to the surface.” Getting back to the surface is exactly what Walsh and every other contestant did, which according to Kemper, is the most important takeaway from the first ever Jaws event. “We passed the word talking out there and I told the boys we can always surf another big day at Jaws but we can never replace each other,” Kemper said. “The main thing is at the end of the day to come back our families. I’m there for everyone and they’re all there for me. It’s a feeling you can’t reproduce or explain it to people. Just a feeling of breaking through a fear factor where it’s all adrenaline. I’m over the moon - I’m just happy to be sitting here doing this interview.”

PE’AHI CHALLENGE FINAL RESULTS: 1 – Billy Kemper (HAW) 22.77 2 – Albee Layer (HAW) 19.33 3 – Greg Long (USA) 16.26 4 – Ian Walsh (HAW) 1.00 5 – Gabriel Villaran (PER) 0.80 6 – Shane Dorian (HAW) 0.00

2015 WSL BIG WAVE TOUR TOP 5 (after two events): Billy Kemper (HAW) 15,625 Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 13,156 Albee Layer (HAW) 13,020 Greg Long (USA) 10,850 Nic Lamb (USA) 10,565

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JANUARY Cassadio

Maui’s Paige Alms pulls into a barrel at Jaws that later becomes known as arguably the biggest barrel ever ridden by a woman at the big wave location.


John John Florence begins his competitive year with a bang by winning the 2015 Volcom Pipe Pro. In the final, John bested a talented field that consisted of Kelly Slater, Mason Ho and Sebastian Zietz. In the big wave arena, Hawaii’s Makua Rothman wins the Big Wave World Title Champion during his rookie year in the final days of February.

John Florence

APRIL The Mauna Kea Movement, started by local residents aiming to discontinue further developments of the historical and sacred mountain, reached a head as 31 demonstrators were arrested for stopping construction crews from beginning work on a Thirty Meter Telescope. Professional surfer Dustin Barca was among those arrested, and the controversy continued to garner local, national and international news and debate.

MAY Maui’s Matt Meola releases Home, an edit that features his first ever landed spindle flip 540. The news makes global headlines, from sports outlets to the mainstream media. On Oahu, multiple annual surf events see large crowds and fun waves, like the 18th Annual Town and Country Grom Contest. Haleiwa’s Joel Centeio wins the Local Motion Surf into Summer, and Eric Casco wins Kimo’s Longboard event.

Cestari / WSL

Hawaii’s own Keanu Asing begins his rookie year on the WSL Championship Tour, finishing 25th at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast.

Ehitu Keeling



JUNE A swell lights up the South Shore, from Ala Moana Bowls to Waikiki and is later discussed as some of the best waves all summer.

While Nathan Florence paddled into one of the heaviest Teahupoo barrels, swell from Hurricane Guillermo began to funnel into Hawaii. Tatiana WestonWebb also makes news during July, winning the WSL 6-Star Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro in Oceanside, California. Crowds packed Waikiki Beach to watch the creativity and carnage on display at the Red Bull Party Wave, where teams were challenged with the task of building their own surf craft, and later attempting to actually catch a wave.



After Tanner Hendrickson places 2nd at the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach in early August, Tropical Storm Ignacio sends swell to the East Side, where John John Florence pulls the (as slated by the 2015 Surfer Poll) “Maneuver of the Year”. Two popular events with a lengthy history also run: Duke’s Longboard Event and the International Bodyboard Association's event at bodyboarding mecca Sandy Beach.





F R I D AY, J A N U A R Y 2 2


Celebrating the watermen and women of Hawai‘i

Music Food Fun Free! www.freesurfmagazine.com

Rowland / WSL

SEPTEMBER Freddy Patacchia, after scoring a perfect 10 in the first round at the Hurley Pro Trestles in Southern California, announces his retirement from competitive surfing.


Chris Grant

Summer Macedo wins gold in the under-16 girls division at the 2015 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship. The prestigious Annual Menehune Contest runs in Haleiwa for the 39th year in a row, and as October comes to a close, Maui’s Ian Walsh wins his second HIC Pro title in proper Sunset conditions.

NOVEMBER John John Florence’s View from a Blue Moon premieres on the same night at several different locations across the globe, and John holds a special viewing for North Shore residents at Sunset Beach Elementary.


Kirstin / WSL

Hawaiians dominate two Maui contests that precede the 2015 Pipeline Masters: Carissa Moore wins her 3rd World Title at the Target Maui Pro, and Billy Kemper wins the first ever Pe'ahi Challenge. The year then ends in dramatic fashion at Pipeline as Brazil's Gabriel Medina wins the Triple Crown of Surfing, and fellow countryman Adriano de Souza is crowned World Champion.

“It feels absolutely incredible to win my third world title. Especially in such epic conditions, at home in front of all my family and friends. Everything has really come together in the past month and I am extremely thankful for all the special moments I have been given in and out of the water. There were so many ups and downs this season. It was seriously a roller coaster. The moment I felt like things were going my way, the tides would turn and then they weren't. It was a constant seesaw between results and positions and always a mental battle trying to stay happy, focused and motivated. I am constantly processing and working through my thoughts and feelings, deciding which ones are beneficial and which ones I need to let go. Competing on tour is exhausting. It's all about balance. You have to find a way to let go of the competition and enjoy. Surround yourself with good people and make the journey worthwhile no matter what the result.” 48


WINNING WORDS Carissa Moore, 2015 WSL Women’s Champion



“It’s an incredible feeling and so special in dedication to my good friend Ricardo dos Santos. I have this tattoo in memory of him -- he had the same tattoo that said ‘Strength, Balance and Love,’ and that’s all I needed to win this World Title. This is all in dedication to my brother as well, who bought me my first surfboard for seven dollars and now I’m on top of the world. What a dream to be a Pipeline Champion Master like Jamie [O’Brien] and Kelly [Slater] and Bede Durbidge, just so many names going through my brain now. There’s no words to describe how I’m feeling right now. About midway through the year I thought Mick deserved the World Title more than me. He’s such a strong man and a three-time World Champ battling me for my first title was scary. I just wanted to give my best wishes to Mick and his mom -- I had such a mix of emotions, but the day of my life has arrived.”


Adriano De Souz a, 2015 WSL Men’s Champion / 2015 Bill abong Pipemaster

Photo by: JerSurf77

Tony Kalani Nunez Rips It Up Thirteen year old Tony Nunez is from Lahaina on the “Valley Isle” of Maui. His favorite local breaks to ‘catch air’ is The Bay and Lahaina Harbor. 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 Hawai ‘i. Call 808-495-4188 or visit mokulele.com and show this ad to get your board a free ride.


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Gabriel Medina 2015 Vans Triple Crown Champion “I’m really stoked to be the first Brazilian to win a Triple Crown - it was actually my goal coming to Hawaii. This year has been difficult for me when I lost the first four events and everyone said I wouldn’t have a shot at the World Title. I’m so thankful to come here and be a part of the World Title race. I’m so happy to make the Final, it was a tough heat against Mick and I got the score I needed in the last minute and I couldn’t ask for anything better. I’m so excited for Adriano to win his first World Title and Pipe Master - I know he’s been dreaming for ages and he did everything he could. I’m so happy for everything I did this year. I just want to thank my sponsors for helping me this year and my Dad and Mom supporting me.


This wave is really powerful, hard to surf. In the past, we used to watch Kelly and Andy going crazy getting 10s and 9s and paddle battles...that was really sick to watch. I’m just honored to be here in Hawaii with amazing waves.“


TRIPLE CROWN RUNDOWN Highlighting the pivotal story lines from the 2015 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing

Hawaii’s Ezekiel Lau used a myriad of strapping turns from his arsenal, all of which helped to put him on the Finals podium with a third place finish.

WADE WHO? Let’s be honest, not many people knew who Wade Carmichael was before the Haleiwa contest final. Many were rooting for the 2014 Triple Crown champ Dusty Payne, but he was unable to find big enough scores to muster up more than a 4th place in the final. The local favorite had to of been Ezekiel Lau. The collective feeling on the beach is that they wanted to local boy to take the win and gain valuable points towards world tour qualification. Like Dusty though, Ezekiel surfed well, but never found the scores needed to win either. All eyes were definitely on Filipe Toledo. When he takes off on a wave you never know what to expect and smallish conditions were playing in favor to his high flying act. Toledo nailed a 9.50 with a giant air rotation, but it wasn’t enough to beat Wade Carmichael. Wade smashed the final with top to bottom lip smashes, wrap, and layback combos. Not the expected winner of the event, but he earned it and the win catapulted him on the radar of the surf world.



Keoki Wade Carmichael

Dusty, Zeke, Filipe, and Wade

Heff Sunset present its proper playing field for the entirety of the Vans World Cup of Surfing: two to three times overhead, with gargantuan faces and occasional barrels.

MICK, MICK, MICK Mick Fanning, even with his golden resume filled with contest wins, had never won the Vans World Cup before. Stunning! Early on, White Lightning looked to change this, because heat after heat and into the quarters and semis, the Australian took on Sunset’s best (two to three times overhead) with his powerful and patented power surfing. What does that look like? A clinic on phenomenal surfing, really: cranking carves, a meticulous and successful wave selection as well as putting two to three (or more) robust turns on each clean yet monstrous face. And doing so with style! With swagger! In the final, Mick faced fellow Aussies Julian Wilson, Matt Wilkinson and hometown hero John John Florence, all of whom had lit up the scoreboard throughout the preceding heats. And at the beginning of that final, Mick couldn’t find his rhythm: low scoring totals on the few waves he paddled into. With 13 minutes left on the clock, Fanning was sitting, drifting in fourth place. Suddenly he was up and riding and after pulling into a standing barrel and finishing with a wrapping cutback, his fourth place standing turned into a first, something of which he did not relinquish for the remainder of the heat. “I’ve gotten so close so many times, made pretty much every final twice but never got the cookie,” said Fanning, after surfing four heats during the day, which equates to just over 2 hours in an energy draining and shoulder straining arena. “I’m so honored to win here at Sunset, it’s such a tough event, everyone was going so crazy. I’m just so stoked.”


Heff Gabriel Medina

Mick Fanning


TWO TROPHIES John John Florence! Two to three times overhead swell funneling in at Sunset! Would the two combined live up to the hype in chatter form that flew up and down the coconut wireless the night prior? Judging by the crowd’s noise during all of John’s heats, yes! John John, who was one of the focal and highlight points at the Vans World Cup, surfed with a certain crispness, and his turns and wave selections appeared heavily calculated, all of which helped in earning him a ticket to the dance that was the Vans World Cup final. The 22-year-old spent arguably more time in the barrel than any other competitor throughout the event, and he followed suit in the final. His 6.67 barrel ride, following smaller scores, allocated the third place trophy to his supple palm. But that wasn’t the only trophy he walked away with because at the awards ceremony, John had in his other hand the 2015 WSL Regional Champion title in trophy form, which he won for his stellar finishes in Hawaii events rated by the WSL. After the awards ceremony, John John was seen placing his two shiny and silver (and full of fingerprints) cups into the bed of a dirt ridden pickup truck, while casually talking to passersby who were still foaming at the mouth from his presence and his epic on film entitled View from a Blue Moon. What a scene!





John John Florence showcased a mix bag of filthy hacks and barrels on his way to a third place finish at the Vans World Cup of Surfing.

Kirstin / WSL

Matt Williams

Mick Fanning

Heff Brazil’s Adriano de Souza bulldozes over a powerful foam ball, one of the many scores that tipped the Pipeline Masters and the World Championship in his favor.

PIPE SHOWS ITS TEETH It’s easy to become desensitized to how dangerous Pipeline is. Pulling up to the beach or watching the webcast, you see guys packing pit after pit and then popping up like nothing happened. Evan Geiselman nearly drowned last month and people took stock of how much is put on the line surfing at the Banzai. The day before the Pipe event started, Owen Wright suffered a severe concussion that sent him to the hospital and forced him to pull out of the event. A little hard to believe given that Owen had been dominating the free surfs and snagged some of the best waves of the winter up to that point. In round three Bede Durbidge compressed his hip on a wipe out and had to be plucked from the lineup by the water patrol. In obvious pain and agony Bede was carried off the beach on a backboard, and the diagnosis appeared grim: a fractured pelvis in two places. Seeing the world’s best surfers suffer severe injuries goes to show just how dynamic and dangerous Pipeline is. A wave that doesn’t discriminate and demands the utmost respect.

Keoki J Weaver

Mick Fanning

Kelly Slater

ROBO BURSTS ONTO THE SCENE Though Jack Robinson practically ruled the Triple Crown, it was more so evident during the Pipe Trials where the 17-year-old out surfed two hometown hellman: Mason Ho and Jamie O’Brien. By doing so, the Aussie earned a spot in the Pipe Masters. Throughout the rest of the Triple Crown, Jack showed precocious calm and ability in tricky and heavy surf at Sunset and the Pipe trials. Robo’s style is simulacrum to that of a young Bruce or Andy, technically flawless and easy on the eyes. More magazine covers, a Triple Crown title, and a world tour birth are certainly in his future. Fraternizing with some of the best surfers on the North Shore is paying off and the bowl cut mullet just works for him.

Mason Ho, who played spoiler to Filipe Toledo’s World Title hopes, drew resounding intrigue and cheers from the hometown crowd with high scoring barrel rides and eclectic post heat interviews.

BRUCE DIDN’T MAKE ONE HEAT Hashtags, a cadre of social media users and a new sponsor didn’t help Bruce make a single heat at the Pipe Masters. In round one Mick Fanning disposed of Bruce without too much effort and relegated Bruce to a round two match up vs. Felipe Toledo. The matchup, on paper, seemed to be a layup for Bruce. Show up, get drained at Backdoor, maybe snag one at Pipe if a wave presented itself, and send Toledo and his hanger oners down Ke Nui and back to San Clemente. Problem was the waves weren’t that big for Round 2 and Filipe went to work and bagged two seven’s towards the end of the heat. Easily trouncing Bruce’s 5.10 total heat score. Unceremoniously, Felipe took the wind out of the Bruce campaign’s sails. O well, probably still going to be some amazing Pipe waves out of Bruce this winter and more follow cam action with JJF.

Cestari / WSL


Adriano de Souza

Keoki Heff

Gabriel Medina

THE BRAZILIAN STORM FLOODS THE BEACH Those who put their money on either of the Brazilians - Gabriel Medina and Adriano De Souza - during the final day of action must have smiled all the way to the bank. The Brazilian inspired celebration began after the first semifinal, where Gabriel bested Mick Fanning in the final seconds by pulling a hail mary and landing one of the few (or perhaps only) airs of the contest. Gabe's score sent the Fanning clan and their hopes for another World Title packing (our hearts and prayers are with you and your family, Mick) and after Adriano topped Hawaii’s Mason Ho in the second semifinal, the stage was set for an unprecedented all Brazilian final. Suddenly, the color green suddenly swept the beach! From t-shirts to towels and even Brazilian flags buzzing on a high flying drone. Incredible! After the final horn sounded at the 2015 Pipe Masters, Adriano was not only the the second Brazilian World Champion ever; he was also the first-ever Brazilian winner of the Pipe Masters. Medina joined De Souza on the podium and in the celebration as the winner of the prestigious Triple Crown of Surfing. After the ceremony, the party of green spilled into the streets of the North Shore, and continued to reverberate until the celebration reached Brazil itself.


Pipeline Photo: Brent Bielmann








Sebastian Zietz Photo: Keoki

Jamie Mitchell, Danny Fuller, Zeke Lau / Waimea. Photo: Tony Heff

Josh Moniz Photo: Keoki

Micah Nickens Photo:Dayanidhi

Takayuki Wakita Photo: Keoki

Taj Burrow Photo: Adrew Christie







Former pro surfer Izzy Paskowitz (above) believes that surfing can have therapeutic effects. This is the primary reason he started Surfers Healing, a non-profit organization that takes children with disabilities tandem surfing.

Standing next to Eden Orpilla on the Waikiki’s cool sand as she watches her 10-year-old son Anthony glide on a surfboard with the assistance of a volunteer, it’s obvious that this isn’t just another surf session. “It’s heartwarming knowing that Surfers Healing understands us and knows what we’re going through,” said Eden while discussing Anthony’s autism diagnosis on the morning of Saturday, November 28. The event, which provided surfing, food, a concert and an “environment of acceptance” all in the name of autism, was yet another stop on Surfers Healing’s international season, which has put on 22 events in 2015. Founded in 1996 by Israel Paskowitz, the non-profit organization has since traveled to Australia, California and the entire East Coast on an annual basis to enact surf camps for over 150 children with autism and other special needs. The statistics behind that which Surfers Healing is aiming to help autism - is beyond alarming. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 68 children are identified with an autism spectrum disorder, which impedes both social and communication interaction. The governmental organization also notes that the “developmental disorder” is much more common in boys (1 in 68) than girls (1 in 189).


Though medical journals and white coated professionals explain there is neither a ‘cure’ or ‘quick fix’ for autism, water and surfing seems to have therapeutic benefits. Former Pro surfer Israel “Izzy” Paskowitz experienced these benefits first hand while taking his son Isaiah, who was given a diagnosis of autism at an early age, surfing. On the Surfers Healing website, Izzy writes that the seed for the nonprofit began at the “opening ceremonies of the World Longboard Championship in Haleiwa, Hawaii. [my son] Isaiah was having a meltdown. My wife tried to calm him, but she had her hands full. Not knowing what else to do, I picked Isaiah up and heaved him into the ocean. When his head popped up, a transformation had taken place; here was a happy, smiling, peaceful child…A friend grabbed a longboard, and Isaiah and I rode the waves for the first time. He loved it. He loved the ocean; he loved being out on the board together. And me? I was beside myself, because I was finally connecting with my son. We could surf together, and that was enough.” He continues: “I believe that Isaiah responded so dramatically to the ocean that day because it helped calm him during a time of sensory overload. It was a therapeutic experience for him. There’s something powerful about the weightlessness or floating, the lightness of riding a wave. And our family has seen that transformation time and time again with Isaiah. That day in Hawaii, I had a feeling that maybe, just maybe, surfing might help other kids with autism like it had helped Isaiah. With that in mind, [my wife] Danielle and I began inviting other families to join us in the water. We founded Surfers Healing, the original surf camp for children with autism, in 1996.”

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Surfers Healing, which began in 1996, has since put on events for children with autism and other disabilities in Australia, California, and the East coast.

Executive Director of Surfers Healing Waikiki Zane Aikau surfed with Izzy during the pro longboard circuit, and once Surfers Healing began, Zane became a surf instructor, traveling with the group of Surfers Healing watermen that includes the likes of big wave surfer Garrett McNamara. After seeing the event help so many in other regions, Zane decided to begin bringing the program to Hawaii. What makes taking children surfing so therapeutic to Aikau? “The sound of the wave crashing sometimes,” he said. “The whitewater, the moment, it’s a combination of a lot. There’s the ride, the feeling of the wave…” Eden, still watching her son in the blue water as Waikiki begins its afternoon Saturday bustle, also agrees that there is something therapeutic about what Surfers Healing does. “Anthony was diagnosed at two as non-verbal, she recalls. “Around 18 months, he started regressing. No eye contact, no awareness of body, just walking and bumping into things. He stopped talking, and a doctor said that he has severe autism and to look for help. That’s all he said. I was numb…I didn’t know what to do, where to start. There was denial, feelings of if I did something wrong. I didn’t know what to do.” As developmental therapy ensued for the Anthony, Eden began noticing a trend: “we saw that he likes the water at home, so we thought let’s try surfing. This is our 3rd event with Surfers Healing here, and after Surfers Healing and surfing, he comes out saying more. Like ‘I want pizza!’ And that’s something we’ve been working on, he’s now up to saying 50 words a day.” Throughout the entirety to the event, Izzy could be heard softly and kindly thanking the families for coming out to the event. For Eden and her family, this thankfulness is reciprocal. “We’re very thankful that Anthony can participate in something like this,” she said. “They understand that these kids need attention and should be part of society, going out and doing what other kids are doing. Like I said, it’s heartwarming.” pau


FREESURF FEST CLOSES OUT WINTER SEASON WITH A BANG Photos by Chris Latronic On Friday, December 18, Waimea Valley was teeming with a crowd of all ages and demographics - from transient surfers to those that call the North Shore home - as the third installment of the Freesurf Fest began. Live music from Ron Artis II filled the excited and breezy air as the crowd flowed through sponsor tents, such as Pakaloha Bikinis, Honolulu Ford, Ka Nui Kitchen, Surfboard Factory Outlet and Turmeric Indian Cuisine. At previous Freesurf Fests in October and November, the main attraction included exclusive showings of the newest surf films to date, like Volcom’s Psychic Migrations and Filipe Toledo’s Spinning at the Speed of Now. December’s Freesurf Fest followed suit, showcasing what Surfer Poll dubbed as the “Movie of the Year”: John John Florence’s View from a Blue Moon. Immediately following the film, the crowds stayed for arguably yet another main attraction: a Fashion Show by Pakaloha Bikinis, which showcased the newest and hottest swimsuits on the market. More dance-inducing music ensued from the Men in Grey Suits after the Fashion Show, and as the night turned late, the crowd began bidding goodbyes to one another at the closing event of the winter season. Stay tuned for announcements on upcoming Freesurf Fests in January and February of 2016!



WYLAND SURF NIGHT On November 28 and 29th, Wyland Galleries Haleiwa presented the 10th Annual Surf Art Show, a unique and twofold opportunity: first, for the community to meet the men and women whose artwork spans the galleries’ walls and second, for the artists to meet one another and further grow an artist community on the North Shore of Oahu. Though every artist present at the event showcased surf art, each section of the gallery proved just how differently individuals view the all encompassing lifestyle. Take Hilton Alves for example. At the event, he humbly talked about his mural works, where he masterfully creates seascapes on expansive walls on both a local and international level. Leanna Wolff, also present, methodically adds real sand and real sea glass to her oceanic canvases to include texture in her art. Heather Brown, who unveiled two new paintings depicting her creative views of Hawaii’s beautiful waves and roomy bungalows at the event, had this to say about where she draws her inspiration: “[It] comes from my love for the sea, nature, popular surf breaks and the beauty of the islands.” And most of the other artists showcasing their works, including Walfrido, David Wight, Chris Viverito aka The Captain, Thom Madro, and local favorite Welzie would certainly second Heather’s remarks. “Normally artists having single shows, so the [Surf Art night] allows them to show off their art together,” said Ann Franzmann, President of Wyland Galleries. “I think the event shows that there is a niche for artists, and that surf art is a viable lifestyle aside. It’s growing, now it’s something that’s in practically every gallery.” Ann continued to explain that for artists like Evelyn Kekesi, who is originally from Hungary and has studied classical paintings and also had works of art on display, the event also aims to help those green to Oahu. “By meeting other artists, people like Evelyn are realizing this could be a profession,” said Ann. “It makes her more enthusiastic about the whole possibility commenting what she loves with art. And for those wanting to be a part of this gallery, next year we always want to find new artists that we’ve never showed before.”

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Steve Roberson was only 4 years old when he became an internet sensation. Remember the video? That ode to cuteness and youth? It begins with Steve’s mother Tiare filming “baby” Steve just before his record blazing Honolua Bay surf session, where he was later dubbed as the “youngest kid to surf” in the bay.

squints, and continues: “It’s kind of big on the outside.” Audible laughter from older and twin brothers Justin and Eric fills the air when baby Steve stops speaking, and moments later, the video fast forwards to the 4-year old charging into well overhead Honolua Bay rollers, pushed by father Kaleo.

There the Maui-native is on camera, blonde hair dancing in the offshore breeze and smiling, his two front baby teeth visibly missing while wearing a black rashguard with his face caked in sunscreen. “This is my first time surfing Honolua Bay and I’m kind of nervous,” he quietly says to his mother, the camera, and later hundreds of thousands of internet viewers. He stops,

Once online, the video and all of its cuteness and youth exploded like a Waimea Bay bomb: action sports media outlets saw the detonation and immediately posted the video as well as commentary, and the whitewater eruption quaked so loud that it registered on the Richter scale of the mainstream media (specifically, the Huffington Post, MSN, and the Independent), all

of whom further increased baby Steve’s virality and fame. Now 7, Steve has two new and permanent front teeth, is charging harder than ever, has a surf trip to Bali notched in his belt and also has an impressive laundry list of sponsors that includes Volcom, Dakine, Nixon, Body Glove, Shade sunscreen, Stance socks and Da Hui wax. Steve’s mother calls her sponsored son the “entertainer”, and the emcee certainly didn't disappoint when we sat down to play catch up. He spoke in rapid bursts of exclamation marks when talking about surfing, his “happy place”, his favorite subjects in school (he loves them all) and the Big Wave

Tour, the last of which recently stopped only a few miles from the Roberson’s house. Throughout the conversation, the only time Steve lowered his excited tone was when he tried to determine who could have possibly pranked him recently. Have any hints, Justin and Eric? What do you remember about surfing Honolua Bay 3 years ago? I was kinda scared because that was my first time and the waves weren’t that big, but they were big for me when I was 4. I really wanted to go out, and I tried to surf the biggest waves. Did you get less nervous after the first wave? Yes, because I knew I caught a good wave and

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Why are they your favorite surfers? Because they charge big waves and they pull into big barrels. Makua and Nathan are coming to our house [for the Pe'ahi Challenge on Sunday, December 6] because we live right next to Jaws. I’m super excited! It’s going to be fun watch people get really barreled and get big wipeouts. I wish I was in it. When you’re with Makua and Nathan, what do you talk about? I ask them how long they can hold their breath, I ask them about the biggest wave they’ve ever caught and what it takes to charge big waves. And what do they tell you? I forget about the breath but they say when you charge big waves you got to just go for it and when you’re underwater just be calm.

wanted to catch another one. What is your favorite thing about surfing? When you get to go for big airs and do big throw tails. And barrels! What boards are you riding? Mayhems. I’ve been riding a 4’7” and I’m getting a new one: a 4’6”. Do you want to compete? Yes. I like competing because you get to try your best and then everyone sees if you win.

How long were you underwater for? Like...12 seconds! And did you stay calm like Makua and Nathan talked to you about? Yeah. And I went to my happy place. What does your happy place look like? It’s the things I like, so I think about surfing, getting barrelled and Christmas and Easter. So these are your two favorite holidays? Yes because at Christmas you get good presents and Easter you get a lot of candy!








Who is your favorite surfer? Makua [Rothman]. Nathan Fletcher too!

Have you had any holddowns this winter? I had like 3 holdowns at Honolua.

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What are you asking Santa for this year? A new surfboard! And a trip to Oahu. And what moves will you be doing on this new board? Cutbacks and barrels. Barrels are super fun! Let’s talk about school. What’s your favorite subject? I like art. And history too. I know all the states and capitals! Reading is fun because you just read and I like math too because I like trying to do hard questions! What about a favorite band? AC/DC....I like TNT. What do you like to do on Maui’s flat days? Skating. And wishing I was surfing! How do you like surfing with your two older brothers? We’re nice to each other but sometimes we burn each other and kick out. Have you dropped in or burned anyone recently? Yeah, at Middles I dropped in one someone but I didn’t know who it was and I went over the falls and my board almost hit him and then on a smaller day someone burned me…I say sorry when it’s someone i know. When someone burns me they say sorry. Let’s talk about wipeouts. Any bad ones you can remember? Well last week I pulled into a closeout...and I remember one time at Pipeline I did an airdrop and went over the falls and at Middles on a big day I air dropped and went over the falls. What did you think of John John’s View from the Blue Moon movie? So cool! Because of the big airs and big barrels. What was your favorite part? The part with Filipe Toledo because they do really big airs and they doing airs over each other. Have a favorite pre-surf meal? Eating a sandwich and the smoothies my mom makes. Any pranks? Always! We do a lot of pranks on each other. Any recent ones? Well we’ve done so much that you can’t remember But I woke up and had my hand stuck in cold water. I still don’t know who did it. pau

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Bruce Irons floated around for a few months last fall without a sponsor. It was only a matter of time before a major brand picked him up and he has now found a home with RVCA. Bruce Irons joins a very strong Hawaiian team including Makua Rothman, Danny Fuller, Kala Alexander, Dustin Barca and Kalani David. RVCA Founder PM Tenore said of the sponsorship: “We are excited to welcome Bruce into the RVCA tribe. It’s only once in a lifetime that a talent like Bruce comes along. RVCA’s free flowing platform will allow him to be himself. Let Bruce be Bruce and watch the magic happen.” Bruce is equally excited about the sponsorship: “I have been a fan of the RVCA brand since day one and I am especially excited to work with PM Tenore. RVCA is a brand and a family that I want to spend the rest of my career with.”

If you haven’t noticed lately, Gorilla has been freshening up their line with an eclectic selection of artsy leashes, deck pads, and even fins. Now Gorilla has just signed a multiyear deal with Eric Geiselman to represent the brand’s full line of surf accessories. “I’m pretty pumped to be joining Gorilla. I like where the company is heading, and how they’re embracing individual style both in and out of the water,” Eric Geiselman said. Eric joins Ozzie Wrong, Matty Wilkinson, Nick Rozsa, Kai Otton, Otis Carey and Kyuss King already on the Gorilla team. The brand hope Eric’s signing will increase Gorilla’s presence in the USA. Be on the lookout for Eric’s signature traction pad in the near future.



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Wingnut, of the Endless Summer II fame, is partnering up with Firewire to come out with two board models. Wingnut worked with Dan Mann and Mark Martinson to come up with the designs. The boards will be built using Firewire’s Timbertek construction. Wingnut said of the technology, “I have been a fan of Firewire’s Timbertek technology since it was first released and I am looking forward to having my favorite shapes available soon. The way the EPS core and paulownia wood deck-skins enhance the momentum of the board is just amazing.” Firewire CEO Mark Price commented on the partnership, “We pride ourselves in building the very best surfboards that we can so when one of the most influential longboarders ever chose to ride designs built in one of our technologies, it was a big deal for us.” Look for the boards in the US early this year and globally soon after.

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Kauai surfers Kalani Vierra and Krystl Apeles surfed 2 to 10 foot surf at Makaha during Bradah Mels Waterman Championships to win the prestigious SeaHawaii Tandem Surfing World Champions title on December 5 and 6. “I am very happy and stoked, it was a long year, we trained hard and we surfed all types of conditions so I am happy with our result”, said Vierra. “The wave is a long right hander so it is a really good wave, a long ride so you’re able to have a lot of poses”. “ We had a game plan”, explained Krystl. “It was plan a and plan b and we were able to execute but sometimes you can not plan”, Krystl laughed. The event was two days and started with a swell coming up very slowly, next day Makaha was ten feet, so competitors dealt with a variety of conditions. Teams qualified from all around the world. Other results: 2nd, Chuck Inman & Lauren Oiye (HAW); 3rd, Rico Leroy & Sarah Burel (FRA); 4th, Leleo Kinimaka & Megan Talibis (HAW). You can find the full results on ITSA website. O’Neill announced the addition of Maddie Peterson, an ISA World Junior Medalist, NSSA National Champ, ESPN Athlete of the Week, and 4-time member of the U.S. Surf Team, to their surf team. “I am so thankful and blessed to become a part of the O’Neill family,” said 17 year old Peterson. “When you think of solid surf brands, O’Neill is the first name that comes to mind. What an exciting new chapter this is going to be. I’m really looking forward to being a proud ambassador of O’Neill around the globe.” Peterson will be representing O’Neill clothing, activewear and wetsuits, joining top surfers Malia Manuel and Honolua Blomfield, among others. “We are looking forward to a long relationship with Maddie,” said Cedar Carter, Director of Women’s Marketing at O’Neill. “She truly embodies the spirit of O’Neill and we couldn’t be more excited to have her joining our team of talented athletes."


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The North Shore Community Land Trust (NSCLT) said the Fifth Annual Benefit for the Country on December 5, presented by Vans Triple Crown of Surfing and The World Surf League, was a success and mahalo to those who contributed to the night. The NSCLT was also awarded the “Agent of Change” award at the 45th Surfer Poll awards last month. The award identifies an organization or individual making a positive difference in the surfing community. The NSCLT was formed in 1997 to promote land conservation on Oahu’s North Shore. NSCLT’s mission is to protect, steward, and enhance the natural landscapes, cultural heritage, and rural character of the North Shore. NSCLT helped to preserve Pupukea Paumalu, a 1,100 acre bluff overlooking Pipeline and other famous surf spots. In 2015, NSCLT helped to preserve over 600 acres at Kawela Bay and Kahuku Point. “This year, SURFER is honored to award North Shore Community Land Trust with the Agent of Change at the 2015 SURFER Poll Awards,” said SURFER General Manager Tony Perez. “What NSCLT and its members are doing to preserve and protect the rural character of the North Shore of Hawaii is absolutely necessary. I really hope this recognition helps to bring awareness to those who might not know or understand the magnitude of what NSCLT does and its absolute importance to the wellness of this glorious land.” “North Shore Community Land Trust is honored to be recognized as the 2015 SURFER Poll Agent of Change,” said Doug Cole, Executive Director, NSCLT. “Surfing has helped people from all over the world come to love and appreciate the North Shore. In many ways, the huge successes we’ve experienced as a small nonprofit dedicated to preserving land on the North Shore, have been made possible by the fact that this special place is cherished by people from all over the world. We appreciate this recognition as well as the role that surfers’ worldwide play in helping us achieve our mission.”


Koa Rothman clocking even more tube time at the world’s busiest wave. Photo: Keoki


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