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Sunny Garcia. Photo: Mike Latronic In

H aw ai ’ i


Though we’re living in the epoch of aerial maneuvers in both the competitive and freesurf realms, spending time in Hawai’i during the winter and springtime brings forth a stark contrast. Power is the name of the game: powerful waves (Jaws, Sunset, Haleiwa), powerful names (WSL heavies mixed with the Hawaiian tribe) and powerful consequences (near-drownings, broken boards, shattered bones) and therefore, an opportunity ripe for powerful growth (Pipe isn’t called the proving grounds by accident). Landon McNamara provides further proof here, pulling in deep at a location that is an eternal embodiment of power: Pipeline. Photo: Mike Latronic

By Mike Latronic As a friend, i’m always happy to see Sunny Garcia. He always has a big smile for his family and friends and you’re bound to get the “real deal” in any conversation. Sunny doesn’t mince words. The “winningest” surfer in Hawai’i is always determined, profusely talented and here it is - fiercely powerful in the water. So imagine my delight as I was sweating it out on the beach at 3-4 foot Off the Wall when Sunny showed up, touting a fun-sized single fin under his arm. Moments later, I was a happy Publisher, snapping photos and witnessing a true Hawaiian power surfer at work.




Features 44 Power 54 Aperture 62 Talk Story / Sunny Garcia

Departments 10 Free parking 12 Cover Story 18 Publisher’s Note 20 News & Events 68 Grom Report 72 Environment 78 Industry Notes 80 Last Look

Model: Jilly Wendrerlich. Photo: Marina Miller

Whole Lotta


Vitamin C and Vitamin B6

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Publisher Mike Latronic Associate Editor Cash Lambert 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 Blake Lefkoe, Jeff Hawe, Dan House, Lauren Rolland, Arielle Taramasco

Senior Contributing Photographers

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

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John Bilderback, Marc Chambers, Brooke Dombroski, DoomaPhoto, Rick Doyle, Isaac Frazer, Jeromy Hansen, Pete Hodgson, Joli, Kin Kimoto, Tim McKenna, Dave “Nelly” Nelson, Nick Ricca, Gavin Shige, Heath Thompson, Bill Taylor, Wyatt Tillotson, Corey Wilson, Jimmy Wilson, Cole Yamane Senior Account Executive Brian Lewis Business Coordinator Cora Sanchez 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

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

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hat self respecting publisher doesnt browse on social media forums to gather inspiration and get a pulse for what’s happening in their world? In the world of surfing, I remember seeing Sunny’s Instagram account and seeing that he kept talking about power surfing. The inspiration welled up and we started talking about doing a collaboration where he would be a “guest editor” of sorts for a themed “power issue.” Now, he may be one of the most successful surfers ever to paddle out in Hawaiian waters, a former world champion and 6 time Triple Crown champion, but you should know the real power Sunny wielded in this process… See, the power issue itself was supposed to be the February issue and it was plotted and planned to have Sunny touch it but a last minute trip to Peru waylaid Sunny’s involvement. Thus, push came to shove near deadline and Garcia flexed his real muscle. With everything considered and the true nature of the edition at stake, we were compelled to swap out the entire issue for a later date when Sunny could be more present. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s power surfing on another level.

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VIEWS FROM THER LANAI THE 2016 VOLCOM PIPE PRO By Cash Lambert “It’s not as crazy as it used to be,” says Dave Riddle, holding binoculars in front of his eyes. We’re perched on the second floor lanai of the Volcom house, seated in chairs and watching the first day of action at the 2016 Volcom Pipe Pro. The conditions! In front of us is nothing short of idyllic Pipeline: solid 8-10 foot, WNW surf. After Dave noted that things have calmed down at the Volcom house, I decided to not press for more information because the coach’s focus was on his guys, the swell and a folded up heat sheet clenched in his hands. Throughout the day, he made notes as Hawai’i’s Koa Smith rattled off back to back nines, Bruce Irons advanced from his round 1 seed, and two wildcards - Gavin Beschen and Balaram Stack - earned berths into the later rounds. Allowing such wildcards in on the action is part of what makes the annual Volcom Pipe Pro unique. Because of its QS 3000 rating, hellman are handed an entrance ticket into a proving grounds arena with fat prize purses up for grabs, totaling $100,000.

Ground zero for the athletes during the 3-day contest are the Volcom houses, and both of which have haunting reputations and storied legacies. The one story house on the west side of the beach path reminisces on fond memories from the days of Pipemaster Finals with Andy Irons victorious and being chaired up the beach and straight to the house, where the party awaited its eternal King. The three deck house on the east side of the corresponding path speaks to the new and continuing the Volcom way. I wanted to experience the entirety of the Volcom Pipe Pro at these houses, in order to put the Volcom reputation to the test. The narrative of the epic raging parties, the beatings...were they all true? Or embellished tales? And was this way of life - if true still intact today? Conducting such a case study could, inadvertently, land me a beating, per the reputation. Like, if I opened the wrong door to wake a snoozing Tai Vandyke, a notorious power surfing extraordinaire who runs the 3-story house and would certainly

Kelly Slater notched yet another win in his belt by taking home first place at the 2016 Volcom Pipe Pro.



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Jamie O’Brien, a standout and crowd favorite throughout the 3 day event, placed second to Kelly Slater overall.

wake and hand me a black eye. Or, if I accidently left a speck of sand on my foot and had the unfortunate luck of walking past Kaimana Henry, the leader of the one story house and a fellow power surfer, a beatdown would inevitably ensue. I might even incur a slapping if someone inside the house simply thought I needed one. So I dressed in all black to fit in, slipped behind the big men wearing XXL shirts that read “Volcom Security” patrolling outside the Volcom house, left my slippahs on the porch, frantically rubbed any hint of sand off my feet, walked through a thick crowd surrounding the living room plasma TV, barreled up the wooden and creaky stairs, through someone’s room and onto the second story lanai where Dave Riddle, the man who has been Volcom’s storied and decorated surf coach for decades, sat with Imaikalani DeVault, both mesmerized by the action. Before making my presence known to the two, I silently wondered if I would incur any rath by interjecting during the precious coach/athlete time...if Dave would call up Tai or Kai or another Volcom-clad man to handle my frame. Suddenly Dave turned around and looked behind me. “Tai!”

My figure instantly became rigid like the casket I would soon occupy. Tai’s enormous, 6+ foot figure came into view, and what followed was an antithesis to my expectations and an antithesis to the reputation. Tai smiled my direction and offered a gentle handshake. Dave followed suit, and the conversation with Dave took two courses: how the coach’s morning has been (“I got up at 5 am, was here at 6”) and on the late Andy Irons (“Andy was all about the community. He made it about everyone. It wasn’t like he had won 3 World Titles..it felt like Hawai’i had won them”). Then, the conversation morphed into what I came for: the juicy Volcom myth. “It’s not as crazy as it used to be,” Dave said, and as he continued following the action, the noise below on the first floor seemed to be on an elevator and only going up. I gazed down and the entire scene below resembled a family reunion: people pouring into the yard freely, Tai fiddling with the grill, Jason Shibata, another Volcom coach, shaking nearly every hand inside the yard, and the boys with the “Volcom Security” shirts on joining in on the fellowship. “It depends on how you act yourself,” says Tai Vandyke. “If you come here still in with a chip on your shoulder, you’re gonna get hell for it. But...everyone’s welcome.”




Bruce Irons rode his hot hand all the way to 4th place overall.

It’s the start of the second day of competition at the Pipe Pro, and we’re standing in one of the 2nd floor rooms with our eyes peering outside towards the contest arena. Tai was kind enough to offer another handshake and was willing to visit the topic of the Volcom mystique. “Everybody gets one chance,” says Dave Wassel, who was sitting in the room. “It takes a whole lifetime to earn respect. It takes 5 seconds to lose it, plain and simple.” “And you know, this is what they’re here for,” Tai says, pointing out the lanai and towards Pipeline. “By the way, it’s straight up 10 feet right now. And getting bigger.” Moments later, the two disperse and I spot Dave Riddle, yet again perched on the second floor lanai, and decide to approach, posing the same question regarding the Volcom party days in hopes that he’ll take the bait that I couldn’t reel in the day before. “The big continuous party is over,” Dave says. “It’s not like it was back in the day, it was just a party and surfing was there for the taking. Now surfing is so serious. It’s a party on occasion, that’s the best way to put it.” “So the Volcom reputation…” “We weren’t known for the beatings,” Dave continues. “We were more known for the party. Here, I’ll break it all the way down. We’re lovers. Not fighters.” “When did things slow down?” “After we got this house things tapered off. Look at the top 44 back in the day, it was one huge travel party with real talented guys who could go out and party the night before and get up





Ezekiel Lau scored a perfect 10 on the second day of the 2016 Volcom Pipe Pro.

and perform. Now everyone’s on their best behavior. Not to say there’s no party, but it’s after the event. The whole training, sobriety thing has benefited the sport. Older guys are saying ‘if I’m going to hang on to this’ and they have, Kelly, Mick, Joel, Taj...those guys aren’t really old comparatively speaking but they have 10,15 years on these kids. Look at them now, they are ripping themselves into top shape.” The conversation gives way to the action in front, and the day will see a host of Hawai’i’s best lay claim to some of the preeminent waves all winter. John John Florence will go on to post the highest heat total of the day, Ezekiel Lau will clock a perfect 10 in a cavern of a barrel, and Bruce Irons will jump from 3rd place to 1st with only 40 seconds left on the clock to advance into the next round. “They’ve always been so cool to me,” says Imai DeVault during the final day of competition at the Volcom Pipe Pro. We’re sitting on a plush couch in the Volcom house talking story on the two house leaders: Tai Vandyke and Kaimana Henry, as well as the often discussed topic of respect with the 19-year-old, who became a Volcom-sponsored rider around the age of 7. “So you’ve grown up here at the Volcom house, what do you think it’s taught you?” “Probably just discipline. Back home my parents make me clean dishes, wash clothes and here I’m on my own and have to do my own stuff, but yeah just self discipline more than anything else.” “Not many can say they’ve been so close with Tai and Kai…” “Being close with them is an advantage,” Imai continues, “because they’re two guys who are really respected on the North Shore. People are intimidated and scared of them and it’s comforting to be on their side. They look really scary, but they’re really nice and cool.” Taking in the room after Imai leaves to watch the heats firsthand, I notice a pile of oversized checks laying on a perfectly made


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bed. Much would happen in between our discourse and the awards ceremony, where these checks will be given out to the top 4 all vying for bragging rights and a plump cash prize. A second swell would fill in later in the afternoon, thickening the Pipeline lips as the waves mutated into monstrous green, avalanching mountains. As the final began in some of the best conditions the contest has historically seen, the Volcom house looked standing room only. The crowd shrieked as Kelly Slater pulled into deep pit after deep pit, quickly comboing the field. Makai McNamara, Jamie O’Brien and Bruce fought back with barrels of their own, but in the end no one threatened Kelly’s lead. Post the awards ceremony, where Kelly, Jamie, Makai and Bruce respectively received their 1st-4th prize checks, the four competitors migrated with the crowd back up to the 3-story Volcom house, where the party had already began. Bruce arrived in the yard and showered off, still sporting his lei, as the music began pumping. “The biggest meaning... was me making a final again and making a roll,” Bruce says, his eyes bright and magnificent and warrior-like, still dripping while unfastening a black knee brace. “This board...yeah it has my brother’s design on it. My brothers always with me, so I always got his mojo. This board is a tribute to him.” I lean forward to help drown out the noise, increasing by the minute. “They’re a big part of my growth,” Bruce continues after I asked for his thoughts on the golden days with his time spent with Volcom boys as a Volcom boy. “We’re brothers and we still are. Those days... are long gone but they were fun.”

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“Do you miss that heyday, that time?” I yell over the nowdeafening roar of the party. Bruce smiles and shrugs his shoulders. “The heyday misses me.” pau


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MANULELE AWARDS Formerly known as the Kaimana Awards, the newly appointed Manulele Awards, an event that took place on the evening of Friday, January 22, paid homage in the form of glistening trophies to the watermen and waterwomen that call Hawai’i home. Present at chic Waimea Valley were a host of surfing’s biggest names, who gathered to find out the winners of the readervoted Manulele Awards for categories such as Stand Out Male and Female, Most Progressive, Best Big Wave Performance and Ambassador of Aloha. Also on tap throughout the night were the tunes of Ron Artis II and Da Bredren. “It’s been about 10 years since we ran this kind of event, formerly under a different name,” said host Michael Latronic as the award ceremony commenced. “This year its our very first Manulele Awards night, which celebrates the talented men and women of our ocean and sport.” Jack Johnson received the Ambassador of Aloha award and John John Florence won multiple reader-voted awards: the Most Progressive, and the Standout Male. Current WSL Women’s World Champion Carissa Moore took home the standout female, with Seth Moniz accepted the standout junior award. Arguably one of the best dressed in the night, the ever handsome Ezekiel Lau accepted the reader-voted Power Surfer award and gave immediate gratitude to his elders. “It’s truly an honor to be put next to names like Kaimana and Sunny and Pancho and Kekoa, my heroes growing up. Thanks to the guys for being positive role models.” “I’m super stoked to be included in this at all,” said Jon Pyzel upon winning the Shaper of the Year award. Jon then proceeded to perfectly sum up the ethos of the night: “Every shaper here I look up to, and I really appreciate what those guys have done to help surfing and to help me. I think we’re all really lucky to be able to do what we love to do.”

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Brodi Sale

21ST ANNUAL SHANE DORIAN KEIKI CLASSIC Story by Shawn Pila Photos by Abraham Shouse

Fantastic weather and ripable 2-foot surf welcomed the 21st Annual Shane Dorian Keiki Classic, held at Banyans in sunny Kailua-Kona on the Island of Hawai’i. Truckloads of groms covered the beachfront as families, friends and spectators enjoyed a day of hilarity and friendly competition. “The last few years we’ve been blessed with gigantic waves here in Kona, and a lot of our younger kids were a bit scared,” said Shane Dorian, an acclaimed big wave surfer serving as the contest coordinator. “But this year was awesome, plenty of waves but super mellow and fun.” The event followed a first come, first surf format as 50 keiki shredders competed for a shot at victory. The drug-free event not only showcased rad surfing skills; it embodied leadership, character and good grades. Each year, the event requires kids to maintain a 2.25 GPA in order to enter along with bringing a few canned goods to donate to the Kona Giving Tree. The community and its volunteers strived to make this years event even more sustainable by hosting a beach cleanup the day before competition. A Zero Waste effort, driven by Tony and Krista Donaldson, was in full effect, showing the participants how easy it is to reduce, reuse and recycle. As a result, the community produced only three bags of trash during day, and a full truckload of compost and recycling. A number of sidesplitting events took place alongside the

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competition. Jamie O'Brien and his Red Bull video series cast member, Poopies - the kids' favorite - had everyone in stitches when they covered Poopies in sardine juice and cornstarch and sent him off into the ocean in speedos and a plastic kayak. Soon after this grand departure, Poopies lost control of the kayak and had to swim in over the jagged sea urchin-covered reef of inside Banyans. “It was so nasty, I smelt so bad,” said Poopies. “People were about to vomit every time I walked by.” Yes, grom torture was a thing of the past because at this year’s event it was the pros that were being picked on. Local pros CJ Kanuha and Torrey Meister also participated in the action as Jamie and Poopies got annihilated with tennis balls during the Banyans post-surf session kid game, “Butt’s Up!” Also joining in the festivities were Maui groms Jackson Bunch, Eli Hanneman, Levi Young and Tony Nunez. Pro surfers like Billy Kemper, Matt Meola, Albee Layer, Griffin Colapinto, Josh Moniz and Seth Moniz also made an appearance, signing autographs on free posters and kids foreheads. Tricks and turns and standout surfers like Brodi Sale took the podium in the Boys 13 & Under division, with up-and-coming Ocean Donaldson for the win in the Junior Boys. For the Girls 13 & Under it was young Sophia Carlucci, who took some long right-handers all the way to the shore. Taking home gold in the Junior Girls and winning the Surfer of the Year Award was the one and only Kehanu Delovio. Kehanu announced her goal for this year: to treat others how you want to be treated. All contestants were stoked out with a Billabong contest t-shirt and trucker hat, free lunch and boxfuls of fresh fruit for dessert. The winners of each division earned a koa wood trophy, a bag of goodies, GoPros and an epic 1x1 canvas wave painting by


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artist Chris Nelson. Local shapers donated new and custom surfboards, and even little surfers like Brodi Sale donated a surfboard to a friend that was in need of a new shred stick. After the award ceremony, The County of Hawai’i gifted a Certificate of Appreciation to Shane and Lisa Dorian for their outstanding performance in the community. A special mahalo goes out to Shane Dorian and his family and the Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation for continuing this event each year and to all the parents, volunteers and supporting sponsors who help make this day possible. KEIKI CLASSIC 2016 Results Girls 13 and under 1st Sophia Carlucci 2nd Rumor Butts 3rd Tegan Harrs 4th Danni Sale Boys 13 and under 1st Brodi Sale 3rd Wyatt Walter 2nd Tony Nunez 4th Kade Ketcheson 3rd Jackson Bunch 5th Jesse Kirkhill 4th Luke Heflin 6th Chris O’Donnell 5th Kenalu Kamehaiku 6th Eli Hanneman Surfer of the year award ­ Kahanu Delovio Junior Girls 14­-17 1st Kahanu Delovio 2nd Chloe Smith 3rd Jade Steele 4th Malaika Bishaw Junior Boys 14­-17 1st Ocean Donaldson 2nd Loa Ng

Photo by: Jason Shibata

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12TH ANNUAL KONA SURF FILM FESTIVAL PRESENTED BY ALTRES By Shawn Pila January 30th was a perfect night for the 12th Annual Kona Surf Film Festival presented by ALTRES as families, friends, surfers, boardmakers, filmmakers and tourists gathered for an evening of movies, live music, art, photography and food. “This years event was our best and most diverse yet,” said Chad Campbell, local filmmaker and KSFF founder. "The venue at the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel was unbeatable and bringing the community together is awesome. The hotel sold out and the overall vibe was really cool, friendly and stoked!” It was a night of good vibes with a hefty capacity of nearly 2000 people. Dozens of vendors were posted under pop-up tents and over a hundred beach chairs and blankets scattered the lawn as old and new friends mingled. A variety of live music set the evening mood as people gathered to witness a total of 18 local and international films, documentaries and shorts. Films spanned genres from the highly acclaimed, “View From a Blue Moon,” starring John John Florence, to the cold-water comedy “Freezing.” Patagonia big wave surfer Kohl Christensen made an appearance showcasing a short local film about surfing and the laidback Big Island lifestyle entitled Hawaii Island. Surf, fashion and underwater photography prints by local artists were also on display. Heaps of product raffles and surfboard giveaways from sponsors and local surfboard shapers got the crowd hyped and helped raise money for the Hawai’i Wildlife Fund and Innovations Public Charter School. A huge mahalo to Chad Campbell and the entire Campbell family for spearheading another awesome event, and to all the filmmakers, musicians, artists, vendors, sponsors, volunteers and cleanup crews for making this occasion a success, year after year. For more information and media coverage of this year’s event, visit www.konasurffilmfestival.org.

J Weaver



The surf community went to sleep on Tuesday, February 9th fully expecting to see the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau go the following day, an event that hasn’t run since 2009. During the previous weekend, the contest was put on yellow alert, and officially given a green light on Monday, the 8th. Upon hearing the news, media, executives and invited pro surfers alike booked last minute flights, construction crew began building scaffolding at Waimea Bay Beach Park, community law enforcement began preparing for a crowd in the thousands, and members of the North Shore and outlying community collected tents and sleeping bags and overnight meals. The hype and preparation was completely justified: it’s been 7 years since the last Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau ran, and on tap would be (forecasted) 20+ foot consistent swell, and surfing’s biggest names (Slater! Dorian! Carroll! McNamara! Irons!) all competing for glory, for prestige, for a name in the history books and in the name of Eddie Aikau, the North Shore’s first lifeguard who lost his life in an effort to rescue fellow crewmates about the Hokule’a, a Polynesian voyaging canoe that capsized en route to Tahiti. Thus, thousands prepared and arrived before daybreak in bubbling and throbbing anticipation. But the contest never ran on February 10th. “This morning at 3 am, I read the buoys and said 'where’d it go?'” said Glen Moncata, Quiksilver’s Event Director while standing in front of the skeleton event scaffolding. “I think it was mother nature that got us. You had everyone saying it's going to come in earlier for a 9 am start and when I got up at 3 am and read the buoys, I said ‘where is it?’ I thought the buoys were broken. After talking to a couple guys, the storm had so much intensity ahead of it, once it got to our island it got sucked into a high pressure system. What we need is eight hours of solid 20 foot surf, 40 foot faces, and unfortunately this storm got pushed way up North of us." This certainly isn’t the first and won’t be the last time expectations for The Eddie were high and wave heights were low. “In 31 years, the contest has gone 8.5 times,” continued Moncata. “I’ve had over 30 dry runs. It’s disappointing. We have a standard for this contest, if it’s not Eddie size we’re not comprising, just like Eddie wouldn’t have.” The no-go call was indeed disappointing, but once the news spread throughout the crowd on the sand, on the cliff and among those spilling out in the streets, the mood didn’t plunge into frustration or anger and instead, a community-get-together-party-like feeling became palpable. 40


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The scene resembled a hybrid between the Las Vegas strip on New Year's Eve and a Woodstock event. Multiple tents dotted the cliff, where an overwhelming amount of the audience slept in order to preserve seats during the anticipated action. Acting as a row of food trucks, many tents around the 7 am hour were already grilling. One in particular had a shirt draped over the railing with an inscription “DRINKS $3, Cheeseburgers $5”. Tables even displayed trinkets (like iPhone cases) for sale. Tow trucks patrolled the cliff and the Bay, as hoards of people wearing pajamas and a morning look continually swarmed into the streets, making the already gridlocked Kamehameha Highway impassable. “When we first started this contest, it was a celebration of Eddie,” said Moncata. “It wasn’t about a contest. It was a dedication and memorial to a great Hawaiian. George Downing always said the contest is the icing on the cake, it's not the most important thing. The most important thing is keeping Eddie’s name. And if the contest goes it’s great, if it doesn’t go...One thing about this contest is that we’re not going to lower our standards. Like I said, it has to be Eddie quality waves on an Eddie quality day. We’re not going to change our philosophy on the contest, we’re going to keep it the same way: it has to be 20 feet, for 6 hours.” For acclaimed big wave surfer Ramon Navarro, seen coming out of the lineup and trudging through the deep and prestigious sand, there’s too much respect involved to be frustrated. “I received the call, last minute and flew here from Chile around 4 pm yesterday,” he said. “To be invited to Eddie for me is one of the biggest goals of my life, it's the biggest honor of my whole life. To celebrate Eddie's life, to meet Clyde Aikau, I’m humbled how they have so much contact with the ocean and this place. It makes me proud to be here and to be part of this. We could do this thing 100 times in the winter. I’m just proud to be here."

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Sunny Garcia



( Rain from a c lea r sk y. )

Ezekiel Lau

Brian Bielmann

Andy Irons

Sunny Garcia’s name is synonymous with power surfing. After all, power is the weapon of choice the Hawaiian has used to fill out his lengthy resume, filled six Triple Crown wins, along with hoisting the world championship trophy in 2000. Remember him carving trenches on the face at Sunset? Or throwing both tail and spray seemingly to the sand at Haleiwa, even finding sections to slash after deep Pipeline barrels?


The 46-year-old singlehandedly insprired this entire issue revolving around this theme of power, and in the pages that follow, Sunny initiates a round table discussion with Tai Vandyke, Kaimana Henry, Mick Fanning, Ezra Sitt, Kelly Slater and Pancho Sullivan on what a power surfer is, its history as well as its current state, and how exactly you can distinguish a power turn from just another style turn. All of it raw. All of it live. And all of it nothing short of powerful.

Ulu Napeahi

WHAT IS POWER SURFING? There are a range of definitions attached to the word power, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Many of the explanations from the dictionary revolve around authority, control and influence. But when it comes to the concept and reality of power surfing, there is only one absolute a ­ nd that is physical might. Add salt water and a few other ingredients and you get what are dubbed Power Surfers. But we’ll get to that in just a bit. Let’s break power a bit further first. There are power struggles,­which really have nothing to do with actually riding waves unless of course you have a split personality and end up surfing a peaky beach break, and perhaps your alter ego is goofy foot and you are really regular. That could get ugly... Then there’s power trips, which may have more to do with hogging waves and making waves than enjoying them. There’s power surges, power matches, power couples, power lifting, power outages and power grids, to name a few more, that are universally recognized by most of society and the human experience. Finally, there exists power surfing. A small sliver of Earth’s population knows what this represents and an even smaller slice can actually claim it. There are scores of surfer athletes that apply generous amounts of power while surfing and, in unison with timing, agility, technique and speed, are truly fantastic wave riders. But power surfers are a different breed. The power surfer is undeniably strong. But strength is only one aspect. There’s a lotta dudes that could bench press more weight than widely recognized power surfers Sunny Garcia, Jordy Smith or Pancho Sullivan, but the average surfer pumping massive amounts of iron at 24 Hour Fitness does not get automatic entry to the club. Exercising that physical might on a wave is one thing. Making it functional, fluid and fantastic are another. So what defines a power surfer?

“There’s a difference in spray,” says Sunny Garcia. “Some guys have nice big fans, some guys its just pure water.” “My definition of power surfing is just going fast, turning hard and leaning into it,” says Tai VanDyke. It all comes down to speed, and that's the first thing I’m trying to do: get some speed.” “I would define power surfing as someone properly putting their board on a rail and displacing an enormous amount of water and throwing it down,” says Volcom’s legendary coach Dave Riddle. “In this day and age, the power surfer has morphed into a more radical surfer, sliding tail, doing drifts like in the barrels and going into the lip and launching airs then doing a big gauge too.” For Pancho Sullivan, much of the definition goes into the rail. “For me personally, power surfing is about putting your board completely on rail all the way through your turns,” he says. “Harnessing the power of the wave and putting everything you have into it.” “The way I describe a power surfer is someone who goes out and attacks life and surfing,” says Ezra Sitt. “You have to be able to just attack and smash lips and everything or anything that gets in your way.” Mick Fanning’s definition lies with names instead of a distinction. “I look at the greats like Sunny and Pancho...those guys are the ones that have the power and perform the best in Hawai’i. I try my best with my skinny legs to put as much power in as those guys. It never works, but you gotta try.” Kelly Slater notes that in regards to fundamentals, everything starts with power surfing. “Power surfing is the base. It’s really about technique. The approach is using the rail and pushing on the fins. When you see a guy do a power carve, he has to lean against his board and push against the wall. He can be leaned over completely horizontal sideways, and if you’re pushing hard enough, the water’s pushing back.”

Pancho Sullivan

Bill Taylor

Jeff Divine

Dane Kealoha

Jeff Divine

Mark Occilupo

Barry Kanaiapuni

Johnny Boy Gomes

POWER ROOTS Ask Sunny Garcia when power surfing began, and he’ll point back to Dane Kealoha. Matt Warshaw’s Encyclopedia of Surfing refers to the Hawaiian as someone who was groomed for nothing but power: “At 5'9", 185 pounds, with thighs like a fullback, Kealoha was a born power surfer,” the entry reads, with contributions from Scott Dittrich, Bill Delaney, Gary Capo, Greg Weaver, Spyder Wills and Tom Servais. “He rode in a wide stance, slightly hunkered over, pressing his board into deeply chiseled turns and cutbacks.” “For me everything started with Dane,” says Sunny. “When I first started surfing, I didn't find out about the Barry Kanaiaupuni and the older guys until later. When I was 13, T&C sent me to a contest in Japan and I flew up with Dane. For me, I was in heaven, with my favorite surfer going to first professional event. I remember the first day we got there we surfed this River mouth just barreling. Watching Dane surf was incredible.” Kelly Slater agrees that Dane was on the forefront of the power movement. “When you think of real power surfing, you think of surfing in Hawai’i with Barry Kanaiaupuni, Jeff Hackman, the Eddie Aikau’s of the world,” he says. “Then generations of Johnny Boy Gomes and Dane Kealoha. Those are probably the first two names that come to mind when you think of power surfing originating, they were the first true power surfers.”


Jeff Divine

Jeff Divine Jeff Divine

Brian Bielmann

Tom Carroll

Andy Irons

Larry Bertleman

A friend to Dane, Oahu’s Johnny Boy Gomes too had a power surfer’s build along with a menacing reputation. “I looked up to Johnny Boy and Dane Kealoha,” says Volcom’s Kaimana Henry. “I still see Johnny Boy out there, he’ll throw down one of the gnarliest turns around.” “The most powerful surfers ever were Johnny Boy and Dane,” agrees Tai VanDyke. The gnarly backside turns at Pipe Johnny used to do…” For both Dane and Johnny, physical might certainly contributes to the power spewing off their rails. So is power surfing an inherent skill that they both inherently had, or can it be learned along the way? “Yes, it can be taught, but it takes a certain type of surfer to pull it off,” says Dave Riddle. “Let’s say you got a bigger guy, who you know shouldn’t be doing airs and should be doing turns. The surfer does have to be a good quality, fast paced get up and go guy. It has to be flowing, with good clean turns and setting up for that whack and throwing down that rail.”

What is the current state of power surfing? A dying breed, according to Sunny. “The kids nowadays are more intune with doing airs and cute turns and little check turns,” he says. “Back then you weren’t during a turn unless you were doing a power turn. Now, some of the kids surf really good but it gets to be a little frustrating watching someone blow a wave going 1000 miles an hour to the closeout and do an air, blowing that whole wave just to do one cute air. Not too many kids that are doing any kind of power surfing nowadays, it’s almost becoming a lost art. Not to say kids aren’t doing good turns, a lot of kids are doing good turns but powersurfing is a whole different breed of surfers. We’re not producing too many of those.” For Sunny, much of the blame for power surfing dwindling into a dying ember lies with today’s judging landscape. “Basically the surfing goes wherever the judging goes,” he says. “Everybody wants to be John John Florence or Filipe Toledo or Gabriel Medina and do airs. Until they start judging surfing for what it is - good surfing for good surfing...Whether you go out and do an insane air or you go out and do a huge carve, I think it should be re-ordered in the same way. Unfortunately, if you go out and do a cute air they give you a huge score. If you go out and do a huge hack they give you an ok score. Until the judging gets right, it’ll be a lost form.” “Power surfing will never be lost,” counters Dave Riddle. “Because at the end of the day, judges can watch guys doing looping airs and doing floats but when someone gets out

Kekoa Bacalso



there and displaces water, it gets the judge's attention. You can ride a wave from A to B and do a million moves, or you can come off the bottom and do one hack and get just as big a score. It’s just as pleasing to watch.” For Kelly Slater, a complete package is what the judges are rewarding today. “All the airs and stuff are the tricks, that's the flamboyant stuff that goes with it,” he says. “You have to be able to do that stuff now days. I could be proven wrong if we end up in just solid good waves all the time, I don’t know if we’ll ever see a true world champion based on just power surfing all year. You have to be able to do all the moves. I also think you shouldn't win a World Title if you don’t have a real rail game.”

Eric Baeseman Tai Vandyke

POWER LINES: WHERE DO THEY LIE? There’s stylish turns, great turns, finesse turns. Then there’s a power turn. What's the difference? “To me, the line is drawn as soon as someone stands up,” says Ezra Sitt. “You can kind of feel or see how he or she is going to attack the next section. I love watching someone use every bit of speed, agility and energy into one turn.” “I think a power surfer puts his all - whatever he’s got - into whatever he’s doing,” says Kaimana Henry. “A good power turn to me is trying to give it your all, not flailing all around. Just making it look aggressive. You can tell if they’re giving it their all or floating into it.”

Heff Kai Henry

“For me, the two biggest factors would be equipment and influence,” says Pancho Sullivan. Learning to push the tail out on smaller boards doesn't really cultivate a longer rail turn base in your surfing. Another separation would be that power surfing tends lend itself to one or two focused maneuvers. There is also a matter of physics and how you use the wave itself to generate maximum speed. The more speed you have, the more torque you can generate.” pau


Jamie O’Brien. Photo: Mike Latronic








Albee Layer. Photo: Keoki

Kelly Slater. Photo: Carey / A-Frame

Jordy Smith. Photo: Tyler Rock

Luke Walsh. Photo: Tai Vandyke

Dusty Payne. Photo: Tai Vandyke


S U N N Y GARCIA By Chris Latronic

Talking story with Sunny Garcia is always a tumultuous delight. Just like his power surfing, Sunny will cutback at you with the raw truth regardless of the question, while adding his own flare and experience to it. Sunny is the epitome of power, not just in surfing, but in life. Sunny powered through a rough childhood, incarceration, depression and professional surfing. He's a Hawaiian World Champion of surfing, a Triple Crown legend many times over and today, he's still charging Pipe and Waimea and is still a standout force ripping amongst the best of them. We sat down to pick his mind on his favorite power surfers, his favorite breaks to showcase his power surfing repertoire in Hawai’i, and why he likes Jordy Smith so much. Who are your top 5 power surfers? Dane Kealoha is my number one guy, just because to me and to a lot of guys my age when you think of powersurfing you think of Dane. Dane was the guy, even though we had guys like Barry and a lot of people before him. Dane was a modern day superhero at powersurfing that went on the the IPS tour back before the ASP and before the WSL. Dane was the guy and to me, he represented Hawai’i and everything Hawai’i was about. He was a very strong and very powerful surfer and everybody respected him for that. He will always be at the top of my list. Then Johnny Boy Gomes. He’s one of my favorite surfers, a good friend of mine since I was a kid. He’s all about blowing the back of a wave out, he would be my second choice. Then Tom Carroll, he was also known for his power, especially here in Hawai’i surfing Sunset and Pipeline and Haleiwa. Then I would have to say Mark

Occhilupo, Occy. Coming from Oz, he is real powerful in small waves and pretty powerful in bigger stuff as well. My number 5 would be Pancho Sullivan because his layback hacks here at Pipe and Sunset and Haleiwa are pretty much second to none. Any disclaimer or words to those who don’t make your list? Not even a disclaimer. These are my favorite power surfers, if you don’t make it on the list I’m sorry. In fact, I’m not even sorry. These are my favorite surfers, it’s why I really wanted to push for this - it's my list. Like I said, there’s a lot of guys who should be on this list. Kaimana Henry is a good friend of mine, I freaking love the way the guy surfs. If I’m going down my list...you guys don’t have enough room in the magazine for me to put my favorite power surfers. Kaimana, all the boys at the Volcom house... they would make the list, Tom Grom, Tai Vandyke, I sit with those guys every winter and we watch everybody do huge turns and we just all scream. Those guys for sure would be on the list, that's all they do all day long. They get barreled, come out and do a huck. That's the thing I love about being in Hawai’i. I walk across the street and go to Billabong house, the Quiksilver house, the Volcom house and we sit and watch everyone do huge turns all day long. Then again you have the grom scene at all the houses

Adam Warmington / A-Frame



“...my favorite wave to surf is Haleiwa. You get big walls to do huge carves and it barrels and even though there’s a lot of current you keep going round and round to get waves”

and they’re out there blowing waves trying to do airs and Pipeline...C’mon. I’m just honored to do something like this. For me, I watch all the events and I get to see some good powersurfing go down. Like I said Jordy, I watch his heats a lot because I like the way he surfs. I get frustrated watching some heats where guys are going down the line doing one huge air and getting thrown 9.5s. I think that’s freaking ridiculous to be getting those kinds of scores doing one turn. Why do you like Jordy Smith? Jordy is a big kid who does huge turns. He’s one of the new school guys that does airs but Jordy is 6’2”, 6’3” whatever 200 pounds and can surf 2 foot waves just as good as anybody and I’ve watched him terrorize Sunset as big as it gets. I like his style. He puts a lot into his turns. Have you seen this style of power surfing evolve since your early days? Back in the day, the boards were single fins. The nose was wide, the boards were thick. Those guys had a lot of board to turn and single fins don't turn as quick or easy as a thruster. Now, the boards are thinner and have more rocker. They fit in the wave better, so everything went from raw power to fine tuned big long turns and hacks. It’s more fine tune but in the end it’s all about pushing. What about the top 3 places to power surf? 64

I’d have to go with the Triple Crown spots: Haleiwa, Sunset and Pipeline. For my first, it would be Haleiwa. I would say Backdoor but my favorite wave to surf is Haleiwa. You get big walls to do huge carves and it barrels and even though there’s a lot of current you keep going round and round to get waves, it breaks in the same spot and for me that’s my favorite wave. Then Sunset, I like to go out when there’s big big sections to do big turns and then Pipeline, Backdoor and Pipe. If you like getting barreled and doing huge gouges, there’s no place better in the world to do that. You’ve said that it's because of judging that power surfing has faded and that you believe airs are scored higher. I’m an advocate about power surfing, not to rag on the judging now or the kids, the airs are what's new. That’s what they want. Everything goes in full circle and right now the hype is on airs and they want to do that and that's the way it is. Will it come full circle, in your opinion? It always does. Progressive surfing comes in and then they go back to the basics which is power surfing and they go right back to the new thing. It all evens out in the end. Is there a missing element today, with the youth perhaps not


Mike Latronic


knowing about such power guys that you’ve mentioned as your favorites? Like Dane and Barry? Not really. I never knew about the guys before Dane until later. I think the kids nowadays are getting the same thing, they’re a little more jaded because there’s a lot more surf events and they’re able to go and see all their favorite surfers. You can watch everything live. Maybe there's a little disconnect because they get to see everything. When I was growing up, I couldn’t watch Dane in a contest unless I came out for the Triple Crown or 6 months later when the video came out and I’d watch him surfing from the events a year before. Now the kids are in tune, it’s good for them and it’s better for them because they get to watch their favorite surfers now. pau

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TONY NUNEZ by Cash Lambert

“Nunez makes his mark on the national surfing stage” read the headline, in bold and black lettering. The article, dated in the Lahaina News over 3 years ago, came just after the goofyfooter earned a second place finish in the Minigrom Division and a third place in the Supergrom category at the annual NSSA in Huntington Beach, CA. The article then proceeded to liken Tony Nunez to other greats who originated from the same region, like Cheyne Magnusson, Clay Marzo and Granger Larsen. The NSSA Facebook page, which shared a link to the article at the time, noted “10-year-old Tony Nunez is the latest hot grom coming out of Maui who made his mark at the 2013 NSSA Nationals!” Tony couldn’t have been more exhilarated to be mentioned in the same sentence with 68

such heavyweights and now, three years later, it’s safe to say the young buck who attends Hawai’i Technology Academy continues to burn with the desire to be like his surfing heros. So what has his daily regimen since his first explosive result looked like? He’s getting stronger (thanks to a love of wrestling), excelling in school (a 4.0), and keeping the upcoming Pro Juniors on his mind when laying down gouges on clean sections at Honolua Bay and Lahaina Harbor, not to mention having some fun along the way (snowboarding on vacation and entering the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program). We sat down with the fervent grom to discuss not only his beginnings and which pinnacle he desires his career to reach, but also who his biggest

inspirations are, his thoughts on power surfing and how often he surfs with the ever elusive Clay Marzo. What’s your first surfing memory, Tony? I remember spending the weekend an Launiupoko, surfing with my dad and learning from him. I was on a soft top, one of those WaveStorms and it was 1-2 foot. I was super excited, I didn’t know what to think. I just remember standing up and going straight to the beach. How did this evolve into you surfing full time now? Over the weekends I would go and just surf a little more and more and started surfing 3 times a week and then started surfing every day. Any recent contests?

I just I did the Keiki classic on the Big Island and came in second! Who are your sponsors? O’Neil, Kazuma surfboards, Dakine, Neff headwear, Mokulele Airlines If you could surf with any professional surfer, who would it be? Clay Marzo! He’s my favorite surfer and he does huge airs. One time I was surfing with Matt Meola, Clay and another guy and there was this giant tiger shark so we all started coming in. It was pretty gnarly and we all washed up on the rocks and came in. Do you surf with Clay often? He only surfs by himself. You can never see him.

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What are your favorite things to do other than surf? I went snowboarding in December. It was pretty fun! I like wrestling too, I’ve been doing it a really long time. My older brother Nick started wrestling, and I watched him do it and then I started too. What do you like so much about wrestling? I like conditioning. It helps with training! What about any other training regimens? Pretty much just surf. Let’s talk about your quiver - what are you riding these days? I have a 5’0 Kazuma, and a 4’11 and 5’3. What goals do you have for surfing?

Stephanie Nunez


I want to start doing Pro Juniors soon and practice and train for that. Just surf and train every day. What about your favorite music? Have any recent songs or artists that you really like? I like Tyga. Sonatine by Wiki too. It’s a pretty sick song! What do you think about power surfing? I mainly do turns. I think that’s the fun in surfing. Doing turns, it’s going to take you farther. You can do turns in every condition. Airs aren’t as reliable, but you can alway rely on powerful turns. I like Ezekiel Lau. He has so much power, he does everything, airs and turns. If you had to choose between an air or turn, you’d choose a turn? Yes! I think power surfing is

going to make a comeback. I feel like so many people can do an air reverse and so many little kids can do an air reverse but so many can’t do a proper turn. Who are your role models?

Why should we follow you on Instagram? It’s awesome and I put a lot of surfing on it! Any recent travels?

I got a 4.0!

I went to France, stayed with my friend. He lives over there lives by Hossegor, we were surfing and I was there for a month. My mom is French, and I’d been there a couple times. There were a bunch of tourists who didn’t know what they were doing they paddled out. It was bombing and they got worked! The food is way better too. They have crepes and chocolate croissants and so many good deserts. This summer I’m going to Australia, Snapper Rock.

What are your favorite subjects?

Last words for the Freesurf audience?

Math! I think it’s fun. And I don’t like history because it’s pretty much all reading.

Surf and have fun. And thanks to all my sponsors!

My parents. Why so? They’re doing good things in the community, they’re both teachers and they’ve been educating kids. How are your grades this year in school? You posted something about your report card on Instagram lately...


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The Hawai’i State Energy Office reported that in 2012 Hawai’i used oil for 71% of its electricity generation. Nationally, less than 1% of electricity production came from oil. Hawai’i’s geography further makes it expensive and complex to build energy infrastructure, such as power lines. As power rates have increased more people have installed solar panels, accelerating the transition away from utility energy consumption.

A global revolution is underway in how we are powering our world. Last December, in Paris, 195 countries reached a climate change accord where each country will begin to implement new policies and practices in order ween ourselves off of fossil fuels. In the same month a gridlocked U.S. congress brought to bear a brief moment of common sense and passed a spending bill that included extended tax credits for renewable energy in the form of the Production Tax Credit and the Investment Tax Credit, these credits provide many incentives for the wind and solar industries, among others. Unfortunately, a more comprehensive and aggressive climate policy, one that puts a price on carbon, isn’t something current right wing politicians have the intellectual rigor to develop or pass with their democratic cohorts. Locally, Governor Ige signed a bill calling for 100% renewable energy in Hawai’i by 2045. Internationally and 72

in the neighborhood energy production, distribution, and consumption is changing. Hawai’i is dependent on fossil fuels for 95% of our power needs. Yet, we have many resources in order to produce our own clean energy at home, like wind, solar, and geothermal. The myriad of local and global climate policies is important because they set the stage for people and industry to adopt and implement renewable energy sources. Further reducing the amount of natural gas, coal and other fossil fuels used in energy production. Creating a viable platform technologically, economically, and politically is critically important for moving towards a clean power future. Much of the nation looks to Hawai’i as a leader in solar power. At the end of 2014, 12% of Hawaiian Electric’s residential customers had solar panels installed. In contrast, 0.56% of electric customers have solar panels

nationally. Environmentally and economically solar panels are a good thing, but utility companies don’t like them. Utility companies make money by earning a rate of return on their investments into the power grid infrastructure. Typically charges for this infrastructure are bundled into the per kilowatt hour price set by the utility company. High amounts of solar adoption in Hawai’i has led to less power being purchased and less revenue for the utility company. In response, power rates have increased to make up for lost revenue. This also shifts costs on to non-solar customers.

Hawaii pays nearly 3.5 times

the national average for electricity. The local average kilowatt hour is 34 cents; the national average kilowatt hour is 10 cents. An obvious reason for this are the costs associated with the state’s extreme isolation. Hawai’i is dependent on oil imports for electricity production.

The high cost of electricity creates a big incentive for Hawai’i customers to install solar panels. Furthermore, abundant sunshine in the state creates favorable conditions for solar panels to produce a lot of power. The lifetime of a solar panel in Hawai’i will produce much more energy than that of one in many other parts of the country, due to Hawai’i’s abundant sunshine. In Hawai’i, upfront costs of installing solar panels are more quickly recovered than in other regions of the country where solar panels do not produce as much energy. Large adoption of solar power in Hawai’i has led to problems with the electrical grid as well. Excess solar power is problematic because Hawai’i’s grid is small and isolated. Hawai’i’s six islands each have their own separate electrical grids and require their own energy generation. The utility has difficulty in allocating and dumping excess solar power added to the system. In other regions where large scale solar has been adopted, such as California and other parts of the south west, the utility is much more interconnected, both interstate and intrastate. Interconnection of the grid



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CALL TO ACTION: A FUTURE FOR SOLAR POWER allows for a higher level of variable energy distribution and creates significant savings on energy integration costs. Energy variability and uncertainty spread out over a larger geographic area allows more reliable access, distribution, and production of energy from different sources. A unified interisland electrical grid would have economic benefits of: uniform pricing, lowering production costs, lower price volatility, and greater utilization of lower cost energy production. Environmentally a unified grid would allow for greater penetration of renewable energy sources and open up opportunity for new renewable energy locations. However, squabbling over an interisland grid connection has been going on for over a century. In 1881 King Kalakaua traveled to New York to meet with Thomas Edison. They discussed the feasibility of generating electricity from the Big Island’s volcano and using an underwater cable to bring electricity to Oahu. Edison concluded that it was possible, but would cost too much. One hundred and thirty-five years on the argument continues and there still isn’t a unified interisland power grid. Hawai’i’s extreme isolation makes energy integration and the distribution of variable power sources very difficult. Thus, the Hawai’i Public Utility Commission limited the number of customers who can install solar panels. Reducing the excess energy load being put back onto an inflexible energy grid. Currently, Hawai’i mostly relies on just a few power plants that have difficulty withstanding variable solar power production. Many residential customers are disgruntled that they cannot

install solar in some areas and are stuck on multi-year waiting lists before they can utilize their systems. The result is customers being held hostage to high utility prices and increasing distain for utility companies.

N ationally utility companies

are trying to end net metering, where solar panel customers are paid for excess electricity

produced. Utilities would rather pay a lower fixed rate for the surplus energy produced and charge a higher fee for grid infrastructure investments and maintenance. Solar customers have mostly won over the utility companies, except for in Hawai’i and Nevada. In 2015, the Hawai’i Public Utility commission eliminated retail rate remuneration for solar customers putting energy back on the grid. Instead solar panel customers will now receive a fixed compensation. The Hawai’i Public Utility Commission claims that this change will fairly compensate customers for energy generated and eases energy

cost shift on to non-solar customers. Initially this will reduce the economic incentive to install solar panels in much of the state. Many areas of the country are looking at Hawai’i to see how the market will react. However, this is setting the stage for residential and commercial power storage, weening more people off

grid dependency, and further gutting the utility company’s revenues. Solar customers receiving the full retail rate for their surplus power generation don’t have much incentive to store it. They can simply purchase back the energy they need later, usually at night, for the same price they sold the original surplus for. When customers can’t sell their surplus power at the retail rate and they are later forced to purchase power at a higher full retail rate, the customer suddenly has incentive for an individual power storage system. Storage allows the solar customer to utilize their own cheaper generated power and use it when needed, such as at nighttime.

The utility company has begun digging their own grave. This policy encourages the development of home battery systems where customers can use more of their own power that is cheaper than what the utility offers and rely less on the grid. In this scenario, if the utility company responds by again lowering the price they pay for surplus solar energy and increasing infrastructure fees they will encourage even more people to not use their high priced electricity. Customers will obtain solar plus battery systems. Result; more people not being entirely dependent on the utility company for their power needs and less utility revenue. Bolstering systems where individual households and businesses can generate and store a large part, or even all of their energy needs, is becoming more and more feasible. In Hawai’i, we have the nation’s highest energy prices and abundant sunlight to generate power from. Creating a very favorable environment for implementing increasingly affordable and competitive solar plus storage systems. This is already being done in other parts of the world. For example, in Japan, Solar Frontier opened a new facility last year that produces solar residential systems. These systems are competitively priced to the grid and are predicted to be less expensive than power from the grid by 2018. Solar Frontier claims that there is a strong likelihood its residential systems can be expanded and produced in multiple areas in Japan and overseas. In Germany, solar energy storage is undergoing a boom. Systems there are very practical, pay off in just a few years, cut utility costs for homeowners, and the price of storage systems is rapidly




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CALL TO ACTION: A FUTURE FOR SOLAR POWER falling. Interestingly, the solar storage systems benefit the grid by keeping it more stable. Deploying solar and storage together allows for increased energy independence, which is important to many people. It will also reduce the demand and dependence on burring oil for electricity production in Hawai’i. This has a lot of benefits economically since the state spends over 5 billion per year on imported oil. It also benefits environmentally by scaling up cleaner energy sources. As more people obtain solar and storage systems they can join together creating a network of instantaneous energy held in batteries. There is potential that this energy can be controlled and dispatched through the grid if commercial and residential entities chose to work with utility companies. Furthermore, homeowners may be able to sell their stored power at wholesale prices to the utility company.

energy is becoming more affordable and is on track to be the cheapest energy source in the future. Even cheaper than natural gas within the next few decades. The trick now is developing affordable batteries that can hold that energy at the point of demand for commercial and residential applications. Bloomberg New

storage meet and fall below ever increasing utility prices people will convert to solar plus energy storage systems. Numerous energy experts and researchers agree that this trend is likely to come online with rapid adoption in the next few decades. Adoption of these systems and relying less on the grid or bailing out

C learly there are many

benefits to solar and storage systems. In the past solar panels and storage batteries were far too expensive, pricing many people out of these technologies. The good news is that the price of these rapidly developing technologies is dropping quickly. A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that solar energy has dropped to 5 cents per kilowatt hour on average in the U.S. This in response to more than a 50% drop in installation costs since 2009 and solar projects being able to produce more electricity more efficiently. Many labs and researchers agree that the price of solar will continue to drop in the next few decades. Being able to generate solar


Energy Finance reported price reductions in lithium-ion batteries at rates very close to that of solar costs. They estimate a learning rate of a little over 20%, meaning that each time these technologies double in size there is an over 20% reduction in price. Ramez Naam, energy analyst, reported the same trend but a more conservative solar learning rate of about 16%. Many other industrial products exhibit similar learning rates. Ford’s Model T is the classical example of price falling as production scales up. A good omen for the future of solar. In the future, when quickly declining prices in solar energy generation plus energy

on the grid all together will continue to eviscerate utility revenues. Boo-hoo. Last year the Rocky Mountain Institute published a study titled: The Economics of Grid Defections. In the study they looked at various economic and technological scenarios that would alter the rate of development and implementation of commercial solar and storage systems. They found that solar and storage systems are already cheaper for commercial use in Hawai’i. This is attributed to very high utility costs in the state. Furthermore, in the next decade these systems will be cheap and efficient enough to undercut utility pricing

for millions of customers in California and New York under a variety of market conditions. Overall the study highlighted that commercial energy parity is viable in Hawai’i now and will be for millions more in the country within next few decades. Which is good because it will allow more people to convert and utilize clean energy at affordable prices. Hawai’i is unique from other parts of the country for a many reasons and well positioned for a future of solar plus storage. The time is now to begin implementing a range of clean power practices. Wider scale solar plus storage systems will allow us to get off the dirty energy overwhelmingly provided by the Hawaiian Electric Company and its subsidiaries. Environmental and ethical willingness to convert to cleaner energy sources by many of the state’s residents will create a high demand for these products. Favorable climatic conditions will allow for high rates of production over the life of solar panels. Hawai’i has the nation’s highest electrical prices and is one of the first locations that no longer offers net metering. This tips the economic atmosphere in favor solar plus storage implementation. Residential and commercial customers will soon be able to purchase more affordable and robust battery systems, from companies like Tesla, in the very near future. Moving forward Hawai’i can continue to lead in solar energy, environmental awareness, and be at the forefront of how we retool and repower our civilization. pau

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Kauai’s Bethany Hamilton has extended her contract with Rip Curl. Rip Curl first sponsored Bethany at nine years old and she is now just shy of her 26th birthday. Bethany has many accomplishments including: winning national competitions, competing on the WSL Championship Tour and inspiring millions of people with her positive and hardworking attitude while overcoming the challenges associated from losing an arm in a shark attack as a teenager. Recently she surfed 50 foot Jaws, on Maui, while filming for her soon-to-be-released movie Surfs Like a Girl. She also just had a son Tobias. “2015 was definitely one of the best years of my life, primarily because I became a Mom and I absolutely love being a Mom!!! I still managed to have a fun year of surfing before I had Tobias and after. I grew a lot as a person in my post-partum recovery, and in my determination to get back to the ocean. My passion for surfing and bettering my ability is still lit and I can’t wait to chase more of my goals and dreams! I look forward to surfing some heavy waves this year and pushing my limits. I also love working hard at my progressive surfing and want to keep charging at that. It’s rad to have shared my journey of surfing with Rip Curl since I was 9 years old. Now being 25 and surfing better than ever I’m excited to keep surfing as a Rip Curl team rider!” Bethany is currently in shooting and travelling with Aaron Lieber for her film Surfs Like a Girl, which will be released in 2017. For the past 10 years AccesSurf has been providing monthly programs for people with disabilities to access the beach and ocean with adaptive surf and swim programs. On April 2, 2016 AccesSurf will partner with the Malibu Underdogs, from California, to create a special event. The event will be the first annual 'One Ocean SurfTherapy Fest.' The event will be held at White Plains Beach Park from 8:30am to 1:00pm. The event will begin with a welcome circle at 8:30am. The program is free to anyone with a physical or cognitive disability where they can experience the healing power of the ocean and enjoy the freedom of surfing. AccesSurf is excited to partner with Malibu UnderDogs in order to create 'An Ocean of Possibilities' across the ocean. More information about the organization and the event can be found at www.accessurf.org or by contacting AccesSurf at info@accessurf.org

NOTES Vans is honoring 50 Years of “Off The Wall” Heritage and is looking forward to a memorable celebration of creative expression. In 2016, the original action sports footwear and apparel brand will honor its rich heritage with special product releases throughout the year, showcasing Vans’ timeless design and innovation. The ultimate culmination of Vans’ 50-year legacy will kick off this March with the global expansion of Vans’ cultural hub, House of Vans. It is through the House of Vans experience that the brand will come to life, as it celebrates the milestone across the globe alongside the extended Vans family that have made the brand what is it today. In March 1966, the Van Doren Rubber Company opened for business in Anaheim, Calif. manufacturing deck shoes on its premises and selling them directly to the public. Vans’ rugged make-up and sticky rubber sole made them the perfect companion for skateboarding and they were quickly adopted by the rising subculture. These humble beginnings led to a 50-year history of “Off The Wall” moments in action sports, fashion, music and art, rendering a simple pair of canvas shoes into a platform for creative expression around the world. Stay tuned for more information as Vans looks forward to the next generation of those who embrace the “Off The Wall” spirit and visit www.vans.com to get updates on what’s to come.

Enerskin, an innovative sportswear company, introduced its full line of wearable high-performance clothing to consumers in the United States. The patented technology combines compression clothing with silicone taping (elastic therapeutic taping) suitable for athletic and medical use, designed to improve overall athletic performance, prevent injuries and help athletes recover faster. Enerskin conforms to the contours of skin, muscles, and ligaments, giving the body extra support to perform at a higher level while minimizing the chance of injury and maximizing recovery. “Our technology is unprecedented and a completely new concept in sports protective and performance apparel. The clothing acts as a second skin on muscles and ligaments in wearable form, providing a dual purpose – increasing performance and preventing injury,” said Jae Yang, Founder of Enerskin. “The goal of Enerskin is to help athletes at all levels perform better and prevent unnecessary injuries from occurring.” Enerskin’s performance line include shirts, shorts and sleeves that cover all the major areas of the body for both men and women.

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In what’s being called the wipeout of the winter, Tom Dosland’s freefalling body serves as yet another example to one of the many powerful consequences of a Jaws wave. Photo: Tony Heff


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