50 Hawaii’s Top
G R O M S
V 1 3
F R E E
H aw a i ’i
Jackson Bunch Photo: Dayanidhi Das
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Grom: Is this a label that disappears once a certain age is reached, or is it an attitude of stoke that can be maintained throughout oneâ€™s surfing career? Spend any time around 18-year-old Kona Oliveira, especially after sessions like this, and his unbridled enthusiasm points to the latter. Photo: Keoki
COVER STORY By Dayanidhi Das
I've been cruising with Jackson Bunch for the last 3 years in the water. My perspective of him is that he's such an amazing surfer, a prodigy. It's cool to hang with him and everything he does. For me, when I'm in the water shooting with him and a couple other groms from Maui, when they drop in on wave I always think that something exciting is coming. This shot on the cover is epic because of both the lighting and the spot, Tavares. Sometimes the spot doesn't work that well, but when it does, it's so pretty. There were a couple of us out, and it was a beautiful evening. I saw this black cloud moving across the sky and it split the sun in half. I realized that if anything went down in the following minutes, it would be epic.
So of course Jackson was the perfect person to have in crew. He pulled what you see on the cover, and when I showed the photo to him and his dad, they were so excited. The photo, it doesn't look like it was shot at Tavares. Like I said, the spot doesn't work all the time, but when it does get good, you can bet on something magical coming out of there. Above all, I'm just super fortunate to be cruising with these kids.
18 Editorâ€™s Note 34 Grom Guidance 58 Grom Report Follow JambaHawaii www.jambahawaii.com @jambahawaii
62 Fit for Surf
TABLE OF CONTENTS
68 Community 72 Pau Hana 76 Sounds 80 Industry Notes 82 Last Look
TA BLE O F C ONT ENT S / FEATUR E S
Ne w s & E vent s /
News & Events
R O O M
S H O W
B I K I N I S , C LOT H E S & A CC E S S O R I E S
Recapping recent happenings across the Hawaiian islands, including the 31st annual Local Motion Surf Into Summer, where Eli Olson bested a talented field of Hawaiians in the Final, China Uemura’s Wahine Classic and what Bethany Hamilton had to say about her impressive 3rd place finish at the 2016 Fiji Women’s Pro.
Hawaii’s Top 50 Groms Our panel, using criteria such as contest results, freesurfing talent, big wave exploits and exposure in media, ranked the top 50 surfers age 18 and under in Hawaii.
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A gallery showcasing the freesurfing talents of Finn McGill, Barron Mamiya, Taichi Wakita and others.
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EDITOR’S NOTE / GROM-NATION by Chris Latronic It’s that time again, the time of the grom! Every month, we always give much love to the groms of today with our Grom Reports and She Rips segments. We’re constantly scouting our local waters for the next John John Florence or Carissa Moore. Thus, on an annual basis, we dedicate one entire issue to the groms. And there are multitudes of groms out there in our islands. I see new groms charging everyday. Every HSA or NSSA competition never fails to produce a few grom-groveling upsets catapulting a few underground names into public eye. We give ode to the grom because the grom lives in all of us. Even as I sit here writing this and think of the four letter word, it gives my straight joy. It makes me think of my youth, the hanabata days. My family, my friends, my son. The surf comes to mind, my first wave, my first barrel, my son’s first wave. All smiles, no worries, just good times. The groms of today are our future and in this issue we highlight 50 of the top groms that were dubbed the cream of the Hawaii crop. Narrowing it down to 35 boys and 15 girls, we ranked these esteemed groms based on a variety of parameters researched and measured by our certified panel of unbiased Freesurf colleagues. But in any case, our ranking is subjective, so if you didn’t make the list, don’t fret. We recommend using it as motivation to go out and rip harder next time. Every grom does not succeed without support, from parents and sponsors and coaches alike. We here at Freesurf would like to thank all of our advertisers who continue to support the magazine and our message throughout Hawaii and the world. Mahalo Nui!
Deep 6 & Evil Twin
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NEWS & EVENTS
ELI OLSON CLAIMS VICTORY AT LOCAL MOTION SURF INTO SUMMER PRESENTED BY RVCA The Local Motion Surf Into Summer Presented by RVCA made its 31st annual appearance at Honolulu’s Magic Island during the Memorial Day weekend: May 26-30. Professional and amateur surfers alike of all ages, with 82 percent of the 96-man field from the Hawaii/Tahiti Nui region, swarmed the iconic south shore wave Ala Moana Bowls. Both rating points and checks were up for the taking. The event, one of eight QS competitions hosted by the WSL Hawaii/Tahiti Nui region, also gave surfers the golden opportunity for entrance into the forthcoming Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. Some of Hawaii’s notable surfers made appearances in heats, including 2015 champion Joel Centeio, Bruce Irons, Koa Rothman, Flynn Novak, Kaimana Henry and Finn McGill. The highest heat score of the first day of competition, which ran in fun, head high surf, was Jake Marshall’s 9.4 in the second round. 20
H YAT T R E G E N C Y WA I K I K I ALA MOANA CENTER KOKO MARINA WINDWARD MALL WAIKELE
QUEEN KA‘AHUMANU CENTER KUKUI MALL L A H A I N A G AT E WAY
“As far as an up and coming surfer, he’s amazing,” said Centeio, 16 years Marshall’s senior. “So for me, I’m really stoked because he’s one of our team riders and I’m just stoked to see the younger guys do well.”
NEWS & EVENTS
Centeio also noted the
contrast in competition between Oahu’s North and South shores. “I feel like the North Shore you’re usually battling the elements and just trying to compete because it’s so big and it can be scary at times. But Ala Moana Bowls, it’s super playful, it’s rippable. A little less pressure in a way, but still that anxiety of just competing itself kind of gets you.”
On the second day of competition, the North Shore’s Eli Olson rode his hot hand all the way into the final, where he met fellow aficionados Billy Kemper, Noa Mizuno and Kaulana Apo. For the first 20 minutes of the Final, Kemper and Mizuno that caught the attention of the Magic Island crowd, battling back and forth for the lead and posting low to mid range scores. With ten minutes on
Joaquin Del Castillo
the clock, Olson nailed a 6.0 and, using both priority and his wicked backhand attack in the following minutes of the heat for another mid range score, edging out Kemper. “I’m so happy and I’m humbled and I’m honored. I’m just so stoked that that’s how it went down,” said Olson. “It was the slowest heat of my life, I didn’t catch my first wave until 20 minutes in the heat, and then I managed to get a 6 and I was like ‘ahh I only got one wave there’s no way I’m going to get priority’. And then I lucked out and got one last set and it was all or nothing. I was like, ‘I’m either going to do good or fall’ and I put my all into it and I’m stoked it worked out.”
NEWS & EVENTS
Keoki Taumata Puhetini ,Noa Mizuno, Kaulana Apo, Billy Kemper, and Eli Olson.
RESULTS 1st - Eli Olson $2,500 and 1000 points 2nd - Billy Kemper $1,500 and 750 points 3rd - Noa Mizuno $1,100 and 560 points 4th - Kaulana Apo $900 and 525 points Semifinals SF1: Noa Mizuno, Eli Olson, Billy Choi, Kekoa Bacalso SF2: Kaulana Apo, Billy Kemper, Kevin Sullivan, Taumata Puhetini (PYF)
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Quarterfinals 1st and 2nd to Semifinals, 3rd = 9th place and $300, 4th = 13th place and $200 QF1: Kekoa Bacalso, Billy Choi, Takayuki Wakita, Braiden Maither QF2: Noa Mizuno, Eli Olson, Dege O’Connell, Alex Pendleton QF3: Kevin Sullivan, Billy Kemper, Ariihoe Tefaafana (PYF), Kaimana Jaquias QF4: Taumata Puhetini (PYF), Kaulana Apo, Sheldon Paishon, Luke Shepardson Boys Shortboard Final 1 Robert Grilho III 2 Diego Ferri 3 Dylan Franzmann 4 Jackson Bunch 5 Luke Swanson 6 Tony Nunez
Mens Shortboard Final 1 Anthony O’Brien 2 Justin Silva 3 Logan Bediamol 4 Matt Oshiro 5 Christopher Bluthardt 6 Chase Suzuki Senior Men’s Shortboard Final 1 Jonah Morgan 2 Scott Schimoda 3 Derek Lyons Wolf 4 Aaron Witt 5 Eric Tema 6 Kekoa Inkster Menehune Shortboard Final 1 Kai Martin 2 Keanu Taylor 3 Shion Crawford 4 Elyjah Ingbino Francisco 5 Clive MacMurray 6 Betty Lou Sakura Johnson Junior Men’s Shortboard Final 1 Tandem Leong Titcomb 2 Keoni Picollo 3 Kelson Lau 4 Troy Osada 5 Kameron Dowis 6 Spike Shannon Master Shortboard Final 1 Robbi Hennessy 2 Andrew Foster 3 Marshall Alberga 4 Sean Sugihara 5 Camilo Mateos 6 Darin Jaime
ALWAYS KICKIN’ IT …
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BEER COZY HOP TOP
NEWS & EVENTS Keoki
SURFING FOR A CAUSE: 20TH ANNUAL CHINA UEMURA'S WAHINE CLASSIC By Keoki Saguibo In the Hawaiian lifestyle, respect for one another goes farther with an individual than any monetary donation received. This act of genuine love, spending time, giving encouragement, helping any and everybody in need can make an impact on one’s life.
For a select few, like China Uemura, helping each other is a personal duty. Using surfing as the main ingredient, Uncle China continues to help raise money for the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children Sex-Abuse Treatment Center with the 20th Annual China Uemura Wahine Surfing Classic.
Hawaii professional surfer Megan Abubo, now living on Maui, also made an appearance in the event and wiggled her way to the number two spot in the Longboard Pro-Am division while Waikiki’s Mason Schremmer took the big win at her home break. “I love to do Uncle China’s event, this year the waves were kind of small but I love this event,” said Mason. “Uncle China is really kind and cares for the next generation and gives so much back to the community. It makes me feel like I can become a better a person through his event.” 28
The typical sunswept, blue waters of Waikiki held the venue for Hawaii’s surfing wahine as they danced it out in friendly 1-2 foot surf at Queens. With five disciplines in the event - longboard, shortboard, bodyboard, SUP, and team - all ranging in age groups, the talent pool wasn’t shy in any of the divisions.
Waikiki grom and stand out competitor 11-year-old Kelis Kaleopaa of Waikiki battled her way through the pro division and was awarded a 4th place finish while Ashley Ahina took the third place spot to round out the pro division. With the dwindling surf, the teams division took more the creative side to making heats by criss cross surfing, tandems, catching party waves thus
adding to the the comradery of the event showcasing that you can have fun while been competitive. Through the rough times during the two decades the event has taken place, like rising costs, insurance, permitting, even encountering a heart attack at one of his events a few years ago, the contest has consistently been an uphill battle for Uncle China and his crew of dedicated volunteers, family, and friends. For Uncle China, his events and helping the community is a personal responsibility. “I do this event because I knew of
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U N R EA SON ABLY DRY U NREAS ON AB LY LIGH T
NEWS & EVENTS
two girls who were being sexually abused and having a daughter of my own, now I have a beautiful granddaughter, I couldn’t see how a person could come to those terms,” he said when speaking about why he started this event. “I want this to be the biggest event in the world that donates the most charity to sexual abuse but for now, this event is donates the most money to sexual abuse in Hawaii.” One thing remains more prevalent every year, and that’s what surfing brings out of us: the best. It teaches how to respect and give back to others so genuinely. As Uncle China said, “Surfing keeps me alive, it keeps me going, without it I’m done.”
RESULTS SB Girls (17 yrs & younger) 1. Kelis Kaleopaa 2. Sasha Kauhane 3. Mason Schremmer
LB Girls (18 - 29 yrs) 1. Maile Enos-Branigan LB Women (30 - 39 yrs) 1. Megan Abubo 2. Krystal Rocha 3. Virginia Fajardo
LB Pee Wees (10 yrs & younger) LB Senior Women (40 - 49 yrs) 1. Scarlett Schremmer 1. Mimi Horiuchi 2. Sophia Culhane 2. Amy Wiech 3. Journey Regelbrugge 3. Do Teramae LB Menehunes (11 - 13 yrs) LB Grand Masters (50 yrs & older) 1. Tiki Willis 1. Lisa Gonzales 2. Haley Otto 2. Mayumi Kimura 3. Kelia Kaleopaa 3. Betty Depolito LB Junior Girls (14 - 17yrs) LB Pro Am 1. Lola Schremmer 1. Mason Schremmer 2. Mason Schremmer 2. Megan Abubo 3. Pii Cummings 3. Ashley Ahina
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WILDCARD BETHANY HAMILTON WOWS WITH A 3RD PLACE FIJI PRO FINISH By Blake Lefkoe The female surfers on this year’s World Surf League World Championship Tour are significantly heightening the standards for women’s surfing. From powerful cutbacks to deep barrels, these wahine are not only raising the bar, but they’re doing it with a combination of power, fluidity and grace that is unprecedented in the history of the sport. The four to six foot swell on hand at the Women’s Fiji Pro in June was the perfect proving ground for these surfers to showcase their skills. While all of the competitors at
the event charged hard and ripped the famed Cloudbreak apart, Bethany Hamilton went above and beyond, awing and inspiring spectators worldwide. Just one year after giving birth to her son, Tobias, Bethany was handed the WSL wildcard for the event. The amazingly talented young woman took Cloudbreak head on and proved that hard work, training and determination pays off. Steep drops followed by huge bottom turns, massive cutbacks and barrel after barrel led to high scores. One of which was a near perfect 9.0 point ride that eliminated the then WSL Jeep Rankings’ Leader Tyler Wright in round 2. This major upset was followed by round 3, where Bethany took out six-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore and earned herself a spot in
Cestari / WSL
NEWS & EVENTS
the Quarterfinals. Her inspiring run ended when she lost to eventual champion Joanne Defay in the semifinals, giving the Hawaiian a third place finish overall. While Bethany’s surfing is aggressive and powerful, out of the water, she is humble, sweet and gracious. “I am honored that I can inspire people. I know I am in a
unique position to encourage young girls to make great decisions as they grow into women and to chase their dreams,” she said. “Even after losing my arm, I am still doing everything I’ve hoped I could do with my future and even more. I think I am a reminder for the young girls that they can do it if they set their mind to it.”
RUSSELL BIERKE WINS RED BULL CAPE FEAR Hipwood and Abberton put up a fight, snaring some deep and dredging tubes of their own, but finished the event in second and third place respectively with James Adams, who scored a 10-pointride yesterday, rounding out the 4-man final.
Eighteen-year-old Russell Bierke showed experience beyond his years to take down seasoned pro surfers in early June, mastering Sydney’s infamous wild break and winning Red Bull Cape Fear. After two days of intense action, Red Bull Cape Fear came to a close for 2016. While the first day of action saw the biggest waves in the event history, the second day saw 18-year-old Bierke paddling and whipping into the deepest tubes of the day to overcome renowned big wave barrel hunters Koby Abberton, Ryan Hipwood and James Adams in a stacked final. The surfer finished the day with a near-perfect wave heat score of 19.97 – making
surfing one of the world’s most difficult and dangerous waves look like a walk in the park. “Thanks to Mark Mathews and Red Bull for inviting me to this event,” he said. “It didn’t really feel like a surf contest, I was just surfing perfect waves with a bunch of guys I really look up to. The waves yesterday were really scary, today was perfect. I can’t really believe that I won.”
“It’s been an emotional roller-coaster of an event,” Hipwood said. “I’m really glad that everyone is safe and that there was no major injuries. I was driving the jetski yesterday and it’s some of the scariest surf I’ve ever seen. Then today I got to surf in a Final against Koby who basically taught me everything about big wave surfing and Russell who’s the next generation. It was an epic event.”
Grajagan has seen plenty of transformation in the last 40 years. But from some perspectives, things haven’t changed a bit. jason childs © 2016 Patagonia, Inc.
Points of dif ference.
“In the early days at G-Land, the glare off our boards was searing our eyes. So we started painting the decks green and used leaves and palm fronds for patterns. From there it evolved into an art form, but each pattern I chose for a surfboard came from something I’d seen on airplanes, tanks or ships. This one was used on a Japanese bomber called the Storm Dragon in the Second World War. The colors are changed, but the pattern remains the same.” - Gerry Lopez
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GROM GUIDANCE / ADVICE FROM MEMBERS OF SURFING’S TOP ECHELON TO TODAY’S YOUNGEST CROP OF TALENT
“Ask questions. There’s guys like Joel Centeio, Jason Shibata, Rainos Hayes, and Dave Riddle around. We’ve all been in this industry watching competitive surfing a long time. If you have a question, regardless of who you ride for, feel free to come up to us.”
DAVE RIDDLE / VOLCOM SURF COACH “For the little guys, I would say to stay humble no matter how good you’re getting. You may be good, but you’re just a grom. Start working with coach and shaper and really get into your equipment. Know what you want, know rocker, know dimensions.”
“The best piece of advice I could give for groms coming up is to be disciplined, apply yourself and persevere. Even the naturals have to work at it. If you work hard enough and apply yourself, some result will come out of it. It doesn't mean you’ll have a huge professional career, but it means you can be the best you can be. That’s the goal.”
FREDDY PATACCHIA / QUIKSILVER HAWAII SURF TEAM MANAGER
RAINOS HAYES / BILLABONG HAWAII SURF TEAM MANAGER
JASON SHIBATA / VOLCOM HAWAII SURF TEAM MANAGER
KELLY SLATER / 11-TIME WORLD CHAMPION
KEKOA BACALSO / RIP CURL SURF TEAM MANAGER
“The best advice I can give for kids coming up is be respectful in and out of the water. It goes a long way. Everyone is going to progress, just because you're the one sitting inside or dropping in on everyone doesn't mean you'll get much better. It’ll actually be harder once you get into your teen years when grown men aren’t giving you waves.”
“Make goals for yourself and go figure them out. If you want to surf big waves, come to Hawaii and hang out. It doesn’t matter where you’re from. If you want to be an air guy, you can go find that crew too. It’s about the people you hang out with and putting your own spin on whatever that is.”
“Have a good attitude, be happy. Whether you win or lose a heat, just be humble, let your surfing do the talking and study hard.“
Photo: Tony Heff
Boys / Juniors
Barron Mamiya Age: 16 Home: Oahu Stance: Regular
Selecting the top 50 surfers age 18 and under in Hawaii proved to be grueling. At the outset, we at Freesurf created a subjective judging criteria: contest results, freesurfing capabilities, how well the surfer charges big waves, exposure in media, professionality, and future potential. With the help of outside input from Hawaii team coaches and contest coordinators, we then sequestered ourselves inside the office until a list could be unanimously agreed upon. There were debates, there were investigative reports, and there were decisive opinions. Though the following pages are indeed a ranking of junior boys, groms, and girls, the feature serves as much more than a list. It is also glimpse, a prediction, a hope as to what the future of Hawaiiâ€™s talent holds. These are the chosen. Free Surfing Contest Surfing Big Wave
Finn McGill Age: 16 Home: Oahu
Noa Mizuno Age: 18 Home: Oahu Stance: Goofy
Ryan Chachi Craig
Boys / Juniors
Kaulana Apo Age: 18 Home: Oahu Stance: Goofy
Cody Young Age: 17 Home: Maui Stance: Regular
Kona Oliveira Age: 18 Home: Oahu Stance: Regular
Noah Beschen Age: 15 Home: Oahu Stance: Regular
Taichi Wakita Age: 18 Home: Oahu Stance: Goofy
Wyatt McHale Age: 15 Home: Oahu Stance: Regular
Koa Yakota Age: 17 Home: Oahu Stance: Goofy
Cole Alves Age: 15 Home: Maui Stance: Regular 38
Kala Willard Age: 18 Home: Maui Stance: Goofy
Age: 18 Home: Oahu Stance: Goofy
Age: 17 Home: Maui Stance: Goofy
Age: 16 Home: Maui Stance: Regular
Ocean Donaldson Sardis Age: 16 Home: Big Island Stance: Regular
Boys / Groms
Free Surfing Contest Surfing Big Wave
Eli Hanneman Age: 14 Home: Maui Stance: Regular
Ocean Macedo Age: 14 Home: Maui Stance: Regular
Jackson Bunch Age: 13 Home: Maui
Boys / Groms
Brodi Sale Age: 13 Home: Big Island Stance: Regular
Kainehe Hunt Age: 14 Home: Kauai Stance: Regular
Robert Grilho III
Age: 13 Home: Oahu Stance: Regular
Diego Ferri Age: 12 Home: Oahu Stance: Regular
Sammy Gray Age: 14 Home: Kauai Stance: Regular
Tony Nunez Age: 14 Home: Maui Stance: Goofy
Makana Franzmann Age: 12 Home: Oahu Stance: Regular
Dylan Franzmann Age: 12 Home: Oahu Stance: Regular
Axel Rosenblad Age: 14 Home: Maui Stance: Goofy
Levi Young Age: 12 Home: Maui Stance: Regular
Luke Swanson Age: 12 Home: Oahu Stance: Goofy
Keanu Taylor Age: 14 Home: Maui Stance: Regular
Ty Simpson Kane
Ty Simpson Kane Age: 12 Home: Maui Stance: Regular
Age: 11 Home: Oahu Stance: Goofy
Kaiser Auberlen Age: 12 Home: Oahu Stance: Goofy
Diesel Butts Age: 10 Home: Big Island Stance: Regular
Free Surfing Contest Surfing Big Wave
Mahina Maeda Age: 18 Home: Oahu Stance: Goofy
Summer Macedo Age: 16 Home: Maui Stance: Regular
Age: 17 Home: Oahu Stance: Regular
Gabriela Bryan Age: 14 Home: Big Island Stance: Regular
Leila Riccobuano Age: 12 Home: Oahu Stance: Goofy
Aloha Lopez Age: 17 Home: Maui Stance: Regular
Age: 18 Home: Oahu Stance: Goofy
Age: 15 Home: Oahu Stance: Regular
Age: 17 Home: Oahu Stance: Goofy
Honolua Blomfield Age: 17 Home: Oahu Stance: Regular
Sara Wakita Age: 14 Home: Oahu Stance: Regular
Age: 17 Home: Oahu Stance: Goofy
Age: 16 Home: Oahu Stance: Regular
Age: 16 Home: Oahu Stance: Goofy
Luana Silva Age: 12 Home: Oahu Stance: Regular
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GROM REPORT /
KAI MARTIN By Cash Lambert
Have you seen Kai Martin’s resume as of recent? It’s glowing! Listen to stellar performances the 11-year-old has achieved in the Mini Grom bracket this year: 1st at NSSA Hawaii Regionals at Kewalos, 1st at NSSA Lahaina Harbor, 1st at NSSA Banyan’s, 1st at HSA Kewalos, and another first place at the Local Motion Surf Into Summer.
After that, how did it evolve into you competing?
But if you hang out with Kai, otherwise known as “Kaiboy”, his dazzling results aren’t on the tip of his tongue. Instead, the Honolulu native will talk about adventures. Like that one time he swam across the Ala Moana channel because he was dared to. Or pranks he’s been up to with fellow groms in crowded lineups. So if you see Kaiboy in the lineup this summer, feel free to give the lad a pat on the back, but also keep a watchful eye. You could very well be yet another surfer that gets scared out of the lineup by his own grom prank.
It helps with the aerial maneuvers and stuff.
I started with skating, and got more into surfing and started doing both. How does skating incorporate with your surfing?
What about your surfing goals? Hopefully make it on WCT and do well. Maybe even win a competition. Who are your favorite surfers? Andy Irons, Clay Marzo, Kelly Slater, Taj Burrow.
What's your first surfing memory, Kai?
Who are your favorite surfers that are your age?
The Haleiwa Menehune Gromfest! I was two, and I remember going with my Dad. I had floats on, I didn’t even know how to swim. We sat inside catching whitewater. I remember being happy.
Jackson Bunch, Diego Ferri. Who sponsors you today? Billabong, Makani Shapes, Town and Country, DVS Shoes.
GROM REPORT / KAI MARTIN
Which shaper do you work with? I’ve been riding Makani McDonald’s boards since day one and they’ve helped me get to where I am today. Mahalo uncle for all your support and for shaping me the sickest performance short boards and longboards. Any pranks that you’ve been up to lately? One time I was at Sports Authority with Brodi [Sale] and there were these golf mannequins so we pretended to be one. Somebody would walk past and we would jump out at them. This one old grandpa almost had a heart attack! Also there’s been pranks with sharks and stuff. A year ago I was surfing and I got a friend to yell shark and I dove deep to make it seem like I was getting dragged down and my board tombstoned. My friend said everyone in the lineup was looking around, getting so scared. I mean I was underwater but he said it was funny. What is your favorite thing about being a grom? If you’re nice to people, sometimes they treat you nice too and they give you waves. What’s your favorite subject in school? Writing, because I get to write about surfing. What do you do for fun in Town? Skateboard! There’s a couple sick spots around here. Also fishing and diving. Any thoughts on a weapon of choice if Oahu turned into a zombie apocalypse? A bazooka! Because it kills a lot of zombies at one time. pau 4/13/16 12:54 PM
FIT FOR SURF /
GINASTICA NATURAL WITH KID PELIGRO By Chris Latronic Photos: Keoki
In today’s cutthroat world of competitive surfing, training outside of the surf is essential to the developing professional. There are never enough days to surf but anyone can train any day. And with the variety of exercise programs to choose from, both amaetur and professional surfers can fine tune workouts to specifically target weaknesses and use techniques to strengthen and enhance your performance. One training method that has sparked interest around the North Shore community is Ginastica Natural. Kid Peligro is a Ginastica Natural instructor and a 4th degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu who has been living on the North Shore, training the next generation of Hawaii’s best surfers. Participants meet at Ezra Sitt's house, the home of Sunset Beach Jiu Jitsu daily or weekly for instruction and knowledge from Kid’s surf-focused training sessions. “Ginastica Natural is an exercise style which simulates a lot of natural and animal movements with elements of intense breathing, agility, and explosion,” said Peligro. “It's all
bodyweight exercises requiring no weights. At first it was adapted to help me personally, but with growing friendships with professional surfers like Fred Patacchia, Sunny Garcia, Joel Centeio, Mark Healey, and recently John John Florence, we were able to evolve the practice to really focus on benefitting all surfers.” “Now that I don’t have to workout, this is what I enjoy doing,” said Patacchia. “I just really like hanging out with Kid. He’s a great guy and we’ve become good friends. We’ve been working together for 8 years and it's really changed my surfing and outlook on training and how to train. I’ve just grown to love it and it has become a part of my life.” “I heard from a lot of people that it was a great workout and I surf with Kid all the time, so I thought ‘why not?’ Kid is the coolest guy, it’s probably the best training on the North Shore,” said Zoe McDougall. “Doing this workout, I feel like it works a lot of muscles I don’t normally use. Usually I don’t get sore at first, but after doing this, my body ached like never before.”
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IN KID PELIGRO’S GINASTICA NATURAL WORKOUT
1 WARM UP The first part of the workout is the warm up and the stretch. A light warm up is essential to get blood to the joints and have them warmed up followed by a nice stretch. Since movement and bodyweight are used in Ginastica, it is vital to have the muscles and tendons all warm up and stretched so they can react. “Kid’s classes are super fun! All the people that workout here are figures in the community along with my friends,” said Mahina Maeda. “So it's a good family atmosphere, sometimes we make mistakes but we always have a good laugh.”
2 MOVEMENT The next phase is the movement phase, which aims to improve agility, explosion and reaction time of the athletes. The Ginastica moves actually simulate animal movements, with the basis of this session being the frog and the monkey movements. This is also the phase where breath with movement is incorporated. "I’ve been doing Jiu Jitsu with Kid for five years, but this is my 1st year training Ginastica,” said Ezra Sitt. “I feel like this is helping my surfing and Jiu Jitsu, which are the two passions in my life. It trains your mental state, stability, and flexibility. Just being on the mat and moving and breathing and not getting tired. Just moving around on the mat like a cat or monkey, you learn weird new little details. You start using different toes and are able to adjust and move around more effectively.”
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3 MOVEMENT AND AGILITY Three or four series of these movements are combined, including some quickness drills mixed in there. Specific exercises follow, where moves are repeated so participants can further develop their technique. The nature of Ginastica Natural is that there are so many moves, so the moves are constantly changing in each workout. “There’s also the element of confusion,” said Peligro. “It’s important for them to be confused because in surfing, as in life, things don’t always turn out according to plan. You go up to hit the lip, the lip pushes, you have to adjust. Therefore, it's important to be able to react.” “I feel like it's given me a lot of flexibility, spring, good breath holding,” said Luke Swanson. “Helps me with my airs, floaters, and bottom turns. I like the feeling I get after each workout, I feel loose, energized, and ready to do anything.”
4 SURF SPECIFIC After the middle session of the workout, surf specific exercises take precedence. Like jumps, paddles, lunges, shuffles anything that can help with the act of surfing. Two series of these are combined with 7 to 9 specific exercises. Many times, these are modified to suit the group's objectives. “Each exercise is different with various aspects and sometimes I don’t even know what I’m going to do,” said Peligro. “I like to make things, not simple. I try to make it so their brains are really mixed up. ‘Cause when you’re mixed up, you get used to understanding how to adjust your body in any given situation.” “I don’t workout much but I feel like this training is really incorporated with surfing,” said Makai McNamara. “It’s pretty intense especially with this summer heat, but you can definitely feel it pay off the next time you go surf. I feel the improvement in small waves, endurance, airs, popping up quick, and landing softly.”
5 BREATHING The session ends with breathing exercises. These are helpful to expand the lung capacity in addition to putting oxygen in the muscles so as to speed up the recovery. Three series of breathing - taking short breaths for a number of times - is followed by two long breaths followed by holding the breath and doing rolls with the belly until a breath is needed again. Once the participant needs to breathe, this is repeated twice more. “Breathing is a huge. A lot of surfers move without breathing,” said Peligro. “Doing that makes you stiff. When incorporate breathing into our movements it makes us fast.” “This workout really helps me focus on my balance, said Jason Shibata. “I started doing this to get siked for the QS1000 event at Ala Moana Bowls. Its really fun to be working out with a lot of the new up and coming surfers as well as some of the best pros. The best surfers are doing it so it's great for me to be a part of and learn. I used to do a lot of weights training, but I’d end up too stiff and sometimes injuring myself, taking me out of the water. Being out of the water is the last thing I want. Ever since Kid invited me, I’ve never missed a class and I feel great.”
First Lieutenant Zachary Farkas shared a surf session with John John Florence at Ehukai Beach Park after Zachary and other soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division took John John, Koa Smith, Ivan Florence and Ross Williams through a series of military training missions on Oahu. Photo: Michael McKenna
JOHN JOHN FLORENCE AND OTHER PRO SURFERS TRAIN AND SURF WITH SOLDIERS By Major David Webb
Although the surfing and military communities have cohabitated the North Shore for decades, surfers and service members have rarely shared their unique cultures with one another until this winter, when soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division spent time and shared experiences with some of the world’s best surfers. Through these interactions, surfers and soldiers collectively embodied the essence of Hawaiian culture, and both communities were educated and inspired by one another. Now a soldier myself, I’m privileged to work on Schofield Barracks and to live on the North Shore with a 68
family of my own. I often feel the quiet clash of cultures between the military and surfing communities, and as I sat on the beach watching the Hawaiian Pro surf contest in Haleiwa in November, I thought about how—despite the many similarities between surfers and soldiers—the two groups are missing opportunities to learn from one another and to truly share Hawaii. So I called family friend Peter King, and told him about an upcoming training event that my unit was doing—a helicopter assault into the Bellows Training Area on the east side of Oahu—and I asked him if any local pro
surfers would be interested in observing some of our training and interacting with soldiers. Squeezed in between the Sunset Beach and Pipeline contests of the Vans Triple Crown, surfers John John and Ivan Florence, Koa Rothman, and Ross Williams ventured to Bellows to spend a day with the soldiers of the 2nd Battalion of the 35th Infantry Regiment (also known as the Cacti), from the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks. The Cacti have a long and distinguished history. Established in Arizona in 1916 to defend the American homeland from threats south of the border, the unit will
celebrate its 100th birthday this summer. Cacti soldiers have fought in every major conflict since World War II. Many of us have deployed to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan multiple times, and we are currently preparing for potential deployments throughout the Asia-Pacific region. While at Bellows, Cacti soldiers participated in a series of intense situational training exercises, beginning with a battalion helicopter assault and attack of an enemycontrolled urban objective. Throughout the week, Cacti units continued to train various attack and reconnaissance tasks, preceding the visit from
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As infantry soldiers, our mission is to close with and destroy the enemy, and we are comfortable executing this mission based on years of training and experience. But to us, paddling into a wave at Pipeline or Waimea in the winter sounds simply superhuman. “We try to be the best in the world at what we do,” said Lieutenant Colonel Ryan O’Connor, the commander of the Cacti as he presented battalion challenge coins and t-shirts to the surfers, “and we look up to you for being the best in the world at what you do!”
the North Shore surfers. When the surfers arrived at the Bellows Training Area, First Lieutenant Kyle Richardson gave each guest a body armor vest and helmet. Richardson then familiarized the surfers to the soldiers, weapons, and vehicles within his assault platoon, before giving the entire group an operations order. The mission was to neutralize the enemy in a village, and the surfers were assigned as machine gunners (armed with blank ammunition) on armored Humvees. As the Humvees approached the objective, they were engaged by enemy personnel in vehicles. The surfers returned fire, and the platoon continued movement. In the village, the soldiers dismounted the Humvees and defeated the enemy fighters in the village to accomplish the tactical mission. To complete the training scenario, two of the surfers - John John and Koa - were assessed
as casualties, and soldiers evacuated the “wounded” surfers to an aid station where Cacti medics skillfully treated their notional wounds. “For them to show us everything they do, the training is awesome, really stoked to be able to check this out,” said Florence. “It seems like they had fun,” said First Sergeant William Brooks, a veteran of 14 combat deployments (eight to Afghanistan and six to Iraq), “but for us, it was awesome to show them what we do.” In early February, sandwiched between Kelly Slater’s win at the Volcom Pro contest at Pipeline and John John Florence’s win at the Eddie Aikau contest at Waimea Bay, Kelly and John John linked up with a few dozen Cacti soldiers and family members at Ehukai Beach Park on a Saturday afternoon. We were all surprised when Sunny Garcia also joined the session.
First Sergeant Brooks was ecstatic, since Sunny has always been his favorite surfer. “I’ve followed his surfing career for 20 years, so to meet him, and talk with him, and surf with him, I was stoked as I could be,” he said. After brief introductions, Cacti soldiers paddled out to Pupukea with our surfing heroes. The waves weren’t great - 2-3 feet on the Hawaiian scale, far from clean, and I heard Kelly apologize to a few locals for bringing the “instacrowd” - so I know it was a suboptimal surf session for the professionals; but for the Cacti surfers, it was the session of our lives. As I reflect the experiences shared between surfers and soldiers, I feel like we - at the risk of sounding cliché and melodramatic - personified the spirit of aloha through our interaction.
Conversely, the surfers showed respect for the risks of our profession. Kelly Slater’s post-surf comments about Cacti soldiers were particularly humbling: “They’re hard core, these guys put their lives on the line. Our risks are calculated risks for fun. We’re not going to get shot.” John John Florence echoed these sentiments. “It’s cool to see these guys in the water, they’ve been serving our country,” he said. “They go out and do the gnarliest, scariest stuff. Stuff we all have nightmares about. They go and do that for us. Allowing us to be here and surf these beautiful waves.” To the surf legends who shared their time and with soldiers serving in Hawaii, it was an honor interact with you as host and guest. Mahalo nui (many thanks) for the education, inspiration, and aloha spirit! The views expressed are the author’s alone and do not represent any official position of the Department of Defense. pau
Photo: Jeromy Hansen
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BENOA SWIMWEAR By Greta Evans
Covered in sand with “wild hair”, floaties attached to their arms, and “wearing bikinis”: listening to Luna Courtois and Indie Pyzel talk about growing up on the North Shore of Oahu sounds like a children’s story book with a fairy tale ending. The two met when they were only six years old, at Sunset Beach Elementary, and have been best friends ever since. When they weren’t running around at the beach as groms, they were cutting out paper bikinis, coloring them in, and dreaming about designing their own one day. At the age of only fifteen, they decided to make that dream a reality, and started their very own bikini company, calling it “Benoa,” which translates to little island in Indonesian. Starting
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a company at such a young age isn’t all fun and games as one might think, especially while juggling high school, traveling, jobs, and the everyday struggles of growing up. When I ask them about their first designs and samples they start to laugh again, “They were terrible.” They say in unison, and laugh some more, “But we just kept perfecting it until we got it right. It’s important to persevere.”
“It’s amazing seeing something you drew in your sketchbook on someone across the world. It’s really rewarding,” says Luna.
When asked how their design process has changed as they’ve grown older over the years, the two exchange a look and smile, “We’re less selfish now,” says Indie. “In the beginning we just wanted to create hot bikinis. Now we want to design bikinis everyone can love and enjoy.”
They’re both heading in their own directions, but Benoa still remains at the center of it all.
Their humble tone doesn’t waver when the topic of body image is brought up. So what’s their take? “We’re both so different. We have very different body types, and we strive to design bikinis that flatter everyone’s body type, and make everyone feel confident and happy in their skin.” On their most recent trip to Indonesia, which served as their graduation present, they explain how they saw a girl wearing one of their bikini tops and they couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed and starstruck.
Now the girls are both eighteen and recently graduated. Indie is heading to California for schooling with hopes to start marketing more of Benoa on the mainland, while Luna is staying in Hawaii and still managing the creative process.
When asked if the girls would have started a bikini company even if they had been raised somewhere else, they both shook their head. “People say It takes a village to raise a child,” Indie says. “It’s really taken a village to start Benoa. Everyone has been so helpful. Growing up on the North Shore everyone feels like family, and the whole community has really put their energy into us and supported us and we’re very thankful.” pau
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DECIBELS By Tyler Rock
Go to any club or music venue in Hawaii and you can see talented local musicians performing a variety of music. But chances are they aren’t still in high school, unless it’s 85 Decibels playing somewhere on Oahu. The alternative rock band is made up of four good friends and classmates: lead guitarist and singer Kalliyan Davis, guitarist Daniel Ferrer, drummer Jake Chouljian, and bassist Tevita Hifo. As an evolvement from the former kid band Chaotic Five, the group performs regularly at venues across Oahu. While much of their repertoire consists of cover songs, 85 Decibels is aspiring to create an all original album before finishing high school. Freesurf Magazine caught up with 15-year-old Kalliyan to find out more.
Why did the band choose the name 85 Decibels? We chose it because it's the most volume a person can take without getting ear damage. It’s almost like the border between safety and danger. What pulled you into the music scene in the first place? I started playing electric guitar in 2008. My parents encouraged me with classic rock music, I was always listening to classic rock on the radio and I wanted to be like Joan Jett. So I started playing with backing tracks and my sister would play the drums.
Eventually, we wanted to form own band, because it can become boring just playing with a track, so we found other kids around our age to play with. It grew into something I really liked to do. Now, when I’m onstage, I don’t feel nervous. I like sharing my music with other people. I like to see people filled with energy and I feed off energy from the crowd. What are some venues 85 Decibels has played in? Hard Rock Cafe in San Diego, Hawaiian Brians, Aloha Stadium, I'olani Fair and Blaisdell-Exhibition Hall.
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Why do you guys do mostly covers? We don’t have a lot of experience in writing songs. With 85 Decibels, we’re trying to write songs. It’s a difficult process, but we’re working on it. How do you choose which songs to play at shows? We choose songs in rotations and we all have to agree. One of my favorite songs to play is Hysteria by Muse, it has a really fun solo that took me a long time to learn and is pretty rewarding. Killing in the Name Of by Rage Against the Machine, that one gets the crowd going too. Everyone in the music scene [in Hawaii] is supportive, we go see each other’s shows because everyone’s great. The music scene here is growing, especially with the youth and the growth of young bands. Any musicians that you look up to? I really like Rivers Cuomo from
Weezer, he sings and plays guitar like me, he’s very talented. I like Jimmy Page too, his guitar playing is kind of my style. It's not totally refined, it’s pretty raw and creative. What makes 85 Decibels different? I think we’re different because we play songs from when we weren’t even born yet. It shows we have a greater knowledge of music and we can draw from those songs to create our own songs. pau
On June 9th, members of the U.S. Coast Guard took first place in three of five Active-Duty divisions this past Saturday at the HIC/Quiksilver All-Military Surf Classic, clinching the prestigious “Top Branch” Award for the Coast Guard. Though small surf prevailed it couldn't dampen the fierce competitive spirit and camaraderie of the surfers at this annual event - which hit a milestone with its tenth year running at Oahu’s White Plains Beach.
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Presented by MWR-Hawaii, the event is open to active duty and retired US Military and Department of Defense personnel, retirees, and their dependents. Over one hundred and forty surfers competed in fifteen divisions, including Open and Active Duty categories for shortboard and longboard surfing. It’s quite a family affair with competitors ranging from military retirees in their sixties to a quickly expanding keiki division for kids twelve years old and under. Many of these military families can be found each weekend surfing this same stretch of beach on the former Barber’s Point Naval Air Station. The U.S. Coast Guard’s domination of the Active Duty divisions was led by first place finishers Johnny Dodge - 30 and over Longboard, Brooks Koegel - 30 and over Shortboard, and Tyler Peterson - 17 to 29 Shortboard. Other notable performances came from Logan Harris with her first place finish against the boys and girls of the Keiki division, Austin Prevatt who won the 13 to 17 Open Shortboard with high-performance small wave surfing, and Preeya Prasao who styled her way to first place in the Open Women’s Longboard division. Congratulations to all of the event champions and division finalists. The All-Military Surf Classic is organized by Marvin Nuestro and the White Plains Lifeguard staff, with the support of MWRHawaii, whose mission it is to improve the lives of US Military Personnel and their families. A special mahalo to Quiksilver, Roxy for their continuous support of the All Military Surf Classic throughout the years. Mahalo to all the brands that provided prizes for the finalists, including Quiksilver, Roxy, Amuse, Billabong, Bubble Gum, Catch Surf, Da Fin, FCS, Go Pole, Gorilla Grip, Hurley, Kicks, Knekt, Matunas Wax, Nose Guard Hawaii, On A Mission, Reef, Rip Curl, Skull Candy, Solarez, Sunbum, Vans, Von Zipper & Xcel.
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Cody Young isnâ€™t just setting an example in athleticism and maturity for his younger brother and fellow charger, Levi. The 17-year-old is the highest ranked surfer from Maui in our Top 50 list, leading the youthquake from the Valley Isle. Photo: Tai Vandyke