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INVITEES: J O H N J O H N F LO R E N C E , R O S S C L A R K E - J O N E S , S H A N E D O R I A N , J A M I E M I TC H E LL , K E LLY S L AT E R , M A K U A R OT H M A N D AV E W A S S E L , M A S O N H O , J A M I E O â€™ B R I E N , A A R O N G O L D , M A R K H E A L E Y, TA K AY U K I W A K I TA , KO A R OT H M A N , I A N W A LS H R E E F M C I N TO S H , G R A N T B A K E R , KO H L C H R I ST E N S E N , B R U C E I R O N S , G R E G LO N G , B I LLY K E M P E R , S U N N Y G A R C I A J E R E M Y F LO R E S , Z E K E L A U , TO M C A R R O LL , M I C H A E L H O , K A L A A L E X A N D E R , L A N D O N M C N A M A R A , G A R R E T T M C N A M A R A OFFICIAL ALTERNATES (IN SEEDING ORDER): LUKE SHEPARDSON, KAI LENNY, NATHAN FLETCHER, NOAH JOHNSON, NATHAN FLORENCE, RAMON NAVARRO, KEALI MAMALA, PREDRO CALADO JAMIE STERLING, NIC LAMB, KEALA KENELLY, DANILO COUTO, MARK MATTHEWS, KALANI CHAPMAN, BEN WILKINSON, GABRIEL VILLARAN, DAMIEN HOBGOOD, KAHEA HART, RYAN HIPWOOD, CARLOS BURLE, TAIO SHIPMAN, DANNY FULLER, ANTHONY TASHNICK, RUSTY LONG
HONORARY INVITEES: DONNIE SOLOMON, ANDY IRONS, MARK FOO, MARVIN FOSTER, RONNIE BURNS, RICKY GRIGG, JAY MORIARITY TODD CHESSER, LESTER FALATEA, MEL KINNEY, PETER DAVI, SION MILOSKY, TIGER ESPERE, BROCK LITTLE
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John John Florence may be the 2016 WCT Menâ€™s World Champion, but with the New Year comes a clean slate in the competitive ranks, with nearly two dozen other surfers aiming to push him off the podium he worked so hard to stand atop. With tremendous pressure comes the opportunity for tremendous growth, and as John looks to defend his World Title in 2017, it seems as though the best is yet to come. Photo: Tyler Rock
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TA BL E O F CO N TE N TS / DEPA RTMEN T S 08 Free Parking 14 Editorâ€™s Note 18 News & Events 56 Aperture 72 Environment 76 Surf Art 80 Industry Notes 84 Last Look
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YEAR IN REVIEW
Recapping the 2016 year for Hawaii and the competitive athletes who call Hawaii home
TALK STORY: ALBEE LAYER
We sit down with the Maui native to talk about landing his backside 720, his surfing roots, and why it’s important to question what others say isn’t achievable
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JUNIOR SPOTLIGHT: FINN MCGILL Examining the headspace of the 16-year-old who is having a breakout winter season, landing on the podium at the HIC Pro and winning the Pipeline Invitational
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E D I T O R ’S N O TE By Cash Lambert There’s only one place in the world where you can share an afternoon lineup with Carissa Moore, stand next to Greg Long while waiting for an open bathroom stall, shake hands with Ian Walsh after his much anticipated movie premiere and allow Mason Ho to hijack your interview with Bruce Irons, with all of this happening in the same week. This is how my 2016 winter season has played out, and I’m sure yours has followed a similar narrative. Indeed, during Open Season on the North Shore of Oahu, you can mingle with the best surfers on the planet in the water, at a bar and on the bike path. It’s a part of what makes winter season so special on this beloved 7-mile stretch of coastline. Aside from the characters that infiltrate the area, it's also the storylines created in the waves of consequence that make this time on the North Shore ultimately unpredictable as well as unprecedented. Take Finn McGill, for example. The 16-year-old, who recently received his driver’s license, exploded onto the contest scene this year, coming in 4th place at the HIC Pro, a Round 3 finish at the Vans World Cup and winning the 2016 Pipe Invitational, gaining entry into the Billabong Pipe Masters. Just after his Pipe 14
Invitational win, an article appeared on the World Surf League website with the headline: “Who the heck is Finn McGill?” “I think it’s about just always believing in yourself, never giving up,” Finn says in our Junior Spotlight feature, discussing his contest mentality. “A wave can come at the last second, and even if you need the biggest score of the heat, it can come, it’s totally possible. Unless you’re comboed and there’s like one minute left and you’re at Sunset. That’s impossible.”
example is paddle surfing Jaws. It was a fact that you couldn’t paddle Jaws. Obviously it was so wrong, there’s no reason we couldn't have done it earlier. It’s about taking the ideas that seem stupid,” - like his 720 - “but realistically are not stupid and doing them… It’s ok to question. Even your heroes can be wrong.”
“Impossible” is what everyone thought about achieving a backside 720. That was until Albee Layer pulled it during this year’s Open Season. The proof, in the form of an edit, went viral among the surf community, and everyone we spoke with, from Kelly Slater to Filipe Toledo, Courtney Conlogue and more, were talking about it.
In this issue, we also recap a host of noteworthy events that occurred, including the Surfer Awards (anyone else still laughing about Mason and Burger’s speech?), the Vans World Cup (how thrilling was that QS Leaderboard shakeup during the final day of action?) and the inaugural Makahiki (good on you for hosting the event, Zeke, and let’s keep it going year after year).
“Some of my ideas are far fetched, but in the last 10 years, I’ve seen so many people do things that were previously thought of as facts that you couldn’t do,” Albee says in our Talk Story feature. “An
Ultimately unpredictable and unprecedented: this has been the theme for the 2016 winter season that has been an Open Season, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
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JORDY SMITH WINS VANS WORLD CUP, QS LEADERBOARD SEES SHAKEUP “Unbelievable, I can’t believe it.” This was Jordy Smith’s initial reaction after being chaired up the beach, victorious at the 2016 Vans World Cup on December 4th. It’s safe to say that a handful of other athletes shared his sentiment after the conclusion on the second stop of the 2016 Vans Triple Crown. Because the Vans World Cup is the final stop on the WSL Qualifying Series circuit, the contest marks high drama, with surfers battling to secure enough points to jump into the top 10 ranking of the QS, which provides a golden ticket onto the following year’s prestigious WSL Championship Tour. With headline names like Kelly Slater and John John Florence bowing out early into the contest, all focus shifted onto the QS rankings. Heading into the Quarterfinals on the final day of competition, the audience on hand at Sunset Beach witnessed a dramatic change in such rankings: Showing nerves of steel, Hawaii’s own Ezekiel Lau, Aussie Jack Freestone and Brazil’s Jadson Andre battled their way through the conditions on hand to advance into the Semifinals, allocating more points to their overall rankings.
As the Final began between Jordy Smith, Torrey Meister, Frederico Morais, and Tanner Gudauskas, the QS leaderboard points race further updated: Freestone grabbed the coveted 10th place position on the QS, with Andre securing number 8. As of mid December, Lau sits in the 11th spot and need a double qualify situation in order to receive a slot into the 2017 CT. Undeniably the most on point athlete at the big wave venue on the final day, Jordy Smith entered the final as a fan favorite, given his #3 world ranking, but not a surefire bet. Given Frederico Morais’ 2nd place finish at the Hawaiian Pro, Torrey Meister’s momentum throughout the contest, and Gudauskas vying to reach the QS top 10, the audience had great expectations for the match up. Gudauskas opened the Final with momentum, setting the tone with strong backhand turns and a 5.0. Smith answered back with a super smooth 6.33 on an open face, further demonstrating his tactful rail game and signature carves. With priority, Morais dropped the first score of significance to take the lead, a 8.23 for a nice carve which set him up for a layback snap on the inside section. Steadily pacing himself throughout the event, Morais made few mistakes and jumped up the QS ratings to the number 3 slot after his runner up finish.
Although Jordy Smith, ranked number 3 on the WCT, has seen contest success all over the world, a win on the shores of Hawaii had eluded him. That was until his power repertoire collided with Sunset Beach’s arena made for power surfing.
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victory this year, with his first being a CT win at the Hurley Pro at Trestles in September. But a win in Hawaii has eluded him since he began competing professionally.
But drama unfolded after Jordy secured an 8.73 – the highest single wave score of the Final – to shake up the final standings. Morais and Meister attempted to catch the South African with a few more waves, but Jordy’s excellent score cemented his lead on opponents and ultimately the Vans World Cup win.
“Early in my career I made a couple finals out here, I really had something going with the place,” continued Smith. “I don’t know, it’s been like six or seven years where I just couldn’t do a thing right. And then, everything just came together this year so I’m just really happy.”
“I feel like this event has eluded me in the past. I didn’t have any expectations, I think that was the difference for this event,” said Smith. “I just kind of went out there with an open mind.” The Vans World Cup marks Smith’s second competitive
“He always fits this wave really well,” Meister said of Jordy after the awards ceremony. “He’s always one of the best guys out here. Just his hacks, he’s got probably the best hack in the business. He really suits this wave and he’s really powerful.” The 2016 international QS
Meister, the most inform athlete representing Hawaii, went vertical on his first wave for a 4.77 and showed an uninhibited attitude with his commitment.
Big Island native Torrey Meister locked into a potent rhythm with the waves on hand at Sunset Beach throughout the 4-day contest, pulling in for high scoring barrels and laying down high scoring carves.
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came to a close at Sunset Beach, seeing a new and exciting organization of names in the top 10 spots (listed 1-10): Connor O’Leary, Ethan Ewing, Frederico Morais, Joan Duru Kanoa Igarashi, Leonardo Fioravanti, Jeremy Flores, Jadson Andre, Ian Gouveia and Jack Freestone.
VANS WORLD CUP FINAL RESULTS
1 Jordy Smith (ZAF), 10000 points 2 Frederico Morais (PRT), 8000 points 3 Torrey Meister (HAW), 6700 points 4 Tanner Gudauskas (USA), 6300 points
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2016 SURFER AWARDS A bright red carpet, cameras flashing, whiffs of perfume and cologne in the air and everyone in the surf world looking dazzling!
At the top of the women’s poll was fellow Hawaiian and threetime World Champion Carissa Moore, for her third win in the category.
Even though all of this was expected at the 2016 SURFER Awards, the annual celebration where Surfer Magazine honors the fan favorite men and women in surfing as well as top performances, wipeouts and video edits, there were a few surprises that graced the stage at Turtle Bay.
“I didn’t really expect to be walking home as a SURFER Poll winner tonight, since I haven’t had that great of a year,” said Moore. “It’s a true honor and I want to thank all the fans out there for voting and SURFER, thank you for finally having 10 spots for the women, that says a lot. I want to congratulate all of the Hawaiians — John John, Billy Kemper, Albee, Paige — it’s really cool to see my peers growing up doing amazing incredible things and making history.”
Like Mason Ho taking home two pieces of hardware: winner of the Best Series for his part in License to Chill and the A.I. Breakthrough Performer. Maui boy Albee Layer also took home two awards: the Best Barrel, and the Best Maneuver. Fresh on the heels of clinching his first World Title, the North Shore’s own John Florence landed on top of the men’s chart for the third consecutive year. Florence also took home the Best Performance award for his part in Twelve, directed by Bill Ballard. “It’s been one of the best years of my life,” said Florence. “I really couldn’t have done it without my mom, Nathan and Ivan. They’re the ones that have been there my whole life. It’s just been a crazy couple of years. It’s been amazing. Thank you.” 24
The prestigious Movie of the Year award went to Let’s Be Frank. Directed by Peter Hamblin, the quirky film, inspired by Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino as much as it was by old surf films, stars relatively unknown South African big-wave surfer Frank Solomon. “I’d like to say this is a dream come true, but honestly I could have never dreamed this up,” said Solomon. “I came from a small village in the bottom of Africa. I grew up watching Taylor Steele movies. I’m not a very good surfer. Pretty sure everyone in this room can surf better than me. So, I’m just really grateful and humbled by the experience. With a lot of luck and a lot of hard work, dreams really can come true.”
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2016 SURFER AWARDS RESULTS Men’s #1: John Florence Women’s #1: Carissa Moore Movie of the Year: Let’s Be Frank, Directed by Peter Hamblin, Starring Frank Solomon Best Performance: John Florence, Twelve, Directed by Bill Ballard Best Short: The Tempest, Directed by Jon Frank, Starring Stephanie Gilmore Best Documentary: Distance Between Dreams, Directed by Rob Bruce, Starring Ian Walsh Best Series: License to Chill, Directed by Joe Alani and Mason Ho, Starring Mason Ho Best Barrel: Albee Layer, Jaws Best Maneuver: Albee Layer Heavy Water: Greg Long A.I. Breakthrough Performer: Mason Ho Agent of Change: Friends of Sunset Beach
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A C E L E B R AT I O N O F C U LT U R E H O S T E D B Y Z E K E L A U Photos Mark Holladay In a place where surfing holds its deepest roots with the indigenous Hawaiian people, it's a refreshing breath of fresh air to see one of Hawaii’s own make the effort to spread cultural awareness with the traveling onslaught of professional surfers that embark on the North Shore. On November 26th, pro surfer Ezekiel Lau hosted the first annual Makahiki games at the lawn of Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore. As a Kamehameha Schools graduate, the native Hawaiian saw the importance of sharing his culture. “We were taught to perpetuate our culture in everything we do. Surfing is my job and it's a way to perpetuate my culture already, but I wanted to take it further one more step, take it deeper as to why we surf and where it all originated from,” said the Honolulu native.
“We were taught to perpetuate our “I’ve been to Indo, Fiji, Tahiti... they all have cultural opening ceremonies to welcome surfers and embrace them in their culture,” he continued. “Hawaii is the birthplace of surfing but doesn't have that. This is a start and hopefully it grows into something more significant, like the opening ceremony for Triple Crown season to embrace surfers and cultures.”
culture in everything we do. Surfing is my job and it's a way to perpetuate my culture already, but I wanted to take it further one more step, take it deeper as to why we surf and where it all originated from”
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With participants from a Hawaiian immersion school in neighboring Hau’ula, pro surfers and keiki got the chance to interact in a fun, intimate environment, challenging each other in games once played by the ancient Hawaiians. “It was very fun... I got to meet some pro surfers,” said 9-year-old Ku Ponciano. “Kelly Slater is my favorite surfer that I got to hang out with today.” Participating in the Makahiki games for the first time, 11-time World Champ Kelly Slater also shared his enjoyment with the first time event.
“Hawaiian style chicken style sumo was funny, kids kept beating me,” he said. “You’d think I’d be good with my balance. Maybe I was being nice…” Kelly, along with the crowd of the day easily saw the cultural importance of the event. “We’ve come here every season for decades, it’s important for people to know each other. The world is small place, and the surf world is a much smaller place,” he said. “This is grassroots, and it’s cool Zeke has put this together, putting his name to it. I think it’s something that will last long term and something they will look forward to.” With the culmination of the Makahiki day on the North Shore came a deeper understanding of traditions and culture from
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the place that gave the world the sport of surfing. This step towards honoring these practices fall right in line with a direction of positive awareness. Hawaiian cultural practitioner Tom Pohaku Stone saw this clear as day, praising Zeke for his efforts. “Time’s changed, different generations of surfers come and go, but Zeke being such a young guy and coming up the ranks and pro divisions, it’s pretty awesome to carry on who he is - not just the fact that he's a great up and coming surfer - but he represents us a people.”
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THREE IN A ROW: JEFF HUBBARD WINS MILLER’S SURF CHALLENGE PRESENTED BY KELLOGG’S AND SCIENCE BODYBOARDS Photos Tyler Rock In 2-4 foot surf at picturesque Honoli’i on November 20, Jeff Hubbard edged out a talented field of competitors to win his third event of the Hawaii Bodyboarding Pro Tour. Hubbard previously won the Men’s division at the Ala Moana Bowls Challenge (August 5) and the Sandy Beach Challenge (September 2-5). “A big thanks goes out to [Tour Organizer] Norm Skorge, the staff and Mike Stewart for making sure this event happened,” said Hubbard after his win. “It’s so awesome to have a Tour here in Hawaii, and we’re so blessed to have such good riders come out of all areas of the state,” he continued. “In this Final, we had young gun Peyton [Oda] from the Big Island, Sammy Morretino from Kauai. Mike [Stewart] and I held it down for the older boys. Thank you everyone for coming out. What a great day we had in Hilo!” Both Sammy Morretino and Peyton Oda, who were pitted against two icons of the sport in the Final, didn’t flinch. They battled their way through the heat, flipping, spinning and carving until the final horn sounded. Peyton came in fourth, and Sammy was edged out by second place finisher Stewart by only 0.30. Sammy, 19-years-old, didn’t show any signs of exhaustion in the Final, having already surfed in the DropKnee Final just minutes prior. In that heat, Sammy bested Bud Miyamoto, and Big Island natives Kaleo Huddy and Daylan Saniatan. “I don’t even know what to say,” Sammy said after being told that he was the 2016 Hawaii Bodyboarding Pro Tour Champion in the DropKnee Division. “I’m stoked, so thank all you guys for putting the event on. Another thank you to my sponsors, thank all you guys. It’s been a great year.”
While the Men’s and Dropknee divisions ran on Sunday, a myriad of other divisions – the Women’s, Stand Up, Junior’s and Master’s – ran on Saturday, November 19. Kauai’s own Tanner McDaniel won the Junior’s division at Honoli’i, and was crowned as the Junior Champion for the 2016 Tour, with solid finishes at both Ala Moana Bowls and Sandy Beach. Karla Costa had a dominant year, finishing first in the Women’s division and Mack Crilley, after coming in second to Sammy Morretino at Honoli’i, was named the Stand up Champion for the year.
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MILLER’S SURF BIG ISLAND CHALLENGE RESULTS
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Men’s Division Final 1 Jeff Hubbard – 2016 Kellogg’s Hawaii Bodyboarding Tour Men’s Champion 2 Mike Stewart 3 Sammy Morretino 4 Peyton Oda Drop Knee Final 1 Sammy Morretino – 2016 Kellogg’s Hawaii Bodyboarding Tour DropKnee Champion 2 Bud Miyamoto 3 Kaleo Huddy 4 Daylan Saniatan Stand Up Final 1 Sammy Morretino 2 Mack Crilley – 2016 Kellogg’s Hawaii Bodyboarding Tour Stand Up Champion 3 Rob Keyser 4 Colby Alcos Masters Final 1 Jimmy Hutaff – 2016 Kellogg’s Hawaii Bodyboarding Tour Masters Champion 2 Marshall Orr 3 Peter Cosgrove 4 Eric Tachera Junior Final 1 Tanner McDaniel — 2016 Kellogg’s Hawaii Bodyboarding Tour Junior Champion 2 Peyton Oda 3 Kellen Yamasaki 4 Cordon Stapp Women Final 1 Karla Costa – 2016 Kellogg’s Hawaii Bodyboarding Tour Women’s Champion 2 Sandra Silva 3 Mahina Gerrity 3 Alana Dickens
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EDDIE OPENING CEREMONY
Everyday we hand pick our own fish, straight from the auction block.
On Thursday, December 1, a collection of the world’s most talented and respected surfers gathered at Waimea Bay to take part in the annual opening ceremony for the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau. The invitees, from Aaron Gold to Bruce Irons and Kelly Slater and so many more, formed a circle at Waimea Bay Beach Park, standing in front of their towering big wave surfboards to receive a Hawaiian blessing. What made this year’s opening ceremony different from year’s past was the presence of female invitee Keala Kennelly, along with Michael and Mason Ho being the first ever father and son duo to potentially compete.
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After the blessing, the group then took to the water, led by Michael Ho. With the annual commemoration over, all eyes are now on the swell charts in hopes that the 2016/2017 winter will see the Eddie go in back to back seasons.
Invitees: Aaron Gold Bruce Irons Billy Kemper Dave Wassel Ezekiel Lau Garrett McNamara Grant Baker Greg Long Ian Walsh Jamie Mitchell Jamie O’Brien Jeremy Flores John John Florence Kala Alexander Kelly Slater Koa Rothman Kohl Christensen
Landon McNamara Makua Rothman Mark Healey Mason Ho Michael Ho Reef McIntosh Ross Clarke-Jones Shane Dorian Sunny Garcia Takayuki Wakita Tom Carroll Alternates: Luke Shepardson Kai Lenny Nathan Fletcher Noah Johnson Nathan Florence Ramon Navarro
Kealii Mamala Pedro Calado Jamie Sterling Nic Lamb Keala Kennelly Danilo Couto Mark Mathews Kalani Chapman Ben Wilkinson Gabriel Villaran Damien Hobgood Kahea Hart Ryan Hipwood Carlos Burle Kyle Shipman Danny Fuller Anthony Tashnick Rusty Long
H O W - T O
“We show how some of our pioneers, like Eddie [Aikau], set the stage at Waimea for what was to come,” said Walsh. “Every era built the platform that we’re all working off of, the early days of big waves, the tow revolution, jet skis being used for water safety, and now where the sport currently is with paddling into bigger and bigger waves.” The movie featured the likes of Shane Dorian, Greg Long, and Shaun, DK, and Luke Walsh, inserting viewers into pulse-pounding sessions during the 2016 winter season, which saw some of the biggest surf not only in recent memory, but perhaps the biggest and most consistent surf in the history of the sport.
DISTANCE BETWEEN DREAMS PREMIERES ON OAHU The world’s best and bravest speeding down 40 foot waves, seemingly endless hold downs, and all of it scored to a fastpaced, adrenaline-pumping soundtrack: On Friday, December 2, hundreds of surf fans packed the Turtle Bay pavilion for the much anticipated release of Red Bull’s Distance Between Dreams, a film that chronicled Ian Walsh’s 2016 El Nino winter season. “It’s a film that puts people in our world. It’s more than just a surf film, where it’s ‘ok travel scene, cue music, show surfing, show location’... My hope is people leave with a good understanding of each character involved in the film and an understanding of what goes into the really big days,” said Walsh. “We didn’t want to just show only the good waves that happen during a session, we wanted to show the reality of surfers having a bad wipeout and trying to bounce back, because often that naturally changes how we approach the rest of that day,” the 33-year old continued. “I love that about certain movies in other sports: sometimes they show a heavy fall or a set back, and then seeing the work that goes into everything and what actually happens afterwards can help tell the story of the day better. Elliot Leboe, one of our cameramen swam in the impact zone at Jaws so that the viewer can experience what we feel facing a 40-foot wall of water from our view.” The film also looked at the progression of big wave surfing, showing its genesis and revealing just how far the sport has come in such a short time.
The hour plus film showed viewers highlights of the El Nino sessions, along with the amount of work it takes in the early morning hours to prepare equipment, from jet skis to wetsuits and everything in between. That, along with spine-tingling clips of the real danger of surfing Jaws, exemplified by Greg Long’s near drowning and DK Walsh’s neck injury. “Distance Between Dreams shares our perspective of what is happening in big wave surfing,” continued Walsh. “Right now, it is in a mind blowing rate of progression. This film captures what some of us see from the water on big days. It shares the feeling of being in the water, and translates it into a first person experience. That distance is what goes into the goal, however big or small that goal is. By sharing and showing some of the severe consequences, which sometimes means watching your best friends needing CPR, and mixing them with a few of the best days in our sport, this film goes far beyond the standard surf film for a very unique look.” The film is now available on iTunes for purchase.
YEAR IN REVIEW Keoki
Aaron Gold rides a wave at Peahi that is widely considered “the biggest wave ever paddled into”.
John John Florence bests an iconic and legendary field of competitors to win the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau, along with a $75,000 prize check.
MARCH Mahina Maeda wins 2016 Pipe Junior Pro, a QS1000 rated event. Big Island native Mikey O’Shaughnessy is announced Wave of the Winter winner for his deep barrel at Off the Wall.
Sebastian Zietz enters the Margaret River Pro, the third event on the WSL CT, as an injury wildcard and wins the contest, leapfrogging his ranking to number 2 on the Jeep Leaderboard.
MAY Eli Olson wins Local Motion Surf Into Summer and takes the lead in the Hawaii Regional rankings. Bethany Hamilton enters Fiji Pro as Wildcard and finishes 3rd place overall.
The parent company of the World Surf League buys a majority stake in the Kelly Slater Wave Company. Speculation begins to mount about a WSL event taking place there in the near future.
JUNE Hawaii celebrates the passing of two beloved members of the surf community - Brock Little and Rabbit Kekai - with ceremonial paddle outs at Waimea Bay and Waikiki Beach.
JULY In California, two of Hawaii’s own notch big wins: Tatiana Weston-Webb wins the Vans US Open, and Coco Ho wins Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro.
AUGUST For the first time in history, it’s announced that surfing will be a sport at the 2020 Olympics, taking place in Japan.
President Barack Obama expands the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, located west of Hawaii, to 582,578 square miles, creating the world's largest protected marine area.
SEPTEMBER Peahi becomes protected: the County of Maui purchases 267.74 acres of former plantation land for $9.49 million in East Maui, near Pe`ahi. The land, also referred to as the Ha`ikū Sugar East Subdivision, consists of four lots and includes a heiau and the access easement to the “Jaws” lookout. Plans are to use the lots for a Nature Preserve and for organic farming.
After a year of attempts, Albee Layer lands a backside 720, further elevating the ceiling for progressive surfing. Paige Alms wins the first ever Women’s Pe’ahi Challenge.
John John Florence wins the 2016 World Title at the Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal, becoming the first Hawaiian to do so since 2004.
The World Surf League opens a 1,900 square foot regional headquarters in Haleiwa.
DECEMBER Multiple Hawaiians take home multiple awards at the annual year end Surfer Awards. Maui boy Albee Layer wins the Best Barrel and the Best Maneuver, John John Florence lands on top of the men’s chart for the third consecutive year and also takes home the Best Performance award for his part in the film series Twelve, Mason Ho wins the Best Series for his part in License to Chill and the A.I. Breakthrough Performer, and Carissa Moore lands atop the Women’s poll.
ALBEE LAYER By Cash Lambert
“Hey, go buy some champagne!” This was the initial reaction from the filmer who, seconds prior, captured Albee Layer’s backside double spin, otherwise known as the first ever backside 720. It was November 18, and as the footage continued to roll, Albee thrust his fists out of the foamy, windswept sea and into the air. To say that the trick was a long time in the making would be an understatement. “At the beginning of last year, I got so close [to landing the backside 720] that I said I could do this,” Albee said in the edit showcasing his achievement. “The mental step was done. It became just a matter of time and getting the right wave. I started getting closer [to landing it]... At that point I was fried from El Nino year, it was taxing on my body and head. I was pretty much furious by the end of year, I tried I don’t know how many sessions, so many broken boards, just hurting my body over and over again. I was putting so much into it, but I wasn’t doing it. I wasn’t making it. I knew I could, it turned into this giant monkey I put on my shoulder to just do it already.”
But. No one filmed it. So on November 18, he paddled out again into the churning Maui sea, and the session started off poorly. In Albee’s own words, “it sucked”. An hour and a half into the session, Albee thought about paddling in. Suddenly, a wave came through and he was up and riding, the face perfectly groomed for a take off and he was in the air spinning and spinning. On land, his filmer was locked in, capturing the grand collision that occurs when opportunity meets preparation. Then came the idea for champagne, the fists in the air and Albee returned to the beach, dried off, changed, drove home and slept probably the best in recent memory. “I’ve never had that freak capability people have like John [Florence], [Clay] Marzo or Matt [Meola] do in the air,” Albee said, reflecting in the edit. “For me to do a trick like this... was just to spend more time than anyone else, to be stubborn and not get discouraged after falling a million times.” This innate stubbornness has put Albee on the forefront of the progressive surfing movement, inserted him into some of the biggest Jaws waves and made his name known throughout the global surf community. We sat down with the Maui boy to hear more about his backside 720, why he’s taken the path less traveled in his surfing career and why “even your heroes can be wrong”. Let’s start with your roots, Albee. What is it like growing up on the Valley Isle? At a young age, you learn outdoor skills. That cool rootsy stuff, you know, country vibes. Having a rootsy skillset is really cool. Maui, it’s secluded, and because of that, the friends you have become family. Every day you’re with the same group of friends, and it’s been that way since your early years. Not many people can say that. Right, very few people. So how has Maui molded your surfing skill and style? I never learned how to surf crowds or really good waves for that matter. In a way, I really like it. I don’t do well surfing anywhere crowded. Most of what we surf is secluded, it’s just a couple friends, and that can be good and bad. The waves are windy and choppy, but that’s helped us to not be spoiled. I didn’t have waves to practice turns on, the waves were too bumpy and windy. The flip side of that is that I focus on airs, and I’ve learned to surf waves that most people don’t like.
What about the genesis of your surfing? Was it just natural for you to take to the water growing up on Maui?
Albee continued to apply pressure on himself to perform, and in the early fall, the 25-year-old pulled it. Nailed it. Completed it. Pau.
“I never learned how to surf crowds or really good waves f o r t h a t m a t t e r. I n a w a y, I r e a l l y like it. I don’t do well surfing anywhere
what we surf is secluded, it's just a couple friends, and that can be good and bad.”
Yeah, it was a natural thing. My parents were windsurfing when I was a baby, so I grew up at the beach. Naturally, that turned into playing in the shorebreak, and then they would take me out surfing on the front of their board. I never remember learning how to surf, it’s just something that was always there. Was surfing as a career ever a goal, or something that came to fruition? There wasn’t ever a point where I said ‘surfing is going to be job’, I had always hoped it would turn into a career.
“Making it” is different for everyone, and you especially. You haven’t followed the trajectory of grinding it out on the QS - did you always want to be a freesurfer? While doing NSSA’s, I used to tell coach Rainos [Hayes] how I wanted to be a freesurfer from a really young age, around 12-years-old. He told me that even Dave Rastovich won the World Juniors before he became a freesurfer. I said ok, I’m going to do the contest route as long as I can, but freesurfing is my end goal. Even before I won Innersection, it wasn’t looking to good. I almost gave up before that.
Matt Meola, Dege O’Connell, Kai Barger, Billy Kemper and others: this is your circle of influence. Those are all well That was a huge turning point. Up to then, I was only making a few established names in the surf industry, and all for different pillars of the sport. What’s it been like to be influenced by hundred dollars a month from sponsors, and was thinking about them? getting a real job and giving up the whole dream. Once Matt Meola won the first year, everyone rallied behind me to do it the following year. When I won, I was so relieved, just so stoked. At It’s cool and special that we get to push each other. In the that point, I knew I’d have a real shot at making it. group, one guy is better in small waves, another in big waves...
Certainly winning Innersection helped.
to try and be better than everyone in our group is a high standard. We’re all similar, but different at the same time. I contribute all my success to my friends, because without them, I wouldn’t have surfed Jaws, I wouldn’t have won Innersection or even tried to compete and even filming, that started with us filming each other. Did they help push you to try for the backside 720? We’ve all seen the edit, which shows how hard you worked to achieve it. And furthermore, do you think it should be called a 720? Or 540? A 720, because Tony Hawk said so. And here, the wind is blowing into lefts, and as a group we’re always trying to figure out the newest air. There’s always different reasons for progressions, but what it comes down is that we would get bored surfing if we didn’t do that. That’s something we need to do to have fun instead of staying stagnant. I’ve gotten close a couple times. I’d gone through a similar thing with the first double ally oop, so I knew the whole process of learning a new trick for myself. It can be annoying and hard and it hurts but I still think it’s worth it, because when I landed the ally oop it was the happiest I’d ever been achieving a personal goal, almost as happy as I was when I won Innersection.
What was the reaction from the surfing community on the trick, from your perspective? These days, tricks get written off as a sideshow, but they’re not. Surfing has to progress for everyone to stay interested. If you’re doing the same thing for so long... My goal is not to do a novelty trick, I want to be able to do what was thought to be impossible. It helps move surfing forward. Is that essentially the your motivation? Moving forward? Yeah, that’s my biggest passion: just moving forward, in all parts of my life. If I’m not progressing, I can’t deal with that. I have to be moving forward, whatever I can do to nudge in that direction I do. That time it was on footage, I was super happy, just relieved. I felt the weight off my shoulders. I could go and try the next thing. I would have felt stuck if I had moved on without pulling it. I would have felt like a failure, but I was able to get it done...It felt like a million pounds off my shoulders. The session sucked all the way into the moment, and that’s how the sessions are up until the moment. It’s frustrating
“ I d o n ’ t h a v e n a t u r a l k n a c k f o r d o i n g a i r s . I ’ m 6 ’ 2 ” a n d h a v e t h e b u i l d o f a t u r n g u y. B u t I ’ m s t u b b o r n . A n d w h e n I t r y t o l e
stuff until it all comes together, and it’s typical surfing in Maui in general. Lots of wash throughs. During the session when I made it, about an hour and half into it I almost just went in. But somehow a good wave came through and it all worked. It seems like regardless of circumstance, you weren’t going to quit until you achieved the backside 720. I don’t have natural knack for doing airs. I’m 6’2” and have the build of a turn guy. But I’m stubborn. And when I try to learn new tricks, this helps me a lot because I keep trying even when I should give up sometimes. So what’s the next goal? Finishing the next movie we’re working on is the first goal. With airs and surfing, I want to do more flips and corks. I need to keep moving forward, just going on really big waves and trying really hard. Some of my ideas are far fetched, but in the last 10 years, I’ve seen so many people do things that were previously thought of as facts that you couldn’t do. An example is paddle surfing Jaws. It was a fact that you couldn’t paddle Jaws. Obviously it was so wrong, there’s no reason we couldn’t have done it earlier. It’s about taking the ideas that seem stupid, but realistically are not and doing them.
tricks, this helps me a lot because I keep trying even when I should give up sometimes. â€œ
“ I t ’s s o c o o l t h a t o u r g r o u p o f f r i e n d s has been instrumental in something that
towing versus paddling deal affected how
You mentioned earlier the driving force behind your motivation is moving forward. Is there anything else motivating you? A lot of people wrote off my ideas when I was young. Some of those ideas have happened and ended up being good ideas. So for me, it’s about trying to make it easier for the next kid, so that if he/she says I want to do this and this and someone says that sounds dumb, he/she goes for it anyway. Like paddling instead of towing Jaws: what’s it like to have been on the forefront of paddling Jaws? It’s so cool that our group of friends has been instrumental in something that affected all of surfing. The towing versus paddling deal affected how everyone paddled across the world. There’s big names like Shane Dorian, but there’s also little characters, local guys that helped the progression too. I said a long time ago we should start paddling it, but I let it go. I should have just done it. Is that your advice to the younger generations? To just go for it? It’s really important in terms of progression to have respect for heroes and people that did it before you, but don’t accept everything as fact. It’s ok to question. Even your heroes can be wrong. I grew up looking up to Laird [Hamilton] and all those guys, they didn’t start paddle surfing but they’re still my heroes. They were completely wrong about a huge thing. Just because everyone says one thing doesn’t mean it’s right, and if everyone says you’re stupid for doing something a certain way or maneuver, they’re probably dumb. pau
Mason Ho. Photo Tony Heff
Mikey Oâ€™Shaughnessy. Photo Keoki
Kaimana Henry. Photo Mike Latronic
Barron Mamiya. Photo: Ryan Miller
FINNEGAN THUNDERS MCGILL By Kyveli Diener
Finn McGill is the complete package. At only 16, he’s earned the second highest regional ranking by dominating junior championships with his tactical Hawaiian-raised power surfing, shredding waves with carving turns evocative of Mick Fanning and one of his inspirations, Conner Coffin.
On top of that raw talent, he has a laid-back way about him, and a constant smile alongside a heart filled with the purest passion and love for surfing. That innate stoke constantly fuels the internal bonfire that has driven him to the top of his heats and into the 2016 Triple Crown, where he put on a momentous showing with a 4th place at the HIC Pro and a Round 3 finish at the Vans World Cup. He saved his best result for last in the 2016 year, winning the Pipeline Invitational and gaining entry into the 2016 Billabong
What was McGill’s reaction to facing Jordy Smith and Keanu Asing in his first heat at the Pipe Masters? “I’m so stoked! I have been wanting to be in the Pipe Masters my whole life and I have been coming down to this event since I was three years old. I went to school across the street and I remember sitting in class and listening to the scores, wishing I could be there.” Finn McGill is also part of the ultimate package. Anyone who knows the Pupukea local knows his older sister, fellow rising junior pro star
“I cannot even believe this is happening right now,” said McGill, after being chaired up the beach. “I’ve been surfing here my whole life and wanted to get some waves with only three other guys out. That was my mentality going into this event.”
Dax McGill, and his parents: photographer Mike with his sleeves of colorful tattoos and easygoing, affable demeanor, and fashion photo shoot producer/ever-upbeat supermom Lindsay, who graced this interview with her presence, allowing us a true glimpse into the North Shore life and family that created a surfing powerhouse we’re likely to be watching for years to come. You and your sister both have really interesting names, Finn. Where does your middle name, Thunders, come from? My dad’s favorite band was New York Dolls, and Johnny Thunders was one of his favorite musicians. So he named me after him.
And where did Finnegan come from? I don’t know… Mom: Well, he has the IrishScottish background and we wanted to honor that, so we chose Finnegan. Dax had a book growing up called “The Legends of Finn McCool,” so we thought, “Oh, wow: Finn McCool, Finn McGill, that sounds pretty good!” You’ve had such a standout year. What was your mindset coming into 2016? Honestly, in 2016 I just wanted to do okay at NSSA Nationals and then come to Hawaii and make the Triple Crown. That was basically my main goal, to make Triple Crown and I made it! I wasn’t expecting to do good at the HIC Pro either, so I
JUNIOR SPOTLIGHT/ FINN MCGILL was happy about that. I’m stoked to make a heat at Haleiwa. There’s a photo of you on the wall surfing Sunset at age 7. What’s it like to now be out there in a QS 10,000 and part of the Triple Crown? Yeah, I’ve been surfing Sunset since I was like four years old. That’s basically my favorite wave. That, and Pipe. I surf there a lot and I have a lot of experience out there. It definitely gives me confidence being out there knowing which waves are coming, which waves are good, and I know all my equipment out there. What’s the latest thing that you’ve learned?
the bigger QS comps that I need to go to to solidify my spot, so I’m just trying to stay calm and not get too nervous and hopefully it goes well and I’ll make a couple heats. But if I don’t, then I’ll just try again next year. Let’s talk about your training. I’ve been training with Kid Piligro for the last three years and he really helped me a lot with burning off my baby fat. I was really slow when I first started working with him and tight, just not flexible at all. He really helped me with that, I’m getting better and better. He’s definitely helped my surfing, I can feel it. Even in smaller waves I can get up and go right away. I can tell the difference.
Mom: To have more fun.
I don’t think I’d be even close to where I am now without my family. Do you remember your first wave ever? No, I do not. I was way too young for that, probably still in diapers. Mom: Oh, definitely in diapers. I think Dad was holding you at like 3 months old on a wave. I remember my first skateboard. I was one of those handboard skateboards, and I skated on it when I was like 1. Mom: He got this little rocker board thing, and he would actually sleep with it and cuddle with it. There’s the Mom angle. Girls will love that. Where do you see yourself in five years? You’ll be 21 — where do you think you’ll be?
Yeah. How do you keep your surfing fun and lighthearted and not get too caught up in the seriousness of competition? I don’t know, I think you’re just born with it. Some people surf to compete and some people surf to have fun. I surf to compete, but even when I’m done competing I go out and surf all the time. Even if it’s onefoot, I’ll go out there for two hours on a little hand-shaped board that I made. I love surfing. It’s just one of those things that you just do not stop. How do you shake yourself out of a hard heat when you’re in the middle of it? I think it’s just always believing in yourself, never give up. A wave can come at the last second, and even if you need the biggest score of the heat, it can come, it’s totally possible. Unless you’re comboed and there’s like one minute left and you’re at Sunset. That’s impossible. Looking ahead to 2017, what’s your mindset and your goals? I’m just trying to have fun. I’m getting into 66
Mom: At the bar. Hopefully I’ll be on Tour by then! If that doesn’t happen I don’t know what I’m going to do. If you couldn’t be a surfer, what would your backup plan be? Maybe a skater, or a racecar What kind of exercises do you do with him? It’s called ginastica. He adds stuff to it, but not much. He told me it was made almost to train for jiujitsu by yourself. So it’s the sort of moves where you roll on your shoulders a lot, you spin around. It’s ab strength and a lot of the same movements [as jiujitsu], but it’s not a giant guy putting your arm in an arm lock and almost dislocating it. What does family mean to you? Family is everything. My parents teach my everything and my sister pushes me.
driver. Do you have any desire to get tattoos like your dad? I have plenty of desires to get tattoos. I already talked about it with my mom, but it’s not going to happen for a while. Mom: The family rule is that they have to wait until they’re 18. Dax waited until she was 18, and she got one. And then you have to wait one year between — no wait, I said two years in between — until you’re 25, you have to wait two years between each tattoo. No, you said one.
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Mom: I think I said two. You said one! I remember you said one. Mom: I think I should change that. It’s already set in stone. What do you want for your first tattoo? Still thinking about it. I want to get a small one with my friends. We made this little drawing, it’s like a sippy cup with a smiley face on it, we always draw it and it’s kind of our group. I was gonna get that super small. My mom hates it... I don’t know how that’s possible. Who’s the surfer that you look up to the most? I look up to a lot of guys. I look up to John John with his surfing and his attitude. I like how he comes at it like not too hardcore. John John’s just
good at everything he does. I like Conner Coffin’s mentality and how he surfs, too. I think Conner’s turns are the sickest turns in the whole CT. That top carve that he does is smooth, he has an old school kind of style but it’s super fast and raw. I look up to those guys a lot. Does it make you nervous that the better you do, which you want to do, the closer you’ll get to competing against John John? It doesn’t me nervous at all. I would be so stoked to compete against those guys. I was just talking about that the other day: in the Triple Crown, if I got to compete against one of those guys it would be so fun because no matter how you do…I’m against John John, if I do good it’s like you did good against John John. Throughout your travels, what is the gnarliest thing you’ve ever eaten?
JUNIOR SPOTLIGHT/ FINN MCGILL
I’ve eaten fruit bat before. It was pretty good actually, they put it in fried rice. I was in Micronesia, this island called Yap. It was a little bit like chicken, kind of saltier. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Finish this sentence: If the waves are flat, I’m… Skating! Mom: Watching The Office. What are your favorite breaks outside of Hawaii? This summer I got to go to Tahiti to surf Teahupo’o. That was definitely one of my favorite waves. Trestles is super fun too, Lowers and that whole area. What’s something that you’re dying to learn how to do? I think learning to play an
instrument really well would be super cool. Is there one in particular you want to learn? Everything! I never really played instruments growing up and now I’m starting to get the urge to start playing. When I have time I’ll play here and there, I have a bass and a guitar. What’s your pump up music before you paddle out? It changes a lot. Mostly when I’m driving it’s The Doors or Creedance Clearwater Revival. I don’t listen to music before my heat, it’s some weird thing, I just never get to it. But on the drive down I’ll listen to music. Final words for the Freesurf audience? No brain, no headache!
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SWAYING INDUSTRIES TO BECOME RESPONSIBLE PRODUCERS: A CASE STUDY IN THE MALDIVES By Kahi Pacarro Photos Christian Miller
Perspective is gained through pulling away from the subject, allowing for a broader view. Growing up in Hawaii, we often take what we have for granted. Bogged down by work, obligations and the status quo, we neglect to recognize that we live in the best place on Earth. Get out and travel, even just to the other side of the island. Spend some time away from home and you’ll confirm, Hawaii no ka oi. Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii focuses on plastic pollution prevention and places around the world are dealing with the same issues, often worse, that we deal with here in Hawaii. The expertise we’ve gained at home make our knowledge invaluable to others.
their corporate headquarters. This annual trip hosted by Parley for the Oceans is called Parley Ocean School. The word Parley means a conference between two opposing sides. For decades, environmentalists, industry, and governments have been in battle with no end in sight. With little desire to sit down at a table together to discuss solutions, the rhetoric remained aimed at placing blame and highlighting the problems. Parley for the Oceans, and a growing number of others believe that by bringing all sides together, we could create and embolden solutions.
The silver lining of working near dirty beaches is that these areas are often blessed with waves or at least some decent wind. Therefore most work trips turn into surf trips and luggage almost always includes a few boards. Recently, work took me back to the Maldives.
With Parley Ocean School centered around spending as much time in the ocean, it’s easy to mix in deeply introspective content without numbing the student. Our lessons were reinforced through the activities like scuba diving, surfing, snorkeling, beach cleanups, community outreach and more.
For this trip, a mix of Adidas employees, environmental educators, scientists, and professional photographers were put on a boat for 7 days. We were immersed in the Laccadive Sea, surrounding communities, education, and the toxic plastic pollution issue.
The week started with addressing the issue, much of what I’ve explained in past articles. If you’ve missed them, get the previous four Freesurf issues and read up.
My goal as an educator was to inspire Adidas employees to return to work in Germany fired up to execute real change within
But in short, our overuse of plastic as a society is killing our oceans. On that first day we only explained the issue with no solutions. This left the students slightly depressed, but able to contemplate their own impacts and start thinking about what
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they could do without us guiding their ideas. After the first day our dive instructor pulled me aside and asked how my daughter was but then quickly interrupted, “How can you have a child in this messed up world? With what you know, is it not irresponsible to be bringing more humans into this society? I never want to have children.” Due to brevity, I’ll leave it there and allow the remaining article to form my response. The next few days we soaked in the ocean, surfed perfect 300 yard long lefts, cleaned deserted islands, and intellectually dived into the solutions to the problem. We focused on solutions to the overuse of plastics in our own communities on the beaches we’d been cleaning and in the sea we were floating. We visited surrounding communities and took local Maldivian students snorkeling for the first time and Adidas employees had what they learned from us soak in through teaching and interacting with the Maldivian community. The intellectual culmination of the event stemmed from our last three days. We put out a challenge to the Adidas employees to identify a realistic project that they could implement back at work to reduce their corporate
plastic footprint. With Adidas making 300 MILLION pairs of shoes annually, the most minute change could have rippling positive effects that reduce plastic use and increase awareness worldwide. The winning idea is getting a cash infusion to catalyze implementation, and we’ll find out the winner in Spring 2017. Turning those that make the products we buy into conscious and responsible producers is needed to improve our environment. We converted more Adidas employees for the second year in a row and want to extend this opportunity to other brands. Since our first year working with Adidas, we have seen them unveil a shoe made from ocean plastic, one that is biodegradable, uniforms for the Premier League made from ocean plastic, and more we can’t discuss yet. We believe if you can change corporate culture you will change the products they make. On the final day of Parley Ocean School Maldives, the dive instructor pulled me aside with tears of joy in her eyes and said, “After experiencing this whole week my mindset has changed, I want to have children.” Kahi Pacarro is the Executive Director of Sustainable Coastlines.
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ALOHA NOSTALGIA NICK KUCHAR By Tiffany Foyle
Moms love to brag about their kids. Nick Kuchar’s mom will tell you that he’s been drawing since age two, which is a major feat since dexterity was not a strong suit in the first few years of life. It was probably no surprise to her then when her son went on to become a bona fide artist, studying Product Design at Auburn University, and is now a much sought after creator for companies like Walden, Hobie, Patagonia, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Papyrus, and Pacific Historic Parks, among others. His art is reminiscent of vintage signage and mid-century modern design. The aesthetic of his pieces have nostalgic color palettes and typography. “I am really attracted to somewhat unconventional colors,” the 35-year-old Florida native says. “I continuously study the relationship of different colors when paired together.” Any surf artist’s journey starts two places: first, when they became an artist, and secondly when they fell in love with surfing. For Nick, the latter began when he bought an old longboard for $50
from a friend in high school after always dreaming of learning to surf. He spent every spare minute he had out at New Smyrna Beach, Florida surfing sandy beach breaks. In the summer, he would pray for offshore hurricanes. In the winter he would grab his wetsuit and brave the cold when the Jet Stream pushed south and brought bigger waves. “I love the freedom of having only a slab of fiberglass—or less if bodysurfing— and being untethered to the day to day routine,” he explains. “No two waves are ever the same and I view surfing as drawing lines on a canvas wave.”
Nick is more in love with surfing than ever because with four distinct coastlines on Oahu, he can typically find surf any day. “I have a couple surf spots a bike ride from my house but also love to venture out to spots on the North Shore or out west,” he says. Nick and his wife moved to Oahu after they got married. He got her hooked on surfing living on the East Coast so she had
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SURF ART / NICK
the idea to take an extended honeymoon to Hawaii. And 12 years later, they are still here. Once local boutiques and galleries started taking notice of Nick’s art, it allowed him to be viewed by a much larger audience, thus his big break. His collaborations with surf brands Walden, Hobie and Patagonia helped establish Nick’s name and design style as well. Like any artist, Nick has had jobs parking cars, cleaning golf clubs, working the counter at a surf shop, landscaping, bussing tables and bartending. “I am super blessed to be able to create art full-time in the most beautiful place in the world,” he says. “I am grateful daily. It’s not easy to survive as an artist but if you can create a niche and also be known as someone that is easy to work with and able to meet deadlines from a commissioned art standpoint, I feel you can be successful.” Nick’s work is available throughout Hawaii along with a few locations in Europe and Japan. The Greenroom Surf
Art Gallery is one of the best places on Oahu to view his art. Nick’s retro spin on the beauty of the Hawaiian Islands can be seen on cell phone cases, travel prints, cards and coasters, tote bags, maps, and maple wood prints. His advice to aspiring surf artists is to keep it simple and clean: “The goal is to always have a purpose behind your design,” Nick says. “Set out with a clear vision of what you want to create and follow it through to completion—and if it looks rad hanging on your wall, that’s a great bonus.” To see his art, visit www. nickkuchar.com.
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Cyrus Sutton’s film Island Earth, presented by Reef, screened to a large crowd at Waihuena Farm on the North Shore on December 5th. The film served as an expose on GMOs and how they impact the Hawaiian Islands. After the conclusion of the film, Cyrus and Dustin Barca led a discussion about how the community can become further involved. To see more information about the film, visit Reef.com.
Kona Brewing Company recently introduced the ‘Mahalo’ 12pk variety pack, available for a limited time during the holidays. Sold exclusively in Hawaii, the ‘Mahalo’ 12pk variety pack features four brews with tropical island ingredients. For the very first time, Magic Sands Mango Saison will be available in bottle-form within the Mahalo variety pack, alongside Lemongrass Luau, Wailua Wheat and Pipeline Porter. Created in the spirit of the holidays, the ‘Mahalo’ variety pack is also a great way for locals to say thank you to friends and family during the gift-giving season. The diversity of flavors mean there will be a brew to suit all palates – from the sweet fruitiness of Magic Sands Mango Saison, to the dark and rich Pipeline Porter. The 12-bottle Mahalo variety pack is exclusively available at retailers in Hawaii. There is also a 24-bottle Mahalo variety pack at select merchants for a limited time.
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Makai McNamara at the 2016 Volcom Pipe Pro.
The Volcom Pipe Pro returns in 2017 at Pipeline. The event will bring together more than 112 of the best surfers from around the globe, with the waiting period for the event beginning January 29 and runs through February 10, providing a 13-day competition window. 2017 marks the eighth consecutive year that Volcom is presenting the high-profile, high stakes contest that is a QS3000 rated event with the prize purse set at $75,000.
On December 5th, Vans screened its much anticipated Positive Vibration film at the North Shore Marketplace Lawn in Haleiwa. The film chronicled how the Gudauskas brothers collected surfboards and donated them to the communities within Jamaica, giving young adults their first ever surfboards, as well as the opportunity to begin surfing. Visit Vans.com for more information about the film.
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What’s the motivation for pulling into Pipeline, one of the most deadly and treacherous barrels in the world? For some, it's about incentives based upon media coverage. For others, it’s a chance to win the famed Billabong Pipe Masters. But for 22-year-old North Shore underground charger Lucas Godfrey, a purist at heart who rides a stickerless board, it’s simply about keeping surfing fun. Photo: Tony Heff