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Photo: Dane Grady
F R E E
P A R K I N G
A product of his Maui environment, Matt Meola has utilized the often windy conditions to his advantage, boosting massive airs and landing unthinkable rotations. Weâ€™ve dedicated this issue to shining a spotlight on the personalities like Matt who have been shaped by the rugged and raw elements our island chain presents. Photo: Dayanidhi Das
y e l l i r C ck
TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S / D E PA R T M E N T S
06 Free Parking 14 Editor’s Note 16 News & Events 20 Sounds 24 Board Stories
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Photo: Leashed photography
62 Pau Hana
78 Industry Notes
66 Grom Report
70 Stuff We Like
82 Last Look
72 Events 74 Environment
Model: Kiana Fores Photo: Bryce Johnson
TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S / F E AT U R E S
5 MUST-DO ISLAND ADVENTURES
Jake JakeMarote Marote
FRESH POKE BOWLS. CUSTOMIZED THE WAY YOU LIKE IT.
Presenting 5 activities to cross off your bucket list during flat spells
THE ELEMENTS OF CLIFF KAPONO
How a Hilo boy became a Renaissance man, serving as a voice for environmentalism, activism and science in Hawaii
We hand toss our poke every day using fresh fish from the Pier 38 Fish Auction .
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ISLAND LENSMEN Showcasing the eclectic portfolios of 3 photographers entrenched in the Hawaiian Islands
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CONNECTING COMMUNITY AND LIFESTYLE THROUGH NUTRITION
Publisher Mike Latronic Managing Editor Cash Lambert Photo Editor Tony Heff Art Director John Weaver Multimedia Director Tyler Rock Ambassador-at-Large Chris Latronic West Coast Ambassador Kurt Steinmetz Staff Photographers Tony Heff, Chris Latronic, Mike Latronic, Tyler Rock, Keoki Saguibo Free Thinkers Kyveli Diener, Kahi Pacarro Intern Sara Aguilar
Senior Contributing Photographers
Erik Aeder, Eric Baeseman (outbluffum.com), Brian Bielmann, Ryan Craig, Jeff Divine, Pete Frieden, Dane Grady, Bryce Johnson, Ha’a Keaulana, Ehitu Keeling, Laserwolf, Bruno Lemos, Mana, Zak Noyle, Shawn Pila, Jim Russi, Jason Shibata, Spencer Suitt, Tai Vandyke
John Bilderback, Marc Chambers, Dayanidhi Das, Brooke Dombroski, DoomaPhoto, Rick Doyle, Isaac Frazer, Jeromy Hansen, Pete Hodgson, Joli, Kin Kimoto, Dave “Nelly” Nelson, Nick Ricca, Gavin Shige, Heath Thompson, Bill Taylor, Wyatt Tillotson, Jimmy Wilson, Cole Yamane Senior Account Executive Brian Lewis Business Coordinator Cora Sanchez Office Manager Rieka Marzouki FREESURF MAGAZINE is distributed at all Jamba Juice locations, most fine surf shops and select specialty stores throughout Hawai‘i. You can also pick up FREESURF on the mainland at Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores and select newsstands. Ask for it by name at your local surf shop! Subscribe at freesurfmagazine.com Other than “Free Postage” letters, we do not accept unsolicited editorial submissions without first establishing
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REEF AMBASSADOR MIKALA JONES WAS CHOSEN FOR THE REEF EXPERIENCE TEE SERIES BECAUSE OF HIS A M A Z I N G P H O T O G R A P H S D O C U M E N T I N G H I S D A I LY L I F E AND GLOBAL SURF ADVENTURES. THE PHOTOS CHOSEN FOR T H I S S E R I E S A R E A F E W O F H I S FAV O R I T E S . F O R E A C H R E E F E X P E R I E N C E T- S H I R T M A D E , R E E F H A S D O N AT E D $ 1 T O A H U M A N I TA R I A N C A U S E .
REEF EXPERIENCE TEE SERIES
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E D I T O R ’ S
N O T E
By Cash Lambert As the 9-passenger Cessna accelerated skyward, the window felt magnetic. With my forehead stuck to the plexiglass, my eyes stared at aerial views of Waikiki: rows of buildings all fighting to be near the water’s edge with swell breaking over an expansive reef and lush green mountains serving as a pictureperfect backdrop. After that, Diamond Head came into sight, a green and brown crater giving way to a light blue sea, followed by views of Koko Head towering over Hanauma Bay and a dark blue ocean. My destination on the 45-minute Mokulele Airlines flight was Maui, and en route, the plane veered alongside the coasts of Lanai and Molokai. The two islands showed off their golden sand beaches looking like the gold found in a battered treasure chest along with plunging waterfalls and jagged, raw coastlines.
Venture to other islands in Hawaii, like Kauai and the Big Island, and your forehead will be glued to the window too, because Hawaii is beautiful. Hawaii is idyllic. Hawaii is parapara-paradise. In transit, I remembered seeing remote valleys and cascading waterfalls in Iceland, fun-sized Caribbean swell funneling into an empty cove, and sliding down A-frames in Nicaragua with no crowd in sight, but none of it compares to Hawaii. Because where else can you surf some of the world’s best waves, stare into the galaxy atop the world’s tallest mountain, disappear into forests and see lava - the very thing that helped create the landmass you’re standing on - all in close proximity to each other? That’s why we dedicated this issue of Freesurf to showcasing the islands that comprise Hawaii.
On page 30, we chronicle 5 must do activities across the island chain, and on page 48, we showcase the portfolios of lensman who reside on Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. Flip over to page 36 to read how the Big Island’s Cliff Kapono has become a voice for environmentalism, activism and science in Hawaii, and on page 60 we visit with Jeromy Hansen on Maui, who has provided sponsorship opportunities for groms across Hawaii who otherwise wouldn’t be able to travel to surf events from one island to the next. Whether it’s a week long vacation, a weekend mission or a day trip, we hope this issue inspires you to venture to a new locale in and out of the water and meet a few characters along the way. We’ll see you out there.
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HOKULE‘A HOMECOMING After 3 years at Sea, the Hōkūle‘a’s arrives home to a cultural celebration Photos John Hook
150 ports in 23 countries in 3 years: Following a global voyage, the Hōkūle‘a, a double-hulled voyaging canoe, returned to Oahu on Saturday, June 17th with a crowd thousands strong on hand, collectively cheering and waving Hawaiian flags. During the voyage, which saw Hōkūle‘a and sister canoe Hikianalia cover a combined 60,000 nautical miles, crew members relied on an understanding of oceanic swells, stars and the wind for direction. “Hundreds of others in canoes greeted the vessel as it was being tied up,” noted the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources in a statement, explaining that the celebration spilled over from the jam-packed Magic Island and into the sea.
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Including both the Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia, there were 8 Polynesian voyaging canoes that received a hero’s welcome in the morning hours of August 17th. A Ho’olaule’a, or community celebration, followed the Hōkūle‘a’s arrival. The celebration included a Kāli’i Rite conducted by Hale Mua, the kale, or spear throwing ceremony, screenings of Mālama Honua Voyage Highlights and more. The Hōkūle‘a first began as a cultural revival in the 1970s. The first voyage in 1976 landed in Tahiti, and according to
the Polynesian Voyaging Society, more than 17,000 people - “over half the island’s people” were in attendance to greet the crew.
he was going to make it and we weren’t.”
Two years later, the Hōkūle‘a set out again for Tahiti, but was capsized in stormy seas off Molokai. On board was Waimea Bay’s first official lifeguard, Eddie Aikau, who attempted to paddle to a nearby island to get help.
From 1975-2000, Hōkūle‘a completed several voyages, including from Tahiti to Hawaii, to Aotearoa and Rapa Nui.
Crew member Kiki Hugho noted that “We were hours away from losing people. Hypothermia, exposure, exhaustion... When he paddled away, I really thought
The crew was rescued, and Eddie was never seen again.
The annals of Hawaiian history will forever record June 17th as the day the Hōkūle‘a returned from its unprecedented global journey.
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SIMPSON-KANE SIBLINGS EACH WIN TWO DIVISIONS AT THE 24TH ANNUAL POHAI NA KEIKI NALU Ruby Stringfellow Photos Dayanidhi Das
The Simpson-Kane family had a near perfect day at the Pohai Na Keiki Nalu (Gathering of the Surf Kids) Saturday, June 3, at Maui’s Launiupoko Park. The 24th annual surf contest, for surfers 12 years and younger, drew 245 entries in 11 divisions. With a total of 68 heats, organizers had to use double heats, sending one heat to the “Kihei” peak and the other heat to the “Lahaina” Peak. Ty Simpson-Kane, a soon to be eighth-grader at Kamehameha, defended his Longboard Title and won the 11-12 Shortboard. His younger sister Chrislyn, a fifth-grader to be at Haiku school, claimed the Girl’s Longboard Division and the Girls 7-9 Shortboard. Chrislyn, who defeated 32 other girls in the Longboard division, had the two highest scoring waves in both the Longboard and Shortboard Finals. Ty had the two best waves in his Shortboard Final, and won a split decision over Zolten Poulsen, in besting 31 other longboarders.
“It was a very amazing day,” Ty said. “It was my last event here, super thankful to be part of this year after year. I wanted to go out with a bang.”
Final at the Kihei peak, she was able to hang ten toes over the nose once, and slid up to the nose “cheater five” style numerous times.
The surf was consistent throughout the day, but the high tide changed conditions for the final heats.
After the Final, she had to change her longboard for a shortboard and paddle over to the Lahaina peak for her Shortboard Final.
“The high tide made it challenging, made it more sloppy,” Ty said. “I just went out and made the most of it.”
“I had to paddle way over and put on a leash,” Chrislyn said. “My arms were dead.”
Chrislyn also made the most of the changing conditions by defeating defending longboard Champion Chloe Domingo. In her Longboard
After catching seven waves in her 15-minute Longboard Final, she still was able to ride five waves in the Shortboard heat.
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Ty Simpson-Kane and Zolten Poulsen
She shared her stamina secret: “I go to a gym once a week in Haiku,” Chrislyn said. “I use a paddle machine during warm-ups, I paddle two minutes as hard as I can. It really helps.” The other double winner was Cash Berzolla, a sixth-grader to be at Carden Academy. He repeated in the Shortboard 9-10 and won the Stand-Up Paddle 10-12. A year ago, he won the 7-9 Stand-Up Paddle division.
Berzolla edged Rafi Neri for the second straight year in the shortboard. “The other competitors are definitely good, it’s really a challenge,” Berzolla said. “I know a lot of them could beat me very easily.” The other shortboard winners were Ruby Stringfellow (6 and under), Ethan Mangat (Boys 7-8), and Tamryn Taoka (Girls 10-12). Hudson McKim won the bodyboard and Chase Burnes took the Stand-Up Paddle 10-12.
The free contest raised $2,800 (thanks to raffle items from Kazuma Surfboards, Reef, Honolua Surf Co. & Hi-Tech Surf Sports) for the family of 10-month-old Sully Forbes, who has retinoblastoma (eye cancer). To see a full list of results, visit FreesurfMagazine.com!
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S O U N D S
LILY MEOLA “Powerful, haunted, retro-sexy and soulful”: these are some of the ways that Lily Meola’s music has been described. The Maui native, with light hair and mesmerizing green eyes, began singing at age 11 during a school production, and soon after, her mother, Nancy, began finding and booking gigs while brother Matt Meola immersed himself in windswept surf sessions. It was at one of those gigs several years later that Lily, currently 22-years-old, experienced her big break. Willie Nelson was in attendance at one of her weekly shows at Cafe des Amis in Paia, and what followed was a whirlwind. In 2013, she toured with Nelson, being named his protege, and in 2015 she released her debut album They Say. A year later, Rolling Stone named her one of “10 new country artists you need to know”. We sat down with Lily to discuss her thoughts on how her musical style has been described, what she’s learned from Nelson, and what we can expect from her new album likely dropping by the end of the year. What’s new with you, Lily? What has 2017 been like, and what can we
expect from you throughout the rest of the year? This year has been crazy! I’ve been floating between Los Angeles, Maui, and Nashville. I’m currently spending most of my time in the studio, writing my life away. I plan on doing this for the next couple months until I feel I’ve got the right material for my next project. Who are some artists that are inspiring you right now? I am absolutely head over heels in love with the new Chris Stapleton record. I’ve also become a big J.Cole fan. I’m pretty funny when it comes to new music, because when I find something I really like I listen to it on repeat. What are a few things you learned by spending so much time around Willie Nelson? How to roll a good joint - just kidding! He and his amazing family have taught me so much, like how to live life to the fullest, how to treat others and what honest music sounds like. What would you say your style is? And where is it derived from? Honestly, this is a hard question for me. I sing from my heart, and what feels good comes out.
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When it comes to describing my style most people say that it’s bluesy soul pop. Where can we typically find you when you are home on Maui? When I’m home, it’s normally my down time. You can find me at my home break Ho’okipa attempting to surf and swim. I love to go fishing with my brother, take my dog Baloo on adventures, BBQ and catch up with all my friends and family. What was it like combining your talents with your brother’s surfing by recording Numb, the song that was on Matt’s recent video edit? We’ve always wanted to work together on something like this, but it turned out being a lot more difficult than we were planning. I was in Los Angeles and Matt was back home. So we were sending files back and forth like crazy people. I’m excited to actually get in the studio with him and work on more stuff in the future. I really like his musical instinct. Have any funny stories of Matt trying to play along with you in some way musically, or does he stick to surfing and leave all the music to you?
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He actually has a hidden songwriting talent. He would never admit to that though...I might get killed for mentioning it... but yeah, sometimes we write songs and sing together. He is very honest and isn’t afraid to give me his opinion on whatever it is I’m working on. Every artist is consistently working to better their craft, so what are you working on right now? New songs, or focusing on shows? This past year I’ve really been focusing mostly on writing. I’ve gotten to work with some super talented people and I’m planning on putting out some new music by the end of the year with Interscope Records!
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THE BREWER / MORGAN SURFBOARDS LINE A Shaping Collaboration 30 years in the making
Two shapers getting together to collaborate after 30 years is not a common theme in the surfboard industry, but such is the case with legendary shaper Dick Brewer and veteran shaper Steve Morgan after parting ways in 1987. Morgan was first hired as a shaper for Dick Brewer Surfboards in 1979 and through a further combination of business partnerships, first with Gary Linden and later as sole partner with Dick Brewer, he continued to shape under the Brewer label for the following eight years, a period which saw rapid change in surfboard design. While the reunion serves to create a new surfboard line that incorporates the shaping talents of both Brewer and Morgan, it also serves as a vehicle to honor the legacy of Brewer as the innovator and father of the modern surfboard. In 1967, Brewer created what was known as the mini gun, a board that forever altered the nature of surfing. Beginning with the outline, the board took on the narrower nose and tail dimensions of early big wave guns and applied these dimensions to a much shorter surfboard. Far more radical though, Brewer used aerodynamic principles in his design in contrast to a reliance previously on boat hull design, which had begun with Bob Simmons in the 40s and although further refined, remained the prevalent thought of surfboard design through the mid 60s. Veteran surfboard shaper Steve Bahne gives a simple explanation of the application of Dick's innovation: “Dick Brewer brought surfboard design out of the dark ages when 28
he started applying aerodynamic foils to surfboards. Essentially, the top side (lifting side) of an airplane wing was applied to the bottom side of the surfboard. In addition, the thickness flow of an airplane wing was applied to the surfboard profile and for the first time, the rocker in the bottom of a surfboard, including tail rocker and kick in the nose, was correlated to speed and performance.” Gerry Lopez, in his book “Surf is where you find it”, clearly acknowledges that it was Brewer who almost single handedly started the short board revolution as we know it. “Following the first (mini-gun) that Brewer carved out for me in a moment of visionary ecstasy, none of us ever looked back. Surfing and surfboards would never be the same again.” Lopez goes on to say that Dick Brewer will certainly go down in history as the greatest surfboard designer ever to live. So what is it that kicked off this idea to get together again and collaborate? Steve Morgan: The idea is not a new one. I had thought about it for years, but what seemed to kick it off began one night on Molokai while talking surf story with my kids. Repeating these stories probably too many times, I think it was my daughter in law that finally said “You need to write down these stories”. I took it seriously and the very first story I wrote was about my time working with Brewer. I then sent the story to Dick and one thing lead to another. The flame was lit and here we are.
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What were some of the developments of Brewer Surfboards at that time that had an effect on the boards ridden then and now?
Dick Brewer: Morgan has always been a Brewer shaper and our connection has a long history. The years that we worked together were really important years. Like the late 60s, at that time we saw another major progression of surfboard design, going from single fins to twins to thrusters and even quads. Prior to going to California, I had been working with Mark Richards on the twin fin. Mark was gracious enough to give me the credit for his design which resulted in a twin fin model that was much more maneuverable and could also handle larger surf. As we progressed forward, it didn't end with the thruster, I was also doing quite a bit of R&D with Gary Linden with quads. Morgan wasn't just behind the scenes, he was involved at every level of development, always experimenting and exploring the boundaries of each new design. Morgan: It's also important to recognize that Dick was the first to go on record in the development of the three fin surfboard. Brewer: I actually created the three fin in 1969 and rode it myself in the masters division at Ala Moana in June of 1970. Reno Abellira is on record riding the same three fin model in October of 1970 which was covered by Drew Kampion in Surfer Magazine a few months later. The fin size that I was using is similar to the modern bonzer with a 6” rear fin and 2 ½ “ side fins. Who else was shaping at the Brewer shop during that influential time you two worked together? Morgan: In 1980-81, the shop in California had become the gathering place. The shapers there at that time besides Brewer and myself were Gary Linden, Owl Chapman and Sam Hawk, who was still around until 1982. Eric Arakawa even did a short guest appearance shaping a few Brewers. That was the only year that I remember that both Dick and Owl spent the entire season in California. It’s amazing that with that many chiefs under one roof, that we all got along as well as we did. Brewer: There was a lot of energy in California at that time and the whole world seemed to be focused there. We really had some outstanding surfers riding for us, not just from California but from all over the world. 30
Morgan: Certainly multiple fins were changing things and the thruster became center stage. Dick had introduced a few new blanks for Clark Foam at that time, which were pivotal to the change in surfboard design. Although probably never credited for it, I believe that Owl had a significant influence on the evolution of the modern surfboard. The blanks that Dick created were the first to have continuous rocker (both deck and bottom) and when Owl shaped his boards, he stayed true to the blank's design by keeping the deck line in a continuous arc. While this might seem like a small thing, it's not. This changes the way the foil, rocker and rail line all come together, even the flex characteristics are changed. Gary Linden took what Owl was doing and took it another step by recognizing that with multiple fins, the surfer was riding more from the tail of the board and that the volume displacement needed to be pushed further back. At first, Linden really exaggerated this but in time, this balanced out (possibly of my own influence) and really set a precedence for the industry. Adding to this were Dick's outlines, which in every era have set the benchmark. I’m happy to say that I still have some of these early thruster templates in my possession. Fast forwarding to today, what can you tell us about this Brewer Morgan Surfboards line? Brewer: When you look at the history of Brewer Surfboards, literally hundreds of known surfers have ridden my boards and contributed to the design elements that make a Brewer. Rail design, rocker, bottom contours, outlines, foil - every component of the board has been put to the test. Ultimately, it is the accumulation of these past six decades of proven and tested design that you will find in a Brewer Morgan. Morgan: The tremendous legacy and history of Brewer Surfboards is unparalleled. The fact that I am a part of this, I’m deeply honored. The goal of the Brewer Morgan line is to build a limited production surfboard that is really design oriented. By that, I mean that the shape itself is the defining element of the board. I remember the first time I rode a Brewer, it was amazing, the distinction was obvious, and no other board felt like a Brewer: the precision, the agility, the drive. And that’s just it, when the surfer is riding the board, he or she isn’t really thinking about dimensions, rocker or anything else. That's our job. With the surfer, it comes down to how the board feels. That pure essence of surfing is why we make these boards, for the love of the surfboard and for the love of surfing.
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KILAUEA LAVA FLOW Where else can visitors come within steps of red hot magma? At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, visitors can see the active volcano Kilauea put on a crackling and fiery show from the safety of observation decks, from boat tours as the lava spews into the sea, or from land itself, as the magma bubbles only a few yards away. The experience is a step back in time to see how the Hawaiian Islands were first formed.
NEIGHBOR ISLAND ADVENTURES
WAIPIO VALLEY Take one look at the Big Island’s Waipio Valley, and it’s easy to see why the valley that is one mile wide and 5 miles deep was previously home to Hawaiian Kings, including King Kamehameha I. The area features multiple waterfalls, taro fields, an empty black sand beach, rivers and a myriad of hikes, and visitors with permits can stay overnight to fully experience the mana of the locale.
ROAD TO HANA A 64.4-mile windy road, Maui’s Road to Hana connects Kahului with Hana. There are incredible sights at mile markers along the road. Looking to swim in a spectacular waterfall? There’s Twin Falls, along with Hanawai Falls. Wanting to feel black sand in between your toes? Stop at Wai'anapanapa State Park. How about peering through an eerie lava tube? Stop at the mile marker that features the Hana Lava Tube. Several food options are set up near the road, but buyers beware: a full stomach may not be the best idea when driving on the winding road.
Ena Media / Andrew
4 MOLOKAI COAST Lush and dramatic mountains covered in wispy clouds with waterfalls tucked into deep valleys: cue the Jurassic Park theme song! Molokai, located in between Oahu and Maui, features a dreamy coastline that can be seen by boat, helicopter, or via a Mokulele Airlines flight.
Serving as the crown jewel of Kauai, the Na Pali Coast is 6,175 acres Hawaiian State Park that features rugged mountain peaks towering over aqua water. What makes the area relatively untouched is the challenge presented in order to see it: visitors can take boat tours for a front row view of the emerald cathedrals, helicopter tours are also available or those seeking an adventure can hike the 11-mile Kalalau Trail, which ends at the pristine Kalalau Beach. Whether by land, sea or air, the Na Pali Coast creates a sense of unparalleled awe and wonder.
NA PALI COAST
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THE ELEMENTS OF
CLIFF KAPONO How a Hilo boy became a Renaissance man, serving as a voice for environmentalism, activism and science in Hawaii It’s late Friday night, and while most are relaxing, talking story with friends or catching up on much needed rest, Cliff Kapono is in transit. Busy is an understatement for the Hilo native, who has spent 2017 in perpetual motion: In the past year, the 30-year-old, who has a strong build, an inviting smile, and shoulder-length brown hair, ventured to Chile, Ireland, Mexico and more recently, Montana, all for scientific purposes. “In Montana, there was a film festival workshop focusing on how science can be better communicated to the public,” Cliff says, his speech rapid yet eloquent. “I actually heard about a river wave there in the mountains; the wave itself had a face, a lip. So I get there and Genki Kino, who lives there now and who I competed against and haven’t seen since I was younger, was ripping, surfing it like it’s Kaiser Bowls!” Cliff’s recent mission to Montana serves as a microcosm of both his daily schedule and the goals he’s seeking to accomplish. Currently finishing a PhD at the University of California at San Diego, Cliff uses science as a portal to travel across the globe, not only educating himself, but also relaying that information to others, all the while wielding his air and power repertoire in lineups along the way.
By Cash Lambert
“School has provided access for me to not only gain better education, but also surf world class waves, waves I dreamed of surfing and places I never thought I would go,” Cliff says with a smile. “For example, I was recently in Ireland with Fergal Smith, seeing the organic farm there and we didn’t score the craziest waves, but just to feel the vibrations they have going on, it’s the same commitment to community that is happening in Hawaii. Surfing and the ocean connects the culture.”
Growing up in Hilo, Cliff’s surfing career had humble beginnings. After voicing the desire to surf to his father, Cliff obtained his first surfboard, and session by session, he began crafting the skill that today sees him sliding through gaping barrels and unleashing his spray-infused power game.
His resume is extensive: he’s had a major part in several sustainability and environmental films, traveled in search of the bacteria that sits on or inside of surfers - known the Surfer Biome Project and has used social media to stay in the discussion of hot button topics.
Though he’s only 30, Cliff has cemented himself as a Renaissance man of sorts, a man of high standing within the Hawaiian, surf and research community who is using what he learns to perpetuate sustainability, environmentalism and other forms of activism. How did Cliff go from a Big Island boy “never expecting to leave Hilo” to becoming a voice for all things science in Hawaii today? It all started with limu.
THE DRAW OF THE LIMU “During my little kid days, even though we lived close to the beach, we would camp out on the sand and practically never leave,” Cliff says. “We built sandcastles, fished, looked for turtles. All of that was the surfing lifestyle in my mind. I’d boogieboard, grab and climb vines, hang out with the guys at the beach. We belonged to the ocean culture.” It was during one of those beach days that young Cliff began taking a closer inspection at the environment that was shaping him. “I remember being young and noticing this limu... how it looked, how it felt. And looking back, I credit my Dad, because he wasn’t pushing us to
School h as pro v ide d access fo r me to not only gain be tte r ed u cation, but als o surf wo rld c las s wav e s , w av e s I dream ed o f s urfing an d plac e s I ne v e r th oug h t I wo uld go
look at things like limu, but he provided access to knowledge. He would say ‘this is the Hawaiian word for limu and the scientific word’. Growing up on the Big Island, we knew when it rained, because the tree leaves changed pigment. We were aware of our natural environment, the waves, the wind patterns.” According to Cliff, being Hawaiian or living on a Hawaiian Island requires “an innate scientific perspective. We study everything because if we don’t understand it, we won’t exist on the Island.” Other than Merrie Monarch, a week long cultural festival annually attracting crowds, Hilo relatively stays quiet, compared to other towns in the Hawaiian Islands. Thus, a small town vibe permeates.
up for your beliefs, and be a positive light, not negative,” he says. “It’s a place where the surf breaks still have Hawaiian names. Honoli’i, for example, is what it was called from the beginning. There’s just such a sense of pride and accountability in Hilo, and you learn that from an early age. From the lava to staring into the galaxy on top of Mauna Kea, the mana is so strong. And to exist in a place where you don’t see other footprints in the sand, that’s a good feeling.”
RECEIVING HIS FIRST SURFBOARD Cliff wasn’t pushed atop a longboard into waves as a child, being groomed to someday join the ranks of professional surfers. Instead, his surfing life began
when he voiced the desire. “After I told my Dad that I wanted to surf, he said that he was going to take me to get a surfboard,” Cliff says. “So we went to my Uncle’s house, and I’m thinking we’re going to grab a board and head to the beach. But my Dad and Uncle sat down, drank beers and talked story for 3 hours. At one point, my Uncle noticed me looking at one of his surfboards. ‘Boy’, he said, ‘take that board’. It was a lightning Bolt Sunset board, a 6’0”, you know just when the plug started to come out. It’s a classic wall hanger for sure.” Looking back, Cliff pulls a valuable lesson from the interaction.
as a terrible inconvenience when trying to disseminate knowledge or help people understand things, but in reality I feel it works out quite well,” he says. “Many times we just expect people to tell us everything because we believe it’s our right to know. But when we put the responsibility of understanding on ourselves, we show those with the knowledge that we are willing to learn, that we are willing to put the effort into whatever it will take to acquire that knowledge.” Cliff believes that in some strange way, he proved how much he wanted that board. “Over that time spent in Uncle’s garage, I traced the outline of that beak-nosed
“In Hawaiian culture, we are taught not to ask questions. I can see how many see this
“Hilo is a place where it’s cool to have fruits and veggies in your yard, along with standing
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But Cliff wasn’t up and riding immediately on the lightning bolt. “I was eating shit,” he says, grinning. “It was such a hard board to surf, so instead I was standup bodyboarding for two years.”
Young Cliff worked his way from the inside breaks of Honoli’i to the outside, and when he made his way to Oahu for Kamehameha Schools in his teen years, he learned more about the hierarchy in surfing and who not to call uncle.
“My Dad didn’t want me to surf the North Shore at a young age, so one time I went to the West side, Makaha,” he says. “I can remember one session in particular where I almost ran into a little kid in the water. I asked him if he was ok and everything, and when I got back on the beach, I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going and I walked straight into the belly of a massive Hawaiian uncle. I said ‘oh sorry Uncle’, and he said ‘I’m not your Uncle. That boy, you hit him, I hit you’. It was a different vibe from what I was used to, sort of welcome to Makaha.”
“Growing up in Kamehameha Schools, I struggled,” Cliff says with a laugh. “My grades were less than stellar. I remember getting a C in Biology and a D in Chemistry, never thinking I’d eventually be in a Chem program along with being a lab teacher in college.”
From 2005-2012, Cliff attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he received a Bachelors of Science in Plant and Environmental Biotechnology, along with a Masters in Bioengineering.
It was at UH that he realized he could travel and “get paid for science,” and for the first time, he ventured outside Hawaii’s warm waters for academic purposes. This set the precedence for the globetrotting missions he would soon embark on. In 2012, Cliff was accepted into the University of California at San Diego, and for the first time in his life, he would live somewhere other than Hawaii. “I was thinking, wow I’m really doing this,” Cliff says. “I had a backpack, a duffel bag and I rolled up at the house I was living in, and had to tell my roommates that if there’s a little bit of juice left in the fridge, hey, I’m going to drink it. But I’ll go to the
store the next day and bring back a gallon. I was raised to respect food and to make food together, so I had to tell my roommates that’s how I was going to be.” During his second year at the UCSD, though he had reached a goal in receiving his Masters in Chemistry, the newness had worn off and the cultural differences began to resonate, like the fact that people wouldn’t say hello to each other in the street or the chilly lineup. “The level of individualism was unprecedented,” he says. “It was culture shock.” By his third year, after refusing to fall victim to the attrition rate, Cliff found beauty in the mental and emotional struggle. “The only way to get stronger is to face resistance, and that’s what really helped me appreciate the process,” he says. Today, Cliff is ready to pluck the fruit from the tree that started as a seed years prior, nearly complete with his PhD in Chemistry.
MERGING HIS PASSIONS In 2016, Cliff had a hand in a myriad of projects, like Surf Wasted, where he worked closely with surfboard manufacturers to create a short documentary shedding light on the alternative materials when creating “low-waste” surfboards, along with creating
pin tail with my eyes over and over. Never interrupting the conversation, I wondered why there were two lighting bolt logos overlapping each other, one red and the other black. I wondered how the rails went from so round to sharp from nose to the tail. The rainbow had me captivated since I first laid my eyes on her. Maybe unknowingly, I knew that I wasn’t there to ask for a surfboard. I was asking to be given a chance to surf. Uncle Gabe had seen that and honestly, I would have been stoked on the boogie board that the dog was chewing on. I’m just glad he decided to give me the lightning bolt.”
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“The project is wrapped up, and now I’m writing up my findings to present it to my colleagues, but in short we’re finding that surfers have a unique chemistry and unique bacteria versus people who don’t go into the ocean,” he says. “It’s been cool to see and show how nature influences humans, and it’s going to
shake how we see ourselves.” The overarching goal of the project has been to “inspire us to be better stewards.” While conducting such research, Cliff has been juggling other tasks and projects, and his Renaissance man moniker also indicates his clear understanding of time management. “People told me to choose between a life of surfing, a life of science and a life of filmmaking,” Cliff says. “That there’s not enough hours in the day to do it all, and I agree, there aren’t, but we forget how much time we waste doing other things. I eliminate the idea of weekends, and if a swell is coming, I’ll work through the night to have my work done so that I can get out there. My goal has been to merge it all: film, science and surfing, and so far it’s been a good challenge.” For the next few months, other than putting the final touches on his presentation for his
PhD, he’s working with VISSLA, Olukai, and others on items like recycling, sunscreen, and overall “having a conversation with people.”
“I HAVE TO STEP UP” With the Surfer Biome Project, Surf Wasted, sharing his scientific perspective in Island Earth and other notable projects, Cliff’s driving force has been to “be the guy that helps”. He says that back in the 1990s and early 2000s, Hawaii was known for localism, waves of consequence and respect, but in the past few years, “fighting for a purpose, coming from a place of scarcity, is cool,” and he’s looking up to those leading the charge, like Dustin Barca, Kala and Kamalei Alexander and others. “When you look at all the guys representing Hawaii, like Zeke Lau and Keanu Asing in surfing, we have Duane Desoto putting together youth empowerment, Barca is an ambassador for food security, guys doing Keiki contests...I’m
so proud of everyone. Hawaii used to be about getting poundings, but they’re shifting that intensity and it’s cool to care. That’s what keeps me diligent in what I’m doing, realizing that these guys are animals and I have to step it up.” Long term speaking, Cliff wants to return to Hawaii and see this new wave not only continue, but expand and thrive. “Ten years ago, if I would have tried to start a conversation about science, I feel like I would have been written off,” he says. “Of course I was just a kid, but now people are out there saying it’s cool to care. Surfer’s aren’t just seen as beach bums or stoners; there’s been a shift to a whole new perspective. And Hawaii, we’re not as isolated as we think. If we start talking about sustainability, we can put a flag in the ground and say this is what we’re doing to protect our place. We can become a model and empower ourselves.”
virtual reality expeditions of coral reefs, voicing his perspective in Island Earth, a film discussing genetically modified agriculture, and the Surfer Biome Project. The Surfer Biome Project’s goal has been to determine if routine exposure to the ocean has an effect on the microbial communities of the body. Cliff has been obtaining microbial swabs from surfers in different corners of the world, from Ireland to Hawaii and Chile to differentiate surfers from different regions based upon the bacteria and molecules found either on or in their bodies. His research not only caught the eyes of the surf media; the New York Times published a photo of Cliff wearing a lab coat, discussing his endeavour.
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ISLAND LENSMEN SHOWCASING THREE PHOTOGRAPHERS ENTRENCHED IN THE NEIGHBOR ISLANDS
DANE GRADY Scan Dane Grady’s portfolio, including mesmerizing aerial shots of mountains of water colliding into glorious explosions, mellow longboard surf sessions backlit by the golden sunset and moody perspectives of waves of consequence on the Oahu’s North Shore, and it’s hard to believe that his skill began with a waterproof disposable camera. “One day I picked one up at Foodland and took it along with me,” Dane says. “I was always deeply intrigued by nature from the get go, consumed by the elements and all the subtleties that embodied growing up at the beach. The idea of capturing, seeking and preserving that magic...that’s what got me into photography. Ever since that first camera, my photography became an outlet for me to create and express my connection with life outdoors.”
“ I would describe my photographic style as a blend of power and tranquility.
I seek out unfathomable backwash explosions, the poetic essence of a classic single fin and more.
” “I would describe my photographic style as a blend of power and tranquility. I seek out unfathomable backwash explosions, the poetic essence of a classic single fin and more. In whatever scene I choose to work with, I strive to embed imagination and wonder in the viewer. I also love backlit scenes. I’m a sucker for that evening light.”
“My tools include a full frame 5D3 and a variety of lenses including a 28mm, 50mm, 70-20mm, and 400mm. I’m also fortunate to have friends who are pilots and can include a Hughes 500 helicopter in my arsenal when the stars align.”
“Kauai is luckily still country, and there are many inaccessible areas. It is also different because there is a grassroot protocol, as far as shooting surfing here goes. Even the local pro surfers fly to Oahu and create media on the North Shore, out of respect and preservation. Our spots are well protected and cherished. With that being said, I believe it has steered me to pursue a fine art approach to my photography, rather than solely focusing on surfing in general.”
“I almost got taken out by an aggressive male humpback whale while shooting way out in the deep blue back in 2011. These two rough toothed dolphins came up to me from out of nowhere and escorted a pod of 7 whales right past me. The big boy in the pod came right at me and slapped his fluke in the water about 10 feet away then kicked off really fast. Quite a humbling experience. I was high for months.”
“My favorite part of the photo process has to be chasing warm light, watching a swell peak, the magic, the unknown. The places my camera has brought me defines my life and shapes who I am. Constantly surrounded and in pursuit of those special moments is happiness.”
DAYANIDHI DAS Back in 2016, when we were looking at cover options for our Grom Issue, one photo stood out above the rest. It was Maui supergrom Jackson Bunch framed mid rotation, enveloped by a beam of light as a storm filled the sky. “I saw this black cloud moving across the sky and it split the sun in half,” Dayanidhi Das said when we interviewed him. “I realized that if anything went down in the following minutes, it would be epic.” Dayanidhi has been shooting in Maui waters for years, capturing these epic moments and creating a portfolio overflowing with images from Maui’s crop of talent, young and old. Not only is he a good source for photographic knowledge; he can also attest to the incredible pool of talent coming out of the island in the years to come.
Tai Van Dyke
“Shooting the groms came naturally. I raised my niece and nephew, and I also assist in out of kids camps and I always feel and felt like a big kid surfing, laughing, adventuring. I'm sure most islanders feel the same way, I've just been blessed and fortunate that I have a camera, a vehicle and the availability to shoot so often. Groms have big dreams, but what’s stronger is the purity of surfing with friends, rooting them on and stoked to be in the moment doing what they love. My favorite part is getting to bring them to gnarly surf spots (Laperouse, Freights, Honolua) for their first times and getting to witness their growth, all the while knowing that one day those new spots will be their main breaks where they will be fearlessly ripping, and I get to be there from the beginning, in the pocket capturing and encouraging. That is a dream job if I’ve ever heard of one.”
“I grew up doing martial arts, loving Bruce Lee. Two of his quotes that I love are ‘no way as way’ and ‘don't think, feel!’ I would say these quotes fit my photography style perfectly. Shooting with Matt Meola, Albee Layer, Jackson Bunch and others - all of them being freestyle surfers - I would say I have a free style, completely immersed in the present and ready.” “I shoot with the Nikon D750/D810 and love the 24-70 and 70200 lenses.” “What makes Maui different is its obvious beauty, the tight-knit family surf community and of course the endless amount of upcoming crazy charging grom rippers who are so greedy to be the best surfers in wave conditions where quality and quantity are miles less than the
mecca. This makes it a great challenge, and when you finally do get that shot, it's that much more valuable.” “Maui groms are hungry and united, screaming support to their peers on every wave. All generations from Micah Nickens to Matt Meola, Jackson Bunch and younger are always cheering for each other, pushing each other into waves, giving instead of taking. It’s a brewing pot of badasses!”
“ I grew up doing martial arts, loving Bruce Lee. Two of his quotes that I love are ‘No way as way’ and ‘don't think, feel!’ I would say these quotes fit my photography style perfectly.
EHITU KEELING Crackling lava seeping from the earth, snowboarding down a snowcapped mountain, and Shane Dorian and CJ Kanuha sliding through blue water barrels: Ask Ehitu Keeling what sets his portfolio apart from others, and he’ll point to the fact that the Big Island has 8-10 of the 13 major climates, which creates a spectrum of scenes to shoot. “You can shoot surf photography and underwater photos because there’s always clear water,” the Big Island native says. “You can shoot photos of the lava flow eruptions, or also take pictures of the night sky because we have such low light pollution, even shoot some snowboarding as well. All you have to do to get to each climate zone is drive.”
to be on it nowadays because you have to be the one to wake â€œ You have up and commit to getting the shot while everyone else sleeps. â€?
“I got started shooting pictures ever since I was in 2nd grade. I used disposable cameras, taking pictures of our family camping trips and sunsets and all the fish my Dad and uncles would catch. Also in High School, we had a photography class and a dark room to learn to process and develop our film. From that point, I was a fan of photography.” “My style of photography is about capturing a moment in time. I also like having backdrops or foregrounds, giving a depth of perspective. Also, you have to be on it nowadays because you have to be the one to wake up and commit to getting the shot while everyone else sleeps.” “The camera bodies that I use to shoot are Canon 7D Mark I and II. I also use the Canon 5D Mark III for my landscape and nightscape photography. For my low light shooting, the 5D Mark III is awesome, and to capture the Milky Way, I use a Canon L-Series 24mm 1.4 aperture Prime lens. I also have the 100-400mm L-Series lens for shooting surf photography from the land. I use a Taro water housing that was given to me by Dom Derosa, who saw the potential in my surf photography and said I would do damage in the water with this
waterhousing, and I use a 50mm and a 10mm Canon lens for that waterhousing.”
“I love shooting in the water, because that's where I feel the most comfortable. There’s some really good young talent coming out of the Big Island, and of course a name that comes to mind is Brodi Sale. I remember taking him all over Big Island to surf all sorts of different waves. There are a couple other rippers and chargers as well who call the Big Island home, like Luke Heflin and Ocean Donaldson.”
“I would like to thank my cousin CJ Kanuha, who has been the one to introduce me to the surf industry as well as Shane Dorian for helping me out as well! Big thanks goes to Jeromy Hansen and Mokulele Airlines for sponsoring me and taking care of my ohana throughout the years, and mahalo to Mike Brophy and RVCA for the support as well!”
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bushes. Gravity had taken over, threatening to flip the vehicle, and just before we hit the bushes Jeromy regained control and whipped the truck back onto the road. “How’s that?! Jeromy yelled, a storm of dust surrounding us. “I love that little ramp!” As we continued on the dirt road towards Jeromy’s house, situated up the mountain from Kapalua Airport, he continued to talk about his passions. Namely, surfing (“I’ve scored some triple barrels at Honolua recently”) and riding the trails on his dirtbike (“I hit an oil patch recently and slid out, it's all good though”) and it's obvious that even though Jeromy is nearly 40 years old, he’s half that age at heart, which has kept him active and healthy and has also given him the idea to sponsor over two dozen grom surfers, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford travel for competition from one island to the next.
JEROMY HANSEN By Cash Lambert Photos Adam Klevin Simply put, we were speeding. Both Jeromy Hansen - who was in control of the Toyota Tacoma - and I understood our speed was reaching a dangerous level, but I refused to protest and Jeromy, with a big grin, kept his foot on the gas pedal. Bumping along a dirt road on Maui’s West side in the summer afternoon, we launched up an unpaved incline, and once the land leveled, the truck vaulted forward, seemingly mid air for a blink of an eye. When the wheels touched down on the dirt, the tail of the truck slid out to our left, towards a row of thick 62
“I began working with Mokulele Airlines in 2013, and the marketing team was shooting around ideas,” Jeromy said earlier in the day, as we sat at a beachside restaurant eating overpriced fish tacos with Lanai and Molokai crowding the clear horizon. Jeromy, sporting a red Mokuele Airlines t-shirt, was the first to greet me earlier at the airport after I touched down in one of Mokulele’s comfy airplanes that features enormous windows, providing glimpses of Hawaii’s rugged topography. “I said why don’t we pick up kids in the local community who need help traveling interisland?” That’s exactly what Mokulele Airlines, a commuter airline
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marketing and social media, also scheduling sponsored surfers to and from contests, along with organizing team houses.
that’s based in Kona on the Big Island, did. Though Jeromy is humble when discussing it, it’s an unparalleled and unprecedented act worth patting him and Mokulele on the back for. “The first two kids we sponsored were the Macedo’s, then we picked up Kahanu Delovio. That’s how the surf team began. Now, we sponsor 29 kids throughout the islands.”
“The young talent is pretty amazing right now,” he said. “Jackson Bunch, he’s only 13 and riding waves 5 times over his head backside. The kids here in Hawaii are a skip away from going to Indonesia and Australia. Plus, keiki contests are maxed out all over the Islands. In the coming years, the World Surf League is going to see a lot of it.”
Surrounded by tourists eating on their vacation, I finished my fish tacos, and leaned forward. “You travel to the contests with the kids you sponsor too, serving as the Surf Team Coach,” I said. “And that’s on your own time. What fuels you to do so much for the up and coming generation?” “Just being myself, I remember how it was a struggle when you’re young and want to do contests,” he said without hesitation. “I’m here to help them in any way I can, whether that’s taking pictures, getting them to and from the contests or just being another voice besides the parents. And the parents, they thank me and say things like they wouldn't have been able to do the contest without me. We save them a lot of costs, and the team riders get to meet up with other families and other groms.” “In California, the East Coast, Australia...families can jump in the car and ping anywhere,” I said. “But not Hawaii.”
I waited for Jeromy to finish his fish tacos, and then asked what he does when the sea goes flat. “Dirtbike! I also live on a few acres,” he said. “Had chickens but a mongoose ate them all. I’ve got pineapples, veggies, everything. Want to see ‘em?”
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“Right, I’m sure we’ve saved the families something like $10,000 a year,” Jeromy said. “I actually wish I could go back in time and get what these kids got. Their equipment is insane...when I was their age, I was sanding down a middle fin to make the board looser because it was glassed in. My shortboard was a 6’2”, too.” Jeromy grew up in San Clemente, CA, during “the era where the older guys weren’t afraid to pound the kids, where you had to wait your turn until you got respect.” Other than a stint in Costa Rica, Jeromy spent much of his time
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in the Golden State, but now Maui is his hanai home. “I appreciate Maui more so than Oahu, since Honolulu has that Los Angeles vibe,” he said. “The Big Island is more affordable than the other islands. On Maui, I’m in the middle of both Oahu and the Big Island. Plus, we don’t have the vog here, and there’s fairly light crowds. I can surf by myself if I want to on a given day. But here the West side, it is the most expensive spot to live, other than Kauai.” Today, he’s the station manager at Kapalua Airport and works with Mokulele’s
With that, we were off on the dirt road, going too fast, leaving the earth in his Tacoma, crashing back down in an explosion of dust and spinning out. As he gave me a tour of the property, which featured a million dollar view of Lanai, Molokai and the sea, I asked what the future held, other than continuing to provide opportunities and supporting the younger generations through Mokulele. He stared at the horizon, and then turned to me with a grin. “I’m turning 40, and I’m not going to call it halfway to dead,” he said. “I’m ready to charge as hard as I ever have. I feel like I'm in my 20s and I just want to surf big waves.”
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SAMMY GRAY By Kyveli Diener
The next generation is next level. Groms under 17 are proving to be just as committed and daring as veterans on the Championship Tour, with a fresh and unstoppable attitude on top of it. Lucky for us, a lot of the most impressive up-andcomers were born and raised in the islands, and they’re ready to show the world that title winners like Derek Ho, John John Florence, and Andy Irons were no fluke. One young gun following right in the Irons brothers’ footsteps is Sammy Gray, a laid-back kid from Hanalei who has a fierce rail game and an innate need to be riding deep in any barrel he can find. Billabong noticed his talent and picked up the Kauaian before he even hit his teens. Paling around with - and regularly competing against - Team Billabong’s other outrageously bright rising stars is driving Gray further in his performances, giving him a firm support system as he steps up his air game to match his rail work and tube riding.
We last saw Gray in competition on Oahu at the Pipe Pro Junior, where he cracked the semifinals but was ousted by close friend and teammate, Finn McGill. The 5th this year is an astronomical leap from his 25th place finish in the same contest last year, proving this kid is going places faster than a speeding bullet. The local ripper answered a few questions for us from his first trip to Fiji, and he showed us that not only does he know how to keep surfing fun and mellow even in the heat of competition, but he also can be trusted to keep the lid airtight on his favorite spots and protect those sacred sessions with the boys. Tell me how you first started surfing, Sammy. I first started surfing by my dad pushing me in at little waves
all over Kauai’s North Shore. I don’t remember my first wave, I was pretty young. What’s your favorite maneuver and what are you currently working to improve? My favorite maneuver is definitely getting barreled. I’ve been working on my air game a lot lately. What are you goals in surfing? To make a living out of surfing and have fun doing it. What do you do for training? I mostly just stretch with my mom, run the beach, and do breathing exercises. When did you first get signed with Billabong?
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I first signed with Billabong at 9 years old, so I’ve been riding with them for five years now. Billabong is my first sponsor. What’s it like being a part of Team Billabong? It’s awesome! Everyone is really supportive and welcoming. Who are you closest to on the team and who on the team are your biggest inspirations? Some good friends of mine on the Billabong team are Brodi Sale, Ocean Macedo, and Finn McGill. My biggest inspirations on the team would definitely be the Moniz brothers. What was the most fun part of the Billabong Grom camps on Oahu? Watching everyone go over the falls at Keiki! What are your favorite breaks in Hawaii, any island? It’s a secret! What are your favorite places to travel to surf? The North Shore of Oahu and Mexico. You’re currently in Fiji — how’s that trip and is it impacting your surfing? My friend and I are on a surf trip in Fiji with my mom. I’m not sure yet how it will change me but I’m having a great time so far. What’s in your Fiji quiver for the trip?
I only brought two boards: one 5’8 and a 5’6. You’ve listed Andy Irons as one of your biggest inspirations. Tell us about what the Irons Brothers Pine Trees Classic does for Kauai. This contest is one of, if not the, biggest surfing event on Kauai. It brings everyone together and it’s just as much of a celebration as a surf contest. How old were you the first time you competed in it and how did you do? I was 7 when I first competed in the Iron Brothers Pine Trees Classic, and I think I placed 6th that year. I’m not in it this year because it’s a 12 and under contest and you can’t do it if you compete in HSA or NSSA, but I was still hanging out at the contest all day. What’s your proudest moment in surfing so far? Surfing perfect waves with just the boys out. Final words for the Freesurf audience? Hit the DM, @sammythegray!
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LMNT ALL-SPORTS MONOPOD WHO: Michael Webb, Keyan Webb, inventors and creators of SURFPOD WHAT: The first and only hands-free to hands-on monopod for casual capture devices WHERE: Designed and tested on the North Shore of Oahu WHEN: 2013 - present. Launched on Kickstarter in 2017 WHY: Makes it easier for people to use a GoPro camera to record their action activities The invention of GoPro revolutionized our ability to record ourselves doing the things we love, but there’s a challenge when you need your hands free. So over the years, people have had to DIY their own inventions, like Michael and Keyan Webb with SurfPod. “I was your typical Seal Beach rat growing in up the 80's,” said Michael Webb, co-creator of SurfPod. “As the son of Jack Webb, a big wave pioneer in Hawaii back in the 50's, I became a second generation surfer and lifelong devotee. I’ve moved back and forth from Maui, and in 2012 I called the North Shore home. To help support the high cost of living on Oahu, my sons and I started a window cleaning business. We focused only on beach houses in the 7-mile miracle and eventually we obtained clients like the Volcom and Billabong team houses. This gave us time to surf in between jobs. One day my son Keyan approached
me with an idea. He had just got a new GoPro and wanted to use it out surfing. What he described was basically ‘a selfie stick for the ocean’. That started a project that would eventually become our company SurfPod and the invention we call LMNT. “This turned out to be a really difficult project. Our focus was to address these issues and still make it fun and easy to use, and after many prototypes, we finally had a good working device. Then in 2017, we received our patent and the product was tested snowboarding, surfing, hiking and diving. It was so useful for other sports that we decided the name had to reflect all the different elements that it would come up against, so we called it LMNT. It is the first and only all sports monopod for use with casual capture devices like GoPro. “It was made to help people do the things they love to do. We at SurfPod ask for your support at this time by subscribing on our website Surfpod.surf to pre-order to your own LMNT and finally complete your GoPro!”
Photo by Brandon Smith
E V E N T S Keoki
U P C O M I N G
Waikiki Beach / Queens MATSON MENUHUNE SURF FEST AUGUST 19-20 DUKE’S WAIKIKI AMATEUR LONGBOARD AND SUP SURF CLASSIC AUGUST 21 - 23 DUKE’S WAIKIKI $5,000 PRO LONGBOARD CLASSIC AUGUST 21 - 23 DUKE’S WAIKIKI OCEAN MILE SWIM AUGUST 26 GOING TO THE DOGS SURFUR CONTEST DATE TBD GREAT HAWAIIAN LEGENDS LUAU AUGUST 26 - WAIKIKI AQUARIUM
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16TH ANNUAL DUKE'S OCEANFEST, WAIKIKI'S PREMIER OCEAN SPORTS FESTIVAL, SET FOR AUGUST 19-27 The 16th Annual Duke’s OceanFest, a week of ocean activities such as surfing, paddleboard racing, swimming, volleyball and more, kicks off on August 19th in Waikiki’s blue waters. “It’s our 16th year honoring the life and legacy of Duke Kahanamoku, and we’re thrilled that 2017 is shaping up to be one of our biggest events ever,” said Chris Colgate, co-chair of Duke’s Oceanfest. The competitive surfing facet of the festival - the Duke’s Waikiki Longboard Classic - begins Monday, August 21st, and features an amateur and pro division. This year, a $5,000 prize purse is offered in the Pro division, which is open to amateurs as well. The Matson Menehune Surf Contest on August 19-20th provides the opportunity for menehune to showcase their evolving skill in playful waves. Along with promoting the legacy of Duke, the festival aims to promote the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation, which last year gave out “close to $200,000 in grants and scholarships to student athletes, and other organizations,”according to Colgate. To sign up for the Duke’s Waikiki Ocean Mile swim on Saturday, August 26 or the Matson Menehune Surf Contest, visit Dukesoceanfest.com/applications!
U kuleles by Joe Green
Each one of Joe Green’s 100% handmade ukulele’s takes over 2 months to create from the first cut to the last string, and comes with the heart and dedication it takes to make such a beautiful instrument. When you play a Haleiwa Ukulele, you will feel, and hear instantly the passion that has gone into the creation process. Many Haleiwa Ukuleles are crafted from salvaged & reclaimed wood, including Koa, Mango, Opuma & Ipe. The Ipe wood used from the floors of Surf n Sea, was reclaimed, reshaped and made into the fret boards and bridges of
many of the Haleiwa Ukulele’s. The interior cedar bracing & block is part of Joes home renovation. What some see as throw away garbage, Joe see’s value and re-usable materials. This means that when you purchase a Haleiwa Ukulele, you are literally owning a piece of Surf n Sea, Haleiwa and Hawaii!!
JoeGreenUkulele.com | 808.637.7873
Available at : Surf N Sea & Wy’s Gallery in Haleiwa and Ukulele Puapua & Pelepele Pens in Waikiki
Ricky Peters Photo Bobby Kaupu
76-6246 Ali`i Dr. Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740 (808) 326-1771
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that we don’t want to put into the landfill or incinerator and they have clients that want to use the Ocean Plastic. We give them the Ocean Plastic and they help fund our organization through grant programs along with giving us access to a network of influencers.
PLASTIC AWAKENING HOW TO SLOW PLASTIC POLLUTION THROUGH ACTS OF SERVICE, INFLUENCE AND EDUCATION ACROSS THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS
By Kahi Pacarro The access to influencers allows us to show them what is happening to Hawaii’s beaches. We show the degradation as a result of Industry’s overproduction and the consumers over consumption. The collaboration has allowed us to speak directly with heads of big brands like Adidas, Corona, and In-Bev. We believe if you can change the culture of a brand, you can change their products. The proof is in the pudding. Adidas has replaced millions of pounds of virgin plastics in their supply chain in favor of recycled plastic. They have reduced packaging and eliminated plastic bags from all their branded stores. They
Going on 6 years now, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii has been taking plastics washing ashore and turning it into a valuable commodity. Seeing value in waste is an ethos within our organization and to date, through collaborative efforts, we’ve sent 222,283 pounds of Ocean Plastic to be recycled. Our Ocean Plastic endeavors started in late 2010 after picking up tons of plastic and feeling guilt in burning it at H-Power. Method, a company whose products probably adorn your kitchen or bathroom sinks, makes eco-friendly cleaning products and packages them in cool-looking bottles made from recycled plastic. Method took our Ocean Plastic and recycled it into a limited edition soap bottle and in the dawn of the plastic pollution revolution, they set the bar from a corporate standpoint. The goal was to show that if they could use Ocean Plastic in their supply chain, other companies should at least be able use recycled plastic. Method focused on reducing and eventually eliminating virgin plastics in their packaging and the success led to their company being purchased in 2013 by a large conglomerate, but it also meant the eventual phase out of our Ocean Plastic Program partnership.
Fast forward to 2017 and our Ocean Plastics Program has evolved into a collaboration with a brand named Parley for the Oceans. We’ve been working with Parley since 2013 and hold the distinction of being their first collaborator. The relationship is simple: we have tons of Ocean Plastic
are making over a million pairs of shoes out of Ocean Plastic recovered from a recycling program in the Maldives and a giant gill net collected by Sea Shepherd. Now Corona is on the stage and their recent
MOKU rider: Edrick Baldwin
Rentals, Lessons & Sales Meeting All Your Surfing Needs With Aloha! Now three convenient locations... Waikiki, Haleâ€™iwa, & Long Beach NY Look for us this summer Playa Jobos, Isabella PR!
HAWAII’S LARGEST, LOCAL SURF MEDIA SOURCE
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1,000,000 video views monthly 20,000 Printed Issues 65,000 + users on Facebook 88,000 + users on Instagram 5,000 + subscribers on Youtube
launch to keep 100 islands protected through education and beach cleanups is a commitment that will sustain beyond their investment. A recent work surf trip took us to the Maldives where we educated people such as Chris Hemsworth (who played Thor), Ramon Navarro, Greg Long, Diego Luna, MIA, Nashla Bogaert, Anja Rubik, Maryna Linchuk, and Juana Burga. Being able to influence the influential means pushing the needle towards the plastic awakening. It means people realizing that their actions are affecting our beaches regardless of where they’re living. Just like the butterfly fluttering its wings and initiating a hurricane that happens thousands of miles away, our actions are having an effect. Let’s make it easier for brands - including those in the surf industry - to do the right thing by demanding quality, value, long lasting, good design and less waste. The Ocean Plastic has not slowed arriving to our shores; in fact, it’s increased. We see you out there helping not only through becoming better consumers, but through actually cleaning up the beaches. Hat’s off to you, anonymous beach cleaner. We now have the ability to include you in this Ocean Plastic collaboration.
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We have set up a statewide network of groups that are cleaning our beaches and collecting recyclable Ocean Plastic. You can now join them in their cleanup efforts along with save the Ocean Plastic you find when doing your own cleanups to deliver to our partners. This is especially relevant on neighbor islands where landfills are near capacity and there is no incinerator. Our Ocean Plastics recycling program gets the debris off the island, keeps it out of the landfill and rebirths it into valuable products. On Hawaii Island you can contact Hawaii Wildlife Fund. On Maui you can contact Sharkastics, Hawaii Wildlife Fund, and Surfrider. On Molokai you can contact the Nature Conservancy. On Lanai you can contact Pulama Lanai. On Oahu you can contact us, Surfrider, Kokua Hawaii Foundation, or 808 Cleanups. On Kauai you can contact Surfrider or the B-Rad Foundation. More information is available on our website at sustainablecoastlineshawaii.com under the Ocean Plastics tab. Kahi Pacarro is the Executive Director of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.
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WSL / Cestari
INDUSTRY NOTES In June, Matt Wilkinson won the Outerknown Fiji Pro, Stop No. 5 on the 2017 World Surf League Championship Tour, after an action-packed Finals Day that saw the world’s best surfers battle in pumping waves at Cloudbreak. Wilkinson’s win came after a hard-fought Final against 2017 CT Rookie Connor O’Leary, and triumphs over 2017 World Title contenders Michel Bourez and Julian Wilson. “We’ve had an awesome week that started with pumping waves and then had some lay days,” said Wilkinson. “If you were going to have lay days anywhere, this is the place to do it. Happiness translates to results.” Wilkinson grabbed coveted yellow Jeep Leader Jersey with 26,750 points on the leaderboard. His win advanced him past former frontrunner and reigning WSL Champion John John Florence as well as Jordy Smith, Adriano de Souza and Owen Wright. “I am so stoked,” continued Wilkinson. “It definitely feels good to pick up momentum rather than to have the yellow Jeep Jersey to lose. Now I have it to keep. Thanks to everyone – all my support crew and everyone that has helped me.”
The North Shore’s own Zoe McDougall claimed a Junior title along with a win at the inaugural Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing presented by Hurley, held in waistshoulder high waves at Dairy Beach in Durban. "I'm so stoked, it's the perfect way to end the week and I couldn't have asked for anything better,” she said. “I was struggling in this Final and was pretty tired from competing all day today and all day yesterday. This was probably my worst heat of the week, but I tried to pull it together and luckily, it was close, but I got there. Now I'm just going to cruise and have some fun, maybe surf some different spots before going to Cape Town!"
Nixon has partnered with team rider and professional surfer Leila Hurst to create a collaborative capsule that highlights the Hawaii native’s favorite Nixon silhouettes and personal style. For the Leila Hurst Collection, Leila brings her touch to new surf model, The Base Tide, as well as iconic Nixon silhouettes, The Kensington and The Medium Time Teller. Bringing an updated look to classic shapes, The Kensington and The Medium Time Teller are each finished with an embossed star print on the dials. The three-piece collection is tied together with soft pink and gold color accents. Visit Nixon.com for more information. 78
SURFING - PADDLING = MORE SURFING
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In Memoriam: John Severson By Mike Latronic
The man who first introduced surf media to the world by created paintings, films and photographs depicting the surfing lifestyle died on May 26 at his home on the island of Maui. John Severson was 83. The more I learned about Mr. John Severson, the more I admired the man. The California native was unquestionably the pioneer of surfing media with his launch of Surfer Magazine in 1962 and in the words of prominent writer and surfer Sam George, “Before John Severson, there was no ‘surf media,’ no ‘surf industry’ and no ‘surf culture’ — at least not in the way we understand it today.” Alas, there is a huge footnote to this. Severson was an artist. His desire to reflect and share the unique world of surfing and the culture through the creation of Surfer Magazine was propelled by a distaste for the misleading stereotypes that certain Hollywood movies portrayed of surfing in the era. Severson’s desire was to give surfers and surfing the credit they deserve and do so authentically – a value that I as a writer and publisher hold closely and dearly. After selling the iconic Surfer Magazine in the early 1970s, the artist returned to Hawaii to pursue his artwork, relax with family and be close to the beloved sea. Core surfers were indeed so very lucky to have this man be the leader of surf media from its early beginnings, a man of the sea who loved the purity of the sport and sought to share it authentically, to share the heart of wave riding and beach culture.
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Dane Grady captures the glorious explosion that occurs when raw ocean swells meet the rugged coastlines of Hawaii.