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Ezekiel Lau Highline Performance Boardshorts
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mojo Inspired by Josh Moniz, the “Mojo” is a high-performance hybrid design that will keep you surfing fast and dynamic, even in smaller, low-power waves. The bottom rocker is relaxed with an accelerated tail kick, and the single to double concave is noticeably deep. The wide point of the outline is pushed back a bit, creating a narrower nose and a smooth tail curve with very little hip or bump. Ideal for waist to head-high waves, this board gets in and moving quickly. Unlike many hybrids, it drives vertically up the face, into the lip, and beyond.
Available in squash, round and swallow tail designs.
HI-PER Kerry Tokoro’s Hyper Model is the perfect go-to board for high-performance surfing in shoulder-high and larger waves. A generous amount of continuous bottom curve makes this model loose, forgiving and responsive. The bottom features a shallow single concave with a moderate double concave, and an outline that is lean and trim with a narrower nose and tail. Designed for vertical surfing in and around the pocket, this board flows easily from rail to rail, generating speed with every turn. Available in squash, round, swallow and round-pin tail designs.
M-7 Kerry Tokoro’s M-7 Model, is the perfect go-to board for those days when the waves get too big or powerful for your everyday shortboard. The clean lines, sophisticated bottom contours and rounded pintail design combine to make this board fast and loose, yet solid and stable. The bottom features a fair amount of rocker with a mix of single to double concave flowing to a slight vee off of the tail. This allows the board to fit into steep sections of the wave and keeps it feeling loose and maneuverable. If you’re looking for a step-up design that won’t sacrifice your performance, the M-7 is the right board for you.
ADVANCED COMPOSITE MATRIX
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In late September, a solid NW swell made its maiden voyage to the reef at Pipeline for the opeing day of the season. North Shore local, Barron Mamiya, took advantage of the near perfect conditions in hopes that it's just the beginning of another solid winter season. Photo: Keoki
C O N T E N T S
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16 Free Parking
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128 Grom Report
24 Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Note
44 Equal Pay
142 Industry Notes
48 Surf Art
126 Lifeguard Tips
146 Last Look
26 RENTALS LESSONS SALES
Ryan "Chachi" Craig
F E A T U R E S
VANS TRIPLE CROWN BREAKDOWN
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Moku Rider Alicia Kelley Photo Matt Kuji
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N O T E
By Keoki Saguibo
The winter season is upon us and once again it’s that time of year when the world's best surfers, the media and the spectators converge on the North Shore of Oahu aka the “Seven Mile Miracle,” to be a part of surfing history. The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is considered by many to be the most prestigious and meaningful series of events within the WSL world tour calendar and dozens if not hundreds of athletes will make their claim in some of the world's heaviest waves for points, cash and prestige. This triple header has been a massive part of surfing competition and surf culture since 1982 – that’s closing in on almost four decades where dreams have been made and by that same coin broken. Whether you're recounting the glitz and glam of the 80s and 90s or the newer more modern trends of the last few years and this year, what still rings true is the pure essence of competitive surfing mixed with the raw power of Hawaii’s near shore waters. During these next six weeks, the Seven Mile Miracle experiences its homecoming season: The World Surf League’s Vans Triple Crown has arrived and this special edition of Freesurf Magazine will provide you with a guide of what goes on within and during the event season. Freesurf compiles the stories that make these events such a prestigious part of surfing- from athlete’s yarns, spot checks, qualifying scenarios and the initiative put forward by the community to help the events become more sustainably run, Freesurf has got the inside scoop.
With the help of surfers, the community, nonprofits, and through WSL Hawai'i-sanctioned events, this year has taken a step forward in the right direction. But with natural factors such as heavy erosion along North Shore beaches plans have evolved to include erosion prevention as well. The six weeks on the North Shore serves as a melting pot for many and will constantly have a hold on the surfing culture. The top 44 of the WSL World Tour surfers are present, hoping to secure a world title victory or requalification in which the final event, The Billabong Pipeline Masters, is the last stop of the year. Besides the elite Championship Tour there are upwards of 300 competitors all fighting to get into the top ten qualifying spots during this last stop of 2018. This will be decided in the other two jewels – The Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa and the Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach. Let’s not forget all the other visiting surfers and locals alike who are not competing in the events, but are here in Hawai'i to simply experience the Vans Triple Crown as well as the world class surf Hawai'i has to offer. We come together in this small stretch of coastline, a place that has undeniably affected the sport of surfing and like tradition, has its roots sown into the sand. A place where dreams of victory are still as fresh as they were over 35 years ago.
E D I T O R ’ S
VA N S T R I P L E C R O W N B R E A K D O W N
After an arduous year of chasing points around the globe towards the number one spot on the coveted WSL Championship Tour, the Holy Grail of competitive surfing, it all comes down to the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. The international field of tour athletes and Qualifying Series competitors with back to back (QS 10000) events at Haleiwa and Sunset Beach, qualification dreams can be made or shattered within a span of a few weeks. The last jewel of the Vans Triple Crown, the Billabong Pipe Masters is also the last stop for the Top 44. Competitors are on edge. For some the stakes couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be higher, an entire career may hang in the balance, either to qualify or say goodbye to the dream of World title hopes and the lucrative sponsorship deals that entails.
Considered the "high-performance" wave of the Vans Triple Crown, Haleiwa can be playful under 6' but when the waves reach above the 8' threshold, survival as well as fitness play a vital role in making a heat.
VA N S T R I P L E C R O W N B R E A K D O W N
The Hawaiian Pro at Ali’i Beach Park in Haleiwa is a caldron of intensity. And, then there is the wave itself. The break at Haleiwa is a study in contradictions. Haleiwa holds the un-official title as the “high-performance” event of the Vans Triple Crown, and when blessed with a 4-6' west-northwest swell with light south east winds it can be he picture of a dream wave. A prime example of this was in 2008, when under grey skies and intermittent rain, a light offshore breeze groomed the powerful right-hander to wave pool like perfection. Tahiti’s Michel Bourez weaved through dreamy head-high tubes and punctuated his rides with unparalleled power hacks to his maiden Hawaiian Pro victory. However, when the swell ratchets up a few feet and is funneling in from a more northerly direction, “high-performance” is quickly thrown out the window and “survival” becomes the name of the game.
Bay. When large north swells plow through the break the accompanying surge is desperate to find an exit. Where at Sunset you have a massive channel, or Pipeline the adjacent Ehukai sandbar, Haleiwa has no release point to dissipate the incredible energy that comes with a large swell. In turn, that energy has no other option but to flow straight back through the break in a ferocious current pulling northward to Puaena Point. In competition, strategic positioning in the lineup is crucial to get the waves with the best scoring potential, and even with the priority system, jockeying is a constant. During a decent swell, competitors are paddling non-stop against the current just to avoid one of the most feared situations of the North Shore, being caught inside by a rogue Haleiwa set. It takes a good amount of experience and luck to know how to pick off scorable waves while fighting the relentless rip.
Compared to Sunset Beach or even Pipeline, the break at Haleiwa is wedged into a relatively small nook of coastline. The wave breaks over a shallow reef that pops up abruptly from the deep waters of Waialua 28
Spectator Tips • Seating is widely available on the beach and on the grass. Please be mindful of the camera towers and don’t sit under or on the bars of the scaffolding. • Stay off and away from the sharp rocks on either end of the beach. Waves are known to crash against these rocks and could cause injury. • Parking is available at the Haleiwa Harbor and along Haleiwa Road. • Restrooms are located on either west or north end of the beach park. • The name of the beach Ali’i means royalty so please respect the beach and the beach park. There are multiple trash bins in the area so take care of your trash.
VA N S T R I P L E C R O W N B R E A K D O W N
The Vans World Cup of Surfing is held at Sunset Beach, one of the most powerful and challenging waves on the planet. As the last qualifier event of the 2018 WSL Qualifying Series, tension is high for the athletes on the cusp of qualifying for the 2019 Championship Tour.
WSL / Keoki
WSL / Heff
VA N S T R I P L E C R O W N B R E A K D O W N
WSL / Keoki
WSL / Heff
The second jewel of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, this world-famous big wave venue showcases the extraordinary level of fitness each surfer must possess, since the waves are spread across a very large playing field. The Vans World Cup of Surfing is held at Sunset Beach, one of the most powerful and challenging waves on the planet. As the last qualifier event of the 2018 WSL Qualifying Series, tension is high for the athletes on the cusp of qualifying for the 2019 tour. Considered the proving grounds for modern day power surfing, Sunset is one of the longest running events in pro surfing history and a true mark of achievement of each champion. Most surfers who ride big waves regularly would consider Sunset Beach one of the most consistent, powerful, challenging and exhilarating locations in the world. Even on smaller days, Sunset Point can be packed with power, but on days over 6' it becomes a different animal entirely. After 10' and into the 15' range, the true glory and challenge of Sunset becomes apparent.
A wide band of beach makes Sunset a fun place for families, just be wary of the shorebreak as it has been known to sweep people off their feet and into the impact zone within seconds. Sunset Beach is a dominant right hand break ideal for high performance, big wave, and power surfing. The reef pulls in any direction swell ranging from the west to the north east and can break from 2-15ft before closing out. The West Bowl at Sunset is where the wave is hollowest and most critical.
Spectator Tips • There will be no competition on Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd. • Parking for the Vans World Cup is located across and along Kamehameha Hwy. • Stay out of freshly planted vegetation in the area. It helps with beach erosion. • Stay off the sand dunes and uneven grades. • Watch our for high washing waves, especially at high tides. Children and personal belongings could be swept in the strong rip current. • Bring a pair of binoculars because the break is about 100 yards out so sea. • Please take your own trash.
WSL / Ryan Chachi Craig
VA N S T R I P L E C R O W N B R E A K D O W N
The final stop of the Vans Triple Crown, the last stop of the WSL World Tour, and considered the break of breaks, Pipeline has played a crucial role in surfing history. From crowning champions to iconic rides, this is the spot to which all other spots are compared.
WSL / Cestari
WSL / Poullenot
VA N S T R I P L E C R O W N B R E A K D O W N
WSL / Heff
WSL / Cestari
Considered the queen of surf spots, Pipeline has made its claim as the most famous wave on the planet. To the extent that other waves around the world are measured up to its power, hollowness, and prestige. For generations, Pipeline has played a vital role in crowing champions since its inception to competitive surfing in 1971. Today, multiple world champions have been crowned on the shores of Pipeline and is still considered the most sought after surf break. For the Billabong Pipe Masters, be prepared to see the world's top 34 surfers do battle for world titles and requalification hopes. This is the last stop of the WSL Championship Tour and the most prestigious of all three events. Jeremy Flores of France is the defending Billabong Pipe Masters champion who narrowly edged out Hawai`i’s John John Florence by a meer 0.07 in the close final.
Jeremy Flores and John Florence
NW swell angle which creates its hollow, pipe form. On the other hand, for Pipeline’s counterpart to work, Backdoor, the swell directions needs to more out of the northerly angle which opens up the exit for Backdoor lengthy barrels. Winds need to be light trade winds which come from east but the ideal wind for Pipeline is from the SE direction. The tide does not affect Pipe as much unless the waves are below the four foot high range, in which makes the wave shallower and faster compared to the high tide which tends to make the wave lumpy bumpy.
Spectator Tips • Parking is available at Ehukai Beach Park and along Kamehameha Hwy. Some residents may open their properties for parking for a reasonable amount. DO NOT block driveways, stops signs, or crosswalks, and heed all ‘no parking’ signs. • Restrooms and showers are located at the Sunset end of Ehukai Beach Park. • On the beach, stay on dry sand and avoid getting too close to the shore. Waves are notorious for washing away belongings as well as event structures. • Stay out of the taped area near water safety zone. Ski operators need this area for emergencies and needs to be clear. • Do bring a camera. The waves break about 30' from shore and provides the ultimate surf viewing experience.
For Pipeline to work, it needs a concoction of variables like tides, wind, size of swell, and most importantly, direction. The ideal direction for Pipeline is from the WNW or
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Photo Clark Little
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NOVEMBER 9 - JANUARY 31 EVERYTHING for the ocean is here and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ALL ON SALE during our Annual Blowout Sale! With Christmas coming up fast, our Annual Blowout Sale is your chance to knock a few names off your shopping list and save at the same time.
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Sunset Beach Dune Restoration Project Help Support the Beach that Supports You By Lauren Rolland
The sun beamed on the backs of nearly 100 volunteers as they shoveled sand, rolled wheelbarrows, hammered fence posts and buried over 4,000 native coastal plants in the ground along the eroded shoreline at Sunset Beach. The heavily-trafficked yet perilously fragile coastline from Pipeline to Sunset has taken the brunt of some of the state’s worst erosion over the past few winter surf seasons, becoming a canary in the coal mine for micro and macro impacts that coastal communities have begun to face globally.
Although NSCLT and partners have dedicated their focus to Sunset Beach, erosion is witnessed along the entire North Shore stretch, notably Ehukai Beach Park, which is home to world-famous Pipeline. Natural, seasonal and global climate factors have contributed to the recent severity of erosion including trade wind swells, northerly direction of waves, strong winds and general sea level rise. However, one indisputable and controllable factor is human impact — particularly given year over year record tourism numbers to the state — and this is the No. 1 target of the Sunset Beach Dune Restoration Project.
Last winter locals and visitors witnessed the North Shore’s beloved bike path crumble into the sea while a 20+ foot drop off from Kamehameha Highway to the sand exposed roots, rebar and risk. The precarious condition of Sunset Beach has directly affected community members, impacting homeowners, public infrastructure, native flora and fauna, housing, Hawai`i’s tourism industry, ocean sporting events and more. The Sunset Beach Dune Restoration Project is now fully underway, and September 8 was its first large-scale volunteer day. Spearheaded by the North Shore Community Land Trust (NSCLT), the Dune Restoration project has successfully begun repairing the stretch of shoreline and will continue to work tirelessly — with partners that include the World Surf League (WSL), City & County of Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation, State of Hawai`i Department of Land and Natural Resources, UH Sea Grant, Townscape Inc., North Shore Outdoor Circle, and North Shore community members – to care for the coastline and educate visitors and residents on the importance of protecting this significant area. 38
COMMUNITY “The last several winters we’ve had alarming incidences of coastal erosion,” said Doug Cole, Executive Director of NSCLT and lifetime resident of the North Shore / Oahu. “Whether that’s from high surf or the winds or the combination of that with the swell patterns, we’ve seen certain areas that in my lifetime are at the worst I’ve ever seen. I think it’s a real wake up call to all of us that this is a very sensitive area and we need to take better care of it and be careful of how we pass through and enjoy the shoreline.”
While Cole mentions that the current erosion is in part due to uncontrollable natural occurrences, the impacts that we do have control over are what need our immediate attention. “We’re not properly educating the visitors and our resident population on the sensitivity of these areas, we need to do a better job,” Cole continued. “There’s a limit to what the State and the County can achieve, and I think it’s on us as community members to bear some of that burden of trying to educate users. That is what NSCLT is trying to proactively do - restore the sand dune system at Sunset Beach and provide signage and fencing and educational opportunities for the visitors and the residents that pass through those areas, so they become more aware of their impacts.” Next time you visit Sunset Beach, be sure to check out the work that so many volunteers have committed time, energy and resources toward. It includes not only the newly planted native coastal species to help protect the shoreline, but also designated access points for foot traffic, wood fencing sourced from repurposed invasive ironwood trees from Kahuku Point, temporary signage for visitor education and an access mat and foot brush to keep the sand on the beach. The issue of beach erosion is not exclusive to Hawai`i; stretches of popular coastlines along Australia’s Gold Coast, Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, Florida and Spain are also feeling the effects. Dolan Eversole, Coastal Geologist and active member of the University of Hawai`i Sea Grant Program knows this all too well and says we are at a point in time where the beaches may never look the same again. “Our shorelines are very dynamic and while most of us have seen the sand come and go from winter to summer as a normal, even expected, event, we are seeing a slow, chronic erosion of the
shoreline at the same time,” said Eversole. “What we’re observing now is the result of years of shoreline slowly chewing away at the beach, sometimes more severe than others. But each time it does, in a big erosion event like this, it never quite comes back to where it was before. And that’s what climate change looks like.” ' Eversole stood along the sheer drop-off at Ehukai and looked down past the homes on the brink of being swallowed by the sea. “I don’t expect this beach to recover back to what it was like before,” he continued. “Unless we have some very unusual west swell event that brings a lot of sand in this area... That will give a little bit of buffer room for these homeowners to not be right on the edge of literally an eroding bank. Fingers crossed with an El Nino winter we might just get that, but we can’t count on it.” Thankfully, what we can count on is a growing collective of residents who love the North Shore and are willing to devote their time to maintaining what they can for future generations. “What makes the North Shore so awesome is there’s a lot of green and a lot of undeveloped land, it’s a rural place and the beaches and the ocean and the waves and the experiences that we can have
here are second to none in the world,” Cole said of his beloved home. “That’s what connects everybody to this place and connects each other to one another here on the North Shore, the fact that we all have this shared appreciation for the ocean, the beach and this place.” As part of a larger sustainability education initiative, the WSL has worked with NSCLT to document the Sunset Beach Dune Restoration Project and will be screening the short film at various activations during the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing season. Along with donating $20,000 and hours of time and resources toward the cause, the WSL and Vans also continue to produce one of Hawai`i’s most sustainable event series – the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing – not only providing opportunities for local athletes, viable economic impacts to the North Shore economy and Oahu-at-large, but leading the way in sustainable event staging, production and management while celebrating the birthplace of surfing. In addition to the competition, the WSL and Vans continuously strive to set the bar for positive environmental and economic impacts for the North Shore through a deep commitment to green practices and community immersion. Major initiatives include reducing event footprints and removing structures from Sunset and Ehukai beaches. They also implement comprehensive waste diversion, renewable clean energy, sustainable hydration and viable compost and catering activations each year, not to mention traffic mitigation, visitor education and celebratory events for the entire community to enjoy. To get involved in the Sunset Beach Dune Restoration Project or stay up-to-date on volunteer work days throughout the North Shore, visit the NSCLT’s Facebook page or check out northshoreland.org. pau
n a c i x e M t s e B s â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Ha waii
Restaurant & Margarita Bar Zoe McDougall Photo: Keoki/Freesurf
Located in the North Shore Marketplace 66250 Kamehameha Highway Haleiwa, Hawaii 96712
Authentic Mexican Favorites
Island Fresh Fish Tacos Refreshing Margaritas Open Everyday 9:30am-9:30pm Happy Hour: 4-6 pm M-F - Food & Drink Specials
Large Parties Welcome! Muchos Mahalos to all our loyal customers for your patronage!
WSL / Masurel
# C AT C H T H I S W AV E
EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WAVES by Kyveli Diener
The World Surf League earned a place in sports history as well as the adulation of fans and athletes with the announcement that the prize money for men’s and women’s championships will be equal for the first time in professional surfing history at all events hosted by the league beginning with the 2019 season. In their announcement, WSL said that this commitment makes them “the first and only US based global sports league, and among the first internationally, to achieve prize money equality.”
“This is incredible and I am thrilled. The prize money is fantastic, but the message means even more. From the moment current ownership became involved, the situation for the women surfers has been transformed for the better in every way,” said six-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore. “We have been so appreciative, but this takes it to another level. I hope this serves as a model for other sports, global organizations and society as a whole. My fellow women athletes and I are honored by the confidence in us, and inspired to reward this decision with ever higher levels of surfing.”
“This change is simply the right thing to do for the WSL and we would like to thank the many advocates who have worked for decades to help advance women’s surfing,” said WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt. “We want to be at the forefront of pushing for equality in all walks of life, starting on the waves, and we feel very lucky to have women on our tour who are highly talented, iconic role models, and more than deserve this recognition as they stand alongside our extraordinary male athletes.”
The announcement and subsequently released #CatchThisWave campaign imagery was praised and shared by female and male surfers of all ages from around the world, including current elite competitors like Owen Wright who said, “Tyler and I now get equal prize money - time for more sports to #catchthiswave and make the change." The move was praised by another group who has seen leaps and bounds in equality recently, female big wave chargers, with thrilled posts going up from Paige Alms, Felicity Palmateer and Keala Kennelly, who said “I have fought for this my entire career and didn’t know if I would see it in my lifetime. Bravo WSL.”
Further supporting the advancement of women’s surfing, the WSL announced a series of additional commitments in conjunction with the pay equity, including a global marketing campaign to highlight the women’s tour as well as increase event viewership and fan engagement; local community engagement program for girls around the world, featuring instructional clinics with WSL athletes at each women’s Championship Tour stop to inspire the next generation to embrace surfing; and a monthly content series about the pioneering women of surfing, celebrating them across WSL channels, starting next week with seven-time World Champion Layne Beachley.
While obligatory internet trolls (incorrectly) argued that women physically can’t outsurf men and therefore don’t deserve equal pay, some of the biggest men in the actual industry of surfing — including but not limited to Kelly Slater — spoke out with great and unending support for the decision that recognizes that human is human and a hard-fought contest victory isn’t any less special or worth less simply based on the victor’s gender. 44
WSL / Poullenot
# C AT C H T H I S W AV E
“The women on the tour deserve this change,” the 11-time world champ said. “I’m so proud that surfing is choosing to lead sports in equality and fairness. The female WSL athletes are equally committed to their craft as the male athletes and should be paid the same. Surfing has always been a pioneering sport, and this serves as an example of that.” The announcement was tied into the revealing of the 2019 Championship Tour schedule, which also experienced some change. Most notably, the three-pronged Australian leg of the tour will be broken up, with a Bali contest added in between the Bells Beach and Margaret River events. The whole tour is also set to begin a month later than usual, and the women’s tour stops have been realigned to mirror the men’s. View both full schedules below:
8ft Classic Shape | 7ft Classic Shape | 6ft Swallow Tail Shape
2019 Men’s Championship Tour Schedule*: Gold Coast Men’s Pro: April 3 - 13, 2019 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: April 17 - 27, 2019 Bali Men’s Pro: May 13 - 24, 2019 Margaret River Pro: May 27 - June 7, 2019 Oi Rio Pro: June 20 - 28, 2019 J-Bay Open: July 9 - 22, 2019 Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o: August 21 - September 1, 2019 Surf Ranch Pro: September 19 - 22, 2019 France Men’s Pro: October 3 - 13, 2019 MEO Pro Peniche: October 16 - 28, 2019 Billabong Pipe Masters: December 8 - 20, 2019 2019 Women’s Championship Tour Schedule*: Gold Coast Women’s Pro: April 3 - 13, 2019 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: April 17 - 27, 2019 Bali Women’s Pro: May 13 - 24, 2019 Margaret River Pro: May 27 - June 7, 2019 Oi Rio Pro: June 20 - 28, 2019 J-Bay Open: July 9 - 22, 2019 Surf Ranch Pro: September 19 - 22, 2019 France Women’s Pro: October 3 - 13, 2019 MEO Pro Peniche: October 16 - 28, 2019 Hawaii Women’s Pro: November 25 - December 7, 2019 * All events subject to change. pau
SURF ART advertising, much of the artist’s early influences came out of magazines from the 1950s and ‘60s, including his first surfboard. “My dad made a wood board for us,” Wade recalled. “In early issues of Popular Mechanics Magazine there were plans for the Tom Blake Kookbox…my dad made one for my brother and I but he modified it. The Kookbox was really thick, like six or seven inches thick, and they had the square rails. My dad thought since we were kids and a bit lighter, he’d made it a bit thinner and put round rails on it.”
years, but the body of water he grew up on was actually much further east. A native of Corpus Cristi, Texas, Koniakowsky’s road to being a surf artist in prime football territory began in 1966, when he was 12 years old.
Wade Koniakowsky By Kyveli Diener
“I learned in Texas and I taught myself. Some kid had a birthday party and his family just rented a bunch of boards and turned us loose,” Koniakowsky recalled, his Texas twang softened by years in the California sun but never lost. “It came easily. I wasn’t a team sports guy because I was kind of nerdy and into art, so t was great to discover a physical activity that wasn’t football or baseball.”
The featured artists who create stoke-inducing surf art for the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing every year come from a vast array of backgrounds, all with one thing in common: a deep, unending love for the ocean that spills forth onto their canvas for us all to enjoy. This year’s selected painter, Wade Koniakowsky, is no different. It’s from his lifelong bond and “very fundamental, deep-rooted connection” to the ocean that the magic of recreating moving water for his artwork flows. His admiration for California impressionists (as well as a love for the Golden State itself, where he’s lived for the past 40 years) and affinity for Polynesian culture pour out of him in his representations of California sea-scapes and paintings of
Having given football a try in the seventh grade before quickly retiring, Koniakowsky focused on art and surfing. As the boy fell more in love with the sea, his personal drawings took the natural turn from drawings of war scenes and Texas history to perfect sets and heavy water. Almost foreshadowing Koniakowsky’s future in creative
Hawaiian and Tahitian dream locales. With depictions so rich you can practically smell coconuts on the warm breeze one wouldn’t be surprised if Koniakowsky spent a great deal of time in the Pacific during his formative 48
The boys made do in Corpus Cristi Bay or at Port Aranasas with the barely buoyant alai’aesque board and their skim boards for a while, but they finally upgraded to a proper Royal Hawaiian foam board, which a more affluent kid was selling for $60 since he’d just gotten a nice new board. He let the brothers pay off their debt in $5 weekly installments, and going with his brother to cough up $2.50 each every week for their rad new board is one of Koniakowsky’s fondest early surfing memories. By high school, Koniakowsky was shaping his own boards and then painting them with wave art, finding his inspiration once again in magazines, namely John Severson’s Surfer and the hand-drawn cartoons and pictures by art director Rick Griffin. “It was really inspiring, and as it got more into the psychedelic era it got even more inspiring,” he said. Though Griffin remains Koniakowsky original art inspiration, he said that other artists who have helped guide his work are impressionists Rick Reitveld and Phil Roberts, as well
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SURF ART as classical artists like Jackson Pollock and “anyone who made breakthroughs and did something new.” However, his greatest idols remain those oldschool mad men who created art that spoke volumes. “If you go back in American popular culture, the real Spielbergs of their time were the magazine illustrators of the ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s — Leyendecker and Norman Rockwell and N.C. Wyeth — they were classically trained painters, they could draw the human figure really well, they can draw landscapes really well, so they could really tell stories well.”
make you want to sell it all and travel.” Koniakowsky resumed painting in the late 1990s after years as a creative director and art director in advertising, and immediately immersed himself in the California coastal scenes and Polynesian reveries that gained the attention of Vans Triple Crown after years of contributing surf art to other major events such as Duke’s
on anything with digital printing. You can put anything of almost any size anywhere,” Wade said. “There’s this triangle design that [Vans] used where they take the painting and put it into these triangles, and you don’t see it right away but it’s very cool. They did a nice job with it.” These days, Koniakowsky lives and works out of his studio in Carlsbad, California, while running his gallery, Ocean Art
Himself a product of a dual fine art/ commercial art program at Texas State University, Koniakowsky said, “I’m drawn to people who are a little more classically trained,” before he paused to laugh at his own accidental art pun. “Oh, that’s funny — drawn to people.” Wade is affable and warm, and speaks deliberately with a dry, well-timed humor. When asked how to best describe his work, Koniakowsky referred back to a comment from former Surfrider Foundation president Jim Moriarty, who once wrote of the artist, “Wade Koniakowsky’s focus is capturing Polynesian dreamscapes and the related emotional tie we have with far away lands. His vibe intersects with those same emotions– unspoiled, nirvana-esque landscapes, islander portraits, and ephemeral visions that
lifers like Koniakowsky are still paddling out. As far as advice for young artists, one simple trick Wade learned came from years of people offering him old art supplies from family members who had passed. He’d find an old brush or a paint color he’d never seen and the creative sparks would ignite into a wildfire. “It’s amazing how you’ll just
try a new brush and it makes a dramatic change in the painting. Vary materials and try new things with tools and materials because it can really open up your horizons,” he said.
Oceanfest, the Rabbit Kekai World Longboard Contest, and the Molokai to Oahu World Paddleboard Championships. The artist said he’s impressed by the way his art was incorporated in to the merchandise for the event. “I like the board shorts, and I think the t-shirts are great because they essentially have the poster on the shirt. It’s an interesting time for an artist because they can print your art
Gallery, in the Solana Beach Cedros Design District. He loves to surf Terra Mar near the old Carlsbad power plant on his wide-ranging quiver — from 6’2 to 10’0 with plenty of stops in between — depending on the waves that day. He still makes the trip back home now and again to surf his old stomping grounds in Port Aransas, the tiny town that was decimated when Hurricane Harvey made landfall there last year, but with good surf still rolling in at the pier
But no matter the materials that go into the piece itself, that endlessly offering, deeply primal source of all inspiration in life, art, and surfing remains the same. “It’s the movement of water and watching waves,” he said. “Even the shoreline that created the way the waves broke, that’s inspiring. Moving water is an inspiration.”
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NICK & KOHL CHRISTENSEN By Kyveli Diener
“It all starts within,” Kohl told us of his drive toward sustainable living. “Like Gandhi said: ‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world’. Lead by example and teach your children well.” The children currently receiving those lessons first-hand are Kohl’s 18-month old daughter Mehena (and future baby due in January) and Nick’s brood of three, Finn, Cora, and Sorren. As Kohl joked, “I guess food’s not the only thing we are growing!” The Christensen families live in a house the brothers built themselves 12 years ago which runs 100% on solar energy, and even with small children the tribe has found that life off the grid can be easily manageable and a
huge benefit to our environment. “Living with limited power storage teaches you to be more conscious of your consumption. After a while it becomes second nature,” Kohl said. “You never leave the water running or the lights or fan on when you move to another room or go outside. You can't, or you will run out of power or water. Like anything in life, you learn quick when there are consequences.” Setting up life off the grid isn’t something most people would know how to jump right into, but the Christensen brothers found a little self-education and plenty of hard work went a long way. “We didn't grow up farming but, we learned. We had no electricity, but with a little schooling we learned how to create it with the sun. We had no drinking water, so we drilled a well,” Kohl recalled. “It has been one of the greatest learning experiences of our lives and has helped shape us into the people that we are today.”
If brothers Kohl and Nick Christensen are ever a little hard to find, it’s always for the best reasons. When they’re not in a remote ocean somewhere chasing XXL swell, one can usually track them down on their parcel of ag land on Oahu’s North Shore, where the siblings and their families live life completely off the energy grid. As they prepared for their second year working with the World Surf League (WSL) Hawaii crew responsible for building the structures at each of the Vans Triple Crown events, they recognized it as a sustainably-run series and saw even more opportunities to make the contest sites less energy-dependent and more green, an effort the event crews were stoked to collaborate on to make a reality.
PA U H A N A Christensen took that decade-plus of knowledge and sustainable life experience with him when he attended the annual intellectual gathering/desert art party that is Burning Man this year, and what he saw there shocked him.
beaches in the world?” he continued. “Share ideas, show them solar energy alternatives by implementing them throughout the event, recycle all of the waste and lead by example. Vans and the WSL understand how important this is.”
“There were over 70,000 people at Burning Man and not one garbage can. Think about that for a second,” Kohl said in disbelief. "Thats a lot of like-minded people gathering in the desert for ten days to discuss the world’s problems. If this mentality were contagious we would be in great shape for the future, but it’s not.”
Knowing that WSL and their crews are all about malama ‘aina (respecting/protecting the land) through such efforts as WSL PURE (Protecting, Understanding, and Respecting the Environment) and practices like using jerseys made from recycled plastic, Christensen worked with them to develop a realistic and exciting future roll-out plan for taking Vans Triple Crown off the grid.
“We live on an island chain. We have about 1.5 million residents with nearly 10 million visiting every year, and growing. We import nearly everything, from food to building materials to automobiles to all the oil that provides us fuel to power our homes and cars. It’s scary when you think about it. There's a lot of issues to address and many of them are really difficult,” Kohl explained. “So it’s important that when we do gather for events that we remind people to be conscious of this and educate them. What better place to do it than on the North Shore, home to some of the most amazing
“I had a great discussion this year with the WSL about adding a solar electricity component to the Vans Triple Crown event and we decided to start small and take the merchandise trailer completely off-grid with the ability to share its electricity to other trailers,” Kohl said. ”We partnered with a company called Pika for the inverters and Panasonic for the batteries and panels. It’s a great first step and it will be interesting to see where it goes. Imagine the top of the scaffolding covered in solar panels charging batteries that power the broadcast you’re listening to.” Gonzo
Watching such a popular event result in so much waste got Christensen’s mind working on how he and his brother could work with the WSL team to right the wrong he saw at Burning Man and show the world that professional surfing contests are a place to foster better habits for the environment, especially with visitors who often simply aren’t aware of the energy burdens of living on a rock in the middle of the Pacific.
PA U H A N A
Christensen explained that taking Hawaii’s premier surfing events off the grid is a great reflection of the work the state and its residents incorporate into their day-to-day lives, and he’s eager for mainland visitors to learn more about it and possibly integrate some ideas into their lives back home. “We have the highest electricity rate in the nation [because] we import the oil to power the generators that make the power and it's all controlled by one electric company. What can we do? We can power our homes with the sun,” he explained. “We don't need to depend on imported oil and pay the increasing rates when the power is already here waiting to be harnessed. The good news is, it's happening: thousands upon thousands of homes have solar and the State has done a wonderful job in covering its schools, government buildings, harbors and airports with solar panels along with some massive solar farms. I see one of the biggest hurdles in the future will be fighting to keep the tax incentives in place which allow home and business owners to install systems at a subsidized rate.” Of course, understanding and managing renewable energy sources within their North Shore community is only half the story of the Christensen brothers, and the other half is huge and full of water. All the family’s work toward living off the grid and sharing lessons they’ve learned is entirely about defending a planet they cherish, a big blue marble filled with jaw-dropping big wave playgrounds they relentlessly hunt for. “There are times when I'm surfing that I go to a place where nothing else exists but that moment. It’s an intoxicating and addictive feeling…maybe thats why I like surfing big waves, because it’s the easiest way I know to find that 'flow' state,” Kohl said of the ability to live truly connected in the present moment. “With the support of my main sponsor, Patagonia, I’ve been able to focus more on finding new waves. They're out there, it just takes a bit more effort. The hunt is the ultimate fountain of youth.”
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Whether it’s by dropping in on a 30-foot wave or consciously growing their own food and sustainably harvesting their energy and water resources, the lifestyle the Christensen brothers are infusing into their work at the Vans Triple Crown is one of mindful living, and Kohl believes it’s something everyone can be a part of for a better tomorrow. “It may be too late to for some people, but not everyone and definitely not the kids,” Kohl said, “Implement practices that will allow your children and your children's children to enjoy nature like we have. Vote for the environment on election day. Educate yourself on ways to leave the Earth a better place than you found it and do something.” pau
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2018 HAWAI`I WINTER EVENTS CALENDAR October 27 - November 9 | HIC Pro Official Qualifier of The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing
North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii Oct. 27 - Nov. 9, 2018
Art by Danielle Zirk
Watch It Live! www.vanstriplecrownofsurfing.com & Spectrum SURF Channel 20 & 1020HD
December 1 | North Shore Community Land Trust Benefit for the Country
Men’s WSL Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 event + official local qualifier for Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Sunset Beach, North Shore, Oahu Open to public, more info at worldsurfleague. com
Sunset Ranch, Pupukea, 5pm – 9pm Open to public, purchase tickets at northshoreland.org
December 3 | Duct Tape Festival Skate Jam Banzai Skate Bowl, 2pm – 7pm Open to public
November 3 | Surfrider Foundation HIC Pro Beach Cleanup December 5 | Duct Tape Festival Guest Panel
James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge, Kahuku, 10am – 12pm Open to public, more info at oahu.surfrider.org
Bonzer Front, Haleiwa Open to public
November 6 | Election Day (no competition) December 6 | SURFER Awards November 10 | 16th Annual John Kelly Awards
Turtle Bay Resort, 6pm Closed to public, more info at surfer.com/surferawards
Waimea Valley, 6pm – 10pm Open to public, purchase tickets at johnkellyawards.com
November 11 | Na Kama Kai Free Clinic
December 7 | Duct Tape Festival
Ewa Beach Park, 9am Open to public, walk-ins welcome, more info at nakamakai.org
Custom-shaped board library for public demo The Salt Hangar, Kaka'ako, Honolulu Open to public
December 7 | North Shore Chamber of Commerce Annual Christmas Party Waimea Valley Pikake Pavilion, 6pm – 10pm Open to public, purchase tickets at gonorthshore.org
November 12 - 24 | Hawaiian Pro Event #1 of Vans Triple Crown and WSL QS 10,000 Haleiwa Ali‘i Beach Park, 8am – 4pm Open to public, more info at vanstriplecrownofsurfing.com
December 7 | Surf Night Sunset Beach Elementary School, 6:30pm Open to public
November 17 | Vans Movie Screening + Talk Story December 8 - 20 | Billabong Pipe Masters
Showing: Can’t Steal Our Vibe and Blue Intensity Haleiwa Open to public
Event #3 of Vans Triple Crown/final stop on WSL Men’s Championship Tour Ehukai Beach Park, 8am – 4pm Open to public, more info at worldsurfleague.com
November 17 | Na Kama Kai Free Clinic Haleiwa Ali‘i Beach Park, 9am Open to public, walk-ins welcome, more info at nakamakai.org
December 9 | Na Kama Kai Free Clinic November 22 | Thanksgiving (no competition) November 23 – 25 | Na Kama Kai Makaha Surf Contest
Kailua Beach Open to org
Park, 9am public, walk-ins welcome, more info at nakamakai.
Makaha Beach, 1-day event over Thanksgiving weekend Open to public, entrants must live within 96792 area code
December 14 | Haleiwa Christmas Parade Downtown Haleiwa, 6pm – 7pm Open to public, more info at gonorthshore.org
November 25 - December 6 | Vans World Cup of Surfing
Event #2 of Vans Triple Crown and WSL QS 10,000 Sunset Beach, 8am – 4pm Open to public, more info at vanstriplecrownofsurfing.com
Coastal Sand Dune Hosted Guided Tour October 5, 12, 19, 26; November 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; December 7, 14, 21 Turtle Bay Resort, meet at Guidepost, 9:30am – 11:30am Open to public, more info at gonorthshore.org
November 25 – December 6 | Beachwaver Maui Pro Final event of WSL Women’s Championship Tour Honolua Bay, Maui Open to public, more info at worldsurfleague.com
Haleiwa Art Walk October 13; November 10; December 8 Downtown Haleiwa, 3 – 8pm Open to public, more info at gonorthshore.org
November 29 | Vans Talk Story with Nathan Fletcher Kuilima Point, Turtle Bay Resort Open to public 58
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VANS TRIPLE CROWN TITLE CONTENDERS WORLD TITLE HOPEFULS COMPETITION SPOILERS
Whether it’s qualifying or requalifying hopes, crowning a World Champ or honoring another name to the Vans Triple Crown Champion roster, it all comes down to this at the end of the 2018 WSL season. It’s the last leg of the coveted points race where the top tier athletes prove mastery of the most famous, dangerous and prestigious big wave coastline on Earth. To cross the finish line here in Hawaii, at the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, is the dream of every surfer. We highlight some of Hawai`i's best predictions to take this year’s Vans Triple Crown title,
alongside the regional spoilers who have made a name for themselves in Hawaiian waters. Then there’s the surfers who aren’t looking to chase points, but bragging rights as homegrown champions. We've also included some of the most dangerous international competitors that have performed well in recent years at the Vans Triple Crown and who could use the momentum for 2019 CT solidification. At this writing, all three CT points leaders, Gabriel Medina, Felipe Toledo and Julian Wilson, have advanced from round one in Portugal so the race is on and its hot! Which of these world title hopefuls will maximize the opportunity of these final three Hawai‘i events for points toward garnering a WSL World Title? All this glory and more lives within the Vans Triple Crown, the series that honors surfing’s history as well as its modern-day champions.
WSL / Heff
The WSL Championship Tour (CT) and Qualifying Series (QS) contest season crescendos in Hawaii during the year’s most prestigious series of events, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. From November - December, a convergence of talent from around the world battle it out in three uniquely challenging and storied venues: Haleiwa, Sunset and Pipeline.
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WSL / Poullenot
Currently sitting in the number one spot on the 2018 World Tour, Brazilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gabriel Medina is close to clinching his second World Title but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s his fellow countryman Filipe Toledo standing in his way. Medina is known to put it on rail when he needs to not to mention his unrivalled flow and air game which is as good as it gets on tour. With the first two events of the Vans Triple Crown rounding out the Qualifying Series, look for Medina to capitalize on the points needed for Title hopes heading into the last event of the World Championship Tour at the Billabong Pipe Masters.
WSL / Heff
Currently in the running for his first World Title, Brazil's Filipe Toledo has been dangerous all season long. Winning the Corona Open at J-Bay and the Oi Rio Pro in Brazil all while his lowest placing this season is a 13th which happened at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Toledo can taste the World Title. With a victory last year at the 2017 Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa, don't be surprised to see Toledo take down some big names en route to a highly potential first World Title.
WSL / Poullenot
Combining supreme style with progression and strategy, Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Julian Wilson has been a top-level talent on the CT ever since he qualified on that tour in 2011. In his first season Wilson gathered enough points to rank No. 9 earning him the Rookie of the Year honor. Confident and with looks to match, Julian has multiple CT victories to his credit, including a Pipe Masters victory over Gabriel Medina in 2014, along with the prestigious Vans Triple Crown Title that same year and a Teahupoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;o win over Medina again in 2017. Those victories and confidence that comes with could play a vital role against Medina and Toledo coming in to the last CT event of the year. Fresh from a victory in France and at this writing still advancing in Portugal, Wilson looks more on point than ever now to chase down that elusive World Title and a possible repeat for the Vans Triple Crown win.
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WSL / Heff
After making himself known as the 2015 Hawaiian Pro champion, Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Wade Carmichael has been consistent in Hawaiian waters over the past few years. With a solid rail-turn game that's smooth and lacking no power whatsoever, Carmichaelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surfing is groomed for places like Sunset Beach and Haleiwa. Currently sitting comfortably for requalification on the 2019 Championship Tour, Wade can be a qualifier spoiler that could possibly lead to a Vans Triple Crown.
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WSL / Cestari
GRIFFIN COLAPINTO While Griffin Colapinto isn't yet old enough to have a champagne victory toast, he is indeed our current and defending Vans Triple Crown Champion! The San Clemente surfer has been known to throw down some big moves when big scores are needed. The legendary air reverse at the 2017 Hawaiian Pro en route to a runner-up finish to Filipe Toledo offered just a glimpse of what the 20-year-old has to offer for the Vans Triple Crown season. In addition to that 2nd place finish at Haleiwa, Colapinto also made a 4th place finish at Sunset. Having not been a part of the Championship Tour, Colapinto was unable to compete in the 2017 Pipe Masters, but after going through the Pipe Invitational Trials, Colapinto still had enough points and was able to hold the Vans Triple Crown title for 2017. Look for Griffin to make a solid run again this year as he looks for his 2nd crown, Pipe included.
WSL / Heff
Being the most consistent surfer of the 2017 Vans Triple Crown season landed him the runner-up spot to the crown. Now California’s Kolohe Andino could have his sights set for this year to be his own. Although Kolohe did not acquire any wins last year, he placed second at the Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach, was a semi-finalist at the Hawaiian Pro in Haleiwa, and made a quarter-finalist appearance at the Billabong Pipe Masters. Kolohe’s surfing compliments the venues for the Vans Triple Crown. His fast, smooth approach with lightning speed turns suit Haleiwa’s demand for high performance surfing and Kolohe is equally comfortable navigating Sunset’s open walls as well as lengthy Backdoor barrels.
JACK ROBINSON Considered one of the best surfers in heavy, hollow conditions, though not on the World Championship Tour, Western Australia’s Jack Robinson is lethal in the waves at Sunset Beach and Pipeline. With a calm, cool approach and style reminiscent of Andy Irons, “Robo” does well under pressure and is known to pull some high scores when needed. Don’t be surprised to see Jack as the spoiler throughout the Vans Triple Crown, in the hopes of obtaining one himself - especially if the conditions are in his favor.
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WSL / Keoki
The current WSL Tahiti/Hawai`i regional points leader, Sheldon Paishon is every bit the dark horse. Relatively unknown last year, the surfer from Makaha put his raw natural talent to work in Tahiti for a victory on the QS this year. Paishon will take that confidence with him to compete in home waters. This year would be Sheldonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first attempt at the Vans Triple Crown but don't let his contest inexperience fool you. With a knack for finding the barrel in whatever the conditions throw at him and a creative approach to his air game, Sheldon would be a tough draw at any venue.
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WSL / Heff
In a comfortable position to qualify for the 2019 WSL World Tour, 21-year-old Seth Moniz has done solid work throughout the 2018 QS season. He managed to get a runner-up in the Chiba Open, a third placing in Ballito, and an equal fifth at the US Open. But don't let his small stature fool you - he tends to grow in the lineup which he is very comfortable in big waves and tends to score some of the best rides of the season at Pipe and Backdoor. Winning surfing events in Hawaii and abroad from a very early age Moniz is no stranger to the winnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s circle and has emerged as one of Hawaiiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most promising new hopefuls for the WSL Championship Tour arena. His knowledge of the breaks and progressive approach will make him a serious threat in any heat!
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JOSH MONIZ Carrying a name that is a staple in Hawaiian surfing, Joshua Moniz has made his presence known around the world and especially on the North Shore. At 22 years old, Joshua is on his sixth Vans Triple Crown and his fierce approach to these powerful waves goes hand in hand with his style. Don't count Josh out for qualification on the 2019 World Tour just yet; although currently sitting in 49th, Joshâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s consistency in the Vans Triple Crown could see him rise in the ranks just enough to make the year-end cut.
WSL / Keoki
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BARRON MAMIYA Barron Mamiya is a native of the seven-mile miracle and, at the ripe age of 18, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s known to have taken down some heavy hitters in years past and by all accounts will continue to do so for years to come. A threat at the Vans World Cup, Mamiyaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s patented frontside arc led him to a 5th place overall and clinched the 2017 Vans Triple Crown Rookie Award as well as a Pro Junior victory. Armed with an air game that rivals those on the CT and a knack for pulling into big barrels, Mamiya is a definite threat in any wave at any size.
WSL / Heff
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WSL / Heff
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BILLY KEMPER Known as a powerhouse when it comes to the walls of Sunset Beach and a strategist when it comes to surfing heats, Mauiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Billy Kemper is a tough opponent for any draw. Very comfortable in big waves while using local knowledge to get the best out of most conditions, Billy who is a consistent spoiler amongst the field. Although he lacks momentum in qualifying for the Championship Tour, a win at any of the three venues will do just fine.
WSL / Keoki
WSL / Heff
by Mara Pyzel
S E T H MONIZ By Mara Pyzel
I first chatted with Championship Tour contender Seth Moniz just days after falling out of Portugal’s EDP Billabong Pro Ericeira in Round Two. This is not a good result. Though disappointment was evident, the 21-year-old’s humble spirit still remained optimistic and Moniz handled himself with confidence, determination, and wisdom beyond his years. Seth talked to Freesurf about what he is doing to prepare for this winter’s surf season - and what he isn’t doing. He also discussed where his head is at for the fast approaching Vans Triple Crown and a peek into 2019. Seth Moniz is no stranger to the ups and downs of contest life. Coming onto the QS tour at 18, he was fresh off of the amateur ranks of the National Scholastic Surfing Association. “I was losing so much. I think before this year I didn’t even make the top 20 of the QS which was such a pull on my confidence. But after every year I’m like ‘Aw, I havent really had a breakthrough performance, didn’t make a heat or a final or anything else.’ I didn’t really make any of my The number "7" is represented as a numerical
goals, but I was still young, I
tradition by the Moniz family members as having
think 18, 19.… And then I think I
seven members of the family. Seth will use this
went into this year just a lot more
tradition for his jersey number on the 2019 WSL
confident.” Seth’s steep learning
World Tour 87
Seth stretching his air game at his home break Kewalos
curve proved he’s got the grit it
Portugal. Thinking ahead has
takes to work his way up in the
given Seth ample time to test
ranks, both then and now. With a
out his newest models from
spot on the WSL Championship
shaper Wade Tokoro and make
Tour basically secured for the
the necessary tweaks, ensuring
2019 competitive season,
his performance is bolstered by
Seth’s barreling towards the
the perfect winter boards. “I’ll
upcoming year, bringing with
be making my rounds up to the
him this same confidence,
North Shore whenever there’s
while simultaneously remaining
waves and basically just testing
my first batch of boards.” Also, a motivator is the number “7”
Keeping career goals simple
on each one of Seth’s boards
and concise for the moment,
representing his seven family
Seth is stoked as long as he
members, a tradition his mom
keeps a spot on tour. “I’m not
Tammy started in Seth’s grom
looking ahead of things, not
trying to win a World Title my first year or anything. I just
Family has always been a priority
want to have a couple stand
for all Moniz’s and Seth has
out performances, get a few
spent much of the year with
results and just kind of maintain
brother Josh, circling the globe
my spot this year and see how
and scoring waves. This winter,
I’m feeling the next year and
Seth will be surrounded by his
kind of just do it slowly. I think
entire family and friends with all
that’s a good way a lot of guys
eyes on him. But he isn’t letting
have done it. So that’s just kind
this added pressure phase him
of my one goal: to stay in top
just yet, “The heat definitely will
22 this year and then next year
be on when the contests are on.
see if I can get into the top 10.
I’ve been saying I’m not gonna
Yeah, that’s kind of it right now.
[let it get to me] but I’m sure I’ll
Nothing too far ahead.”
feel it when the contest comes around.”
Having done some prep for the 2018 swell season, Seth’s new
The Billabong team, who also
winter quiver was awaiting his
share family-like bonds, provide
arrival back in Hawai`i post-
a little extra push for Seth, now
“I've definitely learned a lot about how to deal with the pressure of the big crowds like the US Open. I think I'm getting used to being around a lot of pressured environment having all eyes on you. I like it. I’m starting to enjoy it way more.”
a veteran member of the team.
with his airs and progressive
“When I see someone [on the
footwork, Seth wants to revisit
team] do something super cool I
the fundamentals of the ride.
can’t do, that will get me stoked.
“I just switched to working on
Or when I see someone who is
my turns and working on my
super on it, like getting up early
consistency, on that stuff and try
and going for a surf, or just like
to bring consistency into that
not being lazy; that kind of gets
because, especially if I’m on
me motivated. That’s the kind of
tour, all the tour guys... those
stuff that gets me pumped up.”
guys don’t fall; they don’t make mistakes. That’s one of the big
Seth has also been seeking out
things: just my consistency and
guidance from legendary uncles
trying not to fall too much.”
who are better versed in surfing
Seth is willing to put in the hard
Sunset and Haleiwa than Seth,
work and patience needed to
himself, is. Though the Town
earn a spot at that top. From
native still has a leg-up on the
celebrating wins to learning
competitors not raised in these
from losses, Seth recognizes the
tumultuous Hawaiian waters,
value of it all and understands
Seth is wise to talk story with
there is no substitute for time
the likes of his Billabong team
and experience. “I think I was
coach Rainos Hayes and others,
due for [a loss],” Seth stated
gaining invaluable insight, tricks,
about his Portugal performance,
and any other supportive and
“I hate to say that, but in the last
tactical information from those
three events a lot of the heats
who have spent so much time
have gone my way...It’s kind of a
in those waves. “I have Rainos
good thing. It won’t get you too
Hayes in my corner and he’s
confident. You can kind of get
definitely brought great success
ahead of yourself when you start
to a lot of guys at Sunset and
doing so well and stop working
Haleiwa. I guess it’s just on me
to surf and compete well and to Seth also filled us in on what
just do it with confidence.”
he won’t be doing for a while. In further prep for this season
Other than limiting air time by
and life on tour, Seth is shifting
focusing on the fundamentals
his training back to the basics
and staying on-island for the
of surfing. Feeling confident
winter, Seth is sticking to surfing 91
in the traditional sense. “I definitely won’t be foiling this winter,” he said. No, it’s not out of principle. Rather, Seth maintains that foiling, requiring a different technique than traditional surfing, made returning to his short boards feel foreign. Being a beginner can have its challenges, as Seth found out after the foil collided with his cranium, leaving a gash on the back of his head requiring stitches. Moniz put the foil away, saving it for some off-season fun. Seth reiterated that his priority for this year and the early months of 2019 is to continue maintaining focus on contests. He has gotten used to the nerve wracking sensation of surfing in front of large crowds, a phenomenon that will only increase with his success and popularity amongst the masses. Recognizing that confidence is key, Seth remarked on his growth as a competitor, “I’ve been making it to the final days I've definitely learned a lot
about how to deal with the pressure of the big crowds like the US Open with a lot of people watching, a lot of good surfers, pro surfers, people I look up to watching, and I think I'm getting used to being around a lot of pressured environment having all eyes on you. I like it. I’m starting to enjoy it way more.”
Before his schedule gets pumping again, Seth will also get time to squeeze in some fun with family and friends on a planned snowboarding trip to Japan in January. His commitment to friends and family is always his number one priority and a trip with those who matter most to him will be a great way to wrap up a busy year. It won’t be long before the hard-working Seth Moniz jumps right back into it - this time with the big guns - as the tour kicks off next year in Spring 2019. pau
Don't let Seth's small stature fool you. He tends to grow a few inches especially in waves of consequence.
Competitor vs Influencer By Mara Pyzel
So, you want to be a professional surfer when you grow up? Consider there are two distinctly different types of professional surfers and whichever stripes you want to wear, successfully pursuing a career in surfing takes a serious commitment of time, money, and mental and physical fitness. On one hand is the athlete that pursues surfing competition for points, money, titles and prestige. The second is the “brand ambassador,” or more recently pegged as “influencer.” This is a charismatic action performer who has audience, influence and exposure enough to warrant a paycheck-essentially a paid free surfer. Contrary to common perception becoming a professional surfer in any aspect involves more than just a board, waves, and a sponsor or three. Costs include more than just your basic surf necessities. Surf coaching, travel, entry fees and all the other pieces it takes to have a noteworthy professional career generally
Competitive Surfers As a competitive surfer, the plot plan is done for you. You know in advance when and where you will be traveling based on the tour schedule. There is little guess-work involved, as the events schedule has been planned a year or more in advance. With some of his closest friends on the Tour, North Shore big wave charger Koa Rothman has seen the upside to the constructed approach competitive surfing’s calendar provides, “I’m not a contest surfer, but I think the good thing about contests would be knowing exactly what you’re doing… You know you have to practice for this spot, you know, you have to go here. Whereas for me, (being a free surfer primarily) I have to map out my entire life. I have to chase swells; I have to get a filmer and create videos. That’s definitely what I think is the harder part about (a career in) free surfing.” Outside of scheduled photo and video shoots each heat you surf as a competitor showcases your talent live on computer and TV screens across the world. You’ve got drones, replays, close-ups, photo stills, multiple angles from water and the beach, and, at times, thousands of smartphones awaiting your emergence from that barrel or capturing that air. Nowadays nothing goes unsnapped, un-storied, un-liked, undocumented, or unviewed in the high-level surfing
competitions. With each one of those thousands or hundreds of thousands of views your skills are displayed again and again, as are the sponsors on your board and gear. Your marketing value thus increases, with every heat win as do your followers making you more in-demand than ever. When contest time rolls around you pack your quiver of mostly new boards and a few trusted oldies and fly them to location or you may choose to have a few new boards awaiting your arrival. These boards were made specifically with you surfing that break at that time of year in mind. Two-time world champ John John Florence’s shaper, Jon Pyzel, provided some insight about how Florence chooses his contest boards, “John used to always just ride the board he loved. He would be so excited to ride those new boards that he couldn’t help himself, but now with time and maturity he has learned to sort of squander those and save them for contests and ride his favorite goto’s in the meantime. That way if he breaks that magic board - or even with time it just gets worn down - then he still has a great board to use for the contests. Different guys have different approaches, but that’s what we have found works best for him.” Competitors have spent ample time working with their shapers perfecting the formula for their ultimate quiver. The contest is on. Lucky - you have been guaranteed access to the best breaks on the planet with just a few guys out. At some events, you get a jet-ski assist after each ride. Nice. Almost any wave is yours for the taking. “Getting the two best waves and not falling is the most consistent formula,” explains former WSL Qualifying Series competitor Parker Coffin. Though it sounds
don’t come cheap. For such a supposedly laid-back sport becoming a professional surfer demands a lot as was made abundantly clear the more we examined these parallel career paths. Let’s examine both starting with the competitive surfer.
basic, the variables of waves, weather, priority, boards, and about a million other details have the potential to make this a feat. Time’s up and you catch one in. Should you need anything - a massage, water, a mealit's all available at the athlete hospitality area. Guess what? It’s free at just about every contest for those surfing competitively! “It’s probably some of the most organized events I’ve been to,” says surfer Seth Moniz in an interview with the WSL, “We’ve got food in the morning and lunch. We got a nice competitor’s area, so it’s a really solid program to have.” Yes, surfing competitively can seem like the dream gig. If you are lucky enough to procure a big brand sponsor paying your salary, costs may
be somewhat alleviated but can add up significantly in a mental and physical sense. As a competitive athlete, your focus is first and foremost on chasing points. Competitive surfer-turned-influencer, Parker Coffin explained the struggle, “You fight so hard to qualify [for the QS] and then you fight so hard to get on tour you fight so hard to get in the top ten, and then you fight so hard to get the World Title. There’s
always something more.” The ‘points pressure’ can be your greatest motivator or strongest hindrance. Seth Moniz added his perspective in an interview just before he headed off for the event in Portugal. With his spot on the WSL Championship Tour secured, he expressed how his approach to surfing this contest was more relaxed than it had been at events where career changing points were at stake. “I’m excited, I just want to go to [the contest in] Portugal and have some fun finally. Just to be able to go to an event and have no nerves, have no expectations. I still want to do good obviously, but I just want to go there and surf, like, a free surf.” There is also the mental game you need to know how to play competing. Besides the confusing points calculations and all the algebraic if/then
scenarios on the road to achievement, there is also a level of mental fitness one must maintain to stay on point during heats. Friendships may be compromised and history has seen legendary friendships sidelined as a result of competitive drives colliding. Yet, of having a high-stakes heat against honorary brother Zeke Lau, Moniz surmised, “I think I’d just play like any other
As with your mind your physical strength takes training for optimum contest performance. Darren Yap of Tactical Strength and Conditioning in Honolulu and Kid Peligro of Sunset Beach are two favorite trainers for Hawai`i’s surfing’s elite and provide support supplemental to surfing strong all day and every day. But even under the
watchful eye of a professional, you may push yourself too hard when you shouldn’t - or even when you don’t realize you are doing so - and if an injury gets in the way you may lose your career completely, sponsors and
all. Not even the best athletes are immune. When asked how he prepares for a contest, Moniz included, “Surfing, but not over-surfing,” as part of his prep to avoid burnout. This summer we received the news that John John Florence was pulling out of the 2018 season due to a high partial tear of his ACL while surfing in Indo and is taking an open-ended amount of time off to heal up. Though not resulting in sponsorship loss for Florence, it can affect that mental momentum that comes from surfing competitively.
heat, but I think if we’re both winning the heat we might work together to try and keep us up there in the top two spots. But in the start of the heat I know he would still treat me as anyone else and I would do the same.” Keeping a level head, regardless of who you are joining in the water and maintaining that level-headedness regardless of whatever else is happening, is not something that comes naturally to most and is therefore one of the more crucial focal points in training. Surfers like Moniz, Lau, and various HSA and NSSA surf teams even run mock heats intent on training the athletes physically - but also mentally - for greater competitive preparedness.
As a competitive surfer, you can be at the mercy of the big-brand’s image. This may result in projecting a version of yourself to the public that more accurately represents that brand’s image rather than being an honest representation of your own values as a surfer. Ideally one’s sponsor and priorities would be symbiotic, but with limited big-brand choices within the industry, this may not always be the case. And, hey, ya gotta eat!
California surfer Dane Reynolds cited this in his 2011 competitive circuit exit letter, “Declaration of Independence” in which he blogged, “[sic]I also know that I’m fortunate in many other ways. these brands support me and 98
enable me to surf every day and travel and eat and have a house to live in. In return I represent their company in a positive way. I feel like I do a decent job,” then conceded, “but that’s obviously up for debate.” Unfortunately, the outcome may be that as a representative of a brand and as a surfer pressured by the constant expectations of contest delivery, your surfing is stifled by the unrelenting drive for points. And in Reynolds’ case, as with others, they find themselves overwhelmed with pressure and choose to walk away.
Influencer As a brand ambassador or influencer, you are completely in charge of your own surf-
career destiny. Without the pressure to perform in contests projected onto you by the bigbucks, name-brand sponsors, all decisions are up to you. Coffin cites Craig Anderson and Noah Dean as “Industry powerhouses who haven’t surfed a tour.” Driven by selfmotivation allowing you to surf when, where, how, and what you choose, as an influencer your motivation is generated purely by your internal inferno and your performance is judged by more than just a heat’s worth of waves and a panel of dudes. The judgement of an influencer feels closer to home says Coffin, explaining that pressure to perform the best airs is often “Organic, self-motivating, selfcreated pressure.” You are able
you to seek out opportunities that best show your talents and elevate your career. If you take a break from this management role, you risk losing the momentum of your career for good and simply disappear into the ether. Maintaining career longevity means upkeep for your best surfing self with coaches, physical therapists, and a health regimen, all of which are paid for out-of-pocket. However, free surfers recognize it as an investment one needs to make to maintain optimum levels of health for a top-notch and noteworthy performance from each surf. Without the guarantee of a year’s worth of contest wins and publicity, it is up to you to keep yourself relevant and successful through and through. There can be overlap in the two career approaches:
to be more adventurous in your career overall. Without being tied to a calendar of events, you can surf anywhere in the world a swell hits. Famous for his career swap from competitive to free surfer, Dane Reynolds shared his thoughts with Mark Occhilupo in a 2017 interview for Surfer. In it, Reynolds describes the perks of traveling with friends, feeling less alone while abroad. He reflected on his feelings of isolation comparing himself to others on the tour, “They’re all friends and they stay together and stuff. I’d never really had that.” As a free surfer, your ability to experiment with unconventional board shapes is limitless. Sometimes it's just for a laugh,
some entertainment, and going viral (picture JOB on a soft top while bombing Pipe). Your general approach to surfing itself may be less than conventional in terms of training, routine, and overall rigor, rolling out of bed each morning to a turmeric flavored coconut oil latte and 24 hours of unplanned potential. But, as was stated before, you are completely in charge of your own destiny. This freedom may become a burden. From board orders to getting that perfect song for your social media posts to time-consuming airline tickets and travel arrangements, much of the aspects of your career and daily mundane details are handled on your own. It is up to
In both the competitive and free surfing worlds, your relevance is largely dominated by your social media platform. This newest marketing tool has changed the surf sponsorships game. “The first thing that the brands that may want to sponsor you judge you off of is your Instagram,” states Coffin, “Now every brand is dictated by how influential you are, how many followers you have, how broad an audience you reach - they have a direct view into how powerful you are as a marketer.” As a free surfer, you are the one dishing out the dough to videographers and photographers, spending hours on the computer post-surf compiling clips and music to create a “likeable” visual story. “In free surfing, it demands a more creative mindset than competitive surfing does because you have to be able to put together video parts that are portraying you...it demands you being creative in media and other ways you may not have
had to be,” says Coffin, who has a popular creative media platform Young Wise Tails with his brother, competitive surfer Conner Coffin. Also, reaching popularity is Koa Rothman’s “This is Livin’” video shorts, giving those of us on the outside a glimpse into free surfer Rothman’s daily antics - from golfing to going out late night, we can’t get enough. Like Parker Coffin, Rothman recognizes the imperative nature of having a strong social media presence, “There are different ways now that you can market yourself. That’s what I do with ‘This is Livin,’ I feel like it’s done better for me than anything I’ve done my entire career, even with some of the waves I’ve got. That’s the best thing I’ve ever done is make videos.” Media exposure can lead to increased income, and free surfers have honed other means of publicity and income to supplement earning. Appreciating the value of the media marketing skills he has learned along the way, Coffin remarked, “I think the most important thing it is teaching is brand management - learning a skill set that you can use for other jobs outside the surfing world, as well.” Many surfers dabble in side gigs such as surf schools, real estate sales, hosting high-end surf trips, farming, modeling, even careers in music, to pay the bills. The Koas (Smith and Rothman), both free surfers, along with Smith’s brother Travis, put their heads together, opening up popular Sunset Beach coffee stop The Sunrise Shack. “It started as just a tiny little coffee shop made by a couple surfers and now it's grown into something that we actually just licensed in [Tokyo,] Japan. I’m honestly shocked by how far it’s come,” remarks Rothman, “Turning this little fruit stand into a coffee shop
Keoki Parker Coffin
and painting it yellow, it’s pretty mind-blowing,” adding, “There’s no way I could have done this without them [Travis and Koa Smith] and I think vice versa, too.” Of switching modes from surfer to responsible small business owner, Rothman acknowledged how far he has come, “‘I’ve learned so much. I was just this surfer and whatever and now we run this business and it’s a whole different world of business. I’ve learned a lot. Learned a lot of what not to do. (laughs) Nah, it’s all been really fun.” Still, Rothman won’t be quitting his day job, “Surfing is my main priority but I’ve always wanted multiple jobs and things I can do to create income because nothing lasts forever. With the coffee shop, it’s something I can do [long-term]. Surfing careers don’t last long so there’s other options I can look into. Same with the ‘This is Livin,’ videos.” Though most guys rarely cease surfing, the paychecks for both competitive and free surfers may dwindle as the years go on and the young guns emerge on the scene with their airs, endless energy and insatiable drive for notoriety. Like Nathaniel Curran serving as Channel Islands Surfboards’ Global Team Manager, Shaun Ward working with his former sponsor, Jon Rose collaborating with Hurley for his Waves for Water nonprofit, and Joel Tudor creating the Vans Duct Tape Invitational event. Competitive surfers may have an ‘in’ with their main sponsor and can move into a position within
that company when the time comes. Having experienced the mind games and surf pressures brought on by competition also makes them great candidates to become coaches for the newer guys on tour. Momentum Generation and 90’s tour regular Ross Williams, for example, has taken his professional surfing background into coaching John John Florence and, in a way, reliving his tour days. This time, though, he has the wisdom that comes with age on his side, joking with Freesurf of his coaching role, “I’ve taken on an Uncle role, but
industry in a positive light, “I was really confused about it all [...] I needed to find out what I needed to do and thankfully I was able to talk to some people and they took the time to talk with me and really help me figure out where to go from here. Now I get to ride for this amazing company Roark and we go around the world and just make movies. It’s awesome. It wasn’t where I expected my career to go, but now that I’m here I’m loving it and I’m seeing a completely different side of a surf career.” The bottom line is, regardless of your passion, if you can turn it into your career, you are stoked. Being able to turn surfing into a lucrative lifestyle in any shape that may take is an amazing
I’m also a big kid.” Prior to his coaching days, Williams worked the media side of the industry as an insightful WSL commentator. Careers such as Williams’ within the industry seem like natural progressions, though there will always be cases with every sponsor in which an industrybased career with them is simply not an option, for one reason or another.
opportunity, the kind where you pinch yourself just to know its real. Even John John Florence recognizes the surreal-ness of his success within the sport and, in looking back at his 2017 wins, including the World Title, deemed it, “One of the best years of my life,” while in true John form humbly appreciating the realization of his childhood dream.
Though it took introspection and a strong support system, Parker Coffin saw his evolution from the competitive circuit into that of the free surf
To achieve a childhood dream, isn’t that’s what we all want when grow up? pau
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For a surfer to be able to say they found a perfect ten-point ride during a contest in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is a lifetime prize in and of itself. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a trophy not only enjoyed by the athletes, but by the crowds, too, who, on the beach when the moment happened, get to relive that spellbound experience, watching the ride that was scored to perfection; holding their breath while the surfer vanishes inside a barreling monster, then unleashing the cheers that cannot be contained when they come flying out with the spit. The trophy then sparkles on for decades, mystifying and inspiring people years after the beaches have cleared. Here, we spitshine a few of those old glory moments and remember some of the most memorable perfect 10s of the Vans Triple Crown.
Setting the Bar: Derek Ho, 1986 Pipe Masters The annual running of the Pipe Masters had been going for over a decade and a half before a son of the North Shore rode a 10-point barrel so mind-blowing that it became the standard for perfect rides at Pipeline for generations to come. The year was 1986 and the surfer was Derek Ho who, in 1993, went on to clinch both the Vans Triple Crown and the ASP World Title, becoming the first-ever Hawaiian world surfing champion. With the same style, grace, and courage Uncle Derek puts into charging Pipe today, he dropped into the pit of a heaving barrel and maintained his line deep inside for a whopping eight seconds while the wave heaved spit over him not once, but twice before he flew out of the tube. That year, Ho won both the Pipe Masters and the Vans Triple Crown, but above that he earned a place in surfing lore well before he cemented his spot in surfing history.
Greatest Heat Ever: Andy Irons, 2006 Pipe Masters In what is widely regarded as the greatest heat ever run at the Pipe Masters, Kauai legend Andy Irons battled above all odds to seize victory from the jaws of the GOAT. Conditions were good to epic that year and all the competitors were landing solid rides, but Kelly Slater was picking gems out of the sea like fresh fruit from a tree, each one sweeter than the last until he had fellow heavyweights Irons, Rob Machado, and Corey Lopez all in combination. They all fought hard but AI roared back with an inconceivable 9.87 Pipeline barrel with a celebratory lip-line floater on the end, inching in front of Slater. Not to be outdone by his main rival, Slater muscled back with an excellent score that put him right on Andy’s heels. Having the inside advantage, Irons was able to drop into a Backdoor bomb that went screaming down the line, spitting the legendary charger out standing tall with both fists in the air. When a last-ditch effort clamped shut on Slater’s chances for any victory other than the eighth world title he received that year, Andy and the boisterous crowd flooding the beach could really rejoice over the unforgettable victory of the 2006 Pipe Master and Vans Triple Crown Champion.
The Snap: Tom Carroll, 1991 Pipe Masters Tom Carroll saw an opportunity in pristine conditions at the 1991 Pipe Masters final that few surfers would attempt: carving into the face of a double overhead offering and hacking into it below the lip. Carroll’s ingenuity in opting for an outrageously powerful maneuver instead of the barrel and the sheer strength and skill it takes to achieve it earned him a perfect score that would help him go on to win both Pipe Masters and the Vans Triple Crown that year. But the 7’8” semi-gun didn’t make it out of the event so well. The board broke with five minutes left in the final, and by the end of the day both pieces of the historic board had disappeared from the event site. Fast forward 15 years and Carroll is told that Liam McNamara knows where the board is and could get it back, no questions asked. The board pieces were returned that day, but it took another nine years before the mystery was fully solved. Three years ago, the Pipe Master, Volcom Pipe Pro Champion, and permanent Pipeline resident went to Carroll and admitted that he, as a young and frothing grom, took the broken board. All was forgiven, of course: after a snap that mind-blowing, anyone’s allowed a moment of madness.
Inspiring the Champ: Pat O'Connell at Backdoor, 1999 Pipe Masters
Perfection at Pipe: Joel Parkinson, 2008 Pipe Masters Perfect heats — scoring two perfect 10s for a maximum possible 20-point two-wave combo — are notable anywhere and decidedly rare, as they should be. But to swish back to back perfection at a wave commonly known as “The Proving Grounds” is something only two men have achieved: the Greatest of All Time (Kelly Slater) and an affable Gold Coast bloke known simply as Parko. The two Backdoor bombs that gifted Joel with perfect scores sealed the fate of the heat against Dusty Payne. Though his hopes in the 2008 event were ended in Round 4 by Timmy Reyes, the perfect heat is a crystalized moment in surfing history that can never be minimized, altered, or possibly even repeated (though with Parko serving as a coach to such young up-and-comers as Griffin Colapinto, who’s already won one Vans Triple Crown, we’ll just have to wait and see). Despite losing Pipe Masters in 2008, Parko did win the Vans Triple Crown that year, and for two more consecutive years after, making his perfect heat the launching point for a three-peat that had only previously been achieved by Sunny Garcia, the most successful surfer in Vans Triple Crown history.
Star of “Endless Summer II” Pat O’Connell also played a role in inspiring future Pipe experts with perfect 10s in contests. In his Round 1 superheat against Kelly Slater and Shane Dorian, O’Connell unleashed a Backdoor tube ride that earning an undeniable 10 from the judge’s panel. But one judge down on the beach may have scored it even higher: for eight-year-old local John John Florence, the image of the Chicago-to-SoCal surfer emerging from that barrel was ingrained in his memory as something to aspire to. It’s a rare feat for someone’s perfect 10 to competitively benefit anyone other than the athlete, but O’Connell’s 10 ultimately served as a brick in the path to two world championships and three Triple Crown victories.
Haleiwa does Sunset: Olamana Eleogram, 2014 Hawaiian Pro As you’ve probably already noticed, every other heart-stopping moment on this list took place during a running of the Pipe Masters, which stands to reason since 10s at Pipe tend to have the heightened memorable drama of title implications and tour qualifications (as well as the perfection of Pipeline and Backdoor with the right swell). Maui Boy Olamana Eleogram stands alone in making our list for a perfect ride earned at the 2014 Reef Hawaiian Pro, which was, as always, held at Haleiwa, but that year Haleiwa decided to switch things up and pretend to be Sunset for the day. The waves were double and triple overhead, just choppy enough with a bit of west to make the rides even more entertaining. Following an interference call early in Eleogram’s Round 1 heat against Jamie O’Brien, Damien Hobgood, and Thomas Woods, Ola was eager to make something of the rest of the heat and went for broke by dropping behind an impossibly heavy lip, disappearing without a trace and miraculously popping out of the doggy door at the last second. It’s worth wondering how far he could have gone with two counting waves, but since he had to make do with one he made it a perfect 10.
A Day of Firsts: Gabriel Medina, 2014 Pipe Masters
Finals Day at the 2014 Pipe Masters was a day of firsts and of records. One of the most notable historic moments of the day was already a shoe-in: Gabriel Medina was the newest ASP World Champion, and the first ever Brazilian world surfing champion. But as he steadily progressed through the rounds to ultimately meet Australia’s Julian Wilson in the final, he was just revving his engines for one of the most notable finals in Vans Triple Crown history. The final scores had Wilson edging out Medina by less than half a point to claim his first Pipe Masters and Vans Triple Crown titles, making it the closest final in VTCS history. Though both men stayed busy in the final (Julian catching eight waves and Gabriel riding six) their two keeper scores were astronomical on both sides: Wilson’s 19.43 total was the result of two high 9’s, and Medina had his own impressive 9 in his scoreline. But the wave of the day and, in fact, the first and only 10-point ride of the 2014 Pipe Masters, went to Medina at Backdoor. He dropped into his casual backhand barrel stance, one hand on the rail, and navigated an increasingly narrow tube as sections cascaded around him, creating the perfect moment of suspense before he flew up, arms overhead, straight into the Brazilian and surfing history books.
Double Overhead for Double Digits: Kieren Perrow, 2011 Pipe Masters Kieren Perrow is known for making the call on WSL championship contests these days, and in 2011 he did the same thing for what would ultimately be one of the most memorable days of his career. As the ASP surfer’s rep, Perrow had a voice in whether or not finals day for the 2011 Pipe Masters would be called on that December morning. He had certainly been testing the waters in previous days when the maxed out swell was sending in waves from second and third reef. Kieren had even survived a gnarly wipeout during an early heat against Tanner Gudauskas in what some have called the biggest and best Pipe conditions in history, and he was still scoring some of the deepest barrels of the event, marching into the final rounds. After demolishing a young Gabriel Medina in Quarters, he met up with Michel Bourez in the Semifinals, and though conditions had significantly downgraded from the deadly previous days to a manageable 4-6 feet Perrow still found himself a cavern to stand tall in. Miraculously finding the one perfect opportunity in an otherwise low-scoring heat allowed him to advance to the final against Parko and his first ASP event win and Pipe Masters title.
Wildest Card in the Deck: Mason Ho, 2015 Pipe Masters Mason Ho, son of Michael and nephew of Derek, is Pipeline royalty, though he’d be the last to admit it. Luckily for him his surfing does all the talking, and after he earned a wildcard spot in the 2015 Pipe Masters his message was loud and clear. Conditions were all-time that year, and while the heavy sets brought out the nerves in some surfers and nearly took out others on cringeworthy wipeouts, Mason was grinning from ear to ear on every wave. He eliminated Jadson Andre and Dusty Payne to jump to Round 3, where he ended Filipe Toledo’s early World Title dreams. By his Round 4 matchup against Joel Parkinson the waves were perfection, standing tall and square and offering one barrel after the next. Mason dropped into one dreamy vortex and the beach fell silent as the image of Ho, his arm buried in the face of the wave, vanished behind a blue curtain and turning white water. Seconds later, the wave belched for a foamy spray, which, as it dissipated, revealed a laughing Mason, standing tall on a wave where his family created the benchmark for perfect 10s at Pipe way back in 1986.
Fighting the Fight: Sebastian Zietz, 2015 Pipe Masters 2015 was a tough year on tour for Sebastian Zietz, and as the Vans Triple Crown offered up his final chance to hold his place the CT at Pipe Masters he was ready to give it absolutely everything, which is what he did against Jeremy Flores in Round 3. The biggest wave of the day approached and Seabass was perfectly positioned for a steep, deep, critical drop. The heavy curtain fell around him and he fully disappeared from view before casually flying out of the barrel, standing tall with his arms hanging by his side (save for a mini claim on kickout). The seemingly effortless ride landed Zietz the first 10 of the event. Sadly it still wasn’t enough and he lost to Flores by 0.21 of a point. Though he didn’t technically requalify that year, the devastating injury Owen Wright suffered at Pipeline led to Bass receiving opportunities as an injury replacement during the Australian leg, where he went on to win the Margaret River Pro and secure his current place on tour.
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Lifeguard Safety Tips During winter season on the North Shore there is a significant increase in wave power and consistency. On the North Shore of Oahu, from the months of October through April, it’s considered high surf season. With big surf comes a level of excitement and of course, danger. So we asked North Shore lifeguards for some safety tips to help in making good decisions before entering the ocean anywhere along the North Shore. Stay safe and enjoy!
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Pay attention to beach signs and warnings. Assess the conditions before you enter the ocean, if you're not too sure, always ask a lifeguard. Recommendations by other visitors could be an untrustful source. What seems fun for one might not be as suitable for another, especially with ocean conditions that can change dramatically. Choose to swim and surf at beaches that are lifeguard protected. In extreme conditions, don’t take a chance by entering the water. When interpreting weather advisories and high surf warnings. “High Surf Advisory” (15 ft. faces) is a condition which is dangerous to swimmers and beachgoers and “High Surf Warning” (25 ft. faces) is a condition where its a threat to life and property are at risk. Stay away from rocks or rocky coastline where large surf can suddenly appear. If you're not sure if surf is present, check the rocks or surrounding area for signs of recent wetness or water activity. If you find yourself stuck in a rip current, swim parallel to the beach, either right or left, and look for surf to help you in. Or the a simple way to remember this is “white in, blue out,” meaning the white water helps you to the beach, blue water takes you out to sea. Never leave children unattended on the beach. If you see someone in trouble and needs help, get the the attention of the lifeguards and others before attempting a rescue. By trying to help others in danger, you are also putting yourself at risk. Let trained professionals attend to emergencies and keep clear of the area. If you shall be faced with an incident, using your best judgment helps. If you have to second guess yourself about entering the water, take it as a sign and don't do it! When in doubt, don’t go out!!
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Kona and Kaden Russi By Kyveli Diener and Matt Bender Photos Jim Russi
With windblown, wild hair, and nearly permanent grins on their bronzed faces, a pair of quintessential North Shore groms are beginning to make their mark in surfing. Meet Kona and Kaden Russi. These kids rip, and they also know how to mix in the fun, taking to myriad outdoor activities typical of Hawai`i’s keiki. Stoked to blaze bikes down Pupukea’s mountain trails, thrash coping at Banzai Skatepark or sand-slide the shorebreak at Monster Mush with friends, these bold brothers don’t know the meaning of downtime. And when the waves turn on at Rocky Point-their backyard playgroundtheir stylish surfing and miniature stature starkly stand out. In fact, the boys have already attracted sponsorship from Vissla, Vertra, Futures, Schaper Hawaii, and North Shore Surf Shop--and before they’ve even
graduated grade school. At twelve years old, regular-footed Kona’s surfing mirrors that of his eleven-year-old brother, Kaden, who surfs with his right foot forward. Despite sharing stickers and a similar aesthetic, Kaden claims he’s on the “quads for life” program and fervently hunts sections, while big brother Kona takes a more traditional, natural-foot-on-a-thruster approach. In person, Kona is a little more reserved, Kaden more outspoken. Guts, form, and hyperactive energy levels are shared characteristics. To boot, the brothers are stalwart students at Sunset Beach Elementary, respectful of their elders, and friendly, adding likeability to their array of attributes.
their father, Jim Russi, is a world-renowned surf photographer who has spent decades documenting world-class surfing. You could say he knows a thing or two about style. Rather than adding to the ever-present pressure inherent to surfing the proving grounds of our sport, Jim likes to watch (and shoot) from the sidelines, encouraging, critiquing, and documenting his boys in a relatively passive--yet productive--manner. Duly noted, Jim.
Kona and Kaden’s solid foundation for success rests on heritage too. Strong roots can help grow dreams into reality, and
Where is your favorite spot? Kaden: I would have to say Rocky Lefts. Kona Boy: Gas Chambers
While we at Freesurf await an exciting future for the brotherly duo, we caught up with them recently to pick their brains, touching on the Vans Triple Crown, title guesses, and John John Florence.
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What’s the funnest thing about surfing? Kaden: Getting pounded. Kona: Surfing with all your friends. Who is in your crew of surf friends? Kaden: Rivan Roskopf, Maddix Alotis, Lincoln Norton, Kailani Fernandez, Isaiah Briley, and Shiloh Tennberg. Kona: Ryder Briley, Kanekoa Sullivan, Kailani Fernandez, Reef Moore, Trey Speigler, and Mick Houser. Goals to achieve before high school graduation? Kaden: I hope to get barreled on at least one firing day out at Pipeline.
Kona: I want to go to Waco, Texas and surf BSR Cable Park and stick a big air. Who’s your favorite surfer? Kaden: John John Florence. Kona: John Florence. What about him do you admire the most? Kaden: He’s very kind, and rips. Kona: The airs and the turns he does are crazy! Surf all day in Kelly’s wave pool, or have a day at your favorite break with only friends out? Kaden: ...I really would be uncomfortable
without my friends...but I still would have to say it’d be Kelly’s wave pool. Kona: Favorite break with friends out, for sure. Goals for this winter season? Kaden: Surfing bigger waves...so I can start going on [gnarlier] surf trips with my dad. Kona: I would like to start surfing some bigger waves this winter. Acai bowl or breakfast sandwich? Kaden: Acai. Kona: Acai bowl.
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Slipper or shoes? Kaden: Slippers. Kona: Shoes. Bike or skateboard? Kaden: Bike. Kona: Skateboard. Best Vans Triple Crown spot: Haleiwa, Sunset, Pipeline? Kaden: Pipeline. Kona: Pipeline, duh. Lefts or rights? Kaden: Lefts. Kona: Rights all the way. Air, power turn, or barrel? Kaden: I can’t decide! Kona: Power turn.
Next Vans Triple Crown Champ? Kaden: John John if healthy, or Griffin Colapinto. Kona: John John will come back! Next World Champ? Kaden: Filipe Toledo. Kona: Julian Wilson. Last words or any advice you want to give to our readers? Kaden: Always be kind, and practice if you want to achieve your goals. Kona: If the wave breaks here, don’t be there...or you’re gonna get drilled!
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THE PROGRESS By Kahi Pacarro
Mikey “Redd” O’Shaugnhessy
The $10,000 cash prize that lined Mikey “Redd” O’Shaugnhessy’s pockets fueled a summer of tube hunting. As the winner of The ProTest last winner, Mikey in collaboration with Nate Tyler put together the best edit of the 2017-18 winter on ecoboards. His fire burns as hot as the glowing red hair on his head and with cash still saved up, it looks like Mikey is ready to take on a few of the purple blobs destined to pop up this winter. We’re stoked on his momentum and look forward to seeing his and all the other entries for this years iteration of our competition. As part of the ProTest, an ecoboard project put on by Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii and run by Cliff Kapono and myself, $10,000 was awarded to the best edit of the winter using ecoboards. The edits that came through were top notch including other finalists Casey Goepel, Ezra Sitt, Ulu Boy Napeahi, Miguel Blanco, Marco Giorgi, Kalani Chapman, and Lucas Godfrey. Their ability to showcase the capabilities of ecoboards left no doubt that the ecoboard revolution is at hand and that the ecoboards work just as good if not better than their 100% toxic peers.
of ecoboard adoption and performance, we continue to push the envelope of what’s possible. Since we are no longer protesting we’ve decided to rebrand and are now calling this project The Progress. Taking what we’ve learned, we’ve redesigned it so anyone can be a part of The Progress.
After the ProTest this past Winter, we took the project to the Southern Hemisphere as part of the Jeffreys Bay leg of the WSL Championship Tour. Led by Frankie Solomon, the project took on a road trip feel taking Frankie across South Africa looking for talent and putting them on ecoboards and highlighting those already on them.
The prize purse is the same, but we’ve broken it out into multiple disciplines and opened up the project to anyone in the World. To enter the competition, all you have to do is surf an ecoboard, rip the heck out of a wave, have it posted to instagram and tag #TheProgressSurfComp. We’ll find the best vids, highlight them on Instagram @TheProgressSurfComp and vote for the best at the end of the Winter Season.
Now the project is back and better than ever. We’ve learned so much in a year and are now evolving the project to showcase the progress that ecoboards have made. By continuing to highlight the progression
The board must be at minimum a level one eco board as defined
The average surfboard is completely toxic made from petroleum based materials that persist in the environment for thousands of years. Current technologies have proven that this hypocritical and detrimental consumer behavior is no longer necessary. There are alternatives to our toxic surfboards and by using plant and algae based derivatives or recycled materials, we can minimize the boards impacts on the environment. We’re pushing for faster adoption of ecoboards because as demand for ecoboards increase, so does the supply and innovation needed to make them even better.
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by Sustainable Surf. This means that the core of your board must be at least 25% recycled or plant based content and/or at least 20% plant based resin with low to zero VOC’s. But we’d be even more stoked if you really pushed the envelope and made your boards as eco as possible. The different prizes are broken out in 5 sections, Best barrel Best air Best power turn Best performance by a Female* Biggest wave *Females can win in any category There are shapers all around the world utilizing better materials and if they’re not in your neck of the woods, be sure to spark the conversation that will fuel the needed transition. Last year we had a quiver of boards made by the best shapers in the world made specifically for the North Shore of Oahu. These included boards from Eric Arakawa, Jon Pyzel, Robin Johnston, Kamalei Alexander, Matty Raynor, Kyle Bernhardt, Joe Demarco, Daniel Jones, Nat Wooley, Kerry Tokoro, Wade Tokoro, Carl Olsen, Glenn Pang, Jeff Bushman, Brett Marumoto, Mike Mattisson, Carl Schaper, Drew Sparrow, and Jeff Timpone. We were also blessed with donations of ecoboards you can get right off the rack from Firewire and Channel Islands. This year it’s up to you to get out there and get an ecoboard from your shaper, shop, or online. We won’t have a dream quiver to hand out to you to borrow. The movement has been sparked and you can now find recycled blanks, algae blanks, and bio based resins available on Oahu. Get out there! Snag some nuggets on an ecoboard, go ham, and get it documented. Lot’s of different ways to win this year and we’ve made it even easier for you to enter. We look forward to seeing the results. In the meantime, to see videos from last year and to learn more follow along on Instagram @TheProgressSurfComp.
E V E N T S
FLYIN' HAWAIIANS By Kyveli Diener Photos Corey Wilson
Mason Ho gettin getting religious at the the Stab High event with his Christ Air
Malolo is the local name for the Hawaiian flying fish, and it’s very well-suited that to word lolo (crazy) is in that name because the Hawaiian surfers with aerial skills have truly been going crazy this year — in edits, in traditional contests, and in air shows, a new genre of surf event born this year specifically dedicated to launching and stomping critical above the wave maneuvers. These contests draw together the media-darling pro surfers who grind it out on the QS and CT with the scrappy, lesser known free surfers making a name for themselves through edits, on Instagram, and by word of mouth straight from the lineup. The first ever air show was the Stab High contest in September that gathered a talented international field in the most random surf zone ever: Waco, Texas at the BSR Cable Park. There was a strong Hawaiian contingency spanning the island chain at the event: Maui was perhaps best represented with three out of the four competitors hailing from the windy Valley Isle (Albee Layer, Matt Meola, and grom-to-watch Eli Hanneman), but Oahu’s lone representative definitely had enough charisma and skill for the whole island (Mason Ho). Even the Big Island was there deep in the heart of Texas in the form of big wave legend Shane Dorian, who was on commentator duty with Bobby Martinez. “I like it, the energy’s really good and everybody’s having fun. It’s really positive, really relaxed,” said Dorian. “It’s performance-based: you know you’re going to get a certain number of chances. In a normal contest there’s so many other factors like priority and time, whether the wave’s gonna come or not and if it’s gonna be a sh*tty wave. For this, every wave is the same and every section is the same,
so it really evens the playing field. It’s less about luck and more about who can hold it together under pressure” “It’s funny because I’m not really an air guy so it’s really interesting for me to analyze and break down a lot of these aerials. I’m kind of up on it but on some of them I had to ask my son Jackson, who’s a skateboarder so he knows a lot of the technical names of the tricks,” said Dorian. The day was a surprisingly memorable one for Jackson, who was celebrating his 12th birthday that September 22nd and was surprised with a spontaneous call-up to take a flying leap off a tenfoot wall into the pool and catch his own wave during the event. Though the event was ultimately won by Australian Noa Deane, Jackson wasn’t the only young Hawaiian turning heads in the pool that day. Maui’s Hanneman, one of the youngest competitors at 15 years old, executed some of the loftiest, cleanest, most mindbending airs of the event, and casually made the landing on almost every attempt. Eli took third in the event behind Deane and Chippa Wilson, standing on his tippy-toes to say thank you into the too-tall microphone at the awards ceremony. “He’s surfing so good and like he has no pressure,” Dorian commented, before talking about his other favorite surfer in the event. “I thought Matt Meola was a little underscored. I thought he surfed really, really well. He was killing it.” “The judging needs to be a little bit different,” Meola humbly said with a shrug. “They were so focused on smooth landings I feel like they forgot about difficulty of trick, so sometimes I felt like a super 138
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E V E N T S
Air has no discrimination, Eli Hanneman, the events youngest competitor
basic air with a smooth landing beat something that was ten times more difficult with not as smooth a landing, but the skill it took to do that is way harder.” But as for the event as a whole and air contests to come, Meola couldn’t have been more stoked, saying, “Just the vibe of this place and how close everyone is, it’s like a big pool party and everything’s happening around it. It’s really sick.” The other Hawaiian to make the final was prodigal North Shore son Mason Ho, who pulled out all the stops for the fun event. He attempted an indy grab with a kickoff several times, but despite landing the move repeatedly on practice days he couldn’t stick it in the comp. During the Acid Drop, where surfers (along with whoever else felt like joining them) leaped off the wall into the pool’s offering of a perfect three-wave set, Ho went for broke and tried to land a Christ air. Finally, in the final round, Ho went for a dizzying rodeo, stomping the landing with his permanent smile firmly in place. When he took the stage at the awards ceremony for his fifth place finish, he dedicated his performance to the late Chas Chidester. Reflecting on the event, Ho said, “My favorite person to watch out in the pool…to be honest I think I have three…Matt Meola is one of them for me, I don’t know the other two right now off the top of my head. Of course Not Deane was fun to watch cuz he was doing the shove-its. For me, it’s Sheldon Paishon: I’ve seen him out here and that kid…he would’ve maybe even won today. So for me, in the pool, it’s Matt Meola and Sheldon Paishon.” The Stab High contest was followed quickly by the WSL’s first of many air shows, the Redbull Airborne, which took place in France during the running of the Championship Tour stop in Hossegor. Ho, Meola, Layer, and Oahu’s Kalani David all wowed in that event too, and with any luck we’ll get to see these malolo rippers sending it in air shows for years to come. pau
Salani Surf Resort Samoa ,
The Heart of South Pacific Surfing
For details and reservations: waterwaystravel.com | 888.669.7873 (SURF) PHOTO: T. REDENOUR
8/30/18 11:34 AM
I N D USTRY NOTES John Wessinger’s “Ride the Wave” Navy Exchange, Pearl Harbor
“Ride the Wave” by John Wessinger applies the principles of surfing to relate with the business world of sales and marketing. Using surfing as a platform to show entrepenuers how to overcome challenges in today’s online, time-dominant world, and to think outside of the box. Rated a 8 out of 10 stars, “Ride the Wave” is considered a must read for those looking to start a business or keeping their a business a float.
Taylor Slater at Wyland Galleries
Freesurf Magazine available on Base
Daughter of 11x world champion Kelly Slater, Taylor Slater, will be showcasing her photography and art work as a special exhibit at Wyland Galleries Haleiwa on December 8th, 2018. Taylor has been inspired by the ocean lifestyle in which she hopes to influence change by helping local communities and encourage a plastic-free ocean.
Freesurf Magazine has expanded its reach to those who are serving our country. Starting in October, you will be able to find Freesurf Magazine in over 50 plus outlets on Naval, Marine, and Army bases over Oahu.
Red Bull “Queen of the Bay” holding period
The first -ever women’s Waimea Bay big wave event, the “Red Bull Queen of the Bay” starts its holding period from October 1st to November 21st, 2018. This event see’s 26 females from seven different countries including Hawaii’s Keala Kenelly and Paige Alms to Australia’s Laura Enever. The event proudly honors Queen Ka'ahumanu, the female Hawaiian surfer who has been known to help break down barriers in surfing. Due to a lack of surf in the previous year, hopes are high for this years see’s a go, “Fingers crossed we get the weather and waves we need to bring this to life at Waimea," says North Shore’s Emi Erickson.
Hurricane Walaka made itself known the day after the opening Pipe swell. Walaka was located WSW of the Hawaiian islands as category 2 hurricane that sent huge surf to the island that favor the WSW direction. On the south shore of Oahu, Ala Moana Bowls infamous red buoy was washed to shore after a huge 10ft+ set closed out the Ala Wai channel. On the North Shore, considered a novelty direction of swell, had Ehukai beach park breaking ay 8-10 ft with rides up to 200 yards long.
Kai Ku Hale Green Style Island Living Unique Hawaiian Art, Home Decor & Gifts
Haleiwa Town Center
Open 10 am - 6pm Daily 66-145 Kamehameha Hwy., Haleiwa, HI 96712 Phone: (808) 636-2244 www.kaikuhale.com
I N DUSTRY NOTE S
Johnny the Ripper
World Surf League has teamed up with Surfline to bring you “True Surf,” the official mobile surf game of the World Surf League. With over twelve of the worlds most famous breaks, “True Surf” is able to change the conditions in the game with real time conditions. Compete against other gamers around the world for your own World Title.True Surf has been launched for iOS smartphones, but will also be available for Android users.
John Michael Van Hohenstein claims 2018 US National Longboard Champion and The 2018 Hawaii Longboard state Champion John Michael Van Hohenstein wants to become a professional surfer when he gets older and at age 15 he is already very close to his goal. He has recently earned the title of 2018 US National Longboard Champion and The 2018 Hawaii Longboard State Champion.
John John teams up with NSSA Hawaii WSL World Champion John John Florence has collaborated with NSSA Hawaii to donate $500 to a NSSA athlete who acquire’s the most improved grade’s from the 2017-2018 school year. Maui’s 11-year old Erin Brooks is the awardee for the 2017 John John Florence NSSA award, “Thank you John John for supporting NSSA surfers and encouraging us to be our best in and out of the water. You are a great role model for all of us and I am stoked to win this award!
Reef sold to Rockport Group VF Corp. announced in early October they will be selling surf footwear brand Reef to the Rockfort Group. “Reef is a powerful brand with deep authenticity and an incredibly loyal customer base, said Rockforts CEO Gregg Ribatt. Reef will still be operated as an independant brand and will be located still in Carlsbad, California.
John’s Insta handle @johnnytheripper says it all. The young athlete is just oozing talent and his passion for surfng radiates with his unique, classic and progressive longboarding approach. It is clear his influences come from Hawaii‘s finest such as Kai Sallas whom he shares frequent sessions with at they’re home break Queen’s in Waikiki.
Laura Mellow and Steven Kean exhibit at Hawaii State Art Museum HISAM Gallery Shop x Mori by Art + Flea will be holding its annual Winter Swell Art Exhibit. This year the show will feature the works of Laura Mellow and Steven Kean. The gallery shop is located on the first floor of the Hawaii State Art Museum. A public reception will be held on December 7th from 6 pm - 9 pm. It will be held in conjunction with First Friday. The show is held during the winter months in celebration of the monster waves that hit Hawai'i's North Shore. The exhibit runs through January 30, 2018. Both Steven Kean and Laura Mellow have been featured in Free Surf Magazine.
United Airlines offer free board bag fees United Airlines is the first airlines to waive board bag fees for flights to and from California. The company quoted saying “To celebrate surfing as the new state sport of California, customers traveling to and from California with a surfboard, paddleboard and/or wakeboard will not be charged an oversize fee.” Effective October 5th 2018, board bags under 99 lbs in an appropriate board bags will be accepted. 144
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The final event of the Vans Triple Crown and last stop for the WSL World Championship Tour, Banzai Pipeline holds itself in surfing history as one of the most iconic breaks of all-time... and for good reason. Photo: Keoki