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Available at Town and Country


Photos: Keoki, Rock, Hef f, Freesur f.


Mojo Model by Kerry Tokoro: 5’11” X 18.63” X 2.31”

Ala Moana Center




HIC Hawaiian Island Creations




Swells in the middle of summer on the North Shore is a rarity but this out of season 4-6ft NW swell, gave Dad's like Billy Kemper a reason to celebrate Father's Day with power while test riding on his new T&C Surf Flux Model. Photo: Keoki





10 Free Parking

30 How To

56 Surf Art

16 Publisher’s Note

32 Charities We Like

60 Environment

20 Rewind

48 She Rips

54 Industry Notes

26 C-Stars

52 Pau Hana

66 Last Look

Model: Kim Bergill-Gentile Photo: Karim Iliya

Kirk Lee Aeder


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Windward Surf Pics





We ’ r e s o e x c i t e d , a s pictured here, that the launch of Seeker is here! Products are available for purchase online now! seekerofsunshine.com @seekerofsunshine


By Mike Latronic

In the wise words of sage sixth century B.C. philosopher Lao Tzu, “Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it…” Regarded as the “Father of Taoism,” one has to wonder if this wise man rode a thruster or a single fin? Maybe he was a rebel and rode a twinny? The past few weeks have offered our island wave chasers a bounty of swell and surf options on both the south and north shores of all Hawaiian Islands. And no matter what equipment they chose to ride, they were blessed to be in the ocean having fun with friends and connecting with nature. This makes for a happy landscape on many fronts. Good views, happy people and healthy living when you spend your free time chasing waves. While surfing my brains out on Father’s Day weekend, there were


P U B L I S H E R ’ S

several instances when I reflected on the friends around me and other wave goers and truly felt a sense of well-being. These people were engaged in a healthy, harmless pursuit, using mother nature’s energy to draw fun and inspiration as they danced upon water. In my humble estimation, this is a divine use of free time. The longer I get to enjoy this water planet on weekends such as this, the more I believe that life is simply a culmination of experiences, thoughts and actions. From grinding out at work to cruising on the couch at home or cultivating relationships with friends, loved ones and family or even meditating solo, the value of life is the sum of your actions, thoughts and experiences. Of all the pursuits we can focus on - love, money, fame, peace, sport or other - we surfers have a secret. Our “sport,” drives or relates to the other ones. Think about it. After even a decent surf session our mood is enhanced. It naturally immerses us in nature and what a great example of love for our fellow man or woman while surfers hoot and cheer and hi five each other sharing the ocean. It also gives our bodies exercise and raises the spirit. Sign me up… and...Siri, do keep me logged in.

r e n n Ta l e i n McDa

Editorial Publisher Mike Latronic Managing Editor / Photo Editor Keoki Saguibo Art Director John Weaver Multimedia Director Tyler Rock Ambassador-at-Large Chris Latronic Editorial Assistant Kyveli Diener

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Copy Editor Mara Pyzel West Coast Distribution Chuck Hendsch (619) 227-9128 East Coast Distribution Eastern Surf Supply (808) 638-7395 Hawaii Distribution All Islands (808) 638-7395 Staff Photographers Tony Heff, Chris Latronic, Mike Latronic, Tyler Rock, Keoki Saguibo Contributing Writers Kyveli Diener, Daniel Ikaika Ito, Alexandra Kahn, Kelia Moniz, Kahi Pacarro, Mara Pyzel, Shannon Reporting Interns Shannon Cavarocchi, Aukai Ng

Contributing Photographers

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Erik Aeder, Kirk Lee Aeder, Eric Baeseman (outbluffum.com), Brent Bielmann, Brian Bielmann, Ryan “Chachi” Craig, Dayanidhi Das, Jeff Divine, Dooma, Rick Doyle, Isaac Frazer, Pete Frieden, Dane Grady, Bryce Johnson, Alexandra Kahn, Ha’a Keaulana, Ehitu Keeling, Jason Kenworthy, Laserwolf, Bruno Lemos, Mana, Jake Marote, Ryan Miller, Zak Noyle, Shawn Pila, Nick Ricca, Tahnei Roy, Jim Russi, Daniel Russo, Jason Shibata, Spencer Suitt, Tai Vandyke, Jimmy Wilson Business Development Arthur Lessing (808) 383-8209 Business Administration Cora Sanchez (808) 383-9220 FREESURF MAGAZINE is distributed at all Jamba Juice locations, most fine surf shops and select specialty stores throughout Hawai‘i, Southern California, and the East Coast. Subscribe at freesurfmagazine.com Other than “Free Postage” letters, we do not accept unsolicited editorial submissions without first establishing contact with the editor. FreeSurf, Manulele Inc. and its associates is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged submissions or their return. One-way correspondence can be sent to P.O. Box 1161, Hale‘iwa, HI 96712 E-mail editorial inquiries to info@freesurfmagazine.com A product of Manulele, Inc. 2015

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XL CLOUDBREAK DRAWS SLATER, ROTHMAN BROTHERS, AND RAMON NAVARRO While the Championship Tour was in Keramas, Indonesia competing at the new fifth stop in the world, Cloudbreak was wide open for the brave chargers who showed in the waning days of May for the biggest swell in half a decade. The pristine turquoise water rose into consistent, mesmerizing barrels with wave faces in excess of 18-22 feet, bearing an uncanny resemblance to perfect Teahupo’o. Kelly Slater was out there despite nagging foot injuries that have kept him out of all the top tour stops this season, but that’s understandable: if XL Cloudbreak shows its face in Fiji, so will the GOAT. Brothers Koa and Makua Rothman from North Shore Oahu were also in the lineup for some legendary offerings. While Koa had standout waves of his own with the extra nod for actually paddling into them, it was one of Makua’s tow-in rides that was among the handful of waves from that day declared as “the biggest ever surfed at Cloudbreak.” Another wave ascribed that title by many was a jaw-dropping ride from Ramon Navarro that towered three or four times overhead. “It was one of the best days of my life,” Navarro told SURFER after the swell. “I’m so happy no one got hurt during the whole session and that everyone is back home safe with their families.”

Dusty Payne

DUSTY PAYNE BACK IN THE WATER Former Triple Crown champion and all around top Hawaii performer, Dusty Payne is officially back on a surfboard after suffering a near fatal, debilitating injury last winter season at Backdoor Pipeline. Fans, friends and family couldn’t be happier to see him making strides with his recovery. Dusty suffered a fractured skull, broken jaw and was pulled to the beach after being submerged and unconscious for several minutes. Sooner than later we hope to see Payne in top form as depicted here, gouging the face off of this blue green wall.

SETH MONIZ AND ALBEE LAYER PUSH WAVE POOL AIR PROGRESSION Prodigal North Shore son Seth Moniz has only continued to push the boundaries of progression since his victory at the Volcom Pipe Pro in February. He scored another recent QS 6,000 success with a runner-up finish in the Ichinomiya Chiba Open, but earlier in May it was a free surf session miles from any ocean that had people talking. On the heels if the WSL Founder’s Cup at the Surf Ranch — where none of the elite athletes could land an air — footage quickly made the rounds of Moniz launching high into the first backflip ever landed in an artificial wave pool at the newly unveiled offering by American Wave Machines at BSR Cable Park in Waco, Texas. Also testing the air at Waco’s new MRC Surf Resort was Maui’s Albee Layer, on a mission to test the wave pool’s limits with with Ian Crane, Barron Mamiya, and Stab Magazine. As the winner of the first wave pool contest, held in the UK in 2014, it makes sense that Layer would be among the leaders in wave pool air progression, as evidenced by the judu alley-oop and trademark dizzying spins witnessed in the Stab edit. Following a notable skyrocket double landed at home on Maui and captured by Dan Narkunas shortly after his Waco wave pool session, Albee made a statement on the progression of aerials through his Instagram: “I think the days of taking five years to get a little higher and faster are coming to a close. With wave pools and the focus being shifted more to this side of surf, I think these airs will go out of style in a matter of months, which I greatly look forward to. Nothing fuels progression like the fear of being left behind.”


2018 T&C GROM FEST By Kyveli Diener Photos Tony Heff Summer was in full swing on the first weekend in June as 350 groms aged 3-12 took over Waikiki Beach for the 21st annual T&C Grom Contest, which was presented by Chili’s Grill and Bar with support from Dakine, RVCA, Vans, and Vertra, along with the event’s local nonprofit sponsor, the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii. The stoked keiki and their families competed in every division from high-performance shortboard to tandem longboard to bodyboarding, and an eco-friendly contest even arose around the beach cleanup orchestrated by Vertra with 2x World Surfing Champion John John Florence.

This year’s grom comp was particularly packed thanks to a decision to expand the Kokua division for young surfers who aren’t quite ready to catch a wave at Queen’s solo yet. This year’s Kokua division included 7-8-yearold children as T&C Surf Designs worked to give more children the chance to experience competitive surfing. “Seeing so many young keiki sharing their first competition wave at our contest gives me a feeling of pure stoke,” said Craig Sugihara, president and founder of T&C Surf. “Knowing that we were able to give each of the competitors the opportunity to surf and have fun without any pressure is rewarding.” Sunny conditions and a fun-sized south swell made for a pristine running of the yearly tradition that draws youngsters from throughout the island chain to watch toddlers falling more in love with surfing with each cruisey ride to shore, or talented boys and girls showcasing their skills on boards of all sizes. With a focus on family and new friends —and with plenty of rad prizes going around — the T&C Grom Contest left a sea of


“We Got Got Your Your Groms Groms back” back” “We

Stoke Vest



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T & C



Billy Kemper and son Haze

smiles blanketing the popular beach. When competitors and spectators weren’t taking part in the games presented by radio stations 102.7 The Bomb and 93.1 Da Paina in between heats, dozens could be found near the Vertra tent taking part in the annual Vertra x John John Florence Beach Cleanup. Thousands of pieces of trash with a focus on single-use plastic rubbish were collected on the beach over the weekend, with each of the first-place collectors from each day having over 950 pieces of refuse to show.

the innate competitive drive growing in these young athletes. North Shore Oahu’s Skai Suitt reclaimed her place on top if the podium for the second year in a row in Girl’s 6-8 Shortboard Division. Pao’a Topping was victorious in Boy’s 6-8 Shortboard after reportedly telling his mother before his heat, “Mommy, I am going to win this.”

After two days of exciting heats and even a lively expression session, the top performers were named across all the age groups and categories, bestowing a year’s worth of bragging rights on all the victors.

“I just wanted to take a moment to thank T&C for the awesome Gromfest,” said Sunshine Topping. “This year was our Ohana’s 12th year participating in the contest, and we look forward to it every year. It is so fun, well organized, entertaining and family oriented, and I just want to thank you all for throwing it! You guys are the best, and your commitment to Hawaii’s keiki is awesome. Mahalo for all that you do!”

The youngest competitors in particular balanced a heavy load of cuteness with

For a full list of results and photos from the contest, visit freesurfmagazine.com.

C-STARS VISIT THE SURF RANCH Intro by Chris Moore Photos Jason Kenworthy Last August, Carissa tasked me with coaching six girls from her mentorship program, aptly named the C-stars (C for Carissa), for the 2018 Surfing America championships at Lower Trestles. Since most of the girls hadn’t surfed in cold water before, I wanted to take them to California to prepare and I sent an email about getting the girls into the Lemoore pool, a far-fetched plot and a long shot a best. I was pleasantly surprised to get invited for two hours there, but I quickly realized that we might be in over our heads. The wave was fast, my girls are small, and none of them had proper barrel riding experience! With about ten days to departure, we spent the next week looking for little Kaiser Bowls. The girls excitedly took to practicing and preparing. They made lei and practiced a Hawaiian chant to give thanks at the pool. When it was time to surf, four girls went in the pool at a time splitting waves, with priority and dropping in allowed at certain points. The girls all followed instructions and ripped! No wave went to waste and by the end of our session, they departed with the biggest smiles on their faces and a stoke to last the summer. Probably longer.

Hokulani Topping

Hokulani Topping Being at the wave pool was such an honor for me. When the trip got announced to me I was so excited, I never thought I would have that opportunity! I was trying to process in my mind how cool this was. It was always my dream of mine. When I walked into the Surf Ranch, my mind was blown, it felt like I was dreaming. When it was my turn to go out, I was so excited. I got towed out to my pole, and in my mind I was picturing how I was going to surf this perfect wave. I was waiting for the wave to come and I heard "30 seconds" on the loudspeaker. I saw the train start coming towards me and I just started paddling. Riding that wave is just amazing. There is no real way to describe how unbelievable it was. The wave was perfect forever. The wave just kept going, and all I could think about about was pulling in- and when I did, I just wanted to stay in there forever. It was the best experience of my life!!

Vaihiti Inso I was on the plane, heading to the Surf Ranch, and I felt like I was dreaming! Just the thought of going to the Surf Ranch is mind blowing. It is ultimately the best wave ever! Seeing the first wave come through the pool unridden was simply magical. Magical is the key word at the wave pool, or NO WAY, this is NOT HAPPENING! Me and the Sea Stars just kept saying “NO WAY” the whole day! When it was my first time to take off on a wave, it was so nerve racking! The tower announced, “ 30 seconds!” I started to count down in a soft voice to myself. I was squealing with excitement and jumping up and down on my board and asking Uncle Chris if there were any alligators in the pool! Just the feeling of knowing the BEST WAVE EVER is coming, I could already see myself on the wave. When I finally reached the number 1 I realized that I was already paddling, and on the WAVE! My first wave was a left and it was so much fun! The inside barrel was my favorite because we had been practicing tube riding. When I took off on the wave, I really wanted to do something big but I didn’t want to fall at the same time and waste the wave!


Ewelei’ulaikalaniakea Wong

Uncle Raimana was so amazing, guiding our timing on the waves so we can have the best waves ever! All of the staff were so nice to us and happy to have kids from Hawai’i at the pool. Mahalo to all of them for helping us have the best day ever of our lives! I am most grateful for Uncle Chris and Carissa for this life time opportunity. I hope that I can give back to younger generations like how they are guiding me to be myself and to not give up when it’s hard. They have also taught me to trust in myself and try new things! I will never forget this special moment!

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C - S TA R S V I S I T T H E S U R F R A N C H

Puamakamae Desoto

LeMOORE Aloha A poem by Puamakamae Desoto At the break of dawn in LA we arrive Enroute to Lemoore it’s a 3 hour drive First priority first PANCAKES we grind Onwards we go with one thing on our mind Driving into the Ranch we start to scream Stoked, pinch me, I think it’s a dream We are full of adrenaline to surf the wave Sick turns and barrels are all we crave A little intimidated by it’s perfection Kelly’s wave pool meets all expectation Determined to shine like true C-Stars We wax up our boards the time is ours Jumping off the ski and getting in place Uncle Raimana yells “go” setting our pace The wave comes flying in with the energy of a train “Now, paddle, go, hit it, stall” he yells again We all got our waves with a couple to spare For our friends Kala & Bella who were also there The C-Stars shined it is safe to say And the rest is history on this special day Our team led by our Coach, Chris Moore And for our mentor, Carissa, whom we adore No words can express, but blessed are we A small group of surfer girls from Hawai`i We have grown and changed to the core Mahalo nui for this special trip to LeMOORE

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How to Carve / SHANE BESCHEN

Weight Back! The main thing that really helps create this uneven stance through your turn is weighing back and compressing your back leg before your turn. This helps in multiple ways. When you shift your weight to your back leg, the front of your board slightly lifts out of the water, which frees up the rail to wrap around without catching. When you compress your back leg before your turn, you also create leverage, so that when you’re pushing through your turn, you’re able to push harder as you extend your back leg out. As you start to wrap around, you also want to pull your head and front arm towards the white water with your back arm and shoulder following and creating that emphasis at the end of your turn. Go get some carves!

Charities We Like / SURFRIDER FOUNDATION By Mara Pyzel

Looking for a new place to dine? Consult Surfrider’s list of 170+ ocean-friendly restaurants. This compilation of restaurants has been on of Surfrider’s greatest successes and is a point of pride for Surfrider chapters nationally. Having done the research for us, each restaurant listed has been vetted by Surfrider using the following criteria: reusable tableware is used for in-house dining, proper recycling practices are adhered to, and no styrofoam containers or plastic bags are used. Enjoy your next meal out knowing you are supporting a business as conscientiousness as you.

Whether it’s a surf session, a legislative session, or just a talk story session, the members of Surfrider Oahu have one thing on their minds: the health of our ocean. The O`ahu chapter is one of 85 chapters nationwide. The nonprofit boasts upwards of 60,000 members who have contributed positively to a change our beachgoing experience. Taking a hands-on approach to the management of the Hawai`i chapters is the dedicated Stuart Coleman, educator, author, and lifelong environmental steward. Coleman, along with the head of the O`ahu chapter Rafael Bergstrom, and a crew of energized volunteers work tirelessly to improve the health of our shores, tackling coastal well-being from the (literal) ground up. Through monthly beach cleanups to organic gardening to responsible dining to legislative action, the nonprofit brings motivated, like-minded surfers together and gets them sharing ideas, meals, and their passion for surfing. One Saturday a month Surfrider members hui up for a beach cleanup. By rotating the location, volunteers are encouraged to explore and malama different parts of the islands - and surf a new wave when the day’s work is done! Altogether, these beach cleanups have resulted in the removal of harmful trash by the ton from our favorite spots throughout the island chain. Surfrider’s approach to environmental stewardship is not simply reactionary. Members volunteer their time and brainpower working targeting legislative progress via their Civics is Sexy program. Working in conjunction with other community groups, sustainable movements have become state law - the single-use plastic bag ban, the Hold Onto Your Butt cigarette ban - making cigarette smoking on beaches illegal, and the recently passed elimination of the sale of reef-harming sunscreens statewide (taking full effect in 2021). Next on the docket: elimination of plastic straws in restaurants. If you are interested in contributing to this change, visit the Surfrider website to check out their Rise Above Plastics campaign and remember to request your drinks straw-free when dining out. You may find that others are quick to follow!

For our 21 and older crowd, Surfrider’s oncemonthly Ocean Friendly Restaurants Pau Hana Parties. At these causal events, members and non-members alike have an excuse to indulge in a mid-week cocktail while swapping surf stories, tips in eco escapades, and straw-free, ocean-friendly thirst quenchers. Going out not your thing? On a budget to get that new board? Eat your yard! Join Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Gardens and Surfblitz and in no time you and the crew will be permablitz the heck out of your garden, revamping it into a productive and intentional food growing paradise. The task force rotates garden locations in which to plant, maintain, and harvest together. With more food grown organically at home, the less pollution from shipping, packaging, and fewer pesticides in our oceans. Another pro - we get to surf cleaner, chemical-free waves! To look into the other fantastic programs Surfrider runs (like local water quality testing) and find out more about making positive legislative change, growing your own veggies, and living more sustainably to surf a healthier ocean, check out Surfrider’s events in your area today: visit www.oahu.surfrider.org and sign up for their newsletter, read their blog, or follow them on Instagram [@ surfrideroahu]. See you at the next beach cleanup!

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One life, right? Don’t blow it.

MARCH to the sea

It started with little tremors from below, hundreds of them. Then on May 3rd, 2018 a 5.0 magnitude earthquake led to ground fissures opening up in the quiet subdivisions of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens, home to over 2000 people in the Southeast Puna district of the Big Island. The next day another earthquake, this time a 5.3 magnitude followed by a 6.9 rattled the community and led to 23 separate fissures opening up and spewing lava with some fountains as high as 300 feet in the air. What followed next were endless images on social media of seemingly apocalyptic proportions and round the clock news coverage.

Kirk Lee Aeder


Previous to the current Puna erruption, the summit crater, Halemaumau, held a lava lake which upon draining, has moved the lava activity to the East Rift Zone. Since then, Halemaumau, which is located in the Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, has had continued tremors triggering rock fall and deterioration of the crater sides, forcing closure of the park to the public. Furthermore, continual explosions have sent ash plumes into the atmosphere which are then carried downwind to the Southern Big Island communities in the district of Ka’u. All in all, a bad situation for residents of the area and visitors alike. On May 19th, the lava eruption in Puna made it’s way Southeast following slope topography to reach the ocean near MacKenzie State Recreation Area. This is just under a mile down the coast from Isaac Hale Beach Park, better know as Pohoiki. Home to a boat launch ramp and a handful of surfing breaks, this is the only surf location on this area of the island and many fear it may soon be covered by lava. Pro surfer Ulualoha Napeahi was born and raised surfing the breaks of Pohoiki and shared an erie but understanding sentiment on social media: “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. No hurt feelings, only great memories. Thankful for the time I had at this place. It’s groomed me into the person I am. If there comes a day that I can no longer be at home, it’ll be okay.” 36

Red shaded area indicate combined current flow. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015.

Isaac Frazer

Kilauea is the most active volcano in the Hawaiian Island Chain and the East Rift Zone located in lower Puna is the new center focus of action. Unfortunately this has caused many of the residents living in the lower Puna area to evacuate and with many of them losing their homes to the lava. The area is under strict lockdown by Hawaii County Civil Defense due to safety concerns from the molten lava and associated gases causing dangerous air quality.

Kirk Lee Aeder

The 1986-1992 eruption covered the villages in and around Kalapana, taking a number of quality surf spots with it.

Preparing for the worst, fellow Puna pro surfer Shayden Pacarro shared this: “This place I call my home more than my actualy home lol đ&#x;˜‚ I spent countless summers down here camping, surfing, fishing, cleaning the aina, taking care of one another as family, cooking, etc... the memories of this place I will hold forever! It makes me so sad to see how close our home is to being gone. I pray I pray I pray đ&#x;™? This place has created so many amazing human beings!!! And I will be happy forever with what I have to take from this amazing place. Thank you POHOIKIâ€? While the lava thus far has flanked Pohoiki, these premonitions can be warranted. Nearly 30 years ago, a similar scenario was going down. Starting in 1983, Kilauea Volcano’s Pu`u O`o volcanic cone in the eastern rift zone began erupting and has been continually active in some capacity since. Located upslope of the lower Puna coastline, the 1986-1992 eruption episode brought lava down toward the coast to the Kalapana region of lower Puna, home to the subdivisions of Royal Gardens, Kalapana Gardens, Kalapana Village, and KaimĹŤ. In 1990, devastation and destruction occurred with the flow destroying and burying the majority of the area. Along with this came the complete destruction of KaimĹŤ Bay, home to the famous black sand beach and a number of quality surf breaks, most notably, Drainpipes. With a rugged and raw coastline, much of the ocean shoring up the Puna area is too dangerous to venture from land. This makes the few areas such as Pohoiki, Kapoho Bay and Vacationaland tide pools that much more special. And that’s why the loss of Kalapana was so substantial.

As the lava activity continued without pause towards the end of May, a very active Fissure 8 fueled a lava river that now started making it’s way East, cutting off major Highway arteries connecting the area of lower Puna. Seeing the impending path, Hawaii County Civil Defense mandated evacuations of homes in the Kapoha Beach Lots area and Vacationland on June 4th. Overnight the flow barged straight through the middle of Kapoho Bay and spread South into Vacationland, covering approximately 500 homes, the most destructive day of the eruption to date. Beyond the homes destroyed, Kapoho Bay and Vacationland was a beautiful oasis of tide pools and ponds that many enjoyed and now will only be a memory. What draws so many people to the Big Island is the raw energy and beauty that comes from an actively growing island. Hawaiian legend points to Madame Pele, goddess of fire, as the driving force guiding the lava flows and many understand and respect the permanence of her will. In a culture built on understanding and reverence, acceptance is the only way. Despite it’s beauty, this corner of the Big Island is notoriously known for unstable volcanic activity and this current volcanic episode is just one in a long line of activity. With the district of Puna carrying a designation of lava zones 1,2 & 3, (out of 9) with 1 being the most high risk for exposure to lava flow activity, residents are well aware of the dangers and possibilities of living in this area but nobody could have prepared for the destruction that has occurred. Since the first May 3rd outbreak, over 600 structures have been affected and thousands of residents forced to evacuate their homes. Major highway veins have also been cutoff by lava preventing access for many more of the residents of lower Puna.

Pohoiki holds the only current surf spots in this area of the Big Island. If lava were to cover these breaks, surfing in Puna would likely cease to exist.

By the time this article comes out, the situation could be totally changed. The flow may have ceased completely, or covered more area than we ever expected. Either way our hearts are with the people of Puna and especially those most affected in the lower Puna area. The most important thing is that everyone stays safe. As outsiders looking in, we can only be supportive and show compassion in any way that we can. If you have the means, please donate either time, supplies, or money to the organizations on the ground helping or directly to the families that you may know that are being affected. #PrayForPuna

Shawn Pila

At this stage, nobody knows how long the eruption will last and the extent of which it will burry the existing land and coastline. History has shown that these outbreak eruptions can easily last months or even years so it really is just a waiting game. Any way you look at it, all we can do is take a step back and marvel at the power of Earth creation in it’s purest form. Personal property and public areas will be claimed, never to be retrieved. But the memories will always be there and nothing can take that away. Its a twisted dichotomy of beauty and destruction.


Big Is Puna bred pro surfer Ulualoha Napeahi has enjoyed countless surfs in the Pohoiki area that has shaped him into the surfer he is today.



Kaniela Stewart Photo: Keoki

Seth Moniz Photo: Keoki

Kelis Kaleopaa Photo: Tony Heff

Eli Hannemann Photos: Tony Heff



EWELEI WONG By Alexandra Kahn Photos Tony Heff While surfing’s roots are from the Tahitians and Samoans who used wooden planks to ride the waves as a component of warrior training, the surfing that we think of today evolved from the ancient Hawaiian culture. Prior to the competitive, athletic feats accomplished in the water today, surfing in Hawai’i was once considered an art form. Traditions around surfing were highly concentrated on prayer and a supreme respect for the gods. While Western colonization forced many of the ancient traditions to fade, the growth of Waikiki as a tourist destination helped enable a surfing renaissance. One surfer who feels a deep tie to traditional Hawaiian surf culture and a desire to continue the connection between the native Hawaiian people and the sport is Mililani local, Ewelei’ulaikalaniakea Wong. Known by family and peers as Ewelei’Ula, Wong first learned to surf in Waikiki at the age of two. She comes from a family of ocean lovers: her grandparents were fisherman and surfers who lived in a beach house, and her parents were once surfers as well. As a native whose family has deep ties to the culture, Wong attends Ke Kula 'o Samuel M. Kamakau, a Hawaiian immersion school. There she fluently speaks Hawaiian with her teachers and classmates, providing her with a closer connection to her ancestors. Living in the birthplace of surfing, Ewelei’Ula’s desire to spread the traditional Hawaiian surf culture is her way of paying homage to the long-standing history of the surfers who came before her. She feels that if she works to connect modern day young Hawaiian surfers 48

with their historical culture, they can follow in the footsteps of their ancestors and carry on the traditions and stories of the past to share with the future. Like many other Hawaiian cultural traditions, such as tapping tattoos and hula, surfing is a part of the island and the original people. Stories and songs about surfing have been passed on through generations, and Ewelei’Ula wants to continue evolving these traditions. Her way of carrying on the tradition of surfing is through competition. When Ewelei’Ula is surfing competitively, she is “surfing for more than just [her]self.” She feels as if she is representing her people and tells Freesurf, “I am surfing for my lāhui and that includes my people, my kupuna, the people living today, and all those who will come after me. I want to be someone who inspires the younger generations because I’m Hawaiian, I ‘ōlelo Hawai’i and I’m continuing this sport of our ancestors.”


ong realizes how fortunate she is to travel and compete for surfing and understands the sacrifices that her family makes to foster her dreams. Attempting life as a competitive and hopeful pro-surfer is expensive and time-consuming— two of the reasons she believes there are not more competitive native Hawaiian surfers. She sees a lack of Hawaiian language spoken within the surfing community and believes that this decline occurred when Hawai’i was overthrown in 1893. At this time, natives were forced to learn English and follow western traditions, shunning their own culture and tongue. By the 1970s the Hawaiian language was on the verge of extinction altogether; however, there were enough native Hawaiians who sought to preserve the culture that they launched a comeback.

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Today, there are a variety of traditional activities taught, spread, and revitalized, not just to those who live on the island, but even to those visiting the island. This cultural resurgence movement led to opportunities such as the creation of Wong’s school. While there is still a long way to go to bring back the language and culture and educate modern-day Hawaiians about the history of the island and its people, Wong feels that she can be an integral part of the resurgence. Her goal is to start a surf team at her school and spread her love of surfing while infusing the surf culture into the lives of her classmates. Wong’s entire family takes pride in the traditions of surfing and has been organizing Kewalo beach days (her favorite surf break) with some of the other school families to teach them about the ocean, the currents, the waves, ocean safety and surfing etiquette. Wong feels that it is vital for her to attend a physical school rather than homeschool or online courses. She feels this way because of the importance of surrounding herself with the native language. She plans to pursue a life as a professional surfer, with a desire to “develop and provide resources to surf teams in Hawaiian immersion schools.” While her overall goal is to make it onto the surf tour, her real dream is to be the first female surfer to graduate from a Hawaiian immersion school and win a world title.

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Sean Yano By Alexandra Kahn Much of the Hawaiian youth fantasizes about the chance to travel the world to compete in surfing, but it is a dream seldom realized. For those who accomplish their goal, it is even less likely to walk away from that goal to start an entirely new career separate from the surf industry and to become a financial success. Sean Yano is a Hawaiian who, despite all odds and an unconventional childhood, was able to rise and build multiple successful careers, accomplish many goals, foster a family of his own, and become an exemplary role model to his community. With his successful career and his recent record-breaking north shore Oahu home sale of $12 million in partnership with childhood friend Matty Liu, one would never assume he grew up less fortunate. At only nine years old, Yano left Oregon, where his mother and most of his siblings had moved to from Hawaii, to return to Oahu and live with his 19-year-old sister and her new husband. Her sister’s husband, musician Kawika Kahiapo, fostered Yano’s love for the ocean and taught him to surf on his first surfboard ever- which he purchased for $10

at a swap meet. Yano was hooked and by 13 was competing and sponsored by HIC, Billabong, and Rip Curl. From the outside, he had achieved the impossible, but living as a competitive surfer is expensive without the financial support from sponsors to travel to the competitions. When his premiere sponsor was forced to file bankruptcy, Yano’s hope of the ASP World Tour halted, and he settled for PSAA national competitions. After years of living the competitive surfer’s dream, Yano was not where he wanted to be in his career, and he knew it was not sustainable in the long term. As someone who had always had a business mind, he thought that sales within the surf industry might be the best next step. Yano was quick on his feet and inventive with his concepts, pushing products from the surf, skate and snow industry from mainland USA to Hawaii in ways that were not typical at the time, such as fashion shows and other large promotional events. His interest and skills in retail sales eventually led him to open the Modern Amusement

Honolulu clothing boutique. However, the events of 9/11 caused permanent damage to his business, and he once again was forced to walk away from what he thought would be his career path. Yano changed direction a third time to pursue real estate. It was in this field where Yano excelled to the top, and at a quicker rate than anyone could have expected. While his journey has had many ups and downs, Yano says, “Everything I’ve done in the past has helped shaped the type of real estate agent I am today.” He has built a team,YANOGROUP, under the larger branch of Locations Hawaii, and works hard to support his family of five children. He owns several investment properties and recently built his family’s dream home in Kailua.“I have no regrets in life,” he tells us, “I truly believe it’s the tough times in life that make you stronger. My siblings and I are all very close, and we value the times we spend together because we have been through so much in the past.” Whenever Yano is not working or with his family, you can find him surfing or working with some of the nonprofits he supports.






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clients, working with them to fulfill their dreams and move towards financial independence, with real estate just being one piece to that puzzle. With a primary focus on the youth of Hawaii, he has hopes of helping them with everything from surfing to financial planning. He and Joel Centeio recently hosted the first Kailua Hurley Surf Club event for the Windward groms. He would also love for the opportunity to help come up with creative solutions to alleviate the homeless problem plaguing the island.

What are you most passionate about at this point in your life? Eventually I would like to spend more time working with non-profit organizations but in the meantime, a portion of all my real estate sales earnings are donated to the Locations Foundation which supports various non-profits throughout the islands. I also receive a great amount of fulfillment in my real estate career, helping people in what is likely one of the most significant investments they’ll make in their lives, whether it be first-time homebuyers, seasoned investors, or sellers. I look at what I do as a full service network for my

What is the main non-profit you are involved with currently? In 2006, I started the Kailua Shorebreak Classic keiki surf contest with Mike Miller. The event is in memory of Peter Miller (Mike’s twin brother), Jason Bogle, and David Aluli who all passed away within a short period. The contest has become one of the biggest annual community events in Kailua with many sponsors, and we raise money to support local non-profit organizations. The event is unlike any other surf contest because every one is a winner in the end with all contestants getting a free lunch and going home with a killer prize pack. It’s free andopen to all kids 16 years old and under, and you will even see parents pushing their 2-year-olds into waves. Pro surfers and their groms come from all over the island and it keeps getting bigger every year.

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Surf Art /Jeff Abrecht By Alexandra Kahn

Different styles of art appeal to people; some might prefer the classic painting and sculpture styles of the past, while others look towards the oddities of the future, while others still prefer digital or even interactive pieces. The term used to define art has grown exponentially and is up to interpretation. Each artist finds their own source of inspiration. Throughout history on the Hawaiian islands, the ocean, land, and creatures have had a sizable impact on the art produced on the island or by those who have lived here. From the orange and pink sunsets to the turquoise waters, from the steep green peaks to the banyan trees and tropical flowers. Jeff Albrecht is inspired by famous artists like Picasso, but his environmental inspirations are clear with the subjects of his work. He also finds inspiration in the people he meets, the relationships he builds, and the experiences he has with the people in his life.


Albrecht primarily works in acrylics on canvas. He pursued a degree in painting but sold his first piece at the age of 16. With an entrepreneurial spirit, Albrecht took on jobs as an airbrush artist, a sign painter, a logo designer, or any other kind of freelance gig that would come his way. “When someone asked if I could do something for them, I’d just say “yes,” and

figure out the details as I moved along.” Despite choosing art as his degree, his first real job was in sales in Silicon Valley. This hustle and bustle environment helped him to learn what was necessary to be a profitable artist. Working in sales also helped him with the physical process of parting with and selling his own pieces, “I’ve never had a problem watching my art

find a permanent home.” Jeff tells us, “I feel like I get what I need out of the process. I pour my heart and soul into my work. When someone feels compelled enough, or connected to a piece enough to make it their own, that’s a meaningful experience.” Although a California resident, he was raised by a native Kauai mother and spent much of his life traveling between California and Hawai’i. Hawaii is his “home away from home,” and his attachment to the islands shines through his colors, strokes, and subjects. While he has a large Hawaiian Ohana, back in California, he returns home to a loving wife and two teenagers. Jeff has spent enough time on the islands to maintain the ability to live life to the fullest. “I don’t take for granted the fact that I’m able to make a living by focusing on my passions and spending time with the people that I love…I feel like the luckiest man alive,” Albrecht writes on his website. In an interview, he tells Freesurf, “So many people don’t follow their dreams for fear of failure, and feeling like they can’t make a living doing what they are passionate about.” Continually pushing his creativity, he says, “I’m always experimenting, researching, exploring. I don’t want to keep painting the same thing, in the same way, using the same tools. I want to paint in a direction that stretches me, teaches me.” Four to five nights per week Albrecht paints in his studio, balancing his time between building his business, teaching high school ceramics and spending time with his wife and two teenagers. While a struggle, his multiple passions make the balancing act worthwhile. To see some of Jeff’s art in Oahu, check out Wy’s Galleries.

E N V I R O N M E N T By Kahi Pacarro

The ‘Say “no” to single-use plastics’ movement is throwing shade on the real problem facing Hawai`i’s coastlines statewide. Don’t get me wrong here - I believe that we need to stop using single-use plastics. I just think there is a bigger elephant in the room whom we’re afraid to talk about. From the south point of Hawai`i Island all the way to the very end of the true Hawaiian chain on the north end of Kure Atoll in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, the vast majority of the trash washing ashore is not single-use plastics, but rather commercial fishingrelated scraps. The specific fisheries that appear to be impacting us the most, from a debris standpoint, are the tuna fishery, the oyster farming industry, and the hagfish fishery. I’ll discuss the three, how you can recognize them, and what we can do about it.

Oyster Spacers When you walk the east side beaches of any island you’ll find small cylindrical tube-shaped plastic pieces. These tubes are usually black but also sometimes gray, green, or even blue and range from the size of a small ring to as long as a foot. These overly prevalent pieces of plastic come from the oyster farming industry. When growing oysters

commercially they are placed on lines and spaced out so as to not clump. The spacer is the dubious piece of trash that gets loose when they harvest or during storms. Drifting offshore from places like Northern California, the Pacific Northwest, Canada, Alaska, and Asia they enter the gyre. Once in the gyre, they’re on the long journey of eventually washing back ashore somewhere, often times in Hawai`i.

Hagfish Traps (a.k.a. Eel Cones) When beach cleaners come across the hagfish traps, the natural thing to do is to find another and quickly imitate Madonna, just ask Kaipo. For hagfish traps, that’s about as funny as they are. I can almost guarantee that you’ve never eaten a hagfish. This fish is the nightmare that lurks at the bottom of the ocean eating the dead from the inside out. It has a skull but no other skeletal system allowing itself to be tied into knots when stressed. Discharge in the form of slime that naturally is used to clog an enemies gills is used by humans for cosmetics and food. The heavy demand for this fish means a healthy fishery for hagfish and the accompanying trash that comes with it.

There are two main fisheries, the North American and the Asian. The type of traps that we find the most of in Hawai`i is from the Asian hagfish fishery. In North America, they use buckets and 50-gallon drums while in Asia they prefer to use the large cylindrical tubes where the hagfish trap sits on top. To avoid what is called ‘ghost fishing’, the tops of the traps are not secured very well. ‘Ghost fishing’ is when a trap, net, or line gets lost by a fisherman but continues to fish nonetheless. Killing indiscriminately, ghost gear is one of, if not the most, dangerous type of marine debris in our oceans. They’ve designed the hagfish trap to breakaway to avoid ghost fishing but not to keep the plastic trap from floating around in the gyre becoming plastic pollution.

Tuna Fishery We picture Uncle on his boat with six poles standing in tension and lines dragging fancy lures. He’s looking for birds, bait balls, or trash piles because under them are the jackpot. Hunting down the ahi and maybe catching a few mahis along the way, Uncle represents

a sustainable fishery. But in reality, Uncle’s catches are not even a drop in the bucket. The true tuna fishery is part of a multinational commercial fishing industry, second only in size and influence to the oil industry.

Utilizing techniques most would consider cheating, the commercial tuna fishery should only get so much blame. We have to look at ourselves. They’re only out there to quench the huge demand we’ve created as a result of our desire for tuna sandwiches, poke, sashimi, sushi, and spicy ahi tuna bowls. The part of the commercial tuna fisheries that are washing up on our beaches are the nets, the lines, the buoys, the F.A.D.s (fish aggregating devices), and smart F.A.D.s. It also includes the plastic products those on the factory boats are using like toothbrushes, bottled drinks, coffee containers, shovels, hard hats, and more. So what can we do about it? Primarily, we need to start eating closer to the source. Get to know where your food comes from. Food that is close to the source doesn’t need to be wrapped in plastic. Get to know your local fishermen and fisherwomen. Buy fish from your neighbor or the family on the side of the road with the sign selling fresh fish they just caught.

While we all need to become better consumers, this also includes stopping the use of single-use plastics. We’ll also need to keep cleaning our beaches. Please join us at one of our many cleanups happening around the state and learn more on Instagram at @sustainablecoastlineshawaii.

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Maui Surfers Raise Money for Clean Bulbs in Schools Maui standouts Kai Lenny, Matt Meola, and Albee Layer all took part in a social media campaign aimed to provide clean energy to schools in Hawaii. The #LightsForLikes campaign hosted by the Blue Planet Foundation and Hawai’i Energy committed one energy-efficient lightbulb for every 100 likes on posts for the campaign. With over 20,000 likes on the posts from these three surfers alone, more than 200 bulbs were donated to local schools. “Let’s do our best to teach the kids and work towards a healthier, cleaner fossil fuel-free planet,” Meola said. In total, Blue Planet will be donating over 4,000 bulbs to local schools on Oahu, which they say will result in: over $472,000 saved on electricity costs; 1,708 tons of carbon emissions prevented; and keeps 3,634 barrels of oil from being imported to Hawaii.

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