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Finn McGill Photo: Mike Latronic



With a series of large NW swells pounding the North Shore mid-season, there were a handful of epic “wave of the winter� moments to be had this month. Torrey Meister finds this throaty candidate at Backdoor. Photo: Mike Latronic




Photo: Mike Latronic

06 Free Parking

28 Aperture

54 Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational

10 Cover Story

38 Grom Report

54 Surf Art

12 Editor's Note

44 Coral Reef-Friendly

62 Stuff We Like

14 Buffalo's Big Board Surf Classic

48 Community

64 Industry Notes

21 Gerry Lopez

52 Environment

66 Last Look





Finn McGill Finn McGill shows up on the regular to surf Off the Wall and on a recent swell was trying out a bunch of new boards for the next leg of his WSL competitive campaign. Publisher and photographer Mike Latronic noted his participation several days in a row with more than 4 different boards in tow. The first couple of sessions McGill kept attempting a variety of airs and tricks and the majority were unsuccessful. After several board changes Finn was really stoked on this particular board and ended up pulling the straight up air on the cover. McGill actually asked Latronic if he caught that moment and indeed he did! Repost that Mr. McGill!

E D I T O R ' S

Aloha, and thanks for picking up Freesurf Magazine! We’ve dedicated the April issue to Earth Month, which we could argue should be celebrated every month, and every minute. Earth Day was first honored in 1970 on April 22nd to demonstrate support for environmental protection. As surfers, we have so much love for the moana (ocean) that our relationship to nature is exceptionally strong. She has given us so much: the nalu (waves) to ride, the kahau (reef) to shape them, and the muliwai (rivers) that bring sediment to our sandbars, and all the ingredients required for perfect surf. Yet, this relationship with Mother Nature cannot be one-sided. As surfers, we have a responsibility to protect these gifts, and to give the next generation a chance to appreciate them. We must give back what we take, and help replant and replenish the honua (earth).


Surfers find peace in the simple pleasure of wave riding, yet we spend a great deal of time complicating what could be so simple, lost in our busy lives and tiny bubbles without looking at the bigger picture. Here’s our chance. The world has been hit with devastating realizations of climate change’s effects on the rising ocean temperature and sea levels. Exponentially growing human populations accumulate more trash than ever before, but we don’t seem to have a plan for its disposal. In the eyes of an environmentalist, the situation is dire. Devastating oil spills in the U.S. are followed by more coastal drilling proposals; is there any hope? Don’t panic, as guru Gerry Lopez would say. Take a deep breath and turn inwards. Lets focus first on our own impacts on the environment and make the decision to make meaningful progress. Love is powerful, and our collective love for Mother Earth is even stronger. Together we can make big changes, for when we discuss the health of Planet Earth, we are discussing the health of our community; our connection to her is at the root of our health and wellbeing, or lack thereof. We surf our best when we are in sync with the ocean, when we are in balance, and thinking positively. In this issue, we hope to shine a light of hope on a dark crisis, so that we can accept responsibility and begin to tackle it one wave at a time.

In this issue, we sit down with scientists and doctors dedicating their careers to protecting the environment through their research and education. We learn from scholars at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa about the top threats to our coral reefs and their important role in the ecosystem. Hawaiian scientist and surfer Cliff Kapono explores the “fingerprints” that nature has put on us, in addition to our impacts on her, and gives us more reasons to appreciate the planet’s innate genius. Mother Nature and her delicate ecosystems create life, and they can take it away if we don’t respect her and learn to live in harmony. Pipe Master Gerry Lopez gives us tips on how to find that equilibrium in mind, body, and spirit through yoga and conscious meditation.

Shannon Reporting Managing Editor @ShannonReporting


Editorial Publisher Mike Latronic

Late Season


Managing Editor, Social Media Manager Shannon Reporting Photo Assistant gOnzo Art Director John Weaver

Finn McGill Photo: Mike Latronic

Sales & Customer Service Coordinator Tonya Grace Goldberg Contributing Writers Juice Aguirre, Matt Bender, Neal Miyake, Rick Memsic , Kresta Painter, Kyveli Sophia, Mara Pyzel, Shannon Reporting Copy Editor Tonya Grace Goldberg West Coast Distribution Chuck Hendsch (619) 227-9128 East Coast Distribution Eastern Surf Supply (808) 638-7395 Hawai`i Distribution All Islands (808) 638-7395 Staff Shooters Chris Latronic, Mike Latronic, Aukai Ng, Andrew Oliver, Andrew Storer Videographers Chris Latronic, Andrew Oliver Contributing Photographers Erik Aeder, Kirk Lee Aeder, Damian Antioco, Eric Baeseman, Brent Bielmann, Brian Bielmann, Ryan “Chachi” Craig, Pete Frieden, Shane Grace, Dane Grady, Andy Hawes, Alexandra Kahn, Zak Noyle, Sebastian Rojas, Keoki Saguibo Business Administration Cora Sanchez (808) 638-7395 Follow us on social media @freesurfmag

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 are 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

Watch on Channel 12, or 1012 HD in Hawai`i or at OC16.tv THU 9:30pm Premiere FRI 3:30am & 4:30pm SAT 9:30am & 9:00pm SUN 3:00am & 10:30am MON 1:00pm TUE 9:30am & 4:30pm WED 6:00am



In 1976, the year of the nation’s bicentennial celebration and the height of a Hawaiian renaissance, Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūle’a set sail on her maiden voyage of cultural rediscovery to Tahiti. Buffalo Keaulana was the double-hulled canoe’s steersman. After enduring 35 days beating in rough seas, drifting in doldrums, and dealing with others’ experimental ideas, Buffalo (41 at the time) emerged tested and toughened in his own sense of self-worth and Hawaiian culture.

Warren Ho`ohuli

Lopaka Terada-Pagdilao

Upon his return to Makaha, Buffalo got a chance to steer his path in what originally was the pastime of Hawaiian ali’i (royalty) when Larry “The Weatherman” suggested that Buffalo start a Big Board Surfing Classic at Makaha. The idea struck home. The Classic became a collective expression of giving back to surfing, and for 43 years has flourished under Buffalo’s sense of what’s right.

Leleo Kinimaka and Lauren Oiye Photo: Alika Lopes

Lopaka Terada-Pagdilao

Duane De Soto

“I wanted something for the old-timers to enjoy,” says Buffalo, “something to bring out those who don’t usually surf in contests, something that doesn’t rely so heavily on judgement calls, something that uses big boards (10 feet and over), and something that is fun.” With the help of his wife Momi, co-founder Adam Holbron, and Makaha friends, the first mission was to clean up the beach by way of various social means. “‘No stealing for two days’ was the law. I wanted the boys to feel what it was like to do good,” Buffalo said.

Jason Shibata

The first Classic in 1977 only had a Men’s Open Surfing division. Of seven finalists, there was no first place — they were all winners!


Awards were ipu (gourds used for hula drums), grown in Charlie Carroll’s backyard from seeds that Buffalo had brought back from Tahiti. Fast forward to the 2019 contest, still paying homage to its Hawaiian roots. This contest has been dedicated to our shared 'ohana (family) and community since day one and still implements these values to this day. The Buffalo Keaualana Big Board Surfing Classic is the only contest in the world with such unique divisions as Alaia, Paipo, Four-Man Surfing Canoe, and Supsquatch.

Archie Kalepa and crew. Photo: Batzaratzzi

The contest highlights exceptional watermen and women from Hawai‘i and beyond, attracting international competitors from Japan, Tahiti, France, Brazil, Switzerland, and many other countries. To honor visitors, a Foreign division was created where surfers from around the world compete against one another. This year’s 43rd Annual Buffalo Keaualana Big Board Surfing Classic was dedicated to Buffalo’s good friend, big wave pioneer George Downing. Although the waves were not as big as we had wished, we made do with what we had — and most important of all — just had fun!







Ha'a Keaulana


Friends from Kupu were in attendance, sharing their knowledge and beliefs of “one board, one stone in every home.” People on the beach were able to ku’i kalo (to pound taro) during the contest and taste their hard work. There were games and giveaways throughout the event for the participants and for the keiki (children). Each year, OluKai donates keiki slippers to give away at the event; the groms are always super stoked!

Looking forward to another successful event in 2020! Mahalo nui loa!

Lopaka Terada-Pagdilao

There are so many supporters to send mahalos... Thanks to the event’s title sponsor Hawai'i Tourism, as well as Quiksilver, Real B Voice, and OluKai.

Mahalo also to these companies for donating prizes: Kona Brewing Company, Monster Energy, Da Fin, Michelob Ultra, Waianae Comp, Smile Wave Fund, Jay Richardson, and Duke’s Waikiki, just to name a few.

Melanie Bartels

Lopaka Terada-Pagdilao

43rd Annual Buffalo Big Board Surfing Classic 2019 Results

TEAM SUP FINAL FIRST THROUGH FOURTH PLACE (ALL RESULTS START WITH FIRST) • Bonga Perkins and Rusty Keaulana • Anthony DeButiaco and Keoni Keaulana • Makamae and Puamakamae DeSoto • Melanie Bartels and Megan Abubo 250 AND OVER SURFING • Nalu Froiseth • Jonathan Powell • Bruce Desoto • Wally Tavares • Christian Bartsch • Issac Frazer LEGENDS • Ronald DeSoto • Bruce DeSoto • Thomas Reyes • George Lingle • Mark Branigan • Dennis Sambrano

MENS OPEN • Duane DeSoto • Chad Keaulana • Keoni Keaulana • Makamae DeSoto • Anthony DeButiaco • Bonga Perkins

BULLY BOARD 250 PLUS • Johnathan Powell • Nalu Froiseth • Brandon Martin • Ikaika Van Gieson • Kalani Kahaleoumi • Kekama Helm

FOREIGN DIVISION FINAL • Phil Rajzman • Paulo Catalano • Kota • Daiki Hata • Rico Leroy

WOMENS OPEN • Melanie Bartels • Megan Abubo • Puamakamae DeSoto • Miku Uemura • Desire DeSoto • Kyana Rowland

PAIPO FINAL • Bonga Perkins • Anthony DeButiaco • Mel Keawe • Eli Smith • Melanie Bartels • Johnathan Powell

ALAIA • Duane DeSoto • Jedidiah Pacheco • Chad Keaulana • Melanie Bartels • Stephan Paling • Josh Hoppe

BODY SURFING • Makamae DeSoto • Kauila Sagum • Chad Keaulana • Mark Cunningham • Mel Keawe • Duane DeSoto

SUPSQUATCH FINAL • Team “Makaha Boys” (steered by Nick Sabatini) • Team “Quik” (steered by Mel Pu’u) • Team “Get outta my way” (steered by Brian Keaulana) • Team “Huli huli haloles” (steered by Keno)

CANOE • Team “Quik” (steered by Mel Pu’u) • Team “Get outta my Way” (steered by Brian Keaulana) • Team “Olukai” (steered by Archie Kalepa) • Team “Uncles Favorite” (steered by Kauila Sagum)


TANDEM FINAL • Kalani Vierra and Krystl Apeles • Brian Keaulana and Kathy Terada • Leleo Kinimaka and Lauren • Noland and Christina Keaulana BULLYBOARD TANDEM • Keoni and Kira Keaulana • Makamae and Puamakamae DeSoto • Keanunenue and Kalānōweo DeSoto • Duane DeSoto and Malia Ka’aihue WATERWOMAN AND WATERMAN OF THE 2019 BBBSC MAKAHA • Melanie Bartels and Makamae DeSoto

Gerry Lopez The Yin & Yang of Yoga & Surfing Story and photos by Shannon Reporting

Pipe Master Gerry Lopez made quite the impression at Wanderlust O'ahu this past February, expounding his philosophies on the yin & yang of surfing and yoga, filled with analogies for the everyday journey to find balance. His heartfelt Talk Story and Aloha Yin Yoga classes dove deep into the complementary parallels between the yogi and the surfer. “Enjoy the process,” Gerry told the Wanderlust Festival audience. “You never know when your board is going to break in half right when you need it most. No need to panic. The best surfers focus on their breathing and relax when they are going through a tough situation. Eventually, you will come to the surface.” Lopez began his enlightening Speakeasy with a guided meditation, reminding the audience to take a deep breath to slow the pace of an otherwise exciting, activity-packed weekend. It’s funny how breathing -- something so basic and done unconsciously by our bodies -- can alter our state of being. He brought us back to the present, back to reality, to the peace of the here and now, rather than the anxious and worried state that so many of us struggle with amidst the frenzy of living in our modern society. Conscious breath enables rational thinking, leads to a positive mindset, and ultimately creates a conscious community. “We need a happy and peaceful state of mind to stay on the wave. We need balance to keep our feet on the wave. Positive, focused thoughts are more powerful than angry, confused thoughts. Technology, drugs, and alcohol are not solutions for runaway emotions and imaginations,” he teaches. “A peaceful state of mind will control these mental weaknesses. Real peace comes only to those who can control their mind and body through proper self-discipline. By deciding 24

"We need a happy and peaceful state of mind to stay on the wave. We need balance to keep our feet on the wave. Positive and focused thoughts are more powerful than angry, confused thoughts."













genuine labor of love. Lopez overflows with appreciation for the finer details in his world.

Gerry Lopez and Khol Christensen

in big waves, can give us a playbook in understanding that no matter what happens, in the end we will learn something we didn’t know before. Good judgement comes from experience, and a whole lot of that comes from bad judgement,” Lopez says. If we learn from our mistakes, we can refrain from self-judgement and harmful selfcriticism that can often leave us weakened to lead a divine life in harmony with the unchanging laws of nature, we embrace the potential for limitless spiritual realization,” Gerry explains. “Yoga is a complete science of self-discipline that balances, harmonizes, and purifies the body, mind, and spirit. A regular and dedicated yoga practice is a path to health, mind control, and peace.”

"The ocean can exist

Gerry is a guru, and a grounded one at that. All his yoga classes were filled to capacity, greatly respected in the yoga world as he is for his Pipeline lagacy. His metaphors combine both worlds.

need each other… "

“The ocean can exist without the waves, but the waves cannot exist without the ocean. We need each other. The waves of life are never easy to ride, but these are our waves and we need to do this on our own; no one can ride these waves for us. [In the ocean of life] we will encounter outside sets of doubt, shallow reefs of guilt, and closeout sections of fear. With endless currents, rips, and tide changes, we often lose our way. Adversity of any kind is often difficult to deal with. Getting caught inside, especially


without the waves, but the waves cannot exist without the ocean. We

and drained of energy. From his philosophy to his yoga practice, it seems Lopez has no existential worries to hide; his life is meaningful and he lovingly shares his passion with the world. He absolutely embodies the wise, totally stoked surfer living by his hard-earned and time-tested understanding of what matters most in life. Suddenly, it all clicked for me: I’ve spent years wondering how someone develops the patience to shape such beautiful, iconic surfboards. This deeply meditative craft requires intense focus and lots of time — a

“I love shaping still as much as ever. It isn’t work to me; it’s actually a meditative session. When I go into the shaping bay, I marvel at the thoughts that come into my mind while I’m shaping. I’m not sure what provokes them. I’m at a point in my shaping career where I’m interested in noticing what type of thoughts pop up, not to influence them or stop them, but simply to observe. I stand back and enjoy the whole process. There are times when very weird thoughts can come up that have nothing to do with the board that I’m shaping. Some of these thoughts keep coming back unconsciously. I observe, ” he says, peacefully. Lopez’ mindfulness in nearly everything he spends time doing may be the key to his legacy of success. The joy that he puts into shaping is similar to that of a great chef: the passion put into the craft is tangible in the taste. A truly delicious meal is one seasoned with true love. Gerry also made a point of emphasizing the importance of finding a community that supports one’s search for peace. He wrapped up the weekend by describing “the religion of the heart” -- the religion of love. He spoke of Duke Kahanamoku as the ultimate ambassador of aloha, one who demonstrated the meaning of aloha worldwide and shared the heart of Hawai'i abroad. Gerry’s parting words of advice with which to leave you are these: “Share your aloha freely, and I promise you it will be shared double. Live with aloha. Surf with aloha. Do everything with aloha.”

Redefining Performance HIC Surfboards by Kerry Tokoro

Kerry Tokoro’s MOJO Model is a favorite of HIC Teamriders like Kainehe Hunt. It is a highperformance hybrid design that will keep you surfing fast and dynamic, even in smaller, lowpower waves. The bottom rocker is relaxed with an accelerated tail kick, and the single to double conc 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 slightly overhead high waves, this board gets in and moving quickly. Unlike many hybrids, it drives vertically up the face, into the lip and beyond. This model is the perfect choice for intermediate to advanced level surfers who want to take their surfing to the next level. Available as a Squash, Round Pin or Swallow tail.


HIC’s ADVANCED COMPOSITE MATRIX (ACM) combines the best qualities of three different fiberglass fabrics - E-Glass, S-Glass and Warp Glass - creating a surfboard that is lighter and more resistant to compression, buckling and breaking. All stock HIC boards are now glassed with the ACM system in combinations of 4 oz. and 6 oz. fiberglass, depending on the length of the board. Look for the ACM logo to be sure.

Kainehe Hunt, Off The Wall Photo: Latronic/Manulele

Mojo Model by Kerry Tokoro: 6’2” X 19” X 2.37” Ala Moana Center

Street Level, Mauka



A All photos Mike Latronic








One of Hawai'i’s rising stars, Kai Martin of Honolulu times a well-placed hack on and over the lip at Rocky Point.

Adur Amatriain travelled all the way from Europe to perform this speed slice on a nice V-land section.

One of dozens of young athletes to attend this season's Billabong Bloodline camps, Maui's Ocean Macedo enjoyed the coaching, training, practice sessions, and watery delights that came with the sign up!

João Mendonça finds a nice fit on Sunset's inside section.

Brodi Sale has been on a competitive tear of late, but suffice it to say his freesurfing antics are fast, progressive, and powerful!

Jamie Krups traveled to Hawai'i with a crew of red hot Hurley juniors. Jamie found himself more than a few good air sections. Son of former world champ Mark Occhilupo, Jay Occhilupo throws some flair at Off The Wall.

Blessed with plenty of style and tons of raw talent, Kolohe Andino performs a nice, solid drop wallet at OTW.

Young Aussie Ethan Stocks admires the view on a nice inside wall at Sunset Beach.

Makai McNamara stretching out in the back yard at Rocky Point.

Grayson Hindrichs unleashes a solid backhand gash.

During the Billabong Bloodlines Camp 2019 super grom Cannon Carr was grabbing rail while enjoying the best wave in the world on a super clean morning. photo: gOnzo

Jarvis Earle enjoys a little air time at Ehukai Beach Park.

Betty-Lou Sakura looking fiesty at Off-the-Wall.

Jai Glindeman was one of the visiting surfers for the Billabong Bloodlines camp this year. He had a smooth, stylish and well-rounded approach in all types of conditions.



Simpson-Kane Siblings by Kyveli Sophia Photos Damian Antioco

“Live your best life” is the lifestyle trend of the day — the Hawaiian way of ‘imi ola, living life in its highest possible form, driven by an internal calling toward a profound reason for being. That’s exactly how the Simpson-Kane siblings live with their family on Maui’s North Shore. The eldest, Ty, 15, is living his childhood dream every time he charges down terrifying waves at Pe’ahi, big enough to shade a building, guided by his heroesturned-lineup-buddies (but still heroes) Ian Walsh and Kai Lenny.

13-year-old Chrislyn, better known as Sissie, is interested in charging down mountains later in life, but for now is loving the regular-wave mastery currently keeping her on top of the podium at local, HSA, and NSSA junior events throughout Hawai'i. Both teens are totally stoked to be out in nature’s playground with their ‘built-in surf buddy’, meanwhile giving back to the community through organizations like the Mauli Ola Foundation.

With the help of Mauli Ola and Make-A-WishⓇ Hawai'i, the Simpson-Kane ohana — which also includes youngest sister Amy, mom Jacy, and dad Christopher — recently hosted an 8-year-old girl from Michigan living with cystic fibrosis whose wish was to learn to surf. They surprised the girl and her family, who had been expecting just a little surf lesson, with a daylong potluck attended by the entire Maui surfing community — including Zane Schweitzer and Paige Alms — near Tavares Bay,

where the siblings first learned to ride waves themselves. A special time was had by all. Sharing the birth-month of February, the siblings have interests as varied as they are shared. Ty is a 9th grader at Kamehameha Schools Maui and Chrislyn is in 6th grade at Kamo Intermediate School. They both love mathematics, but for different reasons: Sissie because of her amazing teacher and Ty because he is actively working toward his goal of becoming a marine biologist or serving in




S I M P S O N - K A N E


Ty elaborates. “It’s the small critiques we give each other that help out in the long run. Sometimes we might take them harshly, but it’s always good to give each other little pointers.”

the Coast Guard. Sissie’s dream job -- well, besides being on the Women’s Championship Tour -- is to be a surf photographer. When Ty isn’t surfing, he loves to downwind paddle from Maliko Gulch to Kahului Harbor, where you’ll find his sister fishing, or you’ll see them training together as Ty helps Sissie with her diving skills.

me a lot because she’s been succeeding in everything that she does, and it’s really giving me a run for my money!”

But for all their differences, the two biggest things in both their lives are those things they get to share: gliding across water, and spending time together.

Sissie smiles broadly, touched by her brother’s sincere praise. Eager to return the favor, she responds, "It’s amazing having my brother helping me, surfing with me. I learn new things every day and I get to watch my brother surf amazing waves. It gives me the confidence to just be myself and not worry about anything. My brother definitely helps me out with that.”

“It’s super cool!” Ty says about paddling out with Sissie. “That’s pretty much your surf partner for life. Chrislyn’s been pushing

“Every time we’re out in the water, we watch each other’s waves, either from the peak or where we caught one before,”

Sissie has a lot of good people giving her pointers: in addition to dad Chris and bother Ty, she is coached by Jud Lao — who also shapes surfboards for the Simpson-Kane kids, along with Charlie Smith, Manuela Shapes, SOS Shapes, and, for Ty, Chris Chistenson — and Kahea Hart on O'ahu. She also gets the right guidance at the gym where she and her brother train together, Deep2Peak, where they rub elbows and get advice from two local idols, former Pe’ahi Challenge champions Ian Walsh and Paige Alms. Their hard work has paid off: two years ago, the siblings each won both their longboard and shortboard divisions in the local Pohai Na Keiki Nalu (Gathering of the Surf Kids) contest in Lahaina! This was especially meaningful to the family as it was the last year the two could compete together there before Ty ages out. Sissie made the Final at the HSA State Championships at Ala Moana Bowls last April, earning fourth place in the contest as well as a ranking of fourth in the state for her women’s age group. Both kids are respectful, humble, and confident, comfortably at home in their rugged -- and incredibly warm -- community on Maui. Photographer Damian Antioco, better known as Dooma Photos, sponsors both kids — along with Dakine, HiTech Surf Sports, and Like Poke, to name a few they share — and remembers the first time he ever met the kid that would, in less than a decade, blow everyone’s mind when he’d paddle out at Jaws on a day plenty scary to the pros twice his age.

“I met Ty and Chrislyn around 2010,” Dooma recalls. “I totally remember the first time I met Ty at Lahaina Harbor during a grom contest. I was at my usual photo spot: in the shade, over on the dock, away from the crowd, shooting the contest, and this 6-year-old mini-grom with a bright red mohawk came over and started talking to me, calling me Uncle. I got a great vibe from him instantly.” Describing their differences and similarities, Dooma says, "Ty has a very calm, mellow, focused personality. He sets goals and makes them happen. He attends Kamehameha Schools and gets really good grades, a very sharp kid. Really talented in everything he does, he’s becoming a true waterman who does everything well and feels comfortable in the ocean. Chrislyn is also very driven, and focused both in and out of the water. Her surfing has gotten really precise and improves daily. They are similar in their determination and dedication to things that they want. I’m really impressed by how they set goals and accomplish them.” For Ty, one goal has stayed with him his entire life: to surf Jaws. Chrislyn, on the other hand, is following the sage advice her dad and Ian Walsh gave her regarding big wave surfing: if you don’t feel 100 percent ready, don’t even think about it. So for now, Sissie trains alongside her brother and cheers him on as his Pe’ahi dreams come true. “Surfing Jaws has been on his mind since he was a little kid. When I was little, I didn’t have the focus to be a surfer, but now that I am one and I see Ty surfing Jaws, I think I would like to do that when I’m older,” she says.




S I M P S O N - K A N E


Ty had an incredible realization of his dreamduring the 2018 Pe’ahi Challenge… The wave were as gnarly as they get. After the women had powered through some insane, death-defying heats to arrive at Keala Kennelly’s victory, the WSL called it off for the day. However, they continued to broadcast the freesurfing action that saw regular standouts Kai Lenny and Albee Layer making unreal rides a reality. When Kai took a break from the action, little Ty Simpson-Kane asked to borrow his tow board and jet ski, driven by Darrick Doerner. Kai consented, and Ty was pulled into an XXL behemoth that curled into a perfect barrel and shot the teenager out like a pro, his community cheering wildly in the channel.

“That was a moment he will remember for the rest of his life,” assures Dooma, who was in the channel that day. “The WSL kept running the live stream because the waves were going off, and they filmed Ty’s wave and the whole world saw it. Kaipo Guerrero was commentating and said, ‘That’s not Kai Lenny, that’s 14-year-old Ty SimpsonKane!’” That wave has only left Ty hungry for more: more of gnarly Jaws, on to monster Mavericks, and over to towering Nazaré. He aims to make the Big Wave Tour. With his 2018 postPe’ahi Challenge ride currently under consideration for an XXL Biggest Wave Award nomination at the 2019 Big Wave Awards in Los Angeles on May 2, it would be no surprise to see him there. Shakas to you both, Ty and Sissie Simpson-Kane… Keep on charging hard, both on the waves and at living the good life!

! i k i k i a W

by Kyveli Sophia

Christa Funk

Coral Reef-Friendly

Polly Kai Ralda

There’s a cool new wave breaking from coast to coast in the USA and beyond as sunscreens containing certain coral reefharming chemicals, like oxybenzone and octinoxate, are being banned. Hawai`i led the charge last July when Governor David Ige signed legislation that, starting in 2021, will ban the sale of products containing those two chemicals. The Western Pacific nation of Palau became the first country to disallow them last November with a ban that takes effect in 2020. Most recently, Key West, Florida took a stand to protect their reefs with a similar ban, effective 2021. This is encouraging news; not only are there already many great reef-friendly brands available on shelves, but other major sunscreen distributors, who have previously retained control of the industry will be forced to get reef-friendly if they want to continue doing business in these beachy tourist destinations.

One reef-friendly option currently available, All Good, recently hosted an educational “Talk Story” community event on this topic. The evening started with beer and bites from Honolulu Beerworks and ended with a journey through the past, present, and future of coral reefs. The talk was presented by University of Hawai`i at Mānoa Research Professor and Director Robert H. Richmond, Ph.D. Dr. Richmond delightfully introduces himself by saying, “Just call me Bob, the coral reef sexpert.” While the Doctor hailed recent legislation to reduce the oxybenzone levels damaging global water quality and executing a “death by a thousand paper cuts” of our reefs, he also enlightened the audience to other modern lifestyle, land-based impacts on reef health. Sediments and pesticides are seeping into the ocean from poorly-treated land; air pollution is raising the oceans’ acidity levels; and a slew of chemicals are funneled into the water system via sewers carrying away urine laden with medicines 44

prescribed by those same pharmaceutical companies that lobby against sunscreen bans for their own profit. Their bottom dollar would suffer from the ban of chemicals which they themselves supply! Scientists have discovered that high levels of estrogen pollution in waters surrounding sewage outpours are sending false signals to the corals whose reproductive process also uses estrogen, thereby disrupting their cycles. This pollution is directly attributed to the increased number of women on birth control pills urinating into the sewer system. Coastal areas and groundwater sources near sewage outpours have been found to be affected by chemicals from painkillers, opioids, and antidepressants. Dr. Richmond walked the audience through the six stages of coral reproduction, then talked about how our choices as a society have been destroying coral reefs at an unprecedented rate by blocking their reproduction. Scientists noted major coral


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bleaching events here in Hawai`i in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 -- four consecutive years recording high incidences of coral death, previously unseen in this region in over one thousand years of recorded history, according to Dr. Richmond. He went on to say that at Oluwalu, a reef system containing some of Maui’s oldest reefs, aged between 200 and 400 years old, swaths of reef have been lost in a matter of just a few weeks. To battle this growing problem, scientists, citizens, politicians, and companies like All Good are fighting the three biggest landbased polluters affecting coral reefs: sunscreens, pesticides, and gasoline. Fishermen, who had been accidentally overfishing near corals requiring lawn-mowing fish to eat coral-killing bacteria, were recently forced to go beyond the reef and to switch spots regularly in order to allow the return of the fish necessary to maintain the delicate balance of the reef ecosystem. Dr. Richmond closed his presentation with what he calls his life’s work: a graph of five possible coral reef evolutionary scenarios. The track we humans are currently on leads to total annihilation of the reefs, as do three of the other tracks, in which only minor changes are made, such as if we were to discontinue the fight for more sunscreen bans now that we have enacted several. But then there’s the fifth track, the “optimistic” track, on which we drastically reduce the damaging effects of land- and air-based sources, including making environmentally responsible choices about what we put in and on our bodies. On that path, climate change will have been battled on every possible front and brought under control. On that path, our live coral cover will increase from the current 40 percent to 70 percent. “Coral reefs are threatened, but they are not doomed,” Dr. Richmond said. “And it’s all up to us.” How’s that for a call to action?



Make-A-Wish Hawai'i with Bethany Hamilton Making Dreams Come True on The Garden Island By Kresta Painter Photos by My Kaua'i Photos Have you ever had a really big wish, a dream so big it seemed impossible that it could come true? Once again, Bethany Hamilton has partnered with Make-A-Wish® Hawai'i to grant four young ladies their heart’s desire, proving that big dreams really can come true.

Make-A-Wish® Hawai'i has been granting life-changing wishes since 1982. More than 1,400 keiki from across the islands and over 15,000 kids from the mainland US and other countries around the globe have experienced the life-changing impact of making a wish here in Hawai'i. The first local wish was granted in 1984 to a young boy from Hilo whose wish was to go to Disneyland. This year, more than 1,200 kids will visit Hawai'i to fulfill their most heartfelt wishes. Four of them had this very special wish: to surf with Bethany at Hanalei Bay on the Garden Island of Kaua'i. Bethany became world-famous at the tender age of 13 when she lost her left arm in a shark encounter

while surfing at home on Kaua'i’s North Shore. Now 29, Bethany is not only a worldclass surfer with a huge heart, but has added wife, mother, and entrepreneur to her list of accomplishments. Make-A-Wish® invited an amazing group of kids and their families to Kaua'i to surf, splash, swim, and dance in the rain this past month. Emma (12) from Texas with Cystic Fibrosis; Alexandra (8) from Washington and Brinkley (15) from Missouri, both of whom have leukemia; and Laken (15) from Minnesota, who has a nervous system disorder, all experienced riding a wave for the first time ever with their heroine.

Even in the rain, the stoke was shining through and spirits were high. Hamilton’s charity work and her “Unstoppable” motto are a global inspiration. “I know life can be hard,” she says, “but I have learned that we can rise above even the biggest challenges and fears. No matter where you’ve come from, or what you are facing, you are loved by God and you can overcome.”

Trini Kaopuiki Clark, the new President and CEO of Make-A-Wish® Hawai'i, along with KORE Kaua'i, led by retired Fire Chief Kurt Leong, guided a passionate group of watermen and women supporting the event while keeping everyone safe both in the water and on shore. Everyone who shared the day with Bethany had an unforgettable

experience hanging out and catching waves. It takes the efforts of about 200 people on average to make just one wish a reality, from donors and vendors to local businesses and community supporters who help fund, organize, and support Make-A-Wish®. Participants get to witness the beauty of engaging in an act of pure love to deliver strength, spark imagination, and bring a community together. To see what’s happening locally and statewide at Make-A-Wish® Hawai'i, or to volunteer or donate, please visit: hawaii.wish.org.

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APP World Tour

Sunset Beach Pro Crowns Tahitian Stand-Up Paddler Poenaiki Raioha By Shannon Reporting 22-year-old Tahitian Poenaiki Raioha was chaired up the beach February 19, 2019 as the new Sunset Beach Pro Champion, the Hawaiian stop on the APP World Tour. Glassy conditions on the North Shore gave the stand-up paddlers the canvas they were looking for going into the Final heat.

Shannon Reporting

“I’m so happy! I have been working the last four years towards this day, and finally I won the Sunset Beach Pro,” Raioha told Freesurf Magazine after securing the win. “It’s an honor for me to represent Tahiti, especially as the only Tahitian on the World Tour amongst many other countries.”

Dylan Melamed 18 OUTLIER 2 CJ_Various.pdf



Poenaiki Raioha

Hawai'i’s Bernd Roediger finished runner-up, as Brazilians Wellington Reis Sup and Caio Vaz placed third and fourth respectively. The women’s division finished in tricky conditions due to stormy weather, with USA’s Fiona Wylde in first, Columbia’s Izzi Gomez in second, Australia’s Shakira Westdorp in third, and Brazil’s Aline Adisaka rounding out the podium in fourth.

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Surfer & Scientist Cliff Kapono Celebrates Earth Day Every Day


By Mara Pyzel

Cliff Kapono

For Cliff Kapono, surfing is in his blood. In fact, it was surfing that first piqued Kapono’s curiosity about human interaction with the natural world. His quest for a factual explanation of the relationship between humanity and the environment shaped him into the accomplished scientist, environmentalist, journalist, and activist that he is today. A natural teacher, Dr. Kapono intrinsically understands the intersection of culture, identity, microbiology, conservation, and surfing, and is able to articulate his ideas in terms easily understood by the rest of us. He can go into just as much detail about bacteria on your outer body relating to your brain and internal gut stimulation as he can about surfing in Tahiti, Aotearoa, Morocco, and Hawai'i. His work has received recognition from numerous noteworthy organizations including Surfrider’s 2018 John Kelly Award, UCSD’s 2018 Changemaker, and Save

the Wave’s Athlete of the Year Award.

prior to the popularity of surfing in the early 1900s. As with many Hawaiian surfers, the practice of wave sliding is intergenerational, spanning back thousands of years. We take it very seriously. In my family, surfing doesn’t necessarily define us, but it is a huge component to our identity as native people.

Raised in Hilo, Hawai'i, Kapono relocated to San Diego, California in 2012 to work toward earning a doctoral degree from UCSD’s prestigious Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

To truly understand surfing, you need to understand the environment as a whole. CK: Surfing is not just the act of sliding on the wave; it comes down to understanding the currents, the fish, the reef, the moon, the stars, the tide, the freshwater rivers, and the ecology of the uplands. Surfing is just this surface name for something that defines our ability to understand our natural environment and be able to harness the benefits of those resources, whether it’s through energy, food, or culture.

“I wanted to develop a technical skill set that I could bring back home and offer as a contributor to Hawai'i,” he said. Six years and a hard-earned Ph.D. later, Kapono is back at home on the Big Island. Freesurf Magazine chatted with Kapono about the overlap of his many interests — what he refers to as his “interdisciplinary lifestyle.” Here’s what he had to say about surf, science, and stewardship. Surfing is in his genealogy. Cliff Kapono: Surfing is a cultural identity. Surfing is a gift that has been passed through my family for many, many generations,

No matter where life takes him, Hawai'i will always be home. 52

CK: While studying in California, I would come home to recenter and surf, to spend time in the ocean. It was important for me to return home and be in the ocean where I belonged, where I wanted to end up. I want to surf waves in Hawai'i; I was born in the waves in Hawai'i. I think it’s important for us to continue to immerse ourselves in the place we want to be a part of. His favorite wave is his home break, Honoli'i. CK: It’s just a fun beach where you see the whole spectrum like Uluboi, Mikey O'Shaughnessy, and Shayden Pacarro ripping out at the point, or the young up-and-comers like Diesel Storm and Kane Turalde, or the uncles that have been there forever. There’s a strong female presence at the beach, too. It’s a very inclusive place, and has turned into a family-oriented community space in Hilo. He is fluent in the language of science. CK: The beauty of science is that


Out of the water, I am nothing.




it’s a powerful tool that can be used to communicate across many different cultures, many different races, all genders, pretty much all religions people can appreciate the culture of science. Whether they agree with it or not, we can at least begin the conversation through science. As with surfing, we can sometimes feel alienated from the rest of society when we want to communicate our ideas; for me, science has allowed me to communicate my feelings and my perspectives using data, theory, conclusions, and questions which every culture also has. Science is a tool that




communicate why it’s important to protect the reef that the waves break on, or the sand bar that you need to get barreled. It’s difficult to communicate to non-surfers the urgency to protect a resource.

created equal by this central force to be constantly immersed in a marine environment for extended periods of time, as much as they can. They became this great cohort, which I’m a member of.

He analyzes surfers’ bacteria through swab samples in his study The Surfer Biome Project to find out if the impact nature has on humans is reciprocal. CK: We all leave fingerprints everywhere, right? Well, we also leave behind bacteria and chemicals. I wondered: does nature do the same to us? I am nature, nature is me; if I leave a fingerprint on it, it should leave a fingerprint on me. I wanted

His Earth Day advice is simple: Go outside. CK: The biggest contribution we can make as environmentalists is to be immersed in the environment, to go out into nature and not be limited to the beach as surfers. I think it's very important to be a part of different ecosystems that ultimately affect the beach, whether that’s up in the mountains or in the stream, or

"We all leave fingerprints everywhere, right? Well, we also leave behind bacteria and chemicals. I wondered: does nature do the same to us?" empowers me to communicate my beliefs about being a native Hawaiian, and being a surfer. All things are inherently connected. CK: Science is a way of communicating the idea that we are infinitely connected to the natural world. We cannot separate ourselves from it, because if we do, we’re never going to be able to truly protect it. That’s something I firmly believe, and surfing is just another expression of that; journalism is also an expression of that, as is science. For someone that doesn’t understand what it means to be in the ocean, it’s very difficult to

out in the deep reef, out on the sea, or in the fishponds. To be able to spend time in these places will really advance our appreciation for protecting the beach and the surf.

to try to find some of nature’s fingerprints on us in order to establish a relationship between humans and nature in a different capacity. It’s not just that we are harming nature; nature can do the same to us. If we aren’t performing reciprocity, then we’re going to get screwed over if we don’t take care of the places we live in. That’s what The Surfer Biome Project is all about.

Education and experience have the greatest impact on environmental change. CK: Community service is not only about giving back; you can also gain a lot by going to these places that we could never otherwise have gained access to. It’s a very nice way that this reciprocity can be established. Some of these places we could not otherwise access, and that will ultimately help increase our education of how things are interconnected. This knowledge

Which population is so immersed in that natural environment that they are willing to risk jobs and relationships in order to be in that environment every day? That’s surfers. Surfers are an ideal demographic that transcends all races, cultures, religions, genders. They are 54

will allow us to be able to formulate the right questions to bring to the scientists or the people in the community that have the resources and have the understanding to make informed decisions. That’s not just “Don’t use sunscreen” or “Don’t use a plastic water bottle”; I truly believe that going into these spaces outside of surfing ultimately contributes back to the beach, the reef, and to the waves. Exploring will help us gain a greater appreciation for our environment's health as a community and help us formulate the right questions to bring to the people who are ultimately in charge. He’s trying to limit his consumption. CK: I’m trying to improve my lifestyle every day. Something I’ve been trying to centralize a lot of my effort into is eliminating my waste as best as I can, not just in terms of plastics, but actually finding creative ways to reuse the things that I have. I try to get creative… such as my wetsuits: do I give them away or do I make some racks out of them for my surfboards? I’m trying to repurpose the things I already have. I know what it’s like to have to travel across the ocean to get here, and when I think about how strenuous that is, for me it makes me want to reduce my waste and what I import. Cliff Kapono is just getting started. With more projects underway at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo, and partnerships with VISSLA, OluKai, and Save the Waves Coalition, this surfer and scientist is a busy guy. Be sure to keep an eye out for the publication of peer reviewed results of The Surfer Biome Project and keep up with Dr. Cliff Kapono via Instagram @cliff_kapono and surf him on the web cliffkapono.com.

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One life, right? Don’t blow it.




2019 Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational By Mike Stewart Photos gOnzo

Mike Stewart

A large 10’-15’ face Pipeline swell with gusty winds challenged the the world’s best bodyboarders at the 2019 Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational, held during the last week of February. Pierre Louis Costes (France) claimed his second Pipeline title in what he described as "the ultimate achievement in bodyboarding." The two-time world champion became part of an elite group of riders that have won multiple titles at this coveted event. Costes scored the best barrel during the Final and backed it up with a big roll on a seemingly unmakeable section.

Hubbard (Hawai‘i), who launched a large flip maneuver to score the best wave of the Final. In fourth place was local Pipe charger Nakana Rivera (Hawai‘i) who seemed to casually make it through heats on his march to the Final. Rivera is a full-time pilot for Aloha Air Cargo, but schedules his working hours around scoring Pipe sessions. History was made in the name of gender equality as two-time world champion and defending Pipeline rider Ayaka Sazuki (Japan) claimed victory in her first heat against the men. We believe this was the first time in history that a lady wave rider was victorious against men in a heat at Pipe! Placing second in the women's division was former world champion Karla Costa Taylor (Hawai‘i) who placed third in her open heat, followed by Tracy Finger (Hawai‘i) in third and Sari Ohara (Japan) in fourth place.

In second, 2X Drop Knee world champion Sammy Morretino (Hawai‘i) proved not only his versatility, but also that his prone riding is world-class. Surfing two Finals and seven heats in total, the Kauaian was a standout performer all day. Morretino’s two scores narrowly held back multiple world and pipeline champion Jeff

Jacob Romero

Pierre Louis Costes


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In the Drop Knee superheat, Mack Criley (Hawai‘i) — who recently won the DKS Challenge — was elated to win the DK superheat against Sammy Morretino, who placed second. This was only the third time he has defeated Morretino in Hawaiian waters. Close behind them was local bodyboarder Dayton Wago (Hawai‘i) who finished with a respectable third place.

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Situated in the heart of Honolulu on O`ahu’s southern shore, the neighborhood of Kaka`ako recently received a facelift courtesy of this year’s Pow! Wow! Hawai`i. More than 100 artists from around the world arrived in Hawai`i’s capital this past February to make their mark on the walls of Kaka`ako’s businesses and warehouses. Once a thriving native community filled with Hawaiian royalty, this location holds not only great historical significance, but is also thought to be the site of numerous unearthed ancient burial grounds, scattered throughout the district. The creative energy of the area was palpable to the visiting artists and local influencers who recently converged in Kaka`ako. This year, more than 60 artists (40 from Hawai‘i) painted dozens of murals throughout Kaka'ako and on additional walls around town.

Pow! Wow! Hawai’i By John Weaver Photos Jasper Wong

Local favorites Kris Goto, Jack Soren, Matthew Tapia, Gavin Murai, Cory Taum, Jesico Serrano, and newcomer Render were a few of the local Islands artists on the scene. International and Mainland artists Shepard Fairy (California), Drew Young (Canada), Roamcouch (Japan), Mayonaize (Australia), HowNosm (New York), Michael Reeder (California), and Spidertag (Spain) brought their unique perspectives to shake up the Honolulu art world. This annual celebration of street art got a proper kickoff with a fantastic block party and trendy nighttime market in Kaka`ako. Popup shops, vendors, a fashion show, food trucks, and live music all made for a lively evening on the corner where Auahi and Keawe Streets intersect. Meanwhile, over at Wade Warehouse, curator Andrew Hosner and the L.A.-based Thinkspace Gallery Pow! Wow! opened the “Exploring the Contemporary Movement” exhibition with fun activities like indoor soccer and breakdancing. Pow! Wow! Hawai'i 2019 wrapped up in style with a pool party at the Alohilani Resort, featuring live music from a showcase of Kahala Records recording artists. Headed into Kaka`ako to appreciate some fine street art? Check out the map of 51 new murals at Pow! Wow! Hawai'i’s website, powwowworldwide.com. 60

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Havaianas “We like Hawaiian-style slippahs!” Did you know “Havaianas” means “Hawaiians” in Portuguese? Neither did we! The Brazilian brand of local-style slippahs pays homage to their roots, the beachy dream of Hawai'i’s unique lifestyle, by partnering with North Shore artist Christie Shinn to create a “Havaianas Hawai'i” collection exclusive to the islands. Each sandal features Hawai'i’s latitude and longitude and Shinn’s bright, graphic designs, creating a truly unique art piece to be worn on and off the beach. Head into your local surf shop, as this collection is sold only at: Backdoor, FFS Waikiki, Function Surf, Hi-Tech and The Watershed at Turtle Bay Resort. us.havaianas.com

Coastal Co.



Never Off Duty “We REALLY like a well-equipped lifeguard!” Never Off Duty is a non-profit organization providing lifeguard training and equipment free of charge in high-need areas. NOD founder Jason Bitzer is a Board Member and consultant to MY MEDIC, developing kits customized for the needs of the surfer/lifeguard. NOD recently provided a rescue sled and Viper fins to the Puerto Escondido lifeguards and is currently fundraising to send lifeguards to the Mediterranean to train Proactiva Open Arms volunteers to help prevent migrant drownings. NOD partners with Mymedic.com, Viper, OMNA Tourniquet Surfboard Leashes, and Pro Guarding Rescue Sleds to develop the best lifeguard and surf rescue products on the market, including a top-notch SFAK (Surfer’s First Aid Kit). 5% of all partner sales and First Aid Kits go to future NOD lifeguarding missions. Water safety is never off duty. Mahalo NOD for your lifesaving work! www.neveroffduty.org

“We like your style!” Coastal Co. offers a quarterly subscription box to treat yourself or the beach lover in your life while contributing to beach and water clean-up at the same time. This brand not only gives great savings on beach-going style, but also gives back to the community through environmental activism--now that’s what we call style! Each $99 box contains 4-5 premium pieces of your choice of men or women's apparel from top brands and hot newcomers. Members receive up to 70% off retail at the exclusive online store. Coastal Co. allocates proceeds to and participates in beach clean-ups with CA non-profit Heal The Bay, dedicated to protecting Southern Cal’s oceans, beaches and waterways through clean-ups, educational programs, legislation and more. Whatcha waiting for? Get your subscription on its way today! www.coastalco.com

Vans "Introducing their ComfyCush technology, and we like it!" offering sublime coziness while maintaining Vans’ commitment to long-lasting footwear and reliable traction with the signature waffle rubber outsole construction. For the ComfyCush Zushi SF, Vans integrates a collapsible heel for easy on/off wear. vans.com

KE NUI KITCHEN A TRIP FOR TWO ON ALASKA AIRLINES only at Jamba Kapahulu located at 625 Kapahulu Avenue


Based out of Waimea Valley, our exceptional cuisine is a must for weddings, corporate events, private dinners, and more!

One grand prize winner

will receive two (2) roundtrip tickets to the west coast on Alaska Airlines. Winner will be chosen from a random drawing.

1. post a selfie or photo with your favorite Nick Kuchar Art at Jamba Kapahulu

2. @jambahawaii on Instagram

3. make sure your account is public

4. post your photo and tag #jambahawaii No purchase necessary to enter or win. Open only to legal U.S. Residents who are residing in the state of Hawaii and are 18 years of age or older. Odds of winning a prize depends on the number of eligible entries received. Visit our Kapahulu location to enter, 625 Kapahulu Avenue; or visit www.jambahawaii.com for full Official Rules and details. Please see Official Rules for details on all methods of entry.

Team rider: Inti Rey at home break, Peru Photo: Dad



Meeting All Your Surfing Needs With Aloha! Now four convenient locations... Waikiki, Hale’iwa, Long Beach NY and our newest location, Playa Jobos, Isabela, PR


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IND USTRY NOTES Well ladies, it's official. Chris Latronic, host of Board Stories TV, is off the market. In a lovely ceremony at Haiku Gardens, March 16, Chris and his longtime sweet heart Mokihana Aki, tied the knot. Congrats! Photo: Lani Primacio Billabong sent their grom surfers out to the North Shore of Oahu this month for “Billabong Bloodlines,” an ongoing camp for young aspiring athletes from around the world. They focus on technique, coaching, and, of course, snagging some great live action clips for promotional and training purposes. Manulele Media Inc. is stoked to have been working with these guys for nearly a decade, and still going strong.

Surfing power couple Alana Blanchard and Jack Freestone have both signed with Pyzel Surfboards. Wonder if that means baby Banks has already signed a mini-contract?!? The cute little family has been sharing their time between Kauai and Australia… And it looks like new surf mom Alana is back to competing!

IG: @nssahawaii

Download entry forms at our new website!


Friends of Sunset Beach Elementary sold a signature Pyzel surfboard at their art auction, donated by World Champion Sunset Beach Elementary alum John John Florence. The students had decorated the board with a bottle cap mural, and it sold for $3,000! Freesurf’s very own Chris Latronic served as event emcee and auction host. Kiron Jabour is engaged! Jabour popped the question to longtime girlfriend Leila Dee Thomas on Valentine’s Day, while out longboarding. Nathan Florence helped film a sweet GoPro edit (that went viral on Instagram) as Kiron presented a leash string to Leila as a ring. We’re glad she said “Yes”!

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Jesse James Johnson Banzai Pipeline "The morning was pretty mental, I am sure everyone was excited to get in the water. I got a little ahead of myself and got ejected on a mean one!" photo: gOnzo

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