Page 1






F R E E Billy Kemper, Indo. Photo: Ryan Moss

V 1 6 # 8

©2019 Vans, Inc.




Mexican wave warrior Seùor Coco Nogales traveling through a giant green cavern at his home break—Zicatela located in Oaxaca, Mexico. Also known as the Mex Pipe, this beach break is the main summer camp for serious wave riders that want to improve their barrel riding skills and experience serious conditions. We dedicated a few strong pages in our annual Travel Issue to the expansive Mexican coastline, amongst other surfing destinations. Take a look and get lost exploring the planet for that perfect dream wave! Photo: Edwin Morales (Check out more of his epic photography profile in this issue's Pau Hana, page 24!)




04 Free Parking 08 Editor’s Note 10 Cover Story 12 News & Events 22 Pau Hana 28 Spot Check 32 Destinations 54 Field Guide 60 Tribute 62 Industry Notes 66 Last Look

Mikala Jones, Indo. photo: Ryan Moss



E D I T O R ' S


When was the last time you stepped outside of your comfort zone? For those with the travel bug, exploring the unknown brings joy and excitement, but for others it can create paralyzing bouts of fear. However, I believe it's innately human to stay curious about our magical planet and may even be one of the keys to a happy and fulfilled life. Our quest for knowledge and understanding motivates us to embark on a global journey to see what’s beyond the horizon. Surfers will easily hop off the couch when a swell pops up on the charts, and nowadays, our internet connection has enabled a global community of wave hunters to find exactly what they are looking for. Never has a generation of surfers had such easy access to quick and affordable transportation (unless you’re hustling board bags on an unfriendly airline causing travel funds to vanish in a flash). From the longest left hand point breaks in Peru, to the largest waves in the world believed to exist in Portugal, these phenomenal spectacles give us reason to believe that “the search” is a lifelong journey for the traveling surfer. Many of the captivating stories in our annual travel issue touch upon the importance of respect—for the locals, for Mother Earth, and for the vibrant diversity of cultures globally. As surfers, we share a deep connection to the ocean that should be celebrated and bring us together despite our differences. We must give back to the places we visit and be conscious of the impact our actions have on society. Leave the beach cleaner than you found it. Leave a surfboard with a local grom when you can afford it—that board might just change the course of their life. When we keep the curiosity alive by opening our hearts to new waves and new experiences, the possibilities are endless. When we embrace the humility of not being a local in the lineup every once in a while, we gain perspective. It’s quite the humbling surf session when one’s abroad; it builds character and patience, which is truly a virtue while on the road. We open our minds when we leave our comfort zones. We grow. We learn. We understand ourselves and our neighbors better. And when you are lucky enough to live Hawai‘i, you’ll often find that the more you travel, the more you appreciate “home”.

Shannon Reporting

Safe travels, Shannon Reporting Managing Editor

Editorial Publisher Mike Latronic Managing Editor Shannon Reporting






Photo Director gOnzo Art Director John Weaver Social Media Manager Shannon Reporting

F R E E Billy Kemper Photo: Ryan Moss

V 1 6 # 8

Contributing Writers gOnzo, Alexandra Kahn, Mara Pyzel, Shannon Reporting, Brian Bielmann, Ben Marcus, Keoki Saguibo Copy Editor Mara Pyzel 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 Contributing Photographers Erik Aeder, Mike Chlala, Mike Ito, Ryan Miller, Neal Miyake, John Hook, Matt Ord, Tommy Pieruck, Eric Baeseman, Ryan “Chachi” Craig, Christa Funk, 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 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 A product of Manulele, Inc. 2019

Watch on Channel 12, or 1012 HD in Hawai`i or at 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



By photographer Ryan Moss @ryan.moss In an era defined by world titles and social media exploitation, where everything needs to unfold in real-time, then loses its relevance in the blink of an eye, there are still people who believe in mystery. Mikala Jones is one of those people. I owe a lot of my success to him. He has taught me a lot about travel and keeping people guessing. When he messages me about a trip, I don’t ever ask too many questions; I just say ‘yes’ and go. It was my fourth trip to this remote location, a destination that is not for the faint of heart. The risk is real - very real. On our first trip together there, Mikala ruptured his eardrum and suffered from vertigo almost causing him to drown. The next two trips we got slightly skunked and only scored the right for a total of eight hours over the course of a ten-day trip. It’s a lot of sitting and waiting, but in the end it’s all worth it. This trip was, by all means, a grand slam. It was far from being the biggest I had ever seen the wave, but it was without a doubt the most perfect I had seen it. Mikala, Billy Kemper, and _____ put on an absolute show. For five days straight they scored perfect waves with no one around. It was surreal. It was beautiful. It was every surfer’s dream. I was just fortunate to be a part of it.






2019 Toyota USA Surfing Champions Crowned After Epic Finals Performances Photos by Andrew Oliver

Luke Swanson

USA Surfing crowned its 2019 Toyota USA Surfing junior champions on June 22nd following five days of impressive surfing with fiery performances on rippable Lowers waves. The final heat of the event – the Boys U18 - was absolutely insane! Surfing USA CEO, Greg Cruse, said it was the most exciting final in the history of the event. Conditions set up perfectly for taking to the air. Crosby Colapinto scored a perfect 10 with a lip-destroying series of maneuvers. He backed it up with a 9.93 tail high air reverse. It was his fourth

Bettylou Sakura Johnson

Championship title in his career. Second-place surfer Nick Marshall’s double grab flip scored a 9.87. Heat-mate Hawaiian Wyatt McHale also scored a perfect 10, putting him in third. Carlsbad’s Alyssa Spencer had a double win in Girls U16 and U18. Spencer and Colapinto were the 2019 Governor's Cup Winners - the highest honor of the event with a long track record of World Surf League Championship Tour surfers. Other highlights included an

Alyssa Spencer

intense Girls U12 final as 11-year-old Vaihiti Inso and Oaka Wong delivered 9s and 8s with Vaihiti’s powerful backhand ultimately winning the heat. The Boys U12 finalists were separated by less than a point with Carlsbad’s Chase Niemann unleashing a series of committed turns on the outside, opening the heat with an 8.17 then backing it up with an 8.67.

National Coach Brett Simpson.

“The groms were surfing far beyond their years. The railwork in the U12 finals looked like a QS heat at times,” said USA Surfing Junior

The Boys U14 came down to a buzzer-beater set wave that San Clemente’s Hayden Rodgers took full advantage of, just edging out

Luana Silva

In the Girls U14, Betty Lou Sakura Johnson took advantage of a welloverhead wave to deliver her signature front-side blowtail and carved it down to finish with a lip-smashing final turn for a perfect 10. She backed it up with a 9.97, throwing away an impressive 9.17.

With all the great surf we’ve been getting the HI-PER Model has been the perfect board for high-performance surfing on shoulder-high and larger days. A generous amount of bottom curve makes this model loose, forgiving and responsive. The bottom features a shallow single concave with a moderate double concave, and an outline that is lean and trim with a narrower nose and tail. Designed for vertical surfing in and around the pocket, this board flows easily from rail to rail, generating speed with every turn. Available in squash, round, swallow and round-pin tail designs.

Redefining Performance

HIC Surfboards by Kerry Tokoro

Inspired by Josh Moniz, the “Mojo” is a high-performance hybrid design that will keep you surfing fast and dynamic, even in smaller, low-power waves. The bottom rocker is relaxed with an accelerated tail kick, and the single to double concave is noticeably deep. The wide point of the outline is pushed back a bit, creating a narrower nose and a smooth tail curve with very little hip or bump. Ideal for waist to head-high waves, this board gets in and moving quickly. Unlike many hybrids, it drives vertically up the face, into the lip, and beyond. Available in squash, round and swallow tail designs.

The “Striker” is a fuller-outlined hybrid model that allows high-performance surfing on even the smallest of days. The low balanced rocker makes this board fly on the water. A full-nose outline blends into a small bump in the tail, keeping the board up and moving in low power situations. The moderate single to double concave ends in a slight vee running off the tail, allowing the board to easily transition from rail to rail. A must-have board for every summer quiver. Available in squash and swallow tail designs, in 3-fin or 5-fin configurations.


Josh Moniz, Bowls.

Photo: Latronic/Freesurf

HI-PER Model by Kerry Tokoro: 5’10” X 18.75” X 2.33” Ala Moana Center - Street Level 1, Mauka & Level 3, Diamond Head

Oceanside’s Lucas Owston whose mature railwork earned excellent scores. In the Girls U16, Alyssa Spencer ran away with the heat, scoring a 9.33 and 7.17. Levi Slawson wowed the crowds and won the heat with a 9.17 that included a series of powerful slashes, a layback jam, and finished with a tail high air reverse.

Crosby Colapinto

The 2019 USA Surfing Champions Girls U12 1st Vaihiti Inso, Hawaill 2nd Oaka Wong, Hawaii 3rd Avery McDonald, San Clemente, Calif. 4th Vela Mattive, Santa Barbara, Calif. Boys U12 1st Chase Niemann, Carlsbad, Calif. 2nd Tiger Abubo, Hawaii 3rd Kenny Nishimoto, Hawaii 4th Charlie Stevens, San Clemente, Calif. Girls U14 1st Betty Lou Sakura Johnson, Hawaii

2nd Caitlin Simmers, Oceanside, Calif. 3rd Zoe Benedetto, Palm City, Fla. 4th Ewe Wong, Hawaii Boys U14 1st Hayden Rodgers, San Clemente, Calif. 2nd Lucas Owston, Oceanside, Calif. 3rd Kai Martin, Hawaii 4th Cannon Carr, San Clemente, Calif. Girls U16 1st Alyssa Spencer, Carlsbad, Calif. 2nd Sawyer Lindblad, San Clemente, Calif. 3rd Luana Silva, Hawaii 4th Caitlin Simmers, Oceanside, Calif.


Boys U16 1st Levi Slawson, Encinitas, Calif. 2nd Jackson Bunch, Hawaii 3rd Luke Swanson, Hawaii 4th Taj Lindblad, San Clemente, Calif. Girls U18 1st Alyssa Spencer, Carlsbad, Calif. 2nd Sawyer Lindblad, San Clemente, Calif. 3rd Kirra Pinkerton, San Clemente, Calif. 4th Savanna Stone, Hawaii Boys U18 1st Crosby Colapinto, San Clemente, Calif. 2nd Nick Marshall, Encinitas, Calif. 3rd Wyatt McHale, Hawaii 4th Levi Slawson, Encinitas, Calif.


J O R DY S M I T H T H E H Y P E R F R E A K ™ J O R DY B O A R D S H O RT O ’ N E I L L I N C . 2 0 1 9 | U S . O N E I L L . C O M | P H O T O G R A P H Y: S C O T T Y H A M M O N D S

Roxy #MakeWavesMoveMountains Waikiki By Shannon Reporting Photos gOnzo

The Roxy #MakeWavesMoveMountains tour hit Hawai'i on June 30, 2019 with an epic event at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in the epicenter of surfing. A discussion panel on women’s empowerment hosted by Shannon Reporting opened the floor to inspirational wahine across the Hawaiian Islands to talk story with a stoked crowd; panelists included: Kelia Moniz Termini aka “sis”, Monyca Eleogram, Christa Funk, Paula Fuga, Heather Goodman, and Mona-Jane Hanneman. Yoga flow and song was led by Noelani Love.

Paula Fuga

Kelia Moñiz

Noelani Love

Kani Tsunami

Surf Garage presents the 3rd Annual Hawaiian Noseriding Team Classic Photos by gOnzo and Tanner Stanfield

Day 2 of the soulful noseriding event received a solid south swell raising the stakes for the teams. Stylish loggers John Michael Van Hohenstein, Kaniela Stewart, Eric Casco, Alikz, Kawika Kinimaka, and Johnny Pitzer all paddled out.

June 29th marked the opening day of Surf Garage‘s 3rd Annual Hawaiian Noseriding Team Classic. Conditions for the Queen’s event included increasingly long periods of SSW swell of 3 ft at 22 seconds and high tide around noon. This contest prioritizes fun and community in that the idea is to ride on the nose as long as possible, a tribute to classic soul surfing. The vibe is absolute camaraderie and good times, so there is no penalty for sharing waves!

Toru Yamaguchi

Natalia Smith

Randy Rarick

Nique Miller


Kani Tsunami



EDWIN MORALES By Shannon Reporting

Iconic Mexican photographer Edwin Morales has made a career of shooting water and land photography at his home surf spot. It doesn’t hurt that Puerto Escondido holds some of the biggest and heaviest barrels on the Pacific Coast of Mainland Mex. Playa Zicatela is both feared and celebrated for its unforgiving beach break, which means that in order to snap a good water shot here, you have to earn it. Local knowledge of the various peaks and strategy when sucked out in a powerful rip current all come into play. For Morales, it’s just another days’ work in paradise. We caught up with the man himself for this Pau Hana feature, highlighting his successful photography career at one of the world’s most phenomenal waves, in addition to gathering tips

and tricks on the unwritten rules of surfing and shooting at the Mexican Pipeline. Current camera gear and housing: Edwin Morales: These days, I’m shooting with a Canon 5D MK4 and 7D MK2. For my 5D, I’m using a CMT housing and for my 7D I’m using a SPL. I love the full frame, but I also love the faster shooting of the 7D. How were you introduced to photography? Morales: I was first introduced to photography by my oldest brother, Abisai Morales. He was studying architecture and taking photography courses in university. He taught me the basics of photography, like aperture, shutter speed, etc. He even had his own dark room,

so I would help him develop and print his favorite images. That was when I fell in love with the magic of photography—a whole new world of fun. I started helping him with the new techniques he learned in school and was absorbing all that information. Every weekend, I would borrow my brother’s camera and go shooting with my friends at Punta Colorada. Without even knowing it, I became thrilled with the results and wanted to know more. I bought photography books and started learning more and more on my own. What draws you to Playa Zicatela every season? The main reason is the big waves: there's something about the energy that a big swell brings to town that we all love. The whole

town comes alive! When it’s big, you see a lot of people on the beach watching those huge waves who don't normally come on a regular basis. So, I would say that the big barrels are the most exciting for us to watch, and especially to document every single swell, every single ride, because it's part of the history of our sport. I feel blessed for having the chance to freeze moments in time of all those incredible rides. What role does tourism play in Mexico? Mexico needs tourism, as it’s one of the main sources of income for the country. We are rich in culture and have lots of biodiversity. It only makes sense to promote all these destinations and have people around the world visit and get to know more of Mexico.

Oscar Moncada

In my case, I try to use the power of social media to promote my hometown. Even though I don't have that many followers, I try to post images that make people want to come surf this wave. I often get asked questions like, “when is a good time to come?” “How about the local storms, and swell directions?” etc... and I love taking the time to answer most of them because I believe that

Mikey O'Shaughnessy

through social media, there can be some kind of benefit for the community of Puerto Escondido, like free advertisement. What do you think about Trump's "wall" along the Mexico border? The wall is a funny joke, haha! It's an absurd idea because no matter how high Trump builds that wall, this social phenomenon

will never stop. The people trying to find their “American Dream” will do anything to go across the border, so I think that money should be invested in something more productive. What do you love most about surf photography? The biggest excitement for me comes from being aware of what's happening before the

swell and coming up with a plan for the next day. It's so thrilling when you make the right choice and pick the right angle to shoot the images. If you are able to capture that golden moment with a great composition, it gives me an amazing rush almost as if I was surfing. However, it's also very depressing if you make the wrong choices. I guess that's what keeps us hooked: the

Greg Long

neverending excitement of trying to create the best image from every single swell. Most challenging moment in the ocean: I've had plenty of bad experiences shooting Zicatela. The scariest part about shooting here is when you find yourself in what we call "the washing machine"—when you get caught

Playa Zicatela

inside and the undertow only takes you to the perfect place (the impact zone) so the next wave lands straight on your head. On days when the sets have 6 to 8 waves each, it can be very challenging because—as most of you already know—Puerto has no channel and you have to find ways to survive. Sometimes the rip currents are your best friends, but others are your worst

nightmare. I have mad respect for water photographers like Daniel Russo and Zak Noyle. Those guys have shot the biggest Puerto waves from the water and they have come back to shore without a scratch. That takes great skill, and I always look up to them. Unwritten rules and advice for surfers and photographers visiting Puerto:

I think the same rules apply for every single surf spot around the globe. Respect is the main thing, and a good tip is to encourage visitors to interact more with the local crew. Once the locals get to know you, everything will be a lot easier. Learn a few Spanish words; they will take you a long way, and not just in Mexico.

Playa Zicatela photo: Edwin Morales



The Mexican Pipeline By Maria Fernanda Bastidas

Beach Break - ZICATELA Location - PUERTO ESCONDIDO, OAXACA, MEXICO Also known as the Méxican Pipeline, Zicatela is one of the gnarliest, most infamous beach breaks in the world. Every summer, surfers from all over the world come to show off their skills at this savage place. Only the bravest of them will paddle out and charge this wave, especially when it’s big. Peak season (for the best and biggest waves) is from June to August and usually starts after the first summer rain. A few reasons why you should consider putting the Mex-Pipe on your bucket list: The place is a tube machine. There are waves for anyone who is in for a thrill and loves to get barreled.

Although it’s not an easy wave, there are a variety of peaks to choose from. If you like rights, you can get the best right barrels of your life at Carmelita’s. If you prefer lefts, then you can get the best left barrels ever at Far Bar. When the swell direction is right, all you will see is A-frames with spitting barrels from the beach. The town of Puerto Escondido has its own small international airport that is only 15 minutes from the break. There is also the option to fly into Huatulco, then take a two-hour bus or taxi ride from that airport to Puerto Escondido. It is really easy to find beach-front accommodation at affordable prices since the whole strip in front of the waves has all kinds of hotels and



with perfect, warm-water waves. You will find surfers from all over the world here: many traveling from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Hawai’i, Australia, and California.

Reef McIntosh photo: Edwin Morales

hostels. When it comes to dining, you’ll find the best natural fruit smoothies and juices, as well as delicious local food on every corner - and at a great price! This place has the #1 ranking for Pacific Ocean surfers during the summertime since places like Hawai’i shut down and other places like Chile are just too cold. That’s when Zictela turns on

Most surfers return to Zicatela, drawn in by its uniqueness and unpredictability. In order to master this wave, you make a longtime commitment to this place. The regulars return summer after summer for months at a time to be able to master it and enjoy it as much as possible. It’s a challenging yet rewarding wave to master. So, if you are already trying to decide where to go next summer, you should definitely consider coming to mainland México to improve your skills - if you are up for it.

n a c i x e M t s e B s ’ Ha waii

Restaurant & Margarita Bar

Finn McGill Photo: Freesurf

Located in the North Shore Marketplace 66250 Kamehameha Highway Haleiwa, Hawaii 96712


Authentic Mexican Favorites

Island Fresh Fish Tacos Refreshing Margaritas Open Everyday 9:30am-9:30pm Happy Hour: 4-6 pm M-F - Food & Drink Specials

Large Parties Welcome! Muchos Mahalos to all our loyal customers for your patronage!


Mexico By Keoki Saguibo Photos Keoki & Mike Ito

When in México… Heading south of the border in search of perfect, warm water waves has been (and still is) the ultimate road trip for many mainlanders. Some expats even call our neighboring country of México, ‘home’. Having done a couple of trips down south myself, there’s nothing more appropriate than calling it ‘The Wild West’ for a photographer/ surfer. You may find some of the world’s best surf point and beach breaks with the occasional minor crowd. The further down south you travel, the more you yearn to find someone to share the stoke with.

Kaimana Takayama

Kai Sallas

The price for México’s endless breaks and minimal bodies in the lineup comes in the form of the “how-to’s” when traveling around. The most important rules for traveling down south are 1. Whenever possible, do not travel at night; and 2. Stick to the coastal roads. The government and police are somewhat lawless in México (again, it’s ‘The Wild, Wild West’). The Mexican cartels play their part in theft, but surfers are not a high priority on their list. But do be aware of banditos, who have no affiliation with cartels or the law, so they tend to do things in their own way.



Hiroka Yoshikawa

Marina Carbonel

Hallie Rohr

Overall, the horror stories about MÊxico definitely do not outweigh the good ones. As in any developing country, there are logical things to avoid as well as obvious necessary priorities to keep you safe. Do your research and you’ll be safe and stoked.

Israel Preciado

Keani Canullo


William Aliotti photo: Damea Dorsey

Indonesia By Keoki Saguibo

When in Indonesia... No matter how many times I go back to Indonesia, I always find good waves and great times. Sure, the ever-growing country seems to change its look with constant development, but the waves have stayed the same and you can still bank on getting the flawless lines and empty line-ups Indonesia provides. As you travel farther from Bali’s surfing epicenter, (Uluwatu, Kuta, Canggu, Desert Point) and venture out to more remote locations, you’ll find better waves, a better crowd, and a better time in between it all, adding to your own travel story. Indonesia has a way of rewarding those who research a particular wave and commit to the mission of getting there. The payoff will keep you coming back for more.

Bukit Peninsula, Bali. photo: Pedro Gomes

Some advice for those traveling to the “Land of Lefts”: Do not overstay the 30-day visa; only drink bottled water; exchange your money at legit looking money changers; don't be afraid to eat like a local. If you stay longer than the 30-day tourist visa, you’ll be hit with a hefty fine when you decide to head back home. One way around this is to head out of the country for the day to neighboring Malaysia or Singapore. There you can get a new 30-day tourist visa, saving you money and sometimes time itself. Drinking bottled water is a must as it tends to get very humid and drinking from the tap is not an option. There are chemicals in the water to make it safe for other uses (showering, doing dishes, hand washing) but drinking is not one of them. Still going all-natural with an environmentally friendly, electrolyte-filled coconut whenever possible is your best bet and costs the same as bottled water. When it comes to changing your US dollars to Indonesian Rupiah, be sure to do so in places where rates don't differ too much from surrounding money exchangers. If the rates offered seem too good to be true and are more favorable than the average, it's a clear sign the business is trying to take advantage of under-informed travelers. Also, don’t forget to recount the money before you leave the shop! And last but definitely not least, don't be afraid to eat at the local warungs or small, beachside eateries. If you see a crowd of locals or tourists eating at a spot, that’s usually a good indicator that the food there will be good, cheap, and safe. “Bali belly” does exist, but I have found it to be more problematic in food from high-end restaurants rather than the locally-owned joints. Don't be afraid to try the local foods, but still use your instincts as much as possible!

Desert Point, Lombok. photo: Ryan "Chachi" Craig

Malia Manuel, Bali. photo: Ryan "Chachi" Craig

Peterson Crisanto, Bal. photo: Pedro Gomes

Uluwatu, Bali. photo: Pedro Gomes

Hiroto Ohara, Grajagan, Java. photo: Pedro Gomes


TAHITI Photos and story: Brian Bielmann The last time I was in Tahiti was in 2014 during the three-day paddle and tow swell. It was the last time I went for TransWorld Surf, and sadly, we printed our final issue—a Teahupo`o wipeout photo of Australia surfer Laurie Towner on the cover, a way to say goodbye to the readers.

Billy Kemper

Billy Kemper

Mateia Hiquily

Well, five years later, I hear about a swell coming. My nephew Brent calls me up and says “Let’s go, Uncle Brian! It’s the biggest in years and conditions are going to be awesome.” So I hopped on a flight the next day. To make a long story short, I found myself in the same tropical paradise I remembered. Everything was just as I remembered it: beautiful, clear water, happy people, and cold beers. I wish I could have stayed there forever.

Then the swell arrived. It was pumping and perfect. The level of surfing was impressive. All the little keiki had grown up and were ruling the lineup. It reminded me a lot of what I saw in Bali. The best waves were caught by all the best local surfers, and almost all of the remaining waves were spoken for by the locals; not much was left for traveling surfers. It's their wave and they wait for it to get good, so I guess that's the way they look at it. Everyone in Tahiti is super nice and it might not affect me as a photographer, but I could sense a lot of frustration with visiting surfers hoping for scraps and sometimes not even getting that. I think the days of going to Teahupo`o and getting it perfect and pumping to get your dream wave might be over. Time to search out something a little more remote…

Teahupo`o is as breathtaking as ever, but there’s been a whole new crew of young rippers in just the five years since I've been there, and they’re tearing it to shreds.

By Ben Marcus

Photos Sean Evans

Southern California is like a box of chocolates: sweet, salty, and full of surprises. Stop and smell the ice plant. There are a thousand wonders between Point Conception and Mexico.

Huntington Beach, CA. photo: Sean Evans

Ryland Roberts, Blacks Beach, CA. photo: Sean Evans

THE COUNTY OF ORANGE So where to begin on the expansive Pacific coastline? How about in the middle of the beating heart of SoCal and the surf industry, Orange County and all that implies. Trestles is the south boundary (kinda, see below), and to the north, Ray Bay/Seal Beach is on the LA border (wear booties, stingrays suck). In between, you have everything from Seal Beach, Huntington Cliffs, Huntington Beach, River Jetties, Newport Jetties, the Wedge, Corona del Mar, Laguna Beach, Salt Creek, Doheny, Capo Beach, T-Street, Cottons, and of course, Trestles. The surf-stoked heart of SoCal is where the surf industry ebbs and bros and recombinates and corporatizes, and where the surf media used to be centered. Change is a constant and the surf industry is ever evolving in this business hub, especially in the digital age. Now, everyone seems to be working remotely or from the nearest Starbucks. Is there surf in the summer? Of course. And it’s a little bit country, like walking down the paths to Trestles with one eye on the surf and one eye out for rattlesnakes. It’s also a little bit rock’n’roll, especially the bit between Huntington Pier and the Wedge from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It’s as intensively surfed dawn to dusk as Rio de Janeiro or Waikiki. Get lucky, and you’ll see the Wedge doing its thing: south swell energy bouncing off the jetty, doubly redoubling itself, and exploding on the sand in a way that would make Ke Iki shorebreak slap its head and say, “Oi vey!”

If you are unlucky due to lack of swell, good news is there are still a zillion things to do: Vans Skatepark, Disneyland, poker palaces, industry parties, sunrises, and sunsets. Get lucky, and you’ll score Trestles hot and glassy, the classic California surf with warm offshores carrying the smell of cactus from the mountains. Surf yourself stupid and then go on the hunt for the perfect breakfast burrito or nacho plate. Californians like their Mexican food, and there are plenty of affordable options on nearly every block. There are endless places to grind from Pedros Tacos to poki bars. Get really lucky and you could pull into a barrel at Salt Creek in Laguna Beach. There are any number of off-beat spots for barrels and ramps: if you’ve seen Seal Beach Pier, Brooks Street, Doheny or Cottons on a big south swell, you’ll understand why the surf industry is centered in Orange County. There are waves here. NORTH OR SOUTH It’s hard to sum up Orange County in less than documentary length, but the OC is only 36 miles out of 300. There’s a lot packed in there, but even more going either way north or south.

Kani Tsunami, Malibu, CA

Will Walling

Ian Saway, Imperial Beach CA

MALIBU Summer begins again at Malibu where the waves crash loudly along the sandy shore. Malibu is the classic summer surf break: a long wave with a deep history dating back to the 1940s. Back then, Malibu was a proving ground for surfboard innovation from big, heavy hardwood planks to balsa Malibu chips, and eventually early experiments with fiberglass and resin. The modern surfboard—and modern surfing—evolved on the waves of Malibu from the 1940s through the 70s. Now it’s a wave on which anything goes: Wavestorms, alaias, hulls, longboards, shortboards, SUPs - even the occasional kiteboard when the wind blows.

Johnny The Ripper, Malibu, CA photo: Will Walling


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

"Keiki" StokeVest


All the typical Southern California stereotypes can be seen in The ‘Bu: beachgoers and movie stars, hot chicks and hot cars, money in the hills and bums under bridges. Malibu is the beach fire of the vanities. It gets insanely crowded when there’s a solid south swell, but it’s possible to get waves in the early mornings and after dark, of course. Sure, Malibu might be the most crowded of all SoCal waves, but for good reason... All the likely stereotypes of Southern California come true in the ‘Bu: beach goers and movie stars, hot chicks and hot cars, money in the hills and bums under bridges. Malibu is the beach fire of the vanities. It gets insanely crowded when there’s a solid south swell, but it’s possible to get waves in the early mornings, and after dark, of course. Sure, Malibu might be the most crowded of all SoCal waves, but for good reason...

Johnny The Ripper, Malibu, CA photo: Will Walling

The Wedge, Newport Beach, CA



The Tuamotus: Life on an Atoll Story and photos Ashley Cunningham

Day three on our sail from the Marquesas, clusters of coconut trees emerge from the sea appearing like a mirage in the distance. Pieces of land lay dotted along the horizon, disconnected from one another by the sea. Whitewash crashes before us over an unseen reef as we arrive at our first atoll in French Polynesia. This beautiful phenomenon is one of 77 atolls making up the Tuamotu Archipelago approximately 300 kilometers northeast of Papeete, Tahiti. Its circular coral crown and interior turquoise lagoon distinguish the atoll from other islands. Created by an extinct volcano, the atoll formed as the volcanic land mass sank below the surface of the sea while its coral base grew, eventually becoming the barrier reef that exists today. Channels and rising sea levels caused the flow of ocean water over the former volcano becoming a unique interior lagoon full of life. Today, the lagoon is home to hundreds of attractive fish for visitors exploring underwater depths including: grouper, angel, parrot, and unicorn fish. Small blacktip, whitetip and grey sharks—inquisitive as dogs—can be found darting around the lagoon. Meanwhile, nurse sharks inhabit the shallows, often spotted below the wooden docks that jut out next to tiki-roofed boat garages. Frigates, brown gannets, and white terns soar effortlessly in the sky above wide oyster farms where the sought-after black pearls of the region are cultivated. While the lagoon has its own ecosystem, the channels that cut through the barrier reef allow the passage of more sizeable marine life. Here, a variety of larger sharks frequent the channel, including hammerheads and the occasional tiger.

Apart from fish, the reef lining the channels puts on a vibrant display. Its colors of blues, greens, purples, and yellows cascade down next to a wall of sea. The channel’s 100-foot clarity under a sunlit sky provides an underwater playground and diver’s paradise. Here, you may even witness the congregation of groupers spawning the next generation and the feeding frenzy of the sharks below. The clear water in the atolls may be the draw for many, but French markets offering fresh baguettes may also sway you. The atolls provide a life of leisure and a beautiful blend of French and Tahitian culture. Mornings begin slowly in the atolls, and if you’re lucky you’ll stumble upon a hut serving café and crepes while fishing boats take off from their docks. Back in land, locals riding bikes greet you by saying, “La ora na” (good morning) before you’ve even seen them. Stray dogs pass you with wagging tails. In some locations, piglets and puppies may surprise you by playing together on the coral sand beach. The lifestyle here is relaxing surrounded by clear, sunny skies and a glassy lagoon. Before the day is done, most have salty hair and sun-kissed skin. At sunset, you can set your watch for local paddlers as they gracefully pass in their Tahitian outrigger canoes. Moonrise brings the day to a close, the air quiet and sky full of stars with little light pollution to disrupt the view. There are no late-night hangouts or fancy resorts on the atolls, but rather lagoon-side tiki huts serving cold Hinano until they run out. The atolls are separated from the rest of French Polynesia and quite isolated, most without an airport. Supply ships carrying fresh produce

The Aloha Spirit. available by the pint.

Enjoy some “Liquid Aloha” at Hawaii’s favorite craft brewery. Kona Brewing Co, Koko Marina Pub 7192 Kalaniana’ole Highway Honolulu, Hawaii 96825 808.396.5662

Kona Brewing Co, Brewery and Pub 74-5612 Pawai Place Kailua Kona, Hawaii 96740 808.334.2739


One life, right? Don’t blow it.


T U A M O T U S :





and provisions arrive weekly, leaving markets empty until they are able to restock. The land belt emerging from the sea is covered with flora typical of the coral zone, limiting vegetation. While the soil is poor for crop growth and fruit trees, the coconut palms are plentiful. The scarcity of provisions may be a hardship for those residing in the atolls, but such isolation is also the appeal. A relaxed lifestyle immersed in the beautiful scenery attracts those near and far to experience its magic. Here, the air smells of tiare and plumeria disrupted by the occasional burning of palms. For surfers, waves are scarce, but when all the elements align, patience is rewarded with empty lineups and water clear as gin. Sailing onward towards Tahiti, we continue our hunt for perfect waves and let Mother Nature determine our time. The art of sailing and exploration keeps us in the moment here in French Polynesia. We do not plan our days by the hour, but by the light of day along with wind predictions and incoming swell reports. As we navigate this delicate partnership with the ocean and everything above it, we’ve learned that Mother Nature has the ultimate veto; our only option is to flow with her. The next destination keeps us going, and the draw to experience perfect waves with a couple of friends makes it all well worth the wait. Sent from our sailboat. Follow us on Instagram on as we continue our journey through the South Pacific at @sailgarbo.

Amplify Awesome The Eastbank featuring ChromaPopâ„¢ #ExperienceChromaPop


2019 Rip Curl Grom Search Stop 2 – Kewalos, Oahu, HI

Kewalos Provides Record Breaking Conditions for Stop 2 of the 2019 Rip Curl GromSearch Stop 2 of the Rip Curl GromSearch rolled into the Kewalo Basin last weekend, July 13th - 14th, for an epic two days of competition along the South Shore of Oahu. After 60 action-packed heats, 16 competitors locked in their spot at the GromSearch National Final taking place at the BSR Surf Resort in Waco, TX. The National Final will go down as the first junior organized contest at the pool, offering the perfect stage for the nation’s best groms to put on a show. Opening day saw playful, warm water A-frames providing the perfect canvas for competitors during the opening rounds. Those that made it through the first day anticipated what the morning would bring as forecast partners, Surfline, called for a strong SSW swell to send six -ten foot plus waves toward the Basin. Outside of the water, GromSearch sponsors lined the harbor wall offering up the necessary Banzai Bowls and plenty of Wahoo’s Burritos to competitors and families throughout the day. The Boy’s 16/U saw huge sets and big scores as Robert Grilho III (HI) took on fellow Hawaiians Luke Swanson, Brock McTigue and Kai Paula. “I’m super excited to be here and stoked the waves were absolutely firing. It was great to have the opportunity to showcase my style of surfing and see everyone else’s surfing progress throughout the day.” In a powersurfing showcase heat, Grilho used his signature aggressive style to put up an 8.50, backing it up with a solid 7.73. The heat rounded out with Swanson earning a 15.34 total, McTigue with a 13.43 and Paula following closely with a 13.33.

The events youngest competitors easily saw some of the largest waves of the event as the Boys 12/U Final dealt with multiple 10 foot plus wash throughs rolling in during the heat. Event winner Luke Tema (HI) took on Rylan Beavers (HI), lone-Californian Luke Wyler and Stone Suitt (HI). “This contest was so fun; it was the biggest and most fun Kewalos I’ve ever surfed. There were actually barrels at Kewalos which is pretty crazy; I’m stoked to win this one,” exclaimed Tema. Tema put up a 9.17 on a long right to put him in the lead, finishing the Final with 14.50, leaving his fellow competitors searching for large scores for the win. Beavers followed in second with 10.33, Wyler 3rd with 9.50 and Suitt wrapped up in 4th with 5.90 points. Luke Swanson (HI), the lone double division finalist, walked away with the …Lost Surfboards High Heat Total (19.00) winning a custom … Lost Mayhem Surfboard, as well as winning the Banzai Bowls Best Maneuver with a lofty frontside air reverse. He’ll get the coveted custom handmade Banzai Bowl filled with 150 $2 bills. After two events now cemented for 2019, there are 32 spots locked in for the National Final held at BSR Surf Resort in Waco, Texas. Which means there are still 32 spots up for grabs! And from what we’ve seen this season, this year is one for the record books!

Willi Edwards

The Girls 16/U Final also saw an all-Hawaiian heat as Luana Silva (HI), Leila Riccobuano (HI), Vaihitimahana Inso (HI) and Savanna Stone (HI) took on pumping Kewalos walls. “Today was really special, I’m super happy to come away with the win. The waves were so much fun out there, it was about 8ft and firing. I’ve never surfed Kewalos like this and it has to be the best GromSearch I’ve done.” Luana had quite the day as she put up a 10 in the Semi-finals and a 9.83 in her Final. Luana finished with a solid heat total of 15.66 while Riccobuano earned 14.37, Inso 13.00 and Stone finished with 1.33 points.

Shion Crawford lead the Boys 14/U final for most the heat, leaving the remaining 3 competitors in a tight race for 2nd place. In another all Hawaiian heat, Shion met Makana Franzman (HI), Luke Swanson (HI) and Keanu Taylor (CA) in a punt filled final. “That was a really fun contest and I’m stoked to walk away with the win at this comp. I had a few super fun heats with a few barrels and almost had a couple big airs. Thank you, Rip Curl for a great contest,” echoed a mega stoked Crawford. Crawford took the big W with a 16.50 heat total, with Franzman earning 13.70, Swanson with 13.66, and Taylor with 13.40 points. This crew is heading to Waco for what is sure to be a division worth keeping an eye on.

Shion Crawford

Rashguards for the whole family KoreDry™ fabric is a revolutionary technological advancement for water sports. The KoreDry™ U.V. tested at UPF 50+ (equal to SPF 150+!) factor both wet and dry giving it a rating you can depend on to protect your skin against the damaging rays of the sun when in or out of the water.

Maui Oahu

Made in USA (714) 887-0621 Chuck Hendsch //

Give me the opportunity to serve you to a new Honda or a quality pre-owned vehicle!

MOKU rider Edrick Baldwin at Uluwatu




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

Call today

Luiz Jardini (808)330-7229 for an appointment!


Oscar Moncada Photo: “The Eternal Ride" By Maria Fernanda Bastidas

This photo is dearest to my heart. It was the last shot I took of my late friend and legend, Oscar Moncada, and it’s by far the best photo I’ve ever snapped in Puerto Escondido. The photo of Oscar, one of the best tube riders from México, and was taken right there in my home country. Only a couple days later I got injured and had to be out of the water for months, not realizing that I would never see my friend after capturing that shot.

Two days after this photo was taken, I decided to swim out again on a really big, scary day and got injured while swimming in. I was tired and it was too shallow; a wave broke just in front of me tearing my knee with a violent explosion. No one noticed my struggle so I had to crawl out of the ocean alone and limped back to my hotel. As soon as I was back at the hotel, mu friends saw the pain on my face and ran to help me. Oscar was one of the first ones to offer help and call the doctor.

This was the last time my friend Oscar and I would share a special moment in the water, and it was captured forever. It was a great morning in Zicatela, Puerto Escondido; conditions where perfect. I decided to swim out and shoot even though the rest of the photographers decided to stay on land. It was a big day and shooting from the water in Zicatela is challenging because the channel is never clear and the shifting current can get pretty strong. But I followed my intuition which told me I had to swim out.

I’ll never forget the words he captioned the photo with: “Sometimes life doesn’t make sense 100%.” He was referencing my injury that summer, but it felt as though he wrote those words for us all, in advance of his tragic passing, the powerful message resonating with all of us he left behind. Puerto Escondido has never been the same.

The first perfect wave I saw, was caught by Oscar and, for a few seconds, the ocean, Oscar, and I were all connected. God placed me at the right place at the perfect time; it was unplanned but all of a sudden we linked seemlessly and the moment was immortalized. This is the last memory I have of us together in the ocean; Oscar passed away a few months later. I like to think that through this picture we are timelessly connected in that moment.

Oscar Moncada always brought a joyful, playful vibe to the lineup. He was unquestionably one of the most authentic people I have had the opportunity of knowing. He’ll always be in our hearts and memories… The Puerto season is starting up again, so we are hoping for an awesome summer with great waves and good times.

Kai Ku Hale Green Style Island Living Unique Hawaiian Art, Home Decor & Gifts

Haleiwa Town Center

Open 10 am - 6pm Daily 66-145 Kamehameha Hwy., Haleiwa, HI 96712 Phone: (808) 636-2244


Bethany Hamilton: UNSTOPPABLE Documentary & Premier Bethany Hamilton opens up in this newly-released documentary following the shark-attack survivor’s pursuit to conquer Maui’s most daunting break - Jaws. The red carpet premiere was held July 9th at ArcLight Cinemas - Hollywood followed by a Q&A with the Kaua`i-based pro surfer herself. The pursuit of Pe`ahi is just the surface of the story, and the film delves deep into Hamilton’s life. Audiences follow Hamilton’s journey from keiki days to the attack that took her arm; from Oprah and “The Amazing Race” to her life as a wife and mother. This film is not to be missed!

Kalani Vierra and Krystle Apeles from Kauai won the Pakaloha Bikini Tandem Surfing World Championship on June 28, 2019 in 1-3 foot surf at the birthplace of Tandem Surfing, Waikiki! This was an International Tandem Surfing Association (ITSA) event with a purse of $4,000.00. Hawai‘i’s Alika Willis & Leslie Sanchez stole the show finishing in second place. The pair are two years new to the sport and flowed smoothly in second with outstanding wave knowledge and high scoring lifts. The defending world champions from France, Rico Leroy and Sarah Burel, finished in third and Hawai‘i’s Leleo Kinimaka and Lauren Oiye placed fourth. Mahalo to Sea Hawai‘i, Da Hui Wax, FlHi Girls Surfing & Sports, and Salvage Public for their support!

World Surfaris



66-200 Kamehameha Highway, Haleiwa, HI 96712 Hours: 11:00 am to 8:00 pm

Like Us On

Voted Best Breakfast in San Clemente!

Less than 1 mile from the top of Trestles Trail on Avenida Del Presidente Mondays and Tuesdays buy one Burger get the second one free ( dine-in only) $4 mimosas and $4 Karl Strauss drafts M-F 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily 2600 Ave. Del Presidente San Clemente, California

(949) 481-1222




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

Sarah Jual


OHM EXPO The Largest Health & Wellness Expo in Hawai‘i By Francesca Desario Photos Shannon Reporting Freesurf had the chance to talk story with some of Hawai`i's leading experts in the health and wellness field. The meeting took place during the three-day event at the Hawai‘i Convention Center on O‘ahu’s South Shore from June 21-23, 2019. The OHM (O`ahu’s Holistic and Metaphysical) Expo, is the largest event of its kind in Hawai‘i and features naturopathic practitioners, yogis, motivational speakers, visionary artists, musicians, and killer DJs from around the globe. Navigating through this parallel universe of diverse energy offerings, crystal castles, and soulful beats, we followed the vibes and caught up with a few of our favorite musicians and holistic practitioners who are making big waves in our local community. On the closing day of the expo, local musician Mike Love’s synergistic sounds, ripping guitar and reggae beats carried through the crowd. Fluid rhythmic raps and consciousness rhymes filled the room, raising the vibe as people of all ages grooved along. Born and raised on O‘ahu, Love is known for his rootsy reggae jams and live performances. Engaging with the crowd, Love’s message is clear: the importance of forging a meaningful connection with nature and living sustainably is paramount to the wellbeing of present and future generations. As a community and, looking at the bigger picture, as a collective, we all need to do our part to keep our oceans and Mother Earth thriving. From conscientious consumerism to meaningful intentions, it’s all about taking baby steps, thinking positive daily thoughts, and making micro-changes that will make a significant overall impact.

Brazilian Samba French Cabaret Latin African Pole Dancing Dance Fitness

Exceptional people, extraordinary service

Dance Lessons Available


808-386-4487 Top 1% of Realtors | Client Service Award | (808) 670-7337

License #: RS-61434


Call for free consultation



808-792-8333 mobile

808-258-4985 People’s Choice Law FirmŽ

John Choi, Esq.


94-344 Ukee St #2 Waipahu, HI 96797 Office: (808) 554-2572 Cell: (808) 321-9629

Surf with a smile

Dr. John

Jones Dentistry

808 955 0058 1441 Kapiolani boulevard suite 907, honolulu, hawaii 96814




Mason Ho going whacko in BSR Surf Resort's wave pool in Waco, Texas, USA photo: Jimmy Wilson

Profile for Freesurf Magazine



Profile for freesurf