Waikiki is set for an array of close calls and gasps this summer as it was recently announced there will be a canoe-surfing contest in some waves of serious consequences. Held at the famed Castles Reef, the Primo Castles Cup is a completely unique that will only run when conditions hit the 15-foot mark. For anyone that’s ever had the fortune–or perhaps misfortune–of surfing in a canoe, let’s just say you’re really rolling the dice when it gets bigger than 5 feet. At 15 feet, you’re gonna need to update your will.
Held at one of Hawaii’s most iconic locales, Castles is a break steeped in tradition and is a perfect venue for the contest. Said to be the place that legendary waterman and three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Duke Kahanamoku caught a wave that stretched nearly a mile.
The holding period for the comp begins in late June and will last until August 31.
There are a number of teams already slated and eyeing down the buoys for a jump in swell. The current roster of competitors includes a virtual who’s who of Hawaiian waterman. Team Primo, made up of an all-star crew from the 2009 Molokai race, and as well as Team Outrigger Canoe Club, led by Senator Fred Hemmings, are already chomping at the bit for the event to run. To boot, Rusty Keaulana, Brian Keaulana, Mel Puu and Bonga Perkins will be competing as well.
“I’ve been canoe surfing big swells out at Castles for quite a while now, and I’m really looking forward to this contest,” said Hawaiian surfing legend and congressmen Fred Hemmings.
Those fortunate enough to walk away from canoe surfing in waves of such consequence will be in contention for a cash prize and the coveted Primo Beer Castles Cup Trophy, not to mention the mountains of respect from your peers that comes with claiming such a groundbreaking event.
According to the event’s frontman, Alika Winter, there’s nothing else quite like the Primo Castles Cup around. “It’s the thrill of watching demolition derbies or bull riding, with the poise and grace of a big-wave surfing.”
Photo Credit: Hanalei Surfrider