• Trail Blazin'

    Trail Blazin' is an outdoor blog edited by Pete Thomas.

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    oliver theess

    oliver theess says:

    "The Surfing Program began at "Aviation High School in Redondo Beach", California, 90278. The surf team at Aviation High School , which took the championship in 1982, against Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, California , 90266. We know Oliver Theess was on the championship Team. The surf was about 4 to 5 foot in Manhattan Beach. This created the program which in the South Bay schools started even way before that time. It just was reinstated. " For the KOOKS that didn't know" No Bozos."

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    chinedu_pete says:

    "Love you FELIX...This guy even landed far too better than the pilot that flew us from Dubai to KL on july 14th 2012"

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    chinedu_pete says:

    "Thank you God,Got juice on me MEHN"

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    msully840 says:

    "The BAUM!"

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  • Bethany Hamilton still soaring to new heights years after shark attack

    On Oct. 31, 2003, Bethany Hamilton had her left arm bitten off just below the shoulder by a large shark as the 13-year-old surfer was paddling off the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

    Last Christmas Day, in what seems a peculiar twist of irony, Hamilton became one of only a few women ever to ride the mountainous surf at a notorious Maui destination called "Jaws," whose swells are so swift and massive that surfers must tow onto them behind jet-powered personal watercraft.

    Hamilton, now 20, having long since conquered her fear of lurking predators, and overcome a seemingly debilitating handicap to compete at a high level, had written another remarkable chapter in a life story that has been made into a Hollywood movie.

    "I don't see how she even did it," says Bill Sharp director of the yearlong Billabong XXL Global Big-Wave Awards, a competition that each spring doles cash awards in various categories, mostly to men. "I find it extraordinary because she rode an incredible wave at Jaws with no asterisk around it."

    Hamilton, who lost 60% of her blood and might have died were it not for the efforts of rescuers that fateful Halloween morning, is a candidate in the Women's Performance category of the XXL contest, which will reveal winners during an April 23 ceremony in Anaheim.

    "She just keeps showing us that anything is possible," Brazil's Maya Gabeira, who won the award the past three years, says of Hamilton. "I'm a big fan of Bethany and she has always inspired me."

    Gabeira, 22, is inspirational in her own right, a trailblazer who made her grand entry into the male-dominated sport of big-wave surfing three years ago, when she became the first woman to tow onto the snarling, barrel-shaped waves at a Tahitian break called Teahupoo, One slip here, as Gabeira has learned the hard way, can lead to an over-the-falls slam onto a shallow reef.

    Her memorable performances this year have come at Dungeons, a shark-infested spot off South Africa; Jaws, also on Christmas Day; Maverick's off Half Moon Bay, Calif.; and Hammerheads off Oahu where, she says, "I got the biggest barrel of my life on a medium day towing with my partner Carlos Bure."

    Now tackling the same places, either paddling in or towing behind jet-ski partners, are surfers such as Savannah Shaughnessey, Mercedes Maidana, Jamilah Star, and Keala Kennelly.

    "There's definitely a strong group of girls charging now and they will only get better in the near future," Gabeira says. "I think it's an exciting time to be around."

    It certainly is for Hamilton. Production just wrapped on a feature-length movie entitled, "Soul Surfer," scheduled for release in 2011. Its cast includes AnnaSophia Robb as Bethany; Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt as her parents; Lorraine Nicholson as Alana Blanchard, Bethany's best friend and witness to the attack; and singer Carrie Underwood in her film debut.

    Said Bethany: "I'm just stoked to see the team of people that came together to make the movie. Every person is so talented, and they have all dedicated themselves to this project because they want to be apart of telling my story. So that means a lot to my family and me."
    Channels: SurfOutdoor

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