Expect Ala Moana to be pumping this weekend for the 55th annual running of the Hawaii State Surfing Championships!
Kainoa Haas at Ala Moana. Photo: Bernie Baker
The Hard Rock Café Hawaii State Surfing Championships
Ala Moana Bowls, Oahu
June 4,5,6 2009
Hawaii State Championships Underway In Great Surf; Kainoa Haas Shows the Way to the Finals
HONOLULU (June 4, 2009) — The 55th annual Hard Rock Cafe State Surfing Championships, presented by Surftech, got underway at Ala Moana Bowls, Oahu, today and the state’s best surfers enjoyed excellent summer surf. Waves were in the three- to four-foot range and reeling for the opening day of competition that featured the Junior Men’s category.
Seventeen year-old Kainoa Haas, from Honolulu, advanced to the final of the Junior Men’s division, heading a red-hot field that includes Ezekiel Lau (Ewa), Ha’a Aikau (Waimanalo), and Micah Moniz (Honolulu). Haas’ scores of 9.0 and 7.5 for a 16.5 point total out of 20 was the highest posted in the semi finals, even surpassing Lau who scored a perfect 10 on his best wave.
Haas is the epitomy of what the 10-month long HSA Hard Rock Cafe Surf Series that culminates in this week’s state championship is all about: growth, improvement, confidence building, and competitive development. In 10 months, he has gone from surfing obscurity here in Hawaii, to being one of the most promising new faces of the sport.
“When I started out with this series last year I was kind of weak,” said a quietly spoken Haas. “I was surfing contests not really thinking and not doing so well. Then after a few everything kind of came together and I won one the one at Haleiwa. It was the first time I’d ever won a contest in my life.
“It made me so confident, so focused. I realized that maybe I can do this. Winning gave me the drive and I’ve never had that before. I’ve never been so stoked, so for this state championship I’m just giving it my all.”
Haas is somewhat of an anomaly here in Hawaii, where there is no shortage of promising young surf stars and a kid can be decked out in sponsors logos from top to toe before they reach the age of 10. Many already have personal coaches by that time, too. By contrast, Haas recently picked up his first minor sponsor – Bay VI, a local clothing startup – and says that while he’s never had a coach, he has started “trying to analyze and break down” his own surfing.
“I’m hoping I can make a go of this,” he said.
The boys shortboard division was also featured today with standout performances from Austin Vicente (Haleiwa), Isaiah Moniz (Honolulu), and Big Island’s Gage London.
Competiton continues tomorrow through Saturday and surf at Ala Moana Bowls is expected to remain good. The 2009 Hawaii state champions will be crowned Saturday afternoon, starting 4pm, in a special awards ceremony at the Hard Rock Cafe.
Top qualifiers from around the state of Hawaii will contest a total of 26 divisions ranging from Menehune to Grand Master, Longboard, SUP, Women, and Bodyboard. The top six surfers in each division will qualify for the national Surfing America Championships to be held at Huntington Beach, CA., August 25-30, 2009.
The Hawaii Surfing Association is the world’s longest running surfing association. The goal of the HSA’s Hard Rock Cafe Series is to offer a competitive platform for up-and-coming surfers that will prepare them for a future career in professional surfing, should they choose it.
Please visit www.hasasurf.org for results and ratings