North Shore Moments

Kam Highway resident Justin Cote comments on the little stretch of coast that’s heaven to some and hell to others.

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Mad Mark Photo by Pete Taras

The swells had been coming out of the north-northeast nearly all winter, creating freaky sandbars at places most people had never seen them. Rockpiles one morning was absolutely nuts with these eight-foot slabs coming through the outside reef, into the sandbar that had been created overnight, and detonating in three feet of water. Mark Healey lives for that shit.

It’s In The Blood Photo by Steve Sherman

You hear a lot of bullshit about these guys fighting and being really competitive with each other. It’s true, brothers fight, but when it comes down to it, there is nothing that can come between you and your own flesh and blood. Bruce Irons cheers his brother’s perfect ten-point ride during the Sunset final, edging him closer to his second world title.

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Making Up For Lost Time Photo by Brian Bielmann

Sean Moody missed the entire winter last year due to a broken leg he suffered at Backdoor. Born and raised on the North Shore, Moody knows what to do to get the shot at the photo studio known as Rocky Point—paddle around the pack, get a good one, and smash the hell out of it.

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Log Cabins Photo by Jason Murray

Logs was the spot this year. North swell after north swell created ideal conditions for Logs aficionados. What you don’t see here are the numerous mushroom-head reef chunks that litter the bottom, just waiting to fold unsuspecting surfers in half.

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Local Talent Photo by Seth Stafford

Aamion Goodwin is one of the many super-talented Pipeline locals who charges it every time it’s on. Remember these names, but don’t expect them to give you a wave: Fuller, Healy, Merle, Kala, Marcus, Ikaika, Shawn Lopez, Cole, Sterlz, Jamie O … the list goes on and the talent is deep. Where’s your name?

No Pain, No Gain Photo by Steve Sherman

Makua Rothman is a tough kid—but Pipeline is tougher. “I fell on the drop and just got drilled right into the reef. I was f—ked up, and I couldn’t get in. Shane Dorian came over, put me up on his board, and got me in. I got five stitches in my knee from that.” Between Dorian in the water and Kelly Slater on the beach, Makua was in good hands. In fact, a couple weeks earlier Dorian rescued a bodyboarder on the Big Island and made statewide news for saving the guy’s life.

Serious Foam Photo by Jason Andrew

The opening ceremony for the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational is held every December at Waimea Bay. Thick, heavy ten-foot boards are pulled out from under houses, where they lay dormant all summer, and dusted off in anticipation of riding mountainous waves at the granddaddy of all big-wave venues for some serious cash. Contest Director George Downing led a prayer in which he asked for “really big, but safe waves.” Are really big waves ever safe?

Air Ozzie Photo by Pete Taras

Even on crappy, windblown days, Ozzie Wright always seems to be having so much fun when he’s surfing. He catches a million waves and does something different on every one of them. The way he flies around—like he has jets secretly attached to his board—makes him one of the most entertaining surfers in the world to watch. Learn this from Ozzie: surfing has no rules.

Crowd Factor Photo by Tim Jones

Pipeline just may have the most intense crowd of anywhere. Jiu-jitsu fighters, snapped locals, hungry visitors and skitzed out spongers clog the lineup daily and getting a wave is no guarantee. You want isolation? Go for a hike on Mount Ka’ala, the highest point on O’ahu, pictured in the background.

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Lopez At Logs Photo by Dave Nelson

Log Cabins isn’t always death and destructn. On days when the swell is north and not too big, a left pops up down the beach that is perfect for gouging power turns. Shea Lopez, before he had the heaviest wipeout of the Pipe Masters and injured his knee.

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Cheyne Mag At OTW Photo by Steve Sherman and Tom Carey

“At Off The Wall you can’t really link a bunch of turns, but you can get going really fast and do anything your mind can come up with. It’s probably the most popular spot with surfers, because there are so many photographers there,” says Cheyne Magnusson. Every evening people would gather down at Off The Wall to watch the sunset, shoot the shit, and watch some of the best surfing in the world go down.

We Got Him Photo by Steve Sherman

Andy Irons was hunkered down at the Red Bull house when news of Saddam Hussein‘s capture came about. This is probably one of the few moments when the defending world champ didn’t think about the pressure and hoopla surrounding the title race. There’s nothing like finding a wanted man in a rat-ridden hole on the other side of the world to take your mind off the stresses of work.

Conspiracy Theory Photo by Aaron Checkwood

Did Joel Parkinson block Slater on a wave during the Pipe Masters, therefore helping Andy seal the World Title? While we may never know, it wouldn’t be the first time a teammate has helped out a fellow teammate—Lance Armstrong didn’t win the Tour De France five times without the assistance of teammates. If true, Parko has a golden hall pass in Hawai’i that’ll last a lifetime.

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Out Front Photo by Dustin Humphrey

TransWorld SURF and Split clothing hosted a party at Mikala Jones‘ beachfront house with a reggae band, coolers full of beer, and the idea for a surf contest. The waves had other ideas, however, and they got unruly and out of control—lucky for us, because Mikala would have smoked everyone at literally his home spot.

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Pipeline Photo by Wyatt Tillotson

There haven’t been too many Pipe days this year, and that’s heartbreaking to surfers like Flynn Novak. When it’s on, the boys are all over it, especially Flynn, who happens to be a very talented writer as well as surfer. Flynn, you can have any wave you want, just don’t steal my job.

They Keep Coming Photo by Steve Sherman

It’s almost become redundant, but what is it with these Kaua’i boys? Per capita, it’s a safe bet to say that Kaua’i has the best surfers worldwide. Is it something in the water? Stephen Koehne has an answer: “We all surf together nearly every day. We’re really close and push each other out in the water super hard. I guess the phenomenal waves don’t hurt either.”

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Kieren Perrow At Log Cabins Photo by Aaron Checkwood

The day before this photo was taken an Argentinean bodyboarder was out at Log Cabins. According to reports, he straightened out on a closeout, but the lip hit him in the back and drove him down into the chaotic, f—ked-up bottom at Logs. Eventually he washed up on the jagged reef down the beach, where efforts were made to resuscitate him, but to no avail. That’s the type of thing running through your head while surfing out there on big days—possibly dying. Sound fun? Kieren Perrow shows no signs of fear.

Never Give Up Photo by Jason Murray

Next time you have a little owie or boo-boo, think about this guy and quit your sniveling. Want a role model? Tiger shark attack-victim Bethany Hamilton was back in the water just a couple weeks after having her arm bitten off. Moral of the story: don’t ever let anything stop you from doing what you love.

Groms Photo by Brian Bielmann

John John Florence had to finish his homework, quit the rock fight, and wax up his four-eight before walking a hundred steps to get this wave—one of the last of the day. People don’t get pissed at fellow surfers until they hit puberty, which is probably why the kid behind him hasn’t shot his board at John John.

Backdoor Beckoning Photo by Seth Stafford

Look easy? Just drop in, set your rail, and party time, right? Think again. Backdoor has a way of looking perfect and inviting, but when you get out there all of a sudden you’re sitting next to 240-pound Kaiborg, the reef looks like it wants to chew your ass off, and the only way to get a wave is to take off on a closeout. Have fun.

The Sandbox Photo by Steve Sherman

Every year, more and more beautiful women show up on the North Shore, making paradise that much better. In years past, dudes had to scrap and scrounge for anything resembling a fine female—thank god those days are over. Ehukai Beach Park, holding.

North Shore Rides Photos by Steve Sherman

Jensen Hasett—’83 Mercury Zephyr

Rob Machado—’68 Dodge Dart

Danny Fuller—’01 GMC Sierra

Kelly Slater—’03 Mercedes Benz SUV

Nathan Hedge—’86 Cadillac Eldorado

Mark Healy—’89 Chevy Blazer

Tai Van Dyke—’89 Honda Accord

Andy Irons—’03 Ford Escape

Taj Burrow—’02 Ford Taurus

Jesse Merle-Jones—’86 Toyota Tercel

Noah Johnson—’70 Dodge Dart

Taylor Knox—’03 Ford Explorer

Jamie O’Brien—’01 GMC Sierra

get pissed at fellow surfers until they hit puberty, which is probably why the kid behind him hasn’t shot his board at John John.

Backdoor Beckoning Photo by Seth Stafford

Look easy? Just drop in, set your rail, and party time, right? Think again. Backdoor has a way of looking perfect and inviting, but when you get out there all of a sudden you’re sitting next to 240-pound Kaiborg, the reef looks like it wants to chew your ass off, and the only way to get a wave is to take off on a closeout. Have fun.

The Sandbox Photo by Steve Sherman

Every year, more and more beautiful women show up on the North Shore, making paradise that much better. In years past, dudes had to scrap and scrounge for anything resembling a fine female—thank god those days are over. Ehukai Beach Park, holding.

North Shore Rides Photos by Steve Sherman

Jensen Hasett—’83 Mercury Zephyr

Rob Machado—’68 Dodge Dart

Danny Fuller—’01 GMC Sierra

Kelly Slater—’03 Mercedes Benz SUV

Nathan Hedge—’86 Cadillac Eldorado

Mark Healy—’89 Chevy Blazer

Tai Van Dyke—’89 Honda Accord

Andy Irons—’03 Ford Escape

Taj Burrow—’02 Ford Taurus

Jesse Merle-Jones—’86 Toyota Tercel

Noah Johnson—’70 Dodge Dart

Taylor Knox—’03 Ford Explorer

Jamie O’Brien—’01 GMC Sierra