As a part of my arduous task as Hawai'i editor for TransWorld SURF, I found myself hanging out with Tai Van Dyke on Maui doing some "research for an upcoming Maui article. Along with Tom Dosland, Kaleo Roberson, and Steve Cooney, Tai and I went for a day trip like I've never experienced before…
I knew it was going to be an exciting ride when Tai scared the shit out of some sketchy ice head/hippie by veering toward him on an overgrown backcountry dirt road that led us to Kaleo's compound. Thanks to Tai's superior driving skills, we made the three-hour voyage in an hour and a half and met up with, Dege O'Connell, Cheyne Magnusson, Clay Marzo, Ola and Benel Eleogram with their entire surfing family clan, Hank Gaskell, and two nuts-looking local boys. The waves turned out to be a bit sloppy but overhead, rippable, and fun. Ola was surfing his home break like a cat, floating and launching over huge sections. His brothers were all over the place. I couldn't keep track of how many brothers he has, I think six, but they were all killing it. Tom Dosland and Cooney were blasting airs while the over-200-pound club, and Kaleo and Tai destroyed helpless sections. Tai won the ride-home fart contest convincingly with a nose-hair-burning bomber. I had never participated or even heard of a fart contest in a car—must be a Maui thing. You could tell Tai had a winner when he rolled up and locked all the windows from the driver position and cast a broad grin, enjoying our reaction and feedback. Look for Ola, Tai, Cheyne, Kaleo, and the rest of Maui's best surfers ripping their home waters in an upcoming issue of TransWorld SURF .
Bethany Hamilton, the thirteen-year-old Kaua'i surfer who was recently attacked by, and lost her arm to a fourteen-foot tiger shark, is recovering well at home on Kaua'i. To donate money for her rehabilitation and bills, or just to send a card or message, write to: Hanalei Surf Co., P.O. Box 790, Hanalei, HI. 96714. Monetary donations can be dropped off at any First Hawaiian Bank, or mailed to the bank's Lihue Branch at: 4423 Rice St., Lihue, HI. 96766. Check out www.bethanyhamilton.com for more information about this brave girl.