Pineapple Express 11/20

Pineapple Express For 11/20/03

While we keep hearing how the surf in California has been going off, the waves here on the North Shore have been screwed. If it’s not flat and windy, it’s out of control and windy. Never in between, but always blown out. The waves were very small for over a week, so when the latest swell came in everyone went nuts even though it was messy and somewhat larger.

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As usual, the entire surfing world is here. It’s not very hard to find anyone involved with the sport—all you have to do is go to Foodland, the Haleiwa contest, or Sunset. Sunset’s literally the only place that has a decent wave and it’s also where the top 44 are practicing for the next WCT. Puerto Rican Carlos Cabrero took on an early season injury when he tried to straighten out on a wave and the lip hit the tail of his board. The wave sent him tumbling under water with the turbulence—it was so heavy it torqued his knee and has him drydocked as a result.

Sunset might be big, but the easterly direction of the swell has kind of passed up the WQS at Haleiwa. Avalanche–the break next to it–is huge while the contest site is literally two foot. It’s a make or break deal for a lot of guys because it’s worth a lot of points and it’s the last WQS of the season. An early loss or a finals appearance can be the difference between qualifying for the WCT or not.

If you’ll notice in the photo of the orange juice, shit’s expensive here. It’s amazing that the poorest-paid athletes in the world can afford to pay outrageous prices for food in addition to the enormous rents to stay anywhere. It must be fun to pack into a house with ten other dudes and then get ready for a contest as well.

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There’s also been a huge influx of girls surfing here as well. The Roxy house at Rocky Point is like a mothership. When the surf was small, the lineup out in front was filled with good-looking girls ripping. No complaints here.

Another hot-ass chick ripping here is Holly Beck. She had a shocker in the Haleiwa contest with her second-round loss. If you’ll remember last year, Holly was part of the big North Shore Boarding House television show filmed all winter. In it, the creative editing made it seem like Holly was super competitive and had a huge rivalry with fellow female surfer Veronica Kay. Somewhat true or not, the following is a interview with her about her life since it ran. Look for further reports as the Triple Crown season moves along.—Poo T. Tang Checkwood

How has the television show affected your career?
Boarding Househas had an incredible effect. During the US Open, I got more media coverage than I ever thought possible. That mainstream visibility has really helped especially since all my contracts are up this year. It also attracted mainstream sponsorship opportunities. Career-wise, the show was the best thing ever.

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Has it gotten you other television prospects?
I did a few things with 54321, and repeat appearances on the Best Damn Sports Show Period.

Do people recognize you on the street?
When the show first came out i got a lot of attention on thestreet. I was on the freeway in traffic and had people recognize me from the next lane a few times. In Kinkos, the grocery store, running along the strand in Redondo, and of course in the water, I’ve had people asking for autographs or telling me I’d inspired them. I had parents thanking me for taking the higher (anti-party) road and being a good role model for their kids. I got mobbed at the US Open which was definitely flattering, but also a little overwhelming. It seems to have died down a little now, which is nice. Within the surf industry I may have made some enemies. I’ve felt some animosity from Roxy and their supporters, but at the same time I’ve had a lot of praise for saying what not many have said. I guess it all evens out.

Where do you want to go from here with your career?
My current goal is making the WCT. Most of my career I have been marketed somewhere in between a model and a surfer. I went to college and put off the QS for a few years and I still don’t feel like I’ve had a year where I’ve put in 100 percent. I definitely have something to prove. I want to be taken seriously as a surfer and making the WCT seems like the only way to achieve that.

Do you still have a rivalry with Veronica Kay?
The rivarly with V.K. was real but was also very exaggerated bythe WB’s attempt at drama. We hung out and got along a lot better than the show made it seem. We had a good night of bonding towards the end that wasn’t caught on camera. As far as a rivalry now goes, we reside in separate universes. We aren’t really competing for anything, so the rivalry has faded. I saw her last week and we were friendly enough.

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Do you ever see yourself barefoot and pregnant?
It’s difficult to imagine myself pregnant, but I definitely want to have kids eventually. I have four younger sisters and have had a lot of practice. I think I’ll be a good mom. I also really like to be barefoot, so I can see myself barefoot and pregnant, but not anytime soon.