The show is over. The fat lady down at Ehukai Beachpark is strumming her ukulele and singing away. Rental cars are stacked high with boardbags, packed with duffel bags, bruised egos, tall tales and surfers leaving the North Shore and O’ahu in a mass exodus. And for the record, it’s been a non-stop, crazy-ass, hell of a run.
The Eddie went.
The Pipe Masters was insane.
25ft. foot Waimea one day, third reef Pipe the next, Off The Wall going berserk, and the best surfers ever, all over it.
All in all, the last three weeks have been an amazing experience and will not be forgotten soon. Thanks to everyone here, from Randy Rarick and Bali Joe to Carl Kam and Ace Cool, we ruled it!The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational was Bruce Irons day to shine. Bruce conquered the biggest waves I’ve ever seen anyone paddle into in person, and pulled into the craziest twelve-foot, sand-churning Waimea shorebreak wave ever. It was f-king nuts and Bruce looked straight into the crowd gathered on the beach as he did it. For his efforts, Bruce was awarded 100 points and ran away with $55,000, and a 10′ surfboard made from koa wood. And In second place was Peter Mel, who I got to meet for the first time this year. Peter is a really cool guy and one of California’s best surfers ever. Thanks to everyone at Quiksilver (especially Andy Ryan for getting me a pass to the VIP area Quiksilver had on the point at Waimea where I chatted with Dennis Hopper), and a big mahalo to the Aikau family for celebrating Eddie’s life with the world. “The Eddie lived up to all the grandeur and hype it gets and was a great event all around.
The Rip Curl Pro Pipe Masters will go down as one of the best days ever for Hawai’ian surfing. Sunny Garcia won his record sixth Triple Crown, Bruce and Kalani Robb requalified on the WCT, and 21 year-old-wildcard, Jamie O’Brien, won the Pipe Masters in perfect 6-8 foot Pipe. An awesome day, especially considering All Bus, Da Hui, and the Wolfpak sponsored a twenty-five-team kickball tournament, directly across the street from Pipe the same day. Teams with names like All Rip, Average Joes, Lickety Split, All Bus All Stars, and the F.B.I. (From Big Island) enjoyed tunes from Natural Vibrations and kicked cherry balls around like we were in fifth grade again. It was also the only time Ill ever be able to tell Kelly Slater this: “Dude, my team is gonna smoke yours! He kind of laughed but you could tell he didn’t really like that. I hope he didn’t tell Sunny or Shawn Briley, who were also on the same squad as Slater.
We couldn’t have had as much fun and good times without the help of a lot of good people. A million thanks go out to Kala Alexander, Liam McNamara, Jason Lau, Bisdee the Kiwi, and Strider Wasilewski for your help in our various projects, Kai Garcia for the advice, Mike Strada, Rick, and Tyler from the Pipe house (best view possible of the Masters), Daren Crawford for the hospitality and laughs, Manu, Andy, and Travis for letting my brother and I sleep on the floor, and to everybody else who was a part of the “circus good times, good times, thank you. See you next year.