The North Shore Daily Presented By New Era

Michel Bourez
Glenn Hall
Damien Hobgood
Josh Kerr
Taylor Knox
Raoni Monteiro
Jamie O'Brien
Kai Otton
Kieren Perrow
Kieren Perrow
Dane Reynolds
Ace Buchan
Jordy Smith
Jordy Smith
Ian Walsh
Julian Wilson
Nat Young
Taj Burrow
Joel Centeio
Wiggolly Dantas
John John Florence
Sunny Garcia
Hank Gaskell
Dane Gudauskas
Jeff The Brotherhood

Jeff The Brotherhood rocking the Volcom house. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Parker Coffin

Parker Coffin and friends at the TransWorld SURF house. Photo: Justin Jay

The Megabender Ends But The Party Has Just Started For The Locals
I know it's been a couple days since the last post but I fell into a downward spiral the final day of the Pipe Masters. The minute the comp ended it seems like the entire North Shore went into full on party mode. Jamie O'Brien's house had a DJ and tons of underage girls jammed into the yard, the Billabong house had a caterer and open Peligroso bar, the Volcom house had Jeff The Brotherhood playing on the lawn and the TransWorld SURF house was off the hook for two days in a row.

As Monday dawned we scraped a few bodies off the floor, cleaned up some sketchy things found around the house, and watched as car after car drove down the Kam Highway laden with board bags and luggage. As the visitors leave, the locals here on the North Shore rejoice as they get to celebrate the real beginning of the season. It's been great to see all our old friends and make new ones from around the world.

Aloha and mahalo to the entire North Shore from TransWorld SURF, see you in January for the Volcom Pipe Pro!—Justin Coté

Ian Walsh

Ian Walsh preps for his heat while 3-Time Pipeline Master Tom Carroll throws a shaka for the camera. Tommy Gun is the man! Photo: JC

Friday Update From The North Shore
There's been a slight drop in the swell but that doesn't mean it's less deadly, it's actually just as heavy as the waves at Pipeline are focusing all of their energy on the first reef. I watched a few heats from the Quiksilver house and once again, John John put on a clinic in how to surf gnarly Pipeline. Hanging out at the house was like a who's who of the pecking order at Pipeline; Kala Alexander, Reef McIntosh, Mark Healey, Danny Fuller, Ian Walsh, and the list goes on.

Pipeline

Pipeline roars on day 2 of the Billabong Pipe Masters. Photo: JC

A few of the TWS crew are headed home today, including our new buddy Anders who won the New Era Trading Card contest. The kid had the time of his life and got to see massive Pipeline, partied with the pros, and got some great waves at Log Cabins, Backdoor, and Rocky Point. He'll be flying home with a huge grin on his face and memories that will last a lifetime. Great to hang with you Anders!

Anders

People really win these contest we have! New Era Trading Card contest winner Anders Cochran from Santa Cruz. Photo: JC

 

Beach Football

The beach football action in front of the TWS house... Photo: Dirt


Above: John John's perfect 10.

2011 Billabong Pipeline Masters: Day 1 Photo And Video Highlights

One of the biggest days of competition ever seen at the famed Banzai Pipeline sees broken dreams, broken boards, broken bodies, and plenty of balls out surfing in fifteen-foot surf.

Today featured everything we love about World Tour surfing; fifteen-foot Pipeline, terrifying wipeouts (thought we lost you for a second there Freddy P!), amazing performances by underground heroes, and this kid named John John Florence.

Pipeline hasn't roared like this all year and the swell just happened to coincide with the whole surfing world bunched up into just a couple hundred yards of beachfront real estate. The vibe on the beach was a mix between sunburned tourists from the Midwest, people like myself who couldn't find anywhere small enough to surf, and scared shitless World Tour surfers (groms and veterans alike) paddling into some truly sketchy surf. Guys were knocked off the World Tour, medics were working overtime, and John John Florence made it known that he is way ahead of the pack when it comes to the Banzai Pipeline.

I don't know what to say about him other than that he never, ever, claims waves, yet after an incredibly technical barrel on the 2nd reef (who gets barreled way the f—k there?) followed up by a sand-infused 1st reef double-up drainer, John did just that. He didn't go Adriano De Souza on it. It was more a subtle act of stoke. Well done John and props to all the WT warriors—you guys certainly earned it today. That was fun to watch.—JC

*For a better user experience, click onto a photo then click onto the magnifying glass icon.

The Pipe Masters Fires Up In Treacherous 3rd Reef Conditions
Wednesday was one of the first real Pipeline days here on the North Shore (see the video above) and today dawned even bigger and more dangerous. Waves breaking on the 3rd reef were sweeping through the lineup leaving a trail of boards and bodies in their wake. Gnarly shit.

We've been watching day 1 of the Pipe Masters and so far my MVP of the day has got to be Marcus Hickman. The burly Hawaiian was in the first heat of the day and was bale to manhandle Pipe while others just got handled. Impressive stuff from Marcus.

While the majority of the North Shore was focused on Pipe yesterday, the annual Vans golf tournament went down up at Turtle Bay. It's always a fun time but there was no way I was going to be dragged away from the beach, check the photos in the gallery above though. The usual golf fiends like Kelly Slater, Benji Weatherely, and Sean Moody played well while others like the Gudauskas chased more balls than they hit.

Marcus Hickman

Marcus Hickman contemplates the crazy paddle as Stephen Koehne drains the water out of his noggin. Photo: JC

Anyway, gotta get back to the beach, we'll have the full Pipe Masters day 1 report soon…

*For a better user experience, click onto a photo then click onto the magnifying glass icon.
December 7 aka Pearl Harbor Day
After skipping the Surfer Poll, or "Slurper Poll" as some are calling it, it feels really good to not be hung over today. By all accounts the show was loads of fun so despite "ER" being the competition I can't write it off. Kelly won for the millionth time, John John got a well-deserved award for "Breakthrough Performer" and Carissa Moore won the women's side of things.

Had a fun surf this morning at Rocky Point with the bruddas from Hana. Hank Gaskell, Ola and Makena Eleogram, and Dege O'Connell were slicing and dicing through Rocky Rights like it was a day back home on the Eastside of Maui, "It's going off out!" said Ola who almost paddled out without screwing in his fins. The surf was overhead and coming from a good direction but the wind was pretty strong which made for some interesting takeoffs. Hank in particular had one which he took off super late, slid out in the barrel, and slapped his head against the water. Ola and the guys thought it was hysterical—I thought it looked really painful!

According to reports (I guess I could peddle down there in three minutes but I'm too lazy) there are some good ones at Pipe and Backdoor but it's a bit slow. Still, our photographer buddy Spencer just came in and said he got cleaned up pretty bad while shooting Backdoor from the water. You don't think about the photographers much out there but just like the surfers, they're putting it all on the line every time they swim out.

It sounds like the Pipe Masters will run tomorrow if the waves aren't too big. As of right now, it's perfectly contestable but a significant bump in the swell predicted for this evening could change that in a hurry. For up to the minute reports regarding the contest follow us on Twitter, and yes, I'll make sure to tweet photos of the best bikinis on the beach.—JC

*For a better user experience, click onto a photo then click onto the magnifying glass icon.
Pipeline Comes To Life
The swell came up so fast today! You always hear about how the fast the waves can pick up in Hawaii and today we saw just that. Yesterday was nearly flat, this morning was just overhead, and this afternoon it's double overhead. I just watched the surf at Pipe and while it wasn't very good (still too much sand on the reef) it's always entertaining. I saw Tamayo Perry after he got out o the water and he said he got some good ones before it got too packed. There weren't too many barrels when I was watching but a few valiant attempts. Even though it's not that great it's good to see some swell out there.

Between a shindig at one of the Vans houses, Monday Night Football, and a visit to the Oakley house at Off The Wall we kind tied one on last night. The party at Vans was in celebration of their new line of trunks and was attended by the Guduaskas bros, the Florence bros, Leila Hurst, Dylan Graves and more. The trunks are pretty sick too, I got handed a pair that was designed by Dylan Graves and plan to rock them soon here. At the Oakley house we hung out with Dustin Barca, Rico Jiminez, Brent Dorrington, Sage Erickson, and a bunch of other heads before weaving back to the house on bikes.

Tonight is the Surfer Poll at Turtle Bay and just about everyone on the North Shore is looking to go. They gave out 600 tickets but inevitably there will be party crashers. I went last year and it was fun but kind of a zoo. Hopefully our movie, Surprise Excitement Party, wins an award for "Best Wipeout." We'll let ya know…—JC


*For a better user experience, click onto a photo then click onto the magnifying glass icon.
The Trifecta Of Gnarliness

While it's flat today, Thursday is looking like a trifecta of gnarliness. Here's the scenario: there's a solid west swell predicted to hit that day (the first west swell of the season), it's low tide in the afternoon when the swell peaks, and Pipe hasn't broke yet meaning dudes are gonna be frothing to surf out there—probably too frothing. Pipe is gnarly enough, but when you add the new swell, tons of sand built up, and amped crowd it's got potential to be really dangerous. I for one will be watching the carnage from the safety of the beach…


Above: Cory Lopez and his daughter Alana shredding the North Shore…

After a deep sand run and tortuous workout on the beach, I surfed small Off The Wall and Backdoor this with just a handful of crew out. Sitting furthest out and pushing mini groms into waves was Luke Egan. Kolohe Andino and his old man Dino paddled out with Kolohe's coach Mike Parsons, too. Kolohe was popping airs while the rest of us struggled to even catch a wave. Kid is gnarly and according to Dino, in the Pipe Masters by virtue of him having the highest "One World Ranking" seed. I don't really understand that whole thing but it sounds like he's in. And oh yeah, it's gonna be f—king heavy Pipe. Trial by fire for the grom!

Dave Wassel

No surf? No worries as there's plenty to do here on the North Shore. Dave Wassel wth a nice little snapper he speared through the eyeballs. Photo: JC

Dave Wassel popped in to the TransWorld house this morning to check the diving conditions out front. After a quick inspection he grabbed his speargun and swam off the beach to meet Mark Healey, who drove his jet ski up here from the Haleiwa harbor. I can see them now about 100 yards off the beach—Healey’s ski broke down (he forgot to charge the battery) and Wassel is swimming in.

We've got a full docket of activities this afternoon: Jags vs. Chargers on Monday Night Football (we're calling it the "Struggle Bowl"), a bbq and new trunk unveiling party at the Vans house, and another bbq at the Oakley house. Doesn't sound like a sober afternoon.


Above: Reef McIntosh breaks down his Off The Wall bomb caught a few days ago…

December 4
We went to the Turtle Bay last night for the annual "North Shore Film Festival" to watch the Imaginarium videos, Blow Up by Billabong, and our very own Surprise Excitement Party. The highlight of my night was meeting Larry Bertlemann—when we were kids we'd imitate his laybacks on our skateboards. He was cruising with fellow 70s star Rory Russell and Chris and Bobby Owens. That's one of the coolest things about the North Shore—you can run into people you grew up idolizing at any moment.

Earlier in the evening Dave Wassel came by the house to say hi after finishing his shift at the Ehukai lifeguard tower. According to Wassel we should be seeing some good sized surf in the next week or so, "All this sand you see now is gonna get washed away, so get your bodysurfing in now."

After an epic bodysurf session, we hit the bike path to visit some friends. First stop was the Quiksilver house where Reef McIntosh told us about his Off The Wall bomb from a couple days ago. Reef's a legend and wouldn't dare go as far as saying "Wave Of The Winter" but he did fess up to it being the "wave of the day." After checking in at the Quik house we rode down to Mikala Jones' pad to check Rockies. The waves were looking rideable but we just kicked back in his beachfront yard and caught up with Sean Moody, Flynn Novak, and friends.

Aside from crusing the bike path, everyone's doing touristy kind of stuff today; jumping off the rocks at Waimea, snorkeling Shark's Cove, and going in to Honolulu for a Femme Nu run—maybe we'll get a photo from there for the blog!

9:00 PM

It might be flat, but really, is anyone complaining?

It might be flat—but an evening spent sipping a Turtle Bay Mai Tai is enough to make you forget about surfing at all. This is paradise after all: Waves or not, you just have to soak it all in.

Groms attack Podium Raceway!

Besides: When the surf is small, it provides everyone the opportunity to partake in other adventures, which is exactly what Gabe Kling and I did tonight when we visited the Podium Raceway for Reef Tsutsui’s birthday party at the indoor racetrack in Kapolei, about 40 minutes from the North Shore. If you’re ever on Oahu, it’s somewhere you have to check out. Trust us, it’s harder than it looks, and well worth the drive. Gabe and I were both lapped by 10 year old groms who are still half a decade from getting a drivers license. Needless to say, we need some practice.

Lets go racing!

December 3rd, 2011

Morning surf check at Rockies with 2011 Vans Triple Crown Rookie of the year Evan Geiselman.

12:30 PM

After yesterday evenings surf out at heavy, unforgiving Backdoor and OTW—today’s mortal size swell has most waves along the seven mile miracle appetizing to the masses, i.e, everyone that was more comfortable spectating from the sand than risking life in the ocean yesterday. Out at Rocky Point, both the right and left are doing their thing, and thanks to a strong current the usual shoulder to shoulder December crowd stayed manageable all morning.

Reef McIntosh on the wave of the winter...so far. Photo: Dorsey

Reef McIntosh on the wave of the winter...so far. Photo: Dorsey

But enough about today’s surf for now, check out a preview of Reef McIntosh’s OTW screamer (above) as shot by TransWorld SURF Senior photographer Damea Dorsey. The ‘best ever’ claim gets thrown around quite often in the surf world, but we feel confident claiming this particular slab should at least be mentioned in the conversation regarding some of OTW’s greatest rides. Best of all, TransWorld’s own Brent Bielmann risked life swimming when this ride went down, and all indications are that his angle is mental. You’ll have to wait for an upcoming issue to see the shot in print. I’m sure all you Charger fans are particularly happy with Reef’s choice in trunks—but even bagging the wave of the year in Charger gear isn’t going to be enough to beat the Jaguars in the 2011 ‘struggle bowl’ this Monday Night! (Sorry Reef)

3:30 PM

(Above) Check the clips from this morning’s Rocky Point shred fest!

December 2nd, 2011

6:05 PM

As it often happens on the North Shore, the weather and waves took a drastic turn—from overcast and funky to sunny and epic in a matter of hours. Sunset turned on (in time for John Florence to smash his last three heats and win the Vans World Cup), as did OTW and Backdoor—where Reef McIntosh scratched into, and came flying out of, what many have coined the ‘Wave of the Winter’ thus far. And he wasn’t the only one. Jamie O’Brien and Julian Wilson also bagged a few bangers.

Here's a frame grab from this evenings surf. There's a few good clips where this came from.

Finally! It’s about time those waves (and claims) start pouring in. Typically, we have a dozen or so best-wave-of-the-winter nominees before Thanksgiving. This winter started slow, but with solid swell lines forecast to continue marching towards Hawaii over the next 10 days, December is looking like a banger.

Tomorrow looks like light trades and clean, diminished (but still well overhead) swell, and has the potential to be one of those days where everywhere from Haleiwa to Sunset fires. Fingers crossed! We’ll let you know what we see in the morning…

Jamie O'Brien. Photo: Stafford/SPL

Unknown, setting up to score at backdoor just before dark. Photo: Stafford/SPL

2:20 PM


For the second straight day, a funky North wind is giving the North Shore a serious bout of  all day morning sickness—and once again, Sunset is the only place making sense of the powerful, wind torn swell. Fortunately for those guys still left in the O’Neill World Cup, the slightly diminished surf is hitting the reef much better today, and guys like John Florence, Ola Eleogram, Raoni Monteiro, and CJ Hobgood are taking full advantage.

At the moment the Semi Finals are set to hit the water in cleaning surf, with a few wide open barrels unloading on the inside bowl. To watch the action live click here, and we’ll have another update as the day unfolds.


December 1st, 2011
The first day of December dawned to the sight of this winter’s largest NW swell—but unfortunately, a stiff North wind is tattering the ocean, rendering just about every wave, except Sunset Beach, marginally surfable.

Damien Hobgood, running for his life this morning. Photo: Stafford/SPL

Way out in the shifting, unpredictable peaks at Sunset, the waves are far from tame. In fact, it’s about as scary as the place gets—with rogue west peaks and closeout sets steamrolling through the lineup, and at times, the channel as well; sending the O’Neill World Cup competitors, board caddies, and jet-ski’s scratching for the horizon every 10 minutes.

When the wave breaks here, don't be there. Photo: Stafford/SPL

Watching from the safety of the beach, I felt for everyone that entered the lineup. Twice I’ve caddied for Gabe Kling in conditions like these, and both times it was a humbling experience. The first year, in 2007, Gabe broke his leash bailing under a 10-foot closeout (which sent me on a hectic swim to the beach after giving him his backup) and the second time—two years later in 2009, the event was cancelled following Gabe’s heat when Sunset maxed out to the point that even seasoned Sunset vets like Sunny Garcia struggled to get safely to shore in the horrendous, out-of-control surf. After both bouts resulted in a loss for Gabe, I forever surrendered my role as a caddy.

In the last five minutes of his heat, Dane Gudauskas somehow found two scores to jump from fourth to first and win his round of 64 heat. Photo: Stafford/SPL

In the 9th heat of the round of 64, Dane Gudauskas battled a series of 10-foot closeout sets and managed to scrap together two scoring rides and take the win—and upon returning to the house (where a crew of us were watching) we unveiled to Dane the brand new February 2012 issue of TransWorld Surf, with an image of him screaming through a drainer in Portugal on the coveted front cover.

Think this guy is frothing?

"I'm baffled! That's so f—king sick!" said an extra frothy Dane, when he first laid eyes on the cover. "That was right next to the contest [Rip Curl Pro Portugal], and it was a magical day. It's funny, this guy paddled out on a boogieboard and it looked like his first day in the ocean. I was paddling for this wave and it was kind of ledgey—and the boogie guy took off in the lip and went fully over me as I pulled into this barrel. I'm speechless! We stayed in Portugal for two swells after this one and it was never that good again—so stoked to get that wave"

On that note, we’ll be back with more tomorrow. Hopefully, the wind and weather settles down a tad. Until then, here’s a few photos from yesterday evenings surf at Rocky Point, when the conditions were actually manageable.

Damien Hobgood. Photo: Stafford/SPL

Gavin Gillette. Photo: Stafford/SPL

Dege O'Connell. Photo: Stafford/SPL

Above: Photos from day 3 of the Vans World Cup Of Surfing

November 30, 2011

With a new west swell slowly trickling in—much of today was spent watching and waiting in anticipation of things to come. The new pulse was mostly shredded by the relentless trade winds, arriving along the the seven mile miracle far from perfect.

Days like this, it’s easy to get caught chasing your own tail—riding back and forth along the bike path; checking Logs, OTW, Pipe, and Rockies, finding everywhere is ‘almost good’ but nowhere quite right, and ending up right back at the first place you checked just in time for the mid morning rush hour. When that exact scenario unfolded earlier, I opted to hang with friends instead of surf…

Over at the Vans house near Sunset, Dylan Graves is nursing a sliced foot (10 stitches) and in this photo (above) he shows us his best Gerry Lopez impersonation. Pretty good, right? I wonder if that look might help him catch waves at Pipe this winter?

Beach Bunny

Where are the Model Search recruiters when you need 'em?

I hung with Dylan and friends on the porch for a while and watched Torrey Meister lay into a few mean hacks over at Sunset Point. Later, while interviewing Torrey for a ‘Last Words’ piece for an upcoming issue, he told me he “got completely worked” on a three foot wave. “I was held under, flipped all around, the whole deal. It doesn’t have to be big out there to humble you.”

After speaking with Torrey I stumbled up to the Hurley house before dark (on the sand at Pipe) just in time to join their catered team feast (thanks for the hospitality) and watch a few proper sets unload out front. Judging from the size of those waves as well as the rumblings after dark, tomorrow is looking solid. We’ll make sure to keep you updated as the day goes on…

Flynn Novak

Flynn Novak with some nice rail work at Rocky Point. Photo: Nelly/SPL

 

Gavin Gillette

Gavin Gillette with a clean cutty at Backdoor. Photo: Nelly/SPL

Mikey Bruneau

North Shore lifeguard/surfer Mikey Bruneau keeps tabs at Pipe. Photo: Nelly/SPL

For now here’s a quick edit of some of today’s happenings, with appearances by: Dylan Graves, Rasta, Nate Yeomans, Evan Valiere, and Gabe Kling. Whatever you do, don’t take this too serious. It’s just for fun, folks.

Pipeline Getting Ready To Roar To Life

Although Oahu’s North Shore surf season is in full swing, it hasn’t really started. Not just yet. Not without a Pipeline sighting.

The swell that kicked off (and maxed out) the O’Neill World Cup at Sunset on Sunday, though massive, was too north for Pipe—and considering the last west swell to grace the North Shore (the direction for proper Pipe) was back in late spring, the craggy reef is still packed with six months of summer sand. And so we wait, with smallish (but still plenty fun) mixed up Rocky Point to hold us all over in the meantime.

North Carolina charger Brett Barley, 'waiting' at Rockies. Photo: Stafford/SPL

Personally, I love the waiting. In 10 years of visiting this amazing island every December—waiting has always meant days surfing fun, non life threatening Rocky Point, slow mornings, mellow surf checks, beach days, and afternoon beers. A Sunday spent waiting is always the best: What is better than a morning watching NFL football and drinking Bloodys at Breaker's in Haleiwa?

Well Pipeline, of course. Especially if you ask the Mark Healey's, Kalani Chapman's, and Reef McIntosh's of the world. These guys (among many others) will pick scratching into one solid Pipe screamer over, well, just about anything else in this world and they can't wait much longer to get another opportunity. A half-year is too long; everyone is ready for this prolonged slumber to end. And fortunately, the end looks to be forthcoming. If everything goes as forecasted—a new, favorable Pipe swell is set to arrive as soon as Thursday—one day away, with yet another swell right on its heels.

And with it, the official start to winter is near. Check back daily, we'll keep you updated on all North Shore happenings right here.—Zander Morton

Gabe Kling tried hard, but was ultimately unsuccessful in his quest to knock a coconut from this palm tree with a football. Photo: Ricciotti

Another beautiful North Shore sunset, does it get any better than this?