Pineapple Express For 12/13/03[IMAGE 1]
On Wednesday, Split in conjunction with TransWorld SURF held an event called the Sloshabout at Rocky Point. Held in Mikala Jones backyard, it was an all-day affair that included tons of insane free food, Foster’s beer, and reggae music into the night. Shea Lopez, Pete Labrador, Jamie Sterling, Cheyne Magnusson, Daniel Jones, Jason Shibata, and Rizal Tanjung were just some of the names present as well as an international contingent of surfers from Tahiti and Indonesia as well. According to Magnusson, it was the biggest rager he;d ever seen at Mikala’s—paaaarteeeee!
After weeks of swell from the east, the direction finally changed to a more Pipe-friendly west. At one point, people were saying the sandbar from Ehukai to Backdoor resembled the Superbank on the Gold Coast thanks to all the sand collected from the eastern swells. Long right-hander lines. Now that the wests are here, Pipe is breaking, but scary as well. It’s shallow. The first real day in weeks was on Saturday and it was packed. Not even really good for the place, but after weeks of rain, no sun, and funky surf, the place was packed with surfers and photographers. Not very big, but powerful. There were some serious injuries that day as well. TransWorld SURF photographer Wyatt Tillotson was gauged by his waterhousing and had to get stitches under his chin. Another TransWorld photographer, Hilton Dawe, head butted the reef and got staples in his head—the place is gnarly. Makua Rothman fell with the lip on a set wave and it drove his knee right into the reef. As a result, Makua had a big gouge and the impact realigned one side of his body. The entire lineup made sure he made it in safely and the lifeguards promptly got to him. On Friday, Makua—knee wrapped and all—showed up for his trials heat in some pretty gnarly Pipe conditions and took it on like nothing happened.
[IMAGE 2]Just a small note before moving on: these guys are heavy. Anyone who thinks the life of a pro surfer is all glam rock needs to come to Hawai’i and see the waves they throw themselves into. It’s scary as hell—even shooting photos from the shoulder. Makua, Mikala Jones, Jamie Sterling, Danny Fuller, Mark Healey, Tamayo Perry, The Irons’—there’s too many names to list. They get tossed on a daily basis and makes you realize why these guys are like underpaid stuntmen. Kieren Perrow’s another one of those guys. He seems to always be where the gnarliest shit is and goes for it all the time. Kieren’s a true hellman who someday will be recognized for his work. What’s funny about him is you wonder how someone so smart could do the stupid things he does.
Friday, the first day of the contest started really slow with some inconsistent sets. As the day wore on the surf turned on, the sun stayed out, and all in all the trials were pure excitement for all. A packed beach got to witness Marcus Hickman take one of the biggest waves of the day, stand up in the barrel, and promptly double grab his crotch as he came out and received a perfect ten. The whole crotch-grabbing thing was cool because it pretty much said, “Top that. Oh yeah, his second-round point total knocked former Pipe champ Rob Machado out of qualifying for the main event.
As usual, Bruce and Jamie O’Brien played with the place like it was nothing. The only thing that hurt Bruce at the end of the day was inconsistent surf—nothing came in during the final minutes of his first-round heat. Jamie does this thing where he grabs his rail backside, kind of stands parallel on his board, pulls in, gets shacked, and comes out switch stance. Psycho.
C.J. Hobgood has been making appearances at a variety of breaks, but taking a tender approach to his surfing. Around midway through this WCT season he was having a career season results wise—and was definitely a contender for the title—until he broke his foot. Although he’s been out of the water since it happenned, his early points will allow him to requalify for next season. If you know C.J., you know he can’t sit still and that’s exactly what he did for four months. The whole experience has made him hungrier than ever to win a second title and he looks to come out with all guns firing for the first event on the Goldie. His boss at Body Glove, Scott Daley, almost had a heart attack when he saw C.J. throw a huge air at Rocky Point, but let his board fly away. Not yet C.J., not yet.—Cheggwood