Above: Messing around on a small day at Castle Rock near Log Cabins on the North Shore of Oahu. It’s the shallowest, most f—ked up reef ever yet Gavin Beschen and former pro/shaper Noah Budroe were all over it. I hope you watch this ‘cuz I bounced off the reef several times while filming.
Tuesday, December 14
I flew home last night and already I’m missing the North Shore. It was an amazing two weeks filled with surf and good times with lots of great friends. The best part of the North Shore this time of the year isn’t the surf, it’s seeing the whole surfing tribe gathered in one special place. Yeah it can get crowded, but there is always somewhere to score if you know where to go. I’d like to thank all the local North Shore folks who put up with the influx of surfers and share their home with us. Can’t wait to get back over there, hopefully at the end of January for the Volcom Pipeline Pro…
I’ll be watching the Pipe Masters from work here in Carlsbad, CA. just like the rest of the world, and while I’m supposed to be neutral, I’m pulling for John Florence to take out Kelly Slater when the comp fires up (probably Wednesday).
One more thing, what’s up with Hawaiian Airlines charging $200 for three surfboards in one not-so-big board bag? The food sucked, too. The best part of the experience was having a beer with EG from Sector 9 at Stinger Ray’s at the Honolulu airport.
Aloha and mahalo for checking out the blog!
Click Through To The Next Page For More
Sunday December 12
Our trip is winding down and soon enough we’ll be back in SoCal freezing our tits off with the rest of the world. It’s been one of the funnest two weeks on the North Shore ever. It seems like the tragic passing of Andy Irons has really brought the tribe together—we’re seeing way more hugs and shakas than fights. There are a few first timers here at the house and they’re just blown away by the surf, the scenery, and seeing the best guys (and a few hard charging gals) surf right in front of the house at Rockpiles, which was all time a few days ago. We are all so lucky to be able to surf and live our lives the way we do, it’s really a blessing.
My favorite surfer to watch this year has been John Florence. I was sitting on the beach at Rocky Point yesterday “throwing back a few green bottles” (as Kekoa Bacalso would say) with filmmakers Bill Ballard and Greg Browning as well as former pro/coach/shaper Chris Gallager and we all came to the same conclusion—John John is the man. The kid loves to surf more than anyone, doesn’t have his head up his ass, and charges like there’s no tomorrow. His act at Logs and Rockpiles over the last week has been simply remarkable. We obviously expect huge things out of John in the near future—maybe even beating Kelly Slater in the Pipe Masters.
Click Through To The Next Page For More
Saturday December 11
I’ve always wondered exactly how fast someone goes while surfing and today I finally found out. Turns out Asutralian surfer Dean Bowen had a speedometer attached to him the other day when Rockpiles was 10-12 foot. “Mate I was riding a 7’2″ quad just hauling ass out there and when I came in we plugged it [the speedometer] into the computer and it read 55 kilometers,” he told me out in the water this morning.” For us Seppos that means he was going about 34 miles an hour. “Makes me wonder how fast you could get going at Waimea!” he said with a wild look in his eye.
The waves are about head high today and while it was glassy this morning, an onshore wind came up around 10 making the conditions below average. No worries though, the sun is shining wahines are strutting the beach, time for some bronzing!
Went to the 8th annual North Shore lifeguard party last night at Waimea Falls and it was a blast! One of my favorite bands, Natural Vibrations, opened up for legendary Hawaiian reggae singer Butch Helemano at the beautiful venue at Waimea Falls. The event was held to raise money for the local junior lifeguard program and was attended by hundreds of people. It was a cool evening both literally and figuratively as temperatures plummeted into the 60s…cry me a river right?
Click Through To The Next Page For More
Friday December 10
Tracks (Australian surf mag) Editor Luke Kennedy had an accident at Sunset yesterday and from what I've heard he's in critical condition after his trachea was cut by fiberglass. Luke's a great guy and I sure hope he pulls through and recovers. Our thoughts are with ya mate.
The surf today has dropped and it's rainy but the wind is offshore and there are still plenty of rippable waves coming through on the Seven Mile Miracle. We had a big night in town for Jordy Smith's Vestal watch release party. It was fun, but truth be told I don't come to Hawaii to go party in Honolulu—there's plenty of that kinda stuff back home.
With the rain, everyone's hunkered down in their team houses watching movies and chillin' out. We're going to do some Cote's Cube filming today with Reef McIntosh and whoever else pops in.
Tonight (it never ends) is the North Shore Junior Lifeguard benefit party at Waimea Falls. One of my favorite bands from Hawaii, Natural Vibrations, is playing with Hawaiian musician Butch Helemano. Hopefully the rain will let up for the party…
Click Through To The Next Page For More
There’s an epic session going on right now at Log Cabins. I just saw Gabriel “Peru” Villaran get the best wave I’ve seen out there. He’d gotten pounded on the wave before, a late drop into a kamikaze leap. “My board was this close to my face, man!” he told us still dripping wet after his heroic two section tube. I was watching with Gavin Gillette and the Ranga and Gavin claimed it as the best wave he’d ever seen out there. Brent Bielmann was out there with his camera—let’s hope that he got it!
The wind switched from onshore to offshore and instantly the waves were firing at places like Laniakea, Rocky Rights, Rockpiles, and Logs. The Florence bros—all three of them—were surfing 10-foot Rockpiles all by themselves yet still dropping in on each other and doing figure eights on these massive waves, just messing around like it was nothing. Time to rally soon and head into town for Jordy’s party.
The swell dropped off from yesterday just a bit, there are still some solid ten-foot sets steamrolling through Rockpiles though. After pussing out on it yesterday I gave it a go with our house guest Oliver Kurtz. We paddled out at Insanities where Oliver made it out and I didn’t. The sandbar seems to have moved further off the beach so there were double-overhead triple ups breaking kinda far off the beach. At one point I thought I had it yet got picked off. I swallowed water, barfed up my coffee, and turned tail for the beach. Defeated, I walked up the beach to Jamie O’Brien’s house and borrowed a 9’8″ Tokoro. “You break it you buy it, brah,” said JOB. With those words in my head I paddled out through the channel at Pipe and didn’t have to duck under any waves.
Out the back was John Florence, his brothers Ivan and Nathan, Oliver, and Matt Archbold. After getting a good sized set I got to talking to John John about his upcoming heat with Kelly Slater. “You can beat him man, especially if it’s all weird and on the sandbar,” I said. He kinda gave me a smile and said, “We’ll see. Kelly’s Kelly though, he always gets the wave.” With that he spun around and airdropped into a heavy right that was headed into the dreaded reef at Log Cabins.
The wind has come up pretty good and it’s straight onshore so we’re going to head into town for some dim-sum in Chinatown, and later tonight, a Jordy Smith watch release party thrown by Vestal. Should be pretty fun, we’ll give you the full report…
Click Through To The Next Page For More
3:20PM Just had a surf at Gumes (right next to Pipe) with just myself and Michel Bourez. What I thought was going to be fun, just overhead rights turned into double overhead and scratching for the horizon. Between the big sets and thousands of people on the beach it was a bit nerve wracking. All I could think of was getting yelled at by the announcers and roughed up by the water patrol after having to get rescued. Bourez, who is seeded into the third round and didn’t surf today, is ready for a break after the contest. “I can’t wait to get home and forget about contests for a while,” said the friendly Tahitian as he casually paddled over a bomber. Bourez has had a great year and is currently in the top 10 with just Pipe remaining. Okay so maybe I jumped the gun on Parko winning the Triple Crown again, but really, you think he’s not going to repeat his performance from last year? One more heat and it’s official. Parko had a great quote today when he brought up the fact that he and Andy both have sons now and it’s possible that the two boys could be battling it out 20-years from now just like their old men did back in the day. That would be epic. The winner of the Action Sports Now contest to stay with us here on the North Shore just arrived and he’s baffled by how freakin’ big it is right out in front of the house, “It’s huge out there! I can’t believe how close it is to the beach, too. So crazy!” said 25-year old Brian Austin from Laguna Beach. Brian’s here with his girlfriend Liz, bringing some much needed female presence to the house. They arrived on the best day so far so they have quite good timing. 1:34PM Took a walk up to Rocky Point just in time to see Mikala Jones coming in from a session at Rocky rights. “It was like J-Bay out here this morning,” he told me. It’s kinda funny, while it looks fun enough and is totally contestable, the best surf on the North Shore isn’t at the Banzai. Places like Log Cabins, Rocky Point, Sunset and especially Rockpiles (solid 10-foot Hawaiian) are absolutely going off. Tom Carroll and Reef McIntosh were ripping the big ol’ left at Rockpiles and stood out from the small pack of surfers. 11:40AM Andy Irons spot in the Pipe Masters was just given to Tommy Whitaker and will be surfing against Bruce Irons. Heavy. On a related note, we’d like to welcome Andy Axel Irons to the world…maybe Uncle Bruce will smoke Tommy Whits in Andy’s honor? And it’s offical: Joel Parkinson is the Vans Triple Crown Champion now that the nearest contenders Joel Centeio and Granger Larsen are out of the event. Congrats Parko! 11:07 The onshore sea breeze is kickin’ in a bit right now and the barrels are showing the effect by clamping down on the boys. In a cool move, Jamie O’Brien pulled out of the event (he’s recovering from a broken arm) and Pipe regular Dave Wassel is now in the event and beat Travis Logie in his first heat. Wassel is a legend of a human being—I hope he does well. Could be time for an editor surf…don’t tell my boss. 10:22AM The circus is in full swing right now. There are choppers flying around, thousands of people on the beach, and some damn fine surfing going down. Bruce Irons, who was at a hospital in Kauai to see his nephew be born, just flew over the contest in a small Cesna airplane and it looks like he’s going to make it in time for his heat later today. Luke Stedman was just knocked out of the event and it looks like he won’t be on the 2011 World Tour. Bummer for Steds, he’s a nice guy, hopefully for him he’ll be back after a short requalification. 7AM Wednesday, December 8 It’s game on here at the Banzai! Just got the call, the Pipe Masters will begin at 7:45 local time. You can watch it Billabong Pro Pipeline Masters. I’ve seen a few waves break on the second reef out at Pupukea so there are good sized waves, the only issue is that there’s so much sand on the beach it’s creating backwash making for somewhat wonky (one of my favorite words to describe surf conditions). They’ll be running the contest in the dual heat format, meaning it’s man on man but there will two heats in the water at the same time. Up first is Kamalei Alexander vs. Adam Melling and Danny Fuller vs. his good friend Roy Powers. Expect the regular foots to rule today, there are hardly any lefts and the rights are tough backside. Off to the beach, it’s gonna be a big day at the office! It looks like the new name of the Pipe Masters is now the Billabong Pipeline Masters In Memory Of Andy Irons. The sad (yet uplifting at the same time) part is that Lyndie Irons, Andy’s wife, is going into labor today and the world will soon welcome Andy’s son with open arms and wonderful memories of his father. We wish you the best Lyndie! Click Through To The Next Page For More…
Tuesday, Dec. 7 8PM It sounds like the Billabong Pipeline Masters is a go tomorrow. We’re taking a well-deserved night off from the party circuit so we’ll be on point tomorrow. Watch the contest live at Billabong Pipeline Masters. 10AM The Surfer Poll Awards show was amazing last night! I had never been to the show before so I really didn’t know what to expect. It’s normally held in Irvine, where there’s no surf, but this year someone over there made a good call and moved it to the North Shore. It was the hottest ticket in town and pupus were scarfed and drinks thrown back with total disregard for the next day. I sat next to Keala Kennelly for a while and it was tough to see how sad she was during a few of the Andy Irons clips and awards. As far as the results, Andy Irons got the “Best Barrel” award, Jamie O’Brien got a few for his movie Who Is JOB? and Kelly Slater won his umpteenth Surfer Poll. Props to the Surfer crew for a really special evening. The awards show was followed up by a huge party at one of the Off The Wall team houses and was going good until someone ripped off a girl’s purse and the plug was pulled. The waves are firing right now! A fresh N/NW swell has filled in and spots like Backdoor and Off The Wall are hosting some incredible surfing right now. I just looked at OTW for 30 seconds and saw some dude get absolutely kegged. Now that the Surfer Poll is over and the waves have picked up, it’s time to put down the beverage and get some real work done… Click Through To The Next Page For More
Monday, Dec. 6 2:33PM Just had a quick surf at Monster Mush and ran into my old babysitter; Doug Silva. He was giving this chick in a g-string and teenie tiny bikini top. “If there’s a yard sale there ain’t gonna be much to buy!” he said. Legend! Everyone’s getting ready for the Surfer Poll and it’s the hottest ticket in town, the only problem is that it’s at a pretty small joint in Turtle Bay and people who can’t get in are gonna be butt hurt. We’ll get some photos and let you know if High Five wins anything… 9:42AM You know those days when you wake up and it feels like the world is crashing down upon you and you feel the need to go apologize to people? Well that’s how I feel right now. We had about 40 people over to the house Sunday for the Raider vs. Charger game with a thousand beers and blue and yellow jello shots made from 4 Loko and vodka. The Raiders smashed the Bolts and Raider fan was in full effect. Somewhere out there Bobby Martinez is smiling. My hangover is compounded by the fact that I’ve still got lightning bolts painted on my chest. Killing it. The first annual North Shore Film Festival wrapped up last night and by all accounts it was a huge success and will be a staple on the North Shore for years to come. Last night A Fly In The Champagne, High Five, and Brian Bielmann’s Andy Irons slideshow were screened at the Waialua Polo Fields to the delight of the packed polo fields. The waves have come up a bit today and it looks like the swell is still out of the NW so Off The Wall is probably the call. The Surfer Poll is tonight at Turtle Bay so the party isn’t stopping anytime soon. Time to go take a beach jog and sweat it all out before putting it all back in… Click Through To The Next Page For More
Saturday, December 4 3:50PM Took a walk in the deep sand from Rockpiles to Rocky Rights today and scored some chest high, long rights with a pleasant crew led by the one and only Michael Ho. Pops was killin’ it! He’s over 50-years old and still has the energy and stoke level of a grom. Carissa Moore was surfing really well, too. Mark Healey is a train wreck right now. He celebrated his 29th birthday last night in Honolulu with a bunch of friends and came away with a black eye and nasty hangover. He followed up the big night with a doctor appointment where he “got stabbed in the neck” and had a growth removed. He’s chillin’ at the house now nursing a Coors Light and talking story—with 13 stitches in the neck.
It’s a gorgeous day here on the North Shore so we took a little stroll down to Waimea Bay to jump off the rocks and hopefully see a few turtles. As you can see from the little clip above it was a successful mission… Reef McIntosh invited us to some fancy party up in Laie, something about Lamborgini girls and martinis…should be interesting especially considering Laie is a Mormon town not used to the sort of antics associated with a motley crew of surfers. The photos from the part are at the top of the page. Click Through To The Next Page For More
Friday 5:30PM Pretty mellow day today as we had a big night last night at a few Off The Wall houses. The New Era/ASP trading card contest winner Anthony Dileva went out with a bang (and a bit of a hangover) as we tore it up at the house here before going to check out Luke Egan and the Billabong guys at OTW. Anthony was psyched to meet a few pros and get a tour of the house. It’s “Surf Night” tonight at Sunset Beach Elementary school which is across the Kam Highway from Pipe. The groms are psyching on free schwag and autographs. Waves were just overhead today and the swell was N/NE making for right point-like conditions from Rocky Point to Off The Wall. The trades are pretty stiff but it glassed off this evening and I just saw two dudes spilt the peak at Log Cabins and both get barreled. Sweet. Check out the photos from “The Eddie” Opening Ceremony. There are a few of Bruce Irons in there that are really powerful. Bruce flew over from Kauai for the ceremony and for many, it was the first time to see and talk to him since his brother’s passing. Hopefully for him it was good to see old friends. Click through to the next page for more…
Above: Thursday evening from the Off The Wall Area…
Dec. 2 10:37am. Just had a super fun session at Gums with Kiron Jabour, Tyler Newton and Tamayo Perry. Gums loves the N/NE swell, so does Log Cabins but to be honest that reef out there freaks me out. Dudes are getting barreled and pounded at the same pace. Mason Ho got donuts and now has a couple staples in his head, but according to a text from the little fella, “It’s all g brah!” You can’t keep a good man down! 7:30am. It was windy as all hell last night and the ocean is showing the effects of the all night blowjob (at least someone's getting some action). What looks like N/NE tradeswell is pushing rights down the beach from Rocky Point to Log Cabins. On the docket today we've got two things to do. First we'll go to Ehukai Beach Park and pay respects to fallen Tahitian surfer Malik Joyeux, who passed away while surfing Pipeline on this day five years ago. The swell was so heavy that day; doubling up over the first reef and dangerously shallow. Malik, who was as experienced as anyone in that kind of surf, most likely hit his head on his board and was knocked out underwater. Everyone in the lineup started looking for him in the channel, as that's the direction he would have been pulled, but it was a fruitless search for the better part of five minutes. The saddest thing I've ever seen was his brother, Teiva, sitting on the beach breaking down as the minutes ticked by. Malik was finally found but it was too late and Pipeline had claimed the life of another surfer. Rest in peace Malik, you're still missed and remembered. Geez, I made myself cry. Anyway, after Malik's memorial we're going to head to Waimea for the opening ceremony of the Quiksilver In Memory Of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational. I've been to this thing like ten years in a row and it never gets old seeing the world's greatest watermen gather and pay respect to the legendary lifesaver Eddie Aikau as they kick off the waiting period for this amazing event. Click through to the next page for more…
Wednesday, December 1st 3:30pm. I just interviewed Kaimana Jaquias for the upcoming “Now/Next” issue of TransWorld SURF. One of my questions was about the passing of Andy Irons and how that has affected him. He didn’t say anything for a bit then kinda smiled as he recalled his childhood hero. He told me that Andy was like his big brother and if it weren’t for him, he wouldn’t be headed in the direction he is now. “It still doesn’t seem real, bra. The King is gone and I just can’t believe it.”
11am. Had a fun surf at Off The Wall with New Era trading card contest winner Anthony Dileva. Anthony was pumped after Parko almost dropped in on him then apologized. He was also pumped when he got in Parko’s way in the inside and got a little glare from the Triple Crown points leader. What other sport can you mingle (and paddle battle) with the best in the world? It’s not like you can go take a few snaps with Philip Rivers and the boys…surfing rules. Off to Kahuku racetrack, hope the rain lets up. 7:30am. Just made a run to Starbucks and in five minutes ran into more pros and bros than my sleepy eyes were ready for. Now that I’ve got some caffeine in the veins things are starting to move… Big day today: The O’Neill World Cup Of Surfing is on at Kammies and Sunset Point/Val’s Reef, Fox is doing their “Mini Moto Surf Industry Challenge” at the Kahuku racetrack, and the swell has picked up a bit. There are some scattered showers but overall, looks like another day in paradise! Click through to the next page for more… Tuesday, November 30
3:30pm. A little birdie just told me that the O’Neill World Cup Of Surfing is going to run at Val’s Reef (inside inside Sunset) and Kammies. Double venues at two under the radar spots… Not sure how that will work for the Web cast, but we can find out at triplecrownofsurfing.com tomorrow morning. Above: Pretty cool little that shows a Hawaiian style Thanksgiving with Makua Rothman and Marcus Hickman guys.
Above: Pipeline reef inspection on Tuesday at noon with a GoPro. Hilton Dawe, Sasha Stocker, and Yadin Nicol make cameo appearances.
New Era Winner Congrats to 24-year old Anthony Dileva from San Diego! Anthony won the New Era ASP trading card contest and is posting up here on the North Shore with us for the week. While he's been to the North Shore before, he hasn't spent any significant amount of time out here and is frothing for some surf. Why anyone would want to stay with us in beyond me but he's here to have a good time and that's what we're all about so maybe it does make sense…
No Surf This time last year was absolutely bombing—I didn't step foot into the water for three days upon arrival for fear of getting swept away by an 80-foot wave. This year is a different story; after a great two-week run of surf the swell has vanished, leaving O'Neill World Cup Of Surfing contest officials with a bleak surf forecast. However, this is the North Shore and right when conditions lull you to sleep, an ass-kicker of a swell can pop up out of nowhere. Meeting The Neighbors Our neighbor here is North Shore lifeguard Johnny Angel, the only son of legendary waterman Jose Angel who passed away in the mid-seventies in a diving accident. Johnny came over for a beer or three and told us some incredible stories about his father, Eddie Aikau, and sailing the Hokuleia into Waimea Bay. After Johnny left, photographers Brian Bielmann and Tom Servais came over and we all sat back as they told tales of the North Shore in the 70s and early 80s. Apparently the house we're at used to be Surfer Magazine headquarters back in the day, and according to Servais, they used to whoop it up pretty good. Iceheads Strike One of the other magazines house was robbed the other day in broad daylight. The thieves, presumably a few lowlifes who smoke a form of crystal meth called "ice", made off with some camera gear and electronics after kicking in a window. That kind of shit happens all the time here—especially during Triple Crown season. Short of staying in your house all day, there's not much you can do and the cops are of no help. Aloha! What To Do? With not a lot of surf on the horizon, we'll be making a few missions to various little secret spots that pick up trade swell. Jesse Merle Jones has already challenged me to a heat at a certain spot on the Eastside. I told him I needed a few days to warm up. Stay tuned for the results of the first annual Pro Surfer vs. Editor Bloodbath… In the meantime, we're going to go snorkel the reef at Pipeline, I'll bring a GoPro and try to get a few clips. The Ranga Learns Pidgin Our video guy, Blake, who is also called "Ranga" for his red mop of hair, is here for his first time. Just a few days ago he didn't know what the word "haole" meant but after a few days staying with Jamie O'Brien and his entourage, the Ranga is dropping quotes like "Shoots bra!" and speaking pidgin with the best of 'em. I'm so proud of our little Ranga…