Volcom Pufferfish Surf Series Kicks Off Season In Maui

August 14, 2008: – –  The new Pufferfish Surf Series season kicked off with a bang at Lahaina Harbor on Maui. Although there was no swell predicted in the forecast, we rolled up to the harbor to see some super rippable lines rolling through. We were as baffled as an Eskimo in a sand storm and were excited to get the event going.

The day ended up being all time, with some incredible shredding and cool vibes provided by Gavin Beschen who barbecued and hung with the kids all day. All in all, we couldn’t have picked a better way to start off the Pufferfish Surf Series.

The turnout was incredible with over a hundred Groms psyching harder than a frat guy at a toga party. We were blown away by the amount of people who came out and ended up running ten first round heats just for the little people in the Grom division. Despite their small stature, the groms competed like endurance runners, surfing four heats just to get to the final.

The strong came through in the end and seemed to be even more fired up in the final. Kaoli Kahokua flew all the way over from Kaui and looked like a major favorite for the win, but it was Ian Gentil’s stealth like approach and powerful surfing which snagged him a ton of gear, and the first place trophy. Ezekiel Lau, Dylan Walsh, Sheldon Paishon, and 10-year-old Imai Devault rounded out the rest of the final.

The Juniors hit the water so fast we thought they were giving away free plate lunches out the back. However, once they started surfing it was clear this was gonna be a high performance show for the record books.

These kids get better every year and were punting air reverses as casually as they pop the zits on their faces. It was a pretty nuts show of where surfing is headed with Tanner Hendrickson taking the win, and Makana Eleogram, Kyle Galtez, Dylan Goodale, Crusty Champs winner Albee Layer, and Baker Grant rounding out the final.

The Girl’s final looked hungrier than a mal nourished water buffalo and hit the water with sheer fury in their eyes. Despite Monyca Byrne Wickey’s best efforts, Lani Dougherty demonstrated the karate kid like focus it takes to win a VQS these days and was rewarded with first place, a killer trophy, tons of gear, and some serious bragging rights. Helena Suehiro, Kayla Eubank, Kulia Dougherty and Alicia Yamada rounded out the girls final.

In the Pro-Am division, the guys looked like ancient Greek warriors preparing for battle. The level of competition was out of hand creating some serious work for the judges. Matt Meola looked like the favorite after winning 100 dollars in the air show, but came up short in the final.

Wesley Larson also looked like a force to be reckoned with, throwing down an incredibly high voltage air reverse in the repo, shocking the judges, electrifying the crowd, and winning him the Electric Volt Thrower move of the day. Unfortunately for Larson, his aerial antics couldn’t get him the win over Jason Shibata who surfed like a smooth sneaky ninja to take the win.

Shibata’s smooth judo kicks and board breaking hacks won him $500 cash, the first place trophy and more loot than a serial bank robber. Buzzy Statner, Charlie Carroll and Kea Espiritu rounded out the rest of the final.

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1. Jason Shibata – $500
2. Matt Meola
3. Wesley Larson
4. Buzzy Statner
5. Charlie Carroll
6. Kea Espiritu

1. Tanner Hendrickson
2. Makana Eleogram
3. Kyle Galtes
4. Dylan Goodale
5. Albee Layer
6. Baker Grant

1. Ian Gentil
2. Kaoli Kahokua
3. Ezekiel Lau
4. Imaikalani Devault
5. Dylan Walsh
6. Sheldon Paishon

1. Lani Dougherty
2. Monyca Byrn Wickey
3. Helena Suehiro
4. Kayla Eubank
5. Kulia Dougherty
6. Alicia Yamada

Wesley Larson – $50