Aloha, Warren

Gary Kewley
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Friday - September 22, 2006
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Warren Bolster
Warren Bolster

Aloha, surfers and beachgoers! Wow, what a south swell we had last weekend into Tuesday! Being that it’s late September, it could and should be 2 feet or less, but noooooooooo - we had top sets pealing at 6 Hawaiian-style feet!

It seems the summer of 2006 won’t die, but alas, we do see the end of her days in sight. We have a small boost this weekend and even next, but October will finally spell the end of our “Bi-Polar” fall season. Bi-Polar is just a fun way to describe both Northern and Southern hemispheres pumping out waves (from “high and low” regions). Fall has kicked off sloooowly with a few 4-foot swells. Normally we’d have had “mo bigga” waves ... but we’ll take what we can get.

You just know the Northwest swells are coming! Plus, with a hint of an El Nino winter around December, it could be even better (bigger) than usual. In a simple view, El Ninos are warmer temperature fluctuations in surface water near the equator. This leads to a chain of events leading to more powerful storms that produce bigger waves. That’s the theory - now let’s see how Mother Nature rules when we get there.


So much has been going on in the surfing world. The Foster ASP World Tour just finished event seven at Trestles in California. An Aussie dark horse, Bede (Beed) Durbidge, beat Kelly Slater in the final. This was a major victory for Bede and a semi-upset for Slater. It’s not “major” because Kelly extended his lead in the tour with a respectable second place. It’s not “minor” because Kelly never wants to lose a heat ... ever. If he’d have won, Slater would have yet another world record in his book - more major event victories than Tom Curren. They both have 33. Oh yes, Tommy knows his record will be broken very soon. Only Slater could.

Friends and family celebrated the life of legendary photographer Warren Bolster at Kuliouou Park Sept 17, 2006
Friends and family celebrated the life of legendary
photographer Warren Bolster at Kuliouou Park Sept 17,
2006

The next event is the Quiksilver Pro in France, which kicks off its holding period today (Sept. 22) through Oct 1. After that, it’s off to Spain, then Brazil - then Hawaii, to finish off the year at the Vans Triple Crown and Pipeline Masters! I’m counting down - stoked!

Andy Irons is in third place, about 1,200 points behind “the man.” Watch the next comp live and get the ratings at - go ahead, make my day - find out everything surf at SURFNEWSNETWORK.COM.

Finally, last Sunday morning was beautiful. Family and friends shared Warren Bolster’s life at the beach. The sun was shining, the trades were blowing and the waves were pumping. Hauole and Michelle Reeves put together such a fitting tribute to this legendary photographer. Pastor Kawena led a wonderful service. It was intimate and near one of his favorite surf spots outside of Kuliouou Park.

Of course, there were tears, especially when the fine Hawaiian musicians sang Flying, but there was laughter, too. You can’t be a surfer/photographer without accu-

mulating hilarious stories. We have too many characters in surfing, and Warren was definitely a character. He was also intelligent; an intense man and intensely loyal. If he called you his friend it was an honor, and lifelong. With Warren, you knew where you stood.


Warren worked feverishly hard at his form of art, producing some of the best images ever captured on film. Not many realize that Warren was also hugely responsible for creating the hype for skateboarding and its trends of yesteryear. He was the man in skateboard photography.

For me though, it was his supreme display of the waves we ride. He was supremely gifted. And it’s sad that - as many gifted artists are - Warren seemed a tortured soul. Plus, he was in unbearable physical pain from decades of demanding work. But those who knew him well spoke so highly of him.

One of Pipeline’s best surfers, Tamayo Perry, said it perfectly: “Warren aspired to dream!” Indeed, he was a driven man and pursued his visions with all he had ... if all of us would dare to do the same.

Warren ended his pain on Wednesday Sept. 6. Yet in many beautiful ways this master artist will live on. Thank you, Warren, for your inspiration. God bless you and aloha.

I’m GQ, dropping in 4 U!

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