Bodyboard Daredevils

Gary Kewley
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Friday - January 05, 2007
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Jamie O’Brien has won this event before — will he do it again?
Jamie O’Brien has won this event before — will he do it

Happy New Year, surfers and beachgoers!

Wow, what a kick-off for 2007! We had a solid 15-foot (local Hawaii scale) swell on the second day of the new year. Pipeline was washing out but still “chargeable” for the body-boarding hell-men ... crazy! These dudes were really the only ones doing it in the morning hours.

Let me “claim it” for these brave guys on these soft little wave-riding vehicles: They are world-class athletes and dare-devils. Bodyboarders are in a slight down time biz-wize, while board surfers are in a bull market. But don’t let this take away from what bodyboarders are risking every BIG day. They are progressing for the love of it. And for those of you who doubt them ... just paddle out at 10- to 15-foot Pipe - or ask 10X Pipeline bodyboard champ Mike Stewart. Mr. Mike was voted one of the top 10 best tube riders ever at the Banzai back in the ‘80s. Those who voted? Well ... they were world touring board surfers, many who were Pipe Masters themselves! No, I don’t bodyboard ... ‘cause when I watch these maniacs lip launch 10 feet out on 10-foot Pipe, I don’t wanna. But my hat’s off ... Keep charging, bodyboarders!

The forecast calls for a semi quiet period from the 15-foot stuff, but we’ll get plenty size around Jan. 12. Remember, we have two more months for the GIANT surf. In fact, the Bank of Hawaii North Shore Tow-In Surfing Championships outside Haleiwa Harbor has its holding period through March 31.

Who’s going to make it at the Rockstar Pipe Pro Jan. 6-16? See bodyboarders try it, too!
Who’s going to make it at the Rockstar Pipe Pro Jan.
6-16? See bodyboarders try it, too!

The Quiksilver/Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invite has its holding period through the end of February. The Quiksilver needs an average of 20 feet at Waimea - this means a 15- to 25-foot swell, or waves that are four-stories high. The Bank of Hawaii Tow Event wants something bigger (the Bay closing out) so it won’t conflict when “Eddie would go.”

These huge swells are tricky to forecast as the waves have to be big and clean and last a full day of competition. I’ll let you know on or off on the SURFNEWSNETWORK web-site, 596-SURF and 638-RUSH.

We have another two events to go BIG at the Pipe! It’s the Rockstar Games Pipeline Pro 2007 Jan. 6-16. It combines board surfing and body boarding. Stoked! The International Bodyboarding Association (IBA) World Tour will show you exactly what I was talking about earlier. It’s a “don’t miss” event. If you heard about the finals in the Ripcurl Pipe Masters but missed out, then here’s your chance to make up. There’s no better venue for surf spectators than on the beach at Ehukai. We have a BIG one coming within the holding period, so it’s guaranteed to go off the hook. Come early as traffic can get you. You know where to go for OFF/ON status.

Hey, to celebrate the contest, T&C Surf will host a special autograph session on Sunday, Jan. 7 at Ala Moana’s Centerstage. From noon to 2 p.m. the public is invited to meet and greet the world’s top body-boarding pros! Shake hands with legends Jeff Hubbard, Mike Stewart and other pros. In addition to the autograph session, T&C Surf will be on stage with KCCN FM 100 giving away bodyboards, tossing out fins, leashes, board bags and more! An after-party will follow the event at the Mai Tai Bar at Ala Moana Center. Visit for updates or stop in at any T&C Surf store.

I’ll see you at Centerstage, in the surf and back here next week. Be ready!

GQ, dropping in 4 U!

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