Forever Velzy

Gary Kewley
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Friday - June 24, 2005
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Aloha, surfers and beachgoers:

Wow! Dads scored last weekend on Father’s Day weekend. All Friday, Saturday and especially Sunday, the waves were just plain fun 5- footers with light to moderate trades. I guess, since we didn’t have our usual Mother’s Day swell, Dad had to step in for some back-up — thanks Dad!

Two’s a crowd on this three-footer in town during a recent south swell

Forward the time-tape to this weekend. It’s looking good for yet another round of South Shore juice. I have to say, this summer has been going great so far… Really great! In fact our first south swell came early — in the middle of April! We’ve had well over a dozen Southern Hemisphere “winter” storms, and these storms have sent “wave-trains” 5,000 miles up to Hawaii and graced our beautiful Leeward shores! Indeed, it’s winter time for New Zealand/Australia/Tahiti, and they have been getting Big Surf just like we do during our winter season. All I have to say to our neighbors Down Under is, “Keep it coming, mates!”

One of Hawaii’s best surf spots is Velzyland. aka V-Land. It’s a fast, shallow wave just north of Sunset Beach. V-Land is one of the most crowded and localized spots that is known to cause cuts and scraps — and not just from the sharp reef. The guy behind the name is Dale Velzy. Dale passed on to bigger, better waves on May 26 at 77 years young. The thing about Mr. Velzy was his style and boldness. He was a man of firsts. Back in the ’50s nobody really thought of putting logos and top surfing athletes on surfboards as a marketing tool. This guy was “branding” before the term existed. He was the first commercial surfboard manufacturer, and he got rich from it… But Dale was a surfer first. That’s why more than 2,000 came to pay their respects at Dale’s memorial service in Southern California a couple Tuesdays ago. Some say it was the largest gathering of Surf Culture legends ever. Another cool fact is the Surfing Heritage Foundation had 300 leis flown in from Hawaii that morning. But that’s not all folks! Howz about 50 pounds of ‘V-Land sand’ wrapped in 400 tea leaves. The leis and sand were taken out into the water at Doheny State Beach. Hawaiian leis and sand instead of ashes — now that’s style. That’s Dale Velzy!

Hey, the USA Surfing Championship is set to go off at Huntington Beach June 27- July 2. Hawaii will have its topnotch competitors representing from HASA, the Hawaii Amateur Surfing Association. I’ll keep you posted right here.

Finally, we have an International Surfing Day. Looks like Surfing Magazine is taking initiative and honors by grabbing a day to surf and give back a little. It’s appropriate that June 21, the Summer Solstice, is the daySo every year we push the heights of our ocean awareness just by grabbing our boards to surf and grabbing a piece of trash to clean up. Simple. Why not? Your favorite beach deserves it! You can bet that the team at and 596-WAVE will be on hand and foot! See you at your favorite spot and back here next week for more surf stoke and surf talk.

I’m GQ, droppin’ in 4 U!

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