Getting ready for summer swells

Gary Kewley
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Friday - June 27, 2008
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Kamu Auwae stepping into first place in the Shaka Longboard Series 2 at Queen's June 22
Kamu Auwae stepping into first place in the Shaka Longboard Series 2 at Queen’s June 22

Aloha, surfers and beachgoers, Here’s the last weekly surf installment for June.We’ve had two small-to-moderate south swells to keep things fun and rideable through the weekend.What a blast it’s been this spring season. That last run of surf went nearly three weeks - one of the longest in a decade.

Those I’ve talked to are worried that their hopes may get dashed come July and August. Why? Well, in summers past the waves were actually better in spring. Right about when the summer solstice arrived (around June 21) the surf went south, as in down. It’s just not supposed to do that, you know? But it has happened for several seasons. It was like Mother Nature pulling a fast one and rearranging the furniture.

So what’s it going to be this summer of 2008? Heck if I know! But, if I had to make a claim, I’d say it’s not going south - it’s going north, as in up! So stay waxed and ready. I can already tell you this for sure: There are two swells hitting for the first week of July. They’re coming up from between Australia and New Zealand, better known as the Taz Sea.

The problem here is that the Taz swells get “shadowed” or blocked by those South Pacific islands like Fiji (more than 300 islands). This takes a lot of spunk off that energy needed to travel up about 4,000 miles. Not that these storms aren’t huge.

Fiji will be over 15 feet by the time MidWeek hits your home. That’s warning levels of 25 feet crest to trough. If this same storm tracked off the east coast (vs. west) of New Zealand, where no shadowing occurs, we’d get over 6 foot local-scale waves.

But, alas, Hawaii will likely see 2 to 3 feet at top spots’ top sets. Google-Earth it or just look at a map to get your south surf geography down.

The forecast really can’t go beyond two weeks for those south swells. There’s one week of travel time plus one week of actual model output. So, let’s say the models point to a new storm in five days. You just add about five to seven days to that, depending on exactly where it spawns. Add ‘em up and mark your calendar. Or just go to SNNHAWAII.COM. Warn your boss that you have plans to be sick - or just tell them that morning “something came up.” And don’t blame me if they don’t think you’re funny.

Hey, I was just watching SNN team reporter Banzai Betty’s new show on OC16 last Monday night at 9:30 p.m. It was the debut of her latest venture in TV. The 30-minute show is called FLHI GIRLZ and it’s really good. The MC Kori Harvey has a ton of spunk and personality, and the show covers our incredible wahine ocean sports population. Of course, there’s surfing stuff, but there’s also paddling, canoe regattas, skate boarding - even motocross - environmental issues, education and more. It’s all about the girls and their smiles as they live our ocean life to the fullest. Keep an eye out as this one’s going to go off the hook!

The events schedule is nuts ... just finished up the HIC “All Military Surf Classic” June 21 at White Plains. They had fun waves and weather. Congrats to Dee Marques and Shawn Clamlee, our longboard champs; and Elijah Gates, winner of the open short boarders 12 and under. Also kudos to EJ Mitsui, Pat Buckley, Nike Estencion, Kawehi Whitford, Marciano Whitford, Johnnie Dodge and Herb Pruse for winning each of their respective divisions. See you next summer solstice.

The Steinlager Shaka Longboard Series 2 finished June 22, in ripable 2-foot waves at Queen’s Surf break. The sun and cloud mix just made the water pristine. And, of course, the performances were world class. Winning over the 32 pros was Waianae’s Kamu Auwae, who was rewarded with $1,200. Also, another name we hear lots recently especially in the SUP category is Ikaika Kalama; he took first in the last two minutes of the final. Kamu takes top overall honors with second place in the Stand Up - he’s a great overall waterman and competitor.

For complete results, hit it to SURFNEWSNETWORK.COM.

I’ll catch you catching waves and back here next week!

Mahalo to for the great shot of Kamu getting ready to hang five. Be sure to see his website.

Aloha, GQ ... Dropping In 4 U!


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