Ho, Boy!

Gary Kewley
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Friday - January 12, 2007
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Mason Ho caused many upsets on his way to meeting the winner of the event, Jordy Smith, in the semis at the 2007 Billabong World Junior Championships in Sydney, Australia, Jan 7.
Mason Ho caused many upsets on his way to meeting the
winner of the event, Jordy Smith, in the semis at the 2007
Billabong World Junior Championships in Sydney,
Australia, Jan 7.

Happy New Year, surfers and beachgoers!

Oh yes, we can still wish this for one another. If you’ve gotten in a good surf and/or have renewed your stoke - that’s a Happy New Year! If we can start our day over at any moment ... we can start our year over again - anytime. At least, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!

First Wave: So it looks like the BIG surf is starting again ... this will be our second swell over 10 feet in 2007. We had some medium-sizers early in the week, but that weather was lame. Now skies are getting back to normal to complement our high surf advisory for NW shores. This won’t be at the “warning level” of 25 feet in the face, but it will be plenty BIG ... maybe up to 18 feet crest to trough or about 10 HSF (Hawaii scale feet). In case you missed it, I’d like to remind you that HSF is scientifically valid thanks to the work of Pat Caldwell and Larry Goddard. Surfers have used it to communicate accurately and consistently for many decades, and the numbers prove it - cool. At SURFNEWSNETWORK.COM you can get both scales on the front page for clarification and preference.

Second Wave: As this heads to your home we might be ON with the Rockstar Games Pipeline Pro 2007 Jan. 6-16. This Thursday through Saturday should be epic for the world’s best body boarders. Do not miss out on what they will do at the Pipe. It’s amazing. Call 596-SURF for off/on status.

Third Wave: There are a lot of new kids in town, but I’d like to make special mention of one whose name is Mason Ho. North shore rez Mason just finished up his good performance at the 2007 Billabong World Junior Championships in Sydney, Australia on Sunday, Jan. 7. The guy who beat him in the semis was 18-year-old Jordy Smith ... Smith went on to win the event. Jordy is South Africa’s most promising talent in years ... He was also the Vans Triple Crown Rookie of the Year. More on Jordy later ... He’s going to be around awhile making established pros nervous.

If Mason Ho has any say about it, he’ll enjoy making the top touring pros nervous in future years, too. The 17-year-old has good genetics going for him - his dad is none other than Michael Ho and his uncle is world champ Derek Ho.

The stats between these two legends are ... well ... legendary. Michael dominated the North Shore surf scene for three decades ... no, that’s not a typo! For 30 years Michael was arguably one of the best, most competitive surfers in the heaviest waves on earth. Not bad for a man who’s 5-feet-5-inches tall and about 140 pounds! He was a top 16 World Touring pro for 10 years and ranked No. 3 in 1978!

Derek Ho pulled the No. 1 spot for him and his bro in ‘93 ... the first Hawaiian ever to win a World Championship. Between them, they own six Vans Triple Crowns (they won the first four years in a row ‘83-‘86). Three Pipe Masters (Michael won in ‘82 with a cast on his arm!) and, of course, a World Title. But more than these amazing records are their reputations for being all-around amazing surfers day after day, year after year ... wave after wave.

So if Mason has any say, he’ll keep the Ho Dynasty alive for years to come. He’s got great sponsors (Etnies just signed him) and is winning events (Macy’s E-Series ProAm). He won the Rip Curl Gromsearch in November. He’s planning to work his way through the WQS (world qualifying series) then blast his way into the WCT (world championship tour) for a run at the title ... and why not? He’s got great, great mentors, like Dad and Uncle, and also locals like Andy Irons.

We’ll be keeping an eye out for Mason this year.

I’ll keep an eye out for you here next week in MidWeek! Thanks for being here!

I’m GQ, Dropping in 4 U!

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