Island girls who surf show their stuff

Gary Kewley
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Friday - August 22, 2008
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Carissa Moore
Carissa Moore shows her winning form in the shortboard of the Sea Hawaii Pro Am at Kewalos Saturday

Aloha, surfers and beachgoers! You must be smiling right now with all the sun, surf and action in the lineup. We are right in the thick of another southwest swell to be felt through the weekend. We are also into the last weekend of the seventh annual Duke’s OceanFest, which scored great waves all the way through! With more swells on the forecast and trades blowing though sunny skies, it will be easy to keep smiling!

Hawaii is definitely one of the most enthusiastic places on the planet for partaking in ocean competition. There are more than 200 events (surfing, paddling, fishing, canoeing and diving) annually, without a single weekend off that I know of. And that’s fine with me - just as long as I can keep up and keep surfing.

The Girls Who Surf and the Sea Hawaii/One Love Surf Shop events scored up to 5-footers at Kewalos Aug. 16. Kewalos is one of those spots that “funnel” wave energy, so they’re a foot bigger than the average break. The girls handled it beyond beautifully.

What a venue! You sit on the break wall 50 yards from the action ... and action there was! These ladies in the Pro Am side are our best in the Aloha State, and therefore the best in the world. With names like Carissa Moore, Naje’ Melamed, Aleesa Quizon, Crystal Dzigas, Leah Dawson, Alana Blanchard and others, you can’t go wrong. In fact, above-average scores were the norm the entire weekend. This wave often re-forms inside, allowing for those extra points, punts and carves.

The standout of the event in the pro division was none other than local phenom Carissa Moore, who won three separate events: short- and longboard, and the newest division, FLHI Girls Trick! The way some surfers rip - it all looks tricky to me!

Some amateurs of note were winners: Ashely Ahina on long-board, Shrutti Greenwood on shortboard, Christina DeLima on bodyboard. Congratulations to all the competitors for giving it their best. During this historical Olympic period, it’s easy to get pumped for personal records.

And a huge mahalo to Banzai Betty Depolito for her perennial support of women’s surfing, and to Cherrie Fu, contest director and owner of Girls Who Surf - take a lesson from them and score some stoke! Then see you next year winning some heats!

Duke Paoa Kahanamoku is smiling down upon his seventh annual OceanFest in Waikiki. He is likely pleasantly amazed at the record 20 separate events now taking place. It just keeps growing and growing and growing. So does the support of his foundation, which benefits our young Hawaii athletes. Yes, we are hopeful this will be another record year for the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation. Thank you, too, for helping.

One true classic and unchanging art form is tandem surfing. I hope you have the chance to see it. The HTSA or Hawaii Tandem Surf Association is making inroads to keep this tradition alive and well. Duke’s OceanFest is the perfect venue. Surfing as a partnership requires unique skill sets. The final result is beauty and athleticism. The first photo of this amazing sport was in the early 1920s! Now tandem is making a comeback and is here to stay. For more details ... you know the drill… log onto

Also, you can watch the Duke all live from your desktop computer - log on to

Again, mahalo for your support.

I’ll also post complete results for both the above competitions on The girl action can be found on FLHI Girls TV on OC-16 next month.

It’s hard to believe we’re in the final stretches of the great summer of 2008.

See you back here for the last week of August.

GQ ... dropping In 4 U!


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