Longboards and paddleboards in summer surf

Gary Kewley
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Friday - August 03, 2007
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The 23rd annual China Longboard Surfing Classic at Queens Surf had some of the best waves in years
The 23rd annual China Longboard Surfing Classic at Queens Surf had some of the best waves in years

Aloha,, surfers and beachgoers! So much has happened the last week, it’s no wonder this summer is flying by. We’ve had back-to-back swells, which have been used up by the thousands. We’ve gone back to school, though there’s plenty more summer to go. We’ve finished up one more of China’s events at Queens as well as another Molokai to Oahu paddleboard race. We also had the Redwings Hand and Paepo boarding event at Point Panic. Plus, I heard about a body-boarding comp at Sandy’s ... I can’t keep up ... not!

The forecast reveals a lull this weekend, but there’s something for the upcoming week. Like most swells of summer it’s not going to be big by any stretch, but it’ll be enough to get us out there.

The 23rd annual China Longboard Surfing Classic had some of the best waves in years. The rights at Queens Surf could go on for ages, with the surfers doing about all you can imagine. Take a look at the photo from Jamie Ballenger and you’ll see what I mean. The water had that perfect offshore texture and green-blue hue - delicious. The guy is front is doing the SUP (Stand Up Paddle) surfing. With nearly 20 divisions you can bet the contest coordinators were very busy. But in the end it’s all for a great cause as well as fun for family and friends. All of China’s events support the community and this year it was Make-a-Wish Foundation. With great quality waves to match the cause, it’s easy to believe Mother Nature blessed it.

Oh my lord ... Jamie Mitchell triumphs for the sixth year in a row at the 11th annual Quiksilveredition Molokai to Oahu PaddleBoard race last Sunday. It was another world record, too ... four hours and 48 minutes, thanks to the sweet trades, currents and, oh yes, freakish ability. This grueling 32-mile trek is only for the most fit paddlers in the world.

Here you have the planet’s best with just a handful capable and bent on stopping Mitchell’s reign. What happens? Jamie proceeds to win by the largest margin ever - 26:37 ahead of fellow Aussie Bruce Taylor. I don’t know what this 30-year-old eats for breakfast, but someone had better figure it out if they ever hope to beat him. Taylor said “He’s a great paddler as it is, then he started doing this stuff ... He’s just too strong, you know? Just very, very strong. And mentally I just think he’s extremely tough. I’m happy for him.” OK, that’s what it is, the strength ... not the breakfast.

For the women, it was another Australian, 22-year-old Shakira Westdorp, in the race for the first time, who won the title in 5:59:52 over Hawaii’s Kanesa Duncan, a five-time winner. Kanesa, who’s dominated this event the likes of Mitchell, was 5 minutes back. This pair will likely be at it again next year.

The Redwings Memorial World Champs of Handboarding had fun waves at Point Panics. They didn’t think they’d score waves this weekend and were prepared for a “kanikapila barbecue”; however, the swell was a bit bigger than anticipated so they got it all. Most spots will break at 1 foot, but Panics needs minimum 3-foot energy to “crack.” Point Panic has to have a swell to hold a contest ... and it did. Congratulations to all the competitors, directors and helpers who keep this special form of wave riding alive.

That’s going to wrap it up for me this week. Since many students might be a little bummed about having to hit the books vs. hitting the surf, let’s finish off with our first “Surf Thought of the Week”:

Summer is a state of mind ... brought on by big offshore south swells, hot sunshine and sweet barrels. It’s quite similar to the saying “Old age is a state of mind ... brought by aching joints, graying hair and wrinkles.”

Lord knows we’ll take the first one. It has a better ring to it, plus, it feels better.

See you in the surf and back here next week in MidWeek.

GQ, Dropping in 4 U!

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