Looking forward to North Shore swells

Gary Kewley
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Friday - October 10, 2008
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Kelly Slater has already won his record-breaking ninth world title

Howzit, surfers!

Here’s the first surf installment for Rocktober - and we are rockin’. The endless summer continues with plenty south swells to stay wet. We have seen entire months of June, July and August worse than this October. We have actually averaged 1-3 feet so far, and there’s more to come from the Land Down Under. It’s called the “austral spring” and refers to the Southern Hemisphere (our fall, their spring; our winter, their summer). Even the storms spin in the opposite direction of ours up here north of the equator. Oh, if you’re really paying attention, even their toilets flush clockwise. Not to worry; they work just as well as ours. Thankfully, this opposite spin works for the surf, too.

So just a quick review for you: Lows (storms that make clouds and waves) spin counter clockwise in the North Pacific and highs (winds that make sunshine and trades) spin clockwise.

It’s a wonderful time when all shores can be firing in the fun zone. Actually, country could be coming up real nice this Sunday and Monday. It should be fall’s biggest yet - near advisory levels of 15 feet crest to trough. Some models are somewhat mixed at this point so ... We’ll keep eagle eyes on it with the best team of observers in Hawaii nei. Just log on to snnhawaii.com and that’ll take you to surfnewsnetwork.

You know it’s just a matter of time before winter-caliber waves take over that infamous stretch of beach known the world over as the North Shore. This mecca of surfing never disappoints ... overall. Oh sure, there are times when you have off and the surf does, too, but if you tally the scores and average them out over four months, country gets the most consistent and sizable waves anywhere in the world. Add a big period to the end of that sentence.

Another guarantee: This phenomenon attracts the best surfers on the planet. The entire Association of

Surfing Professionals’ season ends at Pipeline - and for good reason. Their chances are superb for a breathtaking finale. The Vans Triple Crown will have you standing on your feet at one point or another.

And while Kelly “Cloud 9” Slater already has his ninth world title under his board, you can bet your quiver he wants to finish off No. 1 at Pipe, too.

But you can bet Andy Irons, Jamie O’Brien and a few other local Pipe Masters legends want to stop him. I can’t wait!

I like to get ahead of myself. Well before the Vans goes down in history, the 25th annual Xcel Pro will start it all off Oct. 26 through Nov. 10. Indeed, this is the official kickoff to the entire season of big-wave riding competitions. The venue is none other than jump-and-jacking Sunset Beach. The playing field is the largest and trickiest of any spot on earth. This is exactly why the best surfers love it - if you come close (and you can only come close) to mastering this place, you are ... well, a master of surfing.

Ed D’Ascoli will be on hand for the 25th time. Oh, yes, though he sold his Xcel baby to Billabong last year, he’s still going to be a little clingy. His wet-suit company is one of the best out there. Ed and his team have worked together to win top awards (I own the Xcel Infinity and it is the best), beating out the likes of O’Neil, Ripcurl and Quiksilver! It truly has been Ed’s most Xcel-lent adventure. Don’t miss my interview with Ed next week, and most definitely don’t miss the contest: http://www.xcelwetsuits.com/surf.

See you out in the Xcel-lent lineup and back here next week for an Xcellent interview.

GQ ... dropping in 4 U!

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