Monster winter-end waves

Gary Kewley
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Friday - March 23, 2007
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Kekoa Cazimero cuts back at Kewalos
Kekoa Cazimero cuts back at Kewalos

Aloha surfers and beach-goers! We are officially into spring (March 21), and it feels like it now. But just about a week ago it felt like we were in the dead of the winter surf season!

The biggest swell of the season - and one of the biggest “sets” in years - closed out Waimea Bay

Kekoa Cazimero cuts back at Kewalos

Tuesday evening (March 13) at near 30 feet! Several sets had 25 feet (40 feet crest to trough). The sunset was hazy orange from kona winds and sea spray. The waves thundered and blasted 60-foot walls of white water against the Shark’s Cove reef. Mother Nature ruled as mere surfers challenged her lineup.

The bay was packed with 30 to 40 warriors with a few grateful to get in safely. Some waves carried six surfers at a time quickly down the steep face toward shore. Wipeouts were a normal occurrence - while some had brilliant moments of bravery and mastery.

The Tow Boys were out at outer “Logs” several hundred yards off between Waimea and Pipeline. There was so much water moving around one couldn’t help but feel small and insignificant. Regardless, these surf dudes know what they’re doing out there ... and they most certainly knew what they wanted: the biggest surf in the world. Well, they got what they wanted.

North Shore stalwarts Dave Wassel and Garrett McNamara rode some of the biggest waves seen in Oahu in years and - despite the challenging conditions - photographers Allen Mozo and Daniel Russo documented the extraordinary rides before darkness and a storm arrived. Ken Bradshaw was there, too, of course. In case you forgot, Ken - at the ripe old age of 45 - rode the biggest wave ever in 1998 right

here at the same spot. It was well over 60 feet in the face. Waves just get ridiculously big and thick out there.

One of today’s young guns is Dave Wassel. This fearless man took a neat 30-footer and pulled into the tube! YES ... and he made it out - catapulted himself into “legend status” in one fell swoop. All these moments came last minute for the Billabong XXL challenge.

Every year Billabong supports and awards incredible acts of surfing in the rare realm: 1) Biggest paddle wave, 2) Biggest tube, 3) Biggest Tow-In, 4) Overall Ride of the Year. See the event website at to view the latest video entries from Hawaii - and elsewhere around the globe.

The seventh annual Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards gala ceremony and party takes place April 13 at the Grove Theatre in Anaheim, Calif., and will be web-cast worldwide. More than $116,000 in prize money will be awarded to the top big-wave riders of the last year. The award nominees have been narrowed down and chosen. I wouldn’t want to have to pick from any of these winning waves. But if I had to ... I’d likely choose Hawaii.

Hey, the RVCA National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) is just finishing the regionals at this writing. It went off in small surf at Kewalos. These top-notch student surfers are the future of competitive surfing. I’m going to grab some interviews for next week’s edition and throw down some photos at SURFNEWSNETWORK.COM. Hawaii photographers rule this beautiful rock. Thanks to all who contribute to SNN and share our gifts of nature.

Different wave: Please show up and voice your opinion about the new “You’re going to pay for parking now” measure at Kaisers and Bowls off the Ilikai. If you do nothing you’ll get nothing and pay for what was once free. There will be a meeting by DLNR Boating Division on Wednesday, March 28 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Ilikai Hotel Conference Room. Hit up my website for more. Ill be there ... U 2!

Thanks, J/B, for the killer shot here and at!

Thanks to you for being here. GQ, dropping In 4 U!

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