NSSA Regionals, HASA and the Ripcurl Pro

Gary Kewley
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Friday - March 21, 2008
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Keanu Asing
Keanu Asing moved into round three with this ride. Our regional NSSA champs will head to Trestles in June

Aloha, surfers and beachgoers!

The perfect pattern I described last week is pau for now.It was truly a legendary run of perfection.You see, the jet stream - our “steerer of storms” - has broken to pieces. It’s going to break our tender, spoiled hearts in the process. The jet doesn’t look anything like it had for the last month. It was a large consolidated flow of upper air currents from Japan to east of Hawaii and just about 1,000 miles north. This kept a progression of storms moving nearby,pushing out tons of surf.Now the wave machine has shut down. There’s a large “blocking"high pressure sitting up there.With the exception of a couple northbound dips under the gulf for north swells, there’s no more WNW on the charts next week or beyond. I hope you caught some of that last swell.Yes, nothing good lasts forever ... heck, nothing lasts forever.I’ll just try to ride it out with as much grace, skill and courage as I can muster ... after I sit on the pity pot.

The good news is the south swell machine has kicked up a notch - BAM! There’s a round robin of a half-dozen small to moderate 2- to 3-foot swells.What great timing for the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) regionals! More than 150 of Hawaii’s best recently converged on Kewalos to see who’s going to Trestles in June for the U.S. championships! The best, the brightest and most ambitious youth practicing for a pro surfing career ... or anything they set their minds to. Very cool. The results will be posted here and at SURFNEWSNETWORK.COM.

Also happening simultaneously was the Hawaii Amateur Surfing Association (HASA) event No. 8 at “Flies”(Kakaako Beach Park) last Saturday. Let me interject that our rippers were very lucky to have any surf at all this time of year. Though waves were struggling for any 3-footers, our best amateurs showed why they compete - because they can. The competitive season is winding down ... or should I say up to the Burger King State Surfing Championships June 12-15 at Ala Moana Bowls. Before that,we gotta run at Sandy’s for No. 9, and at Kewalos for No. 10. Then it’s the whopper of all HASA surfing events. Here’s the new HASA hotline: 262-2488 ... perfect for any last-minute adjustments. Log onto HASASURF.ORG. I also have the schedule posted on the SNN calendar. Thanks to Burger King for all its support. Mahalo to HASA president Wendall Aoki and his tireless crew for always being there for our kids. HASA’s goal is promoting the sport and focusing the abundant energy of Hawaii’s surfing youth.

Last but not least ... we have a world-class event happening right now that plays into the dreams of many of our serious local surfers described above. It’s what they fantasize about - being a world touring pro! The Ripcurl Pro in Victoria, Australia, is contest No. 2 out of 11 on the men’s 2008 Fosters World Championship Tour (WCT). Our women have eight total events from which to crown their champ. This Bells contest is the longest-running pro event in surfing history (late ‘60s), and it’s the only contest where the winners get to “ring the bell.“It’s what some tout as the holy grail of pro surfing (gotta love those promo dudes). It does have a great amphitheater from the cliffs. Plus, when the wave is on, it’s a long right-hander suited for extreme ripping and roping. The defending champ is Aussie Taj Burrow. The names of past champs tell you something vital - that who rings the bell can likely be the world champ: Slater, Irons, Fanning, Garcia, Occhilupo, Hardman, Lynch, Curren, Potter, Carroll, Richards. These core guys have 27 years of world titles among them! The ASP began 32 years ago in 1976. That’s about 85 percent of all titles.What is it about that darn Bell? Oh, by the way ... Torquay is the birthplace of Ripcurl and Quiksilver! Watch it live at RIPCURL.COM and see who’ll be on their way to being the 2008 champ!

GQ, dropping In 4 U!


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