Really Swell News

Gary Kewley
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Friday - October 06, 2006
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Aussie Joel Parkinson celebrates a win in France
Aussie Joel Parkinson
celebrates a win in France

Aloha, surfers and beachgoers!

Bam! Fall is in swing. What a week surfers had last week into the weekend! We had tons of fun with three days of 3-6 feet “Hawaii style.” The good thing about Hawaii’s fall, winter and spring seasons is the sheer consistency. The North Pacific hammers out many separate storms but there’s often one overlooked benefit. When we have a swell it usually comes up for a day before peaking, then it takes many days to drop - depending how big the peak is. For example, if a swell hits 10 feet on Monday, it typically drops a foot or two per day. That means Tuesday could be 6-8 feet, Wednesday 4-5, Thursday 2-3, Friday 1-3. One swell equals 6 days of sweet rides! That’s a good week in any surfer’s journal.

As far as the forecast, it’s not looking as big as our last couple swells (6 feet), but it might be medium small (2-4). That’s enough for plenty wave warriors to make the country trek. Even town isn’t over! Yep, you read that right - the models show a small south swell around Oct. 10 and even more to follow. It’s as if the summer of 2006 wants to steal the record for consistency. Be sure to get the latest forecast data at SURFNEWSNETWORK.COM. Long-range estimates are just that. But we’re getting pretty good. Plus, you’ll love our new Haleiwa surf cam - the first ever, and it’s free.

The Fosters ASP World Tour in Europe is moving at a whirlwind speed. The Quicksilver Pro just finished last week and they’ve already landed at Mundaka, Spain, for event No. 9 of 11. The holding period is Oct. 2-14. Then they get two weeks of rest before Brazil. Then the pros get a deserved one-month rest to psych up (or out) for the Vans Triple Crown’s third jewel, the Rip Curl Pipeline Masters.

It’s crazy, but it may very well be between Kelly Slater and Andy Irons again. The two most competitive guys on tour are going at it - again. It’s the greatest rivalry in our sport’s history (30 years this year). With a decade of titles between them, this is the stuff of legend. I can’t wait. The odds are in Slater’s favor at this point. But numbers are made to be manipulated, and Andy Irons has a Ph.D. in wave mathematics.

As of Oct. 1, ASP released the “World Title Possibilities” following the conclusion of the Quiksilver Pro, event No. 8 on the 2006 ASP. The number crunching is brutal for all top-raters trying to get Slater to slack.

World Title Possibilities are as follows: 1. Kelly wins Mundaka - Kelly wins world title.

2. Kelly gets second in Mundaka - Taj, Andy, Mick must win to keep the title race open.

Buzzy Trent, back in the day
Buzzy Trent, back in the day

3. Kelly takes third - Taj must get fifth, and Andy, Mick, Joel must place higher than Kelly.

From here on, Andy, Mick, Joel basically must continue to place higher than Slater, and Taj can place one place lower than Kelly to force a world title decision at Brazil in November. What kind of pressure does this put on a human being?

Hey, I’m nervous just writing about it!

The top 44 are a bunch of very talented surfers, any one of whom could win any event. How do the top guys stay there?

On a sad note, the surfing world lost one of its senior legends: Buzzy Trent. Buzzy was a rock-solid big-wave pioneer, especially at Makaha back in the ‘50s and early ‘60s. He came to Hawaii from San Diego in 1953 and quickly established himself as a fearless big wave charger. He, along with George Downing, conquered Big Makaha and paved the way for future generations of big wave riders.

Buzzy is the one who said that big waves are not measured in feet; they are measured in “increments of fear.”

That phrase is one that has always stayed with me. Buzzy was 77 years old.

GQ, dropping in 4 U!

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