Gary Kewley
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Friday - September 29, 2006
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“Be sure to give just a little bit of R.E.S.P.E.C.T. to the one deepest and closest to the curl ...”
“Be sure to give just a little bit of R.E.S.P.E.C.T. to the one
deepest and closest to the curl ...”

Aloha, wave warriors!

It looks like our first real northwest swell of the fall season is almost upon us. Late Friday and into Saturday, country will be rockin’and our boards knockin’. This is the time we all begin our winter surf programs. Hallelujah - there’ll be solid 6-foot waves (and bigger) through the weekend from the famed Sunset Beach to Ali’i Beach Park. Oh yeah, it’s going to be crowded, so please show respect. It’s been getting more crowded with more wave (and turtle) lovers every passing year. So, just like the sign says: “please don’t disturb the turtles” (at Laniakea) ... “please don’t disturb your fellow surfers.”

As we kick into high surf gear and the big competitions, it’s a good time to discuss R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (to quote Aretha Franklin). Sure, we all respect the ocean’s power to hurt and the pros’ ability to perform ... but what about our respect for each other out there on a regular day of riding waves?

Sometimes surfing can be miserable if the “vibe” or behavior of one person sucks; the whole session can be changed for the worse by one simple act of disrespect. Take the “cut-off,” for example. This is the guy (or girl) who drops in front of you when you’re deepest or closest to the curl. Of all “regulations” of surfing, this is king. I mean, the rule is so simple, but it’s abused daily somewhere. But this same “cut-off” wouldn’t cut in front of someone (or you) at the store ... or at the pump, right? All in all, “dropping in” on a surfer is an act of disrespect (Aretha would be ticked). Now, if it’s friends and you’re all just playing around and having a good time ... no issue. But in the real world it’s the stranger who counts - your character is often measured by how you treat someone you don’t know ... especially when no one else is watching.

Ultimately, surfing (as well as most sport) is meant for fun ... whether it’s for healthy exercise, simple play or serious competition. And just like in the “real world,” we must have laws to make having fun possible. Think of the chaos if there were no rules of the road? How many people would die from car crashes? Take a card game without any rules - you may as well forget about even shuffling the deck.

Let’s protect surfing - it’s one of the most fun sports known to human kind! So let’s be kind - be respectful. Wikipedia’s definition of respect: “an attitude of acknowledging the feelings and interests (and waves) of others ...” And last, but not least, one of the “urban dictionary” submissions: “It means valuing each others points of views (and waves). It means being open to being wrong (saying sorry and kicking out). It means accepting people as they are (geeks or pros). It means not dumping on (cutting-off) someone because you’re having a bad day. It means being polite and kind always, because being kind to people is not negotiable. It means not dissing (putting down; being disrespectful) people because they’re different than you (or catching your perfect set wave).”

Two’s a charm for Team Bradley - they won the Na Wahine O Ke Kai again this year and last. Big congratulations to all the tough, disciplined wahines for making the 41-mile trek across the G-narliest channel in Hawaii. Plus, special mention to the girls of Hui Lanakila Canoe Club, who made a valiant effort to beat the all-star crew of Team Bradley but came up 16 seconds short! Apparently, the closest finish in Na Wahine O Ke Kai’s race history. Wow! Ladies - you simply rock! Be ready to back up da boyz on Oct. 8 for the Moloka’i Hoe!

Next week we should have results for the Quiksilver Pro in France. The Xcel Pro and The Vans Triple Crown are getting closer! Stoked! I’ll be giving complete coverage at SURFNEWSNETWORK.COM and 638-RUSH!

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