Seeking South Shore juice

Gary Kewley
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Friday - May 04, 2007
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Leleo Kinimaka dominated the stand-up paddle division
Leleo Kinimaka dominated the stand-up paddle division

Howzit, surfers!

Time to grab what surf there is as next week doesn’t promise much action. It’s definitely looking like spring/summer with South Shore juice matching the North Shore. Of course, country can easily show town who’s the boss as she did last June. Forgot? Try 8- to 12-foot perfection from Leleo Kinimaka dominated the stand-up paddle division the West. I, along with many others, claimed it was one of the best swells of the entire winter season - in June! Now don’t get your hopes up because that one was as rare as they come.

But there’s no lull in the surf competition world. Check last week’s list at under sports or log on at my SNN surf calendar.

We just finished up with the first event of the Steinlager Shaka Longboard Series at Sunset Beach, and World Tour event No. 3 is just getting under way in Tahiti for the Billabong Pro, May 4-14.

Hawaii has been in need of a local longboard “series”! It’s where surfers get to add up several events over a year to create an overall champion like the Pro Tour. It makes sense for Hawaii as the “Birthplace of Surfing.” It’s our culture. The old series was called HLF (Hawaii Longboard Federation), which bowed out several years ago. This left a void for the thousands upon thousands who love the longboard style and those who enjoy consistent competition.

That void is now being filled by the new Steinlager Shaka Longboard Series! They’ve got five events lined up between last weekend and Sept. 16.

As a part of the series, they also have “C4 Waterman” presenting the Stand-Up Paddle Surfing. This adds a new exciting aspect to the look and feel of this whole deal. C4 Waterman makes the paddles for the big boards they stand on.

Let me tell you that the level of this discipline is exploding. When you first try “stand up” style you plop and flop like a fish on either side of the board. These guys in the finals are doing floaters, cutbacks, roundhouses, off the lips, bottom turns and more. Amazing!

The concept behind C4 or Core 4 is the four disciplines of a waterman 1) Balance 2) Endurance 3) Strength and 4) Tradition. Cool. The guys behind the sport are core, indeed: Brian Keaulana, Todd Bradley and Mike Fox. The goal is simple: to teach respect for the ocean and our sport and to extend the culture and camaraderie of true watermen.

I’m planning to increase my C4 quota this month. We get only one summer of ‘07. Plus, I think it’s going to be a good one for waves. Can’t wait to see what happens!

So the action/results were as follows: Leleo Kinimaka from KailuaKona opened up the 20-minute heat from the outside as he dissected the break from start to finish with huge lip-snapping maneuvers and power cutbacks for a commanding early lead, and never let up in dominating the competition for first place. Trailing close behind, Makaha shaper Dave Parmenter held his own as he rode waves from the outside - lacerating the ledgy inside shelf to stay right with the leader as he finished runner-up. Brian Keaulana surfed brilliantly throughout the first two rounds, but could not find enough backup scores and ended in third. His nephew Nolan Keaulana put in a solid backside performance for fourth place.

Oh yeah, let’s not forget about the division that starts it all. Local North Shore veterans in the pro division took advantage of wave knowledge of Sunset as both Robin Johnston and Garrett McNamara made the most out of the break.

Kekoa Auwae from Waianae and Ewa Beach competitor Isaac Kaneshiro showed off the hotly contested mid-afternoon Pro final with lip-launching hits and roundhouse cutbacks. All four competitors showed high-performance wave-riding. In the end, Kaneshiro, a shortboarder and weekend longboard enthusiast, took out the field with Auwae, a veteran on the longboard scene, finishing second. Rounding out the final was tow-in and big-wave surfer Garrett McNamara in third and North Shore shaper Robin Johnston finishing fourth.

OK, that’s it for this week in MidWeek! Thanks for reading. See you standing on your board and back here next week! Mahalo to Jamie Ballenger of for the sick photo of Leleo (wish that was me).

GQ ... dropping in 4 U!

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