Summer Is Swell

Gary Kewley
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Friday - June 02, 2006
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Floridian Damien Hobgood clinched the Globe WCT Fiji title
Floridian Damien Hobgood clinched the Globe WCT Fiji

Aloha, surfers and beach-goers!

I write this on beautiful Memorial Day. It was a special weekend for sure as folks headed outside to enjoy our gifts of nature. We had 5-foot waves last Saturday from the NW! This is certainly an extra special gift considering we were at the end of May. Plus, we had 2- to 4-foot south swells all week long! Oh yeah, the weather was sweet, too!

Then there were two significant events which finished up the same day, Memorial Day. No. 1, the 21st annual Local Motion Surf Into Summer, and No. 2, the fourth World Champ Tour in Fiji ... Very cool. What else is cool is our free country. Thank you, veterans, past, present and future, for this gift.

Well, it’s official, we are now into the surf summer season of 2006. Sandy Beach was the spot and the Local Motion contest was the event. It’s been a tradition for more than two decades ... getting 300-plus of Hawaii’s best amateurs into the water at the start of our summer months. The “surf into summer” electrifies our sense of play time, warmer weather and bigger waves in town. You could feel the “stoke” just to be a part of it all. So many generations celebrated surf and sunshine together. The surf was 4 feet and best on Saturday, but then went down some. Still, there’s just something about that southeast sector I love. Sure, the waves. But that incredible coast line from Hanauma Bay to the Blow Hole, through Sandy’s and out toward Makapu’u ... the typical sideshore breezes and ocean textures. I guess the best word I can find is mana. There are times when the land’s spirit breathes ... and the power is awe-inspiring.

So there we were, surfing the weekend away. Here are some results. And the winners are: SHORT BOARDING : Menehune: 1, Koa Smith. Boys: 1, Keanu Asing. Junior Men: 1, Brennan Boudreau. Men: 1, Jensen Hassett. Masters: 1, Keli Everett. Senior Men: 1, Andrew Coutts. Girls: 1, Monica Byrne-Wickey. Women: 1, Helena Suehiro. BODYBOARDING Junior Men: 1, Travis Smith. Men: 1, Mark Gervacio. LONG-BOARD SURFING Men 30-younger: 1, Genki Kino. Men 31-older: 1, Gavin Hasegawa. Women: 1, Mimi Horiuchi. Now of course we know every contestant who helped kick off this summer surf is a winner!

Now let’s go to Fiji.

The guy who won it is now in third place in the world tour. His brother is a former world champ currently in ninth place. They happen to be identical twins - from Florida - and currently ranked higher than the Irons Bros. This makes them the most successful pair, literally, in surfing history. Who are they?

Meet the Hobgoods: Damien and CJ. Damien, a born-again Christian, won the Globe event at Tavarua Island last Memorial Day in perfect 6- to 8-foot lefts. Their competitive accomplishments are even more astounding when you consider the small inconsistent surf in Florida they were raised on. But then again, that theory is questionable. Why? Well, guess who else grew up on the relatively wimpy East Coast Florida surf? Kelly Slater. Yep!

We know that Andy and Bruce admit that being raised on the epic Kauai surf has been an advantage. But probably the main ingredient - besides raw talent - is sibling rivalry. You’re competing all the time. That’s an edge. Plus, you learn to make the most of the surf you have. These Hobgoods can surf just about anything, and are among the fastest surfers on the planet. They surf the heavy stuff, too. CJ had just won the event prior at Tahiti’s Chopo reef ... arguably the heaviest spot on tour - or on Earth. Congrats to these brothers and their continued success. Next up is Mexico June 20! Log on to it all at SURFNEWSNETWORK.COM

Hey, there’s plenty more great events/contests on the way. Next up is China Uemura’s 10th annual Surfing Classic benefiting the Sex Abuse Treatment Center of Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. Come on down to Kuhio Beach, Waikiki, June 2-4! Be a part of the great vibe and cause. You don’t have to surf, but either way, China’s contest always feels good.

I’ll see you in the lineup and back here next week! GQ, drop-pin’ in 4U!

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