Summer Surf Kickoff

Gary Kewley
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Friday - May 26, 2006
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Three-time world champion Andy Irons posted a strong win over Fijian Ratu Aca in round 2 of the Globe WCT Fiji
Three-time world champion Andy Irons posted a strong win
over Fijian Ratu Aca in round 2 of the Globe WCT Fiji

Howzit, wave warriors!

It’s been a good week for waves again. The south swell that hit last weekend peaked at 4 feet but lasted four days with tons of 3-foot sets (head high) ... Remnant 2-footers can still be seen ... More good news, too! Another small to medium 3-foot SSW and SSE swell hits this weekend and lasts through Memorial Day. Perfect timing for the 21st annual Local Motion Surf Into Summer at Sandy Beach. The official kickoff of Hawaii’s summer surf season 2006 is here! Don’t miss it.

The event couldn’t have timed it better. Trades should be returning to normal, and so far it looks like nice weather. Stoked! All contestants can call the contest “comp” line for heats, entries and stuff at 526-6047. Everyone can check the conditions at 638-RUSH and 596-SURF. We expect a great turn out of 300+ surfers of all ages to wax it up and rip it up. There’s short- and long-boarding plus body-boarding. Free Surf Mag and Board Stories will be on hand to capture the moments forever.

Sandy’s is such a good arena for a surf fest-contest; loads of spectators can pile up close to the action. The wave is very demanding, however. It’s not as clean and perfect as Bowls can get. You gotta find those “power-pockets” to generate your speed; this is where the big moves come. There’s “g-narly” coral heads and very shallow areas to make things interesting. The wave can come from many directions all at once. Plus, Sandy’s often has side shore chop to trick-up a few hot shots. Sandy Beach locals will have an advantage. But these days good surfers can ride a variety of conditions; anything can and will happen.

The Surf Into Summer had its inaugural event way back in ‘85 at Queen’s. It grew so big (more than 500) that two heats had to go simultaneously in two competition zones. So in 2000 Local Motion opted to scale things back and move to Ala Moana Bowls lefts; they all just had a blast from Magic Island across the Ala Wai channel. Now in light of the recent “water purity” issues, all the sponsors decided not to take any chances and head East to a very special spot - one that holds a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for ... ready? ... the most spinal injuries! So when you head out this Memorial Day weekend remember to be careful! The shore break is unforgiving and can really hurt you! Don’t be fooled by how locals seem to defy gravity and death. They’ve been at it a long time. There’s an art to riding these sand grinding barrels. The most dangerous size is 3 feet because this is when most injuries happen. I guess, folks “think” they can handle. However, this is when it’s the most shallow. Remember this: A 3-foot wave at Sandy’s shorebreak has the power of a 5- or 6-foot wave elsewhere. It often and quickly dumps this energy onto hard sand. OK? OK!

Lastly, I’m so pumped! There hasn’t been an event this size on this South-East sector of Oahu since ... remember? ... the Gotcha Pro in the late ‘80s! Yikes! Some of today’s competitors would have been just a gleam in their father’s eyes. My, how time passes when we’re surfing our lives away ... having fun.

How’s things going in Fiji on the Fosters ASP World Tour? Unreal - again! It’s winter down there and so the surf is big and perfect - again. Fiji is at about the same latitude as the top part of Australia. Warm, delicious surf for our spoiled surf stars (yes, I’m just jealous). Take a look at Andy Irons’ wave ... that thing is going to fire fast for 200+ yards ... can he make it? Even the best can sometimes get left behind. Luckily he did make it, and moved into the third round after this heat. Kelly Slater had to bow out after his rib injury in Tahiti. This is Andy’s chance to catch up. Click into the energy at SURFNEWSNETWORK.COM.

It’s a great time to be alive - to be a surfer. Thank you very much for being a part of it all ... by being here right now. I’ll see you at Sandy’s and back here next week in MidWeek. GQ, dropping in 4 U!

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