Summer Surf Memories

Gary Kewley
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Friday - September 08, 2006
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It’s been a great summer on the South Shore, and the North Shore is already cranking
It’s been a great summer on the South Shore, and
the North Shore is already cranking

Howzit, surfers?!

We’ve got good news on both sides of the blue Pacific! We have our first signs of fall with the first North swell of the new season ... and we have yet to see our South swells disappear. In fact, if you’re holding this article down at the beach on Thursday 9/7, look out to sea ... there’s a fun 2- to 3-plus-foot SSW swell! There’s even one right behind to keep the weekend warriors stoked. If it’s Sunday 9/10, and you’re late grabbing this issue of MidWeek ... go North, my friend! We should be getting some 4-foot waves in the country. Ah, waves along every corner - a surfer’s dream come true ... plus, it spreads the crowds out.

The fact that Town is still catching waves late in the season is making it easier to say goodbye to the summer of 2006 - and what a summer it was! We had at least some kind of swell most of the time (over a dozen in all). So all in all, in my humble opinion, it was one of the best “Fun-Fests” in over five years. Just look at that photo of us at Duke’s OceanFest ... I think Guy Hagi agrees. Of course, such a “good grade” is probably related to how many good days “scored” ... that always affects one’s judgment.

Guy Hagi and GQ having a fun fest at Duke’s OceanFest
Guy Hagi and GQ having a fun fest at Duke’s

Anyway, I hope your surf memories are summer sweet.

Talk about sweet ... the Billabong Junior Pro Series Event “In Memory of Ronnie Burns” went off at Kewalos last weekend! The finals for the boys and girls division were all about friendship. That’s because best friends Coco Ho and Dusty Payne beat out their best friends Carissa Moore and Granger Larsen in the finals. Plan to hear these same names in the coming years - they are true competitors. Even though they’re best of buddies, they each want to win.

In the final analysis, it was the Oahu Girls and the Maui Boys above taking top honors ... and earning their invites to the World Junior Championships in January 2007! Final results Girls Division 1) Coco Ho $1,250; 2) Carissa Moore $600; Boys Division 1) Dusty Payne $2,500; 2) Granger Larsen $1,000.

I must give special mention to Ronnie Burns, who died in 1990. He was a Pipeline ace and rising Billabong promo-star. This guy was beautiful to watch surf not just at Pipe, but anywhere. I still can recall an evening riding 6- to 8-foot Laniakea when I unexpectedly caught him carving a bottom turn backside on a set wave. He was faster than everyone else. He kept the board on extreme rail through a vertical rise up the face. The top turn was just as powerful, quick and sweeping as the first turn. Ronnie kept going ... right into a fully commited round-house cut back off the white water - never losing his speed. His “lines” were artistic ... unique. He was graceful, yet radical. Ronnie was an inspiration.

He was taken too soon. Ronnie Burns was found dead in the hills behind Velzyland, laying next to his motocross bike. The surf scene is stunned at the loss of this affable, talented goofy-foot. An autopsy later revealed that Burns died from a pulmonary condition complicated by asthma. Mahalo to Billabong for perpetuating his memory.

Hey, have you checked out the faster, new and improved Please do. Besides the best surf info, we added a new surf cam of Magic Island, hourly buoy data, full weather reports, a statewide customized tide graph, a new visitor submitted photo section and so much more. We’re making it better for everyone so watch our hits rise like a tsunami! Stoked!

Now let’s catch some waves - and each other - back here next week! Aloha and mahalo ...

GQ, dropping in 4 U!

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