Surviving Sandy’s

Gary Kewley
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Friday - July 14, 2006
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Legendary bodysurfer and retired lifeguard Mark Cunningham goes right into his comfort zone — the tube
Legendary bodysurfer and retired lifeguard Mark
Cunningham goes right into his comfort zone — the tube

Aloha, wave riders!

You’re just in time for the next round of South swell hitting 3 feet minimum or “head high,” Friday through the weekend. Summer is so much fun - tons of sun and surf to share with family and friends. July waves haven’t been real great, just real fun.

Earlier this week and last weekend we did have a high surf advisory, but only for the East shores. Makapu’u got up to 3-6 feet and was wild. Around the corner, Sandy’s had been barreling for quite awhile. One of SNN’s reporters, Tip Lee, had this to say after his session: “Howzit, GQ? I just got out from Sandy’s and it was 3-5 feet ... mostly 4 ... but chamber (right side) was firing-spitting-heaving barrels ... tons of barrels ... powerful ... real Hawaiian juice.” Yep, that sounds like Sandy’s, all right. Everywhere else on the island can be “OK,” but Sandy’s can be blowing minds higher than the Blow Hole! It has death- and spine-defying waves.


Well, some of the world’s best bodysurfers were going at it with all their body, heart, mind and soul this past weekend, July 8-9. It was the Sandy Beach Bodysurfing Championships, and they scored classic 3-5-foot cement mixers. The skill level was amazing. Competitors can spin and twirl in the vortex of sand-spitting tubes - no wonder they call it “Sandy’s”! The art of bodysurfing is not lost. In fact, the first and purest form of wave riding is growing - especially if the Honolulu Bodysurfing Club has any say about it. There was a record 120 entries into this event ... I expect it will go up and up. You’re so close to the action, it’s jaw-dropping to watch these athletes dropping in.

When you’re out there and swimming under one of those heaving lips that “pitch out,” you can feel the concussion of the water bouncing off itself and the sand. You can hear the sand stone “tinkling” through the water as the turbulence reaches a peak. There’s something going on out there when it’s firing. Being surrounded in this energy is exhilarating ... now take off on one! But be careful. You can lose more than a fin.

Schuyler McFerran (Encinitas, Calif.) claims her victory as the new ASP Women’s World Longboard champion at Biarritz, France July 8
Schuyler McFerran (Encinitas, Calif.) claims her victory as
the new ASP Women’s World Longboard champion at
Biarritz, France July 8

Here are some of the results - and mahalo and congrats to everyone who participated in the 2006 Sandy Beach Bodysurfing Championships!

For the rest of the handboarding results log on to the SURFNEWSNETWORK.COM flash paper. And remember: Hopupu i ke kaha nalu - “To Be Extremely Emotionally Excited About Bodysurfing ... To Bring Bodysurfers Together.”

Bodysurfing Men 17-20

1) Ryan Hailstones
2) Jesse Yonover
3) Kamakani Froiseth

Bodysurfing Men 21-30

1) John-Wayne Thomas
2) Steve Lopes
3) Monahealii Cummings

Bodysurfing Men 31-40

1) Kai Santos
2) Greg Hense
3) Ben Mercier

Bodysurfing Men 41-50

1) Barry Holt
2) Mark Cunningham
3) Steve Kapela

Bodysurfing Men 51-over

1) Bruce Lee
2) Doug Palama
3) Larry Russo

Bodysurfing Women 17-over

1) Delori Manus
2) Vonya Thomas
3) Hannah Thomas

Bodysurfing Girls 16-under

1) Mikyla Thomas
2) Kimmy Beck
3) Kristy Kaku

Bodysurfing Boys 16-under

1) Kanealii Wilcox
2) Augie Morlock
3) Peter Yoon

Did you know that we have a first-ever female longboard champ? We do! Back on July 8 the Roxy Association or Surfing Professionals (ASP) crowned Schuyler McFerran of Encinitas, Calif., Women’s World Longboard Champion. The contest took place in Biarritz, France (surfing is huge there).

This is a good move for women’s sports. There are more female longboarders than short, and they’re beautiful to watch.


When riding a 9-foot or longer, one must move in a more flowing, graceful manner. Reading the wave becomes even more critical to achieve that flow. Well, Schuyler must have known how, ‘cause she scored a near perfect result of 9.25 on one wave.

The inaugural Roxy ASP Women’s World Longboard Championship is the world’s first-ever ASP sanctioned female longboarding world championship event. It ran in conjunction with the Roxy Jam Biarritz - a summer surf festival designed to celebrate the female surfing lifestyle that includes a host of music and art shows. More than 60 of the world’s best female longboarders competed for the world title and a total prize purse of $30,000!

Let’s get them all over here soon.

Well, that’s a surf wrap for this weekend’s edition of MidWeek! Thank you for being here at this moment! I’ll see you at Sandy’s and back here next issue! Spread the good news and waves!

GQ, dropping in 4 U!

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