Sweet summer swells

Gary Kewley
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Friday - July 06, 2007
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The surprise winner of the Stand Up Paddle (SUP) division was Kamaki Worthington in the the third event on the Steinlager Shaka Longboard Series at Queen’s
The surprise winner of the Stand Up Paddle (SUP) division
was Kamaki Worthington in the the third event on the
Steinlager Shaka Longboard Series at Queen’s

Aloha, surfers and beachgoers!

No need to ask “howzit"because I know ... you’re just fine, thanks to our long and beautiful south swells. We got a one-two punch starting last Friday (June 29) lasting through Sunday (July 8)! It’s all because of a huge storm that started near New Zealand back around June 21 (the Summer Solstice). It had two phases, which produced some hurricane force winds and long fetches. The end result for us - about 4,000 miles away - were two high surf advisory level swells along many southern exposures.

The National Weather Service criterion for southern shores to claim an advisory equals 8 feet in the face or crest to trough. This equals about 4- or 5-foot local scale (surfers talk). For most surfers, this is where the fun begins. Now the high surf advisory benchmark on the North Shore is something entirely different - it’s 15 feet from top to bottom or about 8 feet local size. For most surfers this is where the pounding begins. This is not to say a 4- or 5-foot set wave in town can’t produce pain. But in general that’s because you slam the reef, not because of wave volume holding you under or"ragdolling"you.

The upcoming week will be relatively quiet. When it comes to summer swells you really gotta get ‘em when they’re here. Summer is sweet, but short - and the high south swells can be less than a handful.

One thing that doesn’t seem to be ending these days is the high ratings of Hawaii’s young up-and-coming competitive surfers.

We just finished up the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) season up at Trestles in Southern California. Island surfers once again stole the show and took the Governor’s Cup as KailuaKona’s Tonino Benson and Honolulu’s Carissa Moore made it to the top of the podium above the 400-plus field from around the United States.

As for the Hawaii conference competitors, of the 16 finals and 92 finalists, 52 were from Hawaii, including first-place finishers Tonino Benson (Open Mens), Carissa Moore (Open Women, Explorer Women), Alessa Quizon (Explorer Girls), Kai Barger (Explorer Juniors), Christian Budroe (Explorer Senior Men), Benji Brand (Open Mini Grom), Kealamakia Naihe (Open Boys).

Impressive, to say the least! I mean, you see Hawaii’s talent written all over the final heat sheets. Log on to SURFNEWSNETWORK.COM and click the SNN news wire link. They’ll take you where you can see some video highlights of the finals.

The youths are ripping. The performance by Carissa Moore just boggled my mind. I’ve never seen a woman of any age surf Trestles at her level. She’s better than many of the guys and they know it. I don’t mean to put peer pressure on her, but she’s in her own league. Carissa Moore could enter the Billabong Pro at Jeffries South Africa July 11-24!

The last weekend of June also saw great waves for the third event of the Steinlager Shaka Longboard Series. This was held in superb waves at Queen’s Surf on the world’s most popular beach: Waikiki. It’s great to have the series back as long boarding and stand up beach boy styles are hugely popular; the surfers are showing their stoke and gratitude with classic performances. The right-hander at Queen’s is perfect for sweeping carves and long nose rides.

Duane DeSoto made it another win in taking down the professional division and claiming $1,200 for his efforts. Ewa Beach short-boarder turned longboard rider Isaac Kaneshiro surprised spectators with some hot dog-style maneuvers for a runner-up finish.

Rounding out the field was Honolulu’s Keegan Edwards and Quiksilver/Burger King rider Ned Snow.

The next stop on the Steinalager Shaka Longboard Series tour is scheduled for July 21 and 22. The Quiksilver Boardriders contest will be held at the Ala Moana Bowl.

Last but not least ... Don’t forget to get your bids in for the Quiksilver Edition Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction happening July 20 and 21 at the Blaisdell! Go to hawaiiansurfauction.com. It’s a classic - literally and figuratively.

GQ, dropping in 4U!

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