Swell ‘08, amazing Moore and Irons’ comeback

Gary Kewley
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Friday - February 29, 2008
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Carissa Moore of Hawaii advanced through to round three of the Roxy Pro with a strong second place
Carissa Moore of Hawaii advanced through to round three of the Roxy Pro with a strong second place

Aloha, surfers and beachgoers! 2008 is great ... in fact, that seems like an understatement. I dare you to count the number of swells we’ve had. OK, I’ll do it for you - 18! Not including the outof-season 4-foot south we just had. Not including any trade wind swells, as well. I’m going to claim it for Hawaii - no ka oi!

Oh, by the time you read this, it’ll be triple overhead ... again.

The 32nd annual Buffalo Big Board Surfing Classic finished up last weekend out at Makaha - of course. Where else? And where else would you find more than 15 divisions of surfing categories? Nowhere, that’s where. Only here in Hawaii ... and only out on the Wild West side. For hundreds of friendly surfing folks from all over the world it was a visual feast in small but rippable conditions.

Watch for results at WWW.REALBVOICE.COM and SNN.

The Fosters World Tour is on in Coolangatta, Australia, for the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro presented by LG. The performance levels this year are ridiculous. One sweet local talent who seems to be doing well again is 15-year-old Carissa Moore. She just seems to love this place. Last year she created a new world record and came in second place! This is like Tiger Woods coming in second in the Masters at age 14. There’s no one around her age doing such things. Carissa just smiles. She’s having fun. That’s really even more amazing. Maybe youth is her asset in this area. She doesn’t realize how profound her performance is at her tender age. Watch her surf a heat though, and she’s not so tender. Ms. Moore wants more ... victories. Trouble is, as of Tuesday (Feb. 26) she’s got another freakish talent in her next third-round heat. Australia’s Stephanie Gilmore - the current world champ - is the first rookie in surfing history to win the world title. That tells you a lot right there. No matter what the outcome ...we are always proud of you, Carissa! Now go get her.

As for the men, I can’t believe my eyes at the maneuvers these dudes are doing. It’s like they’re free surfing in the heat of competition. The new boys on the block are going to keep our “old-timers” on their heels, for sure. I’m real curious about Andy Irons’“comeback” ... My gut says the gnarlier the waves, the better his chances. The grapevine says he’s hungry and in fighting shape. This is the stuff that makes for an exciting year. You know, AI had a “bad” year in 2007 ... and still placed sixth. Only one other American guy was in front of him - Kelly Slater, the greatest surfer of all time. How our standards can change once you develop “freak of nature” status. Mr. Irons is Hawaii’s greatest competitive surfer of all time. And it took one drop for a negative evaluation. Can you imagine that kind of pressure? Dude, you only came in sixth?

As for me, I’m happy with sixth place in the lineup. One out of every six waves over two hours and I’m exhausted ... but stoked!

Hope you’re getting your fill. See you back here next week. There’s going to be tons to talk about.

GQ ... Dropping in 4 U!


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