The swells just keep coming - everywhere!

Gary Kewley
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Friday - April 11, 2008
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Kamu Auwae had a great weekend in the challenging Sunset Beach lineup
Kamu Auwae had a great weekend in the challenging Sunset Beach lineup, winning the SUP divison and placing second in the Pro Am

Aloha, surfers and beachgoers! How’s that for early spring surf flings? We’ve had waves to romance in town, country and out east at spots like Makapuu. South shores are getting ready to light the candle from the middle of April all the way past April 20. Love is in the air!

The last huge swell was Valentine’s Day, but the big fun didn’t stop there. March 12 had 15-foot sets. Then last Saturday afternoon we had nearly 10-foot bombs hit at Sunset Beach. There haven’t been waves that big in about three weeks.

The Steinlager-Shaka Long Board Series kicked off its first of five events on that same day. Almost 100 surfers showed up to test themselves against the elements and each other. Now, how’s that for great timing? Stoked!


I was working on my SURFNEWSNETWORK.COM surf cams at Sunset Beach and watched from the far right side of the break. This view reveals how thick and shallow some sections can be. It was heavy. This was board- and back-breaking Sunset power. I couldn’t keep my eyes off the sets. Heaving lips jacked over the reef and exploded. Now add in the SUP (stand up paddle) division and you’re really glued to the surf. It’s truly a sight to behold, these “stickmen” paddling around the lineup on their feet! Plus, this was serious competition in cold, shifty, stormy 6- to 8-plus-foot Sunset. The SUP would sometimes be taking off right under the pitch zone ... late! To get that huge board around and moving in the right direction with the wave takes power and guts. Positioning takes incredible skill. Seeing the “take-offs"you’d think,“oh my God, he’s going to get launched or beheaded.“But their judgment most often prevailed as the surfer would stroke for his life and beat the monstrous lip out into the wave face. More than a few boards were torn in two. Luckily, no bodies were.

There are some names you hear lots of lately in this old-new style of wave riding ... one is Waianae’s Kamu Auwae, winner of the SUP division. Kamu even nabbed a second in the Pro Am finals. Winning that last one was a guy most know could have won the SUP - he’s another Hawaiian talent named Ikaika Kalama. Obviously, this Big Islander is well-rounded on those big boards and waves. Oh, by the way, Ikaika charges the outer reefs, towing in with the best on planet Earth. His partner is none other than Garrett “G-Mac” McNamara - a multiple winner of big wave contests and awards recipient for his “no fear” approach around the globe.


The amateur division was finished on Sunday ... a few names in the winners’ circle were Jackson Hollingworth (Menehunes), Nelson Ahina (Juniors), Keoni Duey (Mens) Calen Barcena (Masters), Kelvin Pascua (Senior Mens), Michael Lorne(Grand-masters), Soyu Kawamoto (Senior Grandmasters), Megan Gordinez (Girls), Leah Dawson (Womens), Betty Depolito (Women Masters). For complete results of this contest and others, log on to SNNHAWAII.com. Next “Shaka” stop is town May 31.

OK, that’ll do it for this week in the surf department. Be here next week when I share a story about destiny and how my daughter Chelsea’s life is connected to Eddie Aikau. I’ll also have an interview with Punahau teacher and published writer Marion Lyman-Mersereau - the woman who was on that fateful voyage in 1978.

GQ, Dropping in 4 U!

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