Watching Sunny at Sunset

Gary Kewley
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Friday - November 02, 2007
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Sunny Garcia
Sunny Garcia shows the new generation his power moves at Sunset Beach in the XCel Pro

Aloha, surfers and beachgoers! What can we say? It’s paradise! Nature is supplying waves in every corner and will continue in this manner into next week. The weather charts show iffy beach weather this weekend as a Kona low nears, but you just can’t have it all ... all the time. It’s rather shocking to have all the south swells at this time of year - just in the past few weeks there have been five! That’s a better average than summer, by far. I’ll tell you, just when you think you’ve got Mother Nature figured out, she pulls a fast one. At least this time it’s on the positive side.

The Xcel Pro presented by No Fear kicked off at Sunset Beach Monday with 5-foot waves, and by the time you read this we may have run day two. There’s a 5-foot swell expected on Thursday. This three-day competition has permits until Nov. 10. This should be plenty time to end in classic Sunset Beach. But I don’t want to jinx it, so just pretend I didn’t write that.

Six-time Vans Triple Crown winner Sunny Garcia was doing well as of this writing and scored one of the highest heats of the day. Can you imagine if it was 10 feet instead of 5? Pray for surf - BIG surf. Sunny will be going off the hook because he’s hungry and just stoked to be able to compete since he’s been free. It will be special to watch him in this year’s Vans Triple Crown.You know he can do it again ... and nail No. 7.

On the Foster World Tour the boys are ripping it up in Brazil - the last stop before coming over for the Vans. If you want the complete

list of “probabilities” for the top three contenders for the world title, log onto SURFNEWSNETWORK.COM. Right now it really looks like Mick Fanning - and it’s possible he’ll be champ before coming to Hawaii, and very possible before Christmas. Don’t miss this year on the North Shore.

Friends of mine, Jay and Jana, asked me to help with a paper about the biz of surfing. I thought I’d throw in one of my responses. The questions were interesting and got me thinking - a rare moment.

Q: What do you think about companies that market the “surf image"vs. actual surf gear (i.e. sunglasses vs. surfboards)?

A: The latter (surfboards) are the ultimate “tool of core”... everything else comes in second and below. Equipment is everything, especially for the highest performers. But companies (surf shops) don’t make the bank on boards (the lowest margins of all goods sold) ... This is why we know it isn’t all about the money for shapers and core shops. Then there are those surf shops that know this is the best way to project they’re a “real” surf shop, but really it’s mostly about the bucks coming off the top selling “soft brands”(image). How can you claim to be a surf shop without offering a surf-board? If you give surfers the clue you’re not core, you’ll lose them. Quiksilver’s main man has one job staying true to its original roots while going public at more than $1 billion in annuals to make sure the brand stays core in the public eye, or go down like all the rest who’ve run their natural cycle (OP, Gotcha etc). Lines last about 10-15 years if you’re really good at the business of image and quality. The fact that Billabong and Quik have gone far beyond that cycle and crossed generations make them legends. Any company in the world could learn from their model.

Well, I’m exhausted from thinking too much and need to go surf now ... on a real surfboard in real waves ... for real!

Catch you in the lineup and back here next week in MidWeek! Will we have a new Xcel Pro and world champ?!

Don’t forget about the Da HuiWolfpack Beach Clean up this Saturday Nov. 3 ... meet at V-Land at 8:30 a.m.! Log on to SNNHAWAII.COM

GQ, dropping in 4 U!


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