EDDIE BIG HEALEY 300x200 The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Contest Went!Tuesday, December 8th was the day it was called. A few days earlier contest director George Downing grabbed the mic at the opening ceremonies and said these numbers, “7, 8, 9″, meaning that the contest would be held on one of those days. The contest has a nearly 3 month waiting period, in which they wait for a 25-30 foot (Hawaiian Scale) swell. The swell needs to last for an entire day, and the conditions have to be just right. For this reason, the Eddie has only been held 8 times now in the last 25 years. For George Downing to give us all three dates to expect the Eddie to run, was pretty insane. I was behind the scenes up in the scaffolding on the 7th when they called the event off for the day, then again on the 8th when they were about to do the same. Most the guys up there were saying things like “the swell has died, the wind is bad, its too inconsistent, there’s no way it will run today, and we missed our opportunity to run it yesterday”, but George Downing just sat there studying the charts. The beach was packed with 10’s of thousands of people ready to see the Eddie go, and George Downing finally said, “if we don’t run today there’s going to be a riot….its on”. They shortly announced it to everyone and the historical Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau was a go.

IMG 5996 300x225 The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Contest Went!I couldn’t believe how big of a deal this event was. I’ve known about the Eddie for years, but never was on the island when it ran in the past. I’ve never seen crowds like that gather for a surf contest. George Downing definitely made the right call to run the event during this swell, and on the second day of it. The conditions cleaned up super nicely, and the waves had another pulse in them which saw some “macking” sets come through. The contest format is much different from other surfing contests. There are 2 rounds, and all 28 surfers compete in both rounds. There are 4 heats in each round, in which 7 surfers paddle out and are allowed 4 waves each. Once they get a 4th wave, they come in and their heat is over. The waves are judged on a 100 point scale, 100 being the best. We saw two perfect 100’s during the competition, both in the last round by Chilean Ramon Navarro and Californian Greg Long. At the end of round 2 the top 4 waves from both rounds are added together for all surfers to determine a winner. At the end of the day it was Greg Long, who after his 100 point ride was able to sneak past Kelly Slater for the win.

IMG 6048 300x225 The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Contest Went!This was the first time a Californian had ever won the event. Everybody knew that Slater was in the lead most of the event, and it looked like he had won for a second time. But just to keep things exciting, some of the biggest and cleanest waves of the day came through in the last heat, and Ramon Navarro and Greg Long did not pass up the opportunity to score the best 2 waves of the day. For Greg Long, it meant winning the Eddie, a dream come true. For Ramon Navarro, it gave him another award. For this year’s Eddie contest, a new award was designed by Monster Energy called the Monster Drop Award. It was a $10,000 prize for the surfer who made the most critical drop during the event. While Greg Long won $55,000 for first place, Ramon Navarro still looked pretty stoked to be able to claim the Monster Drop Award and an extra $10,000.

IMG 5999 300x225 The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Contest Went!There is so much more to the Eddie than just watching big wave surfing up close. It was a really cool experience to be a part of the whole event, working behind the scenes. The Aikau family is very involved, and it is a time for them and all of us to remember a great Hawaiian waterman who has passed on, Eddie Aikau. Eddie was a lifeguard at Waimea Bay, and was responsible for saving thousands of lives over the years he spent his watch on the beach. He died trying to save others when their traditional sailing vessel, the Hokule’a, capsized in rough seas. Eddie is a legend on the North Shore of Oahu, and his name has become synonymous with big wave surfing. The surfer’s in the event all have a great respect for Eddie, and for each other. My good friend was surfing Waimea the day before the Eddie ran (when the waves were just as big, but more stormy and dangerous), and he said that all the guys out there look out for each other. Surfing Waimea is much different from any other break. There really is a brotherhood that exists out in the water amongst these guys, and it can be seen while hanging around the grounds during the Eddie. What a memorable day December 8th, 2009 has become in the surfing world.



Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply






During the last major swell that hit the North Shore I got out to surf Waimea Bay for the first time. There is a lot I could say about surfing it for the first time, and I plan on it during a future post. For now I want to talk briefly about the Robert August surfboard I used. I’ll do so through the captions on these pictures. This turned out to be a perfect board for 15-20 foot Waimea (wave faces). Check out the full review of this board at thesurfingblog.com.

Robert August Big Wave Gun

I took out a borrowed 7'7" Robert August big wave gun to Waimea on Thursday evening, right as the swell was really starting to show.

I was nervous that the board would be too small, since a lot of guys out at Waimea ride 9-12 foot guns. Paddling out there I was thinking the board would probably work fine, because it paddled like a long board.

I was nervous that the board would be too small, since a lot of guys out at Waimea ride 9-12 foot guns. Paddling out there I was thinking the board would probably work fine, because it paddled like a long board.

The board is pretty thick, so it floated me really well helping me to get a lot of speed just paddling out to the waves. When I got out there I caught a few waves, quickly figuring out how the board responds while surfing it. I'm glad I had a smaller board, because it made it really fun once I got up on a wave.

The board is pretty thick, so it floated me really well helping me to get a lot of speed just paddling out to the waves. When I got out there I caught a few waves, quickly figuring out how the board responds while surfing it. I'm glad I had a smaller board, because it made it really fun once I got up on a wave.

The board was pretty maneuverable, but still had enough length to get into waves early. There is very little rocker throughout most of the board so it can get into waves well and get moving really fast, but there is a ton of rocker in the nose so that you don't dig it in on the drop.

The board was pretty maneuverable, but still had enough length to get into waves early. There is very little rocker throughout most of the board so it can get into waves well and get moving really fast, but there is a ton of rocker in the nose so that you don't dig it in on the drop.

Overall, I loved this board out there. I was definitely grateful to have it since I don't even have my own. Although it worked well, I am looking to purchase a bigger one so I can surf even bigger Waimea!

Overall, I loved this board out there. I was definitely grateful to have it since I don't even have my own. Although it worked well, I am looking to purchase a bigger one so I can surf even bigger Waimea!



Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply






Sorry it took me so long to get the video up of the big swell that hit on Sept 25th. The beautiful thing about a video is I don’t have to say much else besides… ENJOY !!

 



2 Responses to “Opening Day At Pipeline and Sunset North Shore Oahu Video”

  1. great video tim
    paul and i loved it

    uncle

    Comment by T.J. V. — 9 Oct 2009 @ 3:05 PM

  2. Nice video!

    Comment by Andrew Nash — 24 Oct 2009 @ 6:21 PM

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply






30 Sep 2009

Tsunami In The South Pacific

Posted by Pike at 11:31 AM to Big Wave News, Weather Systems

Yesterday, Sept. 29th, 2009 a 8.3 magnitude earthquake occurred near the islands of Samoa and Tonga in the South Pacific. After reports of a tsunami hitting Samoa and other islands near the earthquake, tsunami warnings were quickly put in effect for Hawaii. As the news buzzed with the idea of large waves marching towards the island, surfers eyes got large and all they could think about was Patrick Swayze in the movie Point Break and the large wave he wanted to surf in Australia.

I spent the day at Sunset Beach and everyone on the North Shore seemed to stay pretty calm. The lifeguards and policemen were telling people of the tsunami advisory (it was downgraded from a warning to advisory by 10:00am in Hawaii) and that they should use caution while on the beach. Tourists were buzzing with the news and seemed to be more excited than worried. Surfers kept surfing and people were playing in the water even with the strong currents. You would see someone get in the water and within 30 seconds they were 200 feet down the beach. Kammies and Vals reef had some really fun waves in the waist to shoulder high range, but were all these conditions due to the tsunami?

I surf Vals reef and Kammies a lot and the conditions I saw yesterday with the strong currents and random sets were nothing new. Fellow Big Wave Blog writer Tim surfed Log Cabins and said the conditions were similar, with sets being a bit larger, and that nothing seemed to be out of ordinary either. As I watched the ocean all day, (I was there from 10am-6:30pm) I didn’t see any signs of a tsunami type surge of water. Some reports say a surge happened around 3:00pm but it was minor and if it was noticeable it would have been on the South Shore. I could not find any reports about it’s effects in California.

But what do tsunami warnings mean for surfers?

We would all love to think that this is what is created by a tsunami, but in reality it isn’t. However this is what happens.

Tsunamis are commonly known as tidal waves. They involve long period ocean waves caused by earthquakes and other below ocean disturbances. Tsunamis travel at speeds of up to 500 knots. The surges they create can be walls of water from anywhere between 3-30 feet. The waves or surges caused by tsunamis are not surfable. They are quite the opposite. Instead of creating a joyous occasion of big wave surfing, they create chaos and mass destruction.



Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply






27 Sep 2009

Pipeline and Sunset Pumping

Posted by Tim at 10:08 PM to Big Waves, Pipeline, Sunset, Surf Spots

This past Friday, Pipeline and Sunset were going off during an early season WNW swell. Early morning Sunset was perfect, but then got really choppy as the winds set in. Pipe was epic all day long, peaking and becoming cleanest around mid-day.

Waimea Bay had its fair share of bomb sets as well. There were a lot of broken boards and a few injuries. I’ve been talking with a lot of people down on the beach and everyone is tripping out over the size of the waves for this time of year. I got out to surf Waimea Thursday night and it was amazing, and I can’t wait to get some more of it as this season continues. Check back again for video of Friday’s waves!

This is not the image you expect to see when looking at Pipeline this time of year.

This is not the image you expect to see when looking at Pipeline this time of year.

Pig-dogging it at Pipe.

Pig-dogging it at Pipe.

One of the most spectacular sights at Pipeline is watching it spit.

One of the most spectacular sights at Pipeline is watching it spit.

Backdoor was dangerous, as most waves were closing out on the inside with big sets out the back.

Backdoor was dangerous, as most waves were closing out on the inside with big sets out the back.

Second Reef was firing during the big sets, but there weren't too many takers.

Second Reef was firing during the big sets, but there weren't too many takers.

The shifting peaks at Sunset really lit up as the swell filled in.

The shifting peaks at Sunset really lit up as the swell filled in.

This guy's hoping he can race through this section without getting smashed.

This guy's hoping he can race through this section without getting smashed.

You don't want to be in this guys situation...pulling out straight with endless lines of waves coming in behind you.

You don't want to be in this guy's situation...pulling out straight with endless lines of waves coming in behind you.



3 Responses to “Pipeline and Sunset Pumping”

  1. Lived on the North Shore for 3 yrs. in the 70’s. The earliest I ever saw a swell on the North Shore Sept. 1, 1979. Woke up to hear noise walked into livingroom looked up across Kammies to sunset the waves were pureglass an 10′ went nuts. By the end of day was 15′-18′ with perfect trades. Myself, Gary Speece,and Roger Ericson thought the bay was going to be breaking the next day, but it dropped.
    P.S. had heard an old friend had passed away his name was Imua Paaina,back then he was president of the Hui, black shorts club, could someone let me know if this is true. Thanks, Jimmy Evans

    Comment by Jimmy Evans — 28 Sep 2009 @ 6:14 AM

  2. Hi there
    I’m wondering who the standup paddler was on Friday, Sept. 25 at Pipe. I heard conflicting opinions, and it was hard to tell from the beach. Do you know?
    Aloha

    Comment by Megan — 30 Sep 2009 @ 8:20 AM

  3. I’m pretty sure it was Ikaika Kalama

    Comment by Tim — 1 Oct 2009 @ 7:50 AM

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply






Older Posts »