North Shore scene swells
BY STEVEN MARK / email@example.com
Surf’s up on the North Shore, and this season offers plenty of opportunities to bask in the barrels of sunshine and surf and party hardy with those daring dudes and dudettes of the tubes.
With several early-season swells providing an optimistic outlook for the season, there should always be something worth watching on the water. City officials said applications for 18 surfing events have been filed for the period from October to May, though how many will materialize depends a variety of factors, from surf conditions and scheduling conflicts to the wherewithal of each sponsoring organization.
The surf season began this week with the holding period for the HIC Pro, a launchpad for local rising surf stars and a qualifier for the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing events: Reef Hawaiian Pro, Haleiwa; Vans World Cup of Surfing, Sunset Beach; and the Billabong Pipe Masters at Banzai Pipeline.
“There’s the complete gauntlet, from just back-rootsy kind of local events to these high-profile international events,” said Randy Rarick, executive director of the Vans Triple Crown, which, along with the big-wave Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau, comprises the big kahuna of Hawaii surf events.
Triple Crown contests, broadcast live on the Internet, are among the most widely viewed sporting events held in Hawaii, Rarick said, with 10 million households around the world logging on to the webcasts.
For all that, however, there’s nothing like being there.
“If you don’t mind hassling with the traffic and finding a place to park, you get a really good sensory experience,” he said. “You can hear it, you see it, you can feel it and you’re up close and personal.”
And the fact that it is free is an added benefit, he said.
“You come down, you plop your towel on the beach, you sit down and watch the best surfers in the world, ideally in the best waves in the world, and you get to watch good-looking women walk by and it doesn’t cost you anything.”
Off the waves, the contest season offers plenty of parties and events. While onlookers can check out Luibueno’s, Haleiwa Joe’s, Breakers and Cholo’s in Haleiwa and Lei Lei’s near Turtle Bay to get a glimpse of and maybe a shaka from a famous surfer, Turtle Bay Resort has emerged as the epicenter of the North Shore surf season, hosting several public events during the surf season.
“In the past two years especially, they’ve really embraced the surfing culture out here,” Rarick said.
THOSE INTERESTED in the lore of surfing might want to drop in on the Talk Story sessions held Wednesdays at Turtle Bay Resort’s Surfer, the Bar. A $5 donation is requested for each session.
Jodi Wilmott, media manager for the Vans Triple Crown, started the discussions about a year ago with the purpose of helping the surf community stay connected.
“I thought, ‘Gosh, we’re losing our interpersonal skills,’” she said. “And surfing is one of those sports where that shouldn’t die, because it’s one of those oral-history sports.”
Luminaries including Gerry Lopez, Tom Carroll and Gary Elkerton, all of whom have won several Triple Crown events, are scheduled to speak at Talk Story sessions during the contest season.
Current Triple Crown champion John John Florence will appear on a night when the surf film “‘Gettin’ Classic” will be screened.
“There’s not many places where you can hear John talk and then watch a movie and then hear about it from a guy who’s in it, so it should be good fun,” Wilmott said.
AS FOR PARTIES: There will be parties, including a series sponsored by 420 North Entertainment.
Jess Lundgren of the promotions group said he’s getting excited about the season.
“Sometimes the guys come in and hit the road real quick, and sometimes they stay for a while,” Lundgren noted. “There’s a big anticipation about what’s going on, like, ‘What’s the weather going to be like today?’”
Lundgren is sponsoring events at Haleiwa Joe’s and Surfer, the Bar, including a Triple Crown anniversary party featuring DJs and hula to bikini shows and fire-knife dancers. But he said any night during the season has the potential for maximum party fun.
“The truth of the matter is, I can throw one on a Monday out in the middle of nowhere, and just by chance, either the waves are down or there’s no contest, whatever the reason, it could be the best party in history,” he said.
A good season for surf is expected, with a “mild El Nino” condition predicted for this winter, Rarick said. That usually results in good surfing conditions.
With a couple of October swells already on record, the buzz is on.
“People are starting to fly in and starting to dust off the big-wave boards,” Wilmott said. “It’s going to hit fever pitch pretty quickly.”
GET ON BOARD
Winter surf season events:
Note: Weather and other factors can change this schedule. Cover charges may apply. Call the venue in advance. Check surferthebar.com for details on Talk Story or Turtle Bay events.
Nov. 3: The ART of Surf, surfboard artwork. Scheduled to attend: pro surfers Kala Alexander, Nathan Fletcher, Derek Ho and Zak Noyle, among others. 3-5 p.m., Centerstage at Ala Moana Center.
Nov. 10: Triple Crown of Surfing Reef Hawaiian Pro 30th-anniversary block party, presented by 420 North Entertainment, featuring Hang 11, DJs Daniel J & DAX, MC Rocky Cannon, percussionist “Ryno,” Hula Dance Crew, surf and party videos. 9:30 p.m., Haleiwa Joe’s, 66-011 Kamehameha Highway, Haleiwa. $15. www.facebook.com/420NorthEnt or call Jess Lundgren at 723-9727.
Nov. 12-24: Open period for Reef Hawaiian Pro. vanstriplecrownofsurfing.com
Nov. 13: Surfer’s Healing Surf Camp for kids with autism. Surfing, canoe rides, music by Jahlivity, Roxy-on-the-Mic, Zumba, massages, shave ice, lunch for sale. 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Kuhio Beach, Waikiki. U, 391-7638
Nov. 13: Surfline’s Wave of the Winter kickoff party. 8 p.m., Surfer, the Bar, Turtle Bay Resort.
Nov. 14: Talk Story with John John Florence, with the surf film “Gettin’ Classic.” 8 p.m., Surfer, the Bar. $5 suggested donation.
Nov. 17: John Kelly Environmental Achievement Awards, with music from the Intire Project and the Paul Carlon Quartet from New York, food by chef Thomas Naylor, drinks from Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and Kona Brewing Co., and a silent auction. 6 p.m., Waimea Valley Pavilion. $70, $60 in advance. 230-3820 or ww2.surfrider.org/oahu
Nov. 17: “The Aftermath,” presented by 420 North Entertainment, featuring DJ Mark Moreno, Daniel J and video DJ Crime of Las Vegas, a bikini show and go-go dancers. 9 p.m. Surfer, the Bar. $10.
Nov. 21: Triple Crown of Surfing 30th-anniversary Haleiwa Pro send-off block party, presented by 420 North Entertainment. With DJ contest featuring Mark Moreno of L.A., DAX of Southern California and Oahu’s Massfunk, Inna Vision with Chad Pa, stilt walkers, black-light-lit bouncy castle, fireknife dancers. 9:30 p.m., Haleiwa Joe’s. Cover: $15. 637-8005
Nov. 21: Beach Angels party swimsuit calendar fashion show, 8 p.m., Surfer, the Bar.
Nov. 23-24: 37th annual Rell Sunn Menehune Contest. All day, Makaha. www.rellsunn.com/rell_sunn/menehune.htm or 949-795-8268
Nov. 25-Dec. 6: Open period for Vans World Cup of Surfing, Sunset Beach.
Nov. 28: Talk Story featuring Tom Carroll. 8 p.m., Surfer, the Bar. $5 suggested donation.
Nov. 29: Opening ceremony for the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau. 3 p.m., Waimea Bay Beach Park. quiksilverlive.com/eddieaikau/2012
Dec. 1-Feb. 29: Eddie Aikau holding period
Dec. 1: Third annual Beach Angels Hawaiian Swimsuit Calendar Show. Evening, Turtle Bay Resort.
Dec. 2: “Little Gypsy” clothing line promo and model search, presented by 420 North Entertainment. Mediterranean-themed decor, go-go dancers, live music and DJs. 9 p.m., Surfer, the Bar. $10
Dec. 3: Paula Fuga and Mike Love play island/reggae. Evening, Surfer, the Bar.
Dec. 5: Talk Story featuring Gary Elkerton. 8 p.m., Surfer, the Bar, $5 suggested donation.
Dec. 7: Surf night — autograph session with pro surfers. Evening, Sunset Beach Elementary School.
Dec. 8-20: Open period for Billabong Pipe Masters.
Dec. 9: Mauli Ola Foundation fundraiser for the organization, which uses surfing as a natural treatment for cystic fibrosis patients. Turtle Bay Resort. Visit mauliola.org for tickets and details.
Dec. 10: 25th anniversary of “North Shore” movie, theme party with actor Gregory Harrison and friends in person. Evening, Surfer, the Bar. Cover charge TBA.
Dec. 12: Talk Story featuring Gerry Lopez and Randy Rarick. 8 p.m., Surfer, the Bar. $5 suggested donation.
Dec. 14: Pipe Masters Blowout, presented by 420 North Entertainment, with DJ Mark Moreno and DAX, bikini show, hula dance crew, live music. 9 p.m., Surfer, the Bar.
Dec. 15: Annual surf art show. 5-9 p.m., Wyland Gallery, 66-250 Kamehameha Highway, Haleiwa. 637-7498
Dec. 19: Talk Story, guest TBA. 8 p.m., Surfer, the Bar. $5 suggested donation.
Dec. 21: Moskova Model Search 2012; a 420 North Entertainment event with DJ Liloa and reggae music. 9 p.m., Surfer, the Bar.
Dec. 28: The Green, a nationally charting reggae band from Hawaii. Evening, Surfer, the Bar.