G-MAC: “Big Mama’s out there!”

Nazare and the gift that keeps on giving...

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It is always thrilling when national news organizations dip their toes into our li’l pond and, last night,  we had ABC’s Nightline covering Garrett McNamara’s quest for “Big Mama.”

Big Mama? That is the name G-Mac has given to his perfect wave. Of course, Big Mama lives off Nazare, Portugal and she is going to be not only big but perfect. 100 feet! “You’ll know her when you see her…” Garrett Says.

ABC’s roving reporter, Alex Marquardt, loves adjectives and mixing his metaphors (he should get a job with the WSL) but we are still very much thrilled by the visit. Garrett is Capt’n Ahab. Big Mama is the White Whale. Death, of course, looms and a handsome young fisherman explains that people die. When the reporter gets driven through the waves on the back of Garrett’s jetski to get a sense of “how big they are” it truly amazes. From his GoPro angle they seem 3-4+ feet.

And then things hit the fucking fan. Garrett and Alex are knocked off the ski! But it is ok because Alex gets a good selfie-stick angle walking up the beach totally nonplussed.

Does Garrett get his Big Mama? I will not spoil the ending.
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Just in: Hawaiians don’t like aloha

Neither do Asian-Americans.

There is a new Cameron Crowe film in theaters and many people are mad but mostly Asian-Americans/Hawaiians and anyone who has paid to see it in theaters. Crowe is famous for youth zeitgeist films such as Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Say Anything and Singles. He is also famous for Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous.

But his new film is raising all sorts of hackles with Asian-Americans/Hawaiians. It is called Aloha and, as near as I can tell, is set in Oahu and stars Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray and Emma Stone as Allison Ng.

That is why Asian-Americans are mad. Ng is a Vietnamese last name. Emma Stone looks like this:


Guy Aoki, president of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, said: “It’s so typical for Asian or Pacific Islanders to be rendered invisible in stories that we’re supposed to be in, in places that we live . . . We’re 60 percent of the population (in Hawaii). We’d like them to reflect reality.”

Walter Ritte, Hawaiian activist, said, “They’re taking our sacred word and they are going to make a lot of money off it.”

The movie is, apparently, not good and has only made 14 million dollars of a 37 million dollar budget so “they” are actually taking a sacred word and losing a lot of money off it.


How does Tavarua actually work?

Let a real expert walk you through...

Many professional surfers could explain the reefs that surround this magical island and swell direction and etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

But why not Laird? Back when the WSL was called the ASP he did! Come sit at his weathered feet and be the smartest man in the room once the Fiji Pro gets underway.

Dane Gudauskas: The waves were as big as oil tankers…

Everyone's fav Gudauskas recalls the Fijian megaswell (of 2011).

Because the Fiji Pro (man, it must kill the WSL to be missing an event sponsor) is about to go, and because Mr. Goggans beat me to the punch with the 2012 retrospective, and because I just got some bad news and don’t feel like writing, I’d like to remind everyone that, before the 2012 Fiji Megaswell, there was the 2011 Fiji Megaswell.

At that point the largest Cloudbreak anyone had ever seen (though it would be surpassed the following year), the sheer insanity on display that day blew the surf world’s collective mind. And Transworld paid me to write an article about it.

I reached out to Dane Gudauskas to get some words about the day, and ended up getting an essay in response. To be honest, on its own it’s probably better than what I ended up submitting. So behold, in all its unedited glory, Dane Gudauskas on the July 2011 Fiji Megaswell:

“the morning of the big day, i just remember pulling up on the boat from the main island of nadi and seeing these lumps on the horizons, and i swore they were oil tankers. I thought no way. i didnt think they were waves at all from a distance, but as we got closer we could see white water and could tell that it was pretty massive. i first paddled out on a 9 foot surfboard. everyone must have been on between a 7 foot board to a 10 foot board so i felt pretty good right in the middle there. after a few wipeouts on my first few waves though i realized it was pretty unique challenge riding a board that big in the barrel, so i downshifted for my 8 foot 6 inch surfboard for the rest of the swell and it felt really nice under my feet. It was a little more sensitive so you could pump it in the barrel. It was bizarre to see a wave of that size be so down the line. I was riding a thruster, but i know a lot of people were riding quads, and they said they preferred that drive down the line it was giving them.

I think we showed up 3 days before the swell, just to lose the plane legs. It looked like the swell was developing really nice, and just over a span of so many days with so much swell, you had to believe there would be some golden moments in there somewhere. Even if it was windy or something, there would have to be a moment that would make it all worth it. And we really lucked out. The few days before the swell were super fun inside ledge and everyone was stoked. Barrels, sunburn, broken boards. all the rad stuff. then the main force of the swell came and just blew all my expectations away by a mile. At one point it glassed off for about 3 hours in the middle of the day, and the waves looked absolutely surreal at that size and perfection.

I stayed at a hotel on the main island of fiji. It was rad though, we had a super cool crew hanging at the hotel. It was Reef mccintosh, dave wassel, alex grey, Russo, mike peach, kohl christianson and their friend andy. Fergal smith was there for a bit, albee layer and a few friends from maui. Nathan and bruce were on the main island too but just down the way abit. then i think slater, walshy and healy were on tavarua. It was jsut a rad vibe. We would just surf all day then come in and kick it and laugh watching the sunset and drinking a fiji bitter. The comraderee was one of my favorite things about the trip really. Just as fun as surfing the waves, was sharing those experiences with everyone. being in the water to witness some of these guys´waves of their lives was a really special thing. it was like, you could feel this crazy electricity, and everyone was really looking out for each other too. it gave you a feeling like everyone was in it together.

Stand out moments… hmm dam its hard to pick just a few. i mean the whole few days were crazy. But for me, when i saw kohl paddle into that wave in the morning on his 7 fot 6 surfboard, then hell pump through two crazy sections and come out flying on his back, i was just floored. Ive never seen anything like that. And having been hanging with kohl for a few days, i was just so stoked for him. Because you knew how pure and special that moment was for him. It was on a deeper conscience level you know? i dont think words could really do justice to the emotions that were pumping through him after a ride like that. but everyone was on fire. It was all time for me to see a generation of these big wave riders pretty much coming full circle and each rising to the occasion to get some of the best waves of their lives. I was inspired and humbled just to be out in the water with them.

For paddle surfing, i think it was a pretty radical day. It just goes to show that where there is a will there is a way, and with enough commitment to putting yourself in the spot, you can pretty much paddle into some crazy waves that previously might have been thought to be unrideable. And looking around the lineup, there was no shortage of commitment too. You could tell by looking at everyone that they were excited to get in over the ledge. But to watch that generation of guys who were out there, who have pretty much dedicated the last decade or so to paddling into the biggest waves possible, it was a really special day.

i guess i would finish with a thanks to anyone on the jetskis picking guys up in the impact zone. when you´re taking whoopings in the impact zone and you see that ski racing in towards you… i swear, its as good as sweet tea on a summer day.”

Gimme: Tom Curren’s gorgeous board!

Come benefit the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center while you are at it!

I can’t recall the first time I saw this shot of Tom Curren at Backdoor.

The groomed-smooth bowl, Tom’s tracks so sharp and fresh, his board’s logoless glow reflected in the wave’s face. So. Fucking. Smooth! I love that photo so much. (God bless you, Tom Servais.)

Anyhow, the Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center is having an auction and it turns out one of the items up for grabs is the very board Curren laid on rail so many years ago, a 7’8 Maurice Cole. (Which he apparently rode to victory at Haleiwa, too!)

The auction happens in September (Sat. Sept 26). BeachGrit will be there to bid, if we can find a rich heiress to patronize us the way we’ve always dreamed we’d be patronized. Buy us that fucking board, we’ll be your cabana boys all summer long.

Come here for more information!