Breaking: The Eddie is back with a slate of new and fabulous local sponsors!

Introducing The Kamehameha Schools, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Waimea Valley in Memory of Eddie Aikau!

It was maybe last year, or possibly two or three years ago, that the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau disappeared from the face of the earth. There had been a dispute between the Aikau family and Quiksilver regarding something-rather-else, let’s just assume money, and the most memorable surf event vanished into the ether. There were rumors that Red Bull would step in but also rumors of problems there as well but now there are no problems as the family has teamed up with local sponsors to hold the event and let’s hope hold it this very year. Let’s turn to Hawaii News Now for more

On Saturday, the Eddie Aikau foundation proudly announced the return of the prestigious big-wave surf contest this year.

In 2017, the chance of the contest taking place was shot down after disagreements between the Aikau family and sponsors.

This year, new sponsors have been found, reviving the chance the event will be held if large winter swells roll in.

“The Aikau’s have partnered with new sponsors to celebrate & honor the life and legacy of our brother, Eddie,” Solomon Aikau said in a news release.

Acknowledging Eddie Aikau’s Hawaiian roots, the family is honored to have partnered with new sponsors Kamehameha Schools, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Waimea Valley.

“What makes us excited is that all of these native Hawaiian organizations and the community are able to come together to create agency in the sport of surfing for native Hawaiians but also for Hawaii,” Kaui Burgess, director of community relations for Kamehameha Schools. “It gives us an opportunity to remind the world as well as our own keiki that our kapuna created this sport.”

Heartwarming. A heartwarming development and now let us read together from the award-nominated book Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell.

I was standing on the rocks above Waimea when the Eddie contest ran in 2009. It was a massive day and watching the competitors paddle out to face monsters was, damn all, it was humbling. The sounds, the smells, the pounding hearts . . . all of it. Spectators stand and trade information about who they think is going, which surfer just dropped down the monster, and if they think his monster was bigger or more critical than the previous surfer’s.

Everyone shouts and screams and throws hands in the air. Everyone from the most hardened cynic to the freshest wide-eyed daisy.

There are bigger and deadlier waves in the world and even on the North Shore than Waimea but there is something about the natural stadium of the bay and there is something about the history, both Hawaiian and surf, and I will say, without fear of contradiction, that the Eddie is the best sporting event to witness live in the entire world. Better than the Super Bowl. Better than the World Cup Finals. Better than the bullfights in Spain.

Better than anything.

During the big days, and especially if the Eddie is running, the Kamehameha rounding the bay will come to a standstill as people stop their cars, drop their jaws, and watch what James Joyce called “the scrotumtightening sea.”

And the tourist family will very much enjoy the spectacle for the afternoon and nothing particularly violent or menacing will happen to them, aside from an ocean beating, because they are unaffiliated. They are not involved in the surf world. They are aliens from Muncie, which might as well be outer space, and they are looked right through by the likes of Kala, Dustin, or Fast Eddie Rothman.

Maybe their car will be broken into. Maybe the father’s wallet will be stolen from the beach but that is all. No violence. No knocks or cracks or slaps. They will simply wander around the sand and look at the waves and look at the tranquil river that flows from the middle of the bay up the Waimea Valley. The valley, very fertile and tropical with two fern-shrouded cliffs cascading down to the river, is protected by the state because of its diverse flora and fauna. A few North Shore residents grow marijuana up its somnolent green folds too, adding to its diversity.


How to: Achieve a lifetime of connubial surf bliss (with your own partner)!

Three easy steps!

The couple that surfs together . . . The answer to that is what you make it. Two close and connected people sharing an interest in the world’s most satisfying past-time should be a no-brainer: fun in the sun, rainbows and lollipops, yews and shakas. But somehow, this isn’t always the case. Still there’s more than just hope and reasons to keep at it and explore why you may have some recurring problems – so don’t throw in the towel just yet or avoid those amourous party waves.

What’s my experience like? I have high expectations for each session, probably too much expectation considering sometimes the waves aren’t the best and this can throw off a fun balance when surfing with my partner in crime. I always want improve something in my surfing in each session, like why do I do this thing with my wrists or ensure sure my wave count is high or just get walloped by a few and reset my squirrely brain. I can be my own worst enemy. Worse than that I lose the childlike curiosity and enjoyment that surfing has brought me for the past 10 years. I also find it hard to be stoked for her when she’s happier than a pig in shit. Like, hey, wha’ happened!

Below are my best tips to keep you frothing with your life mate, your partner, your bf/gf, your soulmate, “they”, whichever gender neutral, small-batch-locally-grown term you use, in the line-up and for continued good times outside it.

1. Surf the waves you want to surf
If there’s a difference in skill level between you two of you, I recommend satisfying your soul first on the waves you need. This could mean not always surfing together. If certain spots are more difficult for one of you but bang on and firing for the other. If you sacrifice going to that spot that’s pumping to go surf with bae at an easier locale – you may find yourself resenting him or her if you don’t end up having as much fun as you planned. This just happened to me and I felt like a dick for a few reasons. I put someone else’s needs or happiness before mine, I had the option to go check it out but declined and then, big surprise, I wasn’t the happiest camper at the spot we both surfed at. If you have a itch to scratch and your fav spot is going off – go! He or she will love you for it more when you come back a happy, surfed-out-rat of a lover.

2. It is not a competition
Read that again out loud. Put your hand on your heart chakra, look in the mirror and say it three times. If you don’t you’re in trouble. Surfing is hands down the absolute best thing in the world. Don’t fucking ruin it with comparison – the thief of all joy. Share the excitement, shed your expectations and ego, smile, look around and remind yourself out loud if you have to: “I’m surfing. Life’s good.” If someone in the relationship starts to improve and progress, be their number one fan, share in their stoke and don’t just be happy; be proud you have a front row seat for the action. If the movie Into The Wild taught us anything, it’s that life’s adventures and highlight reel moments should be shared. I’m a firm believer in that for surfing. I want someone to see me throw a little spray or cross-step as much as I do botching a take-off or getting pitched – those are the moments you laugh about and share over post surf parking lot beers or in a steamy shower you both cram into to de-wetsuit and unthaw. Competition is a head game you create only when you put the quarter in and play

3. Give advice only if it’s asked for
From both sides this can be a slippery slope. As much as I know and can laugh at myself for doing this fucking thing with my wrists or getting low to drag my hands on the wave thinking I’m Alex Knost – doesn’t mean I want to hear about it from anyone let alone my main squeeze. Same goes for me. Just because I am an experienced surfer and have taught a lot of people doesn’t give me the green light to say, “um great wave, but instead of doing this you should….” Unsolicited advice or feedback is a buzz kill. As long as he or she is smiling and laughing; enjoying the shit out the day, does the rest really really matter? No it doesn’t and never will. Turn your locked and loaded breath of tips and advice into a genuine compliment. You will be glad you did later on when the lights are low and the stoke is still high.

Learn from some of my shortcomings as a surfer romantically involved with another. You will find yourself getting back the core of surfing – fun. As simple, basic and inarticulate as fun is, it’s why you got into it and why you’re still at it. Like what else are you going to do? Play baseball? Start golfing? Gross. Put your ego in the bin, meditate to tranquility and pull the trigger on splitting peaks with babe.

Breaking: The Jaws Big Wave World Tour event called on for Monday!

It's go time!

Do you love those new flotation device air bladder vest things that big wave surfers wear? Those bulky, hulky things that make big wave surfers look like Tiny Mite football players all drowning in a sea of oversize?

I’m going to be honest with you here.

I don’t.

I think they make big wave surfers look needlessly silly, like Tiny Mite football players, and don’t know why technology can’t reduce the vest size. Like, of all the things technology could be concerned with, curing cancer, slowing global warming, solving world hunger, cleaning up ocean plastics etc. don’t you think making big wave surfers look as tough as they actually are should be a priority? If all the great scientific minds from Germany to Norway stopped what they were working on for just 24 hours and dedicated themselves solely to the task of solving this dilemma, I bet they could make a vest and/or wetsuit that inflates without actually ballooning.

There’s got to be a way.

Jaws has the green light for Monday which means it’s a go. Tune in at 7:30 am Hawaii time!

Click here!

Art of the Deal: Gap steals Billabong’s CEO after he returns surf brand to “position of multiyear share growth!”

Only a surfer knows the feeling!

In stunning announcement it was revealed yesterday that Gap, a clothing brand founded in San Francisco and most famous for its ample thigh’d khaki pants, swooped in and snared Billabong’s current CEO Neil Fiske for its own Chief Executive Officer position.

Though the reasons for appointing anyone who has been involved in the surf industry, especially Billabong, during the last decade to positions of fresh power are myriad, let us read why Gap, second most famous for using a small black girl as an armrest in an advertisement, chose Mr. Fiske.

“Neil brings significant retail and apparel experience to Gap Inc. and a track record of transforming and repositioning brands,” Gap President and CEO Art Peck said in a statement.

Gap brand has struggled in recent years, while the company’s Old Navy brand has been growing. In fiscal first quarter, same-store sales at Gap stores globally fell 4 percent, flat from a year ago.

Fiske will join Gap from Australian clothing brand Billabong, where he has served as CEO of Billabong International. There he helped the Billabong brand return to a position of multiyear share growth. He has also served in executive roles at Eddie Bauer and Bath and Body Works.

“[Fiske] is an experienced leader who deeply understands the mechanics of this business, the value of an omnichannel strategy, and the need to build a progressive and relevant brand. I believe Neil is the right leader to strengthen Gap brand,” Peck said in a statement.

I too like how Billabong was transformed and repositioned into a subsidiary of Quiksilver and how if you ask anyone on the street, “What are the first two words that come to mind when I say ‘Billabong?'” the answer is invariably “Progressive and relevant.”

But real quick, I think I want to be a CEO of something too now. Something that has a big corner office and an even bigger salary. I feel that BeachGrit’s omnichannel strategy (prodding the World Surf League, checking in with Kelly Slater’s Instagram account, longtom) has positioned us for multiyear share growth and that we actually performed better than Billabong this year, not to brag.

Anyone out there hiring?

Souplantation… do you need a Chief Executive?

Sears… how does a bold selection from the sizzling hot surf industry sound?

(A head’s up on this important story came from @seaofseven. Shop today!)

Fury Road: North Shore residents form vigilante mob to counter uptick in crime!

This North Shore season set to be the greatest since '13!

I love Oahu’s North Shore as much as I love any place on earth. I love it its grocery store, its Spam musubi, its playful waves that explode in height and girth without a warning but mostly love its residents. There is no place with finer folk and for ten months out of the year they get to live in peace but for two months out of the year hell cometh to their North Shore, wearing a Neff hat and shouting, “Hey bro…” or “Hey mate…” instead of the traditionally accepted “Ho brah…”

Traffic, long lines at Starbucks, longer lines trying to get haupia pie, the longest lines trying to order up the delicious escargot at Lei Lei’s. It’s an ugly scourge, an annoying bummer but now, apparently, there is also an uptick in violence to go along with the simple crowding. Oahu’s police do not like to go to the North Shore and held a community meeting recently, suggesting that residents should take up their pitchforks and police their own damned street. Let’s read about it!

Honolulu Police want new neighborhood security watches along the North Shore of O’ahu and police presented their plan to residents Wednesday night.

Many residents expressed their concerns about response times by police at the meeting which took place at the Sunset Beach Recreation Center.

Residents told KITV4 Island News that crimes like thefts, break-ins, and some more serious offenses like gun violence are becoming such large problems for the North Shore, that it prompted one of the most well-attended community meetings ever.

Honolulu Police officers from the Wahiawa substation gave a presentation about starting up a neighborhood community watch, saying that residents need to work with HPD to report and catch criminals.

Many of those in attendance to the Wednesday night meeting like the idea of community policing, some have even put up these signs created by former professional surfer Liam McNamara to warn offenders that people are watching them.

However, one area resident wants to see improvement is in the response time from police before a suspect flees the scene.

“But the reality is different from we’ll come and take care of it. What happens is that doesn’t happen,” North Shore resident Susanne Dahl said.

One police officer responded that HPD cannot condone violence, and that they are advocating the North Shore Neighborhood Security Watch be non-confrontational.

The officers stressed they don’t want vigilantes seeking out offenders and taking justice into their own hands.

Officers also brought up how they only have about a dozen guys in this district on duty at any given time, which can make getting to some calls a challenge.

I’m seriously moving because have always dreamed of being part of a vigilante mob but never quite found one that worked for me. I wrote about the 2013 (or maybe 2011/12) North Shore season and thought that was best on record (buy here!) but 2018/19 is shaping up very nicely.