Bloodbath at Da Hui Backdoor Shootout, multiple surf surfers injured, one in a critical condition at Queens ICU, “He had a big scar right above his eye and right below,…He was kind of purple when they brought him in.”

"Did I win?"

Wild scenes at the Da Hui Backdoor Shootout yesterday as lifeguards were stretched to capacity following injuries to big-wave world champ Makua Rothman, four-times Jaws winner, and big-wave world champ, Billy Kemper and Kala Grace, a twenty-four-year-old local who, only four days earlier, had caught one of the best waves of the winter at Pipe.


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A post shared by Kala Grace (@kala___grace)

Shortly before two pm, Grace’s helmet was ripped off following a closeout and subsequent sets drove him into the notorious reef where he was knocked unconscious.

In a dramatic rescue, a lifeguard abandoned his jetski to pull the kid out of the water.

CPR was performed on the beach.

“Probably bounced off the reef, he had a big scar right above his eye and right below,” his daddy, the Waikiki Beach Boy Willie Grace said. “He was kind of purple when they brought him in.”

The Hawaiian lifeguard Chris Owens, who nearly exited this mortal coil a few weeks back when he was kneecapped by an adult learner at Waimea Bay, posted an update on Grace’s condition on Instagram.

“Many of you already heard he was a victim of one of the most severe surfing accidents of all time while surfing in the Backdoor Shootout yesterday. I just got off the phone with my life long best friend Fielding Benson who is Kala’s Stepfather and was told from him, Kala has regained consciousness, but he couldn’t speak yet, I think because of the breathing tube in his lungs, but Fielding said he asked for a pen and the first thing he wrote to him and his Mom Maryanne was: Did I win?”

Makua, busted ACL in his knee, Kemper’s condition unknown.

See the rescue below.

The wedding, like all, was a whirlwind, but in the eye of the storm, John and Lauryn cherished a moment to breathe. “It was such a nice time after the ceremony,” reminisces Lauryn. “The air was magical—salty mist coming from Waimea Beach over the canopies. It felt like just us two, wandering the gardens.” | Photo: Vogue

Vogue magazine swoons over John John Florence’s “lush, bohemian” wedding to horticulture student with wild behind-the-scenes photo spread, “Laying down on the hot beach at midday, he made me ‘look over there’ as he grabbed the ring his mother had given him as a placeholder!”

“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

A few days before Christmas, the shaggy haired boy who enchanted the world in Vogue fashion spreads and as the first tweenie to ride Pipeline married his long-time girlfriend, the Australian Lauryn Cribb.

The thirty year old Florence proposed to his long-time girlfriend, a model turned horticulture student, in 2019 using a diamond ring his mama Alex had found on the beach and right before a one-month yacht voyage.

“It was a blazing hot day, he was so nervous that he didn’t want to go in the water even though we were both sweating profusely,” Cribb, now Florence, told Vogue in an interview that forms a lavish spread of the wedding, including wild after-party photos. “He had a knee injury, so you can imagine I didn’t get the cookie cutter dropped knee proposal. Laying down on the hot beach at midday, he made me “look over there” as he grabbed the ring his mother had given him as a placeholder.”

The pair were married in the nearby Waimea Valley although torrential rains, the same storms that created an epic river wave that nearly slaughtered sad-eyed degenerate Jamie O’Brien, almost forced a switcharoo of locations.

“The Waimea River actually flooded the venue the day before, which, despite our concerns and the outcome the day of, is considered good fortune when the river is flowing,” said Cribb. “We were very lucky it subsided and the grounds were not at all muddy or wet.”

In the photo spread, which you can examine here, we find the couple and their myriad friends dancing the night away under a grand marquee festooned with lights, the happy couple hoisted upon guest’s shoulders, forming a miracle of love against the heavens.

“You know you’re in love,” said ol’ Dr Seuss, “when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

Mitchell (pictured) free and easy. Photo: @fred_pompermayer
Mitchell (pictured) free and easy. Photo: @fred_pompermayer

Big wave stud Jamie Mitchell flashes legendary temper after overcrowding, general rudeness lead to injury at maxing Todos Santos!

A whole new hell.

Big wave stud muffins are a breed unto themselves. Forever linked to forecasting tools, ready to travel halfway around the world at a second’s notice, prepared, gutsy, united in an often unsung pursuit for glory. Now, any student of that particular art is well aware of Jamie Mitchell. The brave beast hunter is known for slaying outer reef bombs, alongside being the 10x Molokai to Oahu paddle champion, and his legendary temper which he flashed after a session at Todos Santos on Friday the 13th.

Taking to Instagram, Mitchell penned:

Friday the 13th . Mixed emotions to be honest . Our crew was prepared and ready for a epic day of waves . Sometimes the universe has other plans . If i’m being honest a disappointing day for the big wave community regarding the safety of each individual. I won’t dive to deep here on SM but things need to change. Grateful that everyone is safe and home back to there families. It’s been a wild 10 days to say the least but wouldn’t change it for the world. Mucho gracias @gerglong and @jojoroper Love you guys . And the rest of the pit crew @flickpalmateer @lucapadua @arefrapwell @nuttynulty @nlcphoto @hargrave @coxbox12 #mango #chapmanmurphy @ian.walsh @paigealms. Back home to regroup , rest and some family time. Last but very not least to my amazing wife and family for supporting me always. I (heart) you guys.


I suppose Jamie Mitchell does not, in fact, have a legendary temper. I’ve had the honor of spending some time with him on a boat in Teahupo’o and he could not have been kinder nor more gracious. Reading between the “disappointing” and “no deep dive,” witness reported that the Todos Santos lineup was absolutely clogged with very aggressive go-getters. So aggressive, in fact, that Mexican legend Coco Nogales became injured.

The situation mirrors a recent day at Waimea where some who did not belong paddled anyhow and went straight, sending more legends to the hospital.

But is this the big wave future?

Lineups packed and combative?

Mark Zuckerberg shaking his fist while demanding his own?

Apocalypse now.

Open Thread: Comment Live on Da Hui’s famed Backdoor Shootout as viewer numbers soar past World Surf League Pipeline Pro, Vans Pipe Masters!

Biggest little surf contest in the world!

Ageism dealt heavy blow as Baby surfs monster wave at Jaws!

"This is gonna’ be the best wave of my life."

The Ocean Pacific has been alive with pleasure for multiple weeks now delighting surfers from Hawaii to California whilst terrifying beachfront homeowners. So much action. Nature’s gorgeous hammer. And any surfer, worth her salt, has certainly paddled into the XL and, likely, cosplayed as a Waimea or Jaws charger.

I certainly did, yesterday mid-morning, paddling out the front into what Surfline was calling 6 – 10 but it clearly being 20 – 30.

Oh yes, I was brave duck-diving those walls of water on my Album twin, jaw set, spinning on the first inside corner I could and getting an early score on the board but not as brave as the baby who was towed into a monster at Jaws dealing ageism a heavy blow.

The youngest person ever to catch one of the Maui beasts at 12-years-old, back in 2021, “Baby” Steve Roberson was towed into another, Wednesday, by the now legendary Billy Kemper.

“It was like a 40-foot back or maybe bigger,” Baby’s dad, Kaleo Roberson, told Hawaii News Now.

“I just saw this barrel coming and I knew I was like okay, here we go. I was like, this is gonna’ be the best wave of my life,” interjected Baby.

The beast, which initially looked like it was going to barrel, began to clamp forcing the extremely young man to straighten out and cop a heavy beating.

“It felt like I just got hit by a car or something right in my side and it put me into the water so fast and shot me up into the air and then I landed and got sucked over the falls,” he said.

After inflating his vest and getting bashed around a bit, Baby was rescued by a ski and declared, “The feeling like when I popped up is like a feeling like I’ve never had before. I just felt so alive and it was gnarly.”

I, for one, know how he felt-ish.

You can watch in its entirety here.