Hawaii Redux

Straight off the plane we drove to Ehukai Beachpark to catch the end of Day 1 of the comp. It was breaking close to shore and super backwashy but there were still a few moments.

Jacob Romero cracked this cute little revo during the comp down at Off the Wall somehow.

Player can pull this kinda shit in his sleep.

Playing tourist with the Diamond Head hike.

Unknown with a backside hack on the morning of Day 2 of the comp.

We walked over to Rockies during Day 2 and saw Flynn Novak doing his thing.

Quick little Skip toob to start off the final day.

Davis Blackwell impressed during Day 3.

Some Eastside missions went down post-comp.

Heavy Venezualan demonstrations during the contest.

Jeff Hubbard just couldn’t get the waves he needed to advance.

BP locked in during the final.

Some brazo rotating through a nice ARS.

Same Rockies session we referenced with Flynn. Unknown flying high.

Signature creg reverse from BP.

Pool time with the Berenstein Bears.

PLC had a few nice maneuvers but had a difficult time finding the higher scoring barrels.

Pick up a Da Secret Sauce six pack today.

I could watch Dubb do this all day.

Tight flip out of the bowl. Pretty sure this is Urangatang.

The buildup of sand at Pipeline created a kid haven this side of the shoreline.

Dubb stretching one out bellystyle.

Murdock doing work.

Houston setting up for the end bowl.

Skipp vert and a couple tall glasses of water.

The Dubb stretching routine is pretty next level.

Rarely does it work out that the dropknee heats get the best waves of the contest but it happened this year.

Antipala and Skip talking strategy.

Player finishing off a trademark carving reverse.

Three arses in one frame. Yes this happened.

A lot of talent in this pic: Houston, Romero, and Dubb.

Ben Player en route to victory.

Drop 1.

Drop 2.

Honolulu views.

Houston getting some reps post-comp on Day 2.

Plenty of entertainment in and out of the water.

You can cap on his style, but Uri Valadao had a couple massive flips that had the crowd completely fired up.

Sunset stackup at the Banzai.

Tanner’s early exit came with a silver lining: he had a full head of steam for the Youth Final.

Oyster BBQ grinds up in Pupukea.

Ben Player arc’d out roll.

Our last morning was big and unruly. Brian Wise was the only guy out braving the conditions.

Blackwell threaded his way through numerous toobs.

Jared looking to launch.

Pacheco’s hens.

Player has to be one of the most consistent guys in the world with flips like these almost a lock.

Massive Houston boost. If this comp was all at Backdoor, he would have taken the thing.

Standard Shark’s Cove postcard evening.

Skip earned a finals birth with this ride.

Uri Valadaoaoooa seriously inverted.

Tanner dominating the Grom division.

Reverse airs at Backdoor in a final? Player pulling all the stops.

This looks like a Houston roll but he somehow turned it into a looped out flip.

A good sendoff on our last day on the rock.

Wedge Weekend

An unknown finding one of the bigger sets to roll through on Sunday morning.

Plenty of frothy closeouts if you were keen.

Who has the right of way is always in question with the multiple takeoff zones of the Wedge.

Christian Fletcher. Fried.

This is where things go from good to worse typically.

Standing up is treacherous unless you can find the clean insiders.

Late hit Lou was in full effect. We couldn’t get him out of the water.

Worth a mindsurf or two.

It’s all about a good clean bottom turn on these warbly beasts.

When the first two people we saw when we rolled up were Savoji and Buttfuck Kurt we knew it was going to be an interesting day.

Murphy Bartling negotiating the end section.

It was big enough to move the lifeguard tower back from the beach.

Probably the best wave we saw all morning. Unknown half way through a sweet tube ride.

Five Waves, Five Wines

We spent our mini spring break up in Pismo this year. Long gone are the days when we ran amok for Pomeroy Avenue’s offical post-hibernation grand awakening, scoring underage beverages from Big Mike at Pismo Liquor and looking to make it past 2nd base with some Bako thoroughbred in the Pancho’s alley. Yup, this time around we sipped wine with Heinous Chanus at Marisol, checked in on business happenings with Miller at the 861 Groupe, and discussed farming methods with Wonka and Co. on Goofyfoot Lane. We felt compelled to hammer home even further our yuppie status in our latest feature courtesy of Tablas Creek’s Darren Delmore, pairing a few spring break waves from our trip home with some of his favorite grapejuice recommendations.

1999 Rene Rostaing Côte Rôtie
Scrapped pours of this at a Wine Berserker event in San Clemente. Meat, pepper, grilled bells and a whiff of PAB’s peeling bike tires down Pico.

2003 Burge Family Olive Hill Syrah/Grenache/Mourvédre Barossa Valley.
I have emotions tied down to this property in the southern of the Barossa, and will always consider old Rick Burge the alchemist of this land in Lyndoch. Rich but refreshing, with tar, beef and bright berry flavor.

2012 Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol Rosé
Hanus Chanus has put on a good twenty pounds courtesy of this pink, addictive grapefruit juice alternative. From the coastal rock and scrub of Bandol near the home of the Cannes Film Festival, where the new documentary “Elk Lips and Blood on the Synth: the story of Asthmatic Giant” will screen later this year.

2012 L’Ortolan Roussanne Columbia Valley.
Jesse from Fausse Piste makes wines in a dysfunctional store room in the back of his restaurant in Portland. This rich white smelled like honey and struck matches on night one, and opened wide into flowers, apples, and honeysuckle three nights afterward.

2010 Thibault Liger-Belair Bourgogne Rouge
Took this thing to Ember in Arroyo Grande, for its admirable way of giving up some fruit and acid but not stealing the stage. The winemaker is a young master taking over the reins for his old man in Burgundy, and even cash strapped, non-noble Americans like me can drink such French royalty for $26 a bottle.

South of the Border II

James flipping out.

Robles sitting on the foamball.

Statom railing into a morning gem.

Willie cutting right through any bloated belly symptoms.

This guy can scalp cocos better than you.

James planning our next Colima mission.

Teen Wolf setting up for the inside bar.

Nick speed check.

Sooo gooood.

Wonka fanning.

Murdock loving that mid-morning golden hour.

If you are up for battling currents, there’s plenty of these to go around.

Louie mid-Tarzan roar.

Caguama fueled reverse ramps.

Our dinner coming back into port.

James speeding through a far bar nug.

Robles on a bomber.

Nick and James traded off drainers like these to themselves on the best afternoon of the trip.

From these.

To these.

James loving the afternoon milkshakes.

We had a big night at a hotel party down the street. Packed crowd with a little pool setup next to a live DJ. Upon entry the first thing Louie does is a giant cannonball into the pool, completely blasting water on everybody who’s dressed up for the night along with all the DJ equipment. It was one of those moments where the party had reached a tipping point. Would they be fucking pissed at these gringos or would they embrace our stupid antics? Somehow we survived and soon enough half the party had jumped in.

Bubblebutt cam angles with a hectic metal mount.

Willie trying to navigate through one of Wedo’s twisted stories.

James post-mid-face-turn setup.

Louie getting ready to tuck.

A coco a day keeps the hangover away.

Nick getting a taste of Wonka’s left.

Willie midday fun.

Murdock locked up.

The calamaco mariachis.

Probably the best lip line you’ve ever seen from a werewolf.

Wedo got in an awkward sandcrab fight with a buddy in the shore at the beginning of this clip.

Wooly mammoth.

The reason why James comes back every year.

Such good bloated belly relief.

We named him Mexican Jumping Bean.


Murdock loopty loop.

Willie got some prone bowls too.

Louie whip.

Wonka’s left looking inviting.

Tent time. Yoga time. Surf time. Willie had the Mexican schedule down.

Not sure what’s going on here.

Trademark Murdock vert.

The Pipeline Pro Lives On: Our Fab Five List

There was a swarm of confusion coming into the 2014 Pipeline Pro. One day the comp was completely off, the next day it was deemed back on. Were they holding trials? Would there be a webcast? Who were the sponsors? And who is the APB and would the Pipe contest serve as part of a larger world tour?

With the woeful demise of the IBA at the end of last season, we saw the pendulum swing back from some of the sports’ highest highs over the last few seasons to a catastrophic collapse that left us wondering who would pick up the pieces. In an age of social media where people need instant answers, the lack of transparency and conflicting streams of information were frustrating for the core fan base to say the least.

With this as a backdrop, the APB seemed to be cobbled together at the last minute to ensure some sort of contest at the Banzai. With little information known about this alliance, at least it seems clear that the riders themselves are in charge of their own destiny instead of in the hands of investors. The participation and viewership would suffer for this event, but the grassroots feel and modest swell on tap would give the comp a genuine feel reminiscent of its earlier years.

Although the backing had slipped, it was clear that the level of riding had not suffered at all. Throughout the waiting period there was plenty of progressive surfing in each division that left one hopeful for the sports’ future. After attending the final weekend of the contest we compiled our own list of top performers below. Shout out to all the sponsors and contestants for putting on a good show despite the hardships in getting this event organized last minute.

Tanner McDaniel
We’ve been seeing his antics for some time via podcasts but could it translate to the big stage? Tanner had a big flip on the Mens side that drew plenty of praise, but fell short of advancing in the more subpar conditions of the earlier rounds. But his performance on the Junior’s side during the quality run of waves toward the end of the final day made up for any earlier miscues with an assortment of flips, verts, and barrels that landed him a cakewalk victory. He’s not just a bag of tricks either. With a flowing style Tanner certainly is the future and his semblance to a young version of fellow Kauai native Jeff Hubbard is striking. He definitely has the right mentor in Mike Stewart and a well rooted head on his shoulders so look for plenty more podium finishes from this super-grom in the years to come.

Jared Houston
“Houston we have a problem.” We lost count how many times Happy the Hawaiian announcer (aka Chuckles) made this cheesy comment to the semi-shocked audience at Ehukai Beach Park. More fittingly it was Houston’s heat draw who had the problem. Either way Jared’s back to back heats in the quarters and semis will be one for the history books. The combined 36.57 out of a possible 40 was textbook, but even more impressive were the high 7’s and 8’s he was casually discarding in route to his finals birth. His lefts game has improved and his Backdoor dominance can’t be stressed enough. He looked poised for the win up to the final heat but ran out of steam in the final, landing him a 4th in his 3rd ever Pipeline final. With his first child born recently, the extra coin should help his diaper budget back in Puerto Rico.

Dave Hubbard
Rubba dubb dubb owning the DK club. Dave is still head and shoulders above all when it comes to jackstancing Pipe these days and he took the title with ease. Honestly it would have been a fairly major upset had we seen anything else. Still he did well even by his own high standards with some critical drops and ‘stand up comedians’ in probably the best waves of the comp on Day 3. He suffered a close defeat on the prone side of the draw in a star-studded quarterfinal heat that featured Romero, PLC, and eventual champ BP, so we can’t blame him there. With the formation of Hubboards with his repeat prone champion brother, look for plenty of media following these two this year whether there’s a world tour or not.

Spencer Skipper
When Dubb dubbed him “glutten free Skip” at the onset of the final day we knew something had changed. Channeling a more cut physique and intensive training regimen with a good family support base sitting beachside, Spencer looked rejuvenated. The 9.67 that he posted in Round 5 was the wave of the comp and looked like something you would pull from the Skippy archives of the late 90’s. He would power through Round 6 with clean combos and stylish punts as well. And when he just squeaked through his quarter and semi heats we started to think that maybe it was destined to come to fruition. The long time ripper and style god had made the podium before but had never won the Pipe belt. Would this be it? Unfortunately the guy below got off to a sizzling start at the opening buzzer and Skipper’s late-final Backdoor heroics weren’t quite enough to get the crown he so badly desired. It was only fitting with Skipper’s contest history that he bagged a sure heat winner only seconds after the clock wound down. I have a feeling Spencer will be doing the comp for many years to come, I just hope he still has enough left in the tank to taste the champagne.

Ben Player
Such is the luck of a man making the trek to the North Shore for 20 years in a row before winning his maiden Pipe crown…and then winning another on its heels. BP had quite the fairytale campaign in 2013 winning the IBA title and Riptide’s Bodyboarder of the Year award, and its looking like the momentum will carry into 2014 with this win to kick things off. He torched the others at the onset of the final, snagging a couple nuggets in the first few minutes that would prove to be just enough to carry him to the final horn. He was surfing confident and concise for the entire final day, showcasing his symmetrical abilities and deep maneuver repertoire that continues to churn through heats.

Seeking shade during the Junior Pro final before his final heat, Ben cruised in our tent that Murdock and I had staked up for the final day. He seemed pretty loose jamming to some music and giving praise to young Tanner. He stopped for a minute and said, “I kinda want Skipper to win this thing man, his style’s so sick eh.” After a moments pause he finished his thought “But fuck I wanna win it more.” Classic words from the 3 time champ who, at 35 years old, is still as competitive as ever and seeking crown #4.