Here’s an idea: Let’s never go back. Seriously, let’s kick off this strange decade by promising to skip “Hawaii season” next year. I mean, what do we all flock there for anyway? Is it because of the big waves? It is, right? It’s the waves…it must be. I just find it funny that for the other 46 weeks of the year we all go to great lengths to avoid clogging each other’s lineups, but come late fall, we chuck it all out the window and we go to Hawaii…together. The rest of the year we’ll lie to our best friends. Smoke-bomb our own families. Bail on work. Risk relationships. Drive hundreds of miles on a wild whim of fun waves and an empty lineup.
But once November comes, like some bad Pavlovian surf remix, we all book peak-fare tickets and board full planes and show up en masse at the same stretch of beach on the North Shore of Oahu. For a lot of us, it’s ingrained in our DNA. Winter = Go to Hawaii. Don’t ask no questions. We’re like a flock of seabirds in a perfect flying V aimed straight at the islands. Lemmings with board bags on our way to ride the Pipeline, eat at Lei Lei’s, golf, surf, get sunburned, turn around mid-December and go home. Which is obviously just when things get good, but that’s something few of us realize because we stick to our routine. Just look at how often it pumps in January for proof.
I’ve just never been one who likes to go through the motions, and Hawaii is starting to feel like a motion. Or maybe it’s because I’m not one for the big, perfect waves. Whatever the reason, I feel that in order for this sport/lifestyle/ancient tradition etc. to trail-blaze into a fresh little decade, we’re going to need change. And as someone who’s been watching the mean and nasty Pipeline spit on my heroes since I was a kid, I think we should start here.
As of right now, I’ve been going to Hawaii for seven years, and I still haven’t quite been able to emulate Kelly at Backdoor like I thought I would as a kid. And this bothers me. I’m thinking that if we all just spread out a bit, I might have a chance. I mean, take this issue for example: most of the photographs in this issue are from a piece of reef about 100 yards across. We call it “Hawaii Season,” but “PBO Month” would be more accurate: Pipe, Backdoor and Off the Wall. The rest ends up a footnote.
So, fellow haoles, I think it’s time we beat it. And for those of you with me, you might wanna put this magazine down now, ‘cause there are a lot of photos in here that are going to make you think going back to Hawaii is a good idea. I’ll just stop you there and suggest you go do something else. Watch Jeopardy!. Dye some Easter eggs. Write a letter to Obama. Anything but gaze at the following pages. And remember: Don’t go to Hawaii next year. None of us are. It’s canceled. We’re taking a stand for originality — all for one, divided we fall, strength in numbers, and all that noise. Done.
(Sigh.) See you there. F–kin’ Hawaii. —Travis Ferré