TSUNAMI BOMBS: Not even an 8.1 earthquake off the coast of Japan can rile up the North Shore

posted by / News / November 16, 2006

EVENTS HELD: Womens Trials, and Round 1 of the OP Pro Hawaii and {{{Vans}}} Triple Crown
CONDITIONS: 2-3 foot double dribbles at Haleiwa.
NATURE’S CALL: Not even a tsunami can wake up the North Shore. Bring in the paddles.
PREDICTIONS: 1989 Op Pro flashbacks from the south side of the Huntington Beach pier at Haleiwa.


“Get out of the water! Get out of the water!” repeated the bullhorn coming from a small Cessna aircraft bouncing back and forth from Backyards to Haleiwa. It was urging all surfers to exit the water immediately Wednesday morning. Confusion ensued. Was it a massive pack of Tiger sharks patrolling the lineup? The Wolfpak commandeering a small commuter aircraft? A Tsunami? Really? A tsunami? While everyone on the beach, couldn’t decide whether to laugh it off, or bolt for the hills; Off the Wall and Backdoor remained packed. Boats in Haleiwa harbor dry docked from the ebbing tidal surge, and the entire island held its breath. Some laughed. Some freaked. Everyone took notice though. Photographer Pat Stacy ran up the sand being chased by a surge of froth and foam. A miniature reenactment of the devastation in Indonesia. A haunting reminder how serious this actually could be.

Dustin Barca wasn’t worried, though. He shouted from his bed on the second story window, “Get out of the water!!” I’m sure just looking out for the safety of others…that or he was annoyed by the hollering Cessna. With the waves not looking any better than a good day at T-street though, WCT, WQS, and photo pros galore continued to infest the lineups. Waiting. Some for sun. Some out of sheer boredom, but all hoping the massive high pressure that’s choking out the North Pacific will let loose…that or praying they would at least get a shot riding a tsunami.

Wednesday was day four of the waiting period for the first Jewel on the Triple Crown and not one heat has been surfed, nor do the reports look promising. “I haven’t even been waking up to check if the contest is on,” said Pipe specialist and North Shore staple Aamion Goodwin on his first heat at Haleiwa. “I would have missed my heat if they held it the last few days. And that would have been okay.” Never the less, everyone is still surfing…sort of. Only if their sponsors coax them out for a clip or two. Or training. Or Partying. Bruce Irons’ girlfriend Mia celebrated her birthday today, and hit the town in a star-packed limo for the night in a hummer limo that included brother Andy, his girl Lyndie, Ian Walsh and his girl Naomie, and a limo full of partygoers.

The Billabong crew has been hard at work urging Taj, Andy and Parko to “just go get wet and do some slashes” at 2 foot high tide OTW for a catalog shoot. Dane Reynolds and Rye Craike were persuaded to go try to boost at Backdoor for some DC Shoes clips. And team Oakley litters the lineup each night at sunset for an illuminating flash session, joining with the rest of the melee creating massive traffic jams from Rockpiles to Pipeline each evening. It looks like the {{{405}}} at 5pm. But, work must be done. So everyone is frothing.

Parko managed to put his elbow through a brand new board during a routine paddle out today. Running into the water for a catalog shot he put a massive ding into one of his freshies. “I haven’t even ridden a wave on this board yet!” He said pointing to the huge gash in the deck of his board. Taj didn’t even get that far. He ran to the water’s edge. Smiled. Then ran back up…smiling for the cameras. And quickly back to the patio at the Billabong house.


At noon today however, the OP Pro Hawaii finally got some work done, running the trials of the womens as well as round one. With several girls on the bubble for qualification, a nervous tension ran through the competitor’s area all day. Nervous hellos. Intense eyes. And many relieved surfers by the end of the day.

Big Island surfer Leilani Gryde is one of those on the bubble for qualification. “It’s good to get that one out of the way. Now it’s time to keep making heats and qualify.” Leilani was definitely a crowd favorite in heat #4 of Round 1 today with everyone pulling for her to make the WCT tour for the first time. She advanced in second place, just below Californian Holly Beck. “I’m trying not to think about it all, but all the girls ahead of me are doing well too, so it’s going be tough, but I’m psyched, “ said the determined Gryde.


The big time eye openers in the womens division today were the under 14 girls. Carissa Moore and Malia Manuel both surfed through the trials and into the main event, and then went on to advance easily through round 1. Malia Manuel from Kauai has to be the smoothest womens surfer I’ve ever seen. And at 13 years old, her entry into the pro ranks at the same time as competitive dominator Carissa Moore could prove to be a match up for the ages. You heard it hear first. Keep your eyes on these two.

So that’s where we are. 4 womens heats run in the OP Pro Hawaii, first jewel of the Vans Triple Crown. A lot of eggy surfers on the North Shore and no real swell activity planned for at least another week. The Gudauskas Brothers Dane and Pat are turning 21 on Monday and unless some swell comes by then, the party could be something you wouldn’t wish on anyone. Stay tuned.

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