November 12, 2008: Landed in Hawaii yesterday. Remind me to never fly out of LAX again, by the way. As the world continues to move to Los Angeles and Orange Counties, more and more people need to fly. And as more people need to fly, the 5:30 a.m. lines and stress levels become horrifying and hilarious all the same. LAX, America’s favorite airport, is absolutely overflowing with clueless people that apparently believe that they can still arrive a half hour before their flights leave — and then complain about it when they’re told ‘no ma’am, we can’t get you on that flight.’ (Don’t worry; her pouting didn’t get her anything but another plane ticket on that fat credit card). But, I gotta say, it’s pretty entertaining watching meltdowns erupt all around you when the only thing you’re worried about is where you’re gonna surf on the North Shore later that afternoon. And, oh yeah, where you’re gonna sleep too.
With the LAX bullsh*t aside, a couple of phone calls and an easy 5 hour flight half way across the Pacific, I was en route to a cozy couch at Backyards courtesy of the crew at Vans…. And of course an evening sesh just out front.
After that, it was over to Kahea Hart’s house just across Kam Highway for a Hurley team barbeque with some of the North Shore’s most gifted sons and adopted sons. Maui’s Hank Gaskell talked of some of the best waves of his life at Skeleton Bay, Africa while Mark Healy relived his knee-shattering spill at Pipeline last season. 2007 Xcel Pro champion Joel Centio popped in with his fiancé. 18-year-old Maui boy Kai Barger stopped by too. Evan Valiere. Brad Ettinger. Super grom Levi Gonzales. The list goes on. By the time Jeff Flindt, Kai Barger and I left, Jack and Cokes were replacing the dwindling beers and the Brazilian girls turned Kahea’s living room into a dance floor. And, yeah we left. I know, Core Score way down.
Seeing that Vans is ground zero for all Triple Crown hoopla, I’m planting myself here on their couch for a few days. And even better, a proper northwest is filling in as I write. Here and there, waist high sets are giving way to head high ones — a telltale sign that something worth watching is lurking out to sea.
And due to the incoming swell, the Reef Hawaiian Pro contest officials have opted to hold off on the Men’s heats today and are waiting ’till noon to see if they can run the opening Women’s rounds. So, stay tuned to Van’s triplecrownofsurfing.com and surfingthemag.com for updates.
So yeah, settling in. LAX and all that calculated chaos is disappearing from my mind and only the show that the North Shore can put on is what matters now. And, yep, it’s getting bigger out there. Better get on it.