Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Fat post full of stuff. Let's start with some serious bullshit.

Here, read this article that appeared today on the Maui news about the Super-Fucking-Ferry.
Here's a close up of the map.

My first comment when I read it was... WHAAAT???!!!
This is just too much. This way of obtaining things is really disgusting me. Here's a short summary:
To avoid potential protests like there have been in Kauai (surfers paddling in front of the boat) the Superferry corporation with the help of the governor managed to get approved a law that will forbid surfing in the harbor from an hour before the boat arrives to 10 minutes after it leaves.

Un-believable. This is un-believable. As a matter of fact, I don't believe it will happen. If the harbor is going off, there's no way you can keep the surfers (me included) out of the water. Overall a very stupid move, since it will piss off a lot of people.
I'll take part to the rally organized by Maui Tomorrow on Sat 12/8. Everybody who thinks this is unfair, (and/or is concerned about the other issues that the SF will bring: more traffic, criminality, drugs) should come to the rally and protest. Not convinced? Read this (don't be deceived by the date, they changed it to Sat 12.8 so that more people could attend).
More details about the rally.
The best way of protesting, in my opinion, is to boycott the Ferry. Just don't use it. Even if they put tickets down to 5 bucks, please don't buy them!
Enough of that.

Different SF story. Much better one, since SF in this case stands for SuperFreak...
Last Friday Diony Guadagnino took his SF at Jaws. It was his first time there. Read the story on the Hot Sails Maui site.

Sunset beach
Great surfing at Sunset beach in Oahu, where the second event of the Triple Crown of Surfing is taking place. In Maui it rained pretty much all day and I really enjoyed watching the live webcast.
Here are the best waves of yesterday. Check it out, it's really worth it... I love the water shots that give a much better idea of the size of the waves.
BTW, the first surfer is not Bruneau, but 15 (!!!) years old John John Florence who advanced two heats before being eliminated...
And these are the best waves of day two.

Sunset session
Inspired by all this great surfing, and by the fact that finally around 4pm it stopped raining, I went to Hookipa to check the surf. It looked pretty damn good, but I knew that it was going to get pretty big and crowded, which is a combination that I don't particularly like... specially at Hookipa.
So I chose to challenge the break of Noriega on my standup board. The launch at Kuau is from the rocks and it's a bit tricky with a big board on your shoulder, so I picked my super light 12.2 Starboard, instead of my extra heavy 12.6 Timpone. Actually, I was just lazy... it was already on top of my car and it was getting late...
When I paddled out, there were three tow-surfing teams on their stinky skis. They were all smiling and friendly with me, also because in theory they should move somewhere else as soon as a regular/standup surfer shows up.
I don't care. I let them surf, even though I hate the noise and the smell of the jet-skis. "At least it's good to have them around in case I break my leash", I thought...

Anyway, the sets were rolling in often in the double overhead range (thank god I didn't go out at Hookipa, I thought...) and I managed to drop into four bombs that really got my heart going...
Then the sunset started to go off. Big time. I just knew it... when it rains all day and there's a big NW swell, the sunset is often amazing... one of those special winter days that just stays under your skin for a while.
I was admiring the beauty of the incredible sunset (slightly disturbed by the jet-skis noise) and contemplating to catch a last ride in (it was 5.45 and it was starting to get dark), when - CLEARLY - a huge set appeared on the horizon.
"Oh well, looks like I'll take a few on the head... no big deal, as long as the leash doesn't snap".
I dove under the first wave and... SNAP! The leash snapped.
In a fraction of a second I went from the extasy of a gorgeous sunset to some seriously deep shit. The jet skis? Magically disappeared...
And there I was, in the middle of the impact zone, with a paddle in my hands, taking wave after wave on my head under a dramatic red sky...
Swimming in the current with a (long) paddle is not the easiest thing in the world, but somehow I managed to get back to shore. While walking back on the rocks, I even ran into my board! Well, actually into the two pieces in which my board had snapped...

Still... stoked! I really like that shape a lot and tomorrow I'll take it to Ding King and ask Mark (the original shaper) to put it back together. He already did it once... that board, in fact, is a particularly light and fragile one that was only built for a photoshoot. I assume the production ones are stronger, but hey... a twelve feet wave is a twelve feet wave! It will break even the strongest board if it hits it right...

Here's Pat Caldwell's latest forecast.
The surf is going to be ginormous on Saturday. Not hard to believe, seen the Tursday morning weather map...

Mmm... Kona wind. Is it going to be one of those epic days when the pro sailors challenge Lanes? We'll see...
For sure, I'll put the Timpone on my car so that if (after the rally!) there's light Kona at Kanaha, I'll be sailing on mountains of water... let's see if I manage to snap another board! Well, considering how delaminated most of the deck is, that is not unlikely at all...
And it's also not unlikely that the Eddie Aikau will take place at Waimea bay. Check their website for the webcast.

Aloha from an extremely stoked simple guy who bloody loves winter in Hawaii...
Geez, it was sooooo beautiful out there today!!!
I wish I could record that feeling on a disk and send it to all the governments of the world (and to the Superferry managers): they would immediately stop thinking how to make money and wars and start reconnecting with nature...
Mmmm... on a second thought, I'm not sure I wonna have all those jerks in the lineup though...

PS. Do you smoke? Have a look a this, maybe it'll help you quit.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I love light wind...

Oh boy, am I tired... here's what happened since last update.

Thursday (Thanksgiving): light wind and beautiful head to logo and sometimes even mast high waves at Lowers. I got in the water early and caught a bunch of lefts backwinding on my 5.5 and floaty shortboard...
I absolutely love that, because I can surf frontside on my natural goofy stance. I'm now working on the technique of the bottom and top turns and on the first hits to the white water... so much fun!
Around 3pm the wind picked up a notch and it was possible to go down the line... at least for a couple of hits. I had so much fun that I stayed out for 4 hours in a row. I don't think I never did that. Not even when I was 20...
Definitely a five stars day for me. I just love light wind...

More photos from the photo shoot of a month ago (the sail in this case was a 4.7). Notice how my stupid fart-aerial on a insignificant wave ruined a nice sequence of Diony about to vertically hit a big one... Next time I better make sure to be always behind him...

Friday it was outer reefs kind of big. I was busy and didn't make it to the water till 3. Didn't have my longboard (it should have been the call), went out on the floaty shortboard again, but the waves at lowers were just closing out too much. Not enough wind (and time) to slog my way to the outer reef at uppers (where it was epic).
I went back in and looked for a good place where to surf. Didn't find it... what did I say about my local knowledge?
BTW, what did I also say about being the undisputed king of kanaha for another winter? Yeah right... Taka was out on a longboard and, even though it was probably his first time or so, he was already sailing it way better than me...
Aaah, feels good to be a kook!

And here I am again, throwing gigantic amount of spray off on a double foot high wave!

Saturday, more light wind and big waves. More backside rides on the lefts at lowers. I did check out uppers this time, but the outer reef wasn't breaking anymore.
Anyway, had a couple of waves on a board completely different from everything else out there... stay tuned for a report.

Here's Diony. Nice hit, nice shot, nice sail, nice colors, nice everything.

Just checked the modelled weather maps for the next week... more big, large and even giant swells on tap. I bloody love winter in Hawaii...
Wait a moment... what? It's already November 24th??? Oh my god, it's almost over!!! Aaaargh!!!!!

PS. Meanwhile, in Haleiwa (Oahu) the first contest of the Triple Crown was run in some seriously heavy surf. Roy Powers from Kauai won it.
Here's the waves of the final.
Here's plenty more videos.

PPS. Check this out. And this.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

photoshoot 1

A month ago I sneaked in a Hot Sails Maui photoshoot.

I just got a nice cd with a lot of photos by photographer Kris Mills.
I was told not to post the very good ones. So, here's a couple of the BAD photos of Diony.

Here's a couple of the BAD photos of Andres.

I wasn't told anything about my photos, so here's a couple of my BEST ones.

I got plenty more, stay tuned.

Lil' weather/activities update.
The week started with some big and messy waves out of N and NE and light sideon wind that made Hookipa unsurfable (too big and junky). In these conditions, most of the poeple I know don't surf nor sail.
That's when my toys and my knowledge of the spots of the island come handy.
Monday and Tuesday it was an easy call for longboard sailing at Kanaha. I took the good old 12.6 Timpone back out and with 6 knots of wind I enjoyed a huge number of fun backside rides on head to logo high waves. I was surprised that none of the new SUP board with mast truck owners was out sailing. Cool, looks like I'm going to be the undisputed King of Kanaha for one more winter... stoked!
Wednesday a slightly cleaner and even bigger NW swell hit (14 feet, 14 sec at the NW buoy!!!). The wind was out of NW and I scored a really fun surf sesh in a spot with no wind and glassy head high waves. Where was it? Da hell, take a Maui map and figure that out yourself...

Today the waves are a bit smaller and the wind is back to NE. If strong enough, I'll shortboard sail. If not, I'll longboard sail.
Tomorrow a extra-large swell (although I think this one has been over-estimated) should hit and the wind should go back to a more easterly direction and stronger speed. In which case, I predict busy times for the lifeguards at Kanaha, since a lot of windsurfers will hit the water.

Oh, yeah right... Happy Thanksgiving to all the americans!
Specially to the few native indians that survived the colonization.
Specially to the ones brought in from Africa that survived the slavery.
Specially to the families of the people who died in 9/11. I believe that the day when the truth will be revealed is getting close.
And, even if they're not americans, I wish a happy Thanksgiving especially to the families of all the innocent civilians killed in Iraq. I'm sure they celebrate it over there as well...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

yet another good wavesailing day...

Ehm... it's getting hard to be original with the titles!

Nice waves again today after a day of rest yesterday (light wind and small waves, but I surfed the south shore...).
Hookipa was way too crowded for my tastes. Must be the weak dollar... Must be the fact that a lot of people had already booked their flights to compete/watch the canceled Aloha Classic... but I don't remember so many sailors at Hookipa in the last six years!
And all bloody damn good, which in most cases means aggressive!

I preferred to sail a little downwind (caught a couple of sweet ones... and sometimes that's all it takes...) and then sat on the hill to take some shots.
Let's start the main page show with the best one of them.
Ladies and gentlemen, Downtown Jesse Brown... upside down!

Think it's a good shot? Enlarge it (click on it) and imagine the one that the water photographer must have taken with the camera on that stick...

Here, you can see it better in this one of Eyal... Where the hell is the photographer? Scuba diving?!?

Dioni one hand aerial.

Leo Ray.

Nice set.

Another nice set.

Plenty more photos in this slide.

Lastly, if you feel like watching something gnarly, here's the video that Makani took of Tatiana's wipeout on Wednesday. She got brutally hit by her boom and got away with a bruise around her eye. For sure, it could have been worse... a lot worse... be careful, girl!

Oh, almost forgot... plenty shots of that big Wednesday on Harry Wiewel's website.
Here's a sample. Thanks Harry.

Wait! One more link just posted as a comment by a reader: it's the Tim McKenna site where you can admire some incredible photos of Teahupoo... unbelievable, those waves are unbelievable.
It's official. I have one more dream in my life: to sit on a boat in that channel and watch one of those big swells...
Cool, I like having dreams!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

not much soul

This is a photo of Hookipa on Tuesday.

40 people out and 4 photographers in the water.. even a couple of standup paddlers. Inconsistent head high swell. Most waves had at least three sailors on them... most of which with a quite aggressive attitude... like it was a matter of life or death to do that turn right there, ready to to run you over if you happen to be in the wrong spot...
Now, that sucks! There's no soul in that.

When it's that crowded, I don't enjoy it anymore, because you can't focus on the wave. You have to keep an eye on the guy downwind of you, on the sneaker that just jibed on the wave upwind of you, on the guys waterstarting or swimming after their gear in the impact zone, on the photographers...
So, even though the waves weren't as good, I enjoyed Lanes a lot more, also because the kitesurfers seemed more willing to share.

Anyway, this is Levi (who instead does some really long reaches to catch his waves all the way out) writing some poetry.

I didn't catch who this was, but I'm sure the official sailors identifier of this blog will add a comment with his name... thanks in advance Pascal!

This one is Victor Fernandez.

Philippe of enjoys his custom designed Superfreak.

Wednesday a big north swell hit. I sailed Lowers and loved it. Plenty logo high sets, specially from 2 to 4pm. Lots of people too, but more room and less aggressiveness.
Reports from Hookipa were of sets over mast high and tons of people on the rocks (Polakow twice!).
I wasn't there, but fortunately Makani was. Check the videos on his website.
Tatiana Howard's blog has some photos too.

Somebody lost his board. An anonymous reader found it and put this comment on the previous post:
"Maybe you can help to reunite a lost board with its owner. On Wednesday, I recovered a board lost by someone at Ho'okipa - it ended up way downwind. Broken universal. It is a custom board with production graphics. Please ask owner to post description, for identification, and contact info"

Today (Thursday) it was smaller but still enjoyable.
Tomorrow I'm not sure, but I hope it's going to be sailable because I have a board to try... like if I needed one!
Hey, it's a custom Quatro with Starboard graphics... hopefully is not that lost one that the guy is now trying to sell me!

Last minute addition.
Remember that poll for the best looking sail? Here's the winner...

The surprise winner: you guys obviously think you can design graphics better than the brands as Hot Sails allow you to do just that with their Superfreak range. Take note windsurfing industry!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Black sea oil spill

Let's see how sick this video makes you feel...


Hopefully this will make you feel better...

Here, have a laugh!

What's so funny about it? Check the exhaust...

Light wind and nice waves here in Maui... I forgot how much fun surfing glassy shoulder high waves on a 10 footer at Lowers can be...

In Haleiwa (Oahu) the first contest of the Van Triple Crown started. You can watch it live here.

Wait! Last but not least, I just found this nice little video that my crazy-about-standup friends Randy and Chantalle did. Enjoy.

Monday, November 05, 2007

surfing post: what a swell!

Windsurfers: you guys take a break, kick back and relax, because there has been no wind for a few days (my muscles thank god for that) and this post is about the wonderful sport of... SURFING!

A lot of people called in sick last Monday.
Back then, when the Hawaiians were still living uninvaded and "uncivilized" by the white people, a day like Monday would have been declared a royal Hawaiian holiday... the King and the Queen in person would have gone surfing.
Today, people have to call in sick... we got all the priorities fucked up!

Monday a large out of season south swell hit the islands (well, more precisely it hit already Sunday at sunset, but I surfed Hookipa instead...).
I surfed my favorite wave twice (morning and sunset) and in between I took plenty photos of another break nearby.

Here's one to give you an idea of the size (check the one on the back).

Here's one to give you an idea of the gnarliness.

Here's one to give you an idea of the colors and the glassiness before the wind picked up.

The sun was ferocious. And even though it only lasts for a few seconds, the relief brought by the shade of a water curtain is always enormous...

Artsy one.

Artsy two.

I also took photos of the shore break at a nearby beach. This girl is actually standing on the sand... she's just below the huge step created by the pounding waves...

Boogie boarding gets pretty radical over there...

Plenty more photos in this slide.

I also took a few videos that I put together without much editing. In fact, I wanted the resulting clip to be long enough to include a song from one my favorite reggae singers, Lucky Dube, who was killed Oct 18th in a suburb of Johannesburg, apparently by carjackers.
Ironically, in his songs he always preached love, peace and care for the poor.
I saw him in concert in Maui four years ago and it was THE best reggae concert I saw in my life. Maybe the music... maybe that cloud of da kine smoke constantly floating over the audience... maybe the fact that I left with two phone numbers... I don't know what it was, but it was just magic!

Here's the lyrics of that song. Pretty scary...

So far so good we still living today
But we don't know what tomorrow brings
In this crazy world
People dying like flies every day
You read about it in the news
But you don't believe it
You'll only know about it
When the man in the long black coat
Knocks on your door
'Cause you're his next victim
As you are living in this
Living in, living in this crazy world (x4)
Leaders starting wars every time they want
Some for their rights,
Some for fun and their own glory letting people die for the wrong that they do
Oh it's painful come on now little boy
Say your prayers before you sleep
Little boy went down on his knees
And he said:
Oh Lord Now I lay me down to sleep............*
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
And if I die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
'Cause he's living in this crazy world
Oh Lord

Back to the swell: here's the storm that generated it.

Where's Maui? See that * on the right of the "I lay me down to sleep" verse? Roughly there...
Waves have an incredible ability to travel without dissipating too much of their energy. That's because it's not that the water molecules move all the way from over there to over here... it's more like they push each other, like a domino.

They do lose some energy, though. You can easily guess that if take a look to this amazing photos of the same swell, hitting Tahiti four days earlier. Where's Tahiti on that map? Da hell, do I have to do everything? Here, this is good enough.
Jaws can get bigger, but Teahupoo is the heaviest wave on the planet.
Unbelievable. Those photos are just unbelievable.

Well, at this point you guys probably won't care too much anymore that I had two more great surf days Tuesday and Wednesday, but I'll tell you anyway.

Tuesday I was so lucky to score on the the most fickle waves in Maui. I had checked a couple of spots already and I didn't like them. Then I saw this one with only one guy out. "Well, that's kind of fun" I thought, "plus I never surfed here..."
As soon as I got in the water, the other guy left. "It's all yours brah, I surfed it for two hours... I'm done".
As soon as I was left alone, a couple of head high sets arrived.
"Well, it's better than it looked from the shore", I thought.
10 minutes later it got so good that the same guy paddled back out... he just couldn't resist!
I caught a couple of waves that were the best waves I had had in a loooong while. It looked like Indo. Steep, open, glassy, blue walls of water. Not a long ride, two or three turns... still!
A third surfer joined us and it was perfection for an hour.

Three surfers in the lineup is a perfect number. You can take turns and can sit a little spread out, so that if the peak is shifty, most waves will still be caught and ridden. And there's no competition at all. Only yelling joy at each other, sharing the stoke of something that unfortunately doesn't happen often. One hour later, an onshore breeze picked up, the tide got too high and I just couldn't believe that it was the same place!
Clearly, I have the weather map of the storm responsible for the waves of that day (I save ALL the weather maps every morning on my computer), so I can try to guess when that spot is going to go off again. It's like a game in the game.

Wednesday, I went quite early on the Lahaina side and scored more glassy shoulder high waves.
Right now, I got all the possible rashes a surfer can have. Thank god (again!? Good job that I don't believe in him!) tomorrow the wind should be back, together with a moderate NW swell (4 feet, 12 sec from 330 at the NW buoy as I type) and that should make for some fun wavesailing conditions... what a bloody good life!

Talking about which...
Tonight I saw a movie about Buthan, a little country in the middle of Asia where the local government has defined the Gross National Happiness as one of its main goals. Fantastic. Hopefully they will survive the threat of globalization and consumerism that the television has lately started to bring in...

As a parameter to measure my happiness, instead, I have my own QUOLI (QUolity Of Life Index). Up to date, I'm doing pretty well with only 10 days NOT in the ocean from the beginning of 07. Can't complain.

Last but not least, the australian Mick Fanning won the ASP world title. The whole thing was webcasted, of course. Here, in the video section, you can find some highlights.

Happy, happy, happy, I salute you blog readers and I go get some well deserved sleep.
Hasta luego.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

the webcast shift + video with the camera on the front of the board

Sorry, this post was too boring without some action...
Thanks to a rainy Sunday, I edited the video I shot with the camera on the front of my 7.10 windsurf board. Enjoy.

Just one more minute to mention that after the rain I scored an epic surf session at Hookipa. Way overhead, a bit crowded, but glassy and beautiful...
Gorgeous sunset too. I took some photos, but I can't post them, because right now I'm cooking some pasta with zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms and mozzarella... new recipe! Shoots, it's almost time!! Got to go... I'll lose my passport if I overcook it.

Allright, dinner was delicious. We saw it watching an old classic: Body Heat.
Here's a quote from it:
Matty: You're not too smart, are you? I like that in a man.
Ned: What else do you like? Lazy? Ugly? Horny? I've got 'em all.

Oh, and here's a photo of the sunset. Actually two, I can't decide which one to pick. The reason is that none of them renders how beautiful it really was...

And now, the webcast part...

An anonymous comment on my last post inspired me to write this.

I know some people will to get all sensitive about it, but I see it as a constructive suggestion to do something that, in my not so humble opinion, would mean a huge shift in the windsurfing industry.
Who am I to say that, what credits do I have? Nothing, I'm just a guy with a blog. Everybody can do that...
So, here's the answer to that comment.

and you don't think that with this blog I'm publicizing the sport of windsurfing?
Not all my readers are windsurfers.
Some of them could be involved or be friends with potential non-windsurf-related sponsors.
Plus, I'm not only criticizing, I'm suggesting actions: webcasts.

The ASP reaches literally millions of people with the webcasts.
I barely knew who Kelly Slater was. Now thanks to the webcasts I can mention at least 20 pro surfers (and quite a few brands of board shorts).
And often the surf contests can even be boring because there's big lulls in the action.
Still, have a look at this to understand the magnitude of the advent of webcasts.

Instead, the heats of a wave sailing contests are action packed, because there's wind and nobody is ever just sitting and waiting for waves.
Plus, the two-three minutes transitions between heats in a PWA wave contests would be perfect to run a 30 seconds board shorts ad or something like that.

Did you know that PWA already has a live event ticker (btw hey Brian, how are you doing and what do you think about this?)... now, who in the world is going to follow that?!
Knowing that somebody on the other side of the world is watching a wavesailing contest and has an internet connection and a computer in front of him and writes in real time on a web page:"Wow, Kauli just did an amazing double forward!"... pisses me off more than anything.
I don't want to read it, I want to see it!!!

All it would take at that point is a couple of videocameras, a higher speed connection (eventually via satellite) and a few big servers. We're in 2007... those things are available. Google webcasting and see how many companies offering solutions there are.

Set up one for the first wave event of next season, let every magazine/blog know well in advance that it's going to be webcasted and you'll see how many windsurfers will suddenly pop up from all over the world.
That would mean a HUGE shift for the whole industry. Just imagine the impact it would have had if they had it for the Cabo Verde event... what a incredible missed opportunity! ALL windsurfers in the world would have seen/loved it!

I know for sure that PWA is already thinking about it. They were already thinking about it one year ago in Maui...
I'm surprised (well, that's a mild word...) that it still hasn't happened yet! What's the big deal about it? Money, I assume.

I tell you what. If I was the HONDA CEO I would not invest not even a few grands in buying advertising space in a PWA event the way it is now. What for? To have the logo appear on the background of the photo of the winners? And what return would that bring...?
Imagine instead a webcast with hundred of thousands windsurfers online from all over the world and an ad running every few heats that shows how many boards you can stack in the new Element and how cool it is that you can hose the inside to wash off all the sand and shit like that...
And make sure all the heats (with the ads) will be available on demand so that even the people on the other side of the world could see it without having to stay up at night.

Wonna know what I would do if I was Jimmy Diaz? (other than rescuing my canoe... thanks again Jimmy!)
I would send the dvd of the Cabo Verde event to the CEOs/marketing managers of Billabong, Quicksilver, O'Neill, Rip Curl, Rusty, Hurley, etc... together with a note that says:"This is what a PWA wave sailing event can be. We need help to set up a webcast for our next contest. Any interest in sponsoring?"

But I'm not Jimmy Diaz, so I can only kindly suggest it through this blog. And since I don't think he reads it, if you know him would you be so kind to send him the link to this post or email me his email address so that I can personally do that? Thanks!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Must be the cologne...

This photo is my desktop background (it has been it for years).

It shows a man in a cave of water.
The man is Derek Ho and the cave is Pipeline. I just received this press release and I'm happy to publish it.
Oahu north shore residents should be happy that the Superferry is not working, otherwise a big number of Maui cars and surfers would considerably increase the traffic on the already choked Kamehameha hwy.

Honolulu - (October 31, 2007) - Approaching its 25th Anniversary this winter, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is a timeline of ultimate surfing master Derek Ho's life. From sandcastles to fatherhood, first wipeouts to world class titles, it has all happened on Oahu's North Shore during this prestigious series of events. This winter, Ho will be competing in his 25th Vans Triple Crown of Surfing series. At 43 years of age, he's still a contender - particularly when it comes to the Billabong Pipeline Masters.

When the Pipe Masters began in 1971, Ho was 7-years-old, playing in the sand and dreaming of a day when he might be the guy riding Pipe.

In 1983, the inaugural year of the Vans Triple Crown Series, Ho was a nervous 19-year-old looking to make his own mark. He would settle for the shadow of his older brother, Michael, that winter, who took the honor of being the first Vans Triple Crown champion.

Derek didn't have to wait long. In 1984 the Triple Crown was his, as it would be three more times in '86, '88, and '90.

His first of two Pipeline Masters titles came in '86, followed up seven years later with a victory in '93 that was his ultimate crowning moment. Ho was 29 years old that winter and surfaced above the rising tide of teenage sensation Kelly Slater to win the world title, the Pipe Masters, and the Vans Triple Crown.

But of the many highs, what stands out the most to Derek is the personal relationship he has fostered with Pipeline and shared with brother Michael.

"From the beginning, I remember being in total awe of my brother," says Derek. "I was so fortunate. He took me around the world, showed me everything it takes to be a winner, and showed me how to lose!

"As for Pipeline and the Triple Crown, after 25 years it's totally personal. There's not a whole lot of us who have been doing it for that long... basically me and Mike."

A lot has changed over 25 years: the stakes, the sponsors, faces in the lineup, the intensity of competition, and a shift towards friendly rivalries in the water.

"Back then, (the surfers) just didn't like each other, it was as simple as that!" says Derek with a laugh. "It was a different type of competitiveness, plus we were getting judged on our best four waves, not two, so it was dog-eat-dog... and pretty much all we got for it was a trophy."

Above: Master Tube-rider, Derek Ho. (JOLI)

This winter there will be $740,000 in total prize money, along with a $25,000 Chevy Colorado truck and a diamond-crusted Nixon watch for the Vans Triple Crown champion.

Still, some things remain the same, for Ho at least.

"The wipeouts - they're inevitable, and the odds are the longer you do it the more chance you have. The barrels - the best of life. And I still wear a 29" boardshorts - have since I was 19."

Still measuring five feet, four-and-a-half inches tall and 130 pounds, it's easy to mistake Derek as a ripping rookie when you see him stylishly slotted at Pipe. Perhaps the only person who sees any different is mom, Joeine. She's been watching her boys at Pipe for almost 40 years - from sandcastle-makers to Pipeline Masters - and will be back for her 25th Triple Crown, too.

The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing gets underway November 12 with the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa (Nov.12-24), followed by the O'Neill World Cup of Surfing & women's Roxy Pro at Sunset Beach (Nov.25-Dec.6), and finally the Billabong Pipeline Masters & women's Billabong Pro Maui (Dec.8-20).

As the final stop on the 2007 ASP World Surfing Tour, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is critical in determining the world champion, the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title, the lineup for the 2008 elite World Championship Tour, and the division of more than half a million dollars worth or prize money.

All of the action of this year's Vans Triple Crown of Surfing can be experienced live via the internet at Additionally, will be offering original daily content, and Surfing Magazine will provide a daily blog.

Surfing is a great sport and I personally will always choose a perfect surfing day over anything else in life, including sex with Naomi Campbell, a Porcupine tree concert or a 4.7 mast high wavesailing day...
But... $740,000 in total prize money, along with a $25,000 Chevy Colorado truck and a diamond-crusted Nixon watch... and the PWA couldn't find sponsors for the Maui event?! Gimme a break!

What is it? What makes surfing a cooler perceived sport with way more people doing it?
In the end, on a planetary scale I think it's easier to find water with wind than water with waves!
The simplicity of the equipment must play a big role here, but overall I think that it's more the media that made of it a great vehicle to publicize all kind of products. And the number of people they can reach with the webcasts is huge!
That's what the windsurf contests need (I'll never get tired to say this): webcasts!

Here we go, just received this other one. Only $98,000 in price money...


LOCATION: Waimea Bay, North Shore, Oahu
OPENING CEREMONY: Thursday, November 29, 2007. 3pm
HOLDING PERIOD: Dec. 1, 2007 to Feb. 29, 2008.
To be held on one day when surf measures at least 20 feet.
BIG WAVE RIDERS: 28 of the world's best.
PRIZE MONEY: US$98,000 in prize money. US$55,000 for first place.

Above: Defending champion Bruce Irons (HI) Photo: JOLI

Huntington Beach, California, November 1, 2007 (NYSE:ZQK) Quiksilver, the leading brand in boardriding and presenters of The Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational, In Memory of Eddie Aikau, has officially announced the Invitees and Alternates to this year's event. For the first time in the event's 23-year history, the list of Invitees has been extended from 24 to 28, reflecting the growth in international big-wave riding talent.

Starting this year, the regions of Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe have each been awarded one Invitee slot for their top big-wave rider, taking the total number of Invitees to 28. (Those four Invitees are denoted by ** in the official list.)

"We are extremely pleased to announce the growth of this year's event and to welcome elected riders from Asia, Africa, South America and Europe," said Bob McKnight, CEO, Quiksilver, Inc. "The quest to ride the world's biggest waves has become a truly international and influential sport, complete with an ever-growing depth of talent and the discovery of big-wave riding locations around the globe.

"Eddie Aikau was a man who loved to ride big waves and who shared his passion with many during his own travels to places like South Africa, South America, and Australia. We believe that the growth of this event, in his honor, is becoming a truer representation of how far Aikau's life and legacy have traveled with each passing year."

For the first time the event website,, will host a live webcast of the Opening Ceremonies on November 29th, 2007. The actual contest, if and when it goes, will also be broadcast live on the internet. The event website, which is live today, also features photos, videos and text from the event's storied history, links to purchase limited edition merchandise and profiles of each competitor.

Scheduled to take place at the hallowed grounds of Waimea Bay, on the North Shore of Oahu, between December 1, 2007, and February 29, 2008, the event, otherwise known as "The Eddie", requires a minimum of 20-foot surf (based on Hawaiian scale measurement, translating to 30-40 foot face waves) in order to run.

Created in 1984 (first year event ran) to honor the legendary Hawaiian waterman, Eddie Aikau, The Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational, In Memory of Eddie Aikau gathers the most skillful and dynamic big-wave surfers from around the world as polled by a comprehensive panel consisting of influential watermen, members of the surf industry, internationally recognized surfing Associations, as well as a public poll.

Past winners include Denton Miyamura, Clyde Aikau, Keone Downing, Noah Johnson, Ross Clarke-Jones, Kelly Slater and Bruce Irons. Following is a complete list of invitees and alternates for this year's event.

For further information go directly to

Andy Irons (HI)
Brian Keaulana (HI)
Brock Little (HI)
Bruce Irons (HI)
Carlos Burle (BRZ)**
Clyde Aikau (HI)
Darryl Virostko (CA)
Greg Long (CA)
Ibon Amatriain (SPN)**
Jamie O'Brien (HI)
Jamie Sterling (HI)
Keone Downing (HI)
Jason Ribbink (ZAF)**
Kelly Slater (FL)
Makua Rothman (HI)
Mark Healey (HI)
Michael Ho (HI)
Noah Johnson (HI)
Paul Paterson (AUS)
Peter Mel (CA)
Ross Clarke-Jones (AUS)
Rusty Keaulana (HI)
Shane Dorian (HI)
Sunny Garcia (HI)
Takayuki Wakita (JPN)**
Titus Kinimaka (HI)
Tom Carroll (AUS)
Tony Ray (AUS)


Darrick Doerner (HI)
Chava Greenlee (HI)
Kalani Chapman (HI)
Pancho Sullivan (HI)
Taylor Knox (CA)
Reef McIntosh (HI)
Tony Moniz (HI)
Garrett McNamara (HI)
Ross Williams (HI)
Dave Wassel (HI)
Ian Walsh (HI)
Braden Dias (HI)
Myles Padaca (HI)
Anthony Tashnick (CA)
Kala Alexander (HI)
Keoni Watson (HI)
Derek Ho (HI)
Tom Curren (CA)
Nathan Fletcher (CA)
Danny Fuller (HI)
Dustin Barca (HI)
Koby Abberton (AUS)
Laurie Towner (AUS)
Manoa Drollet (TAH)

Mark Foo (HI)
Todd Chesser (HI)
Tiger Espere (HI)
Jay Moriarity (CA)

Oh, well... I wonder if wearing that cologne that Laird uses would make me a cooler windsurfer...