This issue celebrates the ways in which surfing connects us to nature and to one another.
Editorʻs Letter: Up until I started this magazine, surfing has followed me all my life. Growing up, I would never have imagined my evening sundowns and dawn patrol mornings would be replaced by late afternoon meetings or early morning deadlines. Not that surfing ever claimed the space then either; I was never any good, really, but the ocean has its hold on all of us.
When I was in elementary school, I remember my dad pushing me on a bodyboard just inside of Straight Outs at Kewalo’s. I remember stepping on vanna for the first time paddling out to Bowls while trying to impress some intermediate-school boys (I also remember the excruciating four hours that followed with a plastic surgeon digging at the spines protruding from both heels and all 10 toes).
In high school, I remember feeling quite good about myself for handling a four-foot day at Rocky Point and watching the sun going down on a perfect session at Tracks. Surfing in college is something I’d be happy to forget: frigid California surf, scratchy seaweed filling murky water, being swept underneath the Huntington Beach pier and subsequently rushed to the ER after being skegged in the hindquarters. And upon returning from college, I remember having one of the best sessions ever with my uncles and cousins on a two-foot-nothing day at Second Holes.
I remember going out to Concessions by myself one time. It was just a foot high and onshore, but I had the whole spot to myself, rare even on days as bad as this one. What was most impressive that day was particularly how unimpressive it was. I’d been out on days where the conditions were as bad as this, but never completely alone, out there in the choppy, gray sea.
Looking back on growing up in the surf, and in putting together this issue, I realize that perhaps the greatest thing about surfing is that it connects us to each other, to friends, family, and often to complete strangers, which explains why, for me anyway, that one lonely surf session out at Concessions seemed so much less significant than that two-foot-nothing day with family at Second Holes. Surfing has this funny way of pulling groups of people together, when for a glorious few moments, nothing else matters. And it’s those interactions, good or bad, that make it unlike anything else in the world.
I am honored that it was surfing yet again that pulled together two of the industry’s best, Jun Jo and Jeff Mull, to collaborate as guest editors for this issue. Jun is a co-founder of In4mation, a lifestyle, action-sports retail brand, and a pro surfer that arose out of the famed Momentum Generation.
Jeff, who grew up surfing on Kaua‘i and admittedly spent hours trying to learn how to cutback like Jun after watching his part in Taylor Steele’s Momentum, is the Hawai‘i editor of Surfer magazine, often considered the bible of the sport. I don’t know if we’re in the best of times the sport has seen or in the worst. All I know is that surfing will still be around should I ever choose one of these days to follow it back.
Incidents of a Shaping Voyage By the 1970s, the industry standard for producing a board originated with blanks made by California-based Clark Foam. By the 21st century, Clark Foam dominated the industry, with 80 percent of all surfboards originating as a Clark Foam blank.
Paddling In There’s an undeniable change underway in big-wave surfing. After what many are calling a historic, game-changing session at Jaws, you’re not really pushing the limits of surfing unless you’re paddling.
Moniz is the Name If you ask Tony Moniz, the ocean itself taught his daughter its ways. Its waves guided her in paddling out, time in its breaks showed her how to walk the nose; its cerulean surf that led her to love the sport as much as he does to this day.
Stay in School In 2011, Hawai‘i became the first state to officially recognize surfing as a high school sport. When the first official interscholastic high school contests happen as soon as the 2013 school year, Kamehameha Schools, and its surf team’s head coach, Lea Arce, will be there.