There’s a lot of mud on the backroads and wind on the water. But it’s Hawaii and it’s really good to be here.
The North Shore sweats counterculture and bleeds secrets. Secrets about brave, intense people who appreciate respect, a firm handshake and shoeless feet indoors. It’s been a pleasure spending our first day reacquainting with that sensation, wandering the hallowed halls of Volcom’s “Gerry” house, touring Bret Miramoto’s shaping bay with Kalani Chapman, meeting Saa Ginlack, the founder of Tamba Surf and watching Mitch Coleborn, Parker and Conner Coffin and Balaram Stack in dodge massive wind-chopped Off the Wall just for fun and zero glory.
It’s been cloudy. Raining. And windy out of the devil north. But it’s groomed something more alluring than offshore pits. Something more real than the sideshow that is the usual: “Hawaii Season” you see on the webcast and on the cams. The reality is actually even better. Both friendlier and more intense. There are real fucking cowboys and Indians here. Wild men slaughtering pigs and deadly walls of water. Grabbing breakfast from the Aunties and showing the respectful visitor with the balls how to tackle the wildest slip and slides on the rock. And for all that Aloha, there is still — and hopefully always will be — the sticky intensity on your skin reminding you: one slip up and you’re fucked. And maybe that’s why this place has maintained so much appeal. So much Aloha. So much notoriety. So much fucking awesome. The mainstream continues to document the beachfront experience when the reality backstage is a place as core, radical, beautiful, dangerous and romantic as the Wild West. A place you’ll never truly experience “on the cam.” —Travis