Stab Magazine | Billy Kemper, unseasonal (but tasty) Backdoor, Hawaii

Watch 'Wildcard: The Moana Jones-Wong Story'

192 Views

Billy Kemper, unseasonal (but tasty) Backdoor, Hawaii

April ain’t the first month that will inflate your mind when you think of swell in Hawaii. But one of the North Shore’s most excellent assets is its unpredictability. On April 4, buoys were reaching 13 feet at 16 seconds. By Friday, third reef was jacking. “We do get some nice swells in April but […]

full frame // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

April ain’t the first month that will inflate your mind when you think of swell in Hawaii. But one of the North Shore’s most excellent assets is its unpredictability. On April 4, buoys were reaching 13 feet at 16 seconds. By Friday, third reef was jacking. “We do get some nice swells in April but this particular swell even seemed to catch the forecasters off guard,” says photographer Spencer Suitt, who was down there to document and captured the moment you see here.

Last night, Backdoor and Pipe turned on. There were excellent A-frame peaks everywhere. “It wasn’t too crowded, Off The Wall only had four guys on it and Pipe was a tight pack of the regulars (all friends with each other) that live here, all surfing at once,” says Spencer. “Derek Ho was out there charging on a 5’11”. You name them, they were out. Billy (Kemper, pictured here) was absolutely ripping. He got the best wave that I saw at backdoor, with a super deep foam ball ride.”

Despite a slow start, Billy certainly had a good time out there: “I went out with a bunch of friends the night before so I was pretty hung over,” Mr Kemper told Stab. ” I got out there around noon, just to go get some waves. I had a smaller board but ended up getting the best left I had this winter. Then Sean Moody was paddling for this right, I was 20 yards deeper than him and Cheeseburger just told me, ‘This is the one, go!’ It was the biggest, thickest and best wave I’ve ever got out there f’sure.”

But that ain’t all. According to Billy, the consistency was unlike anything he’s seen this winter. “I think it was the best day of the season,” he continues. “I mean, there were some days where bigger and crazier waves were ridden earlier in the winter, but yesterday had the most consistently good waves ridden in one day, for sure. Every set was was an eight-footer with a left and right blowing its brains out. Dusty (Payne) flew over from Maui in the afternoon and we went surfing at 4pm. He was rattled, like, ‘This is the best Backdoor I’ve ever seen.'”

While this time of year isn’t famous for good waves, Billy says it’s not unheard of: “Y’know, it’s really weird, my birthday’s on the April 14, and last year on my birthday it was eight feet A-frames with perfect SE winds. It always seems like in April we get one last hooray.”

And, it ain’t over yet! “The winds are really light and are forecasted to be that way all week, with a new eight foot swell tomorrow,” says Spencer. – Elliot Struck

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

30:27

Unlocked: ‘Nozvid’ In All Its Glory

Two years and $100K later.

Dec 8, 2022

How To Watch The Vans Pipe Masters

With less than 24 hours to go, we've put together a complete list of rules…

Dec 7, 2022

Watch: Stab’s Best Wetsuits of 2023

Our quest to objectively establish the best men's suit, women's suit, and booties out of…

Dec 7, 2022

Eithan Osborne Belongs On The 2003 World Tour

But he's gotten an invite to the 2022 Vans Pipe Masters, so we caught up…

Dec 7, 2022

30:37

“I Could Do Reels And Surf Two Foot Beachies And Hoard Cash But That’s Moral Suicide”

Noa Deane’s thoughts on money, media, airs in glassy waves and more.

Dec 7, 2022

Wildcard: The Moana Jones-Wong Story

The rise and rise of Mrs. Pipeline.

Dec 6, 2022

Watch: Torrey Meister’s Gunslinging SEOTY Entry

"Bull-riding is such a great warmup for surfing big waves."

Dec 6, 2022

Guess Who Else Just Got Invited To The Vans Pipe Masters

3 more withdrawals, and 3 more exciting replacements.

Dec 6, 2022

21:04

‘Buying Double Cheeseburgers, Acting Like He’s Hit Some Sections Today’

RAGE 400 drops ft Noz, Chun, Creed, Vinny, Jel, Wado + others!

Dec 5, 2022

What’s Happening To Orange County’s Sand, And Is It Worsening The Waves At Lowers?

Read this to upgrade your understanding of your local beach break and coastal environment.

Dec 5, 2022

Here Are The 15 People Who Qualified For The 2023 CT

After seven events and much groveling, 10 men and 5 women will officially be CT…

Dec 3, 2022

An Ode To Aussie Chick Pros From The Nineties 

A celebration of stoicism, resilience, grit, core lordship, and unconditional love.

Dec 3, 2022

Update: John John Flushes Everyone Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl

And the CT qualifications for 2023 are set.

Dec 3, 2022

3:53

Riaru Ito Is Cooler Than His Cucumber Garden

Meet our passion pick for the Vans Pipe Masters.

Dec 2, 2022

5 New Surfers Confirmed For The Vans Pipe Masters

Who's out, who's in?

Dec 2, 2022

Unlocked: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Dec 2, 2022

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 4

The energy drinks are here. They’ve got millions of dollars, and they want your head.

Dec 2, 2022

‘Saturn’ Orbits Into Southern California

Quiksilver's newest film made landfall in Encinitas, and we were there to document the occasion.

Dec 1, 2022
Advertisement