North Winds Make The Hawaiian Pro Vulnerable - Stab Mag



North Winds Make The Hawaiian Pro Vulnerable

Filipe Toledo sharpens his knives and axes the competition!

news // Nov 21, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

It gets chilly in Hawaii when the North winds blow. Not, like, by normal standards. You won’t find a hint of frost on even the coldest of mornings. But mid-sixties can feel awful cold during the dead of night. Stiff breezes creep in through the cracks of aging jalousie windows. Homes built to stay cool utterly fail to trap heat.

It’s a problem solved by donning a sweatshirt or pair of socks, or by pulling your one warm blanket out of its place in the top corner of your closet. If you live here it can be a pleasant change from the status quo. Blessedly cool and dry instead of oppressively warm and moist. Perfect for enjoying a bowl of saimin, then snuggling down beside a warm body for the night.

It’s not what most people picture when they’re booking tickets. People come for sunburns, not neoprene. Shave ice, not hot chocolate.

There’s amusement to be found in the mother-nature-be-damned tenacity displayed by committed vacationers shivering away shirtless beneath an off and on cool drizzle. A kind man might spare a shred of pity for them. For many a trip to the former Sandwich Islands is a massive undertaking awash in expense and hassle. The type of memory packed away in a photo album and unveiled a decade hence. “Wasn’t that an amazing trip? I always wished we’d’ve just packed up and moved there.”

Haleiwa is a good wave. Fun and punchy on smaller days, thick and mean on bigger. The left can be good, but usually isn’t. The right will try to tear your head off every once in a while. It’s a fitting opener to the increasingly less relevant though still steeped in tradition Triple Crown.

When conditions come together it’s an epic venue in which to display power and flow. Too bad for the WSL that this year didn’t feel like cooperating. The natives are restless, running events is an ongoing burden. The planned restructuring for 2019 is going to cause problems as locals realize the crowds will no longer leave with Father Time. The WSL would’ve loved to start this year with a bang. Score the kind of iconic images easily manipulated into an poster, or t-shirt, or logo.

Instead the early rounds were bad and finals day failed to improve. Conditions mirrored onshore storm surf beach breaks the world over. Competitors hunted the lineup for useful corners, mining decent sections from among the lumps and bumps. It was a largely unmemorable event. It’s no one’s fault, but this year is destined to fade away like a boring dream.

A few thoughts are caught in my hungover mind:

Tomas Hermes has a very interesting style.

The full roter Filipe bounced off an ugly section in the final was pretty nifty. The claim that followed squelched any ardor I felt.

Who’s in charge of chasing the homeless out of the harbor each year before the event starts? Is it the WSL’s responsibility, or does HPD provide the service gratis

Griffin Colapinto surfed at a high level the entire event. He is very good.

Does the Triple Crown mean anything, anymore, in the context of competitive surfing? I remember it feeling far more important, many years ago.

Michel Bourez’s surfing is well suited to this kind of junk. I mean that in the best possible way.

There was a monk seal in the lineup during the semifinals. I once played tour guide to a pair of photographers, one of them wouldn’t stopped throwing twigs and pebbles at a seal we found lounging on a small patch of sand in the Mokuleia area. It was a real dick move. I told him to stop but he wouldn’t listen. Eventually one of the volunteer seal monitor ladies showed up and yelled at us. I know that’s not an interesting story, but this wasn’t an interesting contest.

I am aware that this event has implications for various ‘QS surfers’ campaigns. But I don’t know what they are and if I’m being honest I don’t really care.

Anyway, Filipe Toledo won, which puts him in the lead for the Triple Crown title. If anything matters about what happened today, it is that.

Final Results:

1. Filipe Toledo 

2. Griffin Colapinto 

3. Wiggoly Dantas 

4. Michel Bourez 


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