It’s Called Freight Trains For A Reason - Stab Mag
Billy Kemper and some inconveniently placed fallen cargo.

It’s Called Freight Trains For A Reason

The day of the decade on the South Shore of Maui.

cinema // Jul 18, 2022
Words by Schuyler Allen
Reading Time: 2 minutes

As I lay here on my couch in Hawaii, post foot surgery, freshly stitched up with a metal pin through my toe, I cannot help but let out a raucous, “FUUUCK!” as my usual Instagram scroll is suddenly arrested by post after post of Maui’s Maalaea Bay (aka Freight Trains), doing its best impersonation of Nias. 

Regarded as one of the most fickle waves in Hawaii, Freight Train’s is usually accompanied by a fierce devil wind, impossibly fast sections, and packs of hungry locals salivating at their chance to hop aboard this rare gem. Seldom, does it actually live up to its potential. It takes a massive swell and just the right angle for it to do its thing. So when this swell showed up on the charts, local surfers were put on alert but no one knew for sure if the wave would actually come to life.

After watching Tahiti go “Code Red” from the same swell just days prior, confidence grew. Calls were made, tickets purchased, shifts were covered, boards dusted and waxed, and that same South swell that turned Teahupo’o from perfect to mutant, steam-rolled across the Pacific and into Maalaea Bay, spiking buoys at 5ft @ 21 seconds and producing the best waves anyone has seen there in 20 years. 

All the best were on it. Especially the regular-foots. Hawaii’s surfing Royalty, Micheal Ho, Maui’s finest, Kai Lenny, Billy Kemper, Ian Walsh, Tyler Larronde, Jackson Bunch and Kevin Sullivan to name a few. Local standouts, uncles, groms. The list goes on. 

One of Oahu’s local standouts, who flew over for the swell, was quoted saying, “It was crowded but pretty unreal vibes. Guys getting stuffed but no punches, no soundings. Good vibes. They knew it was special.” 

And today could be even more special, with the swell expected to peak in the morning at 6ft at 19sec. So as I lay here with metal in my foot and FOMO in my heart, I can do nothing but cheer on my friends that bought the ticket and took the ride, on the fastest, most fickle wave on Earth. I hope you got the waves of your life.


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