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ONCE YOU'VE BEEN
TO HAWAII YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO GO BACK.
EVERYTHING IS SO MUCH DIFFERENT AND EACH TIME I GO OVER THERE THINGS ARE MORE ADVANCED.
WHEN YOU GET THERE YOU KNOW THAT YOU'RE GOING TO SEE THE BEST SURFERS IN THE WORLD FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD IN A TEN MILE STRIP OF SURF.
IF YOU'VE BEEN ONCE IT'S IMPORT ANT THAT YOU GO BACK, BECAUSE EVERYTHING HAPPENS IN HAWAII.
The first time
I went over there it was for three months, on this trip it was for twelve
I didn't have the same feelings.
I felt that being experienced in going to Hawaii and surfing there that I had four weeks worth and probably had as much as someone going to Hawaii for the first time and spending 2 -2 1/2 months there.
Hawaii is so vital.
The surf is just great.
Imagine if Fairy Bower broke for a week straight at 12 -15 ft. and blew sou'west every day and you got so good there that you started getting inside the curl and doing roller coasters on every wave. Well, Hawaii is like this and pretty soon you start doing these things.
On my first day
there I stood and watched the surf, by the evening I went out and had a
couple of rides.
I spent a lot of time riding all kinds of waves.
I don't think I rode too many big waves but I felt reasonably confident at the end of a week.
It's kinda like a car, you get the feel of it because you want to.
If you have a genuine desire to get the feel of the waves in Hawaii, then you win.
The surf for the
Dukes meeting was running at 8 -10 ft. Hawaiian size, 12 -15 ft. Australian
or Californian size.
It wasn't good at Sunset.
It was the last of a week of rain and wind, so the swell wasn't very good.
I've seen and ridden Sunset much better.
It was smooth but irregular, it was unpredictable, it was inconsistent and at times it was so consistent that there were several waves to choose from.
The surf was so tricky that it required a lot of ability and concentration to do wen in those condtions.
I arrived in Hawaii
that morning and I wouldn't have liked to have been in the contest.
McTavish went out there with a board that had never been used at Sunset, ever.
That is to say nobody had ridden that kind of board there.
He went out under average to poor conditions.
He was completely guts-up.
Whenever he lost his board, he swam so hard that you would have sworn he was a machine. Whenever he dropped in, he dropped in like he was skydiving.
He really powered down the face, it was only when he went to make his turn that, that wide, flat, fat tail just wouldn't sink in and bite.
It .was kinda like the 'Dam Busters' when he finally hit the bottom to make the turn he just skipped out and bounced clean along the surface.
When you're travelling the speed that McTavish was, down the face of a Sunset wave, which really is super fast, the wide tailed board just won't sit in.
was definitely the best surfer in the contest.
He was so fresh, so clean, and so fast and wasn't scared of anything.
Here's a typical example of Sutherland: He takes off goofy-foot and goes 'right'.
When he hits the bottom of the wave he turns 'left', switches feet, comes out of the curl, climbs with a full turn vertical up the face, gets into the shadow, stretches out and just lets the curl clip him twice in a row.
I think this was his winning ride of the contest.
He's just the hottest hot kid you've ever seen.
He's like you and I and everyone else would like to be.
went bad, he knows it and everybody else does.
Those guys who write back and tell you that 'our Bob narrowly missed out' and 'our Bob had a few bad spills' are completely crapping you.
McTavish was outclassed
in performance, he was outclassed in equipment, he was outclassed in almost
What was so great about McTavish was that the harder he got beaten down by those waves, the harder he belted himself right back out there again.
He had twice the guts but half the equipment.
I'll tell you
how good Sutherland is.
Did you see Purpos when he was out here doing a skeg first take off?
Well he was doing them on 2 - 3 ft. waves.
I saw Sutherland doing them on 12 ft. Sunset waves, skeg first and standing up.
When asked if
we should have more than one representative in the Dukes contest Midget
I think we should have 6 seniors, 5 juniors, 3 women, 10 officials, 5 kangaroos, 1 march past team, 1 Mayor of Waverley and a life saving reel.
God yes, we're the tops now we deserve to have at least one representative from every school
of surfing in Australia to-day.
The guys I spoke
to figured the Australians got fair reward for effort.
In other words you fill the balloon with hot air, and the hot air finally escapes and the balloon collapses to its original size.
Hot air is no substitute for something of more substance.
The Americans and Hawaiians and all the good surfers are too sophisticated to believe that baloney that 'Surfer' Magazine has been boosting its circulation with.
A lot of Australians
saw Cabell at the World Championships at Manly and a lot of Australians
think Cabell should have won.
They thought he was so good because of his cat-like ability in those little waves that we had.
It's kinda like, well, picture Cabell at Manly surfing at 33-1/3 R. in those 3 - 4 ft. waves, bump the surf up to 10 -15 ft. and switch Cabell on to 45 R. or 78 R. and it's the same thing.
A lot of us lose in big surf what we have in small surf, Cabell doesn't, he gains.
I think Joey Cabell was the best surfer in the Islands this year.
Peter Drouyn was
trying as hard as Cabell to be as good as he could possibly in the given
one to two weeks.
I've seen people go out and do things just to elevate themselves.
I think that Peter made one of the best attempts for an Australian I have ever seen.
I think that Peter was completely guts-up when he rode Pipeline the day he did.
I think Peter's been guts-up all the way along, he's been facing political opposition in his bid for supremacy.
I think his bid for supremacy in the Islands was an extremely good attempt, with a little bit more style he could've 'zapped' Cabell.
The thing is I
didn't see Peter at Waimea, Sunset or Makaha.
I'm talking about guts, ambitions, egos.
I'm not talking about actual results.
I saw guys do things I couldn't believe at Waimea.
The day Peter rode the Pipeline was kinda like a big Pipeline small Banzai day.
There's two breaks at Pipeline.
There's Pipeline which runs from 2 - 8 ft., then there's Banzai, which runs from 8 ft. clear through to 25 ft.
It breaks out in a diagonal line running out to Kaena Pt., I saw Peter out there on a 10 -12 ft. Banzai day with an adverse side wind, blowing from the wrong side and with a big sand bank halfway across the ride.
Peter got away with two ugly rides and was damn lucky to do what he did and what he did do, he did well.
Russell was also
I watched him in some 6 - 8 ft. waves and he adjusted really fast, faster than any Australian I've seen. He rode his own boards for a couple of days then switched to a pin tail and did just fine.
He got the feel of the waves.
The whole thing there is, those guys climb into the pocket when we would be driving for the bottom, they look for the wipeout then cheat it at the last minute.
Russell adapted quickly to the waves, that I saw him in.
His style automatically clicked over there and he looked like a pretty accomplished surfer.
The reason we use a wide tail is because of our stop-start, section to section, peak to peak and pocket to pocket surfing.
We tend to rely
a hell of a lot on bottom design to achieve a turn.
Bottom shape in a surfboard tends to influence a turn as we know it.
In Hawaii where speed is greater, descent is faster, the water becomes harder.
You can't sink the tail or sink the belly or roll up onto the rail to make the turn.
They use a natural curve, a gradually diminishing line to allow a turn.
A pin-tail diminishes as it reaches its tail extremity.
When you put your weight back for a turn, both the rail line and the bottom line and the contour accommodate the turn, that is to say, as the tail reduces down to nothing the further you put your weight back, the less weight you need.
Whereas, here with our wide tails we need a heck of a lot of weight to achieve a turn.
We used to surf
three spots in one day.
We managed to take in just about every spot, I was kinda out of it one morning when Waimea was breaking at about 15 - 20 ft. plus.
I looked at my 7 ft. 8 in. and felt that it was rather impotent compared with the other guys' 10 ft. 3 in. to 10 ft. 6 in. pin tails.
I took one mental
wipe-out at Waimea and that finished my day's surfing there.
While I was at Waimea this guy said something to me, I know him really well and he said it as a joke. He's a good natured sort of a guy.
It was Valuzzi, Bruce Valuzzi, and he's a big wave rider.
Waimea this day was 15 - 20 ft. and I was right at the entrance watching all these guys walk by ... Galento, Dora, Hemmings, Hollinger and Valuzzi finally comes by me and says, "Yea, well what's the power school doing today?" then paddled out.
I always think
of Ted as being honest, when he says to me that the waves are too big for
I know he's not kidding me.
When he paddled out at Sunset and said "Gosh, this isn't like Manly," I knew he was serious.
Finally, Midget, how do you think the Australians went this year?
AII around, I think our boys did extremely well in the Hawaiian boomers this year.
They made wonderful representatives because they wore their green and gold blazers.
They did Australia right proud.
To hell with individualism.
Twelve Days in Hawaii
Volume 10 Number 3,
March 1968, pages 35 to 37.