There’s Something About Wednesdays

There’s something about Wednesdays that brings out the best in Mother Nature.

Perhaps it all started in 1978, with the release of the classic surf movie, Big Wednesday, or maybe its just pure coincidence.

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Chad Keaulana on one of the biggest waves of the day

Whatever the explanation, an unexplained blessing from the ocean gods exists, and for some reason, Mother Nature has delivered big surf on Wednesdays for years.

It happened on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, when a massive swell pummeled north-facing shores across Hawaii. Several months later, on Aug. 27, huge surf pounded Catalina Island. It was a Wednesday.

California surfers still talk about one of Malibu’s most epic days, Nov. 26, 2014, a Wednesday. Then just last month, on Jan. 21, some of the biggest surf Hawaii has seen in nearly 30 years, arrived on — you guessed it — a Wednesday.

“It was the biggest west swell since 1986,” confirms Brian Keaulana of world-famous Makaha Beach. “The waves on Wednesday were easy 40to 50-foot faces!”

Keaulana has pictures to prove it.

His daughter Ha‘a Keaulana captured amazing photographs of her world-famous father riding a massive moving mountain with four of his friends.

“The photos have gone viral!” says Keaulana of what some are calling one of the wildest rides they’ve seen at Makaha in years. “We lost Sonny on the take off, but the rest of us made it all the way to the beach!”

Keaulana, Sonny Sison, Darin Fujimori, Kaui Ah Yuen and Kalani Ka‘aa were riding together on a SUPsquatch. A SUPsquatch is approximately 16 feet long, 6-and-a-half feet wide and 8 inches thick and can hold 6-8 adults. It is an inflatable surfboard-shaped raft, equipped with handles and stainless steel attachments.

The board is made for a family that likes to SUP together or makes a great floating dock for hot summer days on a lake. And for the more adventurous, it can be used on a river like a raft.

Keaulana and the boys took it up a notch.

“I free fell from the top of the wave onto the board and when I landed it felt like a stunt pad,” says the veteran waterman, lifeguard and Hollywood stunt coordinator. “I grabbed a handle and kept going. No injuries. It felt like the hand of God was catching me. It was a blast!”

“Nailed it!” says Ha‘a Keaulana of her father and his friends of their now-epic ride. “My dad and friends pulled off what seemed not very possible on a SUPsquatch out at big Makaha Point!”

Brian Keaulana says the wave was “easy 20-feet, Hawaiian style,” meaning the wave’s face measured more than 40-feet high.

“This is my dad free falling back down to the board,” describes the 22-year-old Ha‘a. “Crazy enough, they made it all the way to shore!”

Ha‘a’s photo of her father and his crew was posted on her Instagram page, which has more than 90,000 followers. It has since been shared across the world.

“I’m proud of both of my kids, Ha‘a and Chad,” says Keaulana, the son of living surf legend Buffalo Keaulana. “Besides being a photographer, Ha‘a also does stunts. Chad is attending college, majoring in engineering.”

The now-famous SUPsquatch ride wasn’t the only magical moment caught by Ha‘a on that Big Wednesday. She also captured photographs of her young brother Chad chasing down one of the biggest waves of the day at Makaha.

“Crazy runs in the blood,” Ha‘a says of her brother’s daring feat. “And this was just his warm-up wave!”

It was a Wednesday that will not be forgotten. A day Mother Nature delivered again, turning Makaha into an ocean amusement park.

“Yes, we got our own Makaha Magic Mountain!” laughs Brian.

rkmizutani@gmail.com