Aussie Break One Of The World’s Best Tests

Howzit surfers and beachgoers? There’s a lot happening in paradise and in the World Surfing League. Let’s start with the big boys who finished April 23 in West Oz at Margaret River.

In my opinion, this was the best ever for the third leg of the Australian segment. The vari- ety of waves, size and consistency from “The Box” to Margaret’s main break was epic. Such huge wave variation usually only is found at Vans Triple Crown. However, this tour stop was just one contest and offered two totally different waves, requiring incredibly versatile surfing.

John John Florence grabs some serious air and finishes second at Margaret River. WSL PHOTO

John John Florence grabs some serious air and finishes second at Margaret River. WSL PHOTO

The Box is a dangerously heavy, fast and shallow right-hand slab, with a small takeoff zone. Margaret River offers a giant playing field requiring a lot of hunting for 12-foot-wide open-faced, windblown lefts and rights. It was unprecedented. If you won at Margaret’s, you can win a world title.

Watch out for Adriano De Souza.

This hungry and respected Brazilian is just 5-foot-6 and weighs only 135 pounds, but he has a big chance to capture his first world title. Adriano is a “wear it on your sleeve” competitive animal who has been on tour for 10 years, but is only 28 years old. This is the man who, more than anyone, broke the barrier for the Brazilian surge. Without him, I doubt Gabriel Medina would have achieved his first Brazilian world title in 2014. But now that Medina has one, you know Adriano is frothing — and he already was a “frother.”

This year is going to be so exciting considering all the dynamics.

Medina wants to defend his title and save face from a poor start to 2015. De Souza’s desire is peaking, and he has a huge ratings lead. Mick Fanning is surfing better than ever and really wants a fourth title to match fellow Aussie Mark Richards’ record. Kelly Slater is looking to retire with 12 world titles. Brazilian Felipe Toledo is performing at groundbreaking levels and will likely reach the top five this year. John John Florence nailing second at Margaret’s and gaining momentum is a scary thought for his peers. Julian Wilson is having his best year ever and has the talent to win a title. Taj Burrow needs just one title before he leaves (if ever).

Hawaii is alive with surf community events. Let’s start with getting those entry blanks in for the Local Motion Surf into Summer (SIS), the official kickoff to the summer season. This year’s entry deadline has been moved up to May 15.
Also, I’m pumped to announce that SIS now offers a pro division qualifier that comes with 1,000 WSL points. This will inspire all our up-and-comers to push it harder. The pro division already is full with more than 120 entries.

Amateurs, get your entries in to secure your place.

Surf into Summer will be a four-day event Memorial Day weekend, May 22-25, at Ala Moana Bowls.

Pray for surf!

The sixth annual Surf n Sea SUP Race is coming May 30 on the North Shore. Get those entries in, and let’s make it huge. I’ m stoked to be sponsoring the Surf News Network Keiki Relay Race. It’s all about fun, family and blood flow!

A million mahalos to all who gave their time to AccessSurf Day at the Beach May 2 at White Plains. What a sight, see- ing the stoke of physically challenged individuals who have life-changing experiences just riding a wave.

Congratulations to Keola Kane and David Siemann, AccessSurf’s volunteers of the month. Your commitment and endless energy is unreal.

Lastly, the surf forecast for the country calls for 2-foot northwest swells around May 8 and 12, if we’re lucky. Better try the south swell on May 6 and 8. You can see town and country trading places for the new season.
Cheers, and see you in the lineup and back here next week. Aloha.