Prepping for the O'Neill World Cup of Surfing with a North Shore first-timer

By Matt Skenazy

Stillest morning in days, they say. I'm sufficiently psyched and frightened to be here on the North Shore after watching Busting Down the Door and learning 'bout the Blackshorts. Now, it's 7a.m., and J.O.B.'s Freakshow is on the tube. The North Shore then and Now.

Those of you who have been to the North Shore before might not care (I mean, if you've been here, a lay day is just a day). But for those of you who haven't…

Sunset was overhead. But they didn't even hold the contest, whether it's because things weren't set up, or the old fashioned Hawaiian craving for big waves, I'll never know. But one things for sure, it's gonna get bigger.

I went to Ted's Bakery with Dylan Graves. It went like this:

The parking lot was full and the food was perfect.

"When I stop surfing I'm gonna make pies." Dylan said, suddenly inspired with a Pumpkin pie in his hand. "I'll ask someone 'What do you do?' he'll say 'Oh, I'm an architect.' 'F-ck that, I make mother f–kin' pies'"

Parko was there too. I wanted to say hi, he really looks like a nice guy. But I didn't. His smile, and easygoing-ness didn't really reflect the barnburner world title race he's caught up in. Though, maybe we're all easy going in bakeries.

What else happened? Shoots, I'm not so sure. Everyone surfed today. It wasn't flat or anything. If you were a Gudauskas you surfed three times. The Vans house was full of jam sessions and philosophical discussions. Like, when do you ditch your board, and when do you give it an ol' fashioned bear hug, riding it like a bull at the state fair?

Food for thought:

CJ Hobgood won the O'Neill World Cup last year, and he made the final at Haleiwa this year, so keep an eye out for a possible Hobgood Triple Crown title in the making. Maybe this year someone can wrestle the crown from the hands of those Aussies that have had a stranglehold on it for the past two years. You know, bring it back to Florida? Nah, not if Joel Centeio and the locals have anything to say about it. What good fun it is over here. It's my first time.

Stay tuned to for more updates, or watch it live here.