After intense physical therapy sessions this summer, Sunny Garcia had all intentions of making a grand return to the competitive ranks by the time the tour hit Hawaii, intent on snatching his sixth the {{{Vans}}} Triple Crown. His long-overdue surgery on a chronic ACL injury had been a success, and all he had to do was log hours in the gym and prepare his knees for the shock of a Backdoor freefall. But as the 2000 world champ found out in mid September, those knees are going to have to wait a little longer.

“I went in for a {{{review}}},” he said, “and they told me my side ligaments are all screwed up. Now they have to go in and cut on those.”

The news was a bummer, but not devastating to Hawaii’s most successful surfer.

“Yeah it sucks,” he says, “but it puts less pressure on me to come back right away and I’ll be able to relax in Hawaii. I don’t want to return until I’m {{{100}}} percent. And in this case, it looks like I’ll be 100 percent for Kirra ’04.” Evan Slater