Neco Padarataz, Danilo Costa, Bobby Martinez, Andy Irons, Dino Andino, Eric Geiselman, Bede Durbidge, Damien Hobgood, Justin Quirk, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Taj Burrow, Alek Parker, Gabe Kling, Phil MacDonald, Tom Whitaker, {{{Sterling}}} Spencer, Yancy Spencer, III, Yancy Spencer IV . . . basically, anyone with a stake in this triple crown, access to a company house or a pulse. In fact, you’d be better off asking who didn’t arrive. Neptune, Mother Ocean, Hewy — whatever name you use to personify the surf, he, she has been suspiciously missing. With the windblown waves never pushing beyond double-over-flat, nerves are at an all-time high while the Triple Crown’s at an all-time low: the {{{Vans}}} Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa has been on-hold since the waiting period began last Wednesday with nothing showing on the maps.


Performances? There’s hardly been any plain-old surfs. Buttons was spotted cruising the slop at Kammieland, turning the session from fully miserable to fully memorable. Melanie Redman, Holly Beck and a few of the girls were working hard in blustery conditions at {{{Rocky}}} Rights. And Mick Fanning threw some lightning at one-foot Off the Wall over the weekend along with Joel Centeio, Shawn Moody and Mike Dodd, giving a lesson to young bucks like Brian Toth, Adam Wickwire and Mikey Klein.

But for pure performance, the most electrifying show took place Tuesday with a quick pre-dusk blitz by Benji Weatherly, Shane Dorian, Roy Powers, Dino Andino, Noah Budroe and, most importantly, Andy Irons. “Faaaaaack did you see that?” blurted Dino after paddling past a drenching backside snap by A.I. Twenty minutes later the lineup was back to normal, leaving the sky to do all the serious showering for the rest of the week.

Even with the lack of surf action, we’re happy to report some heroic moments out of the water:

Before bolting for the North Shore, Andy Irons stopped to check up on Kauai homegirl/ shark attack victim Bethany Hamilton and reports being awed by her bravery and upbeat attitude. “The girl hasn’t cried once since it happened,” says the 2002 champ.

In living room athletic prowess department, Joel Centeio, Sean Moody, Fred Patacchia and company have been tackling each other with some full-contact video football, complete with cheers, jeers, and the occasional thrown joystick.

And if you’re looking for this season’s endurance humorist, Pete ‘Flipper” Hodgson is leading the pack. At last count, the long-time photog had crammed in 147 really bad one-liners in only the first three days. When asked about his pathological love for non-stop-puns, the photog responded, “Yeah, it’s kind of a joke.”


What do you get when you cross one photog, two surfers, two chicks, a bottle and a joint? A North Shore party in November. Besides a semi-attended Red Bull opening shindig at Breakers and a Saturday night grom-infested Sunset gig, big nights have been as rare as big waves. But that all came to an end on November 16 with what’s becoming an annual saturnalia: Bruce Irons birthday. This year’s big Volcom house bash featured the usual suspects plus one big surprise: a live performance by TSOL.


You know surfing’s gone mainstream when you see not one but two well-connected articles in an in-flight magazine, proving that airlines demand more from their contributors than they do from their caterers. The latest issue of United’s Hemispheres showcases painting on the cover called “Roaring Right” by none other than John Severson, while inside waits a feature on surf history by Encyclopedia author and surf sage Matt Warshaw. Neither of whom works for peanuts.

Of course, don’t ask Raoni Monteiro and Yuri Sodre about their flight over — they never made it. In a carbon copy of fellow Brazilian surfer Jihad Kodr’s DC lockdown, both surfers were detained in LAX, enduring heated scrutiny for five hours before being sent home after getting the wrong visa. Lucky for Raoni, he’s already made the 2004 ‘CT so that sharp stabbing pain he’s feeling isn’t from missing the Vans Hawaiian Pro.

Guess what did return though? Last year’s Boarding House has apparently spawned three similar TV shows filming this year on the North Shore, the most noteworthy being a big-wave edition for MTV starring Makua Rothman, Ryan Rawson and Jamie Sterling. The good news is, they’ve adopted a much more subtle approach, with no 10-person camera teams being spotted.

And finally, Velzyland’s been totally walled. No, seriously. Six feet of sheer lava rock now runs along the Kam Highway, marking off some high-end lots that recently auctioned off for as much as $1.5 million. Among those rumored to have purchased a piece? Movie star Owen Wilson. Let’s hope he remembers a move or two from those Jackie Chan flicks.— Matt Walker