2005 North Shore Week In Review: 11-27-05 to 12-04-05

It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Or, even worse, dies right in front of us. And it's with this in mind that we write this week in {{{review}}}. That none of the trivial crap - who caught the biggest wave of the day, who raged the hardest later that night — really matters. That it unfortunately takes the untimely passing of one of our favorite surfers to force us to take a step back and put it all in perspective. Malik Joyeux was a hard-charging Tahitian who never stopped smiling. He took time to say hello, ask his fellow surfers how they were doing and offer his help whenever it was needed. "I don't think a single negative thing has ever been said about Malik," said good friend Pancho Sullivan. "He was that good of a person." If anything can be learned from this nonsensical death, it's this: never forget how Malik Joyeux lived his life. Take time to say hello, ask people how they're doing, and offer your help whenever it's needed. And, for God's sake, please look out for each other.

WHO ARRIVED: Dane Reynolds and Ry Craike (twice!) after flying to Maui, getting decent surf, flying back to the North Shore, hearing Maui was going off again, flying back to Maui, and missing the swell by a day. "I got a pretty good stash of complimentary macadamia nuts now," says Dane, who was about a foot away from pulling a huge, double-grab alley-oop at {{{Rocky}}} Point on Saturday. Dan and Keith Malloy showed up just in time for "some of the best Rocky Rights I've ever seen" on Friday, and brought along their boss, Yvon Chouinard, to watch it all go down. Sunset legend Bobby Owens was back on it, carving up a few at his beloved spot. And pool shark Christian Hosoi was on the island, busting Christ Airs at the Pupukea bowl. The 21st Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau opening ceremony brought in a few legends, including two-time world champ Tom Carroll. We spotted Tom JOJ at the Radio Shack in Haleiwa, buying a mini surround-sound speaker system for his Ipod. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds never sounded so good, eh, Tom? Shane Dorian jumped over from the Big Island, just in time to pay tribute to Eddie and take advantage of three straight days of flawless Backdoor, Pipe and Off the Wall. And how could we forget? Mr. Seven Time World Champ Kelly Slater has now entered the building. Just in time to co-chair a benefit auction at Waimea Falls, play a set of songs dedicated to Malik Joyeux with John Cruz and Titus Kinimaka at Haleiwa Joe's and sneak in a couple at Backdoor when no one (make that almost no one) was looking.

WHO LEFT: Stretch! SURFING Magazine's Shaper of the Year took a glory lap around the North Shore for the last 10 days, watching his boys Nathan Fletcher and Anthony Tashnick make the four-fin fever contagious at Pipe. "Just dropping off a weight for Bruce Irons' tow board," said Stretch at the Red Bull house. Oh, and he asked us to make this clear: he's not just "the four-fin dude." A handful of disappointed WQS warriors, including Eneko Acero, Daniel Redman and about 70 percent of the foreign dismissals on the O'Neill World Cup Heat Sheet. But don't think for a second it's gotten any less crowded. Steve Clements - the Aussie pro who was critically injured the day before Thanksgiving - thankfully recovered and is now back in Oz, counting his blessings. The not-even disappointed Bobby Martinez also pulled anchor, pumped for 6-foot Rincon, a holiday season at home and a whole new career on the 2006 World Championship Tour. Go, Bob-o. We see a Rookie of the Year trophy in your future.

SUPER SESSIONS: What session wasn't super this week? Like we said, four consecutive dream days at Pipe and Backdoor is enough alone for two North Shore issues. But even after a blur of mindless tubes and stylish claims, a few waves do stand out. First: Cory Lopez's Wednesday drainer from deep Backdoor clear to Off the Wall will remain one of the top few waves of the winter. The short interval in the swell, combined with a little bit of sand on the reef, caused this one to grow and open up as he drove, and it spit well before he came flying out. "I would have flown straight home after that one," said his brother, Shea. A few minutes after Malik's tragic wipeout on Black Friday, an unnamed Aussie kid locked into a crazy, multi-section cavern that heaved and ho'ed through Aints and Off the Wall. Few from the beach really knew what was going on at this point - including the stoked Aussie himself. Amazing how fast that stoke turned to sorrow. Later that afternoon, as most of the boys drank away the pain and perfect, 6- to 8-foot Pipe remained relatively empty, Jamie O'Brien paddled out and manhandled the biggest, longest Pipe pit of the day. It was all he needed.

GET WELL SOON: To our favorite young California charger, Alex Gray, who caught a bad case of the haole flu. We found him laid out in the Volcom House dungeon on Saturday, burning up and out of it. Stay strong, Al, down that Nyquil and you should be good to go by the new swell on Monday.

DUCK!: If you're game enough to take a few welts in the latest North Shore diversion - dodge ball. Seems the boys still have some grade school left in them as they've been organizing a few matches of masochism at Sunset Elementary. "Me and Wassell just try to kill each other," says Mark Healey. "But Aamion's the guy you gotta look out for. He has a real cannon on him."

NIGHTLIFE: We all know dangerous a mix of alcohol and top women surfers can be, but it didn't stop 'em from celebrating at "Roach's" house after the O'Neill Sunset Women's Challenge. Rochelle herself deserved a couple extra shots after pulling into two large Inside Bowls in the final and breaking two boards - all in the span of about four minutes. The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau is always good for a luau, and on Thursday, under clear skies and unseasonable heat, Kahu Billy Mitchell blessed at least two dozen of the world's best big-wave riders. The crew and more than {{{240}}} feet of fiberglass and foam then paddled out to the boil for the ceremonial circle, rode a couple of cappers and Pinballs and then the party really started. These big guns are loaded and ready.

And we'd like to nominate Jack Johnson for SIMA's 2006 Environmentalist of the Year award. Not only has he been instrumental in trying to get a recycling service on the North Shore, he's been heavily involved in saving Pupukea Paumalu, the 1129-acre property that overlooks the most famous stretch of beach in the world. This is the same stretch of property in dispute during the much-publicized Obayashi Project, the Japanese company (and owner of the land) that tried to develop the land in the '90s. That failed, but they're now selling the land, which is where Jack, the North Shore Community Land Trust and the Campaign for Pupukea Paumalu step in. In order to prevent the property, from getting into another developer's hands, they're raising money to buy it and preserve it for eternity. In essence, to keep the Country country. Obayashi was so moved by the community activism on the North Shore that they actually want to sell it to the Land Trust. So far, with help from the government and generous donors like the Freeman Foundation, they've raised more than $7 million, less than $1 million shy of the 8 large price tag. Last night, at the Waimea Valley Audubon Center, was an event to get them even closer. The Campaign for Pupukea Paumalu Benefit Luau was a huge success, with a sold out dining room of 5 and $10,000 tables. Jack, John Cruz and Kawika Kahiapo played and the auction, featuring a Jack Johnson acoustic, Shaun Tomson's 1980 Duke Trophy and 10'6" hollow Brewer Gun among other items, raised tons of cash. The giving spirit got so infectious at one point that Kelly Slater announced he'd donate 10 grand plus all his winnings from this year's Rip Curl Pro Pipeline Masters to the cause. "Sorry, Andy and Pancho," said emcee Chris Latronic, "but I think I'm gonna have to root for Kelly now. You know, it's an environmental cause."

Andy countered by laying down 6 grand for Shaun's Duke trophy and, as he raised it over his head, Kelly joked, "I think it's the first time I've ever been stoked to see Andy holding a trophy."