WHO ARRIVED: A handful of surfers showed up after the tardy bell (and a few remain absent, some saying they aren’t showing up until right before Pipe). The two biggest names in the Honolulu baggage claim this week? High-five pals Kelly Slater and Rob Machado, both on separate programs but ready to charge nonetheless. Slater’s uncanny North Shore timing continued as he arrived Thanksgiving afternoon, fresh off a productive few days in Barbados. He drove straight for the Chesser Thanksgiving Memorial at the Hill house, paddled out after the contest ended and just as the surf pulsed and the wind switched offshore. With only Doug Silva, Keoni Watson and Jun Jo out with him, Kelly’s third wave had ’em all screaming: he dropped into a heaving, 6-foot double-up that looked just like Lance’s Right, soul arched with his arms spread wide and came flying out with the spit. “That was the best wave I’ve ever caught at [CENSORED],” said Kelly. Welcome back. Rob arrived a day later with his wife Patou and daughters Rose and Macy. No Lance’s tubes for him yet, but we’re sure they’ll come. Other arrivals: Bobby Martinez and Brian Conley made the flight back after a quick Thanksgiving break. And we can’t forget SURFING‘s five-star photo general, Steve Sherman, who rocked up to the house last night armed with his {{{Century}}} {{{600}}} — the photographic equivalent of a Civil War cannon. “Ready to do battle!” he announced.

WHO LEFT: Alex Gray, Oscar Wright and few other salty souls were seen arguing with baggage check ladies over the ridiculous ${{{80}}} per board airline rape. Andy and Bruce Irons bailed to Kauai for their annual Thanksgiving retreat, and Keith and Dan Malloy, after only being on the island for a few days, saw an approaching storm front and decided to make it home for dinner.

INJURIES: Heath “Nutty” Walker — who suffered one of the worst bashings at Off the Wall in some time — is out of the hospital now. His take on the nasty incident, that slowed the “pull into death closeout” rate down to about one an hour? “I never even saw it coming. There was no water on that reef. I just want to give thanks to all my mates who came by and gave me a call. Especially Aamion Goodwin and Jarrad Howse who pulled me in. Words can’t describe what I owe you lads.” The other, even costlier injury occurred not in the water, but on Kam Highway. Early Friday morning, a young local kid plowed into a telephone pole at full speed near Shark’s Cove. The accident downed the pole, flipped his {{{Nissan Maxima}}} and tied up traffic for hours, delaying the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing at Sunset and causing some surfers to miss their heats. Unfortunately, the kid died on the scene.

ON POINT: Sunny Garcia is your unanimous winner for this week’s SURFING Magazine 'On Point’ award. Kicking it alongside his beautiful bride, Mrs. Reina, and fully Tone Loc-ed up in a fat crib right on Backdoor, this is where the S-Man’s been putting in his best work. Can you say PU IN SAI? During our last bout of swell, a clean, 6- to 8-foot west/northwest on Friday and Saturday, S-Monk’s been in deep meditation within some enchanted caves. That’s not to say he’s not keeping it rugged and raw. Like Tyson coming with the Mao tat and the gangsta’ rap, Sunny’s looking perfectly balanced on his rip-roaring frontside cutties. With one jewel down already on the {{{Vans}}} Triple Crown (what, like his tenth Haleiwa win?), Mr. G looks to make good a claim he made three months ago in France: “Let Andy and Kelly fight for the world title. I’m gonna’ own the Triple Crown.”

ALMOST DOES COUNT AT OFF THE WALL: Hats off to Santa Cruz charger Anthony “Tazzy” Tashnick, who took his lumps during the past two-day rush at OTW/Backdoor and Pipe. On Friday evening, waiting out the back for something of note, it finally came his way: a heaving, 8-foot double up. He scratched under the ledge, skirted under the curtain and drove, drove, drove all the way to the insanities shorebreak. He didn’t quite make it out and ended up breaking his board, but the effort was heroic enough to earn a standing ovation from the entire beach — including the lifeguards.

FULL FROTH: A group of Aussie animals unanimously get our week’s prestigious “Full Froth” award. After dog-piling one another in a game of Aussie rules’ footy at Sunset Beach elementary on Saturday, led by world ranked no. 2, Joel Parkinson, a whole crew of future door-busters ventured out to the 'Insanities’ section of OTW for a bit of the old body whomp. And a fair bit it was. You see: Insanities was actually an understated name for the spot on this day. As on this day, amid the dynamite and sand explosions, team managers sweated on the beach as a few of their countries’ best tired to mash and maim themselves. But fortunately for Parko, Troy Brooks, the Harrington twins, Adrian 'Ace’ Buchan and more, the 'Full Froth’ steel-lip-slamming joy that is the North Shore was once again shave ice w/vanilla ice cream double-thumbs-up for the stoked and brave.

MYSTO SCORE OF THE WEEK: With all eyes on Off the Wall the past few days, Chris Malloy and Mike Todd scored the highly-visible-but-under-the-radar Rockpile on Friday night to themselves. As the sun dipped below Kaena Point, you could see the two stylish goofyfoots, pulling up behind the boil and having a surf worth celebrating. As Chris says, “If that big clump of rocks weren’t there, there’d be tons of guys out here all the time, guaranteed.”

NIGHTLIFE: Roxy held their ten year anniversary party at Dillingham Ranch, with plenty pupu, free cocktails and a record setting auction of painted plaster boobies for the “Keep A Breast” cancer research foundation — an excellent evening which was, sadly, cut short at 10:00 sharp. Can someone say “Beauty Sleep”? Maybe not — especially if you’re Mark Healey. After attending Fred Patacchia’s “unofficial” ‘CT qualification party at Breakers (which was a rager, by the way), he went home, put on his Irish music and punched the walls until 3 a.m. “I have so much energy to burn this winter,” says Healey. “It’s time for a 20-foot swell to mellow me out.” The O’Neill World Cup of Surfing party welcomed all revelers at Breakers on Saturday night. And with a solid swell on tap for Monday, guests like Sean Moody had a full day for proper recovery. The best event of the week had to be the All Bus luau on Thanksgiving. Put on by All Bus, Cliff Batelo and Gerald Aikau, the luau was intended to give all the stray North Shore surfers a place to eat, drink and be merry on Thanksgiving. They did just that with 20 turkeys, plenty of fixings and enough grog to last until the wee hours.

CRAZY FRICKEN’ ANECDOTE: A funny thing happened while at the Chesser Thanksgiving Memorial at the Hill house. The waves got so good after the Game-style contest that Keoni Watson stayed out to score a few with late-arrival Kelly Slater and Doug Silva. He showed up to the dinner just as Jeannie Chesser and Racquel Hill announced the winners of this year’s event. When they got to “Photo Slut of the Year,” the dubious honor given to the year’s biggest media hound, Keoni’s wife Shawna whispered to him that Helen Hunt was about to win. Not getting the joke, Keoni shrugged it off. . . until the star of “Mad About You” emerged from the crowd to accept her award (apparently, she was there with one of Matty Liu’s actor friends.) Hunt graciously accepted the framed photo of Chesser flipping her off, thanked all her people and assured everyone it’d be right up there on the mantelpiece with her Oscar.