Hawai'i and surfing

Having handed my thesis in last month, I have spent the past few weeks back in Hawai'i catching up with the surfboard workshops and makers that form a large part of our forthcoming book on the surfboard industry.

Since arriving on O'ahu the waves on the North Shore have been pretty good and my trip has coincided with the 2011 Vans Triple crown of surfing; which includes the final World Championship Tour (WCT) event, the Pipeline Masters.

Yesterday I was also lucky enough to attend the opening ceremony of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Invitational. This special event is composed of 28 invited surfers but only held when the waves at Waimea Bay are above 20 feet. In its 27th year 'the Eddie' is the most prestiguous big wave surfing competition in the world and requires a very unique type of surfboard.

Because waves of this size move quickly across the ocean surfers need boards that allow them to connect with the wave's energy. This has meant certain surfboard makers have become particularly skillful at designing and crafting longer, narrow 'guns' that as well as being excellent for paddling also allow surfers to manoeuvre on the wave face. The Eddie window for the competition ends February 29th.

Here is the wave that Bruce Irons rode to win the Eddie in 2004: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwJx1uUgMNE&feature=related