Jaw dropping week in Hawaii
Photo above by Austin Moore. Waimea Bay.
What a week of surfing! Wait we shouldn’t even say “a week”. In just the last three days we’ve seen some groundbreaking surfing and history go down around the world. Well, mainly the small islands of Hawaii. Let’s start with golden girl Stephanie Gilmore, who notched up her 7th world title at the Maui Pro on Monday, in a time when women’s surfing has never been stronger. She has now equaled Layne Beachley’s record and is giving ‘The King’, Kelly Slater a run for his money, who is sitting on 11. A big congratulations to Steph!
Only a stones throw away an almost overshadowing spectacle was going down, as the best big waves surfers were launching themselves into wave mountains at arguably the world’s most notorious big wave, Pe’ahi (Jaws). Although the highlights were being thrown down throughout the men’s and women’s WSL Big Wave Competitions, arguably the biggest moment came outside competition, with all-around waterman Kai Lenny dropping down a 20 foot wave (watch here), which only equated to half its size.
Billy Kemper was also throwing himself into some of the biggest waves both in and out of the competition, seeing him claim his 3rd Jaws Challenge Title. This comes only two days after he scored the only perfect 10 at the Sunset Pro, a contest that is still running on the neighboring island of Oahu and is the second stop on the coveted Triple Crown of Surfing. A big congratulations also goes to Billy.
On the topic of congratulations, we can’t go past former World Champion, Joel Parkinson, who gave the grommets a run for their money and took out the first stop of the Triple Crown in Haleiwa last week. In his final year of competitive surfing, Parko was in vintage form, sticking to smooth lines and classic style, that will see him missed on the Championship Tour. Congrats Parko.
So much has gone down in the last week, and surf fans should be foaming at the mouth, with so much more action to come in Hawaii and around the world. Christmas has come early.
Words by Sam Shearer.