L I F T

Let’s get high together…high above the beach for my favourite angle.
My buddy PB has rolled up with the bird so we can show you these incredible beaches from the air. Water looks so blue from up there!
Finally the wind has dropped a few gears and they’ve started the Volcom Pipe Pro. Pipe ain’t working so they’ve kicked it off on the Sandbar instead. Good bank out there…
Enjoy your weekend :: u g e

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S H A K A

The North Shore of Oahu has been plagued with howling winds lately and bad weather. Kinda like a storm that just doesn’t want to leave the island. Fronts have been lashing this coast for days and everyone is a little twitchy around here. Basically there are very few surfing options with conditions like this.
So…we headed West on the highway…and of course, it’s a completely different day with perfect sunshine and protection from the winds. It’s amazing what a set of huge mountains can block, keeping the bad weather on one side of the island.
Surely these winds will die down tomorrow and the Volcom Pipe Pro will finally kick off.
: : u g e

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Fresh Poke

It’s been really stormy here in Hawaii. I know, I know these pictures depict glorious sunny days. Well…I shot these a few days ago…but it can be stormy on the North Shore and crystal blue and sunny on the East Coast. The island of Oahu can be a little fickle with the weather, especially seeing we’re in the middle of winter.
The swell has barely gone under 8 foot the whole time I have been here. Some days 20 foot plus. It’s been large. Winds have been funky too. That means most places are a washout so I’ve had plenty of time around the shack. The next few days are looking manageable and clean so I am hoping they kick off the Volcom Pipe Pro.
Here are some random and useful(/less) information about Hawaii. Sean Penn has a house just around the corner near Sunset. Sean surfs too. Not talking Pipeline charger but has a crack out at Freddyland. Poke (Po-kai) is a Hawaiian raw fish salad – everyone eats it here, just like Shrimp. Slater and Jon Jon are neighbours. I saw Slater a couple of days ago but he hasn’t surfed yet. He rarely comes out. There are plenty of Aussies here…sitting around for clean conditions.
Stay tuned and I hope Bondi is cranking ::uge

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A F T E R

Aloha.
Yesterday was a very strange day here on the North Shore of Oahu. It was busy. I’m talking as busy as a Pipeline Masters final. The Kam Highway was broken – 2 hours to Halewia from Pipe (normally 15 minutes). Thousands of people did the 45 minute schlep from Honolulu to see the rumoured giant swell, the biggest in 40 years some said. It’s a bit like Chinese whispers. Everyone here talks about the surf…the forecast was for 20 foot but that somehow got exaggerated into 50 foot killer waves washing the North Shore away. Friends in Waikiki said all the hotel staff talked up 60 foot monsters! Oh boy, you gotta laugh. So for all those thousands of people that came to the North Shore to see 30 knot onshore, unsurfable 20 foot yesterday – it would have looked like a south storm at Bondi in the middle of winter – lame!
Today was a different story and The Kam highway is back to its country quiet self. Waimea is still breaking 20 foot but the winds are now better and it’s surfable! Yes! Only 70 guys out.
Have a great day, ::uge

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B E F O R E

You’ve probably already heard through global news that there is a MONSTER swell hitting the Hawaiian Islands right now. I’m getting messages from all over the place wondering what it looks like here. To be honest I don’t know what all the fuss is about. When I went for my morning coffee down the road, half of Honolulu has filled in, TV crews are setting up and The Kam highway looks like a parking lot. Not one spare car spot at Foodland and helicopters are circling my shack. Why? ‘Cause some say it’s the biggest swell in 40 years, but I haven’t seen anything mega yet… I drove up to the hill behind Waimea (‘cause the road Waimea was choccas) and all I saw was a sea of 30-40 knot white onshore slush. I’ve seen it much bigger. When it gets big here it just seems to break further out. As I write this I can see white water about 1.5km out to sea. It’s totally unsurfable on the North Shore and there was no way the Eddie would run in such windy conditions (just to clear that up). It didn’t look big enough either to me…
So these photos are not from today. They’re from just before the storm. I’m going to shoot when the tide fills in and the swell spikes (and hopefully some Honolulu crew get back on the motorway). Stay tuned…I’ll do my best to find some monster chunks.
Mahalo :: uge

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Island Style

Since we last spoke the swell has been big here in Hawaii. Big isn’t always great as the North Shore washes through and is mostly unsurfable. Sure you can either join the masses at Waimea, try and get out at Pipe or drive all the way to the West coast for shelter – but their really busy options. When it’s smaller there are so many more waves working.
Loads of people are emailing me for some travel tips to Hawaii. Here’s a few that come to mind:

Fly Hawaiian Airlines to get here – Why? 64 kilos that’s why. You can bring two checked in bags that weigh 32kgs each. If you are travelling with 3 boards, 3 cameras, waterhousings and the kitchen sink you can get here carefree and without baggage penalties. The shopping is good here too, so your bags will be full on the way home.
Accommodation on the North Shore is either house rentals or Turtle Bay Resort. There isn’t much else. Remember it’s pretty quiet and they’re country beaches. Turtle Bay is great if you have kids – the Lagoon there is awesome.
Will you be able to surf here if you are not a pro – yes, but when it’s big I’d use the local saying “If in doubt, don’t go out”. It gets crazy big here. You can be surfing 4-6 foot with 10 foot sets on an incoming swell. It will catch you by surprise.

Signing off ::uge

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Shack Shaker

The big swell has arrived in Hawaii and I can hear water rushing under the house as I write this. Yep you read right, our shack is built on jetty piles and wash gets under the house and sometimes into the backyard. This doesn’t make for a good night’s rest with all the rumbling and water gushing around under you. Especially knowing that plenty of houses on Rocky Point have recently lost their front yards to the ocean (including swimming pools).
The funny thing is that this is just the beginning…tomorrow the swell will peak. It is probably going to be too big for Pipe, Waimea will be working (no Eddie) but most hell men are going across to Maui to surf Jaws. With all my big wave training at Bondi it’s not really my cup of tea but I may fly across to shoot it. They say it will be 15-18 foot Hawaiian (30 foot faces). Next week there is a boomer swell arriving Wednesday. I’m talking 50 foot faces ( 10 times head high!) but I don’t think the winds are right for here.
Back home the weather looks damn fine and small NE swell! Enjoy.
Mahalo :: uge

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North Shore

Good morning from Aloha land. Since we last talked the swell has picked up from 2-3 foot to 6-8 foot Hawaiian…and it’s coming in strong. That big, inbound mack-daddy-swell is definintely starting to file in. By Friday it will be huge. Still not big enough for the Eddie!
The winds are up and from the South-West (Kona Wind)…that ain’t good. I snuck in a few shots at Pipeline before it blew. Few chucky 8 foot sets. They call that fun playful pipe.
Adios :: ugios
 
 

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K O N A

Aloha from the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Yes we’re alive!
It’s been so nice here on the North shore lately. A gentle Kona wind has been holding back the trades meaning some arvos have been super glassy. Swell is small for here (but waves are still overhead high). A monster swell is brewing though…it will hit here Friday (remember we’re a day behind). Pipeline will be 15-18 foot and I’d say real Waimea should have something. There’s a lot of talk about Jaws as the winds look to be sympathetic to surfing exposed breaks – normally Maui is howling.
So here’s some non-surfing shots to ease you into our Hawaiian sabbatical. Don’t worry…plenty of surfing on its way.
::uge

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S a b b a t i c a l

Dear Friends, I’m packing up shop for a bit and heading for Hawaii. Yes Hawaii. The Rock…The Surfers Mecca. Why? I’m gonna chill out, sleep under a coconut tree, teach my kids to hot wire cars, try swim around at Pipeline and score some waves for myself. Today’s shots are from my last sabbatical over there. As you can see there is no shortage of swell in Hawaii at this time of year. It cranks. Ok…sometimes it’s ridiculously big and I want my mummy (like 30 foot next Friday) – but most of the time the North Shore provides a chilled vibe and restful getaway.
Oh yes, you’re coming too, I will be shootin’ and posting just not every day. I’ll be gone for a while…so I hope I don’t miss anything amazing down here in Bondi. The swell forecast looks pretty dire for the next few days for Sydney.
Have a great weekend – speak soon ::uge

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Lubricate

Good morning…the rain has stopped and the winds have finally swung offshore at Bondi. Waves are sneaking in around 2-3 foot but quality is a lil’ questionable. I mostly saw waves closing out or burger out (fat). At a different tide it may improve. Tomorrow is much cleaner, smaller and sunnier!
Do you know you can purchase our Limited Edition Aquabumps x Havaianas Thongs online? Just click here.
Have a great day! ::uge

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M O N O

Ok…so this morning wasn’t the prettiest I’ve seen. The skies have gone all mono…the waves are bigger but very messy and she’s a little damp. Other than that…it’s perfect!
Tomorrow the winds will kick around and clean up Bondi…the skies will still be cloudy until Friday.
Have a great day. :: ugio

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Peace Wagon

If the lead photo in my update today is of a decrepit, over-priced, peace-wagon you can only imagine how ugly the beach was this morning…
After a good stint of summer weather we’ve landed a rainy, grey, onshore, mushy morning. I saw waves around 4 foot out there with no one out. Looks like everyone is waiting for the winds to swing offshore on Thursday afternoon.
Don’t worry, you’ll be back on the beach later on this week.
Have you purchased a copy of my latest book? Even my hardest critic (My Mother) said it’s good. See comments on this page.
:: u g e

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Viva Bondi

It’s been fun around Bondi with loads of people visiting the area. I’m learning a new language every day. We’re not talking record breaking crowds down at Bondi…take last Saturday for example there was probably 20,000 on our 900 metres of sand. I reckon the biggest crowd would be roughly 50,000 which means you can’t find a spot to sit.
On Saturday the lifeguards were busy with a mass-rescue up at North Bondi around 3pm. You would have heard the shark alarm clearing the water so the lifeguards could all focus on North Bondi where plenty of people slid off the bank into a rip.
We’ve had a nice trickle of South swell feeding Bondi. The banks have been super fun huh? Today was a downer with 1-2 footers. This week it will crank up again with a new south ground swell arriving tomorrow. The weather won’t be as hot though.
I hope you’ve enjoyed (or enjoying) your festive holidays. If today’s your first day back at work have a little nap under your desk. It’s ok. Dead set.
::uge

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