Off the Wall

I reckon we can learn from the Hawaiians. I’ve said it before…they have good priorities.
If the surf is cranking – they take the day off and surf. All day. Last week I noticed most of the school kids even had permission to skip classes to score waves all day long in the sun.
They are also very big on family. Their ‘Keiki’ (kids) is everything to them. Work doesn’t rank very highly. Island time dawg.
This is the last photo update from the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. The 1st half of our stint was windy but the 2nd half has been so good. Super blue, super clear and manageable waves.
Thumbs up.
If you’re around Bondi this weekend head to the Icebergs Dining and Bar (upstairs) and you could win a Aquabumps artwork. Big one. Go here for more info (this is the last weekend)
:: uge

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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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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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Wet

It’s small here in Hawaii, like Bondi today…but a thumper is on the way tomorrow. That’s exciting. Wish we had all this swell in our summer. Smaller conditions meant I could swim around underwater; early…most people don’t get to the beach before 9am here. Very different to Bondi (keep in mind it is winter here, sunrise is 7:00am)
There is always people surfing, which makes sense as the sport was born here. You can’t distinguish between weekday crowds and weekends. The surf etiquette is high. The cruisy island spirit rubs off into the surf – I’ve seen very little agro – ok, Pipe is an exception – but the rest is fine.
A few of you have emailed me asking if I am ever come home to Bondi Beach. Well, it’s been a month…maybe should start thinking about it.
Seeya : : u g e

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North Shore

Alooooha!
Sorry about the radio silence. Just been taking it easy here in Hawaii. Y’know…bit of holidays, bit of shooting.
The swell has been ridiculously big the past week. Haven’t seen a day less than 6 foot. Today it came up again and there are faces at Pipeline that are over 30 foot! The swell is a wonky one though, quite unpredictable and plenty of crew getting’ axed on the reef.
I’ve seen Tom Curren around a bit, quietly doing his thing. He charges the biggest days here at age 50. How good is that? I like how unassuming he is…not much of a chatter, hangs out on his own…he was the only guy out at huge Pipe a couple of days ago. Slater is here too…but haven’t seen him surf. Then there’s JJ Florence and JOB who dominate Pipe. That’s about it from the Rock.
Back in Bondi we’re looking for a new full time team member in our Aquabumps Gallery, a production manager with some sales skills. If you think you fit this criteria listed here be in contact with Gloria Tong.
M a h a l o : : u g e

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Waikiki

As far as ugly mornings go, today’s a cracker. The surf is knee high onshore mush and it seems to be raining quite consistently. Taking photos of that pretty picture wasn’t high on my to do list.
Instead I’d like to talk about Waikiki beach on the South Shore of Oahu. Waikiki is the main beach of the Hawaiian capital, Honolulu. It’s kinda a blend between the Gold Coast and Bondi. It’s packed. Big time. Hi-rise hotels and shopping malls line the beach leading you to the Diamond Head volcano. Most importantly it’s where surfing began. There’s fun little waves out front, perfect for beginners…you can ride a wave for 200-300 metres. In the winter it doesn’t get big as all the action is around the opposite side of the island – the North Shore. Waikiki and the crowds are not for everyone…but if you’re heading to Hawaii I’d suggest 1 or 2 nights to check it out before heading to the quiet parts e.g. North Shore, Maui or Kauai. The shopping is epic and since our dollar is on parity you can go nuts! Stay at the Royal Hawaiian, The Surfrider or The Modern.
Have a productive day indoors :: uge

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Flashback

I went down the beach this morning and it wasn’t pretty. A strong southerly is here and it’s making a mess of things. The skies threaten rain and there’s barely anyone around (including surfers). Yesterday was your best option for this week. I shot some real bad images of mushy water, but I thought you’d prefer to see some Hawaiian images that I took underwater just before getting on a plane back home.
SurfAid Ball
Surfaid is a non-profit organisation who help out the needy Mentawaian People (and other areas of Indonesia). They do great work, I’ve seen first hand. They are holding a Gala Evening to help raise much needed funds. Join famous surfers such as Occy, MR, Tommy Carroll, Taj and Simon Anderson in a great night in Sydney (Doltone House). It’s on Friday March 9th 2012 at 7pm. Tickets’ are $250 each or $2,500 for a standard table. Do it. Buy Tickets
Seeya tomorrow, :: uge

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sayonara

Today’s first pic above sums up Hawaii for me. A nice crispy clean wide open barrel, warm water, tropical palm trees, huge mountains in the back ground, beautiful light…ah yes, there is nothing better than Hawaii. The only thing missing is the huge wolf pack at Pipe fighting for a set. This is a freak moment at Pipe. I was floating with 70 others at the time of shooting this pic – I have no idea why it looks so deserted as this is the main peak. And no, I didn’t spend hours photoshopping them all out!
Sadly today is the last post from ‘The Rock’. We’re coming home to Bondi so summer had better welcome us back – none of this torrential rain. It’s been a fantastic month here – waves every single day of this trip. In between the cracks of A-Class breaks there’s plenty to surf with relatively small crowds. You need lots of patience to surf breaks like Waimea, Pipeline, Off the wall – budget 1 wave every 1-2 hours. Go searching and you will find a neat little peak on the golden 7 mile. Also…the Hawaiians are super friendly…I get asked about them all the time. They’re big on etiquette, paddle the inside or get in the way trying to scramble for the shoulder and someone will probably have words. Show respect and patience and all will be fine. The standard of surfing here is incredible.
Remember Turtle Bay Resort are giving away a 1 week stay package to our readership. Enter here and good luck – you’ll love it.
Jon Jon Florence won the Volcom Pipe Pro. Watch
Mahalo :: uge

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