I remember when I used to live in Newquay we’d get so excited for the Association of Surfing Professionals to come to our little town. Cornwall, about 250 miles west of London, wasn’t the most eventful place to live, although we did appreciate the cider, the Manic Street Preachers, scones with clotted cream. The highlight of each year was the three-day surf meet at our local Fistral Beach each August, when Brits that couldn’t afford a proper holiday abroad would pack up their cars and head to Newquay with “Run to the SUN!” or “RTTS” painted on the windows of their cars. It became a custom for locals to pack large super-soaker water guns and spray down the cars as they arrived. A sort of welcome, if you will. The town is very small with only one stop light and many roundabouts so it wasn’t unheard of to pile in the car and take several trips from one side to the other over soaking as many cars as possible during that long weekend. It was the best three days of the year.
13 years later I’m still reminded of this massive event every winter when the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing kicks off here in Hawaii. I want to paint “RTTNS” on my windows as I load up the backseat with coolers and blankets for the long drive from Makiki to the North Shore. I daydream of being attacked by water guns along Kamehameha Highway as I’m slowing down by Lani’s. The events surrounding the Triple Crown have grown each year, just as the Run to the Sun has in the U.K. There is nothing wrong with creating more excitement to surround the excitement, I always say.
Breakout events this year, aside from young local John John Florence winning the Triple Crown, was premiere of Come Hell or High Water. Keith Malloy’s directorial debut shot on 16mm film is a beautiful doc about bodysurfing, showing the solitary act of riding waves with just your own body (and sometimes a slipper or McDonald’s tray) is as close to nature as one can get. Having received Best Film at London Surf Film Festival, it was a special event to have it screened in Hawaii where Malloy got most of his inspiration to make the film. The Surfer Poll Awards also gave the film an award for Best Cinematography, which is no surprise when you consider his team consisted of camera geniuses Scott Soens and Dave Homcy. The Ward Theaters screening was a star-studded event, big names like Scott Caan taking a backseat to the sheer beauty of the film. Malloy has said bodysurfing is the purest form of riding waves.
This weekend is my own celebration as the end of the year brings another birthday and an art bash. In newly developing Kakaako there’s a warehouse behind Hank’s Haute Dog’s that’ll serve as the largest blank canvas yet for local artists who’ll create a massive mural to help raise the last bit of money needed for Pow Wow Hawaii 2012. With over 40 visiting artists and media from all over the world, the excitement for February is already building and is sure to peak at the fundraiser party this Fri. at 683 Auahi St. from 6 p.m.-midnite. You are all invited.