Hawai­ian Vib­ing

New Zealand Surfing - - News - By Billy Stair­mand

Newly crowned NZ Surf­ing Cham­pion Billy Stair­mand shares his in­sights upon an­other sea­son in the worlds heav­i­est waves on the North Shore of Hawaii. Back around three to four years ago I had my first taste and ex­pe­ri­ence of the North Shore of Hawaii. It was ex­cit­ing but scary at the same time. I'd heard all these sto­ries and seen all these movies of the mas­sive, scary, but at the same time amaz­ing waves, all rid­den by the best surfers in the world and I'd also heard all the sto­ries of the lo­cal­ism over there. You hear of people hit­ting the reef re­ally bad, but also get­ting the best bar­rel of their lives, a re­sult of push­ing the bound­aries for the ul­ti­mate thrill I guess. So I was a froth­ing but I was so ner­vous, like a scared lit­tle grom I didn't know what to ex­pect. I’ll al­ways re­mem­ber the first time I touched down in Honolulu on the is­land of Oahu and jumped in a car with Adam Melling and headed on out to the North Shore. I didn’t know if I had the right boards, or the balls for that mat­ter, to even surf the waves here. Af­ter cross­ing the is­land we came down the hill to­ward the North Shore and hit Haleiwa be­fore join­ing the road as it fol­lows along the coast. The waves were huge and there were people hop­ping out of their cars with like 9'0"s, head­ing out to one of the big waves spots along the North Shore. I have to ad­mit I was scared. I will al­ways re­mem­ber my first im­pres­sion of Waimea Bay, which is one of the most beau­ti­ful bays I have ever seen, with houses right on the rocks, beau­ti­ful white sand, big palm trees, with the sun shin­ing on the waves. It was so pic­turesque it’s crazy. The North Shore of Hawaii is lit­tered with iconic land­marks and not far from Waimea is Food­land, which is pretty much the most ex­pen­sive su­per­mar­ket in the world, but it's the only one for about 20 min­utes each way. It shares its build­ing with Star­bucks so good cof­fees help ease the burn on ya wal­let. Not far from on is Rock­piles which was our joint for the week. That first time I ar­rived at the Oak­ley Team house, which just so hap­pens to be one of the nicest houses on the North Shore, I was blown away. It was right on the beach look­ing at Off The Wall, Back­door and Pipe, one of the best views you could dream of and as a lit­tle grom on his first time in Hawaii, I had to pinch my­self. It was then meet and greet the team time be­fore hit­ting the sack as it had been a mas­sively drain­ing day and to be hon­est I was sim­ply shit­ting my­self. The waves were so big and when they broke on the reef it shook the house and the sound of the waves crash­ing right on the shore sounded like they were go­ing to smash through the house. In my state of shunt­ing it took me hours to get to sleep think­ing about how big it was for my first trip here. The fol­low­ing morn­ing |I met the full team and the Hawai­ian guys that look af­ter the house. I was a star-struck lit­tle grom meet­ing Adri­ano, Jad­son, Roy­den, Tom Whits, Dustin Barca, Rico, Seabass, Melling, and all the bosses. I was so scared I didn't talk much for the first cou­ple days. It didn’t take long be­fore I started to get com­fort­able and also started to get some bet­ter waves.

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