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.