35th Annual Buffalo Big Board Surfing Classic
He is the son of Buffalo Keaulana, the pure Hawaiian surﬁng champion who showed The one-day meet would showcase Mākaha's legendary surf and offer an. In fact, the contest this year is being dedicated by Keaulana to the It's the 42nd year of the Buffalo surf contest and to me it represents four. The lifelong surfer, whose all time favorite surfer is Buffalo Keaulana, is one of The Buffalo's contest is a weekend when we're like kids again.
The lifelong surfer, whose all time favorite surfer is Buffalo Keaulana, is one of the quietest watermen around. Each of their family members are active in the ocean, as well as in basketball, swimming and even hula.
My wife actually taught the boys to swim and boogie board. One of the challenges of being a lifeguard is working weekends, all holidays and breaks, and getting home after dark.
When I take my boys surfing, I am worried about them getting hurt by kooks, so I just ride the face so they have fun. I enjoy tossing my sons into shore breaks on their boogie boards and surfing on my soft top.
I did junior guards when I was about twelve. My brothers and I have been on skis since we were young, too. I trust my brothers out on the skis in big surf or in a nuts rescue. Trust is so important in the job.
Hōkūleʻa — Nainoa Thompson: Tribute to Buffalo Keaulana - Hōkūleʻa
Uncle Leighton chants as you paddle out and everyone is stoked for the fun to begin. Some people sing or dance to entertain kings and queens. I surf for my papa.
We have tons of extended family members from the outer islands, other countries, and even just the other side of our island. Brian and his family supported the Point Challenge. But there were limits to how much Brian was willing to share his home and way of life. We get so much stories already. The skippers tossed anchors onto the reef, damaging the coral heads. Someone went out and cut the buoy rope. If the water gets too crowded, then the guys down here are going to do something about it. But down here can get pretty ugly.
Guys can really get nasty if they wanted to. Others shamble in a fog, bellies drooping over their shorts as they gulp another Budweiser. Businessman, derelict, or high school student--Brian regards everyone equably.
We get treated accordingly. On work breaks and weekends, he paddles his surfboard out for a few sets. If the surf is meager, Brian bodysurfs.
If there is no surf, he sails his canoe or a board. We have to get water. My friends who work on the beach, they living from paycheck to paycheck. The career lifeguard is not really doing it for the money. They like to help people. I kind of like to compete and see where I stand, what caliber.
I like to enter events, any kind events, just to keep the competitor in me up. You can always learn more strategy. For me, I enter everything and anything. Life was hard for Buffalo. His father had died saving three men from a plunging wrecking ball at Honolulu Harbor.
He often slept at the beach. The water cured him when he felt sick, refreshed him when he felt tired, exhilarated him when nothing else could. Inboards got lighter and faster when light polyurethane foam replaced wood as the core material.
Nainoa Thompson: Tribute to Buffalo Keaulana
But Buffalo was more than a legend. With his wife, Momi, they took in and fed boys who were in trouble, just as their home also welcomed famous visitors from around the world. On the beach, Buffalo kept the peace and taught people how to live with and off the ocean, while Momi made the house a refuge.
Their son Brian grew up on the sand watching his dad ride the waves, which would rise to thirty feet every few winters. He insisted that his children go to the beach after school and get out in the water--it was a good way to avoid the temptations of drugs and trouble onshore. Brian needed no prompting, but ocean sports were not recognized as legitimate physical education by his school, which focused on land-based studies and athletics.
For Brian, organized school sports looked like a dead end. There was no choice. I learned more [there]. I learned how to feed myself, to feed off the ocean. I learned how to stay in shape. I learned how to survive. I learned how to save people. To be recognized now, you gotta do the drugs. They cannot get that back. All that time is gone. The boy rode well and Dennis took him to a competition at Sandy Beach, which was ninety minutes away in Honolulu--unreachable for most leeward coast youngsters.
Eight other kids could be world class Boogie Boarders, but they just stay at their spot and do their thing. Because his father was famous, he had a better chance then most. During high school, in the late s, a photographer approached him about doing a feature story about him--the hot young surfer, son of a legend. As with the children of other celebrities, the public did not expect Brian to be as good as his father, but demanded that he be better.
Everybody expected more, including his father. Brian recalled the offer from the magazine.
- Nainoa Thompson: Tribute to Buffalo Keaulana
- Buffalo Big Board Surfing Classic 42
- Surfers head west for Buffalo Big Board Classic in Makaha
They going take pictures of me and put me in a magazine, but I gotta ask your permission. They like call me Baby Buffalo. I no like you living off my name. Later on, you make your own name for yourself.
I went to school. I got beat up from classmates and then came home. Just kept to myself. Went back the next day to school, fought the same guy, got licking again, came home. I always did things on my own, tried to be more independent; but he helped me out in a lot of stuff. I just progress as I go on. I like to come home.
Home is where my sanity is. I can do that. Handful of guys surf canoes and go straight. Brian rides across the wave. Ride, cut back with canoe, back and forth. He took it one more step. He is challenged by bigger waves, to be on top of a bigger wave. Brian always looking for the biggest wave. He gives away waves. When organizers of the North Shore contests needed a new water patrol association to rescue surfers and clear noncompetitors from the waves, they groomed Brian for the part-time job because promoters and surfers respect him as a person, and more important, as a waterman.
After he and lifeguard Terry Ahue performed two hundred rescues with their own machines, the ensuing newspapers stories helped the county Parks Department decide to get six WaveRunners for other lifeguards on duty at dangerous beaches. He can pretty much do anything.
Longboarding is more fun. Surf culture is an international phenomenon; brand names like Quiksilver, Billabong, and Local Motion can be found on T-shirts in Fiji or France as easily as in Malibu. Surfers want the big waves, the attention, the publicity.
At least one of the meets is traditionally held at Sunset Beach, where steep waves break in shifty, unpredictable patterns that elude newcomers looking for the lineup. When he is not competing, he or one of his colleagues scoots about on a WaveRunner, clearing noncompetitors from the area and ferrying surf photographers to the lineup or back to the beach.
He did in Tell me Randy, why does Australian champion Gary Elkerton hide in France with his lovely missus after the season? On the beach, competitors watch their opponents and wait. When each heat ends, packs of Japanese women tourists run down to snap photographs as contestants emerge from the water. Kids eager for autographs push contest programs and posters into the faces of surfers, who stop for a quick scribble.
This approach works in smaller waves, but when the swells reach overhead, the more outrageous moves become unsafe, and some surfers, fearing a reef thrashing, strap on helmets for protection. Spectators compare the competitiveness to the intense energy rolling off the waves. When a surfer wipes out, everyone on the beach groans in sympathy. They love the show. Sponsors love the publicity. And the winning surfers love the prize money and an end to the grueling season.
Everybody gets something out of it. In Memory of Eddie Aikau. It is held only when the surf exceeds twenty feet. As a lifeguard, he saved hundreds of lives along the North Shore but shrugged off his heroism the same way he ignored compliments from fellow surfers, who considered him a legend.