By Cash Lambert

Water balloon fights, giveaways, an empty Haleiwa lineup with 3-4 foot clean conditions and an entire beach teeming with the feeling of youth! Yes, a surf event exists where all of these occur and yes, the competition ran on hallowed North Shore grounds: the 39th Annual North Shore Menehune Surf Contest at Haleiwa’s Ali’i Beach Park, which saw action on October 17th, 18th, 24th and 25th.

“It was really fun and glassy but I kinda brought too big of a board today… I’m riding a 5’ 0”, says 10 year old Dakota Briley at the event, with brothers Isaiah, Ryder and dad, Shawn Briley.

“This contests brings out some of the best kids in Hawa’i,” continued Isaiah, 12 years old and squinting in the afternoon sun. Standing on the warm sand and flanked by an alleyway of sponsor tents like Sun Bum, Surf N Sea, North Shore Surf Shop and many others, you’d never guess that those showcasing whipping bottom turns, cranking hacks and deep drops into well overhead waves consisted of keiki ages 3 to 12 years young.

Fred Pattachia, Joel Centeio, and Keiki Photo: Keoki

Fred Pattachia, Joel Centeio, and Keiki Photo: Keoki

“Watching my son and my daughters compete is pretty special,” says renowned power surfer Pancho Sullivan, while watching the action with his 8-year-old son, Kanekoa. “I feel like at this event, they’re surfing with their friends and it inspires them and makes them realize they can push themselves a little bit on their own… and ride bigger waves than they’re normally on.”

Which is part of the right of passage, it seems. Heaps of pros, such as the Moniz family, John John Florence, Tatiana Weston-Webb, Alessa Quizon, Freddy Patacchia and Pancho himself competed in their first heats at past Menehune Surf Comtests.

“Growing up out here on the North Shore, this was one of the only events we had,” Pancho continues. “I competed 3 years in a row when I was 12 and under and it’s pretty amazing to see the generations come through this event.”

What did quiet Kanekoa think of the competition? “My heat, it was good,” he said softly. “I liked the set I caught cause I like to go down the line. My favorite thing about {the Menehune Surf Contest } is surfing and boogie boarding in the shore break and seeing all my friends.”

The shore break, perhaps more treacherous than the bombing swell itself, looked like a mixture of fun and frenzy and foam! All day, packs of menehune scratched for fast breaking waves and somehow avoided collision after collision while telling their parents it was a “warm up” for their upcoming heat.

“It’s our duty to pass on the torch to the next generation,” said Bradley Wicklund, whose two boys were frequents in the shore break and contest waves. “This is one of the few beaches where it’s family-oriented … I remember having uncles and aunties pot lucking, everyone helping each other out. It wasn’t an ‘I’ thing, it was a ‘team’ thing and it didn’t matter if you were a bodyboarder, longboarder … We were all enjoying the ocean.”

Luana Coelho Photo: Heff

Luana Coelho Photo: Heff

39TH MENEHUNE SURF CONTEST RESULTS

4-6 BOY & GIRL SHORTBOARD

1. KIELAN JARDINI

2. TALAN LILLYMAN

3. BRUNO FERRI

7-9 GIRLS LONGBOARD

1. MARINA FONSECA

2. ASHLEY BOGART

3. SOPHIA CULHANE

10-12 GIRLS LONGBOARD

1. KELIS KALEOPAA

2. HALEY OTTO

3. TYRRA GALANO

7-9 BOYS LONGBOARD

1. TAMAROA KALAMA

2. BEAU SPRADLIN

3. KANELOA LANE

10-12 BOYS LONGBOARD

1. NATE DELAMARTER

2. KYLE KAHELE

3. BEN JOHNASEN

7-9 GIRLS SHORTBOARD

1. SCARLETT SCHREMMER

2. ‘OLALI WONG

3. NATALIA WUNDERLICH

10-12 GIRLS SHORTBOARD

1. BETTY LOU SAKURA JOHNSON

2. LUANA SILVA

3. LEILA RICCOBUANO

7-8 BOYS SHORTBOARD

1. KENNY NISHIMOTO

2. DYLAN SLOAN

3. RORAN MULLEN

9-10 BOYS SHORTBOARD

1. SHION CRAWFORD

2. KALANI DELAROLE
3. PAUAMLU DELAROLE

11-12 BOYS SHORTBOARD

1. ROBERT GRILHO III

2. THATCHER JOHNSON

3. ISAIAH BRILEY

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