Right about the time Josh Moniz was being crowned Volcom Pipe Pro champion, it donned on me that another winter season is coming to a close. The contests, the crowds, the swells all will fade into spring and the North Pacific will quietly go to sleep. It’s as sure a thing as any. You can count on it. And in years past, you could say next year we’ll do it all over again. But as state permitting rules seem to change the contest season as we know it, it remains yet to be seen what will become of the surf scene in Hawai’i, and more specifically, on the North Shore.
Change is inevitable. And while most of us agree with the old saying, we also know that at times, that is easier said than done. In the ten years I’ve had the privilege to be on staff with Freesurf Magazine, much has changed in the world, and in our backyard, yet so much remains the same. No matter what president we have in office, or who is putting on a surf event, you can’t stop the north-west swells from gracing the Hawaiian coastline with immaculate surf. A spectacle that has been here before we were and will continue after we are gone. And just as you can imagine Hawai’i hundreds of years ago, there remains today, Hawaiians who practice the timeless tradition of riding waves, like Ulu Napeahi freely gliding along on his ala’ia. Former editor of Freesurf and long time contributing writer Daniel Ito brings you an enlightening story on the history of the alai‘a in our feature on page 34.
As with all changes there comes newness. As the new year kicks into gear, and the WSL 2018 competitive tour sets into motion with its future unknown, I calm reassurance comes to mind, that no matter what happens, Hawai’i is going to be just fine. The land and the people will continue to thrive and the ocean will continue to bless. And with no shortage of inspiration, all of us at Freesurf will continue to document and share our love of surfing.