Standing Up with SUP SurfMag and Haleiwa Bill


I’ve been waiting to get in the water for a few days because the rain and weather has been pretty terrible. Along with that, I had a pretty busy week of work. I got some time to sneak away yesterday to the North Shore of Oahu with my buddy Kekoa although I wasn’t sure at first because it looked huge in the online surf cam.

When coming through the sugar cane fields on the way to Haleiwa we saw the waves peeling from miles away. That’s how you know it’s really big…when you’re 10 miles away and can see the wave breaking. We stopped Puena Point first and took a look. The water was chocolate brown from all the runoff from the heavy rain but there were some waves. At first it looked really small but there was a group of surfers sitting way outside. After 15 minutes, we didn’t see any of those surfers way out catch anything. I guess it was between sets.

We drove over to check out Laniakea, then Chun’s Reef and then Leftovers. They all had big surf with waves breaking across the whole area so I didn’t see any channel to work with. I’m hesitant once it gets overhead and tentative once it gets double overhead. I’m not really a big wave guy. I just don’t like to get held under for a long period of time. If there’s a channel then I’m ok but for the most part I’m not that adventurous.

We ended up going back to Puena Point and I have to say I had one of the best sessions I’ve had in a while. It ended up breaking consistently outside and once I was out there I saw another stand up paddler on the horizon. Low and behold it ended up being Nate from SUP Surf Mag. I asked him how he got the ‘pass’ to go out surfing because Nate just had a new baby. He said his wife was cool and had no issue with it. Nate was on a PSH 9’4” ripper and made it look like a short board. I saw him catch some sweet overhead waves and he was sitting on the outside waiting for the bigger sets to roll in.

A little while later I saw another stand up paddler coming out and it turned out to be Haleiwa Bill. It’s great to meet in person the guys in the SUP community that we converse with online. Bill said he caught some of the biggest waves he’s ever caught on a SUP during that session. He had a huge smile on his face.

My memory of the day is paddling out and waiting just inside of the outer line up with Nate. Nate looks over at me and says, “I wonder why they’re sitting that far out….they’re gonna miss the good stuff coming.” Like clockwork, about a minute after he said that a big set rolled in and wiped us out. I took in some water but couldn’t help smiling and laughing because it was pretty funny. Needless to say, I had a good time.

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3 Responses to “Standing Up with SUP SurfMag and Haleiwa Bill”

  1. Nate 1Nate

    You got it Evan. That was a really fun session…a long one too. It was good to see you again. The last time we met was back at the Bowls Steinlager contest. The outside set is classic. How did you keep track of your shades? When I decide to go get some inside waves, I usually let those around me know that I’m going to go get caught inside for a while so be ready for the outside sets. It’s all part of the fun. Ride some outside waves, then when the crowd moves to the outside, go inside and ride some of those (and get buried by the set waves). Then when the crowd moves inside, paddle back to the outside. It was definitely a good times session with plenty of waves for everyone. Stoked! -Nate

  2. Bill Ward (aka HaleiwaBill) 2Bill Ward (aka HaleiwaBill)

    Hey Evan, it was great to finally meet you! (Although the conversation got a bit difficult when we got caught inside for a 20 wave set….LOL)………It was nice to finally put face to the name. I feel truly blessed that our growing sport is filled with so many wonderful people and stoked surfers!

    And WOW!! What a FUN session!! You and Nate scored a bunch of great waves on the inside, which actually had better shape. Later in the session I tried that, but of course that only invited huge sets to pour in and I got POUNDED!…..LOL.

    However, I definitely caught some of largest waves I have ever surfed on a stand up board! I knew when I bought a high performance 10′6 PSH that it would take some time getting used too, especially since I am a big guy. But all those flat water training sessions are paying off and I am much more comfortable in larger waves now.

    BTW-have you noticed how well received SUP surfers are at places like that? The vast majority of prone surfers have been nothing but friendly and many sessions are spent answering their questions about SUP. I think is testimony to the fact that SUP surfers have taken to heart the numerous ongoing etiquette and safety conversations we have had. Amazing what some simple manners and willingness to share waves can do to improve attitudes in the line up!

    Anyway bruddah, it was great surfing with you, I look forward to many more sessions like yesterday. Aloha………….Bill

  3. Evan Leong 3evan

    Nate – Good to see you too. It was great to see you surfing your new board. You made it look easy.

    Bill – It was great meeting you too. I did notice how cool everyone is and I think it’s because we stay out of the way and don’t take all the set waves. I was out there again today and tried to help a surfer out because he had no leash and lost his board in a wave. He swam from the outer line up almost all the way to shore. The bummer part is that when he was swimming the waves went away and he just fought the current. I think people appreciate when we try to help.

    I look forward to surfing with you guys again soon!

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