April 03 2020 Friday at 06:15 PM

O Ah Yhew?

Hawaii is and always will be the Mecca of surfing. Ever since the he’enalu Ali’i were welcomed in royal circles, it has been the undeniable leader of our sports rich culture and history. It’s no wonder that the best surfers in the world make the pilgrimage to the North Shore of Oahu every year. The famous stretch of coastline has always been the proving ground for professional surfing. It’s also the last stop of the year on the ASP’s World Tour. This season saw Mick Fanning take home his third world title in the finest conditions the ASP could ever hope for. But you already know that.

As well as the modern day chiefly-class of wave-sliders, thousands of surfing’s regular enthusiasts visit the famous stretch of coastline during the winter season. Hawaii is the be all and end all, regardless of world titles and stardom. Nowhere in the world is as dangerously beautiful as Pipeline. The wave, so tantalisingly cruel, changes surfer’s lives for better or worse. With risk comes reward. Sometimes.

As we near the end of January I realise that if I don’t take the time now to reflect on my month spent in Hawaii, I never will. It is with conflicting emotions that I write. On the one hand, the North Shore was an idyllic, ‘sky is the limit’ kind of place. On the other, it was a gold mine that constantly made people other than me rich. No matter how many nuggets were on offer, my haole ass had to fight for the dust. I spent a month waiting, knowing that there would always be the chance to steal one when no one was watching. I never found the life-changing nugget that I was after. I scored some gold dust and had a hell of a time. It’s just a little sad when comparing my spoils to the spoils of the royals.

I’ll be back again at the end of this year. The dream is real and the possibilities are endless. Who knows? Maybe I’ll find that nugget.


Harrison Roach