Feature Article


Never send a Haole to do a Moke’s job… That’s why we enlisted David David from Hawaii to provide us with the blow by blow coverage…

David David graciously agreed to send us some coverage from the North Shore Bowl Jam. He sent over 500 killer photos and a great article. Below are his coverage and photos. Thanks David!!! Mahalo!

David and Danny Way
Our fearless reporter shares a shaka with D Way. Proper shirt!

I was initially flattered when first asked to cover the event, and somehow felt unworthy of the task, as the roster sheet was filled with some of my greatest heroes. I figured it would be a cat in the bag, so to speak, as I’ve held several reporting jobs, and have covered several events, even a judge for many years. But nothing could prepare me for this gathering, as it took me a couple of days just to come down off the amp I had felt watching and playing a part of the paparazzi after it was over. Could my writing skills compare to what I had just witnessed? I seriously doubted it, almost wrote a letter noting the fact, but here’s a shot in the dark of the greatest week of skating Hawaii has ever, and I do mean, EVER seen!

Party Crew
Apparently, the crew was in full swing every night, just add alcs… Island style.

Monday- December 4th, starting to see an arrival of bowl riders, with Jimmy “The Greek” Marcus and Heidi arriving, Choppy Omega, and a few others. There are a few last touches to the Indo huts, and Tahitian lounge overlooking the deep end, better known now as “Heckle Beach”. Jeff the bass player from Pearl Jam is here skating too, for their night with U2 in Honolulu the same night as the event. The guy skates damn good to boot. A few kids from the hood, and local island talent, as Mark Partain lights up every corner with his old and new school moves. It’s in the air and growing close, you could almost feel the excitement building as it was the week, it was supposed to go down. Choppy living island style in one hut, as Scum’s cholo and his girl in the other, while Jimmy and Heidi get the guest room in Steve’s.

Wednesday-December 6th, it’s in the air! Grosso is here doing slides the circumference of the deep end, Partain still showing he’s ready, Choppy and Jimmy the Greek, doing effortless lip tricks in corners no one had previously used, Pat Ngoho with his smooth style rock slides. Hosoi with a check in, everyone had anticipated. It was only a practice session, but I left there feeling like I had just witnessed some big demo at the old Del Mar site. You could see the wide eyed expression from all who were present, as if to say, .. Did you see that? Without a word spoken.

Pat Ngoho
Pat Ngoho slaps rocks.

Steve Reeves

Man Child in traffic. Reeves hauls!

Aaron Astorga
Double-A assault and battery. Aaron Astorga powering a backside through humid airspace.

Friday-December 8th, Rune, Lance, Caballero, Miller, Burnquist, Ventura, Omar, D. Way, Ben Schroeder, Grosso, Ngoho, Partain, Hewitt, it was like a who’s who of bowl riders. Much more action skate wise, than this little island has ever seen. I would have to easily call it one of the greatest sessions I’ve ever seen there! Mablo and 9 yr old Kalani David warmed up the afternoon by taking countless runs, as Rune, Miller and Danny Way are starting to warm up at sunset. The CHOLO owner Steve was showing his ability to grind every corner of his own pool by taking runs off and on throughout the day. Daryl Hannah, who was in town doing a film project and popped in to watch the session for a bit. Heckle Beach has quieted down a bit as Miller’s lines and consistency show a first place slot right out of the starting gate. Chaz Pineda the kid from Texas was on, and Tyler Mumma was representing the new generation of what was to be, along with Steve Reeves who was one of my favorites! The kid is mental in the bowl! Angel Ramirez, Eddie Ayola, Bennett Harada, even Red was showing some secret weapon technique., but when Ben Schroeder or Jeff Grosso were on deck, it seemed like everyone knew to move back, like a stop-drop-and roll readiness position. It almost seemed like the pool was a mini ramp to those guys towering out of the deep end. Ryan Johnson the kid from Santa Cruz, OMFG! Loose ass trucks and super fast, pulling some super gnarly tricks! Another one showing great possible was Chris Senn, until he had to take care of his son who was knocked out by a flying bullet of a skateboard to the back of the head, but he came thru ok, and no one felt worse than the rider who’s fault it was. It was evident right there, that this was not gonna be your hanging out by the pool weekend! Danny lands a 540 and a kickflip to nosegrind sending Heckle Beach into a confusion of yells and screams. Bob’s orbit bound kickflip to fakie was a sheer act against gravity! Aaron Astorga’s BS ollies and simply beautiful Smith grinds along with Peter Hewitts undeniable ability to leave you speechless was a clear sign, IT WAS ON!!! This is really gonna happen as I looked across the pool at a star studded line up on the coping! I don’t think anyone has ever seen that bowl manipulated as it was taking place here tonight. Lance with his signature red socks, and Steve Caballero with his red helmet was the biggest display of ageless talent I have ever witnessed! Dave Duncan was doing his share of adding to the hype by his comments down at Heckle Beach and gnarly grinds on every corner. Choppy went down hard on an orbit bound BS ollie to Stalefish in the deep end as well as Hewitt. The hype, the energy, it was something not bottled or bought, or given or taken, it was live! Right here on the North Shore, Home to the Triple Crown of Surfing, and now, home to “The Bowl Jam”!

Chris Miller
A little evening music with Chris Miller.
Kalani David
Burnquist checks Kalani David’s frontal blast. This kid surfs pipe at age 9??? Insane!!!

Saturday-December 9th, Well, some talked of rain on the news, others talked about it from the clouds, but it seemed like the Hawaiian Gods wanted to see this event go down regardless, as it was a beautiful day all around, and we were ready to get under way with the greatest skating event ever, to take place in the great state of Aloha! The yard was filling up fast, and no need to bring food or beverages, as the owner Steve made sure there was free food and drink to go around for all. Danny Way arrives via helicopter, I remember people thinking he was going to acid drop into the pool, or maybe base jump from the helicopter. Security was on the job, inside and out, as it was an event you were going to attend and not return to your car, to find the window in pieces. A well planned event, food, D.J., MC by Double D-Dave Duncan and security at its best. Daryl Hannah returned from the previous night to film her own version of the event, as I believe she is close friends with D.Way and Burnquist. Kelly Slater came to watch also, as he spoke of his dream to be a pro skater long before he really got into surfing.

Kelly Slater and Kalani
Heavy surf legend Kelly Slater was in on it, Kalani picks up some stoke.

It got underway almost instantly it seemed, with non stop action! Eight riders in each heat, Tyler Mumma and Partain showing early on, they were out to make the top 5! In heat 2 with Ben Schroeder, Aaron Astorga, Chris Senn, and Pat Ngoho, it seemed like a miracle that the 9 yr old Kalani David with his huge backside airs survived it, as it was a dog eat dog 20 minute free for all! Miller like warm butter on bread, just flawless in every aspect! I could spend another page just describing his runs, and D. Way with the McTwist, got a 9.9 cheer on the Richter scale! Rune just lighting up the bowl with an endless bag of tricks, Omar was giving the show of a lifetime by throwing together an irrefutable amount of tricks inside 20 minutes. Red thru out some pretty good tricks, along with dorking out a little, but made for a real cheer hailer and laugh bucket, the guy was mental, and if he landed most of his tricks, he would have seen the finals! One of the skaters stopped at one time and screamed for faster music, I was laughing so hard, I forgot which one it was. But this was no glorified demo, this was a blood and gutz, balls to the wall format! With riders going down hard and giving more after the fact.

Dove and Miller clocking in before the carnage. “Miller went into the bowl looking like Miller but he came out looking like D.P.”

Grosso’s slides drew huge cheers, and Caballeros ability to be a crowd pleaser still stands! Two, three riders in the bowl at some times. The 8 heats had been played out, and everyone knew it was going to be the same names that had been mentioned early on in the finals, with maybe, 1 or 2 changes? They were:
Chris Miller
Jimmy Marcus
Rune Glifberg
Jeff Grosso
Omar Hassan
Danny Way
Bob Burnquist
Lance Mountain
Tyler Mumma
Mark Partain
Steve Caballero
Aaron Astorga

This was what it all came down to, the final 12, the survivors of the day, as now the day turns to night. It seemed as if the crowd was still growing. Hundreds? Thousands? Who knew, or cared, because this was going to be something bigger than the best! Hell,.. I’d of parked a freakin mile away and walked uphill in the snow with my cooler, and my video camera to see this! Only, this was 4 blocks from my house, and I could walk here like some people walk to the end of their yard? Yep! I remember hearing other peoples stories of similar events that they had covered, and how I missed the greatest show on earth. I almost remember thinking that I was in the wrong place, at the wrong time? Well, not today! I was sitting poolside to what was about to be the greatest performance of my old school and new school heroes right before my eyes. Stoked!

Bennett Harada
Bennett Harada punishing the lip.
Lance Mountain
Classic early-release over the hip courtesy of Mr. Mountain.
Sergie Ventura
Sergie Ventura bends one into overdrive… Dig the dude’s facial expression on the deck.
Rune Glifberg
Rune spins off a nice 5 with a Japanese grip
Omar Hassan
Omar Hassan. Intense.
Mark Partain
Mark Partain on home turf.

Danny Way

Danny Way hoists overhead methodology.

Lights were on, cameras were rolling, and all the paparazzi guys had new batteries and freshly wiped lenses. Thirty minute heat if I recall correctly, had so many Red Bull’s and cokes, I was feeling a little queezy. Dave Duncan gives the layout and time increments so the crowd and riders alike understand the rules. Rules? What rules? We’re sitting poolside to a Texas death match with Grosso on his lip slide while Lance does an air over Caballero like they’ve done it a million times! Danny,Bob and, Miller in the pool at the same time flyin a jezillion miles an hour every which way, but this thing is half the size of the Combi Bowl? It was MENTAL!!! The greatest show ever, Grosso airing over Lance climbing up the coping, Jimmy the Greek going blindslide into Bob, ( who is not a small guy!) Miller went down doing his super slide down the long straight’a’away, stitches to the lip, out! Omar went down doing the gnarliest flip trick miles above the coping, but came back to finish the final valiantly, and with his blood oozing chin, and blood stained shirt. The format was not like, formal CASL rules, or anything, but it was an exciting and unforgettable event for any one spectator. Almost,…a last man standing gladiator match! It was anything but normal or common! When the smoke cleared, all judges agreed on the top slots, as all judges were the same skaters who participated in the event. That was a format I had to say came clear cut with all the right elements. I mean,…who better than the skaters themselves? As if some corporate guy who farts better than he skates would have been part of a “company” decision of the winner? Not here, not today! It was simple, and the ones who were on, were just simply “on” that day. Mark Partain and Tyler Mumma, came from the depths to place in the finals, with an unforgettable performance. But, taking the cake with the prize was like this:
1st place=Rune Glifberg $8,500.00
2nd place=Bob Burnquist $1,000.00
3rd place=Danny Way$500.00
4th place= Omar Hassan
5th place=Jimmy the Greek

The Greek roasts beef while D Way eggs him on.

Bob Burnquist
Bob hucking out a big Lien melon sorta thing.
Tyler Mumma
Comin’ straight outta Dana Point, Tyler Mumma lays down his signature long layback smith steez.
Results Board
How it all came down…
Cash money suckas!!!
Cash money suckas!!!

As Moblow presented the suitcase holding the prize money in cash! All riders agreed to give the full amount of the prize money to the winner.

But it wasn’t over yet! As the crowd was still pouring in! A personal wager was put on the holder of the longest rock slide! It was a 15 minute timer, with those wanting to participate. Pat Ngoho came up first, registering a 16 and a half block slide, and holding it throughout the first half, until Christian answered back with a 20 and a half block slide. But it wasn’t over until the last three minutes, where Grosso pulled a 22 and a half coping block rock slide. Was a thing of beauty! I wish you were there to share it with the rest. Simply, Unforgettable!

Jeff Grosso
Grosso building up to 22 1/2 blocks. What a madman.

Afterwards the whole event moved to Cholo’s in Haleiwa for a celebration, it was also, the right place to be, at the right time!!

-David from Hawaii
All photos copyright David from Hawaii