Kū’i’o’okalani Young’s Haleiwa Sleigh (borrowed)

Yeah, Carissa Moore and John John Florence (unsurprisingly) won the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing last month. It was a banner year for signups, of course, and the first year Vans created an “alternative craft” requirement. One entry that flew a bit under the radar at the time – even though it was one of the most notable “alternative craft” submissions – was Kū’i’o’okalani Young’s Haleiwa Barrel below. below.

Video: Matt Heirakuji

A quick back and forth, sure, but this section…not an easy line in Haleiwa. We caught up with Young to learn more about the ride and the board. Here is what he had to say:

“I only had a few boards to bring back from Kauai. I didn’t really have any bigger wave boards in time for the Triple Crown, because Akila was super busy, so I borrowed what I could from him. I had a 6’3” Dave Rastovich. The 6’11” I rode in Haleiwa is actually one of Kekoa Cazimero’s boards, and the thing was completely destroyed. It had been broken in half and reassembled with this huge rod in the bottom and three feet of glass plates in the deck holding it together. This session in Haleiwa was the first time I ridden it.

Photo: Billy Watts

“Haleiwa was kind of maxed out. There were lots of cleaning kits. But it was a swell west enough for the waves to break, so I was just sitting in the back and taking the chips. I got lucky on that wave, though. Right before I had this wave, I spent a while getting pounded inside my previous one. When I finally came out the back I saw the way this thing was hitting the reef and I knew it was going to charge when it came, because the wall was piling up. I thought it was just going to be a fence, though.

“I just remember taking off, riding the line, seeing the end start to cast, and hearing Zeke Lau, who was paddling away, saying, ‘Pack that thing!’ I was already planning this, like, ‘Brah, for sure!’ The board was a bit hard to maneuver as it is 6’11” and I was going too fast. But as I was staring at my line I saw a small exit, walked out the dog door and got a little hit with the lime coming out.

“It was epic. I knew this was the kind of wave I wanted, one that was going to break. Even before I went out paddling – Akila came down in the morning and we were talking about history – I was like, ‘ I just want to take a barrel today I don’t care if I make it I just want a vision So I was super happy because I feel like I kinda manifested it I came in really early and was just thinking about how I wanted a barrel, and ended up getting probably the biggest Haleiwa barrel of my life.

“Since then, Makua gave me a board to keep, Jack Robinson let me borrow boards…I’m super glad my friends gave me gear to ride, but I don’t want to ride their boards , because I still have no luck breaking them.

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