Hawaii was a treat!
Vans took Monte and I to Oahu for a week and gave us the VIP experience of Triple Crown and the North Shore. From a four room villa at Turtle Bay to grandstand seating at Pipe trials - we were truly living the high life! We made unreal connections with Vans staff and other surf shops from around the States; needless to say we fully enjoyed every dinner and planned event in their company. Also worth mentioning were the unplanned events, like, starting an impromtu karaoke night at the pool bar; Monte’s beat boxing set the tone for everyone else to chip in, with table drumming, singing, and moral support. At the Duct Tape Festival in Haleiwa we were warmly welcomed by the Gudauskas brothers, Joel Tudor, Alex Knost, and the rest of the Vans team. We also had the opportunity to meet the Van Doren family, who could often be found manning the BBQ or merch tent at various events that week.
Monte, Bridget, myself, and our new found friends were on the pursuit of waves every morning, checking one beach after another on the 7 mile stretch. I had high hopes of surfing my heart out in Hawaii but the swell was pumping and most of the breaks were way beyond my skill level. I eventually had the opportunity to get a long board session in with the family at the east end of the North Shore. But Monte added a strong Canadian presence to the water with his single fin, good vibes and great wave choices. He was often scoring some of the best waves of the session!
Other highlights include ATV’ing around the beautiful property where they filmed Jurassic world; an epic night hike and watching the supermoon rise over the Pacific with Tofino connection Heath; and the opportunity to teach a couple of yoga classes - one at the Vans house and the other at Turtle Bay. We attended the Surfer Awards and bumped shoulders with the pros, watched John John accept his award and made it onto Stab Mag. We finished our week off with a day trip to Honolulu, bought Hawaiian shirts, Monte and Bridget got commemorative tattoos, and we had a good bye dinner at an ‘off-the-beaten-track’ tiki bar.
The trip was such a treat and everyone involved was kind, fun, and quirky. It was basically the ultimate big kid summer camp, it couldn’t have gotten any better!
Thank you Vans, for the trip of a lifetime!