Masters of the Kaiser's Bowl
Is it possible to love a wave? I say 'yes,' judging by the dedicated surfers at a break called 'Kaiser', in Waikiki. Some would argue that Kaiser is the best wave in Hawaii. Still its magnetism has drawn surfers from many parts of the globe.
This short, fast, hollow wave was created in the late 50's when the Hilton Hawaiian Village cut a channel through the reef for the tourist catamaran. Shortly after that, a barge sunk just beyond the channel opening creating what was then called “the long shot.”
Some very old-timers remember paddling their balsa boards, plastic-wrapped sandwiches held carefully in their teeth, out to the exposed barge, and eating their lunch on it in between sessions.
One of the outstanding features of this wave is the parking lot that fronts it. Lots of drama gets played out here, daily romance, fights, parties and even some criminal activity. If John Steinbeck was a surfer, Kaisers would be his Cannery Row and Tortilla Flat!
In this series Masters of the Kaiser's Bowl, the individuals depicted have surfed Kaisers for at least thirty years. However they are by no means the only ones. These are just a few who have a commanding presence in the lineup.
Named after the once near by Kaiser Permanente hospital, most of the worlds and all of Hawaii’s best surfers have gone through there.
To those who have dedicated their lives, time and money to this place, the axiom “The Kaiser bowl, to death do us part” is more than an idea, it is a primal chant.
In the issue of The Surfer's Journal, June/July 2018, Ron Croci had his Masters of the Kaiser's Bowl series published on pages 98-101.
The Surf Blurb is feating a digital version of Ron's work. Editing differs from the original publication.
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