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    The Ocean Women of Oahu

    The Ocean Women of Oahu


    As longboarding grows in popularity around the world, the women of Hawaii define the meaning of the sport.

    One February Saturday on Oahu, five generations of local families gathered at Makaha Beach for the annual Buffalo Big Board Surfing Classic. Babies slept under tents while breakfast was made, young girls tossed each other into the water, and a huge variety of surf craft lay ready on the sand. There were alaias, the traditional square-tailed, finless boards that were used in ancient days, alongside stocky man-sized boogie boards and outrigger canoes. The waves weren’t breaking anywhere else on Oahu, but at Makaha they would carry acrobatic tandem surfers and longboarders performing the required tricks: Dead Cockroach—lie on back, head first, arms and legs wiggling—for three points, King Stance—stand straight, arms crossed—for another three. At one of the longest running surf contests in the world, fun is the name of the game, facilitated by the mandated equipment: boards 10 feet or longer. “Buffalo’s contest is one time that we can reclaim what we do,” longtime participant Claudia Woo explained. “Everyone’s invited; there are teams from Kauai, teams from France…but it’s about coming home.” Woo lives in Kauai now, but she was born and raised in Makaha; she’s been coming to the contest since its start.

    “One of the many beauties of the Buffalo Big Board Surfing Classic is that it has remained pretty much the same even after 43 years,” said Ha’a Keaulana, a surf photographer whose grandfather, legendary surfer Richard “Buffalo” Keaulana, is the contest’s founder. Its consistency is a reflection of its community; the same families attend year after year, riding the longboards that have always been central to Hawaiian culture. “There was a time, during the ‘70s, when in other countries you were scoffed at if you rode a longboard,” Woo added. “But it was always going on in Makaha. It never stopped.”

     


    Special thanks to Mariah Ernst, Pomai Hoapili, Cara Short

    大豪门彩票

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