A North Shore Adventure

Getting barreled in Oahu's shorepound is unbelievably gnarly. Of course, 99 percent of us mere mortals will never attempt towing into shorepound barrels in Hawaii, but thankfully we have riders like Parks Bonifay, Brian Grubb, Nick Taylor, and Austin Keen for that.

Wakeboarding is an escape for all of us, whether we're just learning to carve or charging into double-ups. Part of that escape is also being captivated by what's possible. What's possible in terms of tricks? What's possible in terms of locations?

Winching in Hawaiian barrels might be a pipe dream for most, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be dreamed about.

wakeboarding in Hawaii
The image of Parks getting barreled on the North Shore of Oahu that graced the cover of our May 2017 issue.Bryan Soderlind

WBM: How did this trip come about? How long was it in the making?

Grubb: Parks and I have been going to Hawaii in the winter time for the last few years. Nick has a place in Maui so we've been meeting up with him to surf and do a bunch of fun stuff on the islands. We all talked about winching in the surf but could never line up a winch when the conditions were right. We all knew we wanted to get back out there this past winter and make it happen in some good swell.

In December we started working out all the details. Parks lined it up with Jamie O'Brien to use his winch, and we found a good place to stay.

We shopped the idea around but didn't get much support at first, so we decided to just pay for it ourselves and make it happen. We would self produce it, and we knew it would pay off in the end. We got Bryan Soderlind and Austin Keen on board too, so our crew was dialed and made all the expenses cheaper too.

When word got out about the whole crew that was going and a great looking swell forecast, we got the support we needed!

WBM: What was the highlight of the trip?

Parks: I think the highlight of the trip was getting to watch the back door shoot out from Jamie O'Brien's dad's porch... It was some of the best pipe I have ever seen.

Grubb: The highlight for me was winching the shore break when it was big and just detonating on the beach. It takes so much effort to winch in those conditions. You only get 5 or 6 pulls an hour and the winch driver has to time it just right to get you in the perfect spot. I got a lot of waves but had two that stand out in my mind where everything came together almost perfectly.

WBM: Who caught the best barrel?

Grubb: That's a close one between Parks' cover shot and Nick's backhand barrels. I love how Parks is dragging his hand on the roof and looking so casual but also loved watching Nick getting it on a wakeskate!

Parks: I think Nick Taylor did. He had some backside barrels that were insane. Grabbing his rail in big blue caverns... Bear got some great shots!

WBM: Favorite set... at Keiki Beach or Waimea Bay?

Parks: Keiki Beach for sure. I have never winched shorepound like that before! I have been to that beach many times, looked at it and said to myself, "How insane would it be to ride there?!" It was so scary and fun at the same time.

Grubb: Without a doubt it was the Keiki sessions. Everyday the waves were a different size and always changing, which we loved. We did Waimea mostly because we had time when the waves were too big and closing out at Keiki's. It was a fun little rail at Waimea, but honestly, if the conditions would have been right at Keiki's we would have been there all day everyday!

WBM: Who was the MVP of the trip?

Grubb: Everyone killed it on this trip. We had a great crew, but I'd probably have to give it to Bear. He obviously shot amazing photos the whole trip, but he's got a great vibe and is high energy all day. He'd always encourage us to get one more if needed to make sure we nailed it. Those memories we made will last forever through his images and now in the pages of Wakeboarding Magazine.

Parks: I say Bear. He got some of the most amazing pictures I've ever seen. He even got a sequence of Koa Rothman's wave of the year! He is the most talented photographer I have ever worked with. MVP... Or more like MVB.