The Local Motion Surf Into Summer Presented by RVCA surfing event marks its 31st annual appearance at Honolulu's Magic Island, where professional and amateur athletes converge at the infamous south shore wave known as Ala Moana Bowls. For the second year in a row, Local Motion and World Surf League (WSL) have partnered to sanction Surf Into Summer a Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000 rated event, which will take place May 26 - 31, Memorial Day weekend. The forecast looks favorable for the competition to get underway on Thursday, Day 1 of the holding period.
One of eight QS competitions hosted by the WSL Hawaii/Tahiti Nui region, the Local Motion Surf Into Summer Presented by RVCA offers local surfers a much-appreciated opportunity to gain entry into the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (VTCS), the prestigious trifecta of surf events that takes place along the North Shore of Oahu from November 12 - December 20.
The importance of qualification into this highly esteemed series is undoubtedly on every surfer's mind as they approach the Local Motion Surf Into Summer, set to take place on the four best days of surf within the holding period. Each year, athletes fight for ratings points at various QS events, and the upcoming ‘town' event marks the halfway point of 2016. It will be a battle of talent and raw power at Ala Moana Bowls, with veterans like Kai Mana Henry (HAW) firing up the competition.
Henry, 37, is a Maui native and North Shore resident and currently sits second on the regional QS rankings behind 20-year-old Keoni Yan (HAW). Henry recently made victory at the Rangiroa Open Pro in Tahiti this past March and looks to continue his campaign this summer.
"My ultimate goal would be to win this event," said Henry. "My equipment is on point and I feel great, but I wouldn't want to put too much pressure on myself, so if I make a few heats and secure a spot in the Vans Triple Crown that would mean the world to me. That's what it's all about - being shoulder to shoulder with the best of the best battling it out."
With 82 percent of the 96-man field declaring the Hawaii/Tahiti Nui region, Henry is one of many locals competing in the QS1,000 at Bowls. Just 17 percent of the competition is comprised of outside surfers, which include regions North America, Australasia, South America and Japan. This stands to reason that the Local Motion Surf Into Summer Presented by RVCA is a true local grass roots event, created and perpetuated for the homegrown Hawaii/Tahiti Nui surfers.
Henry will go against the youngest competitor in the Pro division, Noah Hill, 14, also from Maui. Hill saw similar success in Tahiti after his win at the Papara Pro Junior and while the teen sits 86th on the QS regional rankings, he is one of the top leaders on the Junior QS. Other premier Hawaii athletes to look for in the Local Motion Surf Into Summer include defending champion Joel Centeio, 6x Vans Triple Crown Champion Sunny Garcia, legendary surfer Bruce Irons, big wave brothers Koa & Makua Rothman, and decorated athlete Ian Walsh.