Hawaiian tradition calls Oahu "The Gathering Place" and nowhere else on the planet compares to the North Shore when it comes to defining the global growth of surfing. The location of the Hawaiian Pro, Haleiwa, unofficially the gateway to the North Shore, seems all the more appropriate.
Take Heat 4 of Round Two of the Hawaiian Pro, for instance. The heat included: An essentially unsponsored Brazilian "privateer" in the form of Rafael Teixeira; a Moroccan, Ramzi Boukhiam, who was a member of Quiksilver's Young Gun generation that includes current Championship Tour surfers Kanoa Igarashi, Ezekiel Lau and Leonardo Fioravanti; a Hawaiian who moved to Tahiti and has since returned home to Oahu in Keoni Yan; and finally, another lightning bolt from the Brazilian storm, Flavio Nakagima, who finished 2nd at the QS 3,000 Hang Loose São Sebastião Pro just two weeks ago.
Luddites and flat Earth societies be damned, progress marches on and as the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo -- the first ever to include surfing -- begins to take shape, surfing becomes less and less a regional phenomenon. Each competitor from this Hawaiian Pro petri dish represents the next wave for a new generation of surfers from Europe, South America, Asia and Polynesia.
A quartet of surfers has converged at Haleiwa, providing a microcosm of pro surfing to come, with all four of its emerging regions colliding in a single snapshot. In the end, Teixeira and Boukhiam advanced on while Yan and Nakagima were sent home but not without providing a glimpse into the not so distant future.