Hawaiian charger Billy Kemper won the first ever paddle event at Jaws yesterday – Pe’ahi if you prefer.
Held in terrifyingly huge surf at the Maui big wave break, Kemper put on a strong display of big wave watermanship to take out the inaugural event, which also saw crazy performances from the likes of Greg Long, Shane Dorian, Albee Layer and Ian Walsh among others.
Ironically enough, paddling huge Jaws in recent years has kinda become the new standard in big wave surfing, rendering towing at all but a select few spot (huge Chopes, Shipstern’s, Nazaré among them) – not so much lame, just kinda old hat.
Why’s that ironic?
Because Jaws was the spot where big wave lords of yester-century, namely the 90’s Strapt Crew including the likes of Laird, Double D and Dave Kalama kinda invented and championed waterskiing behind a jetski into beefy surf.
Kalama featured as a pundit for the event, kinda bringing us full circle.
“Peahi was our girl…” he offered. “She’s Billy’s girl now.”
Which isn’t strictly true.