The Op North Shore Makahiki Festival successfully kicked off the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing with support from a mix of top professional surfers, Haleiwa locals and tourists during the three-day weekend held at the Haleiwa Beach Park.
The festival celebrated the Hawaiian New Year by offering traditional Hawaiian culture, modern music, local crafts, Hollywood and surf films, as well as local food. Well-known musicians such as Jack Johnson and Tony Kanal of No Doubt participated in the festivities as well as, the old and new regime of top professional surfers with the likes of Rabbit Kekai, Otto Flores, Peter Mendia, Fred Patacchia, Peter Cole and Jason Shibata.
“The success of the Op Pro North Shore Makahiki Festival proves that global surf companies can use their event platforms to give back to the community,” said Eric Crane, Sr. Vice President Marketing, Op. “As the sport of surfing, contest venues, and their popularity continue to grow, it is the responsibility of surf brands to reconsider their impact on the local cultures that host them.”
The first day of the event was celebrated with a blessing given by Butch Helemano, North Shores ancient Hawaiian culture expert and minister, and followed by two movies, Ultimate Sessions and Mission Impossible 3.
The second day was a great mix of traditional Hawaiian culture, hula demonstrations and modern music and was well received by the local community. Op sponsored bands of the day were skate-singer-songwriter, Travis Graves, known in the music community as Mt. Egypt, and was followed by an upbeat, jazz performance from skateboarding legend and Fender-endorsed guitarist/songwriter Ray Barbee and the Mattson 2. Local Haleiwa band, B.E.T. had the crowd moving to the local beats, and the final performance of the night was given by Elan who ended the evening with guests dancing and grooving to the sounds of traditional Island Reggae mixed with funk and 80’s new wave pop. In between the various bands that played, festival patrons were treated to a mix of great rock and dance tunes by Op surfer DJ Omar Etcheverry.
Finishing off the weekend extravaganza, Sunday’s schedule included more hula presentations, musical performances by popular local bands, Natural Vibrations and Tom Curren’s band, Surf Jam. The Surfrider Foundation’s Oahu Chapter presented their fourth Annual John Kelly Environmental Achievement Awards to pro surfer Poncho Sullivan, local business Schnitzer Steel Hawaii Corporation, and legendary big wave rider, Peter Cole, who was given the well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award for his commitment to the coastal environment. Honolulu’s Mayor Mufi Hannemann presented a generous check of $14,000 to the Waialua Community Association for the Makahiki Festival. The three movies shown that evening were Bicycle Trip, Pipeline Masters and Curious George, which was introduced by Jack Johnson.
Op would like to thank the following companies in helping to make the First Annual Op North Shore Makahiki Festival event possible: Spin, Jeep, Hawaiian Airlines, Turtle Bay Resort, the Hawaii Tourism Authority and Propaganda Headquarters for producing the event.