OceanFest organizers, participants 'praying for surf'

Waves for annual festival honoring Duke Kahanamoku have been small

 UPDATED 7:05 PM HST Aug 22, 2013
Surfer
HONOLULU -

Pray for surf. That's what organizers and participants of this year's Duke's OceanFest have been doing for several days now.

They say waves are just big enough to surf, but could be bigger.

Then again, conditions could be worse.

Some of the world's best surfers are in Waikiki right now for the 12th Annual Duke's OceanFest.

But there's been one big no-show at Kuhio Beach Park, the waves.

"For sure, it's been one of the worst seasons, as far as surf is considered," said world champion surfer Dino Miranda. "We had a good start for this summer, but then it just kind of didn't last as long as we thought it was going to be. But usually, that's just the contest blues."

On Wednesday, the surf was not big enough to pull off a world record attempt of 16 tandem surfers at one time.

"It was gnarly," Bear Woznick, a world champion surfer, said. "It was like, I felt like Custer leading everyone into the last charge, you know? There was no waves."

Surf could be worse though.

Duke's OceanFest Co-Chair Jim Fulton said, "I saw a couple other surf spots and there wasn't much activity. But there was clearly surf here all day long, and so I really think that as like in the past 12 years, Duke kind of always looks out for us."

It seems like everyone at the festival is thanking Duke, regardless of surf.

"You know, you can't surf without waves," Woznick said. "But the thing is, I had pain in my cheeks from laughing so much. We were out there for an hour just having a blast and that's what the Duke taught us to do, right? Just enjoy life and enjoy the fellowship of each other. Yeah, we had a blast out there."

"Surfers are optimistic," said Fulton. "They live to surf and so, we're hearing that there's a bump. We hope that duke shines on us and we'll have surf."

Duke's OceanFest runs through Sunday at various locations in Waikiki. The annual 9-day festival honors Hawaii's legendary waterman Duke Kahanamoku.

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