Sport of Kings
Photographer and Hawai`i Island resident Kirk Aeder has captured the spirit and sport of surfing over the years, including many images of A-Bay.
Surrounded by an endless ocean with no other landmasses to obstruct it, the Hawaiian Islands draw open ocean swells from all directions,” Aeder says. “Along this coast we get primarily west and northwest swells, which is ideal.”
‘Anaeho`omalu Bay, fronting Waikoloa Beach Resort, is known to Hawai`i Island surfers as one of the better spots to catch waves along the Kohala Coast.
“When it’s 20 feet at Jaws (one of Maui’s renowned surf spots) it’s 6-8 feet here,” says photographer Kirk Aeder, a resident of Hawai`i Island since the early 1990s, whose resume includes published work in Surfer, The Surfer’s Journal, and other international magazines that focus on the sport. “But the surf here is cleaner and more manageable.”
Up and down the Kohala Coast, those “more manageable” waves are found in abundance, drawing beginners and aficionados alike. Aeder lists Hapuna Beach, Waialea (Beach 69), `Anaeho`omalu Bay (or more simply A-Bay), and Pueos as having the best “high-performance waves” on this side of the island.
There’s also Pua Ka`ilima Cultural Surf Park at Kawaihae, which hosts an annual longboard competition. This break is said to have been a favorite spot of Ka`ahumanu, wife of Hawai`i’s revered Kamehameha the Great, who himself was born in North Kohala and learned to surf along the Kona-Kohala Coast.