Postcard from Panama #3

The Hawaiians are here.

Make no mistake. Behind the big smiles there is a steely nerve; folded, beaten, & sharpened by an up-bringing in the world’s most intense surf.

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This is Kaoli Kakuhuloa and Seth Moniz. If the names didn’t completely give them away, the looks would. Historically in Polynesian society, the aristocracy had first dibs on the best waves… I suspect somewhere in the distant ancestry of these two young gentlemen there were some pretty core chargers, and perhaps not a little royal blood.

There is something moving about the appearance of the Hawaiian team on the beach here in Panama. On the face of it this comp is a world championships, its an ISA show, it’s a sponsor’s showcase. But underlying all that its also a gathering of the clans. There is definitely something tribal going on, and the people who started it all, the Polynesians are here. Accompanying them is little bravado, no brashness; just big smiles on the beach, big turns in the sea, and a calm certainty that whatever the ocean throws up in the next week , it won’t trouble nobody.

Meanwhile that wave starting to show on the outside… well, turns out that riding that sweet little peeler is Kaoli and Seth’s team mate, Tatiana Weston Webb. ”Tati” is a sensation, hails from Kauaii, and is of the generation of Grommets that grew up idolising Bruce & Andy irons. She shredded this wave, all the way to the beach.

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Tatiana Weston Webb, above, on her n’th turn on this wave… and still a hundred metres to the sand

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Morning ding repairs to humans and boards, Dr Cole attends to a patient.

With the contest peaks now rammed with world class surfers, we chose today (Thursday) to go in the opposite direction to everyone else, and struck out to the West on what must be one of Panama’s most pot-holed roads., stopping only for 45 bananas ($3) along the way.

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Banana stop.

Cheap, and perfect hungry-surfer fuel… oh and Deisel for the bus is about a fifth the cost that we pay in England which is pretty mad.… just the GB Juniors and a couple of chilled locals in absolutely shreddable surf.

It was an epic day with wave count 10 times that we would have made at Venao with so many international surfers now hussling for every wave there, and with a whole fish each for lunch under a thatched palapa … not too shabby as Panama experiences go.

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Team GB arrive “somewhere” in Panama to find empty waves and a classic central America set-up.: Thatched Palapa, fresh fish, & a pimped 1970s jukebox pumping out latino hip-hop.

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Lucy Campbell & Ellen Harding get to grips with hybrid technology

The surf was sick all day… and the kids were amped to be somewhere away from the crowd… we will do the same on Friday… because from Saturday onwards… things are going to warm up a bit.

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Harry DeRoth gets the treatment from Barcas as the pensive crew nervously await their turn.

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Miles lee hargraves, Thursday : secret spot demolition begins

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Luke Dillon going mental

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Ellen harding carving her way towards the weekend

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Angus “I;ve only got one approach and that’s fully committed” Scotney , has been blowing up in Panama… heres another pedal to the floor turn (yes, he landed it).

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Will davey has been a model of calm efficiency, quietly getting on with the job of schralping everything he takes off on.

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HDR lining up another air reverse attempt. This one resulted in a full reverse bellyflop… but somehow he came out riding and so… we scored it.

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P-diddy Daniel … 5 past… must be getting close to lunch time.

Following their encounter with the Jukebox, Lucy, Ellen, Peony and Tassy decided to compose a little poem.

Here it is……..


We’re living in the jungle

Ellen’s knees have turned fungle

We surf 5 times a day

The skys are never grey

This means we get fried

So red we cant hide

Our camp is on a giant hill

Driving up it’s a real thrill

The food is so great

The chef is our mate

He teaches us kung-fo

But hasn’t yet fixed the loo

Lucys ribs are red raw

Harrys blonde hair is no more

Tass introduced Uno

Lukes injured his toe

We still have two weeks to go

And GB have epic surfing to show

Thanks to all the Supporters who have thrown their weight behind the GB Junior team


  1. Loving the postcards! Feel like we’re living the panama dream with team GB!

  2. Sounds truly epic guys. Both jealous and stoked for all of you!

  3. Epic, eloquent, excited enjoyment – could’nt ask for more !

  4. Really enjying hearing from you guys, today is a special day, enjoy, life really is an adventure, love to you all mo xx

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