By Brooks Baehr - bio | email
HALEIWA (HawaiiNewsNow) – The big waves are back on the North Shore of Oahu. So are big name professional surfers. And with them come big business.
The holding period for the first event in the men's Triple Crown of Surfing, the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Alii Beach in Haleiwa, begins Friday, November 12. If the waves hold some of the size and form they had Thursday, the contest may begin Friday. If not, the event is expected to get underway when a new swell arrives early next week.
Regardless of when the contest begins, merchants in Haleiwa town are already riding the wave of business that rolls in every winter.
"It brings life to the North Shore this time of year," said Kevin Senn, owner of Surf & Sail in Haleiwa. "Like a month before it's like a ghost town out here and as soon as the surfers start showing up, and the contests start setting up their booths, it's game on. People are out here. They're spending. They're having fun," Senn said.
"The draw is the world class competition out here and of course the surf and the sun and the girls on the beach and everything that comes with the whole surf scene," Oakland resident Mark Bayuk said while sitting on the beach in Haleiwa watching the waves and wave riders. "I don't get to see this is Oakland, so this is a must do for me."
Retail shops, real estate companies that manage rental properties and restaurants all get a slice of the big surf bonanza.
"When we get big waves that's when business really booms," said Garrett Mau, an owner and chef at Spaghettini in Haleiwa.
"All of the houses, beach homes, near Sunset Beach, Waimea Bay, Pipeline, they are all rented. Some in Haleiwa. It's great for business," added Juliana Simone, owner and principal broker at Sunset Homes in Haleiwa.
"Surfing is the industry of the North Shore that's what bring people to the North Shore and when the surf contests are up, it makes even more people want to come. The Triple Crown is a six week series that injects $9 million in direct spending into the Haleiwa economy and about a 14 million trickle down effect," Triple Crown Executive Director Randy Rarick told Hawaii News Now.
The Triple Crown will finish shortly before Christmas, but the boost in business is expected to stick around until late February or March when the Winter swells subside.