HALEIWA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaiian Pro surf meet started Saturday under clear skies with light wind and good swells at Haleiwa Alii Beach Park..
That made for a great start to an annual six-week economic boom for Oahu's North Shore.
The Hawaiian Pro is the first jewel of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. The event brings in dozens of staff members along with close to 200 professional surfers.
"Sixty percent of them are traveling from another island or another country, and they're here for six or seven weeks, some for 12 for the whole winter. And that's a long period of time for a guest to stay and spend money," said Vans Triple Crown executive director Jodi Wilmott.
There's also money being spent by visitors who want to watch the athletes and the waves. One of them is Mario Wolf of Hamburg, Germany, decked out in an "Endless Summer" shirt and sporting a tattoo that says "Aloha" on his left bicep.
"Oh this is very big," he said about the surf. "You know we have in Germany, nothing. There's no chance to have that. You see it sometimes here on the television, and then you are live here and it's incredible, nice."
There are two more events in the Vans Triple Crown, with the holding period ending December 20th.