(KHNL) - He's the most decorated surfer in the history of the prestigious Triple Crown of Surfing. Sunny Garcia took home an unprecedented six Triple Crown championships. But after some unexpected time off, he's back, and he's hungry to win.
The style is familiar, but you may not remember the face.
Sunny Garcia is back in the water after serving time for tax evasion -- three months in a federal prison in California, six months house arrest.
"I'm just happy to be out and about," said Garcia, after his first heat at the Xcel Pro contest at Sunset Beach.
Garcia says prison served as a wake up call. He realized how much he really loves this sport and how fortunate he was to get paid to do it.
Now, he's back -- with a vengence.
"I'm pretty motivated," he said. "I lost a lot of my sponsors, lost a lot of things in the last year. got some things to prove and definitely wanna make a statement."
He already has. He's been working out, and lost 35-pounds since last year. Garcia's getting in shape to take on the world's best waves, to get back to being one of the world's best surfers. He doesn't expect it to be difficult.
"Think I got 20 years of surfing big waves," added Garcia. "I don't think I have a problem."
"Definitely not gonna be happy til I win," said Garcia. "So just go out, catch waves, and surf my heats."
There's nothing else he'd rather be doing.
The Triple Crown are the last three contests of the ASP World Surfing Tour -- the Reef Hawaiian Pro, the O'Neill world cup of surfing, and the Billabong Pipeline Masters.