High Surf Advisories Kick Off Opening Day at Local Motion Surf Into Summer At Home In The Hawaiian Islands


  • Former Event Winners Tomoda-Bannert and Hanneman Are Back at Bowls
  • Culhane and Sallas Return to Defend Their Longboard Event Wins
  • Pristine Conditions Expected to Kickoff Competition on Opening Day
Pictured: Plenty of swell is on the horizon for the 2024 Local Motion Surf Into Summer At Home In The Hawaiian Islands beginning June 10 – 17. Credit: © WSL / Heff

ALA MOANA BOWLS, Oahu, Hawaii (Sunday, June 9, 2024) – The Local Motion Surf Into Summer At Home In The Hawaiian Islands, a World Surf League (WSL Hawaii/Tahiti Qualifying Series (QS) and Longboard Regional Qualifying Series (LQS) 1,000, event window opens tomorrow, June 10, and a proper swell forecast could get competition underway on opening day. A proper swell is on the horizon for Hawaii/Tahiti Nui’s top-tier contenders to showcase their power, progression, as well as style and grace during the event. A plethora of the region’s talents are in attendance and ready to push the envelope to start their 2024/2025 QS campaigns.

A dream run at the 2023 Local Motion Surf Into Summer for Keala Tomoda-Bannert (HAW) ended in her maiden QS and helped lead to a Hawaii/Tahiti Nui QS Regional victory. Tomoda-Bannert took Kauai to the 2024 Challenger Series and hasn’t translated her QS success to that platform so far. But, Tomoda-Bannert looks to regain her momentum at Ala Moana Bowls and carry that confidence back toward a Championship Tour (CT) qualifcation campaign.

“It took awhile to win my first QS and I’m really stoked I won this contest as my first one close to home,” said Tomoda-Bannert. “I had my sister with me and some friends so it was really special moment and I’m really excited to defend my title. I feel like my start to the year wasn’t the greatest on the Challenger Series and that’s why I’m really looking forward to Bowls because I feel really comfortable over there already. My main goal is just to have fun and not have a lot of pressure on me.”

Tomoda-Bannert will have to best a heavily contested field such as current Challenger Series No. 1 Erin Brooks (CAN), two-time Hawaii/Tahiti Nui regional victor Moana Jones Wong (HAW), back-to-back finalist Puamakamae DeSoto (HAW), 2024 Challenger Series contender Zoe McDougall (HAW), plus a plethora of emerging competitors ready to strike.

2022 event victor Eli Hanneman (HAW) returns to Ala Moana Bowls now having competed against the world’s best on the CT after facing the Mid-season Cut. The Maui competitor showed he’s capable of reaching the ultimate goal for every competitive surfer after an explosive year on the 2023 Challenger Series, including a victory at the US Open of Surfing. Now, after a great showing in Narrabeen to regain ground on the 2024 Challenger Series, Hanneman is back at this event to get more time in the jersey and return atop the podium.

“There’s going to be some fun swells and that’s honestly the most exciting part is just surfing Bowls out with a few other guys,” said Hanneman. “Hawaii has a lot of good surfers so it’s never easy to go in and find success at these events. Even though there’s no guys from around the world, you’re dealing with guys you surf with every day and it makes fun and challenging. I really want to get back to the CT so anytime I can be in a competition I’m taking it seriously as a CT or a Challenger and making sure I’m getting better.”

A formidable field including reigning Hawaii/Tahiti Nui victor Shion Crawford (HAW), former CT competitor Ezekiel Lau (HAW), World Junior Championships runner-up Jackson Bunch (HAW), 2023 event runner-up Isaiah Moniz (HAW), wildcard threat Kei Kobayashi (USA), Challenger Series threat Mihimana Braye (PYF), Big Wave icon Billy Kemper (HAW), and more await.

Culhane and Sallas Return to Defend Their Longboard Event Wins

The surfing world got a proper introduction to Sophia Culhane (HAW) in 2023 after her surge toward the WSL Longboard World Title, but it began with a massive win at this event to kickstart that run. Culhane showed a glimpse of her potential in 2022 at Malibu and found her place among the world’s best longboarders in 2023 after her victory at the El Salvador Longboard Classic. Now, Culhane returns to defend her Local Motion Surf Into Summer win and prepares for another big year.

“I’m super excited and I love competing at home especially because we don’t get that much opportunity to compete at home,” said Culhane. “Bowls is like a second home to me over there so it’s definitely good to get back in the jersey. I haven’t been in one since last year except for Mexi Log. It’s always good to get the nerves out and I feel like I’m still young and have a lot left in me so I’m looking forward to this year [on the WSL Longboard Tour].”

Culhane will have to deal with the likes of rising talent, recent Surfing For Hope Longboard Classic winner, Natalia Wunderlich (HAW), former WSL Longboard Tour competitor Keani Canullo (HAW), recent Coastal Edge Steel Pier Classic runner-up Cash Hoover (HAW), and may more.

Pictured: Kai Sallas (HAW) kicked off a phenomenal year, starting with a Longboard Regional Qualifying Series event all the way to claiming his maiden World Title. Credit: © WSL / Heff

Fellow 2023 event victor and now reigning WSL Longboard Champion Kai Sallas (HAW) also returns to keep his form intact. Sallas, 42, showcased he’s got plenty left in his competitive career after taking down the World Title last season and recently backing it up for an ISA Gold Medal.

Sallas looks to keep that competitive fire burning and fend off a stacked field of emerging talent at Ala Moana Bowls including the World Title runner-up Kaniela Stewart (HAW), 2023 WSL Longboard Tour competitor John Michael Van Hohenstein (HAW), and some of North America’s premier competitors including three-time WSL Longboard Champion Joel Tudor (USA) and more.

Pictured: The iconic lineup of Ala Moana Bowls awaits Hawaii/Tahiti Nui contenders. Credit: © WSL / Heff

Pristine Conditions Expected to Kickoff Competition on Opening Day

A great forecast is on the horizon for competition to get started right away with four-to-five foot, holding swell for opening proceedings. When Ala Moana Bowls turns on it’s on of the most high-performance waves on the South Shore from the Bowl section providing barrel opportunities to numerous progressive sections.

Once the swell begins to taper, it can also provide the longboard contingent a perfect canvas to showcase their style and skill on the nose. In 2023, the swell provided just that for the region’s top contenders and a clinic of noseriding, footwork, and poise under pressure ensued. Event organizers are eyeing the best conditions to run opening day for the QS proceedings before transitioning into the longboard one-day, Finals Day competition.

Event organizers have called the first day of competition ON for an 8:00 a.m. HST start on Monday, June 10.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

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