Bonga’s New Noseride

How the Hawaiians are radically re-defining the art

Epic Malibu always jumps up when we think serious noseriding. We envy the swan-like finesse of Joel Tudor, the juicy-style of Lance Carson, or a Kevin Connolly-burn all the way to the pier. Five-foot-and-glassy, classic California , made-for-noseriding waves.

Now rocket over to Hawaii where Bonga Perkins and a few other North Shore aces have kicked noseriding up another 20 or 30 notches.

Think rodeo bull-riders on triple expresso. No latte here, bro. These guys are getting legitimate hang fives on triple overhead Haliewa, Sunset and Pipeline (20 foot faces). The speed is so fast, it is almost impossible to control the board. Pearling is not the enemy now, it’s the chop. Just ask any of them who’ve been pitched into low Earth orbit.


“We are getting legit fives on these noserides--Russ K., Kanoa Dahlin, myself and a few other guys,” Bonga explained. “We are just a small handful.


“You can’t believe how hard it is to do,” Bonga says. “I don’t want to say impossible, but it almost is. You’re going so fast, it’s unbelievable. These are 10-15 ft. waves, Hawaiian style. They are easily more than triple overhead.


“You start with the front foot out, to get the board down and under control, into the wave. You also start the ride as high as you can, and stay there as high as you can, without getting pitched or bounced off the board. These waves are very hard to stay on.


Now pardner, think really big. Think waves outside of Avalanche and see Bonga towing into those Godzillas. He starts out on the nose and never gets off, until the wave or the chop knocks him off. Yaaaaaahoo, Malibu! Ride ’em, cowboy!

How big you ask? Bonga won’t say. Except that these noserides are in surf well over 30 ft.


“Surfing these waves, in really legit size, is like riding a longboard behind a boat wake. There is no way you can pearl the board. You can just stay there forever and the tail is just totally sucked down.


“These waves are definitely nail biters. I take them as a personal challenge,” Bonga said. “This size keeps people back, but we have already surfed Haleiwa, Sunset and Pipe at these triple overhead sizes--plus some waves outside of Avalanche doing tow-in noseriding in even bigger waves.”


“With tow-in," he said, "you get into the wave on the nose, with the ski, and you never get back off the nose. You just keep going and riding the wave.”


So, think about noseriding and think again. It’s different now.