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Monday, December 15, 2008
Updated: December 17, 5:34 PM ET
Back to Basics

So, help me get this straight. It seems that most of the surf world despises SUP surfers in the line-up, unless you are stroking into a barrel, wearing a Santa hat, during a break at the Pipe Masters. Fair enough.

That's what Garrett McNamara did last week, but SUP's are still everywhere on the North Shore. GMac also just did a solid interview with the good folks at Surfers Village on his recent trip to Oregon for the Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic.

Jamie Mitchell on a wave he paddled into at Nelscott Reef.

This year, the event added a paddle in division in the 20 to 30 foot surf. If you haven't noticed the evolution going on here, big wave surfers are diverting back to paddle in big-wave riding. The tow-in isn't dead. And it certainly helped break down some walls, but even at recent epic Mav's, it's all about the arm-stroke over the four-stroke.

In the interview, McNamara talks about how each tow team was allowed one surfer to enter in the paddle in. He let his partner, Kealii Mamala have the slot (as he did at the Sobe Xcel Pro last year.

Think cold water has the same effect on unusually big balls?
Keallii Mamala, winner of the Paddle In Division.

Basically, he tells how Mamala caught the first wave of the heat (which was basically the first time the place was paddled into at proper size) and went on to slay massive, cold, dense, mountains of water to win the division. Nor Cal's Adam Replogle and Alistair Craft won the tow-in division, a feat largely overlooked with the stellar surf that the Vans Triple Crown got.

Check out more shots of the contest by Richard Hallman here.