The Backdoor Shootout is known to be one of the most prestigious surf competitions out there, and is held at arguably the world‘s most aggressive and famous surf spot, Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu. This event is honor of Hawaiian Waterman, Duke Kahanamoku, and showcases surf crafts from shortboard surf, longboard surf and stand up paddle surfing! Being invited to this event once again is such a great honor and I am so grateful not only to be considered for the competition but also for the chance to ride one of my favorite waves in the world with only a few people in the water.
This year‘s competition for the Da Hui Backdoor Shootout 2022 was stacked and grateful so as we haven’t had much competition since Covid in the world of SUP surfing. Some of the entries in the all-invitational competition include Kai Lenny, Mo Freitas, Riggs Napoleon, Bullet Obra, Kainoa McGee, Zane Saenz and more! We had a great battle and here’s a quick recap from the action!
The day started off with some solid 4-8ft (Hawaiian) surf but by the time our division was up, the conditions changed quite a bit and the barrels were a bit more technical than earlier in the morning with not as consistent of big surf. This of course is where our craft stands out and we were stoked to show our community what the sport is made of! On the beach I had my Starboard 6’8” Pro and 8’0” Pro and felt confident with this quiver no matter what the size was. Of course there was great action from Kai Lenny, but giving him a run for the money was the likes of Mo Freitas Riggs Napoleon, Zane Saenz and Bullet Obra getting some great back door barrels and some nice high-performance SUPSurfing maneuvers! In the end, I was able to put the stamp on the competition by showing the judges a great combination of committed barrel riding and high-performance SUP Surfing, and finally got to come home with the big win from this event after competing in it the last 3 or 4 years!
I arrived to the North Shore of Oahu well before the start of the holding. In order to get some good training in and prepare myself for the event. I had some Starboard SUP boards stashed under the house of my uncle Craig Yester‘s who lives near pipeline, so the first thing I did when I arrived was dust off my boards I had stashed on island. The swell was pumping when I arrived, much bigger than in competition and I was so stoked to get some amazing rides, probably some of the best waves I’ve had at pipeline yet on my Sup. It was messy and big but this gave me a chance to get a lot of good training on my Starboard SUP and also some great uncrowned windows at Pipeline and Backdoor! It felt so good to have a solid week of training in on the North Shore and spend time with my wife connecting with our friends and family that we haven’t had the pleasure of seeing since Covid hit. Normally we come to Oahu every year for this event and for others as well including the Sunset Beach pro on the APP world tour, but we’ve now had over 2 1/2 years away from our neighbor Island and North Shore, Oahu!
Of course winning this competition meant so much to me but being able to reconnect with the Northshore community and our friends and family including Riggs Napoleon and Mo Freitas was for sure a highlight of our trip! I’ve been working hard training through Covid and continuing to stay sharp on all my crafts, not only for big wave surfing but also for Sup surfing, and I sure have missed the sportsmanship and challenges of being in competition, so this was for sure a great way to start the New Year of 2022!
2022 Da Hui Backdoor Shootout Results:
- Zane Kekoa Schweitzer
- Riggs Napoleon
- Kai Lenny
- Mo Freitas
- Kainoa McGee
- Clay Everline
Big Mahalo to my sponsors for the support and great gear helping me with the win! Starboard SUP, Honolua Surf Co., BlackProject Fins, Now Foods, Head High Wines, Maui Jim Sunglasses and Fisker!