Hawaii Surf Session report is attempting to be for Hawaiian surfers what Surfline is for surfers all over the world. After moving to Hawaii upon graduating from Ohio State with the specific goal to capture action sports on film, videographer and executive producer Tom E. “Stokes” Gaupp launched HSSR in August 2006. The site includes daily videos, photography collections, and newscasts, although the latter two are updated infrequently enough to be less than essential.
The videos, part of “the most original and best surf video podcast,” follow a steady pattern. Each day showcases different beaches around the state, highlighting the best breaks (with names like “Suicide”) for aspiring wave riders. Each ends with a “Wave of the Day,” which highlights a specific surfer. The videos look fairly professional, with the best clips of surfers doing what they do set to music from a revolving collection of local bands that fits the laid back, ocean-loving vibe of the site (those distinctly Hawaiian sounds are brought to you from otherwise inaccessible acts like Surfing Guitarist, Weldon Kekauoha, and Periwinkle Shag, a group that has been playing for years but has only been recorded for Surf Session). Occasionally, Gaupp includes relevant news and local competition coverage in the podcast, but it’s mostly just film of waves, boards, and words written in the sand.
Because most non-surfers can live vicariously through only so many videos of distant Hawaiian waves, other videos thankfully break the pattern. Life of the Surfboard Part 1 takes viewers along for the first few steps in the creation of the coveted foam boards, as they’re produced in the Oahu factory of Pacific Allied Products. A lot more goes into the production than any amateur onlooker would have realized.