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'Booboo' posts high score after missing the final day of school


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POSTED: Saturday, June 06, 2009

It was the second day of competition yesterday at the Hard Rock Cafe Hawaii Surfing Association State Championships and Keanu "Booboo" Cazimero, 14, was playing hooky.

Not that it really mattered in the grand scheme of Cazimero's overall education. It was the last day of the year for the St. John Vianney student. A time reserved for yearbook signings, potlucks, lei giving and farewells to those middle school students leaving for high school.

Surprisingly, Booboo would have loved to be in school with his classmates instead of at Ala Moana Bowls jockeying for position and scores with the best amateur body boarders in the state.

"The waves are small, but they're still fun," said Booboo, who is a Waimanalo native. "It sucks that I'm missing the last day of school because a lot of my friends are leaving and it's kind of sad to see them go without me being there, but I know I gotta do this contest and do work!"

He knows the sacrifice of his last day of school is for a future in pro body boarding. Cazimero recognizes that his idols, former body board World Champs Mike Stewart and Jeff Hubbard, used this same amateur event to launch their own careers.

"This event means a lot because if you do well it will bring a lot of recognition to you when you grow up," said Booboo. "I would like to take this body boarding thing to the next level and be the next Mike Stewart or Jeff Hubbard."

Booboo surfed brilliantly yesterday posting the highest scoring wave of the day, a 9.5 out of 10, in his quarterfinals heat. With the southwest swell on its way out, high-scoring rides were hard to come by in the 1-to-3-foot waves. Yet, Booboo utilized his years of knowledge at Bowls to his advantage and found good waves all day. He and his older brother, Kekoa, are locals out at Ala Moana Bowls and are on it every south swell.

Cazimero made the final heat yesterday, but won't find out the results of his performance till the awards banquet tonight at Hard Rock Cafe Waikiki. Although he missed school yesterday, his experience at the HSA State Champs has a lot of educational value in the school of life.

"You learn new things from this experience," says Cazimero. "If you're confident that you did your best then that's a victory in itself."

Today is the last day of competition with the bodyboard launch division, longboard, senior men and women taking to the water. For more info on the event call the HSA hotline at (808) 262-2488.