[ SURFING ]
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Duane DeSoto caught a wave during his preliminary heat yesterday in Waikiki.
DeSotos cash in
on flat water
The waves were small to nonexistent yesterday at the Ocean Club Pro-Am, but brothers Duane and Makamae DeSoto still managed to celebrate together in a big way.
The DeSoto brothers made the best of the very rare 1- to 2-foot-face waves that rolled in at the Queen's break in Waikiki for the pro division of the competition, and finished 1-2 in the pro final.
Older brother and veteran competitor Duane took the victory and the $500 top prize, while Makamae -- in his first pro final ever -- was the runner-up.
"It was random, no way to force that to happen," said Duane, 27. "But I'm so stoked. ... It's not the conditions, you know. All of us are out there with the same odds."
Said Makamae, 18, who picked up $300 with his result: "This feels good. I was ready, but the waves weren't ready. I just have to try harder next time."
The Ocean Club is the fifth and final event of the Shaka For Steinlager Summer Longboard Series. Finals for the 19 amateur divisions conclude today.
On a streak of strong performances, 10-year pro Duane DeSoto also won the fourth SLS event last month, and then placed second in California at the final event of the national longboard tour.
He won yesterday's contest with 11.17 points (out of 20 maximum) for his top two rides in the 35-minute, four-man final.
He used a borrowed board that was at least 11 feet tall -- about 2 feet longer than his regular. It helped him paddle into the barely breaking waves.
"This has been one of my most consistent years," DeSoto said. "Overall, I think maturity is just starting to sink in."
Despite Duane's desire to win, he didn't forget about trying to also look out some for his kid brother, if possible. He pulled fellow finalists Kai Sallas and Keegan Edwards too far out in the lineup while the best set of the final snuck in with Makamae in position.
"I had that one opportunity to help him," Duane said. "I thought, 'If I can't get it, I'm gonna make the (other) boys miss it.' But (Makamae) was just hustling. No teamwork; he did what he needed to do."
Makamae DeSoto ended up falling on that wave, but still totaled more than Sallas (third place) and Edwards (fourth) on two others with 5.77 total points.
Makamae began his full-time pro career after recently graduating from high school. He feels positive about his own recent results. Makamae looks up to his older brother, but still hopes to someday be able to beat him.
"I just started doing a lot of pro events this year," Makamae said. To beat Duane "will take a lot. But I think I can do it."
Kapono Nahina won the overall SLS pro title for most cumulative points over the five events. Scotty Fong Jr. placed second, and Kekoa Uemura third.