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Velzyland


Feisty high-performance wave located at the far east end of the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii; a two-way break, but generally known as a right. Velzyland needs a medium-small west swell, and breaks best from three to five foot. Bigger waves fold over on an outer reef, roll shoreward, and sometimes reform just prior to hitting the Velzyland proper. The rights wedge up into perfectly formed tubes, and often throw out two or three times on the same wave; the lefts are longer but softer.

Velzyland's jagged reef is the sharpest of any break on the North Shore, and riders who blow a tube section often surface with long red scratches and welts across their backs, shoulders, knees, elbows, hands, and feet. "For a hotdog spot," as longboard ace Herbie Fletcher noted in 1974, "it's a wave with a lot of consequence." Velzyland has also been regarded since the late '60s as a hardcore locals break, and unwelcoming to visitors.

Velzyland was first ridden in late 1957, when surf moviemaker Bruce Brown and a small group of fellow Californians were in Hawaii shooting for Slippery When Wet, Brown's debut film. While out at Sunset Point one morning, they noticed a likely-looking peak to the east. Two weeks later, Brown filmed Dewey Weber and Kemp Aaberg dueling at the new break; Brown named it "Velzyland" in honor of California surfboard manufacturer and Slippery When Wet sponsor Dale Velzy. "Disneyland was the big new thing then," Brown later recalled. "And this place had much better rides than Disneyland, so we called it Velzyland."

Velzyland has been featured in more than a dozen surf movies and videos including Walk on the Wet Side (1963), Cosmic Children (1970), Totally Committed (1984), and TV Dinners (1995). The 1975 Lightning Bolt Pro, worth $5,000 and won by Australian Terry Fitzgerald, was the first professional contest held at Velzyland; amateur contests have been staged there semi-frequently since the mid-'80s.