Keone Downing

January, 1990, Oahu

Don't fall off. That was my game plan.

Three days after winning the 1990 Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau event at Waimea, Keone Downing, 36, was interviewed by Matt Warshaw. An edited version of this conversation ran in the February 1990 issue of Surfer. 

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The surf was so big and clean for the contest. 

You know, the day had kind of an eerie feeling. I haven’t seen waves like that for ten years, as far as being so consistent. There was this three-hour period where every five minutes we had a 20-foot set. It just pumpe...