The Different Shakas of North Shore (1987)

North Shore is one of the most enjoyable movies of all time. That’s not my opinion, that’s fact. It’s got everything you could ever ask for in a movie, and keeps you entertained for its entire 96 minutes. It’s really the perfect movie.

While I could go on and on about why North Shore is a great film, I’m going to provide a different take.

Here’s a critical examination of the different types of shakas used to convey different emotions and meanings throughout the movie.

As you know, the shaka can be used for all sorts of different reasons – to portray every type of emotion, convey all sorts of information – it’s got to be one of the most versatile hand signs there is. While the shaka is certainly most often used in scenarios involving positive emotions and situations, the shaka can also effectively be deployed when the tone is more serious.

The North Shore writers and director knew this very well. So for the feature presentation, here’s a look at the many different shakas in the movie, North Shore.

Arizona Applause Shaka

Arizona Applause Shaka

The first shaka appears after Rick Kane has won the Arizona Surf Classic. As the crowd cheers for Rick, we see a lone shaka in the foreground. In this case, used in place of applause to convey congratulations and stoke of the cheering Zonie.

Hawaii Applause Shaka

Similar to the Arizona Applause Shaka, this applause shaka appears at the contestant meeting for the Pipe Classic. Seeing as this 15th year of the Classic has the biggest field of surfers from all over the world, it’s no wonder that we see more shakas being used as applause and stoke for the contest to start. We’re not in Arizona anymore.

Shared Excitement Shaka

Here we see Chandler checking out one of Rick’s latest attempts to rework his Chandler Surfboards logo. It’s no longer an 80s music video nightmare, and it’s definitely not beach blanket bee-bop. It’s past the point of just getting warm too. It’s the new freaking logo. This shared shaka represents that kind of “nailed-it” excitement.

Pure Elation Shaka

This double shaka is the result of pure elation, excitement, and joy as Turtle responds to Chandler’s approval of his self-made big wave gun. Since he and Rick hit a bit of a rough patch just before, Turtle was expecting the worse when Rick ran in and grabbed the board. The surprise made the double shaka elation all that much sweeter.

Frustration Shaka

Not every shaka is a good shaka. This shaka carries weight. Kiani’s little brothers are really letting Rick have it, and in frustration, Rick gets up. This shaka says, screw you guys, I’m out of here.

Respect Shaka

Here’s the coolest shaka in the movie. Vince (Gerry Lopez) and Rick Kane have some history. Vince sees Rick go from a kooky, ignorant haole to a respectable surfer with a good head on his shoulders. This one says: respect – you’ve come a long way and I like how you handle yourself.

Adios Amigo Shaka

Here’s the final shaka of the film, and another great one. Turtle has just surprised Rick with a goodbye from himself and Kiana as Rick boards his plane. This one says goodbye, dude – we had some good times, looking forward to seeing you again.

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