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"Boarding House: North Shore" Review

By Shawn McKenzie 06/30/2003

When I reviewed MTV’s “Surf Girls” last month, I chalked up my non-enjoyment of the show to not being a surfer myself. While that still may be the case, I realized that there were other factors at play after I saw the somewhat similar “Boarding House: North Shore” on the WB. It is the personalities of the surfers and not necessarily the sport at fault.

Seven of the most skilled professional surfers in the world are put together to live on a beach house on the North Shore of Oahu, which is a primo spot for surfing. It is also where the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is being held, and all seven surfers are going after it. The most seasoned of the surfers is Sunny Garcia, a former world champion and five-time Vans Triple Crown of Surfing champion. Sunny doesn’t exactly have a sunny disposition, especially when anyone even looks at his wife Raina. Sunny’s lifetime friend, Myles Padaca, is the reigning Vans Triple Crown of Surfing champion, and is expecting a baby with his fianceé. Even though he is friends with Sunny, he still has to defend his title against the hot-tempered surfer. Padaca loses the first leg of the competition to Sunny, called the Hawaiian Pro, and it doesn’t look good from there on. Sunny also beats Damien Hobgood, the 14th-ranked male surfer in the world, and with a bad back and injured leg. Danny Fuller is a rising star who qualified for the semifinals of the Bonzai Pipeline Masters last year. He is very laid back and isn’t taking the competition seriously. He’d rather hook up with some ladies than win the Triple Crown. Veronica “VK” Kay is the international face of Roxy surfwear. She models for Roxy, which she says allows her to be able to surf. She likes to party and look good, but still wants to win. Holly Beck, the top female extreme athlete in the Teen Choice Awards and the founder of International Women’s Surfing (the women’s union), is the complete opposite of VK. She is a very serious competitor who goes to bed early, gets up early, and rarely parties, especially on a night before a competition. Chelsea Georgeson, the #5-ranked female surfer in the world, is possibly the least seen surfer living in the house (at least in the first two episodes.) She is the youngest one in the house, and she seems to be acting only as the arbiter between Holly and VK. The show will follow the drama between the seven housemates (eight, if you count how often Raina is seen) and their pursuit for the Triple Crown. Besides the above-mentioned Hawaiian Pro at Hawaiian Beach, the other two are the Rip Curl Cup at Sunset Beach and the Pipeline Masters at the Banzai Pipeline . The surfers have to do well at each one to win the Crown, which means Padaca and Damien might be through.

Why is this show better than “Surf Girls?” Even though I have no interest in the sport of surfing, I enjoyed watching the human drama of the surfers. On “Surf Girls,” it is mainly about the competition. There is some non-surfing drama, but not much. The MTV show has only women in the house, so there is no sexual tension or conflict. Unlike UPN’s “America’s Next Top Model,” another show with no men living in the house, they don’t have interesting individual personalities to fall back on. “Boarding House” has very interesting people, who would still be interesting whether they were surfing, skiing, or bowling. Sunny is so freakishly jealous that I would be afraid to look at him, because his wife might walk by and I would be smacked. The rivalry between Holly and VK is very juicy, and promises to get juicier.

Mark Burnett, the mastermind behind “Survivor,” is the executive producer behind “Boarding House: North Shore,” so it’s no surprise that the personalities involved are worth watching.  If you are into surfing, there is plenty of impressive scenes of that as well, especially by Sunny.  The man may be a scary jealous psycho, but he rips a mean wave!  (I apologize to all the surfers currently rolling their eyes right now.)  Don’t be a Barney and check out the show to see if you think it is as sick as I do (again I apologize…)  You’ll be stoked!

Ratings System:


Try to catch this show every week...

If a better show is on, tape this one...

If nothing else is on, maybe this will be good...

If this show is on, change the channel immediately!


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