Show Us What You Got - SubieShowoff 2021
It should not surprise anyone that there is not a car culture as strong and as prevalent as the Subaru enthusiast community. And definitely in no other place, than back in HiddenPalmTree’s home of Hawaii. After all, my very first build feature was about a Subaru (my good friend Nolan Suzuki and his Subaru Legacy, in case you missed it.)
There's no denying what makes Subarus an enthusiast favorite. The boxer rumble, the diverse aftermarket support to express yourself under the hood or through the exteriors, and you can't forget that rally pedigree. Subaru ownership is almost like being converted into a secret society, but with Sonic Blue Mica.
The scene for Subarus is so strong, that in recent years a local event has been created; specifically to cater and showcase the Subaru scene of Hawaii. Enter Subie Showoff, an annual gathering of Subarus of all kinds, modified states, and like minded people that after a prolonged hiatus, returned for its fourth installment. Bigger and better than before.
In addition, after a long dry spell of no car shows on island, HiddenPalmTree finally got some action to cover since early 2020! Our main man in Oahu, Asher, managed to attend the event in Pearlridge Center back in August!
Sadly, at every instance of SubieShowoff, the dates happen to fall under the months I'm usually off-island during my semester break; this year being no different, since I've moved away completely. But thanks to Asher’s coverage of the event, we were able to capture some of this year’s cars and action for your viewing pleasure. I also spoke with the founder of the event, David Easterling, to get a little more insight into what this Hawaii-exclusive event aims to do, and learn more about the story behind the Showoff itself.
A long-time Subaru enthusiast, currently owning one of the first VA WRX STIs in Hawaii to incorporate Airlift Management, David attended many Subaru-centric events in the mainland U.S. These experiences ultimately, served as inspiration for bringing something similar for the islands to experience.
“I founded Subie Showoff back in early 2017. Prior to then, I’ve both attended and volunteered at several mainland Subaru Events over the years. Despite Hawaii having a large Subaru enthusiast community, I was disappointed none of those events were being held in the islands.”
“So I took it upon myself to bring a similar event to the Hawaii Subaru Community.”
And so: Subie Showoff was born. For the past 3 years, Subie Showoff has steadily grown to be Hawaii's premiere event to showcase its unique Subaru car culture; from the clean to the extreme.
The aim for what David wants this event to do is to help shine more light on the Subaru scene of Hawaii. “I want to make Subie Showoff into a respected and recognized event that helps give Subaru owners the oppressed to Showoff there builds into a National / Global spotlight.”
It's definitely untapped potential that has been yearning to make its way known within mainstream knowledge. If you have ever been to a car meet or show in Hawaii, you probably would have seen plenty of Subaru builds that are worthy of getting more attention domestically; and even internationally.
"I took it upon myself to bring a similar event to the Hawaii Subaru Community"
Aside from serving as a car showcase, there are also other activities to draw in the crowd to attend Subie Showoff. Most notably made an addition in recent years: a 'car-limbo or 'Slam Battle' among some of the cars riding 'low enough', prize raffles, and more to keep the crowd entertained.
"That sense of family motivates us every time to come out to support each other."
Planning for this year's edition of Subie Showoff was not without difficulties, and not just with figuring out how to plan an event of this size after a year on break and trying to meet all of the state's regulations surrounding health and safety for public events. To complicate things, the original location SubieShowoff primarily took place at on the west side of Oahu: Go-Karting center K1 Speed, had gone out of business over the past year. “K1 Speed in Kapolei were one of our first supporters when I started SubieShowoff. Without their support, Subie Showoff wouldn’t have been as successful as it is today. “
"Unfortunately, with their permanent closure due to circumstances brought by the global pandemic, finding a new location that could host us was a challenge."
“Transitioning from one venue to another was difficult during these times. But thanks in large part to my VP of operations, Brandon Oshiro, Brandon was able to reach out to several venues.”
Perseverance for the event's team paid off, with one place that was willing to accommodate and support the event. “After countless emails and face to face meetings, we were able to establish a new and exciting partnership with Pearlridge Center.”
While some may lament the loss of one of the show's longtime supporters and venue that has served as its 'home' since the first ever SubieShowoff, the new home at Pearlridge Center parking lot offers an exciting opportunity to further grow the event. In fact, with Pearlridge now playing host to hotrod 'Cruise Nights' and now the SubieShowoff, fingers crossed this leads to more regular car events there. Any enthusiasts in Hawaii will know how hard it is to find places to host anything car-related these days, let alone property management that is open to allow car events to take place in some place other than the Neil Blasidell Center.
And from photos I've seen of the event, the location switch from Kapolei to Pearlridge, in my opinion, was for the better - a definite aesthetics upgrade that offers a more interesting background to play with for photos.
In spite of the difficulties at the start trying to organize Subie Showoff's much anticipated return, David points towards one thing that has kept interest in this event going. The Subaru community itself. “The Subie Community as a whole has always been a strong, tight knit group; especially our community here in Hawaii. Everyone’s willing to help one another simply because we share a common passion: the love for our vehicles. That sense of family motivates us every time to come out to support each other.”
This isn’t exclusive to Hawaii or within the United States firmly. "I feel this love & support across Subaru communities worldwide; Subie Showoff is no different.”
As for what is in store for next year’s SubieShowoff event, that is still being worked out. With David having relocated to Nevada, he is still aiming to support and plan for the next Subie Showoff back in Hawaii. “I’ll still be hosting Subie Showoff Hawaii with the help of my VP, but being in a new state provides me the unique opportunity to bring the same event here to the “9th island”.
“I’ve already been reached out by a large automotive event coordinator here in Vegas, and would like to work with me on bringing the Subie Showoff name to Vegas.”
“We’re currently in the talking stages, but it looks promising. Considering for the next stage, I hope we can expand the event into larger venues, and eventually organize sister events in other parts of the US.”
So, you heard it here first: Subie Showoff Las Vegas, then: where else? The possibilities are endless..
" I hope we can expand the event into larger venues, and eventually organize sister events in other parts of the US"
Special thanks to SubieShowoff founder David Easterling for providing quotes for this feature
Asher Uchiyama (@asheruchiyama)