Morning Exercise -- 9/24/97

Rise and Shine!

A rare mid-week sesh for me. The North Shore went off on Tuesday (9/23/97), with 18'+ conditions, and I wanted to partake in the action. Jerry was up for the dawn patrol, and I had full blessings from my wife to get some "exercise" before work. Makaha was expected to be about 10' in the morning, so we decided to chance the west side in search of some of the tapered wrap.

Arriving at 5:10 am at Tracks, we were greeted with... one foot surf! It was tiny. So we pushed on further up the coast. Maili Point wasn't much better--about two feet with some bigger ones wrapping around the low tide reef. Looked like we had to go all the way to Makaha to find some size.

At 5:30 am, the parking lot at Makaha was already abuzz with people hoping for a repeat of yesterday's heavy action. Unfortunately, the swell seemed to have already swung further north, leaving us with much smaller surf. The waves looked fairly smallish--not 10' anyway--though we couldn't tell for sure through the darkness and unusual ocean haze.

In the lot, a friendly form started heading our way. It was Doug, the resident Makaha Point bodysurfer that I've surfed with on occasion ( He said he could hear the pounding surf from his home, as the swell peaked at night. Doug was waiting for more light to fill in before swimming out. Since Jerry and I had to go to work soon, we talked story for only a short time before gearing up and heading out.

I was feeling kinda proud that we would be the first ones in. I like the feeling of paddling out when others are waiting on the beach. However, as we were waiting for a lull, some forms appeared out of the darkness, already riding the set waves. A few kids had paddled out from the condo point and were already tasting the surf. Shucks!

We jumped in to join them, and was surprised by the size. Waves didn't have too much shape, just rolling in for the most part, and contorting from the stronger-than-usual backwash. But it was nice to see a lot of moving water again. The outside sets were inconsistent, but breaking waaaayyyy outside, some more that double-overhead high (SNN called Makaha 3-5' that morn).

Not having surfed for a couple of weeks, Jerry started a bit tentatively. He caught some nice long rides from the middle shoulder, and later raved about getting launched by the backwash a few times. I forgot that he never surfed here before--negotiating the backwash takes a little getting used to.

I didn't fare so well, only catching a few mushy rides. However, I did nab a couple of big faces. On one, I took off inside, with a peak forming ahead on the shoulder. Had to bail before I reached it, but at least I got the rush of taking off on the face. Jerr said that it was about a 10' face.

I ended up getting the exercise that I wanted, paddling a helluva lot more than surfing, getting caught inside many times. Fortunately , the hold-downs were mercifully short.

Watching those lines roll in was pure majesty. There's no other feeling like seeing a huge wall of water filling the horizon. Awesome!

Hitting it back at 7:30, Jerry got a lesson in maneuvering in Farrington Highway traffic. We managed to clock in at work at 8:15 am, tired, but at the same time invigorated by the morning surf. Gave each other high-fives at our desks! What a way to start the morning.

Postscript: Someone had brought in a bag of Oreo cookies to work that day. Bad timing! Because of our post-surf munchies, Jerry and I proceeded to scarf about two-thirds the bag, leaving only a few for the rest of our group. It also ruined the point of my morning workout. Oh well, I guess I just gotta get more exercise!

Aloha from Paradise,