Scraps -- 9/28/97

Small, but fun... da sponge

The first big-time swell of the season rocked the North Shore this past week: Tuesday--18'+, Wednesday--15'+, Thursday--8-12', Friday--4-6', Saturday--2-4'. We surfed it on Sunday.

It was 5:45 am at Ehukai Beach Park. The surf that pounded the North Shore the past few days was all but gone, with one footers lapping along the shoreline. Jerry and I were bummed.

Rather than packing it up, we decided to head further north, in search of some of the remnant pulses from the much-weakened swell. We decided to check out a sheltered break I'll call Honu Bay. The place is open to a more northerly swell, and is bottomed by a flat reef that would at least maintain a surfable wave. It's not a very good wave, but at least it was something to ride.

Jumping off the craggy coral, we were soon sponging in the waist-to-chest high righthanders. The water has been really warm this year (maybe 80+ degrees), even by Hawaiian standards, and this day was no exception. Winds were fairly light at about 10-20 mph, and mostly offshore.

Jerry took a bit of adjusting to get acquainted to the new break, but soon got the lineup pretty wired. Caught some long rides that peaked and ebbed down the line into the bay. He did manage to snag the set of the day, a pretty, head-high peak, that swung wide right at him.

As for me, I busted out my old repertoire of tricks/maneuvers--hand-drag spins, floppo rolls, slapping cutbacks and even managed a couple of messy coverups. My riding was somewhat uninspired as I felt like I was bodyboarding in a contest heat, packing in as many maneuvers in as possible. Still it was fun doing the stupid stuff, like standing up and even trying my lousy dropknee.

When there was enough light, we busted out a disposable camera and hammed it up in the smallish surf. It's always nice to see yourself captured on film.

Sooner than we wanted, a couple of bodyboarders joined us in the lineup. I immediately recognized one of them as an old acquaintance (forgot his name initially, though). It was Kiaka Gaughen and his friend "Boy". Kiaka and I did a lot of amateur contests back in the late eighties.

We started reliving the old days, remembering how we surfed in junk bodyboarding contest waves every other weekend. Kiaka reminded me of the time I did a headstand in a heat, something I had long-forgotten about, calling me "the headstand man."

He and his brother Kula, had just started their own line of bodyboarding surfwear called Mokoa Boardwear They plan to donate 10% of their sales to Hawaiian culture, educational and environmental projects. If interested, contact them at (808) 235-1757.

Eventually the lineup started getting full with Japanese tourists on rental longboards. By then we had already had our share of waves, so we left just after 9 am.

Sometimes we score epic surf, sometimes we're left with only the scraps. Just gotta make the most of what we get, and hope for something better next time.

Jerry on a set wave

Aloha from Paradise,