Moondance -- 11/15/97

The scene was so magical, I had to break my session and shoot (Kodak)

Dwindling swell, calm winds, full moon. Perfect for a pre-dawn patrol. Met up with my bro Ivan Okuda, bodyboard dropknee slasher extraordinaire, for an early session.

Jumped into the water at 5:30, with only the light of the moon to guide us. The water was very warm and receptive. The swell was tiny, about 1-2'+ from the north with peaky conditions.

It was challenging to line up for the waves, because the moon was providing side/backlighting. Had to turn on my "bunny rabbit" night vision. However, once riding, the wave seemed to lift and propel me forward--really odd feeling since the usual visual references are impaired. It was nice pulling into some quick tubelets, but the occasional water boils made our hearts stop with fear of "mano" (sharks).

The first surfer that paddled out got all aggro and immediately and blatantly dropped in on me, cutting back right into my face, then continuing down the line in a flurry. It's no wonder that some locals get pissed off at visiting surfers who bring their bad attitudes with them. Wouldn't you?

Just before the sun rose over Pupukea, the whole atmosphere was pure magic. The full moon slowly sank into the northwestern horizon as the new day arrived. I took a rare break from my session and tried to capture it on film.

Later on, we moved over to a spot between Insanities and Log Cabins. Cute rides between lulls, with a few tubes over the sand-filled reef.

Ivan went hard in the dropknee, hunting the inside to catch all the smaller waves. He is absolutely the most stoked 30 year old around, yelling and cheering and just having fun. Ivan has a cable access bodyboarding show, and goes around the state chasing down contests and good surf. And you should see the way he throws those fans--beautiful.

We eventually traded bodyboards so that I could try out his new board design. Rounded nose (10"), relatively short (42"), with an U-shaped tail with what looks like "rail extenders". Exactly as he explained, the board held an edge really well on the face (even for my kooky dropknee), but bogged a bit due to the sharply contoured tail. It rode really short for me because my body fit in the gap between the extended rails where the crescent usually is.

I scored one set wave, maybe ear-high on the takeoff and did a good air-roll--board had great recoil on the launch. Had to return it before I did any permanent damage. Hmmm... ideas for my next board!

Gary Morihara, the owner/shaper of Yikes Bodyboards was also out, doing some field R&D. He's the one who made Ivan's board. Talked a little about design: stringers, cores, tails. Everybody's looking for the perfect wave riding vehicle, and he's on the cutting edge as much as anyone.

Also talked to Tony Sutton Jr. (older bro of pro Shawn Sutton), an old contest friend who went on to become an ASP WCT/WQS judge. After six years, he's starting to get burnt by all the traveling (something like 60 airline flights this year alone). Best waves he ever surfed was G-Land and J-Bay--mildly surprising, coming from a surfer weaned in Hawaiian power. Even though he gets to surf some incredible waves, I don't admire all the travel, not to mention having to watch great surfers rip great waves all day while sitting in the judge's stand drooling.

I came out of the water early again. Didn't care because the swell was all but gone. At least I got a chance to dance with the moon.

P.S. Shot the rest of the images with a borrowed Kodak DC-120 digital camera. Enjoy!

MIcro-Backdoor beaut'


I told these two groms to pose for me. Of course one guy goes and scratches his butt. Typical surfers.

Aloha from Paradise,