Hot and Cold -- 12/6/97

Nelz on an Ehukai wall

Dawn patrol bodyboard session with Jerry at Ehukai on Saturday. Didn't expect much; didn't get much.

The blustery trades maintained their strength in the 15-30 mph range, making for semi-blown out and cold conditions. The surf was on the decline, with remnant swells from a storm off the coast of San Fran wrapping around from the northeast direction. This was the same system that drenched the West Coast over the weekend. It was about 2-3', empty and dark. After jumping into shorties, we were on it.

Right off the bat, Jerry started snagging the biggest/best sets. He was totally in synch, catching one good wave after another, and riding them all the way out. His rail-to-rail turning has improved a lot, and he is starting to just go on the bigger ones. My student is excelling.

As for myself, I had an extremely awkward session. Oh, there were a few "more-than-adequate" rides, but they were negated by some incredible acts of kookdom. Case in point: I was setting up for a rare, head-high barrel, perfect positioning, wide open exit. Suddenly, I hit this chop, and my board just flew out of my grasp, turning 90 degrees. I landed on top of my board just as the tube engulfed me. Splat!

The other major goof was on a nice down-the-line wall. I had to scramble to get ahead of two different sections, then I headed for the shorebreak, where the tube was coming at me. In my infinite wisdom, I decided to try a difficult ARS (Air-Roll-Spin) maneuver. I was still not quite ahead of the wave when I tried launching. Ended up ramming my board up on the lip, spraining my thumb on impact, then caught a calf cramp when I tried to tuck for the midair spin. Flop! Getting old.

Oh, one more thing. My stupid wetsuit was chafing my neck big time. I guess I didn't zip it too well. Got a mean rash afterwards.

After two hours of having the surf mostly to ourselves, people finally started filtering in. So we decided to paddle down the beach to look for some friends. Longboarder Dino Miranda was out, on a shortboard no less, so I congratulated him for winning the Oxbow Longboard World Championship. I talked story with a friend (Ray) from the Shipyard whom I used to compete with. Then at Insanities, we hooked up with my man Joel, who was f-f-f-freezing in the wind without any rubber. It's always nice to surf with people you know.

Jerry continued his waveriding onslaught at Insanities, finishing up his day in the hook of two perky waves that unwound all the way to the beach. I eventually floundered in afterwards.

Jerry later said that, even with a wetsuit, it was the coldest he'd ever surfed. After seeing his heated performance in the water, I'd beg to differ.

Aloha from Paradise (while still nursing a tender thumb and neck),