Stoked Grandmother -- 12/11/97

Shot while scrambling to change to go to work

Went to Makaha for a rare "pre-work" longboard session on Thursday. Surf was about 2-4' (Haw'n), coming in at a funky angle. Winds were brisk out of the west, but conditions were still surprisingly clean. Crowd went from nonexistent at dark to insane by the time I left. Hooked up with my friends Lance and Matt, who bodyboarded the place.

I was kooking big time. I don't know, but it felt like I actually regressed in skills since last winter. I couldn't even catch waves, much less ride them very well. I felt especially embarrassed because there was a fair amount of people watching from the parking lot, waiting for things to develop.

All of a sudden, Mother Ocean delivered one right to me. A set wave came through, and the outside guys passed it up. I took off in the already crumbling crest, then scrambled up. From there, I proceeded to do some fun top-to-bottom carves (I was probably just twisting at the torso from side to side), compressing my body on the bottom turns and negotiating the backwash (probably just bending at the knees), sometimes holding on with just the tip of my toes, then finally finished with a looong cheater-five (probably was standing in the middle of the board). It doesn't matter what I actually did--I was stoked! All it takes is one really good one to regain a positive attitude.

After that, my session improved immensely. Though I caught fewer waves because of the increasing crowd, the ones I did snag were long and fun. No real high performance--just profiling on the long Makaha wall.

Lots of people of different shapes and sizes were out that day, but the one person that stuck in my mind was this middle-aged lady clad in a wetsuit. Early in the sesh, she paddled near me and asked, "Please give me a wave." I replied, "I'm just trying to just get one myself."

She was having a difficult time just catching the waves. It was hard, because, the way the swell was approaching, you had to really be in the right spot to catch it. When she finally managed to catch a decent one, she failed to cut back into the energy and lost it. I yelled at her from the channel, "You gotta stomp on the nose to keep going." "I tried; not heavy enough" she replied.

Later on, I caught a really long one and made it all the way to the shorebreak. Guess who's right behind me on the next wave of the set? That lady! As she kicked out, completing her long and graceful ride, she said something like, "I'm just a stoked grandmother!" I had to laugh out loud.

Although the surf kept getting better, the crowd increased with it. After two-and-a-half hours in the water, it was time to leave. So, I raced to work through the Farrington Highway traffic. Finally in the office, I enjoyed that satiated, relaxed, semi-exhausted/semi-rejuvenated post-surf stoke that carried me through the rest of the day.

Aloha from Paradise from a stoked daddy,