Downshifting -- 12/30/97

Typical log-jam at Makaha

This was to be my last session of 1997. After three exceptional big-wave bodyboarding sessions in December, I had to downshift a bit and relax. So I busted out my tank and headed out to Makaha.

Actually, I had extra incentive to do some longboarding. My buddy, Jimmy, laid down another challenge, betting that he could do various longboard maneuvers before I could; specifically, a hang ten noseride, a helicopter 360 and a tube ride. We both aren’t even close to doing these moves, but hey, three plate lunches are three plate lunches!

Surf was running at a respectable 2-4’ (Haw’n), with decent conditions. Paddled out with my friend, Lance, in near total darkness while everyone else waited in the parking lot for first light.

I immediately went back to kookdom, clawing desperately for waves, pearling on takeoffs, flubbing cutbacks. It was great letting my guard down, especially when you get that one good wave. An overhead peak swung wide of the pack and I took off prone with the peeling lip. After standing up, I proceeded to do small turns all the way to the beach, negotiating the strong backwash with my shock-absorbing legs.

Later, I got a chance to split a peak with Rusty K.--he went right, of course. I even caught and stood on a backwash wave heading out to sea, a la Endless Summer.

Lance worked the inside, dropkneeing some nice walls that formed near the reef. He and his father surprised me by giving me a couple of 8"x10" photos they took of me last summer at Jimmylands. Thanks, guys!

The lineup got pretty busy, especially with the news that the North Shore was big and blown. Fortunately, for me it was time to head home. Even though I couldn’t cash in on my "maneuver" bets, I still had a good workout, a fun time, and at least one good ride to last me into the new year.

Aloha from Paradise,