Deep Desire -- 2/21/98

"The wicked shorebreak"

I wanted to get shacked. It was a long time since I had a good pit, so I was jonesing to get some hollow bodyboard shorebreak surfing into my next session.

The prognosis was looking good with a new northwest on the horizon. Unfortunately, a front associated with this swell was going to arrive simultaneously, turning the winds into brisk north-northeasterlies. The Westside was once again the call.

I was surprised in the morning when Jerry came to my house in a brand-spanking new "used" truck. "I can drive today," he proclaimed. Shoots! Riding in style.

So we did our usual zigzag on the Westside. But to our dismay, small waves and strong wind conditions pervaded the Waianae coastline. After helping out some very lost tourists, we settled on a semi-secret beachbreak near a spot that Doug took me last year (Who Knows Whys -- 6/7/97). At least we had free-reign of the place, with nobody in the water for as far as our eyes could see.

There actually was a wicked shorebreak that looked promising. On occasion, a set would rear up outside and unload on a pseudo-sandbar. That was exactly what I was looking for.

My first wave was by far my best of the session. A set came in with two waves running close to each other. The back wave was bigger, and crested on the outside. I was kicking into the smaller front wave, just as the two combined and jacked. I semi-freefell on the takeoff right into the pit. The wave just heaved over me, pitching a tube that was twice as wide as it was high. One second of bliss was followed by several seconds of trepidation, as I felt my body being picked up and thrown with the lip. Unfortunately for me, the sandbar was filled with land mines of sharp, fist-sized rocks, and I ended up scraping both knees on the tumble.

Caught another one just like that, but managed to get into the wave earlier. This time I rode in the barrel for two seconds before the inevitable implosion, and cartwheeled without incident. As quick as that, I was over my desire for shorebreak action. Should've reread my old shorebreak story first (Shorebreaks of Oahu)!

So, Jerry and I meandered around the vast shoreline searching for a decent wave to ride. I paddled down to a reef that had some good, albeit small rights. My session just sort of fizzled there as the waves seemed to taper off and my riding went out of synch. Haven't been taking care of the body as of late--felt creaky and sluggish--gotta diet and exercise more. I even dinged my bodyboard on a coral head while trying to duckdive a tiny inside wave. Grrrr!

Jerry, for the most part, cruised a different peak looking for a rideable wall. However, there were very little of those around, with most waves just pitching quickly in a short closeout tube. He made the most of it though, carefully picking some clean ones to take off on.

Jerr got more than a little spooked when he found a Viper swim fin in the lineup. After picking it up, it flopped over, torn in half. He immediately thought that I got taken by a shark! Rushing back to shore, he was relieved to see me over in the other lineup. So he walked over and joined me, a bit unnerved, but happy.

After about an hour of solitude, a couple of surfer groms joined us in the lineup. They were apparently pretty in tune with the spot, and managed to catch lots of waves around me. My highlight during that time was an over-the-falls wipeout.

We surfed fairly close to some fishermen who were dunking nearby. No arguments or confrontations. Like the classic Hawaiian style, we all shared the ocean's bounty.

During the last 45 minutes of our session, we were distracted by some stupid activity on the beach. It looked like a father gave his kid the keys to the family car, a new Jeep Cherokee Limited Edition, and the kid planned on doing some offroading with a few friends before their surf session. What they didn't expect was soft sand, and he and his crew quickly got stuck. They ended up enviously watching us surf while trying to extricate themselves from their predicament.

I finally left the water more than a bit exasperated from my poor showing, but still satisfied just to get wet. Jerry came out with a positive spin, managing just a few waves, but gaining valuable shorebreak experience.

We decided to help the guys out by simply pushing the Cherokee, which none of their brilliant crew even thought about doing. Ten seconds later, the car was out of the sand, and the kid was as stoked as he was relieved.

As we were leaving, we saw our good friend Ivan Okuda, who was checking out the scene with his wife. We talked story a bit, then were joined by our friend Joel. He had just got back from the North Shore and said it was pretty trashy. All of a sudden, our session in mediocre conditions didn't seem so bad after all. We talked story for quite a while before all bailing the scene.

It wasn't epic, but it was satisfying. More importantly, it quenched my thirst to go deep... for the moment, anyway.

Aloha from Paradise,