The Right Stuff -- 3/22/98

Camera-shy Ken, ripping it up

Slept in on Sunday, then headed out to the Basin in search of my buddies.

The winds had dropped down a notch, but it was still a bit onshore and cloudy. The surf also came down, which made Right Side more manageable. By 7:30, a couple of guys were already out.

Paddling to the lineup, I was greeted by Ken, one of the guys I'd met in the parking lot a few days earlier. We spent the next couple of hours surfing together, even taking shots of one another with one of those disposable camera jobs.

It took me a little while to reacquaint myself with the spot. There's a peak that you can take off on on the other side of the reef. Once the wave hits the reef, water just sucks out and forms a prominent step that you have to drop down from. With some speed, you can backdoor that suck-out section. Made for some exciting rides.

Ken was a very good dropknee rider, with a bit of the old-school, Jack the Ripper style. He said he was camera-shy, but I thought he performed well nonetheless.

Most waves were just big drops into some steep sections. However, there were a few waves that bowled and walled enough to barrel. I got a nice three-and-a-half-footer that held up nicely. Stalled enough to feel the vortex on my butt. A radical-looking local (named Tony) was grinning from the channel--made my day.

A Japanese surfer joined us in the lineup, but didn't do too well. We all greeted him cordially, although I know for a fact that the locals sometimes give them a hard time. Fortunately, most of the boys accepted me right off despite my Japanese complexion, probably because of my familiar pidgin english.

Surfed for two hours before bailing the marginal conditions. Still, it was blast.

Hafa Adai from Paradise,