Three Foot Country -- 4/25/98

Town or Country--which would you choose?

Where to surf? That was the question.

The North Shore was just about to go into hibernation, with just a few small pulses left before the summer doldrums set in. On the other side of the island, however, talk of the first south swell was already circulating on the coconut wireless. Whatís a surfer to do?

Iím a Townie by nature, weaned on the smaller waves of the south shores of Kauai and Oahu. So when Town breaks, I always feel a strong yearning to ride the spots that have become so familiar to me. Of course, the bad side is that the majority of surfers here are also Townies, so most spots get crushed by crowds.

Another factor for me was that Ted, aka Cyberkahuna, of SurfCheck was in town, and we were hoping to hook up on Saturday. Itís always fun to connect with Internet friends.

In the end, I decided to head north--three foot Country is always way better than three foot Town.

A tiny NW swell was supposed to fill in for the dying NNE, but with buoy #1 reading 8 feet, 8 seconds, I was not expecting much. Unfortunately, my fears were realized--the predawn arrived with virtually flat conditions.

After zigzagging around the coast, I settled at Rocky Point, the only really working spot (besides maybe Sunset). I busted out my tank and joined the crew already in the water. The surf was a nice 1-3í (Hawín), under a calm, slightly hazy sky. Winds were light and offshore, and the crowd fairly small.

Started at Rocky Lefts. As usual, I sat the deepest (I swear I positioned myself the same place where I wouldíve on my bodyboard--my paddle still sucks). Caught some fairly long, peaky backhanders, but nothing spectacular.

The rights were looking fun, but shut down often. Still, they were so enticing, so I eventually floated over--I'd rather surf frontside anyway. Caught some small, but really exciting ones. The low tide was really drawing water, with nice, powerful walls pushing shoreward.

Despite its length, my Aipa tank held well (not one "pearl-dive"). However, my skills and confidence left much to be desired--I ended up kicking out or punching through on most every wave. No guts, no glory. (Although I did manage a few forward flips on the kickouts, just for fun.)

But still, we live for moments; and I got more than a few down-the-line, worm-burning images locked in my memory banks. Packed it in after two-and-a-half hours.

Town is great, but pound for pound, foot for foot, the Country is where itís at.

Aloha from Paradise,

P.S. I got firsthand word that Town was up to four feet and barreling. Regrets? Well...