Flying South -- 5/13/98

Early morning late takeoff

There's a common belief among surfers in Hawaii that a south swell will always hit on or around Mother's Day. I've been keeping track since I learned about it back in '84, and found it to be pretty much true (give or take a week).

For all you doofusses who missed calling home, Sunday (5/10/98) was Mother's Day. Guess what? The surf came up in Town! I was busy "grinding choke onolicious kaukau" at a fancy brunch, but managed to haul the family around Diamond Head for the inevitable spot-check. Though the winds were kicking in the 15-30 mph range, the surf was up to an impressive, though somewhat inconsistent, 3-5 feet (Haw'n).

Being the family man that I am, I deferred my first south session till Wednesday--I always set up my sessions well in advance. Anyway, the swell was expected to remain through the week, actually boosting back up on Wednesday morn.

The wait to Wednesday was long. I heard a lot from friends who were gorging themselves for four days straight (Sat thru Tue) on the good south. Although it was a bit windy, conditions were decent, with all Town spots going at least five feet. I was green with envy, but finally, finally, I got my chance.

On Wednesday, Jerry and I journeyed to the "secret spot" that we call Jimmylands. Upon arrival, we were a bit bummed that the new boost hadn't arrived, but at least it was empty (maybe it being 5:00 AM had something to do with the lack of crowd). But we jumped in anyway, as we almost always do.

Fairly quickly, the surf seemed to come up a bit, becoming more consistent and bigger (about head-high). We were so stoked. Jerry was on his funboard, and I had my tank, and we had a blast. Jerry has just gotten back from knee surgery, so was a little weak in the paddling department. Despite that, and the fact that he hardly ever boardsurfs to begin with, he did quite well, getting into a good trim on more than one ride.

I was trying to push my tank around, but couldn't quite make it do what I wanted it to. The loopy waves had something to do with it, but I think it was more my incompetence. However, I did manage to successfully perform two real Hang-5's, toes on the nose and all. Yeah!

After a couple of hours, we finally decided to call it quits; Jerry was pretty winded. It was a good thing too--as we left, five surfers pounced right into the lineup. Anyway, it was time for us to rush it to work.

Some birds fly south for the winter. However, the surfers in Hawaii, especially us early birds, head south in the summer.

Aloha from Paradise,