Winded -- 1/24/99

Kalani, getting a good one at the second peak

Dawned it on Sunday. Expected high winds and a declining north swell, and that's exactly what we got.

Makani couldn't make it, but Buddy and brother Rich were available. Sponger-coworker Justin was also planning to connect with us, with a couple of his friends in tow.

The surf at Laniakea looked small from shore, but Rich and Buddy knew that it was at least overhead--and it was. With Justin waiting on shore for his friends, we paddled out and found 2-4' (Haw'n) surf with moderate sideshores in the early morn.

We're usually the first in the water, but it was a busy morn for Lani's. By 7:00 AM, there were 25 people sprinkled across the lineup, and it quickly got even more crowded. I guess it's no secret: north swell + east trades = good Lani's.

Buddy was just core trying to surf despite copping a fractured toe a couple of days prior. He was valiantly trying to save his brother's stick from the board-eating rocks at Stinky's, but ended up getting some dings of his own on his body. Despite the handicap, Buddy still managed some nice walls and good turns.

Rich, who usually dominates the place, was uncharacteristically out of synch. However, after relieving some pent-up "stress", he eventually caught more than his share of good rides.

Justin, who later paddled out by himself, showed his riding prowess on this session, with some excellent wave selection. He snagged an inside wave that just walled up beautifully. After calling off a surfer, he proceeded to charge down the quickly peeling line. It sectioned in the end, but he managed to carve around and bank off the lip. Pretty good for a "junior engineer."

His buddies showed up kinda late to the party. Helm was in and out of the water, not feeling too good. Todd was working the inside--only saw him on a short dropknee ride.

As the morning progressed, the winds kicked up big time into the 20-30 mph range. The rip pulled incessantly towards the west, and getting caught inside meant an instant workout. Passing showers pelted us unmercifully; two strangers wished the same thought out loud that they had goggles to protect their eyes. At least a vibrant rainbow arced the horizon, stoking most everyone there.

As for myself, I had a really fun session on my bodyboard despite the crowd and conditions. Way better getting wet rather than waiting on shore for my face to heal (actually, it's been doing quite well). Good exercise, and some good waves to boot.

Had a really funny ride with Ben Aipa, who always seems to be surfing with us as of late. I took off on the peak, but Ben dropped in, so I start playfully yelling at him. The wave backed off on the shoulder, so he was forced to cut back, then go prone just to stay on the wave. Since I was in the hook, I took the opportunity to stand up on my bodyboard. He looked back at me and just started cracking up--the sponger was standing and the surfer was prone! We paddled back out just laughing at each other.

The rights were lining up pretty good, especially with the easterly tradewind push, but it wasn't pitching all that well. However, the lefts over the shallows near the channel were being buffeted by the howling winds, throwing some grinders.

I got some nice late takeoffs on the lefts, just swooping drops into a steep wall. However, I tried pulling in a couple of times, only to get shoved into the flats by a lip that didn't pitch out far enough.

Towards the very end of the session, I dialed into a juicy left that showed serious potential. When I reached the bottom, there was a section starting to throw ahead of me. Pulled in, skirted a short tube, then carved it out onto the shoulder. Wheee!

Came in soon after, winded, but satiated. I thought the marginal conditions would be a detriment to the session, but it ended up defining it.

Aloha from Paradise,