The Unevent -- 2/8/99

It WASN'T uneventful for this guy, either

It was supposed to be one of those uneventful sessions--however, it turned out to be anything but.

Couldn't surf on the weekend, so Buddy and me targeted a Monday afternoon sesh. After some unforseen delays, I finally was able to get in the water at 3:40 PM for my weekly workout.

Through the weekend, the surf was pretty small. However, a new swell started filling in, with some sizeable waves on occasion (3-6'+, Haw'n). Winds were strong sideshores, messying up conditions, but it was still somewhat surfable.

By the time I got there, Buddy was already on fire, having one of those exceptional days. As soon as I paddled out on my tank, he pulled into this three-second tube, fully energizing the gallery since barrels were all but nonexistent.

I caught a couple of weak ones, just to get the stiffness out-no big deal. But then I decided to take my chances at Holton's which looked good from far. Seemed to be lining up nicely, with a few really big peaks.

Looks were deceiving. What appeared like open-faced waves turned out to be semi-closeouts on the sets. Still, I took off on one short ride, enjoying the steep drop.

Paddling back out, I suddenly saw it on the horizon. One of those freak set waves was about to unload and I was caught too far inside.

As I was stroking desperately, I knew it would be close. The lip pitched on both my left and right as I hit the base of the wave. The face was easily over twelve-feet. For a split-second I thought I'd make it, planning to duck-dive through. But at the last instant, I bailed off the side of my board in an act of cowardice.

The board must've been tagged by the lip because it was abruptly wrenched from my grasp, pulling me back with it. After gurgling underwater for a few seconds, I came up to... half a board! FARK!!!

This was only the second session out after major board repair, and now it was snapped cleanly in half. Absolutely disgusting!

Well, I came out to get my exercise; I damned well was going to put in some more time in the water. I decided to keep Buddy company and shoot some of my film from my water cam while floating on half a log.

Buddy kept his blazing momentum going, as if he was trying to qualify for the ASP tour. On one wave, I saw him snap absolutely vertical, came teetering down right on the foamball, then continued down the line. An older, longboarder-type looked at me with jaw agape in disbelief. That's my buddy, Buddy.

I was getting a good workout paddling that beast around with some serious drag on the blunt "nose". But as always, I got real restless in the water. It wasn't enough to be getting wet--I wanted to participate. So I started going for waves with my 5' of sawed-off foam, trying to catch one last wave with my board. The shredded fiberglass stub was a dangerous hazard, but I just had to snag one more on my precious stick.

Finally, after many drop-ins by other surfers (guess they didn't think I was serious), I lucked into a nice, small peak. Stroked, pressed up, came down with the whitewater, then kicked out.

Eventually, I got caught inside, then dragged over the reef, slicing my foot nicely. It was getting real. So I jumped on the board and proned it to shore.

Did a futile search for the front of the board, but it was well over an hour since I'd lost it. Buddy came in soon afterwards, and we bailed and went home.

It has been a really rough winter for our crew. Every single one of us has snapped a stick this season. I guess if you want to play, you gotta pay... eventually.

What was supposed to be just a casual afternoon session in some junky surf turned into a red-hot session for Buddy, and a heartbreaking, board-shattering experience for me. Guess it never truly is uneventful.

Aloha from Paradise,