Sunrise Service -- 4/4/99

Rich, snapping in the hook

Declining north swell on Saturday, small swell expected Sunday eve. What to do?

Saturday turned out to be a no-go, but I was good for a short Sunday dawn patrol before playing Easter Bunny. The Williams brothers were also up to the task.

Woke up early and checked the buoys, and was shocked to find it up--WAY UP! At 11 PM, the period jumped to 17 seconds, and the swell height was incrementally rising to an amazing 16 feet. It was going to be big! But would it come up before I had to leave?

Spot Check #1--Laniakea, 5:45. Surf was tiny, maybe waist-high. No way.
Spot Check #2--Pipeline, 6:00. Lots of sand on the beach, but not much showing.
Spot Check #3--Sunset Beach, 6:15. Surprisingly, there were hints of the rising swell, with an occasional head-high plus set wrapping through. Connected there with Rich and Bud, and on a whim, we decided to check out...
Spot Check #4--Velzyland, 6:30. Clean, head-high, and only one guy out. We were on it!

We parked at Cino's house, and as we were prepping, out popped the man himself. After the "howzits" and "long time no see's", Rich politely asked the well-dressed shaper, "So what, you going work today?"

"I no tink so, Reeech"--he was going to church on Easter Sunday. It was then that I felt like a heathen. But there was no time to dwell on the matter--the ocean beckoned.

Buddy and Rich were amazed that I'd never been out at V-Land before. It wasn't so much the heavy local rep that kept me away--I honestly just did not know where to park. Given the extremely high car-burglary rate of the area, I think my concern was well justified. But I was stoked that my chance to ride the place had finally arrived.

Conditions were excellent, with just the slightest hint of offshores, and the sun just peaking over the mountains. It was just pristine conditions--a perfect way to celebrate Life.

In the early dawn the wave was a cakewalk. Easy takeoff, fun wall, with an inside that sometimes bowled up nicely. There was a slight doubling up of the waves, causing some destructive interference, but as a whole it was fully rippable.

Unfortunately, Rich was a bit out of synch. He had some bold backside takeoffs, but the waves never really cooperated for him. They were either too full, or sucked out too much, not giving him the opportunity to work his magic. He did, however, snag a good left that he worked almost to shore, carving all the way.

Buddy started off slowly, deciding to "make us famous" by taking pictures from the channel. When he finally got into it, he was his usual self, throwing caution to the wind. Saw him get flipped off his board in the barrel as he tried to negotiate a sketchy takeoff. Also watched as he threw three solid roundhouses, setting up for a "veranda" on the inside. Unfortunately, it was his third straight day surfing, so he had to eventually take it easy with a wicked case of board rash.

As for myself, I went mental! Having missed last weekend's session due to a sinus infection, I was just itching to get back into the swing of things. Started off trying to get shacked on the fun, small waves. Put myself in the hook on numerous occasions, but only really got barreled once. It truly is a bodyboarder's dream--perfect setup to get slotted.

Caught a few fun lefts too. The new swell set up some really nice walls that looked a little more makeable than they really were. Still, the left is a decent wave that is all too often overshadowed by its righthand brother.

Suddenly, the swell just started picking up big time. You could feel it coming as the outside reef started feathering as the new swell filled in.

A lone longboarder made his way to the outside peak and waited for an eternity before finally catching a couple of pretty nice ones. They were good enough to pique my curiosity--I wanted to try it out.

I soon found myself about a hundred yards outside the main peak, waiting near the longboarder. Without consistent swells coming through, it was difficult to line up, but I finally managed to snag one. Aired the takeoff, then bounced my way through the pack before zooming over the inside section. Buddy, who was waiting just inside of me, followed right behind on the same set.

Then it really started getting nasty. The waves began to consistently churn from the outside all the way through, turning the inside to a frothing mess. The "channel" sported an outside peak that just started going off, with a long right that pushed towards Backyards. Again, I had to taste some of that action.

After finally making my way through the whitewater, I beheld an image that is captured in the camera in my mind's eye. These beautiful walls were reeling off in deep blue water with no one around to cash in. I was fortunate to dial into one of ‘em--a fun, open-faced wave--just before pau hana time.

By the time I got back to the regular peak, I could not recognize it. It was literally a washing machine of chaos, with whitewater rumbling through and funky peaks popping up everywhere. In fact it was so messy, we had to paddle halfway in just to catch a junky roller to the beach.

When I got back to my car, I found that my door was unlocked. Oh no! Ruffling through the car, I was relieved to find everything intact. In my haste to get wet, I left the f#*@ doors open--IDJIT!

I zoomed home right on sked, headed out to the family gathering and had a great time painting eggs with Taryn, all the while stoked on the excellent "sunrise service" we had participated in.

Happy Easter,