Team Umlaut -- 4/18/99

Buddy, shredding. All photos courtesy Buddy. Check his page here.

The forecast was dismal--no swell anywhere. What to do?

We were hoping for at least a windswell so we could hit the east side. However, reports of a beached whale (which inevitably attracts other sea creatures), along with lighter than expected winds pushed us into targeting good old Diamond Head Lighthouse.

Since it wasn’t going to be epic, I decided to try out my bullyboard. A year ago, I ordered this oversized sponge for the expressed purpose of riding tandem with my daughter. But since she’s not yet comfortable in the water, except for a few forays to the pool, the board’s been sitting idle in the garage. It was time to give it a test drive.

Just before heading out, I shot out an email to Mama Sus, a fellow alt.surfer, in hopes of maybe hooking up. A newbie to the newsgroup and to bodyboarding, Sus (spelled with an umlaut) has been a pillar of moderation and femininity in the testosterone-laden alt.surfing. Wasn’t sure if she’d get the message in time but I figured "what the heck."

Surprisingly, the surf was pretty solid. Though a bit windy, the sets were about 2-3’ Haw’n, with some slightly overhead peaks. Yeah!

The bullyboard was so fun! It was bulky and overly buoyant, yet still somewhat maneuverable. I started releasing the rail on the turns, just sliding all over the place. Didn’t have a leash on it, so I was playing it a little conservative, but I still managed snagging some solid rides, including a good aerial.

Buddy and Rich arrived soon afterwards, armed with their short-shortboards. They proceeded to tear up the place with their usual vigor, Buddy on his frontside and Rich his back. Rich was going on a trip the next day, so he had an extra incentive to make the most of the session.

Then SHE arrived. Chugging on her Custom X bodyboard was none other than the strawberry-blonde Mama Sus! Like her online persona, Sus was all stoke and enthusiasm. We all started babbling out in the lineup, just talking anykine story. But we were out there to surf, so away we went!

Her first wave was good: nice takeoff on a tapering wall that shut down on the inside. Unfortunately, Sus was caught on the wrong side of the reef, and got pushed by the surf, wind and current.

Knowing that she was unfamiliar with the grounds, I motored out to her, and we took an awkwardly shallow route around the whitewater. By the time we got into the channel, Sus had some abrasions on her knees, but it didn’t seem to bother her one bit. Without catching her breath, she started hunting down more waves.

The waves seemed to pick up a bit with the dropping tide. Despite a moderate crowd, everyone seemed to be catching their share of waves, with that lawyer-longboarding-Lighthouse-local catching the biggest/best ones.

Sus continued her initiation at Lighthouse, catching some nice rights, this time steering clear of the shallows. I asked Buddy if I could borrow his disposable camera, and then tried shooting the crew for a while.

Highlight of the day: Most of us were caught inside on a larger set--all of us except Mama Sus! She deftly swung around as the wave pitched and just went for it, air-dropping the takeoff with the lip throwing nicely behind her.

I was caught off guard and could only manage a shot from the hip (literally). She landed precariously close to a duck-diving Buddy, but just zoomed by. Although I missed the shot, the scene is permanently burned into my memory banks.

Most of us left out in the lineup just looked at each other in awe and said, "Did you see that?" We were all surprised that she took off, and stoked for her that she made it. What a spunky chick!

Anyway, we continued exchanging waves with the crowd for some time before Sus called it quits. An hour later, I bailed too, leaving Buddy and Rich to play in some still very fun waves.

As I was showering, I saw Buddy snag a quick standup barrel--always seems to get better when I leave the water.

When I finally walked up the trail to my car, who should I find absorbing some rays on the rock wall than Sus. She was still buzzing over the fun sesh we all shared. We talked a little bit more before a light drizzle chased me back home.

Always fun meeting a fellow alt.surfer, but hooking up with Sus was exceptionally fun. She is the embodiment of stoke and positive attitude. After you get through all the pomp and noise, that’s really what’s surfing is all about.

Aloha from Paradise,