Late Season -- 5/16/99

Buddy got the photo slut's best wave at Backyards.
Check out his story and photos.

A surprisingly solid northwest swell was expected on May 15 and 16, really late for the winter season. We werenít complaining.

I could not hit it early, but Buddy was accommodating and we went out in the early afternoon in search of some swell.

Laniís had nothing, so we pushed on, eventually settling for Backyards. For kicks, we decided to paddle out through Sunset and work our way up the coast.

Iíve never surfed (or bodyboarded) Sunset at any size, so I looked forward to snagging a few enroute to Backyards. The swell was already on the decline, but there still were some double-o sets to be had (it was maybe 3-6 ft Hawín). The winds were quite calm, but the sky was gray and overcast, with rain pelting us through most of the session.

There were quite a few people out, but even on my bodyboard, I caught my fair share of waves out there. Late season is like that, with most of the aggro visitors long gone. Although it wasnít potent, I was still having fun on the big peaks.

Buddy was doing well, taking off inside and deep and working it to the channel. However, he didnít bloom until we made the move.

After over an hour, we finally decided to head out to Backyards. There were some sets reeling through that beckoned, but it looked pretty sectiony. Maybe a half dozen guys were gingerly going for it.

When we got there, we realized why there werenít too much people out. The swells just sucked out the water over the shallow reef, with boils popping up everywhere. It was sketchy, to say the least.

Buddy just went balls-out, taking off, easily making the speed sections. It was obvious that he was in his environment.

Me, well, I was quite tentative. All my confidence at Sunset just didnít carry over to Backyards, where it was smaller, but much more intense. I did snag one wave that was a beaut--full trim all the way. In the end, I was like, "I can make it, I can make it... I canít make it!" Punched through the face mid-tube, into some powerful underwater energy. At least Buddy got the shot of the photo slut!

Our session came to screeching halt when Buddy took off on this big one. He was way late and ended up bailing, going over the falls. His board mustíve gotten caught by the wave because when he gathered it up, he found that the leash railsaver actually cut through the tail, leaving two slices almost to the plug. Bummer!

It was about time to head in, so after a little while, we headed through the Sunset lineup and back to shore.

It was a pretty exciting session, marred only by the damaged board.

Aloha from Paradise,