Crowd-to-Crew -- 6/26/99

Sweet Sunrise
Check out Buddy's story.

Buddy and I dawned it once again to P-Rock. Didn't expect much, didn't get much. Surf was small, blown and formless. We decided to once again roll the dice and check up the road at N-Beach.

Stealthily driving up there, we were surprised to find it a lot cleaner, with small, but obvious swell lines swinging around the point and into the beachbreak. And there was no one out. We were on it!

Buddy had his trusty 6'3" and wasted no time going to town on the shoulder-high plus surf. He scored some long, 50 yard runs, gliding through multiple sandbar sections all the way to shore. He also hooked into several punchy lefts, snapping on his backside.

But his most memorable ride, as far as I was concerned anyway, was a wave that he took off in front of me. Always looking out for a good photo-op, Buddy stood up, brought the cam to his face, and snapped one of me from above. Looking forward to seeing that one.

As for myself, my tank still had a loose screw (for the tail fin), so I decided to bodyboard. And because I knew we weren’t expecting much, instead of bringing my new, but fragile "Yellow Sunset Gun" sponge, I opted to use the older M-board. It worked out pretty good.

Got some long rides on the rights, just pushing to make sections and getting as much mileage as possible. The lefts were pretty neat, allowing for some pop-up aerials and even a few tiny tubelets. Compressed my shoulder on the reef on one of them, but I was able to shrug it off.

So about an hour into our session, Buddy started reminiscing on how uncrowded most of our surf sessions have been the past year. He came up with this crowd-to-crew ratio to measure how good we’ve been getting it.

Of course, the moment we announced that our crowd-to-crew ratio on this session was 1:1, a trio came down the walkpath and onto the beach. They surprisingly strolled down the beach and entered the water, but eventually gravitated into our peak. Bachi!

We started off a little standoffish, but eventually both camps started talking story and encouraging each other. Two of them were longboarding and the other was a sponger.

But even that happy setup of a still fairly light crowd didn't last. Maybe an hour later, a whole slew of people poured onto the beach and into the lineup. There were over a dozen surfers in the water, jockeying for the more and more infrequent sets. And I thought it was a "secret" spot!

After an hour of that, we finally made our way in. We got a lot better session than we expected--for sure better than the rest of the swell-lacking island. But in the end, the high crowd-to-crew ratio put a slight damper on an otherwise decent sesh.

Aloha from Paradise,