Angst Relief -- 11/21/99

Follow the Rainbow...

We were expecting a swell that would bring 10' waves (Haw'n) to the North Shore, so I was just buzzing the night before in anticipation and nervousness (ten feet is way above my comfort zone). The buoys were in concurrence, with a jump at 9 PM to 7 feet, 17 seconds.

Dawn arrived, and brought with it rain, light sideshores and... small waves! It was only about 2-4', barely overhead. Guess the swell was late in coming. Oh well, we figured it'd be on the rise throughout the morn.

The waves were funky, first doubling up with negative interference, then later throwing up peaks with no walls. It looked like some size and power was lurking, but it just wasn't coming together, not to mention being quite inconsistent with long lulls between sets.

The crowd was fairly light for a Sunday morn, with the standard players: Team Soul (all riding pre-80's boards), Team Banana (older-type Japanese and Chinese guys on hybrids) and Team Old-Guys-on-Longboards (‘nuff said). It actually was a pretty comfortable scene with no major hassling going on.

At the outside peak, a surfer came up to me and asked if my name was Neal. I cautiously acknowledged, then asked how he knew. He said his name was Cliff and that he recognized me from my website. I was stoked, but at the same time, found myself a bit disconcerted. My mind started wondering whether I get scrutinized wherever I go. Not that it matters--I surf how I surf and am not trying to impress anyone (well... not usually). But it did feel a bit weird that people knew me without me knowing them.

Buddy was just tearing into it, favoring the lined-up, inside bowls and the down-the-line middle peak. Of course, one of his best waves was one I gave him! After casually, saying, "Go for it", I looked down the line to see the wall just hooking nicely in a sweet bowl. Saw Buddy just slash all the way through to the inside--at least the wave didn't go to waste.

Throughout the session, we anxiously waited for the swell to arrive. Paddling over every wave, we eagerly hoped to see big peaks on the horizon. But every single time, we were disappointed. The swells continued to come through, though a bit sporadically, but the big ones never did come (although it did rise a bit, with some near 5 footers).

Personally, I was having a spotty session on my bodyboard. Would've brought the tank, but I thought it would be a Beach Park type of day at largish Pipe.

The surf at Laniakea wasn't too conducive to bodyboarding, but I tried to make the most of it. Didn't have too much hassles with the crowd--I think they are getting used to seeing this token sponger in the lineup.

Besides the longer rights, I was fortunate enough to snag a few across the left bowl, actually finding a few cover-ups on the end. I was surprised that no one was taking them.

Towards the end, I decided to paddle over to Holton's, which was reeling off some big, pitching lips on occasion. After waiting only about 15 minutes, I lucked into a nice wall which actually let me launch a kooky air in the channel.

After over four hours, it was time for me to leave. A small head-high wave came in that looked pretty good. As soon as I took off, the wall just stood up beautifully as the lip started to pitch. I stalled slightly, then got slotted oh so deeply in the pit. Of course, right in the channel was good old Buddy, taking my pic. Stoked! After coming out of the tube dry, the inside sections allowed for two "verandas" and a clean el rollo. Wheee!

Throughout the session, I was angst-ridden in anticipation of the rising surf. It was a bummer that it never showed while we were out. Also, the thought of not being an anonymous player in the lineup dwelled in the back of my mind.

However, after my last wave, all the angst was flushed away. One good ride was all it took to relieve the stress.

(Now, I *anxiously* await the processing of Buddy's shot.)

More pics:

The Feral Man snagged a veranda

This girl scored a glassy one from the center peak

Aloha from Paradise,