Still Stoked -- 12/4/99

Makani, ripping (this wave looks way better than my memory)
Also check out Buddy's story and pics(with video too!)
Here's a video of one of my waves

We were anticipating a huge swell. The forecast was for 18'+ on the North Shore and the late night buoy seemed to support it with a 14 feet, 25 second reading! It was time to head west for some wrap.

Buddy was still out of commission, but he graciously offered to take videos of us. No complaints here! ;-) I picked Buddy up early and we headed towards Makaha-side, with the sometimes late-sleeping Makani hot on our heels.

Checking out the usual spots, we were very surprised to see that the swell had not manifested itself yet. Even wave magnet Makaha wasn't showing very much, with poor sandbar and beach conditions.

We chatted a bit with Doug Frick, the resident Makaha Point bodysurfer, then decided to go to a different spot that I've nicknamed Tents. Makani joined us there. It was lining up pretty good, with decent form on both the left and rights. We were on it!

Both Makani and I had brought two boards in anticipation of larger surf--I had my tank and sponge and Makans had his 7'0" and 8'0". It was a good thing I brought both. Anyway, Makani jumped on his shorter board, and I on my much longer one, and we gingerly jumped off the rocky shoreline while Buddy set up his video cam.

The surf was solid overhead (maybe 3-5' Haw'n), but you could tell that it was on the rise. Conditions were decent, with lighter than expected winds under overcast skies.

Makaha must not have been too appealing because immediately after we jumped in, there were a bunch of guys hot on our heels. The eventual crowd was a lot more than this place usually sees, but there were lots of waves to go around.

Makani was absolutely killing it on his 7'0". You can tell how good a rider is by how he sets up the wave, and Makani was awesome. He was doing these big fades, then just snapping right in the pocket. This guy is really one of the smoothest and most stylish surfer I know (and believe me, I know a lot).

As for me, I was having a great time with my tank. The surf was the perfect size for me--big enough to give me that "on the edge" feeling, but small enough to handle the inevitable dunkings. When the lineup got busier, I decided to chance the riskier rights. Got some great rides there on my forehand, just racing down the line, then trucking it back out before the next set arrived. But as fate would have it, my time longboarding would be short-lived.

I started getting very lazy on the paddleouts, bailing my board instead of duck-diving or turning turtle. Of course, I pushed my leash just a little too far. SNAP! Off my board went, right into the extremely sharp, rocky shore.

Fortunately, Buddy saw me swimming and immediately raced over to look for my board. He managed to get it before it got banged up too much. However, in the process, Buddy opened his heel wound up a bit. Sorry Buddy.

I wasn't about to go out again without a leash; not at this spot in these conditions. Fortunately, my bodyboard was lying in wait, ready for action. So I grabbed it from the car and rejoined Makani outside.

The surf was starting to get bigger, not quite double-overhead, but still closing out on occasion. No problem with my easily dippable sponge. Also noticed the super-long periods between waves--maybe 20 seconds plus. It was disconcerting seeing so much space between waves.

Started off with some neat rights, just doing a full-on trim down the line. However, I eventually turned to the longer, more crowded lefts. I just waited on the extreme outside and got into this perfect rhythm where I was catching set after set all the way to the cliffline.

The waves were just so pretty, smoothing out on occasion into these awesome, concaving walls. I was just flying on some, racing for the shoulder way ahead of the hook. On a lot of them, I had so much speed I literally didn't know what to do. Just a little chop would send me flying, as Makani would attest to. I'd surely lose a rail and bog on a hard turn.

Still, it was so fun just to catch these waves. So stoked!

Three hours into the sesh, I told Makani that I was going to catch one more and head in--that's when it started. Suddenly, some huge waves poured in, catching most everyone off guard. It was pau hana time whether we liked it or not. We ended up having to fight the strong side current just to get into position to ride the whitewater in. Of course, the exit was challenging, given the sharp, craggy shoreline, but we made it in without incident.

Came to find out that Buddy's camera battery got drained during my lost longboard fiasco, so he missed most of the tail end of the session. Didn't matter. I was still so stoked about my good fortune in waves and extremely grateful for the action of us that Buddy did manage to catch.

I had to hustle home pronto, so Makani brought Buddy home after they cleaned up. Fortunately, I got ahead of this big Waianae parade, in time for getting my list of honey do's.

I came out of that sesh with a broken leash, heavily dinged longboard, and slightly cut up feet (reef dancing). But the session was so fun for me, and was such a release it didn't matter one bit. I was still so stoked. Wish it was always like that.

More pics.

Aloha from Paradise,