Pipeline, Take #1 -- 12/26/99

..when it's sunny, it looks fun and easy; when it's cloudy...

Dawned it at Pipe, third guy in the water. Surf was big--about 6-8' Haw'n--with a slightly choppy, side-onshore wind flow. I was nervous, but eager to try my luck.

Got some nice ones early on, catching some sweet open faces and pulling into a few of the smaller closeouts. Eventually, the lineup got filled with bodyboarding wannabes practicing for the big contest.

Made small talk with Guilherme Tamega, whom we have a mutual friend. He's on the verge on winning his umpteenth world championship. Also, talked to Spencer Skipper, who remembered me from our amateur days way back when (almost a decade). Even chatted with Steve MacKenzie, who was eyeing up the rare Backdoor waves with me.

The bodyboarders were killing it out there. It was truly inspirational watching these guys charge the gaping tubes. What was a little disconcerting was that most of them were foreigners--not too many locals in the lineup. Just struck me as odd.

Towards the end of the sesh, after being egged on a bit by Macca, I finally took a small right. Turning around to paddle back out, I was confronted with a closeout set from hell. Of course, it broke ten feet in front of me, totally ragdolling me into oblivion. I stupidly tried to paddle back out after that, but was promptly tossed to shore, defeated.

Aloha from Paradise,