| SURF OBSERVATIONS|
Funk and Dunk -- 2/12/00
Dawned it to Pipe on a rising swell. Conditions were still pristine, with ultra-light winds and clear skies. The surf was smallish in the morn, but was expected to jump dramatically later in the morn.
My first wave was so nice! Took off smoothly on my bodyboard, did a quick bottom turn, then got the almond vision before getting a misty spray on my back then being spat out.
My second was sweet too, but in a different way. Took off a little late on a decent peak, and took a wide berth around the pitching lip. The tube kind of disintegrated then, but I kept with it and ended up catching the reform near Gums. Nice, long, trimming ride.
After those two wave exchanges, that was pretty much all she wrote. The crowd grew, the waves got really funky (bigger too), and I once again lost my nerve. Try as I might, I could not get it going.
After straightening out on a late takeoff, my board got ripped away from me despite my leash (Velcro breakdown). The ocean was telling me it was time to get out.
Not quite ready to call it a day, I headed over to Haleiwa where Makani and Buddy had decided to give it a go. Surf looked really fun--figured I could snap some shots of the boys and maybe catch a few on the inside.
When I got out, I realized it was actually damned good conditions. The new west swell was coming in just right, making for super-long rights from the outside bowl. There weren't gaping barrels like Pipeline; just these long walls that were sooo carveable.
However, to catch one, you had to steal away waves from the crowd. It's not like it was terribly busy out there; it was just that it was such a stacked lineup. There were the regulars like Glen Matsumoto who knew the wave like the back of their hand; there were old timers like Ben Aipa and some other beeeg Hawaiian guy--you just didn't get in their way; and there were some very competent longboarders like Allen Wicklund and Bonga Perkins. If Kerry Terukina was out, I would have just immediately gone in and called it a day.
Wicklund was the man of the hour. He was just in the right place at the right time, set after set. Man, I was jokingly swearing at him about it after a while. All he could do in response was laugh incredulously at his fortune. Reminded me of that look Michael Jordan gave in the game after his sixth straight 3-pointer--in the zone.
Buddy and Makani were out with their short sticks, and thus were highly undergunned in the competitive lineup. I saw them both catch some sweet walls, leaving their usual signature carves, one on his forehand, one on his back. But I could see the frustration when they kept getting consistently outmaneuvered by the bigger guns.
Then of course, there was the famous Haleiwa rip current. Although it wasn't all that big (yet), the rip was strong and incessant, pushing us eastward. You had to always be aware of where you were, or risk getting caught in the impact zone or worse, headed out to Puaena Point.
With all these things going against me, I figured I had a snowball's chance in hell on scoring anything decent on my bodyboard. Imagine my surprise when early on, the outside pack missed a mid-sized set, leaving it for me and this other sponger (he was on the shoulder). After yelling him off, I had over 50 yards of wall to just swoop and bounce and slide around on. Wheee!
Caught a few more fun ones that day, including a big set that had me bouncing down the face like Tigger on a pogo stick. Also had a nice pocket in which I propped myself up and did my classic "look back into the tube" trick. Makani later told me he liked my pose.
Of course, no Haleiwa go-out is complete without getting caught inside. After catching one all the way to the Toilet Bowl, I turned and saw Avalanche start to crack. Scratched for the horizon to no avail.
Ragdolled on a set that exploded about 10 feet in front of me. Got most of my exercise that day during that one 15 minute stretch trying to paddle back out.
As the waves got bigger, catching waves got harder and harder. Eventually, I got stuck in the rip and just couldn't get clear. I finally had to paddle inside and catch the whitewater in way towards the east side of the showers. No shame. I got my share.
Two distinctly different sessions in one day. Despite the misadventures, I was stoked on both.
Aloha from Paradise,