| SURF OBSERVATIONS|
The Tease -- 2/20/00
Buoys were going richter at 18 feet 20 seconds, but it looked liked the swell peak had passed. Thank goodness! Looked like a run to the Westside was in order.
Driving out there in the darkness on my reconnaissance mission, I strained to see what was happening. Tracks looked about three feet (Haw'n), Maili maybe four. Our secret spot #1 (I call Toilets) just wasn't quite working, so I pressed on.
Makaha looked good, with nice, big peaks rolling in. However, the beach was chocked-full of tents and canoes. The Buffalo (Buffalo Big Board Contest) was on. Oh well.
Next stop, secret spot #2--a place that I affectionately call Tents. It looked great, with nice A-frames coming through. Called for the troops (Makani and Bud) who were already on their way.
Though no one was out, I couldn't wait. Got my gear and headed for the rocky shoreline.
As I was stretching, a mega-set came through and closed out the whole beach. Damn. Guess the big swell was still coming in, albeit intermittently. I stood up on the reef waiting for the waves to ease up, but was just greeted by blankets of whitewater. After 10 minutes, the waves finally subsided and I gingerly slid in.
There was no wind, no clouds and even no sun (blocked by the Waianae mountain range). Oh, and no waves too. For the moment, it was just as calm as calm could be.
I knew the sets would eventually come, so I paddled way out to where I thought they would break. Good guess.
Eventually, a nice set poured in, and even though I was out of position (laterally), at least I could then gauge the setup. The lefts had a nice takeoff, but mushed out through various sections. The rights looked fast and more powerful, but sketchy on the closeouts. And the big sets, when they came, were rideable but broke waaay outside.
Snagged some good rides, including one nice, powerful right just as Buddy and Makani arrived. Stoked that they got there, especially after recalling that a bodyboarder had been killed by a shark about seven years ago, no more than 200 yards from where I frolicked.
Buddy had brought his DV cam to document the action, and Makani generously took the first watch.
We caught some fun ones, but those darned sets really eluded us. Waiting inside, the bomb sets would clean us out while enticing us with nice, open faces. When we decided to wait for the big ones, we'd end up sitting for over 20 minutes before giving up. It was truly a frustrating game that we played but could never seem to master.
Buddy swapped with Makani behind the camera just as more people started showing. I was pleasantly surprised to met up with Hugh, the videographer I met at Pipe, who was styling on this 10' red log.
The crowd itself was typical of the Westside--pretty much laid back and relaxed. However, sharing waves always means lowering wave counts.
I finally decided it was my turn behind the cam. So, with a little bit of guidance from Buddy, I carefully made my way back up the sharp shoreline. Buddy, who pulled a vana (sea urchin) spine out of his hand after entering the water, incurred a mean ding on his rail on the way out. Though he was bumming, Buddy was philosophical about it all. "At least the wicked shoreline keeps the crowds down," he said.
By that time, the waves had diminished slightly, with no big bomber sets to be had. The crowd bunched up a bit, mking it really hard to distinguish who was taking off (when the guys ripped, I knew I was shooting Makani or Bud).
Of course, I did the major kook maneuver when I accidentally dropped Buddy's camera in a moment of excitement (it released off the tripod by itself, I swear!). Thank goodness the damage was very minimal.
The dying battery didn't leave me with much opportunity to shoot, but I did get a few seques of the boys before the camera went totally kaput. Makani again did the deep fades on the lefts, then hooked into the power pockets. Buddy snagged some righteous rights.
All in all, it was a decent sesh, despite the big tease.
Aloha from Paradise,