Better Late -- 3/19/00

Me, on a sweet hook (Buddy Foto)

A declining swell and increasing winds didn't bode well for us on a not-so sunny Sunday morning. I was still really looking forward to the sesh and thought it might even be better for me, surfing in smaller, more comfortable conditions for a change.

I bolted up in bed, late for the session. Damn! However, I found that Buddy and Rich were not quite ready to go yet either. I quickly zoomed out to Pipe on reconnaissance, drove across the temporary "Waimea Bay highway," and found the surf to be funky, but surprisingly absolutely empty at 7 AM.

Not wasting time, I went out and found it to be decent, with some nice slightly overhead barrels. You had to be picky, but the waves were definitely hot.

Very soon thereafter, a bodyboard acquaintance of mine named David McGue came out. I've known him back from my old contest days, and we've seen each other every winter since out at Pipe.

We, and a couple of timid surfer-types had the whole place to ourselves before others started waking up and noticing that it was decent.

Buddy and Rich soon came out and proceeded to get into the mix. I knew that they weren't too comfortable out there, but they were both catching their share, especially Buddy, who charged Pipe and Backdoor getting some serious tubeabe both ways.

Of course, there's always a small price to pay, and Buddy donated some skin from his back to the reef at Backdoor.

As for me, I was in a really good groove. The jacking waves worked well with my bodyboard, and I was fortunate to snag some of the set waves.

On one, I got in a bit late and decided to do a "bunny-hop" off the takeoff. Ended up launching way more than expected, and free-fell maybe eight feet. The landing shocked me, but I recovered and made the wave. Buddy's pic of the ride came out pretty epic.

However, my best ride was yet to come. There seemed to be a new west filling in, but some north hooks kept it interesting. I took off on one of those wests that peaked just as the side wave swung in. Coming down around the peak, I was stoked/spooked to find another peak starting to pitch down the line from me. My board worked like a charm and held a good trim line while I hooked under the falling curtain and snagged a righteous tube. Pure elation!

We kept at it for some time more. Eventually, everyone else got wise to the conditions, and started coming out of the woodworks. This whole crew of mini-groms came out and charged the place, adding a bit of frenetic nervousness to the arena.

I was actually hoping to do a photo shoot of the boys, but I ended up not bringing the good camera, thinking it to be too windy and cloudy and junky. It was a bummer that I missed documenting it better, but at the same time I was stoked to enjoy the waves.

Buddy, behind the 8-ball

A grinder goes unridden

Aloha from Paradise,