Scoped Out -- 6/25/00

Wesside again
Also check out one of Buddy's pics here.

Another swell was expected at the end of the weekend, so we decided to take in an afternoon sesh and hopefully catch it on the rise. We decided to again target the Westside, hoping for some uncrowded quality.

Conditions were sweet, with light, fairly glassy conditions. However, the swell wasn't quite showing. We kept driving until we couldn't drive any further, not finding anything very enticing along the way.

Backtracking a bit, we settled for a spot that I've nicknamed Tents. Multiple head-high peaks were sprinkled across the long lineup. Not all that intense, but at least it was pretty empty. We were on it.

A week prior, we were scoping out the place, noticing how a south swell caressed the reef and taking notes on the possibilities, especially at the point on the southern end. Little did we know that we'd be using that knowledge so soon.

Right off the bat, Buddy caught some 100-150 yard rides all the way to shore. The south swell was coming in at such a perpendicular angle from shore that the waves actually peeled endlessly alongside the rocky reef shelf.

Just for fun, we moved about a hundred yards north and tried catching some over the flat reef. Buddy caught some small, square barrels, but I never lucked into the good ones.

A few more people came out, including an old bodyboarding friend of mine named Jesse. Back in the day, Jesse used to be one of the best amateur spongers, with an absolutely wicked drop-knee attack. Nowadays Jesse was driving a shortboard, and true to his old self, still shredded. We talked story about all kinds of stuff, but of course mostly focused our attention on waveriding.

Jesse gave me my compliment of the day. He said that when they were checking the place out, they noticed the bodyboarder (me) catching some good rides. Jesse told his friend, "Finally, get one bodyboarder who knows how to ride." I was all proud inside.

Later on, I headed back to the main peak and immediately snagged some good sets. Caught these long lefts that were just so carvable and smooth. Pretty good fun.

However, the sets reeling off the southern point of the reef tantalized us, beckoning us. This was the exact spot that we scoped out a week prior.

Earlier in the day, it was peeling nicely over there, but was sort of gutless, with two bodyboarders making the most of it. The rising tide and swell must've changed things because it started looking pretty gnarly. Some guy was taking off and just getting pitched over the falls with the lip. Even though it was a couple hundred yards away, we just had to give it a shot.

When we finally paddled over there, it was absolutely going off! These walls of waves were hooking around the point and just jacking and pitching with North Shore power. I couldn't get over it.

Unfortunately, the lineup was filled with some true locals, who were recklessly charging hard and deep. It was an exciting display of enthusiasm as these guys were yelling and coaxing and even chanting in Hawaiian in the lineup. Made it difficult to get a wave to myself. Indeed, I only caught three waves while I was out there.

Wave #1 was a short, feel out the place sort of thing. Nothing special.

On wave #2, I got a sweet wall that just stood up down the line and shut down after about 40 yards of high trim. I ducked through, then turned around just in time to see everyone get cleaned out by a solid six foot (Haw'n) set. Turned the lineup into a frothing mass of whiteout. Everyone was more stoked than ever!

My last wave was a beaut. Took off late on a mid-sized set wave and dropped into this glassy bowl that just went on forever. Carved up and down on this unblemished wall, just grinning ear-to-ear. As I passed Buddy, I yelled, "Won't get any better!" as I made my way to shore after my wave of the day.

I took a shower and quickly walked a couple hundred yards to the point, in hopes of catching Buddy on film. Found a nice vantage point under a coconut tree and waited patiently.

There was a long lull that Buddy miserably waited through. It was followed, of course, by a big set that caught him inside. Even with the lip exploding right in front of him a couple of times, Buddy somehow managed to slip through and ended up sitting outside and very deep.

Then it came. A solid set approached and Buddy had inside position--perhaps too much inside. He went for it anyway, dropping down backside. As he carved his bottom turn, the lip exploded right behind him just as the only other surfer in the lineup dropped in. I thought he was a goner.

Somehow, Buddy managed to skirt the lip as the wave backed off ever so slightly. Seeing him make the section, the shoulder-hopper graciously bowed out of the wave.

The next thing I saw just blew me away. The wave magically glassed off into this green wall and bowled beautifully. Buddy immediately took a high-line and teetered precariously near the top of the wave. His line paid off as he was rewarded with beaucoup speed, pumping and carving on the big face. It was f***ing awesome!

After flowing for 150 yards or so, the wave finally expended itself near the shore. Buddy paddled the rest of the way to the jagged, urchin-infested entry/exit point, and came out weary, but stoked. You shoulda seen his face when I told him I might've gotten the shot. :-)

The two photos were taken from afar, in heavy backlighting, under a darkened sky, with a cheap disposable cam. But if the pictures don't come out, it doesn't really matter. Buddy experienced it; I witnessed it, "I wen' scope his ride out."

Buddy taking off deep, with the shoulder-hopper dropping in

Buddy on the glassy green wall -- Yeeeha!

Aloha from Paradise,