Making Friends -- 11/10/00

Small Lani's

Expected swell failed to arrive by my dawn patrol sesh. Ended up longboarding Laniakea and Jockos.

Started off at Lani's just having a hard time of it all. For some reason, I just could not get my act together, just blowing takeoffs in the shoulder-high surf. I was the only longboarder, so that didn't endear me any more with the busy crowd.

Finally, I snagged a decent head-high set. Started turning off the bottom, but this local Japanese (like me) surfer paddled in front of me, racing for the shoulder trying to get out of my way. At the last minute he bailed off his board, as I straightened and bailed to avoid collision.

We came up sputtering next to each other, our boards entangled together in a heap. Then this guy started spouting off to me, totally enraged.

The dialog went something like this.

"Eh brah, you better watch where you going," he growled.

"Eh, you the one who was paddling right in front of me. I bailed to avoid you," I retorted.

"You been just wiping out on your waves"

"Sorry, eh. I'm not a pro like you. I'm just trying my best."

"Why you no get out of the water."

"Fuck you, just chill out and surf!"

So the mood was set. This guy just kept grumbling to himself and his friends about the incident. I actually knew some of his friends, dialoging with them on previous sessions at Lani's. This guy actually looked familiar too, but he wasn't a regular like his friends (wasn't as friendly either, I might add).

I didn't change my riding, although I'd be lying if I said the incident didn't affect me. One little thing like this can really put a damper on my session.

However, I stood my ground, refusing to be pushed around. I took a little more selective approach to wave catching, and managed a few so-so rides.

On one, I ended up going shoulder to shoulder with my newfound "friend." I got up first and banked sharply into his path to assert myself on the wave. He backed off and I ended up getting one of my better rides at Lani's.

After a while (my "friend" had gone in by then), I decided that it just wasn't happening, so I paddled over to Jocko's for a look.

There, the surf was less lined up, but a lot bigger, with a few overhead sets coming through. I snagged a few longer rides, but was more than a little frustrated by the inconsistency.

A new guy came out and greeted everyone with a stoking smile and positive demeanor. This guy also looked vaguely familiar, but I wasn't too sure.

We ended up giving each other words of encouragement and stoke, while riding the few waves that came in.

Finally after three hours of surf, I headed in. You can make all kinds of friends in the lineup. Didn't realize it at the time, but this would be my last session for quite a while.

Aloha from Paradise,