Not 'In the Know' -- 3/23/01

Gummed at Gums (digital cam shots from the beach)

Got a Friday off for a change. After dropping off my daughter at school in Town, I raced to the Country for a morning surf. A solid north swell was coming through in the 6-8' (Haw'n) range.

As everyone in the know knows, a north swell means one thing--Laniakea! The reef at Lani's is just made for north swells, making for long, powerful walls. As I drove past, it was very apparent that this was true. It was grinding, and just peeling beautifully. However, everyone in the know must've been there--the parking lot was overflowing with cars. Didn't want to deal with the madness, especially on a bodyboard.

Ended up heading to my original intended destination--Ehukai Beach Park, where some excellent beach break could be had.

When I got there, I found the Backdoor/Pipeline area awash in the strong north sweep. It just didn't look right. Across the park, the waves looked like they were shutting down with the size; just a tad too big for the spots and sketchier than my liking.

However, there was a little elbow of sand at Gums that allowed for a channel, with a few bodyboarders and surfers taking advantage of it. I was not picky and immediately jumped in.

As I entered the water, all four bodyboarders that were partaking for some reason decided to leave. Left me being the only bodyboarder amongst four young surfers. No big deal.

Paddled out and got immediately swept west (very unusual) into the Pipeline lineup. Had to battle back east against the grain just to get to the lineup. I promptly sat deepest and waited.

On the first two waves I took off on, I got dropped in on pretty blatantly. What the hell? I'm hardheaded though, and continued to sit deepest and take off outside everyone. Think I snagged a set wave (near double-o) that finally made them give me a wider berth.

The waves were pretty, but not perfect. Light winds made for smooth conditions, but there was a lot of warp that made most every wave hook and every tube throw and pinch. Got some fun ones, but nothing outstanding.

After a while, I decided to paddle solo up east a bit to where I call Ehukai proper. The waves there looked meatier, but they mostly closed out as they hit an inside sandbar and eventually connected with Gums.

With some patience, I managed to snag some sweet ones there, all by my lonesome. One in particular was a full-on speed run, taking off and immediately trimming into a hook, then releasing the rail on the flats, and going right into another section, getting almost covered up. I had a killer launch section come towards me, but I bogged big time coming up towards it and just blew the deal.

I vowed to try again. My chance came up quite quickly.

Got another great wall that I rode for a long way. Towards the end, the other end of the wave was grinding towards me with a nice barrel. My lack of surf became immensely obvious when I mistimed the launch point, projecting much too late. The oncoming lip pitched hard and I actually found myself six feet above the trough riding the inside of the tube with a sideways angle of attack.

Somehow, I managed to keep riding, turning my body shoreward then nailing the landing. My failed aerial turned into a semi-righteous re-entry. I gladly took it.

Also remembered pulling into one chunky tube. Did the tumble and got so much pressure that I had to "blow my ballast tanks" and allow the water to run up my nose and into my sinuses. I don't think I'll ever get used to that nauseating sensation.

The surf seemed to be on the decline and I had a lot of errands to do, so I decided to call it a session after about two and a half hours.

Buddy drove past me as I headed home and he was about to begin his sesh. He scored epic Laniakea at the main peak. Of course, he's in another skill level above me, so I didn't feel an ounce of jealousy (well, maybe a half an ounce).

Even though I was "in the know", I know I would go nowhere at Lani's. Anyway, I scored some nice, uncrowded surf of my own. Life is good, I know.

Signs (my spot, Ehukai proper, in the background)

Backside at Gums

Sharing at Gums

Aloha from Paradise,