Ala Mo and Ala Wai -- 4/14/01

David Ontai and friend

Hit the water at 5 AM, well before sunrise. I was hoping to snag some remnant surf from the small south that had hit the day before.

Through empirical data collecting, I've come to the realization that the surf is smaller before dawn. Anyone else notice this peculiar phenomenon?

It was so damned dark that I got totally disoriented out there. I couldn't catch a wave and was wondering where the hell the Bowl was. Finally, I realized that I was actually at Rockpile, 50 yards to the east. Idjit!

When I finally got to Bowls the regular dawn patrollers started making their way to the lineup. The surf was about head-high, with an occasional bigger set.

I caught a few fun ones on my bodyboard, but nothing spectacular. Real soon, I was alone among a throng of longboarders and funboarders.

Was it my imagination or is the lineup at Ala Moana Bowls getting older? Sure there were a few kids cruising the inside section, but the majority of locals are the same ones I've seen for years and are all showing signs of aging. I'd guess the median age to be about 40, give or take a few.

Although I was having a hard time catching the lefts, I did get a few to myself. That is, until Team David paddled out. Local shredder Davey Boy Gonsalves and local drop-in king David Ontai came out and raised the level of lineup tension big time. Both of them were very jovial and happy, but with so few good waves and so much talent in the lineup, my time was up.

I still made the most of the surf, catching the weak, punk rights that head towards Diamond Head. Had to share the spot with a couple of women and a couple of beginners. At least I got some exercise.

Coming in a bit early, I decided to do a little digital photography. The weather was beautiful and the area was full of interesting things to capture.

Found my shaper Ben Aipa cruising the parking lot. We had a long chat about health, with my achilles tendon tear and his neck injury. I didn't know it but he's been out for a couple of months with a nagging neckache. He's just getting back into it, but still looked good nonetheless (at 60).

After shooting around a bit, I finally called it a day. Always watch your ala ala's!

Check the photo shoot.

Aloha from Paradise,