The Gathering -- 8/18/01

Rich on a set wave

The alt.surfing newsgroup is a tight crew of worldwide surfers. On this weekend, two visitors were in town, so some of the Oahu contingent decided to have a small surf-session gathering.

The summer surf has been pretty dismal. However, we've been making the most of it with windswell which has helped maintain our stoke level. The winds were pretty strong through most of the week, so we knew we'd get at least something.

Went out early to do the initial scope-out. Surf was surprisingly firm, with some solid sets coming through in mixed up conditions. The wind was kicking, but wasn't nearly as strong as it can get out there.

The regular crew was out early. Knowing that we would be bringing more than a few people to the spot, I was concerned that the extra head count would cause a bit of frustration on the regulars' part. Fortunately, the peaky conditions provided lots of waves for all.

Rich and Buddy soon came out and began to take the place apart. As most brothers do, they complement each other: yin/yang, regular/goofy, Laurel/Hardy.

Soon enough, we saw our visitors paddling out. Evan (aka wavslav) from Santa Cruz and Denny (aka River Rat) from Kauai. Evan and Denny are old acquaintances and have actually hooked up before.

I've been dialoging with fellow Kauaian Denny for some time now on the alt.surfing newsgroup, and we've found quite a bit of common ground. Meeting up with him only reinforced the connection we established online.

Denny is a true cosmic child of the 60's. Although he said he had a bad sesh, I could see the old-school style coming through. The conditions were indeed challenging, but he fared well, catching some long, cruising ride.

Evan did much better than the previous weekend, snagging some good ones. Guess he started getting used to the tricky conditions.

He offered his board for me to try out, a Surftech pre-cast epoxy board. The skinny 9'0” board rode like a shortboard--very responsive and light. I wasn't used to the deck pad--felt like I was always stepping on my leash. Guess it's just a matter of getting used to.

Soon, another familiar face made her way out to the lineup. Sus! She was cruising out on her bodyboard, ready to charge. Actually, she was a bit tentative at first, but after a bit of egging on by moi, she went for it.

When I saw her sitting in the channel, I went over to give a little bit of encouragement. Just then, a solid peak swung out our way. "Go, go!" I yelled. She had no choice but to go.

I didn't see, but she said she took off late, airdropped into the trough, and made the drop, bounding in the whitewater. As she paddled back out, I could not contain myself in laughter and pride, just cheering her on. "I'm never going to listen to you again!" she jokingly said.

We all spent several hours talking story and catching waves in the lineup. Eventually, Buddy and Rich had to leave, so they abruptly left. Rich was ripping too hard as two of his skegs were pulling off his board.

The rest of us also decided to head in and grab a bite. Evan asked if we wanted to go to his hotel, and so we went and met up with Evan's family and friend.

There were a few "incidents" that occurred there that already was discussed on the group. Suffice to say that we really enjoyed ourselves immensely, talking, eating and going to the restroom.

All too soon, it was pau hana time. We took the obligatory beach photo (sans Rich and Bud) and said our goodbyes.

On the group, we called the get together "ho-ike", thinking that this was the Hawaiian word for gathering. Ho-ike actually means competition, which doesn't quite fit our own ‘palooza-type get-together. It really was a gathering of online friends who all share the common interest of wave riding.

Already looking forward to future gatherings.

Local Clayton threw a 360 in front of me, knocking me in the head. Dinged his board!

Evan taking off late

Denny, floating

Rich and Bud do pairs behind a foggy lens

wavslav, sponge, River Rat and Mama Sus

At Duke's

Me, floating down to earth (Bud foto)

Poser! (Bud foto)

Sus, charging (Bud foto)

Me, bottoming out (Bud foto)

Aloha from Paradise,