Chambers? -- 10/6/01

Buddy caught me in the act

Forecast called for a new NNW, peaking Friday eve; perfect for a Saturday dawn patrol. However, when the swell failed to arrive on Friday afternoon, I was a little concerned. The buoys were pretty firm at 8 ft 14 seconds, so there would be something to play in, but how big was the question.

I arrived at 5:30 to get the lay of the land. Laniakea was uncharacteristically not working. The swell was missing Pipe and Ehukai. Sunset, Backyards and even V-land was lackluster. In the darkness, the best place looked like Gas Chambers.

Now, I'm not a fan of Gas Chambers. Just haven't surfed it much. But I know the place can go off. The other reason why it was a decent call was because my cohort Justin was joining the party and Justin loves the spot. I soon found out why.

As I made my way down the beach, I was surprised to find a lone surfer already in the water. Unfortunately, he got caught in a surprisingly solid set that closed out in front of him. My adrenaline started pumping big time.

The left

I put on all my sponge gear and jumped in around 6. Winds were easterly, maybe 15-30 mph, which seemed to cut down the swell a notch. Also, it was overcast to the point of impending rain. It didn't look all that inviting, but once inside, the surf was actually quite good.

I immediately caught a really long right, going full trim to the inside. Followed it up with a fun left which opened up nicely. Damn, my stiff and narrow Custom X board worked well. Seriously rethinking about my board supplier.

Real soon, Justin found his way out. He was all stoked with his new board too, and snagged some really long rights. For fun, we swapped boards for a while. His board is very different from mine--both have their virtues, but I preferred my own.

Justin from afar

Justin actually corrected me about surf spot locales. I thought we were surfing at Gas Chambers, but we were actually at one of several spots that make up Pupukea. Gas Chambers proper was one break to the east where a solid peak was forming regularly. Oops, my bad.

Good old Buddy

Soon, the Budster came out to join us. After a few more waves, we decided to paddle over to Gas Chambers and that's where the fun began.

Where Pupukea had more of a novice lineup, the one at Gas Chambers had surfers who were a bit more proficient at their craft. We went to the outside lineup and were graciously accepted into the queue.

Buddy did his usual shralping on his 6'3" chip. The guy is pretty inspiring on the shortboard--makes me want to learn how.

Justin was charging some serious rights. His board was short, "cushy" and rockerless. Still he managed to maneuver that sponge quite nicely, thank you.

Between lulls, we snagged some good ones with the crew. I scored some really fun ones, including some memorable lefts that just lined up so nicely with winds buffeting the tube open. Caught one all the way to inside Rocky Point where I got buried over the flat reef.

Finally made my way in after 3.5 hours, happy about a decent session, all things considered. Just need to brush up on my surf spot names.

Aloha from Paradise,