Zigging and Zagging -- 10/14/01

Chambers had a few sweet ones

As luck would have it, my only available time for a surf session (Sunday morn) fell right on the lull between two swells. Sigh.

Drove out early to the North Shore and told the boys that I’d be bodyboarding somewhere between Pipe and Gas Chambers. In the dark, I walked over to Pipe, but it just didn’t look all that great so I trucked it over to Chambers.

Surf was about 2-4’ Haw’n (overhead). I quickly found that Chambers definitely favored the waning north swell--the new west just sort of closed it out. Still, I managed to snag some sweet waves, a couple with some fun cover-ups.

The most dramatic of my rides was actually a set wave, which I decided to just charge. It had just a bit too much west in it and started closing out down the line before I was even into the wave. Think that was the reason I kinda flubbed the takeoff, going on edge prematurely. I ended up skittering down the face, with no lateral motion whatsoever. The tube engulfed me and pitched me over the falls. I curled and ended up getting pinned to the flat reef. Whew!

After waiting a while for Buddy and Justin, I finally decided to stop riding and start shooting. I headed towards the Beach Park where I was going to grab my good water camera and take advantage of the clean conditions.

Just as I was paddling in, I saw Justin and Buddy, who were enroute to Gas Chambers. They thought I was at Pipe and ended up surfing out there. They said it was decent, but crowded, with lots of bodyboarders. I told them I’d shoot for a while, then come back to shoot them.

Hitting Pipe, I was somewhat disappointed at the conditions. The beach and sand still needed grooming to optimize the surf, and it hadn’t happened yet. Still, the sun was out and the winds were calm. I went for it.

When I swam out, I found it to be a bit better than it looked from shore. There were some nice momentary tubes before clamshelling, and the participants were some of the best (Hubb, Spence, Nelz and others).

Swimming in the impact zone is something every surfer should do. You really can get a better understanding of the way water moves. I was actually enjoying the sensation of pushing through waves, and letting my body flow with the current. I felt like a seal, lolling around playfully with all the energy around me.

Of course, there were some sketchy moments too. After paddling over to Backdoor side, I found myself woefully out of position, sitting too far in as a set approached. Several of the waves broke way in front of me and I had to exert all kinds of energy to avoid those underwater plumes of turbulence, sometimes holding on to the reef as the wave passed over.

I got a few decent shots, but nothing exceptional. Just hope a couple of them come out.

After about an hour, I sprinted (exasperatingly) over to Chambers to look for Justin and Buddy. After the long paddle to the lineup, I finally found Justin. Buddy was nowhere to be found--I assumed he left early. By then, I had to leave, so I snapped a single shot of Justin from afar and swam in.

At the parking lot, I found Buddy’s truck parked right next to my car. Argh! I missed him once again. It was just one of those days that I zigged when they zagged.

More pictures on the way--still in the Nikonos

Aloha from Paradise,