Early Tubefest -- 2/3/02

One surfer icing another in the sweet conditions. Note "Wild Bill" with the mohawk helmet in the foreground.

Superbowl Sunday has traditionally been a good day to surf, since many people are prepping for the festivities. Although we had a small gathering planned at our house, I decided to make the most of it and get wet, at least for a little while.

Shot out to Pipeline, hoping for some remnants of a decent northwest swell. They were currently on hold there for the Women's Bodyboarding Championship, running concurrently with the World Bodysurfing Championship, so I knew the lineup would be busy.

Was the first one in the water at 6:30, and caught some really nice waves. A new wnw swell seemed to be pulsing slowly in, as the old north swell ebbed, making for a couple of fun peaks. The wind was just a whisper offshore, making for glassy conditions. It was good!

For the first hour, I had probably my best session of the winter. I was just scoring these beautiful tubes that wound down the reef. The surf was about three-to-four feet Haw'n. The waves were such that you could take off and stall back into the tube, then just sit in the pit until it opened up. It was beautiful.

After a while, the waves kind of blurred into each other. I did remember the biggest wave I took off on--was fortunate enough to be outside when a five footer came through. Took off late, made a very conservative, wide bottom turn around a big barrel, went around and onto the wall. And I remember one Backdoor wave that lined up perfectly, bowling slowly to the inside. Didn't get barreled, but I know I was in the hook the whole way.

There were a bunch of bodysurfers out, practicing for their upcoming event. Also a whole slew of Japanese nationals were meekly working the lineup, except for one guy who was charging (probably Takayuki Wakita).

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. With the building crowd, and a shift in the peak location, on the second half of the session I found myself frustrated. Ended up catching very few waves, and the ones I did catch were closeouts, or short rides. Went in a bit frustrated, but happy that I got my share early in the morn.

Saw a few bodysurfers checking the lineup so I started talking story. Found out that they (Arman and Hal) knew Tom "Santa" Keener and Rick "#9" Ciaccio, both of alt.surfing fame. I must say, on the average, bodysurfers are some of the most soulful waveriders around. They didn't complain about the contest mishandlings of the previous day or the smallish surf--they were just stoked to be in the Islands. Especially enthused was "Wild Bill" who bodysurfs at San Francisco's frigid Ocean Beach.

Went home and watched the Patriots start off fast, finish slow, but still beat the Rams. Guess getting a quick start is not necessarily a bad thing.

Aloha from Paradise,