Pointed Out at Panics -- 4/20/02

The little bowl at Panics

As we make our way into summer, the attention is slowly shifting away from the Country and into Town. South swells have already started to trickle in, with more frequent and more intense ones to come.

I had Friday off and had to bring my ultracool minivan surfmobile to the shop. A small south was still ebbing in Town, so I decided to get wet. I was too busy for the rest of the weekend, so I knew I had to get it while I could.

After dropping off the car, I hoofed it about a half-mile to Point Panic, my old stomping grounds. Panics is a little surfboard-free oasis for the town masses. Recently (1993), they also restricted bodyboards from the lineup. I knew of this before going there (I was in the water when the sign was erected), but I also knew that many boardriders still frequented the spot.

Didn't want to cause any grief, but at the same time, I didn't think people would mind. I decided to jump in the water and catch the very inferior lefts out there, leaving the rights open to the bodysurfers.

The initial lineup consisted of one bodysurfer, two bodyboarders and two surfers on the rights. I immediately went to the lefts and caught some smooth, shoulder high rollers that warped weakly and shut down just before the rock wall. It sucked, but at least I was getting wet and getting some PT.

Eventually, a couple of bodysurfers joined in, and I believe they called out the surfers and bodyboarders who were sitting on the righthand peak. They must've told them to leave because within a 15 minute span, all of them had left the lineup.

That left just me on my sponge, the lone boardrider sitting 20 yards away on the lefthand peak that no one wanted. Unfortunately, it wasn't going to last for long.

After catching a weak one to the inside, I was called out by some guys on the rocks. My guess is that they were off-duty firemen, but I couldn't be sure. I also wasn't sure what exactly they said, but from their demeanor, I knew they wanted me to leave the water.

It's not like I was getting in the way of the bodysurfers, but I half-understood why they wanted the lineup clear of board riders. If other people were to check out the lineup, they might think that it was OK to ride their boards out there. I have mixed feelings about this, but in the end, I respected the need for bodysurfers to have at least one place in Town to call their own.

Still, it was a bummer for me because I wanted to put in more water time. I slowly and reluctantly paddled in and got out. Such is life, surfing in the city.

Aloha from Paradise,