Where's Shroeder? -- 9/7/02

One of the locals snags a good one

Surf was on the rise. I was going to be in the water early. However, a friend of a friend was in town, so I tried hooking up--it was the cool thing to do. Shroeder was his name, and he was supposed to be a decent longboarder.

Drove past Lighthouse at around 5:30, and didn't really see it happening. Made a couple of calls to notify the crew, then went to the Hale Koa parking. Made the long trek to the water's edge near the Halekulani, and found the surf to be pretty dismal.

Called up Shroeder and woke the guy from a semi-drunken consciousness. It was obvious he wasn't up for a session, so I told him I'd call back around 8.

Drove back to Lighthouse and saw Jack walking down the path, so I rushed to get my gear together and made my way out to the lineup with him.

Jack, smiling for the camera

The surf was much better than expected, with some chunky, inconsistent peaks coming through. I was reminded just how tricky this wave was by the shifty peaks and sections, but again, that's what keeps the crowds down.

Eventually, Buddy came out too, along with a lot of the Diamond Head dawn patrol regulars. Fun lineup.

Buddy, coming back towards me

I know Buddy and Jack got their share of good stuff, but I wasn't really paying much attention to their rides. I was really focused on getting my wave count and improve my longboarding.

Managed to put in some decent turns on my board, tried stalling for some peaks on a few, and even got some tip time on the inside. Really felt good about my riding for a change.

Me, doing something (Bud foto)

It was after 8 when I decided I had better go in. While waiting for a wave to in one, I had several "exchanges" with this somewhat aggressive guy, but managed to get the better of him in the end.

When I got in, I found three messages on my cell from Shroeder, with the last saying that he was headed out to surf in front of his hotel. He didn't mention how he looked or where he was going, so I really had no way of identifying him.

I decided to chance it anyway and drove to the Hale Koa, paddling out in front of the Sheraton. It was pretty embarrassing for me, because this local boy really didn't know which peak was which. I finally asked one guy where I was and he said Paradise. So I knew Populars (where I thought Shroeder might be) was one more over to the east.

Don't think I've ever been out there before--maybe just once with no swell the day before I got married. The lineup was pretty thick with people of varying skills, all spread out over a wide area. There were the locals with the 11' boards sitting way outside (one guy even on a paddleboard), surf instructors in the middle with their clients, and beginners sprawled through the inside.

I positioned myself on the inside of the outside. Man, my usual long longboard was short relative to most people's rides out there. Also, their boards had really flat templates, making it much easier for them to catch waves out there. I was definitely pushing water and dragging with my firm rocker.

Nevertheless, I managed to get a few small waves out there. It was fun, but was a big downshift from the peaks at Lighthouse.

The only description I had gotten of Shroeder (a while back) was that he had long hair and no leash. I also figured he might be out with his girlfriend. However, once I was in the lineup, it was like finding a needle in a haystack. I did yell out his name on the inside, but there were no responses. So I just decided to surf.

A really long lull coincided with the end of the session. It sucked. I finally decided to paddle in and managed to snag a waist-high dribbler. Had a good workout making that long paddle back in.

It wasn't for a lack of effort that I couldn't hook up with Shroeder. But that's the way it goes sometimes. Anyway, I scored some good ones at Lighthouse and now I finally know the breaks outside Waikiki. Maybe next time I'll find Shroeder.

Aloha from Paradise,