Sharing -- 9/22/02
After a dismal summer of surf, we finally were expecting a decent south. However, it was to coincide with a northwest swell. Why couldn't they happen on different weekends?
Deciding where to surf was absolutely tortuous. I just didn't know where to go.
What to ride was a different story. My foot was still on the heal from last weekend's slice. So I figured a bodyboard would be the best way to go.
Taking that into account, I then figured that I should surf somewhere more conducive to the sponge. At least that made the potential surf spot choices a little less.
I didn't decide where to surf until I was 10 miles from my home. Rather than fight the crowds, I decided to go neither north nor south. I headed west.
On the way out, the waves didn't look too promising. As Buddy said, the Westside is like that, typically cutting down swell size and regularly being inexplicably inconsistent. But if you are patient, you can reap some great rewards.
When I got to my chosen destination, I was disappointed to find it pretty small and funky. I guess I must've seen something out there, because I made the decision to jump in and give it a shot. (The "Tube Troll" was in his van, but he decided to pass.)
It was fun, but not epic. Surf was just overhead and had really open faces. A couple of dolphins swam fairly close by, scaring me at first, then reassuring me with their presence. The notoriously shallow inside reefs were pretty inconspicuous in the early morning light and didn't really play into takeoff decisions.
Soon, a couple of bodyboarding ladies came out to join me. They charged, but weren't aggressive.
Eventually, some surfers joined us, filling up the lineup. It was pretty busy, especially with the inconsistent sets. However, everyone was cool to each other and took turns. The vibe was really good.
After a while, I decided that the surf wasn't really worth it. Figured I'd cut my losses and look for Buddy and Rich down the coast. So I caught one in and walked to my car. Of course, there was Rich, talking story to the lifeguards and Buddy waxing up.
Took me all of five seconds to decide to jump back in. Buddy got my early morning phone report and figured correctly that I found some surf at the spot (which is out of cell phone range). So they decided to follow my lead.
No sooner than we went out when the surf started turning on. It was still inconsistent, but the size improved markedly, possibly because the tide was dropping close to 0. We had a great time sharing waves, going for the longer lefts and decent rights.
On one wave, I took off deep with a surfer on my shoulder. Managed to whip around him, but he decided to drop in and stall. I knew he was behind me so I gave him a wide berth and rode on the shoulder, still pretty much in the hook.
I remember seeing a surfer sitting on the beach yelling, doing a sort of "aw shucks" expression, so I turned but saw no one behind me. Cut out just before the shorebreak.
Paddling back out, I saw the guy gather his board and just sit on it, seemingly waiting for me. Not the first time someone dropped in on me then hassled me for it, I thought, as I paddled straight for him.
Instead, the guy, an obvious local boy, got all excited and was stoked that we shared the barrel. Apparently, he was tucked really deep behind me for a very long time while we rode in tandem. Finally, a section snapped shut and he went down (the guy on the beach must've been reacting to that).
He went back to the lineup and told everyone about the wave. I was stoked that he was stoked and everything was good.
Buddy was all burnt out from a marathon five hour session the day before, so he wasn't on top of his game. Of course, he got a few nice ones, but got burned on a few too.
Rich was Bad Luck Shleprock out there. Whenever he sat outside, the surf dribbled in. When he went inside, the sets would come. The crew in the lineup eventually told him to stay inside so that we could catch the sets, and Rich agreed to it. Thanks, bro!
My memorable wave was actually more a wipeout. Caught a really nice, super glassy left that had a wide open face that I s-turned on. On the inside, I passed over a backwash wave, which then revealed a ramp on the shorebreak. I flattened the board, releasing and gaining speed, then aimed for the ramp. Unfortunately, it was one of those lips that only looked good. When I connected, I had no projection whatsoever, and I was essentially stuck right on top of the lip looking five feet down to a nearly exposed reef.
All I could do was flat dive, miraculously coming through unscathed. It looked like there was only six inches of water, but must have been at least a couple of feet deep. Whew!
Towards the end I got a bit frustrated from some riders wanting to "share" waves with me, but I had gotten my fair share. I went in pretty satisfied and happy.
A bodyboarder splashes into one
Aloha from Paradise,