Board-Eating Reef-- 12/15/02

Sponge about to get burned (Bud foto)

Date: December 15, 2002
Time: 0700-1000
Spot(s): The surfspot not known as "Stinky's"
Conditions: Light offshores (east winds), clear skies, just us guys
Swell: Massive WNW (buoy #1 at 20', 20 sec) closing most of the North Shore; decent wrap on the Westside
Surf: Very inconsistent 3-5' Haw'n

Words: Everytime we head out west, we make it a point to check out "Stinky's". However, it is such a rare wave, that we usually come up empty. After doing my usual zig-zagging along the coastline looking for the ideal spot, our crew found that "Stinky's" was happening. We were out there!

Rich brought a friend named Eddie, who tripped me out. This guy looked like a dark-skinned local, but when he opened his mouth, his words came with a thick Aussie accent. One of his parents was Australian, and the other from the Dominican Republic. He was on a sort of a walkabout, saving up for a year, then taking off to surf until the money runs out. Envious, but I know I'd never have the guts to do it.

The spot has one of the most treacherous I've seen. We've seen so many people pull up, board in hand and not go out, probably because they can't find a way in, or more importantly, a way out. Keeps the crowds to a minimum.

Indeed, we had it for the most part all to ourselves. And that was a good thing since the sets were very inconsistent. We typically waited 15-20 minutes between sets, with the in-between waves barely breaking on the inside.

I patiently waited outside and to the west for the bigger waves that came through. Although my wave count was low, the strategy paid off with bigger waves and longer rides. Had a blast on my bodyboard, just carving and trimming on the smooth, glassy walls.

Went in before the crew and took some shots from the beach (Buddy had already taken quite a few photos also). When the rest of the boys came in, we were tripping out on this lady who lost her board. Apparently, she had broken her leash and lost it once, but Makani saved it and returned it. However, guess she got caught inside, because she lost it again and it went straight into the shoreline rocks.

And this is no ordinary shoreline. It is made up of wickedly sharp lava/coral about six feet above sea level. The literally went under the shelf and disappeared. The lady and her friend was looking for it in between the cracks and crevices.

I decided to play good Samaritan and help out. Wouldn't you know it, I found it in the second hole I looked into. It was bobbing in and out of view in a hole that was 30-40 feet away from the shoreline. Waves surged into this hole making rescuing the board a death wish. She was pretty nonchalant about it all though--apparently her boyfriend is a shaper. Still, it's a bummer to lose a board (her second loss in a week).

Call it a sacrifice to the surf gods.


Checking the conditions


Closeout set




Buddy burning brother Rich

Me (Bud foto)

2 0f 2 from lead pic

"There it is!"

The board-eating reef

Me in the slot (Bud foto)

Rich from the water

Eddie from the water

Buddy from the water

Makani from the water


Aloha from Paradise,