Old School Crew -- 4/20/03

Travis on a small one

Date: April 20, 2003
Time: 0545--0900
Spot(s): Westside spot
Conditions: Fairly light winds, strengthening as the morning progressed; same with the crowd
Swell: Declining ssw swell
Surf: 2-4'+ Haw'n

Words: Always a tough decision for me to decide when to surf. I usually only get one session a week (typically Saturday or Sunday), and so I try to choose the day with the best conditions.

A ssw swell was forecast for the weekend, maxing out Saturday afternoon. Since I've been burned one too many time waiting for a new swell to mature, I decided to wait for Sunday morning. Bad call.

Expecting it to be well-overhead, I was a bit disappointed to see it maybe head-high in the predawn light. At least there wasn't too much people out on the Westside.

Ended up at a secret reef/sand beachbreak. Waves were funky, peaking all over the place and dumping uncharacteristically. At least the spot was fairly sheltered by the strong tradewinds.

Caught some tentative rides on my bodyboard by my lonesome, picking the more open waves. It wasn't as bad as I thought actually, with some decent juice.

Soon, a couple of guys came out to join me. One guy was John (aka "No Fin"), a paipo boarder who wore his trademark helmet. John told me that it was much better the day before, running 5-6' Haw'n even before the swell matured in the afternoon. I didn't have to know that.

The other guy was none other than Daniel Kaimi, one of the pioneers of bodyboarding. I actually had a good dialog with him (since I've been sponging nearly as long as he has), talking story about the good old days, when bodyboarding was just a pastime. He actually had some interesting comments on how hard it was for him to break into the lineups on the North Shore--how he had to prove himself, then the only bodyboarder, in every lineup.

As a kid, I used to marvel at Danny's antics at Pipe. He had this Surfer poster shot maybe in the early 80's that just blew me away (still have it somewhere). We laughed about the old equipment we used to ride, but acknowledged that we just made it work.

Soon, Travis, a fixture of this spot joined us. He charges like few people do at this fairly sketchy wave, using a minitank.

We had a good time sharing the inconsistent sets, although I admittedly was much less adept at reading and catching this wave.

Eventually, more people clogged up the lineup, the waves became less and less consistent, and the winds turned onshore. I knew it was time for me to leave.

Nice to hang with some old school guys, even if just for a little while. Maybe next time we can catch it at the swell peak.

Danny, one of the bodyboarding pioneers

John "Da Fin" on a paipo

Travis again, on a bigger one

Aloha from Paradise,