"You so funny" -- 6/27/03

Sweet conditions

Date: June 27, 2003
Time: 0745--1045
Spot(s): Ala Moana Bowls
Conditions: Light-moderate offshore trades, mild crowd for Bowls
Swell: Weak southwesterly pulse
Surf: 1-3' Haw'n

Words: After last week's mega-swell there were high expectations (or hopes) that the next one would be similar to it. Well high expectations are not a good thing.

Despite the encouraging surf forecasts, when we saw that there was no swell registering on the southern buoys or the surf cams, we had to stubbornly resign ourselves to the fact that it wasn't going to be that good.

I had the day off on Friday, so I jumped at the opportunity to get whatever the swell had to offer. Tired of always going to Diamond Head, on a lark I decided to paddle out to Bowls, arguably the most coveted and competitive lineup on the South Shore. I hoped that I could catch the place between the dawn patrol crew and the afternoon crowd.

Indeed, the crowd was surprisingly light for Bowls. That was good. But for some reason, I could not for the life of me get up on my board. That was bad. It seemed like I was trying to relearn the press-up to my feet as I blew many takeoffs. I just couldn't figure it out. Think I've been surfing too many rights (regularfoot for me) and haven't gotten used to jacking backside takeoffs on the shortboard.

On one especially good looking wave I was all wobbling out as I tried to get up. In frustration, I proned the takeoff then stood up as the wave quickly flew away from me. In frustration, I kicked the board away, landing on my butt.

Jeannie Chesser saw the whole thing and offered some words of encouragement. In the end she told me, "Keep it up, Neal. You so funny." I had to laugh at myself.

Although it was quite inconsistent and I was wave-starved a lot by the regulars, along with some competent longboard-girls, I still had a decent time.

As is the case most of the time, one wave stood out above the rest. I was sitting inside and deep when a surprising east peak came through. Took off on a shoulder-high wave and just went full trim down the line backside with no drop-ins. The wave walled up really quickly and I instinctively grabbed the outside rail as I tried to maintain trim. Went through two really racy sections, but the third one peaked far down the line. To complicate things, a bodyboarder was paddling back out in front of the peak. I went for it, but the lip hit me in the butt and knocked me over my board, right in front of the bodyboarder. Fortunately, neither of us was damaged.

Tried to stay out as long as possible, but eventually a new crew came out, aggressive and hungry for waves. It was time to bail.

High expectations again led to a bit of disappointment, but I still tried to make the most of it. Having fun, catching one good ride and making someone laugh was good enough for me.

Aloha from Paradise,