Members Only -- 8/16/03

Jimmy, smiling for the camera

Date: August 16, 2003
Time: 0530--0930
Spot(s): DHLH
Conditions: Medium sideshores and typical crowd
Swell: Small south with the ever-present tradewind wrap
Surf: 1-3' Haw'n

Words: The SPAWAR Surf Club is an informal group of acquaintances based in San Diego that share the common love of waveriding. Communication is mostly through group email (listserv), with the San Diego members having an occasional surf session or bonfire gathering.

There is a small Hawaiian contingent that enjoys the dialog and shares some aloha and stoke from the islands. Unfortunately, we don't get a chance to participate too often. But that was about to change.

In August, surf club founder John Feist (Code 2872) was in town on vacation and looking to catch a few waves. So fellow Code 290 engineers Jimmy Lam and I were "forced" to hook up with him.

John actually has strong ties with Hawaii, having lived here for many years prior to relocating to San Diego (he can even speak pidgin engish if he tries hard). I've dialoged a lot with John via email, but never met him in person. As for Jimmy, well we've had our share of surf adventures, but had not surfed together for quite some time. We all eagerly anticipated this session.

Unfortunately on the day we decided to surf the waves didn't cooperate. There was very little south swell to speak of, so the majority of the wave action was from choppy windswell. We decided to make the most of the situation by catching some of the peaks off of Diamond Head.

Surf there was about head-high on the sets with the typical crossed-swell action. I was out early with some of the other regulars and easily picked out Jimmy paddling out with his brightly colored jersey. The "more seasoned" guy with him I surmised was John.

We had a nice "talk story" session in the lineup, catching up on the latest happenings in Hawaii and San Diego--not too much shop-talk but more the surf scoops. It became quickly apparent that the passion for waveriding extends across the Pacific. But enough talk--we were all out there to snag a few waves.

Jimmy, a goofy (goofyfoot that is), was the most successful at getting into the waves on that day. He paddled his 9'0" into several sweet peaks, pearling on a few, but making most others. Even his fashion style didn't detract from his form.

John, being unfamiliar with the tricky lineup, had a more difficult time of it. When he got in tune with the motion of the ocean, he got a few good ones over the shallow reef with his Pope Bisect travel board.

As for me, well I wasn't really in prime form. A lifelong bodyboarder, I've committed this summer to finally learning how to ride a shortboard. The session was a bit frustrating, not being able to even get into many waves. But I managed a few fun ones both before and after their arrival. (A likely story!)

Unfortunately, the session had to be cut short since John had a plane to catch later that day. After saying our goodbyes Jimmy and John gingerly made their way over the inside reef and back inside. Although it was a short session, it was one full of stoke and camaraderie. Membership has its privileges.

Aloha from Paradise,