Feeling the Power Again -- 10/4/03

It felt good!

Date: October 4, 2003
Time: 0545--1000
Spot(s): Laniakea
Conditions: Calm winds with a big, but fairly cordial crowd
Swell: Declining NNW
Surf: 6-8' Haw'n

Words: The first big swell of the winter is always heralded with much anticipation. More so this winter, since the summer (after June) was so bad. So there was a definite buzz amongst the local surf community when the first solid winter swell arrived.

On Friday, I heard that the surf went ballistic to around 10' Hawaiian. One of my friends didn't even go in the water, and another went to Lani's and Sunset and got spanked at both places. So it was with great apprehension that I ventured out on Saturday.

I knew it was going to be somewhat on the decline, but at the same time, another swell was expected to arrive later that day. It takes a while for me before I get comfortable in bigger surf, so the pucker factor was high. I decided to ride my bodyboard since I knew I could handle bigger stuff with it. After venturing all the way to Sunset, I decided to backtrack and hit Laniakea, especially since the swell was predominantly from the NNW.

My first wave out there was quite memorable. I paddled to the middle peak and was the first to catch a wave that morning. Missed one wave, but it put me in prime position for the next swell. Took off on the peak and had this gloriously sweet drop. Trimmed for quite a while, but was met with a down the line peak. Rather than kick out, I decided to chance 'um and go full trim to try and make the section.

Wrong move. I thought it would back off, but it instead reared up and shut all the way down the line. I straightened out and remember counting for many seconds as I went out in the flats and waited to decelerate and have the whitewater gobble me up. The tumble was rough, but not too bad. All part of getting acclimated to the winter surf. Paddled back out with a smile on my face.

The rest of the day was a little better. Snagged some really fun ones, first working the middle peak, then venturing out to the inside of the outer peak. I even caught a really big left that was shaweet!

I got blasted a couple of times by sets that approached around eight feet Haw'n. This was actually a good thing because it helped rebuild my confidence. I actually found myself "bodysurfing" in the whitewater, maneuvering my body towards the surface.

The crowd eventually got a little ridiculous at around 60 people, but it was actually somewhat manageable. It seemed like everyone was still trying to get comfortable in the larger surf, and most everyone was cordial. So nice to get the feeling of power back again.

Aloha from Paradise,