Always Learning -- 12/12/03

Buddy charging the peak

Date: December 12, 2003
Time: 0900 -- 1130
Spot(s): Himalayas
Conditions: Somewhat offshore, but choppy; only a couple other guys
Swell: Diminishing NNW
Surf: 4-8' Haw'n

Words: Ran down to the Pipeline Masters contest. Surf was big, although there was a big of morning sickness going on. Asked Bernie Baker if I could shoot from the water, but he sorta politely laughed at me. Pros with press passes only. Had to ask--never ventured, never gained.

Met up with SMSlavin, a regular on the bulletin board, who was in town freelance shooting the contest. Really cool guy.

Buddy arrived and we headed off to get some waves of our own. Laniakea didn't look too appetizing, but Himalayas had some potential. No one was out, but it looked manageable.

Buddy blasted right out to the outer peak, while I was on the inside, trying to catch the second peak on my shortboard. I had a hard time of it, especially since the north walls made the takeoff zone extremely narrow. But at least I was out there, learning about the currents and familiarizing myself with the takeoff spots.

Buddy was tagging some sweet ones from the outside peak. Couple of them reared up nicely, with a lot of cross-chop, but he negotiated it well on his 6'3".

I finally headed out there and tried catching some of the smaller outside sets. Dialed into a really nice double up. Chattering nose as I dropped down the face. Stabilized myself and did a slow backide bottom turn. Four nice, round turns across three bowl sections and over 100 yards later, I kicked out in jubilance on the very inside. All it takes is one good ride to make the session.

On my way inside, I got caught in a wicked rip that quickly took me outside of the Laniakea break. My arms were noodles, but I stroked calmly and continuously until I got back into the impact zone. Rode a wave prone and made my way to the beach.

Although my wave count was really low, I still had a great workout. More importantly, I learned a lot about the lineup out there and the "fun" currents. There's a lot to learn beyond just waveriding.