Kneeds -- 1/23/04

Me at Jox

Date: January 23, 2004
Time: 0730 -- 0845, 0900 -- 1100
Spot(s): Pipeline/Backdoor and Jockos
Conditions: Mostly offshore turning onshore; good crowd
Swell: Fun WNW Surf: 3-4'+ Haw'n

Words: Hadn't surfed for many moons due to sickness. I couldn't wait to get wet. Bodyboarded for a little while at Pipe. It was smallish, but still a heckuva lot of fun.

One incident stood out though. Took off deep on a nice left peak that lined up nicely--was planning to head in on that wave. Unfortunately, a surfer on the shoulder (riding a Channel Islands surfboard) decided to take off in front of me. I gave him a fairly wide berth, but at the same time, I wanted to make the wave. He would've made a regular bottom turn, but he decided to fade it. I came right under him and took him out big time (sound familiar).

I knew right then that I had to paddle back out to "engage" the guy (for better or for worse, gotta deal with these sort of situations head on). I wasn't angry, but I knew that he might be, even though he was the one who caused the "intervention."

He was a bit put off, telling me that I should've called for the wave. Right then I confirmed that he wasn't a local. Although there is a lot of shouting at Pipe, there is no expectation among locals that the deep guy has got to call a wave.

So what do I say back? Well in my mind I'm thinking, "F*ck, you should look before you drop in on someone." But I've been through this before and antagonism is an absolute killbuzz for the surf stoke. So instead of saying what I really feel, I said, "Sorry."

After catching a few more, I left to hook up with the Budster at Jockos where it was looking pretty decent. Decided to shortboard out there for fun.

Found Jamie Ballenger of on the beach and we talked story for quite a while. Interesting guy--hope to one day interview him. Of course, in the back of my mind, I hoped that he would take some pictures of me, if for nothing else than to stroke my ego.

Conditions were slightly above my comfort level for lefts (my backside), but that was a good thing. It's always important to push yourself just a bit to keep progressing.

Despite being on his ultrathin shortboard amongst longboarders, Buddy tagged some of the best sets that came through. It was impressive that he could compete with the longer boards. But then again, on this day the crowd was really cool, bordering on friendly (the way it should be).

One guy who also impressed was this kneeboarder who was also catching some of the better ones. I finally struck up a conversation with him. Turns out he was from Canada, and regularly takes off four months of the year to surf. Sort of a loner type (as many kneeboarders are).

I was pretty much kooking out most of the time, wiping out on the takeoff and feeling a bit awkward even when I did manage to stand up. Still, I got a few fun ones that kept me going.

Winds eventually turned, deteriorating conditions substantially. Regardless, I got my share and had fun.

Later in the day, I checked out Jamie's site and was stoked to find a few sequences of my rides. Bought a couple just to prove that I can ride a shorter board. Hey, I have needs too!

Aloha from Paradise,