Before the Helmet Incident -- 2/21/04

Don't get me wrong, it was nice

Date: February 21, 2004
Time: 0630 -- 0745
Spot(s): Pipe/Backdoor
Conditions: Light offshores; pre-contest crowd
Swell: medium WNW Surf: 3-5' Haw'n

Words: Work was about to go supernova. Knew this would be my last blast before some serious overtime, so I took the Saturday morning and cruised at the beach.

Dawned it at Pipe/Backdoor, where they were holding the Hansen's Energy Pro. Surf was much smaller than expected, but I wasn't really complaining. Jumped out on my bodyboard.

First wave was a nice little left where I found myself right in the hook. The buggah spat big time, pushing my hair into my face. Sweet!

The crowd quickly grew as people were trying to get their waves just in case the contest went on. Although the surf was pretty good, I thought it was a little too inconsistent for the contest. I was surprisingly nonaggressive in the busy crowd.

The rights at Backdoor was looking like they were starting to line up nicely. I remember looking for more of a wedging wave that didn't wall up shut down too quickly. Finally found one. The wave ended up walling perfectly and I got one of my best barrels of the winter. So stoked!

Came in and was surprised to find out that the contest was indeed on. Decided to jump in and shoot some stills from the water. That was when the incident of the injured surfer occurred. Read it in my story, "Wearing a Helmet." All the photos can be found in my Hansen's Photo page.

After coming in, I talked story with several people including Reid Inouye (contest director), Jodi Young (media mogul), Mano and Paulo (Brazilian bodyboarders), Mike Latronic (Board Stories owner) and WestOz (alt.surfer still in town). So nice taking my time on the beach to enjoy fellow surfers' company.

A couple hours later I left the beach invigorated with surf stoke. Can't wait for work to ease off so I can get back in the water. Until then, I'll have the memories of a fun, and eye-opening morning of surf.

Aloha from Paradise,