"Talk about getting caught" -- 3/18/05

Me and Paulo had it to ourselves

Date: March 18, 2005
Time: 0615--0715, 0815--1015
Spot(s): Pipe, Himis
Conditions: Light trades
Swell: Huge (for me) nnw
Surf: 8-10+' Haw'n

Words: As I was stroking towards to north peak that was already pitching, I could only think back to the previous evening and my posturing. I had been talking to my friend Jimmy about big surf and he admitted that he hated getting caught inside. I told him that although I didn't like it either, there was always a sense of relief and (dare I say) satisfaction after surviving it. That was no consolation at the moment with a Pipe lip about to bear down on my head.

The swell was forecast to rise big time overnight. Buoy #1were hitting 10 ft, 17 seconds. Winds were fairly light. Going get good waves in the morning!

As always in the dark, the surf size was misleading. However, I was fairly confident that I could handle. Although I really don't have that much skill or guts, I've become pretty familiar with the Pipeline lineup--enough to be OK out there in some size.

Paddling out with me was Paulo Barcellos, former world bodyboarding champion. Always nice go out with someone who knows his stuff.

When I got to the lineup, I quickly realized that it was super hairy. The waves were big, no doubt. However, because the waves were coming in from the nnw, it made it that much more challenging. Waves were cresting out at Third Reef, backing off, then again pitching and rolling in from Second Reef, where it reared once again at the main reef. The extra northerly angle made the takeoff zone really tight

I managed to catch four waves, including one pretty good big wall. That wave that caught me wasn't so bad because it didn't break top-to-bottom. Still, it was too sketchy for me so I decided to come in after less than an hour.

Went over to Himi's where the surf looked more manageable in the deep water break. Decided to break out the fun gun. Didn't do so well out there because of the north push making the takeoff window very narrow. Should've gone to the outside peak, but didn't have the confidence.

Saw Kelly out there, just as I got caught inside big time. Thought there was someone behind me so rather than bail my board, I held on for dear life. The wave just thumped me and rolled me and pushed me maybe 100 yards inside. Decided to call it a day.

Boast too much and you get caught.

Aloha from Paradise,