Dis story stay choke long--da bugga get diarrhea of da mouth li'dat!
On Saturday, Dec. 16, the buoys were pinging at 15 feet, 17 seconds! A big one was on the way.
Didn't want to blow it (like last time) and get caught on the North Shore with good waves and no bodyboard. I decided to go out real early Sunday and check the beach park action--maybe get in a few before the Pipeline Masters started. I was praying it wasn't over eight feet--a hellman I ain't.
Pulled up before 5:30 (an hour before sunrise) and only needed one glance to make my decision. In the darkness, I could see one looooong white line. There were no peaks, no triangle of foam-- just one wall of whitewater frorm OTW to Pupukeas. I'm outta here!
Driving west, I decided to go home and grab my longboard. I figured the west side should be a lot smaller and more manageable. A longboard would be more practical for where I was going.
Pulled up at 7:00 at this mysto right point break. It's a very popular, world-class wave that peels forever and has wicked backwash on the inside. (If you don't know where this is, take up skateboarding--nah, just kidding!) It looked like it was about four feet and not too crowded, so I quickly changed and jumped in.
Getting into a wave is so easy on a longboard. However, since I bodyboard (and kick) most of the time, my upper body isn't as strong as it should be. When getting into some waves, I had to snap my legs to get over the edge. It might look dorky, but whatever works...
Since I'm not what you'd call a "regular" at this spot, I positioned myself near the inside peak, sitting as deep as possible. This allowed me to catch some great (albiet short) head-high lefts that came through. Everyone else was trying for the much longer rights.
The waves were pretty inconsistent, but seemed to be rising to about three-to-five, with an occasional six footer sneaking in. Some surfers were trying to surf the point, maybe fifty yards further out, but it wasn't quite connecting.
Most people were really friendly and easygoing, but there's always a few intimidators. One guy dropped in on me, then proceeded to bottom turn really deep, going right next to my rail. Another dropped in and cracked a turn right in front of me, spraying water right in my face. In both cases I didn't show any anger or aggression back, but at the same time, I didn't back down. Sometimes you have to call their bluff. It's cool. That's just the way it is.
I had one memorable wave in that session. Paddling over the first set, I found myself the only person in position for the next wave--a solid five footer. Wheeling it around, I took off a little late, but just jumped to my feet anyway. On takeoff, I unweighted from my board, but quickly regained control [probably just jumped on too high]. Next I did a deep, carving bottom turn, trailing my fingers in the water [probably was just bent way too far over]. Releasing my inside rail, I began to trim, sometimes losing edge on all nine feet [probably hit a small chop]. I did a excruciatingly slow roundhouse [that was probably closer to 90 degrees than 180 degrees]. Found myself too far on the shoulder, and the wave peetered out. It was a short ride by this break's standards, but still was good enough to give me a woody.
After a couple of hours, some of the head locals paddled out: Buffalo, Boxer and Bruce. I decided that it was a good time to paddle in, not because I was intimidated by them (which, in fact, I was), but because it dropped everyone in the lineup down one echelon. I went from the "trying hard in the main peak" group to the "play with the kids in the shorebreak" group. Anyway, I was satisfied (that comes with age, too).
Found out later that the North Shore was about six-to-ten with bigger sets and about 27 rescues. I made the right call.
They ran the Pipeline Masters and Sunny lost! His chances for a world title look very doubtful now. The rest of the contest should be finished off today (12/18). It's pretty exciting over there.
Aloha from Paradise,
Neal "Sponge" Miyake