Winter is Here! 9/7/96

After casually dropping the fact that the North Shore came up overnight to my wife, I got permission to go bodyboarding. She really worries about me--love her.

Anyway, I got out there just before noon, and it seemed that everyone and their mother was out there. As they say in Hawaii, "had choke guys." The lot at Laniakea was just about full, and Chuns was a parking nightmare. Fortunately for me, Ehukai had a few stalls.

The surf was pretty good for this early in the season. It was about two-to-four, with the odd five footer grinding through at Pipe/Backdoor. The trades had already kicked in, but it was still fairly smooth. Because it was the first real swell, the ocean bottom wasn't well-groomed, causing a bit of warp and backwash. No complaints.

The vibe was exceptionally good that day. Since it was so early in the season, there were mostly locals in the lineup. People were bordering on being nice to each other.

Hooked up with a few of my bodyboarding friends: John-Kelly Hanoa, Lloyd Gaddis, Alex Kinimaka and (fellow net surfer) Joel Leo. They are all hardcore and they all rip.

Maybe it's just me, but I seem to be somewhat "standofish" when it comes to acknowledging friends in a lineup. With good friends (like the aforementioned), I'm not afraid to paddle over and give the full handshake and loud howzit.

However, for distant acquaintances, no more of a bat of an eyebrow is appropriate. It's not cool to be too loud, either. I guess in any lineup, everyone has to assert themselves on their own skills and merit and fend for themselves, if necessary.

I was told that the swell peaked on Friday evening, with six foot sets coming in. The direction was from the northwest, so Off-the-Wall was pretty much closing out. Backdoor was kinda shutting down too, but there were a few good ones to be had.

For myself, I got one memorable ride. Caught a small set wave at Pipe. As I dropped down, a small backwash chop took me airborne right in the pit. I'm not very good at lefts to begin with, and this little hop left me going zero miles-per-hour right in the hook. The wave went square, then shut me down. Wish I had a camera in my mind's eye. Even a wipeout can be a wave of the day (for me, that's the case quite often).

The Christmas season seems to be coming sooner every year in the department stores. If we have to deal with Santa Claus a bit early to start the winter surf season in Hawaii, then I say, "bring on Menehune Santa."

Mele Kalikimaka from Paradise,

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