Home in the Islands -- 3/2/97

Came home from Spain on 2/18/97, but didn't get a chance to go out till this weekend. Surf's been good, but I've been busy.

Dawned it on Sunday to the North Shore with Jerry. Forecast wasn’t looking good, so we went with low expectations.

After charging up to the beach park, we were greeted by... small surf. It was maybe 2-3' and a bit sideshore, with a bunch of surfers already in the water.

Although it got crowded, we managed a decent session, as the surf tried to improve through the morning.

Jerry got his first in-and-out barrel, going left on a head-high Pipe wave. He doesn't even have a full year of serious bodyboarding under his belt, and already he gets a dry tube. I felt like a proud dad who taught his son how to throw a baseball. Still, all the effort and enthusiasm contributing to his rapid improvement has come from within.

As for myself, initially, I really was bummed by the lack of size of the waves. However, the surf tried to improve as the morning progressed, and it eventually turned out to be a decent session.

I complimented this guy who did a nice reverse-spin on the lip, and he came back talking in broken English with a Spanish twang. His name was Angel from Puerto Rico, and he was living his dream of surfing in Hawaii. Angel was already stoked by it all, and the waves weren't even big yet. Boy, he’s going to be ecstatic when it really goes off.

I caught a couple really good rides. On one, I got a fairly long tube at Backdoor, and popped a "small-kine" air on the end, with Angel on the shoulder, smiling. Nice to get a good wave; nicer to get a good one in front of a friend. :)

Unfortunately, later on, I got caught in the pit at Backdoor on a three-and-a-half foot set. Bailed my board on all three waves, with wave #3 snapping my new Gyroll leash in half. Went the last hour without a leash--took some getting used to, but no biggie.

A few drop-ins brought me back to the reality of surfing in paradise. It can really ruin your session if you let it. I chose to try and ignore, but you know how hard that is.

I did catch an insane trench afterwards. I kinda thought a set was about to come in near Aints (the peak between Pipe and OTW), so I drifted over. Sure enough, a nice set ledged up, with no one but me in position. I think I went for wave #2. Easy takeoff going left, then the wave just started to pit as it rolled over the Backdoor reef. I knew I was going to get deep, and was anticipating an awesome ride.

Then I did a stupid thing--I stalled. I must've dug a rail, because the next thing I knew, I was tumbling in the soup. I remember doing the exact same thing on a good day at "Dog Beach" in San Diego. I wanted to beat myself with a stick. Gotta repeat the mantra, "My name is NOT Mike Stewart, my name is NOT Mike Stewart." I was left standing on the Backdoor reef in thigh-deep water (yikes!).

Came in fully satisfied after three hours. Jerry only caught six decent ones, but he was stoked over the tube. I got a great workout burn, and some memorable rides. Hawaii no ka oi (Hawaii is #1)!

Aloha from Paradise,