Who Knows Whys -- 6/7/97

Whys. File Photo

Throughout the week, there were rumors of a major south swell hitting the islands. Hopefully, the waves would hold out through the weekend, so that this weekend warrior could try out his new board and partake in the residual scraps.

However as the days rolled by, the swell failed to fully materialize. The waves peaked on Thursday, with Diamond Head running in the 2-4í plus range, a far cry from the predicted 4-6í surf.

I decided to give my friend Doug a call to see if he wanted to hook up on my Saturday dawn patrol. Doug is the resident Makaha Point bodysurfer who likes it big (as in 15í) and round (as in closeout barrels). We decided to check out this non-marquee spot, Iíll call Whyís, hoping that it might still be picking up the fading SSE swell.

On Saturday morning, I awoke at 4:29 am, exactly one minute before my alarm. My anticipation to surf mustíve overflowed into my subconsciousness! The dreams could wait; "was time foí surf!"

Driving out there after 5 am, there was very little sign of any wave action. Just as I was starting to think that we were going to get skunked, I saw a shoulder-high wave breaking a few miles before our destination. A glimmer of hope.

When I pulled up to the spot, what I saw immediately became intimately etched in my mind. There were three guys standing on the sandbar, checking out the action in the blue/gray darkness of dawn. A beautiful, empty A-frame peeled outside symmetrically in both directions all the way to the sandy shore. "Why werenít they out there?!?" I screamed in my mind as I scrambled to park my car and prep up.

The funny thing was that for miles around there werenít waves even half as big as this one. This peak was some sort of anomaly--a single happening spot, an oasis in a desert of flatness.

Doug arrived a bit later, and we charged into the warm water. I was in aggro mode, catching a lot of waves despite the light-to-moderate crowd. Doug took a more laid back approach, patiently waiting for some of the bigger sets.

Most waves were head-high, with some bigger ones. There were a few long lulls, but they were usually followed by a series of nice sets. The lefts were lining up well, with a long, workable ride to the inside shorebreak. The rights started off a little mushy, but got exciting when it hit the inside reef, contorting into beautiful cylinders. The waves looked so pretty, that I didnít even realize there was a dangerous, craggy reef hidden only a few feet below.

The winds varied from stiff offshores to nearly dead calm. The sky was clear, and the rugged landscape was green from overnight showers. The water seemed especially lucid, with lots of blue and green hues to the horizon. It was truly a sight for sore eyes.

Doug did his magic, bodysurfing the waves despite a bit of grief by some of the surfers. He caught a few really wide open barrels going left. I donít know how he gets his speed--when I bodysurf, it feels like my body is attached to a parachute.

My new Custom X bodyboard worked really well, despite me not being familiar with it. It was a full inch shorter than my previous board, which makes a huge difference in performance (ask any woman... sorry, I couldnít resist!). Iíll just have to tweak my body english a bit to compensate. Performance should smooth out with more water time.

Also, my car key, which I had tied to my shorts, seemed to be getting in the way when I propped myself up in trimming position. Even the slightest distractions can sometimes wreak havoc on riding efficiency.

My best right was on a smallish, shoulder-high peak that pitched beautifully as it hit the inside reef. I got a nice view behind the shimmering curtain which eventually opened up, allowing for a clean, dry exit. Sweet!

I caught a lot of really long and fun lefts, doing mostly carves on the open face. I got one overhead set that I took off late on, swooped down into the hook and caught a glimpse of the cascading lip to my right. Down the line, the wall swung concave, giving me a nice berm to carve on. Took it to the beach, smiling from ear-to-ear all the way.

Wipeout of the sesh happened on a right that I rode too far. I was hoping for something to happen, but when I finally pulled out, the wave just didnít want to let me go. I ended up going over-the-falls and got compressed on the reef in a standing position. Both ankles were strained a bit, and I can still feel pockmark bruises on the bottoms of my feet (thank goodness for my Viper Fins cushioning the impact).

After nearly four hours of nonstop surfing, I finally decided to call it quits. My arms felt like lead, and I had caught cramps in three leg muscles, but I felt stoked just the same. This was easily the most satisfying session of the year for me, taking into account wave quality, vibe and performance. I dragged my old body and new board out of the water fully satiated.

So, who knows Whyís? Sorry, Iím not telling where it is. Everyone should keep searching for their own perfect wave. It may be just around the corner; it may materialize at your home break on the next swell. Anticipation and hope is what keeps us going, and the search is half the fun.

Not so happy ending. Upon reaching home, I found that the key that I tied to my shorts was gouging the deck of my brand new bodyboard. I now have nine "bullethole" patches on my deck. Oh well, at least the board is baptized. Thereís no reason to baby it now. Hello summer!

Aloha from Whyís,