SURF OBSERVATIONS
More the Merrier -- 7/19/97


Kohei getting burned at Jimmylands

Got word that a south swell was going to hit late Thursday. So I started assembling a small crew, hoping to catch the secret spot--Jimmylands--on Saturday morn. The swell was a bit late, arriving mid-day Friday, with the radio calling it 2-4í in Town from the SSW. It was looking good for the dawn patrol.

What was initially intended as an intimate session with a few friends became a block party of six of us--everyone who I asked agreed to come, and then some. It was great that we had a full crew, but I was a bit concerned about everyone getting their share of waves.

I really wanted to longboard the spot, but Iím between surfboards right now. Couldíve borrowed one, but I instead decided to pull out my new Custom X bodyboard (nicknamed Deep Blue) to carry me through the day. Turned out to be a good call.

Got up to the Taryn alarm again at 3:45 am... sooo early! Shot over to Town and picked up Kohei (my friend from Japan), who chose to surf on his 6í1". We made our way to Jimmylands parking lot, where we hooked up with my friend Russ, who I play basketball with. Russ used to surf in San Diego, but wanted to learn how to bodyboard, so I gave him one of my old ones to practice on.

Soon afterwards, my coworker Jimmy arrived, along with two friends of his own: Derek (a surfer) and Craig (a bodyboarder). We all geared up and walked single file into the darkness, headed toward the jump point. As we walked, we were treated to an insane moonset--the yellow orb was shrouded in a light haze of clouds as it slowly sank into the sea.

I named the surf spot after Jimmy, who was the first to recognize the spotís potential. Just recently, Jimmy was fishing in the area when he saw a hammerhead shark, maybe eight feet long, lurking just a few feet offshore. He kept fishing, but later on he saw the shark thrashing out of the water as it grappled with some-thing... at the very spot we paddle out from! It was food for thought as we continued our short hike in the darkness.

Soon, we were surprised to hear voices following us, as two more surfers joined our conga line. Man, it was going to be a full house at Jimmylands.

We all arrived at the lineup at about 5:40 am, and when we finally saw the surf, we werenít disappointed. The first break was looking really fun, with shoulder-high waves pulsing in. The wave would break a bit outside, then reform nicely on the inside. There seemed to be two peaks right next to each other, and the wave peeled both ways, with the rights looking a little better. The winds had slacked off a bit from the day beforeís 15-30 mphs, with offshores maybe getting up to 15 mph tops. We were on it!

All eight of us piled into this one spot, but surprisingly, there seemed to be enough waves to go around (I know I got my share). ;-) Jimmy, being the only goofy, snagged the empty lefts coming through. Craig and Derek quietly worked the rights. Russ stayed a bit further in, getting acquainted to riding waves prone. Kohei-san was charging the bigger sets. And I did my usual thing and sat outside to catch the waves early.


Craig trimming for the shoulder

We all were encouraging each other, having a great time. The other two surfers, who were regulars, were really cool about us flooding the lineup, and we connected with them well. It was a blast.

However, my attention kept wandering across the channel, looking for some sort of consistency in the peak out there. The other break seemed to be very moody that day, with the waves breaking all over the place and fading out like the swell angle was wrong. But I knew that the waves were bigger.

Kohei and I started paddling outside, trying to catch the first break on its initial pitch, but we werenít too successful. So we headed across the channel for a taste of the other peak, leaving the others behind.

There was considerably more power at that spot, being more exposed to a wider swell angle, with the wave cresting just a bit overhead. However, they were peaking all over the place, sometimes crumbling the wall heading into the channel. Kohei was having a rough time aligning himself to catch waves.

I wasnít doing all that great either, but I did manage to dial into a few beauties. Caught one righthander that pointed me right into the sunís rays, all but blinding me. However, it was a perfect wall, allowing me to "feel" my way through it, carving up and down on the face. Had to let out a scream to claim the wave (and let the other guys know I scored).

However, after continuously scrambling for peaks and punching through whitewater, we decided to head back to the other side. It wasnít worth the extra effort.

When we got back to the first break, the waves seemed to have gotten better, with the outside almost connecting all the way through. Didnít know it at the time, but the dropping tide mustíve played into the improvement.

The wave was definitely better suited for longboarding, but the occasional pitching lip did allow for some rollos and even a bit of tube time on my bodyboard. It reminded me of a soft day at Queens.

After over three hours of gorging ourselves on the waves, all of us were totally burned out. One by one, we trickled in, hauling ourselves up on the rocks, exhausted from the fun session.


Russ, emerging from the soup

Unfortunately, the day did not go by without incident. My friend Russ came out of the water with bloody toes from his new swimfins, along with a bad board rash on his stomach. I also had a bad rash on my stomach and nipples. Kohei was so tired from surfing all week, that he fell asleep on the rocks. He also forgot his swim trunks on my car and it blew off as we drove home. Craig (Jimmyís bodyboarding friend) lost a fin, and spent most of the day riding with just one outboard. And at the end of the session, Jimmy got run over by a surfer who proned right for his head. Derek (Jimmyís surfing friend) was the only one who came out unscathed. I know that everyone would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Sometimes a big crowd can ruin a surf session. But on this occasion, I think our crew enhanced it. Surfing with friends and sharing each others rides is what itís all about. Just donít drop in on MY wave! ;-)

Aloha from Paradise,
stickman


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