Team uNRaD -- 8/24/97

Team uNRaD: Russ ("No, I'm not wearing a white t-shirt!"), Jimmy ("Check out my pecs!"), Neal ("That's love handles, brah!"), and Jerry ("I ALWAYS wear my wetsuit!")

Whenever I write, I always wonder how other people perceive my stories. I think that sometimes I make my sessions out to be religious experiences that have a profound impact on my existence (actually, on occasion they do). Other times, I think I overexaggerate wave and weather conditions or my own surfing prowess (I know I do this).

Well, this time, I wanted to give my crew the opportunity to describe the session or their favorite wave. This would serve two purposes: (1) by them describing the conditions, it would lend credence to my reports, and (2) since I always talk about how they surf, it'll give them a chance to bash my meager riding skills.

Background Information
Sunday dawn patrol to Town. Picked up Jimmy and Jerry, then met Russ at Suicides at 5:20 am. Jimmy had his 6'6", Jerry and Russ were on bodyboards, and I had my tank. Surf was in the chest-to-head high range, with a small southwest augmenting the windswell. There were increasing sideshores that kicked up a moderate chop as the morning progressed. It got pretty crowded towards the end, with maybe a dozen people, but there was a fairly good vibe throughout, so the stress factor was low. After three hours, we dragged our carcasses out of the water, exhausted but stoked.

Jerry (aka The Dues Payer)
Big smile on my face is still on my face, one day later. Got super tired, and body has a "good" kind of ache--which still aches one day later. "Sponge" needs to practice being more relaxed while posing on his longboard--he was kinda stiff and jerky at times :) ... Jimmy is a longboard natural, and Russ (for a beginner) was CHARGING. Another great session!!!

Russ (aka The Blind Mullet)
Arriving early and waiting for you guys was actually one of the best parts. I was there about 10 minutes laying on the table watching the stars & picking out constellations, vegetating and mellowing. I could see Diamond Head, the moon, several palm trees on both sides reaching towards the stars and Orion burning bright in the sky. It could have been framed. I couldn't see where the heck Suicides break was as it was so damn dark but was thinking, "Man, I can't believe I'm in Hawaii, this is the life, it's gonna be a good day."

Once out I couldn't figure out the break at first, was always too far west. Wasn't scared to go just couldn't catch the damn wave. Then I moved over, got some white water on the first few waves and realized how mellow the left was. Finally I caught a good one, pushed over the lip and shot down the face for a good long one! The Blind Mullet rides again!! After that the rides just improved. I started understanding how to grab the side of board and dig the edge into the face to trim down the line with more control. As it got more crowded I hesitate as I worry about dropping in on people (and vice versa). The first few folks out were cool but it started getting more competitive towards the end. I caught 3-4 rights just to check them out, not as long but also fun and not as much traffic.

I like your (Sponge's) (long)board. It appears to catch waves easy and you rode it well. Much as I'd like to dog you in the writeup aside from the occasional pearl/wipeout I've nothing to bag on. You even got up on Jimmy's short board something I could never do (board too short, me too tall). Like you, I was dead tired afterwards but felt good.

Jimmy (aka "I'd rather be fishing")
What was my best wave? In my mind, it was probably a ten footer barreling over me for ten seconds. Actually, I think the best wave was when I swapped boards with you (Sponge). I took off on a slightly above-shoulder high wave. With your 9 foot longboard, I stood up on the wave before it broke -- normally with my short board, I stand up in the white water.

The wave formed perfectly and had a nice LONG wall. I angled my board towards the critical section. Like a runaway freight train, I was zigzagging around the surfers as they stroked up the face. Wow, what an experience! Normally, I'm the surfer who's doing the stroking.

On one section of the wave, I rode my board up high on the wave and ran up to the nose to try a hang ten. Well, I got my left toe on the tip of the board but not quite ten. I wonder what that maneuver is called? Hang One? Hang Toe? Humm, maybe I just created a new maneuver.

Riding on the tip of the board as your gliding across the critical section is not so easy. It was too steep so I slid back to the back of the board. I rode the wave all the way to the inside section where I kicked out just before the wave collapsed. WHAT A RIDE!!!!!

Sponge (aka The Legend (in his own mind)
Everybody got their share of waves, especially during the first hour when we pretty much had the spot all to ourselves. Russ and Jerry caught a lot of long rides. Jimmy was kegging on his shortboard, but styling on my tank. I wiped out on "choke" rides for several reasons: I wasn't babying the new board as much, I was trying to see how critical a takeoff I (and the board) could handle, and I'm a kook to begin with, especially going backside!

My best wave was an ear-high set that I stroked into pretty early. Going backside, I stepped up to the nose and did my hood ornament pose, alternately riding on the face and the back of the wave. After three warpy sections, the fins broke loose a bit, causing me to slide laterally a bit down the face. Simultaneously, a section bowled up in front of me and took me out. I popped up laughing at myself.

Dawn patrols are great. Jerry smiles a lot. Russ can finally see where he's going. Jimmy should buy a longboard of his own. Sponge is a kook. You don't need big waves or a whole lot of skills to have fun--all you need is stoke and some good friends.

Aloha from Paradise,