Up early trawling around in the dusty cupboards of realsurf this has caught my eye, I think I have surfed 12ft maybe a touch bigger. I liked Nick's take on this, the wave you've chickened out of, as that is probably something we can all relate to. One of the most memorable and challenging surfs I have had you probably could not call it a surf as I did not catch a wave.
I was staying on the North Shore in Haleiwa in 95 and there was a huge swell the day before thanksgiving, I was poking around the north Shore marvelling at the these huge swells lighting up the outer reefs, I was driving past Laniakea and I pulled over to see my mate Kirk, him and his mates were getting ready to go out to a break called Himalayas about a km out, only a handful of guys surfed it back then. I watched them paddle out into this 20ft plus swell only to be washed back in 20 minutes later, they were pretty disappointed as it was first time that they had not made it out.
Later on that day I was still driving around looking when there they are again, getting ready to give it another go, so I stopped to annoy them as I do, figuring this is the closest that I am going for surf today.
Anyway Kirk being the smartass that he is, say's well are you just standing round or paddling out with us and adds that there is a brand new board I can borrow which if I break I have to pay 700us , stupidly I said yes.
The paddle out was pretty much I think as if you were going to surf big Laniakea, you jump into a rip and get sucked out, though there are these huge random lumps of whitewater you need to get through, then the rip starts pulling you towards Lani's which can best be described as a 15ft rip bowl!
This was easily one of the most terrifying moments of my life, we were paddling as hard as possible for the horizon to get out of the clutches of this rip that was pulling us towards this frothy barrel. Then all of a sudden we break free of it and we are in another world, I'm sitting out in deep water looking at a perfectly clean wave, it looked like back home, a perfect bank at Johana, cept' it was 20 to 25ft and 5 of us out. I looked at it and thought I think I can do this, so we paddled out to the take off area and they showed me all the landmarks to line up and I sat off to the side to watch and get a feel for it. I'd surfed with Kirk a bit over the years and thought he was a good surfer but nothing flash, my opinion changed when I saw him stall a 10ft pintail to tuck into a 25ft barrel.
So anyway after watching these guys slip cleanly into a few and make it look easy i decided to give it a go, so I paddled over and thought I would catch one on the shoulder first up and ease into it, small one came probably 18ft and paddled like buggery, I was in but being on the shoulder as it started to lift me to my right the bottom was dropping out of it and the lip was starting to throw, it was at that stage I had to make the choice of stand up and go or chicken out and steer it to the shoulder.
Relieved that I now new my limits I sat wide again and the sets started to get bigger and we were dodging a few, after a while it was decided to go in before we got caught. How do you get in? I honestly had not thought about that. Easy they said, you go down to the end of the wave and wait for a set, as soon as the last wave passes by you paddle as fast as you can into the impact zone and when the next set comes catch the white water, I did just that and it was exhilarating.
Next day I was was at a thanksgiving lunch and a few younger guys that are legends nowdays came up and said they had heard I went out the day before and what a gutsy effort, I pointed out that I was waveless, but they thought that just paddling out was lengendary
I still reckon it was more dumb. http://forum.realsurf.com/forum/downloa ... &mode=view