Tuesday, February 23, 2010

If Donkeys Could Fly, The North Shore Would Be An Airport – Bumper sticker in Haleiwa, Hawaii.

The north shore was firing yesterday.  Not the 20 foot faces of two weeks ago, but respectable nonetheless.  Head to 1.5 times + on the larger sets.  The Pipeline Pro body board contest was being held so the line up was just west of backdoor.  Conditions were pretty good; fair shape with very light winds and not a big crowd factor.  A lot of guys in the water had their own personal videographer and/or still photographer to document their rides and bravado.  You could tell because when they came in the first thing they did was check in with the video cam guys for a quick preview. 

Some solid waves, some great rides and some broken boards.  Check out the two tube riding sequences!  After a couple of hours or so the winds came up and conditions deteriorated rapidly.  Soon there was no one out so we traveled on down the road to Waimea.  It wasn’t breaking so no one was out, but the shore break was packed with body surfers risking life and limb in ridiculously large waves breaking in ridiculously shallow water; not a healthy combo. 

Karen and I were hungry so we pushed on to Haleiwa for grinds.  Had a humongous sandwich at a deli and shared the lanai with a feral chicken that loudly demanded to be fed despite the signs all over the place pleading with customers not to feed them.  Guess chickens can’t read; or they don’t care.

After lunch we went over to Haleiwa park to see what was happening there.  About 15 guys out, shoulder to head high and fair to good shape.  Very inconsistent but looked fun.  Two or three local guys were snagging most of the waves.  (Last four photos)

The swell is supposed to come up tonight, be large on Tuesday, drop back to today’s levels and then pick up again.  Have a great day.

Just checked the local breaks and we have waves.  The reef at Lanikai is reported to be double overhead.  I’m sticking around here.



Saturday, February 20, 2010

Where Is The Last Place You Would Look for a Surfboard?

Longs Drug Store in Kailua you say? You win.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone



At the far north end of Kailua Bay is a reef/point break known as Castles. Locals tell me that can get shoulder high with the right swell but today it is ankle to maybe knee high. Sunny and hot with a water temp of about 75.

About a dozen people out. All for now; all this activity has worn me out. Have to go find some shade for a well deserved nap.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Kailuana Pl,Kailua,United States

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

West Side Story

Seemed like a good day to make the trek to the west side and check out what was going on at Makaha.  I'd never been there before but grew up hearing about and looking at photos in surf mags of contests held there in the 60's, so this was a surf pilgrimage for me.

Didn't know it at the time but the 34th Annual Buffalo's Big Board Contest was being held there today (all week long actually).  Organized by Buffalo Keaulana, this contest is all about "old school" maneuvers like the "dead cockroach", the "coffin", the "allen wrench" and "scooter boy".  Big  boards only; the bigger the better.  We arrived in time for the legends heat in which Buffalo himself was a contestant.

The waves were pretty small so the famous Makaha "launch" on the inside was sort of tame; but you could see how it could get pretty radical with some size.  In between heats there was an event that I have never witnessed, tandem boogie boarding!  Looked like an oversized boogie board and two riders doing tricks and everything.  Was very hot so we didn't linger but headed up the coast to the end of the road, ate our peanut butter and j sandwiches and headed back to Kailua.  

Fun day and great to see the west side and Makaha.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cheeseburger in Pair o Dice

Moderate trades this morning but the sun is out after a day of rain yesterday. Waves here on the windward side are about 3-4 ft best I can tell through binoculars. No body out here in Kailua. Bay is filled with kite and wind surfers North shore still has some size but we're staying close to home today.

I see from the CA reports that you have some waves today and that the Maverick's contest is on.

Have a good one and say hi to Jen for me when you see her tonight.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Mokulua Dr,Kailua,United States

Thursday, February 11, 2010

High Surf Alert!

Spent the day at the north shore yesterday.  Had heard, and the surf reports confirmed, that it was going to be an epic day.  Predictions of 20-25 ft faces; the entire north shore was under a high surf alert.  And they weren't kidding.  Besides the Mavericks contest I saw in 2006, these were some of the biggest, meanest waves I can remember.

We came around from the windward side of the island so we hit Sunset first.  There was an SUP contest going on; was a zoo so we didn't stop.  But as we drove by I took a quick look (only a quick look, didn't want to hit any of the tourists getting off the Roberts of Hawaii buses and shuffling across the Kam highway like there was a crosswalk or something) and the hair on the back of my neck stood up.  It was big.  Really big.

About a quarter mile on down the road I started looking for a parking spot for Pipeline but it seems that the entire island had taken the day off the either surf or spectate.  Throw in the tourist vans and buses and it starts to be a real crowd.  Think Del Mar in the summer and multiply it by 10 and you would be getting close.

I was starting to worry that I wouldn't find a spot to pull over when, just like that, a parking space appeared; right in front of Pipeline.  Perfect parallel parking job and I was out of the Jeep fumbling around trying to get my camera set up together.  Karen was getting the food, water and sunblock supplies ready.  We know from experience that this place has a weird hypnotizing effect; once there it is really, really hard to leave.  One more set, becomes one more set, becomes one more set and so on.

Pipe was enormous.  The sets were breaking on the third reef.  Some guys were out there but too far away for photos.  The primo line up area was very small due to the westerly swell direction and the pack was tight and crowded.  When the waves hit the reef on the inside they jacked up to 20 feet and 25 feet on the sets.  It was freakin' incredible that anyone was even out.  But out they were and getting some insane rides and taking some horrible wipeouts.

Lots of broken boards and at least 3 rescues while we were there.  No bullshit lifeguards either.  They were yelling at people over their PA system.  Yelling survival tips to folks separated from their boards caught in the rip getting sucked over to Sunset.  When that failed (and it did) they would fire up the jet ski and blast off to save them with the tow sled.  Once they got them back to shore they got a not too friendly lecture suggesting that perhaps they shouldn't be in the water at all;  all very loud and very public.  Very humiliating, but I'm pretty sure that is what they were going for.

We finally decided that we were more hungry than we could bear so we headed off the Haleiwa for some lunch.  But between Pipeline and there is Waimea and once again we found a great parking spot.  Not as wild and crazy in the water as Pipeline but just as big.  Funny, when I think of big wave riders I think of guys built like Laird Hamilton.  So, I found it a bit weird to see regular guys launching them selves into the shorebreak to get out into the Waimea lineup.  Waves were inconsistent so the waves were really crowded when the sets rolled through.

Lifeguards were on the PA here too; telling tourists not to go in the water at all.  Don't even think about it.  Go to another side of the island if you water to get wet.  Good advice but I wondered why they even had to tell people that.  I mean the shorebreak was ten feet breaking right on the sand!

It was a good day and after lunch we head back to Pipeline for a couple of parting shots.  It was a great, great day.  Hope you enjoy the photos as much as I did taking them.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday in Kailua Town

The trades are howling, the humpbacks are breeching offshore and the surf has disappeared (here at least).  Spent the day checking out Kailua town and environs.  It's not very big so it didn't take that long.

Strip malls with all the usual suspects, a bowling alley and the back side of town with car repair shops, storage units and a wildlife sanctuary (Hamakua Marsh) with birds, fish and an errant soccer ball.

Searched around for Coconut Grove Music Company.  Finally found it in a building they share with Hungry Ear Record store.  CGMC is a small store but I was searching for a ukulele lesson, not an instrument.  Got hooked up with Harry Koizumi for a lesson on Thursday; looking forward to it.

Word on the street is that the north shore is going to be 25-30 feet on Wednesday; definitely going to head over there to see that!

Have a good one.