(Originally posted 11/2014)
I feel truly blessed to literally wake up to the ocean outside my bedroom window every single morning, and to call both the windward side and the north shore of O'ahu my daily playground. Especially since winter is here!
Lately I've been going through some personal "stuff" on several different fronts. Usually I'm a pretty resilient guy and it takes a lot for life to be able to snuff out my stoke, but the first part of this week did just that to me in a big way. I've been trying to plow through it all and just keep busy with work from home and out and about with my clients, but yesterday I decided I had enough of slaving away in front of that friggen computer and that I needed to get out there!
As I'm cruising over to the north shore I start thinking, 'Ummm where am I going?' The week's big swell was on its way down but still pumping, probably 6-10' Hawaiian, depending where you looked. That's still doable for me to shoot but it depends on the spot, especially with my knee still being somewhat on the mend from a pretty solid beatdown at Ke Iki a couple weeks back. Plus, I'm getting around by bus these days and had a backpack with me so it feels a little sketch just leaving that on the sand unattended if I'm not shooting close and within view. I hopped off the bus at Pipe to see 6-8' perfection and no sign of any water photographers out...hmmm! But still, the bag/beach thing, and there were just enough wide ones coming out of the north that made me feel like I'd get myself in trouble trying to shoot tight barrel shots with my GoPro, especially having one iffy knee. I was bummed, feeling like I needed something from the ocean to help calm the inner trouble, but it seemed like I wasn't gonna get it! I decided to walk down toward Ke Iki to check the scene, see what there was along the way, and maybe get lucky with a manageable little pocket.
Backdoor to Rockpiles was about as wild and unruly as you might expect at this size. As Ke Iki came into view...uhhhh yeah, aside from the quick mindsurf/shoot I had, that wasn't happening because I no like die! But as I passed Log Cabins I saw the wildest thing - some sand had filled in over the reef creating this insane hollow yet perfect little setup, like a shorebreak almost, and guys were getting pitted and spitted like crazy! Roll-ins from the reef right into fast track pits over the sand. Decision made instantly, we going bah, we going!!
Sadly, because of the wasted time on the misfire at Pipe, the long walk after that, and because I soon had to get going to a work appointment, I only had about 30-40 minutes to shoot. But man this was the salty cure the doctor ordered! Super productive and I think because it was so epic, so unique (pretty sure that sandbar is already gone), and the timing was so good, I felt like I found exactly what I needed for that particular moment in time of my life.
And I definitely captured some moments that will live forever in my memory and keep that stoked renewed!