With the unrelenting winter surf season we've been having so far, it's been so odd to have subpar, small surf on the North Shore this week. As Saturday approached and I realized I still needed to tackle this week's new horizon, I panicked a little when I thought, where to go when it's 2-3 ft. and semi-sloppy?
The answer? Everywhere, of course!
I decided to jump in around Gas Chambers and just gradually make my way all the way down to Ke Iki (or until my arms fell off), surfing every possible peak and sandbar slab along the way. I figured that even if the waves weren't that great, at least the waterworld tour would be one major workout, and that it would be super fun to surf a bunch of different kinds of waves and see a bunch of different faces along the way.
Starting off at Gas Chambers, the sandbars did not disappoint! Between Gas Chambers and just before Pipe, there were countless crystal clear pockets of fun in the morning sun and the Goliathe Icon handled all of them (still need to get a leash, though!). It was definitely one of those days where I questioned the choice to ride vs. shoot, because conditions were just simply all you could ask for. Water and light visual overload!
I'm kind of kicking myself for bailing on that zone a little too soon as I headed down toward Pipeline and beyond because soon after I did, the clouds came out and an annoying northerly wind turned everything pretty ragged and ugly.
Still, I wanted to finish what I set out to do. So after realizing inconsistent but still occasionally spooky, sandless Backdoor and Off the Wall weren't worth it without a leash, I continued on down to Log Cabins. By this time it was even more ragged along with the usual coral head dodge to sketchy barrel (was hoping for draining sandbar barrels, no such luck).
After it started getting really windy, I realized I better just continue on down to Ke Iki and wrap things up because I was super gassed after almost 3 hours in the water. After finishing with a bang by getting pitted, flipped, then thumped in a dry sand/loose rock closeout, I suddenly realized I didn't think things through with the very long beach walk back to my car that I still had to make! Not complaining about the extra workout, though, and I managed to find some killer sea glass to add to the collection.
What a session! Some old spots surfed, but some new ones too. Unbelievable paddle + some confronting of fears in the form of paddling through some iffy zones I'd never attempted before but always been sketched out by (namely outside the rocks in between Logs and Ke Iki). I'm sure more than one lifeguard must have seen me making my way down the North Shore today and thought 'what is this mento up to??' No worry boys, I get 'um!
One thing that is interesting when bouncing from spot to spot like I did today is the different vibes you come across. Some spots were happy and relaxed with everyone all smiles. Other spots were somewhat clique-ish with no one really talking to each other, except within their own little huddles. I've noticed that stuff often starts with one or two people, and then it just permeates to everyone else and the lineup itself. Or it could have something to do with wave quality - everyone was happier at the firing sandbars haha. Regardless of why, one thing I wish for possibly more than any other out in the water is for people to simply be cool like family to each other, no matter who they are or aren't, what they're riding, etc. We're all out there for the same purpose and we all have that same stoke!
Thankfully I was constantly on the move in such a way that no one could touch mine!
(No camera with me this day, but conditions were pretty much a carbon copy of what you see below in this session from last year...)