Surfed out west on the 2nd of March and on the North Shore on the 6th. West was great. Daniel and I surfed a spot that we didn't catch all season. North was fun, and the sand bar doesn't look like it's going anywhere for a while. Spring is just around the corner. Hopefully, we still get a good amount of swell.
Yesterday, Daniel and I got off to an relatively late start to check the waves. The forecast called for obvious offshores, a negative low just after noon, and a slowly dropping swell veering more to the north. The day ended up being more memorable than I had anticipated. The waves were perfect, and some spots were so good, in fact, that all I did was take shots with my camera. I've grown addictive to lineup shots.
The 1st spot we checked was going off. No one was out, and the size was perfect. I managed to get a few shots until we decided to leave Spot #1 and head up the coast to Spot #2.
Spot #2 had some great moments. Again, no one was out, but a few guys in the distance looked ready to paddle out for a fun session. We decided to backtrack to see if some spots that we overlooked had some potential.
Sure enough, Spot #3 was really doing its thing. Perfect, shallow, 3-5 foot heavers just waiting for someone to pull in and get shacked. There were some gnarly benders that weren't rideable, but it wasn't anything that couldn't be dodged. Although, with that in mind, we headed back to Spot #1. (What a waste of time!)
Back at Spot #1, we could still see that the waves were good with nobody out. On the sand, ready to paddle out, were two guys we knew, Jimmy and Malu.
"Shoulda just went out here in the first place," Daniel said.
We suited up as fast as we could and headed out to the two-man lineup in perfect 2-4 foot drainers. I caught five unreal waves and decided to go in. I spotted a few spots up the coast within walking distance; I really wanted to get some shots.
The pictures I took came out really nice. I'm so happy to have shot epic pictures of the coastline I grew up surfing as a child with my dad. Be it summer or winter, the west side never disappoints.
Daniel and I had a great session yesterday on the west side. JB, Shannon, and Paul Benco were out in the lineup with us, as were some other surfers. The crowd fizzled down to just me, Shannon, and Daniel around 10am. We had it to ourselves for a little over an hour until all three of us decided to go in. The conditions were still clean as we left, and the waves were still going off. It kind of sickened me that we had to leave, but I had some business back home that I needed to take care of. But what a great day for waves. One of the more memorable sessions I've had at the spot.
Down the beach, a sick little shallow reef grinder was doing its thing. It's looks better than it really was. Although, some days, this right can go off. On this day, though, the tide was wrong for it.
To the south was a nice little setup that looked like it had some potential. It was definitely rideable, but some of the sets that came in were kind of big, and it wouldn't have been fun getting washed up onto the shallow reef on the inside.
And here's local boy JB on a bowler with Paul Benco wishing he had a water camera.
For some reason, the long period west-northwest swell that hit this past week favored some spots on the west side. Words cannot explain how good it was: super consistent, 2-4 feet, with some 5's and 6's on the outside, straight offshore winds, and bowling like a mutha!
Daniel and I got down to the west early. We checked a secret spot that was doing it's thing pretty well, but when the sets rolled in, it was suicide. Eight foot shallow water mutants would unload on the reef at times, so we decided that we'd check it some other time when the waves get smaller.
Earlier, we passed a spot on the way to the secret spot, and we spotted some keepers. So after the secret spot check, we headed back to the spot we saw. Sure enough, it was going off when we got there. Perfectly groomed waves, straight offshore winds from the north-northeast. It was kind of chilly, but that didn't stop us from paddling out.
As I sat in the lineup, it was the most crowded I had ever seen it; several Frenchies and Brazilians were waiting in line. Fifteen guys totaled the crowded takeoff zone, all playing the aggressive card as the sets rolled in. It wasn't too bad, though. Daniel and I had our fair share of gems. Check out the pictures. It was as good as it gets.
The secret, but for those who know, know.
Born-and-raised West Oahu local boy, Brian Pacheco, checking the secret spot as well. You know you're in the right place whenever you see him on the West Side.
Daniel and I surfed Five-O's today. It wasn't the best, but it was still fun. There was also ten guys out, so it was kind of hard to get the waves you wanted. I ended up paddling over to Uppers to dropknee a few rights. Around 10am the wind started to switch onshore. I took a shot of Marijuana's before we paddled out, and it's the only picture I have from today.
Daniel and I checked the west side yesterday and caught some really fun waves. The winds were swirling every which way when we first got there, but it ended up blowing straight offshore about an hour before we ended our session. Despite the weird winds, the waves were still really, really fun. No one was out either, something you can always count on out west. We got a bunch of barrels and some wedgy rights for a couple hours and went in when we saw a horde of surfers walking on the beach to paddle out. Another fun winter day in paradise.
A little texture from the wind when we first got there, but it was still barreling.
This shot was taken after we surfed it. The surfers are on the sand, about to score it with no one out.
It was a rainy and gloomy day yesterday at Off-the-Wall. The waves were pretty damn good for a short period, though. In the early morning, the winds were a light offshore, with a steel tint to the water surface because of the ominous clouds above. A could front coming from the west was slated to hit the island around late morning, and when it did hit it made for horrible conditions. Within the two hour perfection window, Daniel and I caught some great waves in the overhead range. We also got a chance to see legendary dropkneer Aka Lyman and his wife sitting in the lineup at Insanities. It was a fun session for the time being. I managed to snap a black and white shot during one of the rain lulls in what looks like a lonely bodyboarder scoring perfect and uncrowded Off-the-Wall. Trust me, it wasn't uncrowded, but it was pretty damn perfect.
Shanoah and I went for a morning session at a spot down at Mokuleia today. The winds were light, the sun was out, and the waves were pumping. I got a text from my friend, Ian telling me that the spot wasn't good at all. I had a feeling it was going to be good, so I trusted my instincts and convinced Shanoah to check it out instead of heading towards Sunset Beach. Sure enough, when we arrived at the spot, it was on: 3-5 feet, doubling up, and ramping! The only problem was that there was a river-rapid current. The negative low tide and the size of the swell was pulling water out to sea right at the takeoff zone. But that didn't stop us from paddling out. The waves were pretty consistent: sets came in every 2-3 minutes. The tide made for a super shallow inside bowl to ramp that had us pretty hesitant to hit the lip on the inside. But with the strong out-to-sea current, paddling back out was a cinch. Shanoah caught a few bombs from the outside shelf; I managed to do the same, but I also caught a few mean ones on the inside. When the bombs came in, the wave sucked up on the shelf with no mercy and created a massive double (sometimes triple) up. On the inside, the waves were more pronounced and punchy. For an hour we had it all to ourselves. After that hour, two surfers and a bodyboarder paddled out, now with more onshore wind texture, making the wave a little crumbly but still manageable. Ten minutes after the surfers and bodyboarders joined us, we headed in to go to work. Another great session in this unbelievable 2009/2010 winter season on Oahu. Lucky we live Hawaii.
Daniel and I were set on one spot this morning. There was no debate as to where we were going to surf, so we headed straight for Pua'ena Point in Haleiwa.
The swell had been huge the day before, and it had crossed our mind that the swell still might've been too big for P-Point. But when we saw arrived in Haleiwa, we could tell that it was going to be good. However, on first inspection, we noticed that the current was running like hell toward the channel. The negative tide created a powerful current over the reef, making for a lumpy and bumpy face.
Two surfers were on it before we got out. When we got out to the lineup, one of the surfers told us that with the tide coming up, the waves should get better. Sure enough, as the tide filled in and the trades picked up to groom the face of the wave perfectly, it not only got better, it got to be some of the best waves I've seen at inside Pua'ena in a long, long time. What's even better is that the two surfers went in.
Daniel and I had it to ourselves for a good half hour until a longboarder and his daughter came out. For some reason they were catching the lefts, and they weren't getting in the way of the rights. Daniel and I had a blast, again, swapping waves like the last session we had at Mokuleia two days before. An hour passed and the lineup got a tad more crowded, but nothing extreme. Satisfied with what we caught, we went in. Not bad for a day at the point; I haven't surfed it since last season.
Mokuleia: a fickle and desolate coastline that I like to call "The Other North Shore." When the right conditions fall into place, the whole Mokuleia coastline turns into a dream, and that's exactly how yesterday was.
The night before our session I checked out the regular forecasts: wind, buoys, tides, swell direction. It dawned on me that with the dropping swell and south-southwest winds, Off-the-Wall might have some fun ones in the early morning until the kona winds kicked in. Couple that with the tide dropping out in the morning hours, I was pretty excited to say the least.
Mato and Daniel picked me up just as the sun peered over the Ko'olau's, and we headed to Off-the-Wall. When we got there the wind was already howling from the south, with a little west gust thrown in. The waves were good, but it didn't look like the typical OTW that we were so accustomed to. The waves were heavily combed by the strong offshore wind, making it difficult for even a bodyboarder to catch. Backdoor had a few gems, but none really proved worth enough for us to make the paddle out. Plus, within the ten minutes of watching the surf, the wind had started to veer more west than south. I turned to Daniel and Mato and said, "You feel that wind? It's gotta be blowing offshore down at Moks." Mato, the driver, said, "Well, let's go check it. We don't have much time before you guys gotta work."
We sped off to Mokuleia, brainstorming on what spot would be good and where we should check out first. I was a little apprehensive about the size of the waves. Off-the-Wall was only about 2-3 feet, and my first thought was that Moks was going to be smaller. It was my first time burfing with Mato, so I didn't want to disappoint with my spot choice. I told her of a shallow left that we should check first, and with the dropping tide and southwest winds, it might actually be good.
We pulled up to the spot after twenty minutes of driving, and there it was: two to three and a half feet, straight offshore, sunny, crystal clear water, and no one around. I took a couple shots before I suited up, ran down the beach, and paddled out before Mato and Daniel. It was perfect. Not as big as it can handle, but still one of the best days I've seen at the spot. After several waves all to myself, Daniel and Mato finally made it out. We swapped off waves throughout the whole session, while Mato snapped some pics with her Canon Powershot in a $300 housing! (Bugga is expensive, ah?)
After a little over an hour with no one else but us out, two surfers jockeyed in at the peak to snag a few waves for themselves. Satisfied with the amount of waves we caught, we decided to go in. What a couple of lucky surfers. They probably had it all to themselves for the rest of the day after we went in.
Unknown surfer on a gem at Backdoor.
The spot we surfed at Mokuleia. Not one person out.
Today was amazing. Daniel and I checked Log Cabins early in the morning and the rights were roping. 2-4 feet and pretty damn perfect. I paddled out, snagged a few, then came back in. We got in the car, headed to Five-O's to see if it was good enough, but it wasn't, so we went to Ehukai. Again, firing! The sandbar was the best I seen it this winter. Daniel headed out to Ehukai, and I chanced OTW for a little while. OTW was really good, and kinda heavy. I caught some good waves at first until I got a bomb right on the head. Fricken wave made me paddle to Ehukai. So I burfed Ehukai sandbar for the remainder of the session, and good grief was it good. There was an unreal left breaking in front of the lifeguard tower. I caught so many waves that I lost count. So yeah, today was mean. The stretch from Log Cabins to Rocky Point was a full on skatepark. I surfed 3 spots in 4 hours. Go figure.
Close interval swell and strong trades have kept the waves on the North Shore mediocre at best. Yesterday was interesting, though. Daniel and I checked Log Cabins in the morning, and it was really good, and really heavy. I was willing to take some beatings, but Daniel wasn't up for it because his shoulder was kind of bothering him from a recent session at Pipe. So, we decided to check out a spot my friend Rio told us about.
Getting to the spot was sort of a mini adventure. To get to the spot we had to walk about half a mile after parking our car at a high theft area. We packed up all our belongings in our backpacks and starting walking. When we got to the spot it didn't look good at all. The potential was there, but the swell direction was too north. The wind and tide was cooperating, but that damn swell direction didn't make for an epic surf session. We decided to paddle out anyway.
The waves were 1-2 feet, super shallow, and actually a lot better than it looked from shore. There were some waves that would stand up and wedge for us to gain some speed, and I even boosted a little invert on the inside and caught a small barrel. The way the break is setup is pretty sick. The paddle out is not far at all, and the left follows a shallow and exposed reef shelf until petering out on a sandbar. We'll have to check it out on a solid 6 foot west-northwest swell; I bet it gets really good.
You'll probably look at the pictures and say to yourself, "Log Cabins looked better." Well, it was, but I don't regret being at the spot we ended up surfing. It was fun, and for the 2 hours we were there, not one person was around. I guess the North Shore still has "secret" spots. You just have to know where to look.
The half mile walk to the spot we surfed after ditching Log Cabins.
The spot has potential, but today wasn't that great. Maybe next time.
Holy moly! Guess what? I've decided to blast a new blog out of my poopshoot that will be dedicated to all the days I've been burfing! Yay! And what better way to start it off with a post about the west side goodies. Yup, the waves have been pumping non-stop this winter, and I have a good feeling it ain't over yet. With all the gigantic waves up north, I had to check west side, and I checked it religiously for a good two weeks. The two week checks were worth it because I burfed some of the best waves I have ever seen on that side of the island. Despite the shanties along indigent landscapes, the smell of trash and doodoo, and the occasional moke call-out, I managed to snap some shots to engrave what I believe has been the best winter on the west side since I've been alive. Yeah, a lot of old fogies can tell me otherwise, but these pics will do some justice.