Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ua he`e nalu `o Sue

No new pictures to post, so I'll consolidate all the boring surf stuff into one article.


Monday morning I was scheduled to meet Ken and Greg for dawn patrol down at Canoes. For the first time in my life I missed a scheduled DP session. I woke up around 7:30 or so, way past time.

I still wanted to get out in the water, so after Sue was done working we put her on the surfboard and I took my boogie board and we paddled out to Inside Tonggs. We found a fairly secluded area and Sue caught the very first wave that came along! Okay, I gave her a little push, but I think she would have caught it anyway. It was a nice little left and she rode it a good ways. Hootah. We gradually worked our way out to the outside. Sue didn't catch anymore waves like the first one, but she paddled into a couple that were a bit bigger. It was a great morning to just be out in the surf and splashing around.

After our session we wandered into town, found some platelunch, and then made our way back along the beach. Sue collected some shells and bits of seaglass. By the evening we were both tired and sun-burnt, so we cooked up some marlin and had a quiet night at home.

Tuesday morning I was scheduled to meet Bruce and Greg for dawn patrol. I didn't oversleep this time. I got up and waxed the board while watching the grey outline of surf roll into Publics. I knew a swell was due today, but it obviously hadn't arrived. I climbed back into bed thinking I'd rather paddle out when the waves come up.

And come up they did. I watched Tonggs most of the day. Around 1:00 the first sets started arriving. They became more consistent as the afternoon wore on, but they were competing with a rising tide which worked against them. By 2:30 I decided it would be better to cope with the high tide and a lineup full of tourists, than to wait for better conditions and the pau hana crowd. It was a pretty good session. I was able to find a decent lineup marker and keep from drifting in between sets. I pooched one takeoff, but caught my fair share of waves. A good session, and a long one; I was out for about two hours.

Clay picked us up in the evening and we went downtown to Greg and Janice's condo for dinner and lots of geek conversation.

The swell is still holding, and is supposed to get bigger tomorrow. I'll probably paddle out in the next hour or so. And maybe we'll get Sue out for another surf lesson later on.
On edit: I paddled out for a two-hour session. The sets were nice, but inconsistent. I don't think Tonggs is catching the swell as well as some other breaks.

On Surf Heights
In one of the first posts I mentioned that wave heights here in Hawai`i now use 'Mainland' measurements. I've always thought that while having some standard measurement size is probably good for surf-forecasts, it would be better to have a different nomenclature for surf stories. If I say to someone that it was 6' that doesn't capture my mindset while I was out there. For some people 6' would be terrifying, for others not worth paddling out. I suggest we should use...
Chrispy's Subjective Wave Heights
  • Flat - Not worth paddling out
  • Small - Flat but I paddled out anyway
  • Fun - Just below my comfort zone
  • Perfect - Exactly the right size
  • Big - Above my comfort zone.
  • Huge - I really shouldn't have paddled out.
  • Out of Control - I didn't paddle out.
These heights translate easily from surfer to surfer, since we've all experienced them. If you tell a fellow surfer it was huge, they conjure a picture of huge in their heads which brings with it the context of the rest of the session.


Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, ALL Chris's buddies have told me that. I am now forced to agree that he can, in fact, surf. At least a little. I have seen him on no fewer than 5 waves now :-)

Cap'n Bob said...

Ummmmm, I wanted to add a wave height category:

"picked up by the helicopter"

hui nalu brah...