This weekend’s conditions at Diamond Head were like nothing I have ever seen before on the stand up paddle surfboard. It had been raining for days like cats and dogs. There was so much rain the trees were losing their weaker branches (so don’t park under any big trees). Also, the ocean was brown and dirty (so if you are a traditional surfer, have fun sitting in the murky water).
These days the south shore has been looking like a toilet bowl after a long night at a dance club. Sorry to be so graphic. The Ala Wai was full of debris, and there was even a 4o foot sailboat stuck on the reef at Ala Moana Bowls. After looking at all the surf spots on the south shore I decided to paddle out at Diamond Head. It was a solid three feet with 15 mile an hour winds. Nothing I haven’t stand up paddle surfed in before, though. If you ever see a guy stand up surfing in bad conditions it is probably me. I like getting out in the ocean in any type of weather. If it is windy and stormy, it is great for training. This weekend the waves were swirling in all directions, the wind was blowing down the beach, and the occasional 5 foot rogue wave would come in and blow you off the board.
What made today different from any other was the fact that I felt like the ocean could just gobble me up if it wanted to. It was heavy storm conditions with chop and set waves coming from everywhere. After I made it over a couple of breakers in the channel and paddled to the outside, I proceeded to fall off about three times and make it to some smoother water to the left of Cliffs. I stood there on my board doing my usual routine. I call it the 4 by 4 style, which sounds something like this in my head: “Two strokes on the left, two on the right.” The four by four — four by four. I repeat it and start the process of lumbering through the waves and chop to get where I need to go with out falling off. But stand up surfing in bad conditions takes all the mental concentration and physical ability you have. It takes wave knowledge, balance, and mind stamina to keep you on the board.
I made it to a spot where a few good surfers were sitting. I hadn’t fallen off in a while and the wind was easing. Just then, here it came: a five foot wind swell. Boom. I jumped off my board into the water. I held my paddle tight and got worked a little. When I came up my board was right in front of my face, upside down, fins by my neck. Another wave came a split second later. Boom. It hit the board, the board hit me, and I got worked a little. So, I came up and by a grace of god or angels the board only cut me a little in the arm. No biggie, but I felt very lucky.
Sitting there on the board and looking around at the conondrum of waves around me I realized the Ocean is the the boss and I am just an employee. I took the next wave in, surfed it all the way to the beach (something that only happens occasionally on a traditional surfboard, but happens all the time on a stand up). But since I am an employee of the ocean I decided to go back to work. The commute: ten minutes paddling with the wind down to the channel, then five minutes out the channel through the breakers. I proceeded left to the line up and then butta bing butta boom… Another five footer rogue set broke in front of me. I jumped off and took another wave in.
That was my surf trip. It took about one hour and fifteen minutes. My legs are sore, my arm is cut, but my mind in addicted to the sport.
I am offering you my waterman services as an employee of the ocean. My rates are fair and your experience will be priceless. I have a great office and the nicest staff in the world. My secretary, the dolphin, and assistant, the turtle, will be happy to assist you in making your stand-up surfing lesson or tour reservation.
Really, I’d be happy to take you out. Feel free to email me at [email protected] for more information.