Friday, January 29, 2016

1 29 16 morning call

One day of surfing clean 25s waves and I'm already spoiled.

The swell peaked during last night and the status of the ocean this morning was an absolute mess. At least compared to what it was yesterday morning when I had my sessions. Unless you're at Jaws or any outer reefs, the breaks closer to the shore do suffer from all the water that's been moved by a big consistent swell. Just like in life, no time to settle down is not a good thing.
So I couldn't find anything that pleased me, drove all the way to the other side (photos below), didn't like anything over there either (for different reasons though) and ended up doing a power hour of surfing with some friends at Paia Bay.

Paia Bay power hour rules (by yourself or with friends, doesn't matter): you try to catch as many waves as possible. A wave counts when you get on your feet and make the drop in control (wipeouts in the drop don't count). Whoever gets the most waves in 60 minutes wins. I find it a motivating way of surfing Paia Bay, which I consider one of the most difficult places to surf well on the island. The read is so challenging. I had results varying from 0 to over 20... it's totally random (just like the waves) and for sure the more you surf it, the better you get at it. Russ killed it yesterday, I scored a decent 5, but I had a new board to try and, believe it or not, I still know nothing about it after those 5 waves... will look for something better today.

As expected, a ton of photos from Jaws (two days ago at sunset and yesterday morning) flooded the internet. I started going through them, but then I realized I was never gonna end, so I stopped after I picked the first three. Sorry, time is a limited resource.

Let's start with Andrea Moeller, who was pretty happy to have survived the wipeout that is coming from above on this massive one. I'm glad someone tow surfed it. Photo by Erik Aeder.

This photo by Cuda Shots shows Jaws paddle-in pioneer Marcio Freire dropping into a massive left. I tried to imagine the vision and the feeling of a drop like that, but there's no way I can get close to what he's seeing/feeling. That's a good thing, I might have escaped a heart attack in front of the computer.

In this photo by John Bruder (congrats for making the blog!), what looks like Ian Walsh sets a lovely line to get barreled in that UPcoming section.

Enough Jaws photos for today, but it's with extreme pleasure that I post Jake Miller's video of it. That's when you have a better feeling of how it was. And it was like I was guessing yesterday. Tons of gnarly wipeouts due to waves too big/fast to be caught paddling. Kudos to all the surfers out there for trying. Brave and skilled, that's for sure. Enjoy the carnage.

Big and Mean- Jaws strikes again! January 27, 2016 by Xensr from Xensr on Vimeo.

A few shots from my west side trip. This guy demonstrates how to set the line for the barrel at the Bay: 1) turn at the bottom of a meaty one,

2) hit the breaks to be in the right spot when that lip is going to come down,

3) get barreled (he did and came out).

A few inside barrels from another spot.

Everyone looking into the belly of an empty one that swung wide.

Buoys show a downward trend and that is going to be the rule until Monday, but still plenty size in the water with Pauwela reading at 5am:
8.3ft @ 15s from 324° (NW)
4.1ft @ 11s from 327° (NW)

I normally don't surf Hookipa at that size (specially out of shape as I am!), so this is a case in which the buoys could help the planning. Provided I finish this post early enough, in fact, I could leave in the dark without the need to check it. Waiting for the light so you can check the webcams does offer other advantages though. We'll see what happens.

"How big is that?", I get asked many times. It's 8f 15s, what else do you want to know! You have to learn what that translates into your favorite scale (from the front, from the back, Hawaiian feet, Italian feet or whatever else) and into your particular spot to know the answer.
You guys know I like to measure wave faces with body parts, and often I find my measurements different from buddies sitting next to me on the guardrail looking at the same waves.
All those estimates are extremely personal and subjective. 8f 15s from 324 is objective and true for everyone. That's why I called the Surfline buoy link "the Bible". At least, that's my bible.

The Volcom Pipe Pro might start today. Watch that too so you'll know what Pipe looks like with whatever is showing at the Waimea buoy. The sunset even was run without a streaming broadcast instead.
Wind maps shows a solid NW fetch (swell on Monday).
The southern part also shows a small fetch that could awaken the south shore that has been dormant for the last week or so. It should get better tomorrow, I'll keep an eye on it.
MC2km map at noon shows variable winds, with possible onshore sea breezes. Much better earlier at dawn with offshore land breezes.

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