20 May 2011

Fickle (Pinetrees)

The north swell had come up overnight, so I surf-checked from the Hanalei Pier at the near end of the Bay.
Tiny waves near the pier were the province of kooks on softops...
...while the break closer to the point was packed, SUP-infested, and shallow.
Hoping for a repeat of yesterday's fun session, I drove on to Pinetrees. But like a playful kitten who suddenly extends her claws to scratch, the beachbreak had changed overnight into a more threatening beast. The increased swell transformed the break more than I'd expected, producing overhead waves that often closed out, with the occasional shoulder nugget for the lucky. And the offshore/sideshore wind was on it, creating a lot of chop. No longer a stranger to my rented board, I was confident enough to paddle out, but felt some trepidation once I'd ridden a marked ripcurrent out to the lineup. I'd forgotten to wipe the sunscreen from my legs and they were slippery on my board. The waves were heavy, the pitching closeouts a bit scary. Sitting too close to the rip, I found myself pulled too far out, and there was a steady drift to the west as well, so I was paddling constantly to maintain position. I paddled for a few waves, but they were moundy before they jacked up, and I couldn't get into them.

From the beach I'd seen a smaller left farther west near a creek mouth, but there'd been no one out so I'd picked the safety of numbers instead. Now I saw a couple people in the water there, so I decided to head in that direction. Partway, the water changed from blue-green to murky brown, and I could taste the mud as the the breeze blew spray in my face. I was far from anyone else, thinking the S-word: They attack in murky water. And wasn't Bethany Hamilton hit near here? (It was at Tunnels, up the road.) I turned my board around and paddled back to the first spot.
I was determined to get a ride, and forced myself to move in to be in position instead of a bit outside and safer from those overhead closeout bombs. A big left started to rise behind me and I committed to it, felt the wave catch me and popped up - only to be blown off the back by a gust of offshore wind. Damn. I thought then to try for some of the smaller inside waves, anything, but only managed to rise from the whitewater for some short and bumpy rides. Paddling back out for another attempt, a 7-foot closeout detonated in front of me. No one was near so I ditched my board and dove deep under it, but the infernal leash wrapped around my leg like a noose. When the wave caught my board and pulled it sharply shoreward, the leash tightened painfully around my calf. raising a large bruise. I called it a day and caught a belly-ride in. Standing in the shallows, I watched a hot-shot shortboarder on a fast right. He launched above the lip, grabbed his board, flipped upside down, and landed in boiling whitewater. Wow.

Kauai Ocean Explorer: North shores topping the surf heights in the 4-8' range. Easterly tradewinds have returned - expect choppy conditions at all East-exposed locations on N, E & S shores. Small S swell. Hanalei 3-6 ft. 10-20 kt. Surfline: SSE-SSW Southern Hemi swell mix set up knee-waist-chest high surf for the better south exposures. More NNW swell fill in with waist-shoulder-head high waves at north exposed breaks in the morning. Buoy 51201: (Wave) SWELL: 3.0 ft at 11.1 s NNW 40 / WIND WAVE: 3.3 ft at 7.7 s NNW / WVHT: 4.6 ft / APD: 7.0 s / MWD: 339° (Met) WVHT: 4.6 ft / DPD: 11.0 s / WTMP: 77.9° F. Tide: 0' rising slowly.


  1. Don't you hate that leg rope thing. Well before I injured it it has wrapped around my foot a few times and squeezed the hell out of it. Challenging session. I am still restricted to surfing 2 ft on Robin's single fin 10 ft board, but happy to be doing something, anything!

  2. Next time for sure I am bringing my own leash, if not my own board. I've got an XM "Tangle Free" that lives up to its name most of the time.

    Glad you're getting out on something! Hang in there.

  3. Haven't tried the tangle free, will have to check it out.