05 December 2014

Black Pot

As I write, this is the view from our clifftop lanai on Kauai's north shore:
"It's not small" is an understatement. The surf is solidly overhead, has been so since we arrived three days ago, and is not forecast to drop before we leave.

Sigh. As I mentioned,  we've been here three days. And I'm jonesing.

So this morning I surf-checked much of Hanalei Bay. I started at Waikoko on the west end, hoping the lefts would look good as surfing Hennemans has made me comfortable in sizeable reefbreak on my frontside. I had almost worked up the courage when I started to chat with a couple guys who'd also been watching for a while. They said they surfed there a lot and it wasn't one of the break's better days. Just then one of their friends passed by toting his SUP, seawater dripping from his graying locks. "Don't even think about it! he warned, repeating it thrice for emphasis. He told them he'd gotten worked trying to come in, then headed for his truck in the dirt lot on a narrow strip between beach and road.
"Are you going to go out?" I asked one of the guys. "I don't know..." he mused. "It's not exactly calling my name today." It certainly wasn't calling mine. 8'+ surf at an unfamiliar break on an unfamiliar surfboard; it didn't take much to erode my courage.

I headed back around the bay, not bothering to check Pinetrees which had looked a mess yesterday. From Hanalei pier, the rights breaking on the eastern reef looked just as big and mostly disorganized as the western lefts. Unlike Waikoko, I've surfed there before, but my backside is not as strong from lack of practice. San Diego has spoiled me with lefts.
Again dissuaded from digging deep for my inner hellwoman, I noted the waist- to occasionally chest-high waves breaking near the pier at Black Pot Beach. It was the province of the surf schools, but there were a handful of real surfers in the mix. I am not too proud to acknowledge my limits.

In town, I searched the surf shop racks again for a suitable rental board. One shop had a Firewire Spitfire, but it was 6'8" and quad-finned. Across the street at Hanalei Surf Company, I found a Rusty surfboard that seemed as close to Rocket as I might hope to find, although two inches longer, a bit wider and thicker, and lacking a tail pad. The yum-yum yellow accents were only on top, where the Landlord thankfully wouldn't see them
Back at the pier, with time growing short before I had to get back for a yoga class, I scratched for near-shorebreak. A few drop-and-smashes bookended a decent left that sucked sand, turning the face beside me from blue to frothy tan before ending in the shallows. I take stoke where I can find it.

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