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December 1998

Tuesday December 29, 1998

"Secret Spot" - West Side
avg wave face-----------4-6 feet
sets wave face----------5-8 feet
cloudy then clearing, very light off shores


Sunday December 27, 1998

"Ehukai Sandbar" - North Shore
avg wave face-----------2-4 feet
sets wave face----------4-5 feet
clear skies, light off shores


Wednesday December 23, 1998

"Backyards" - North Shore
avg wave face-----------4-5 feet
sets wave face----------5-6 feet
clear skies, light side-off shores


Sunday December 20, 1998

"Laniakea"' - North Shore
avg wave face-----------4-5 feet
sets wave face-----------6-7 feet
clear skies
very light off shore winds

running later than planned but not too concerned knowing that no
matter when we got there, on a small clean day the weekend crowd would
be intense.

even though it was pretty small, the waves and conditions turned out
to be very good. not the ideal full north swell, but the small waves
were top quality. me & rich had a great session on our shortboards,
especially after surfing the previous day on 7'0"s.

ran into a friend/hot surfer from way back, Yolanda E. (mutual Makaha
background).. . .  and Ben Aipa was out tearing up the sets too.




Saturday December 19, 1998

"Laniakea"' - North Shore
avg wave face-----------4-6 feet
sets wave face-----------8-11 feet, some bigger
partly cloudy
light side-off shore winds

me & brother rich hit an afternoon session hoping to make good use of
our 7'0"s, the pipecam and surf reports were still calling for some
juice. unfortunately the NW swell was dropping fast, but we made the
most of less than perfect conditions. "Holtons" still had some almost
five foot (Hawaiian) peaks, and the middle/inside section at Lanis was
offering excellent overhead pocket-rockets.

me & rich felt a bit over-gunned but had lots of fun in the light
crowd. surfbud makani showed up mid session (i left him a message
about our likely destination) with his new 8'0" that he just received
from his shaper (Wellman) on Kauai. he had snapped a new shortboard
this past Thursday in a nasty North Beach close-out barrel.

notable friends in the lineup included Harry Ching (half of the
"Ching" brothers, regulars at Lanis) and contest rival from way back,
Glenn Matsumoto.

good surfing to you,



Thursday December 17, 1998

"North Beach & Pyramid Rock"' - East Shore
avg wave face-----------4-6 feet
sets wave face-----------7-9 feet
partly cloudy
calm; light off shore winds

unusual light southerly winds convinced us to shoot for the
east shore to catch the tail end of the swell that was swinging north
of the islands. we (me & my brother rich) told surfbud makani that
we'd be at north beach by 2pm (neal could not get out of work).

you could almost hear our jaws hit the floor as we pulled up to the
cliff. . . well overhead lines were wrapping around the point. the
offshore wind was barely noticeable and the water was like glass. 3
guys out.

the military strictly controls parking and access to this beach but we
didn't give it a second thought as we raced down the trail to the
beach. stashed some gear on the cliff, waxed up, leashes strapped. .
.  and then with the waves blasting all around, we perfectly timed the
shortcut paddle through a narrow slot in the reef. yessss!

in the lineup it was waist deep, crystal green water over white sand
bottom. the sets were mostly closing out, but pitching top to bottom
barrels with plenty of standing room. took some nads to get into them.
two strokes and your committed to the take off. . . stand and pull
into a killer green room or hesitate and get lip launched into the

me & rich were sampling waves up and down the stretch of beach and
after an hour or so makani appeared in the lineup, all smiles. i had a
disposable camera with me & we tried to get a few shots but it was
sketchy. a few waves later, makani took off late on a overhead
closeout, skittered down the face, quick turn off the bottom & pulled
into a nice barrel as i was ducking through in front of him. i turned
as he popped out the back to see that only half of his brand new 6'5"
came back with the leash! by this time, the next crusher was on top of
us and as he swam under it, his new new leash snapped, sending the
other half of the board to the rocky part of the beach.

soon after, me & rich caught a wave in and the three of us mourned the
loss on the beach. within minutes, this tow headed vulture swoops on
makani saying
"can-i-have-the-broken-board-you-gonna-keep-the-leash?"...we swatted
the heartless preteen grommet away and we trudged up the short trail,
watching empty lefts & right peeling.

since there was about an hour of light left in the day, me & rich
decided to check Pyramid Rock, about 8 minutes away. we saw excellent
waves so we scrambled out of the truck and flew down to the beach. the
waves here turned out to be better than North Beach. the small bay
formed by the Pyramid & the end of the runway had long, workable lefts
peeling into a hollow sandbar on the inside. there was a small group
of surfers but no one was taking off from the peak. me & rich
immediately filled that gap and started taking apart the fast, well
overhead walls.

a few of the other surfers turned out to be some kooky shoulder
hoppers that caused me that angry frustration of  "i could have made
that section if i didn't have to alter my speed line for you to drop
in & kick out." bastards.

rich was killing the lefts (his frontside). multiple blasts off the
top and pulling into dry tubes on the inside. all in all, a memorable
day in the surf.



Sunday December 13, 1998

"Secret"' west side spot
avg wave face-----------5-6 feet
sets wave face-----------8-12 feet
light & variable winds

me & rich jumped in makani's surfmobile but we were running late. Neal headed out to 
the country solo & called us with the report: the big swell forecasted was here sooner & 
bigger than expected. he had talked to Bernie Baker who said Pipe was closing out & 
waves had washed away some of the judging stands and the clock tower. the 
"upcountry" coast was washed out so he saved us a wasted trip to the country.

we went for the west side wrap but Makaha was only about 4-5' (Hawaiian) so we 
continued up the coast. we stopped at a notoriously fickle left & saw some decent surf. 
when we got in the water it started out fun, overhead & no crowd. then the waves all 
but died for the next hour or so. Neal had to leave early. . . abit later the waves started 
to pick up real fast. it was almost double-o for about an hour then it died off completely.

ended up being an great session for us. maybe 6 other guys at the most crowded point 
during the morning.

good surfing to you,


Saturday December 12, 1998

"Laniakea"' - North Shore
avg wave face-----------5-7 feet
sets wave face-----------8-12 feet
overcast, occasional light rain, 
strong side-off shore winds

me & Rich met Makani for a dawn session. 

remnants of a north swell mixed with remnants of a west swell made for a funky wave. 
high tide added another twist to the lumpy, sectiony surf. we were the first out but the 
place was packed within the first half hour of light. 

i remember one good overhead and a half wave were i blasted a solid off the lip in front 
of some friends, but none of us seemed to find a groove & we all agreed it was a 
forgettable session.



Thursday December 10, 1998

"Semi-Secret Spot" - West Shore
avg wave face-----------5-6 feet
sets wave face-----------8-12 feet
clear & sunny
light off shore winds

me & Neal hooked up for a midweek afternoon session. big swell had many north shore 
spots maxing out so we were hoping for some juicy west side action or at least some big 
Makaha. i picked up Neal & his longboard at his house about 2pm & we blazed 

Tracks/Maili/Green Lanterns all showed good indications of possible heavy waves 
upcoast. when we pulled up to Makaha we were thoroughly disappointed. the waves 
were about 4-5 feet (Hawaiian) but completely mushed out & breaking in the channel 

we decided to head back to Waianae & surf a spot that was breaking well overhead & 
hollow, but mostly closing out. the spot is very tricky & local knowledge is a must. when 
we pulled up, some guys were strapping a reef smashed board to the roof of their car.

unless you want to paddle from the nearest beach about a 1/4 mile away, you have to 
enter/exit the water from a over-hanging lava-rock cliff, which rises about 6-8 feet 
above sea level. it's razor sharp and the waves were smashing constantly. there's a 
natural step-down to a cove and a trick that makes it relatively simple if you time it right 
& know where to go.

even so the impact zone is maybe 40 yards from the shoreline & there is little room for 
error. Neal was clearly anxious to surf and when i pointed out the entry spot, he jumped 
in ahead of me without a moments hesitation. i thought i had timed it right but the funky 
swell had thrown a back to back set as we paddled into the impact zone. wave after 
wave kept us right off the rocks for several minutes before we finally made it through. 
after that we settled into groove of rushing the fun lefts & rights. beautiful milky green 
water & hollow waves were all around. 90% closing out but we had the place to 
ourselves & we were having fun.

at one point i said to Neal "here we are in Hawaii, five foot surf, off shore & hollow, no 
one else out...can you believe it?"

a few minutes later i saw Neal swimming toward the shore right before his board hit the 
rocks. his leash had snapped and there was no way i could save his board. nothing i 
could do but yell at him to ask if he was ok & wave at some fisherman on the shore to 
grab his board. he climbed up onto the rocks at a critical area but seemed alright.

i was gonna go in but he waved me back out. guess we both realized there no changing 
what happened so i stayed out for another hour. when i came in i could see that he was 
fully bummed about the damage to his prized Aipa longboard. . . it will never be the 
same but at least the none of the fins were busted.

good surfing to you,



Sunday December 6, 1998

"Ehukai Beach Park"' - North Shore
avg wave face-----------3-4 feet
sets wave face-----------5-6 feet
overcast, occasional light rain, clearing late morning
light to moderate side-off shore winds

the gloomy, 40mph+ wind conditions of the past 2 weeks was finally subsiding. me, my 
brother Rich and Makani hit the sandbar at Ehukai as it was light enough to see. head 
high waves were wrapping from the east side's monstrous wind swell.

the waves & conditions fluctuated rapidly. starting from cold & windy onshores to light 
side-offshores then back again. as the sun peaked through late morning, it actually got 
pretty nice. . rich was surfing well but it turned out to be a mediocre session for me & 
makani. early on, Makani's leash somehow broke in the small surf (he had another in his 
truck). toward the end of the morning i pointed out a large Portugese-Man-o-War in the 
line up and ended up getting stung by it. i didn't anticipate the tentacles being so long; i 
even accidentally dragged it onto another surfer as i was tying to get it off of me.

good surfing to you,



Saturday December 5, '98

been many, many days of gale force north easterly winds & lots of rain.  huge surf on the 
east shore peaked yesterday, continuing today with the NWS calling it 10-12 feet 

because we weren't sure what/where we'd be surfing, Makani & i packed up 4 sticks 
(6'3" & 7'0" each) in his truck & hit the road late afternoon, hoping to find something 
rideable on the east side. coming over the mountains on the H-3 we saw the coast 
covered in whitewater. as we were waved thru by the sentry at KMACS, we saw the 
signs saying all the beaches were closed and off-limits. of course we checked it anyway. 
North Beach was semi-protected from the wind and had empty, almost smooth, head 
high rights peeling off the point. but we knew from experience that the Marines would 
make a big scene & be all over anyone who went into the water.

next stop Bellows AFB on a long shot for some sand bar beach break 
possibilities.....but nothing surfable (tiny).

next stop Kailua/Lanikai beach park, where we saw every windsurfer that was ever 
born; musta been 10,000 of 'em- it was windsurfer heaven. the past week of 40mph+ 
winds must be a history maker for them boy & girls. nothing for us to surf, though.

next stop irma's/pipe littles/sandys. big "victory at sea" washing machine conditions. by 
this time it was after 4pm and we had pretty much given up on getting wet. last stop at 
Makapuu (beach officially closed), we saw a couple of surfers trying to catch some 
bombs at "Suicides" with little luck.

after 2 hours driving, realized we shoulda gone to the north shore. went home dry & 
bummed. oh well.