Posted on Dec 1, 2014

IMG_6296This icy winter has been eating up my equipment like a hungry heartless giant- Snapped mast, crunched booms, banged up sails and holes the size of tea plates in my custom board. It’s enough to make a grown woman cry. IMG_61921912293_992978380718875_8679445927505537126_o-2 The waves were big- The winds were light and the rocks lured us towards them like the seducing calls of sirens. If the menacing rocks didn’t get me then the autumn crowds made sure that whatever was left of my gear was taken out by people who were not paying attention. IMG_6211 The chill of winter has been digging in deep this year. The arctic cool coming out of north has had no desire of changing its direction. Our turquoise tropics have been replaced by grey. Ho’okipa’s cement colored seas have been tearing themselves apart as the heavy clouds have been socking in, and drowning us with rain. IMG_0386 We competed in these kind of conditions too- It was awesome to see all the girls out there is some grinding meaty sized waves- The winds were super challenging, sometimes shutting off completely during our heats. 10604580_992978374052209_7606528924703499307_o-3 The ocean was on alive with moving mountains. During my first heat the winds simply turned off, and all the balancing tricks in the world served no purpose. As I dropped in near the rocks, flailing to waterstart in the swift moving currents, which virtually eliminated what puff of wind there might have been- I knew through my many years a surfing at Ho’okipa, that when it’s this big, you get sucked right back into the impact zone of the bigger waves- And that’s exactly what happened to me and my equipment. IMG_5873 I wasn’t stoked about drifting around giant seas while the current sucked me back out to hang like bait in the deeper blue water. My panic calmed into a duck diving marathon through endless bigger and bigger waves. I’d throw my whole body onto the rig and grab the boom while pushing the tip of my sail through the giants with my feet. It was an exhausting exercise as I feared snapping my mast and getting washed back over the ‘ever present rocks’. 20140424TIP_1DM4A_3981.JPG We redid that 20 minute heat-  It became a 40 minute heat- My son was on the beach, and I did consider if this competition- Big wave bravery was really worth it. IMG_6322 The heat went well- The 20 minutes of competition was over and I tried to come in on a small wave not to get in the way of the next ladies heat- A huge mistake-  On big wave days when the winds are fickle you want to come in on the biggest waves of the set- (So you don’t have to experience what happened to me). IMG_6222 I slogged in hoping to have just enough wind to sneak in on the smaller wave- No chance-  I got caught like a sitting duck in the impact zone with zero to 2 knots of wind- I felt the ocean rise behind me and the water suck almost dry under my feet like a backwards running river- I glanced over my shoulder at the menacing beast and prayed I could just catch it like I would on my surf board and surf it safely in. ( I’ve done it before) 10341982_727580567279610_1384394852174852125_n This one broke hollow over my head with the force of a bomb. All my beautiful carbon equipment snapped little brittle twigs. I got pounded so hard I actually came to the surface seeing stars. IMG_0375 It was not a good start for the competition for me. But… The excitement of bigger waves were here. The adrenaline was activated. The cost were higher. The challenge now for me was not only to be in big waves- but to actually ride them well. 10387461_746504532053880_4437598068223791196_n Before my custom board went to the grave I was testing my fin setups for bigger waves. The onshore winds threw me off my turns as I’ve gotten too used to cross off sailing conditions- I didn’t feel smooth with my lines during the comp, so I have been working on changing my form and maybe finding a better fin set up- But it looks like now I’m looking at a whole new board– My new JP-AUSTRALIA boards are in the mail- Now I really can’t wait until they get here… IMG_6217