Monsters. I have a love hate relationship with this place, by that I mean I love her - she hates me. Maybe she felt neglected because I've not surfed her much this year. That's not my fault it's hers - she hasn't worked.
So when Luke Young of Luke Young Surfboards fame called and said "It's going offshore and the swell is all west at 12 seconds" - It was a no brainer. Monsters. The tides were perfect, the wind had gone. It's a bastard long paddle, but from the cliff it looked epic. Except the odd wave would just freight train down the reef at super speed. Twice this happened while I watched and it sent a chill up my spine. 'Dont go for any big wide sets' I told myself. As long as I kept my spot and didn't get sold into one of the bigger, churning pretending to be make-able barrels. I do love a barrel though.
|Monsters... evil to the bone. Would you?|
We paddled out, Luke and Wot being a stand up and bodyboarder respectively, ran and jumped off the cliff and got there first. Wot on his bodyboard took off on a mutant, but it guillotined. A two wave beat down. He actually stood up on the reef and threw himself under the third. It looked savage. He sprint paddled to the rip and looked flustered. Red flag 1 then. The tide was a lot lower than I thought it was.
My first wave was good, crazy speed, a bit of chop but no real problems. My second wave much the same. I'd say the swell had a bit more South in it because the odd wave came through and warped, then exploded. Followed not long by a wide one. But the wide ones with their open, cavernous barrels looked make-able from here in the water. Weren't they? So a hour passes, I'm getting some crazy good cover ups. Monsters is a violent but a short ride. And those wide ones were looking good. It had been a while since one shut down the reef. The tide had pushed and maybe the wide ones were getting more make-able.
There was a big lull, the waves turned off for a while and there was nervous chit-chat amongst the three of us. There we sat. Then off in the distance, the texture of the ocean changed. A set was storming in toward the reef, and it was a big one. A big wide one. Now I know I should have sprinted over it. I didn't though, I swung and paddled for it. The wide ones were stupid fast, I'd maybe four paddle strokes and I was already looking down a vertical face. It looked perfect, I knifed in my rail, my ski was designed for this place. Every wide set had a big barrel that looked like as long as you high-line it, you would make it out. I cane off the bottom, throwing an arking bottom turn to scrub off some speed, and set myself up on the wall of the wave, that erupted into a big, wide cylinder of water. I set my rail again and everything looked fine from inside my watery room. For a while anyway. Just like from up on the cliff, and what I'd not noticed in the water watching them, this wave was crazy fast, and my bottom turn to set up the tube spelling doom for me. I was getting deeper and deeper inside the wave, sat atop a ball of foaming water. I threw my weight forward to eek out a bit more speed but it didn't help, a huge wall of water was going to collapse on me, over rock, covered by only three foot of water.
|The wave that tried to kill me - started as a god barrel...|
Everything went dark. I braced for impact. The wave smashed down so hard my head hit my knees, for a split second there was a floating sensation as the wave sucked me up to it's roof to throw me hard against the reef. I couldn't work out which way was up or down. I hit the reef hard. Invisible forces were trying to rip my ski off me and trying to tear my paddle from my hands. I hit again. I felt my ski slam into the rock, then my back, my head then the ski again. I tried to shift my blade to protect my face and that too smashed into the reef. In the confusion and pain, it felt like my hands where touching each other like I was holding shears. I can feel my ski getting eaten alive by the reef and my lungs are throwing compulsions like they are trying to punch out of my chest and swim for air. Just as violently as it started, the wave let me go. fortunately, it flipped me upright. I looked at my paddle and it was bent at a right angle, The nose of my ski pretty much gone, and another wave was about to give me a water version of a prison rape. I rolled and tucked up again. Boom, again I hit the reef, my head scraped along rock, the ski crunched again. I could only get a tiny gulp of air. This was bad. The hold down was savage. On and on. I could taste blood. Finally, I was blasted off the reef. I unbuckled expecting my ski to be in bits, but considering the violence upon it, it was in bloody good shape considering. I'd say James ASCCwipeout was. I drove home, walked through the door to a house of strangers. So confused and concussed, I walked into the house I owned six moths ago! So off to Hospital for me. Another tooth broken, a bit of bruising on the brain, but apart from the dead equipment, another lucky escape.
|Vomit from mouth - blood from ears, ski eaten by Monsters|
|A new crank angle? and buckled ski!|
She will kill me one day. She breaks so infrequent that you can never really ever know her. And, those evil, destructive waves sell themselves well. They look so perfect. And they are - at destroying all that try to conquer them. Till next time monsters!