“There’s chicks out there. And they’re in bikini’s”. This is Uge’s attempt to build my confidence to take the SUP out in front of our place nestled between Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach. If you’ve seen his pics from the last few days on Oahu’s North Shore you’ll understand my trepidation. What Uge neglects to add is that these are Hawaiian sun goddesses who were delivered straight from the womb onto a mini-mal. My confession as a flat water SUPper is that despite living in Sydney for 14 years, I never learnt to surf and back in home-town Adelaide the biggest wave at metro Glenelg barely dwarfs a speed bump.
Despite Uge’s reassurances I load an 11′ SUP into a 10’6″ SUV and head for the relative safety of Haleiwa Harbour 8 miles west. I gingerly paddle out to the reef break and stand off to the side knowing the local disdain for outsiders stealing waves. I pick at a few meagre morsels like a fly buzzing a toddler’s nappy as I build my confidence. After 20 minutes of doing this a rogue wave blasts out of nowhere and – with little choice – I’m away. Halfway through another wave comes from my right as I try and read this crazy reef break. In front, something breaks the water’s surface – is it a rock? A shark fin? It’s a turtle and it joins me for the rest of the wave. My own personal turtle retracts his head away from the seat of my boardshorts.
I look up at the mountain range in the distance and feel elation – my first Hawaiian wave. So this is what the legendary North Shore is about. I reckon I’m just about ready for Pipe. Maybe.
I took some shots on my iPhone but think you’d better appreciate these pics Uge took today.
(Dan is a guest blogger and one of Uge’s few non-surfing mates. He’s been buggin’ Uge to write a daily report for 6 years…well, today is Dan’s day)