This is a panoramic shot at six before I got in. One reason I go early. No traffic, just two or three other people in the water with me.
Really decent waves for five or six hours. Cold wind blowing hard. Gotta surf as much as possible to get ready for Hawaii trip.
Everyone blurts out "Hawaii is so expensive!"
Ive been going there for over twenty years, and it can be expensive if you treat it lke you are a tourist. Don't!
Fly nonstop out of Newark-Oahu. If time is a factor, stay on Oahu, the connecting flight eats up time and money. I just bought tickets tonight- $1400 round trip two people, cheaper than twenty years ago (but you pay for extras now).
I used to stay on the north shore's only hotel, "Turtle Bay." It used to cost $150-300 per night but now its at least $600 per night. I love that place, even got married there.
Should have divorced there also.
However, I found that as nice as that place is, it seemed that all the "rich white Americans" just lounged around tanning, staying to themselves, retreating into their cells after sunset. Hey, nothing wrong with that, its their vaca, they can do whatever they want to do, just ain't my cup of tea. I complained to the bartender who told me I should stay in the Hostel (backpackers).
I did! $20/ night per person with shared everything. $3.50/ night all you can eat chicken bbq. Shared picnic tables so you are kinda forced to hang out with strangers... from all over the world... with accents... stories... jokes I had not heard before. So damn cool! Everyone at that place always seemed so cool, warm, welcoming. The "rich white Americans" just always seemed.... so damn cold, so self-important, so clean and sterile.
Listen, I am of the opinion that when you go to a place like Hawaii, leave all your shit behind. Seriously. Who you going to impress??? Bring tooth stuff, sunscreen, and a backpack with extra space for goodies to bring home. Be a simple kid again. If you need to, you can buy something there.
What do you need at the beach? Sunscreen. Board shorts. Tshirt. Swimming goggles, fins, surfboard. Leave all the other shit behind!
The low budget crowd is generally younger and much more fun... they turned into surfing buddies, drinking buddies, fun!!
I have not, nor will I ever stay at Turtle Bay ever again! Lounging "rich Americans" tanning VS. fun loving strangers from all walks of life- you decide!
I no longer go to the backpackers, choosing instead to go to to a place (sharkscove vacation rentals) that costs $40 per person per night with shared facilities. Who the hell cares! We wake up, get breakfast, go surfing, come home and eat dinner and pass out for a repeat the next day, and the next and the next.
I also fifteen years ago theorized that its a big world out there, lets go somewhere else instead of hawaii!
Fiji, Costa Rica, Mexico (los cabos)... until I decided that its best just to go to hawaii. It really is like a third world country without the third world crime, the aggressive tourist sharks, currency BS, passports. Everything is just easier in Hawaii!
Got any questions? Call me.
Ps the guy in the picture at the top is Andy Irons at pipeline.
Here its going to be pretty decent surf- too bad its saturday. It will be great no matter where you go!
Oahu surf tomorrow. Im speechless. Waves with a 20 second period??? Insane! Monster death-causing conditions for everyone except the best of the best surfers. 50' plus waves.
Simpleton pic trying to illustrate wave shapes east coast vs Pacific.
Huge periods between waves means huge mountains of water with extreme power charging towards you if you arent careful.
East coast windswell with under ten second waves have less "c" wave thickness. As the period increases, the thickness of the wave actually seems to logarithimically increase.
These kinds of waves are rare in the Atlantic, common in the Pacific. These types of waves are incredibly insane, incredibly powerful.
Pacific waves are usually measured on the back side of the waves. A ten foot Hawaiian wave can have a front face well over twenty feet.
A ten footer here with our shorter wave periods we would call "head and a half." Measly in comparison!
Its so strange to paddle up hill when evading these demons, thought water was flat?
Swell direction- perfect
Wind direction- perfect!
Storm bringing three or four days of surf!
Sharing a great trick for drying out boots and mittens inbetween sessions- otherwise they smell really bad.
Oahu surf report for this week. Too big for me.
I have surfing pictures all over my house. This one is in my living room, cost about $1400, and Im not sure I really like it. The glass reflects everything and waves do not look like this when they are about to crush you.
My long-awaited board came today from Lynn Shell from OBBC.
Same board as last time with minor changes- a tad thinner in the front reflecting changes in my surfing skills in the ten years since he made the last board for me.
New fins snap right in! No allen wrenches needed, no messing around.
I wrote him and complained about the color. ITS ALL WRONG!
He asked why and I told him the new board is white. All my others are stained and yellowish. Nobody will recognize me!
I highly recommend this board artisan to everyone. Not only is he an artist, but my overall experience from beginning to end was satisfying and fun.
Here is the link to his website:
It is pretty new but the damn velcro releases over and over again. How can this be!!!
Ive had to swim after my board a dozen times. WTF!?
Side note: one of my problems with this damn leash is the fact that it wraps around my right leg ALL THE TIME. I was thinking it had a demonic personality but now I think that it is because the leash plug is on the right side of the board, and it works its way over to my left ankle. Im thinking that I should move the plug to the left sode of the board, see if that stops my problem.
I LOVE the ocean, in all it's forms. When its flat, we go scuba diving. When it's hurricane force wind/waves, you will see my truck in the parking lot. Count me in! I ain't dead yet, and because I absolutely love adverse weather, and can handle myself in east coast conditions (a LOT different than pacific ocean), I choose to keep on keepin' on.
Some people call me crazy. But who is the crazy one? I'm not staying home safe and sound when there is a storm to participate in. Wetsuits are for keeping you warm. Experience is a well of knowledge that keeps you safe, allows for pursuit of passion using calculated risk taking. Swimming skills allow for extreme condition experiences. I would be certifiably insane (like tRUMP) if I did not surf in storms like blizzard Grayson. It's fun!!!
Im almost 60 years old, and do not plan on changing one thing about my habit of surfing storms. I figure that as soon as I do back off my chosen sport is tha very moment that I begin my slow, inexorable march into the 6' deep hole.
To each his own!
Grayson waves were big, fast, cold, and unforgiving. The hard wind blew me backwards many times when I was about to stand up, an embarassing sight to see- a classic beginner mistake brought to expert surfers on a silver platter when the wind is blowing 50 mph.
I adjusted my ankle leash and on the very next wave the god damn velcro let go. Thats like the 50th time thats happened with this leash!
I am going to put this leash up here on this website- DONT BUY THIS LEASH!!!
Very respectable surf!
Enormous waves, well-formed, hurricane-sized. Three people in only.
Had to get there first!
Holy shit, look at these wave predictions! Now I just gotta figure out if its worth the risky travel up there. I think so. These waves look better than 9/26, hurricane Maria, so its hard to sit at home when you know epic surf is occurring.
The dog and cat are trying to talk me into staying home.
I dont care, Im going to head up there in an hour or so. I will sit at home and play it safe when I'm dead.
Hi, my name is
David Benjamin and I started swimming in Chappaqua, NY., swam for Badger swim team, Mercersburg Academy, NC State University, then Westport YMCA masters. I got bored of the ol' back and forth of competitive swimming and the high cost of skiing. Surfing took over and I never looked back.