Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Tatooed in my memory

The first time I surfed Sunset on the North Shore of Oahu is indelibley tatooed on my brain. No one can see it but me. All I have to do is close my eyes...

I'd been surfing Backyards for an hour or so. The waves were all over the place and I was not doing a very good job at catching anything too significant. While getting shoved around by the small waves, I kept looking down the beach to the next point - Sunset. It looked like there were only about 10-15 surfers out there. Meanwhile, it is only me at Backyards. After another missed wave and a tumble on the reef that ended up scratching the top of my foot, I decided to make the 100 yard paddle down to Sunset. It does not take very long because I am on a nine foot long board borrowed from my generous sister. In my mind I picture the other surfers being pros and hardcore experts. Sunset had a heavy rep in my mind. While still on the outside, I catch sight of a set of rogue waves coming thru in front of the horizon line. Instantly, I know that I am in perfect position. The second wave wants me and I want it, paddle, paddle, paddle and then bam! I am on it and it is big and it is good. My whole world becomes this giant wall of water that gets bigger and bigger as it jacks up on the reef. Suddenly, what looks like a 12 year old surfer girl drops in on my wave. I am deep in the tube and this startles me enough that I fall off the board and then I am in the giant washing machine on spin cycle.

I can remember being shocked and awed. The experience showed me how I'd invented a scenario which intimidated me. In my mind, I thought that it'd be all hardcore male surfers. When in actuality, it was like 8 young girls and 2 or 3 dads. To this day it is one of my favorite rides even though I fell off it. It was the summer, maybe 3 or 4 years ago and now it is a moving picture tatooed in my memory.