Hellacious Haleiwa

Gary Kewley
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Friday - April 15, 2005
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Parker McLaclin is swinging toward the PGA Tour

Wussup surfers … beach people!?

It’s now the middle of April and we had our first 3- foot town swell last Sunday- Tuesday … The Southern Hemisphere (think Down Under: Australia/New Zealand) has heated up with lotsa storms. It’s their winter season cranking. These systems send “wave trains” 5,000 miles up to us and we sorta get the leftovers. Hey, something’s better than nothing … So, get ready to surf into summer … it’s right around the corner!

Now, I’m not sayin’ to write off country. If you missed last week’s column, I mentioned Pat Caldwell’s and Larry Goddard’s (NOAA Data center) surf height “average” for 30 Aprils (three decades) … I was shocked to see one day of 15 feet Local Scale and almost a week of 8-to 12-foot days … and far more 4- to 6-foot days! Looks like we’re losing out this April … but let’s hang in there and see if Mother Nature has a few surprises up her surf sleeve.

Hey, I have a surf story … I’m out at 6- to 10-foot Haleiwa in late March. It’s a thick stormy day with lotsa current requiring non-stop paddling. Ali‘i Beach Park is well-known for this phenomenon. I don’t know of anyone who rides it big and hasn’t complained to fellow victims … and to the wave itself! Haleiwa has to get in that 8- foot realm and bigger. If it’s one of those days” … there’s zero exaggeration when I say that you can paddle for two hours straight in a two-hour surf session … or else … end up in the harbor or washed in by a set of waves that seem to want you more than you want them!

Anyway, I’m caught again, OK? I’m in the “Zone,” but not the one I want to be in … I’m in the “you-idiot-lameduck- wimpy zone” … I’m not happy … I know this spot … I was paddling … I was paying attention … !@#$%! … wasn’t I? Just then, I hear grunting and heartfelt expletive behind my right shoulder … I smile through my pain, because … well, because misery loves company. I selfishly look over to get a closer look at this other wimp’s pain and who do I see? A man named Mike Parsons. Whoops! Mike Parsons is one of today’s best BIG wave riders … this guy’ll will take off on anything … He rode a wave that was 66 feet in the face at Cortez Banks 100 miles out at sea! He charges giant Jaws with his tow partner Brad Gerlach … Mike Parsons lives and breaths death-size wave mammoths. He’s one of my big wave heroes … But, here he was … on a relatively small day (for him) going through the same frustration most surfers know all too well. The ocean … the great leveler … The Haleiwa current!

On a lighter wave … I hope you’re getting your fair share of surf … If you work full time, getting that “fair share” becomes an art form! How many of us have had that dull ache of knowing there’s a good wave near, but you’re far? Missing out can cause one to re-examine his entire existence. Why? Because you just feel out of balance …and isn’t that a coincidence? Surfing requires balance (and stamina)! It’s a fun-damental, just like that thing we call living. So if you’re a bit unbalanced be careful … you may fall! Get out there and get some “recreation” … Of course, for millions of us that means ocean recreation … surfin’!

See you out there! I’m GQ, dropping in for you!

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