My buddy Duane lives on Oahu. We exchange emails about great surf sessions regularly, and I often use him as my surf guru when I need advice. He’s been surfing for 20 years or more and in Hawaii, so I trust his knowledge. This past winter when things rockin’ here I emailed him and said, “Duane, it’s getting to be 6, 7, sometimes 8 feet here!” Duane, who is always the good dude, emailed back that he was pumped for me and encourage me to keep challenge myself while the getting was good.
A few days later I get this in an email:
Check out the broken board (custom 8’5″ gun). The good news is I didn’t die. As you can see, I’ve already replaced it. I’ve got a 9’2″ gun on order. The winter has been pretty unreal so far- macking.
His email did not do the picture justice. So I emailed back for the full story, which is this:
My board broke in 10-12′ surf. A big one closed out the channel. I got swept down the coast far away from anyone, and it was about 20 minutes till sundown. I’m glad I made it in before the sun set, or else I would have been in deep shit. I was about ¼ mile out to sea with mean ass currents and huge waves. I had to take a couple right on the head so the white water could drill me in. Long hold downs with mean thrashing- yes, more intense that the H2 pile up*. I did stay calm which saved my ass. I sort of knew I wasn’t going to die, which isn’t always the case.
I’m speechless at this point. 10-12 feet? Broken boards? Madness! But Duane’s email continued in the easy going manner that is Duane:
Yes, the waves have been pumping. Unreal actually. On top of that red 8’5″ board I showed you, I’ve got a 9’2″ gun on order from the same shaper that built the broken one [Dennis Pang].
Since then the red board in the back has also fallen victim to the big waves. Currently the broken Dennis Pang 8’5″ is being duplicated and at the glasser now.
There’s no real point in my relaying this story, except maybe to remember to stay calm when you are in the spin cycle. But Duane’s surf stories are always better than mine and a broken board picture means big ratings! I have yet to break a board (while surfing).
We’ll close with a Chandler quote from Duane: “A true surfer goes with the wave. He knows where the wave will break.”
*The “H2 pile up” was a multi-car accident Duane was in that we often use as a reference to how bad something is – and the pile up on H2 was bad.