November 15, 2020
The moon was new yesterday. High tide was around 4:40 this morning, topping out at 2.43 feet, extremely high for Kauaʻi. The sand at Wailua Kai has been washed completely under the bridge, effectively bringing the beach all the way to the mauka side of the highway. From the look of the waves out in the bay, the bar is still there, but the south side of the actual beach is basically gone, as the high tides have begun eating into the parking lot.
Today, the leftovers of a NW and NE swell tempted me to check Anahola. There was some swell showing up at Unreals, with one guy paddling out, but I decided to try my luck at Kalihiwai, which turned out to be glassy but flat. Wires looked like it might be working, but it is hard to tell from all the way across the bay and I did not want to drive up and around to check from the other side, so I headed back towards Kahili to check Rock Quarry.
The wind was completely gone by the time I parked, just before 7:30. The ocean looked disorganized and lumpy, but there were waves on the rights over the reef, some across the middle, as well as lefts over at the river mouth. Nothing looked great but there was some potential fun to be had over on the rights, so I paddled out.
I was alone out there for a while, trying to find the right spot. The usual peak was closing out mostly, and many of the waves looked like they might break only to back off and turn into mush burgers. I paddled deeper, almost to the far corner, trying to find more reliably waves across the shallow reef. Among the many fun but short rides, two waves stayed steep and connected across three sections, giving me nice 30-40 second rides. I found a few decent close out cover ups, shining silver in the rising sun. Eventually, the place got crowded as is always true of Rock Quarry and with the crowd came S— and E— N—. She stayed on the inside but S— paddled out to my peak and chatted for a while.
After one last long right, I body boarded the white water most of the way in, past the rock out cropping, and then ducked into some shore break. I sat up on the cliff for a while after, drinking my coffee, watching a tourist get slammed in the sand on her wavestorm, watching a woman jog up and down the shore, watching the keiki practice ripping on the sandbar across the middle, watching the nene fly over our heads, all of us salty, seasoned.
November 16, 2020
Light winds today and most of the NW and NE swell is gone. I found a 5ʻ10” tri color Ebert twinzer for sale and picked the board up on a break from work. The guy didnʻt want to sell the board with any of the fins except the tiny nubby sidebites. Iʻll have to find some FCS quads or Futures twin fins when I have a bit of money, but for now, I am excited to try out something new. The board has deep channels out the back and is only 18 ½” wide.
After work, I decided to paddle out at Makaʻiwa, in front of the restaurant, mostly to see how the new board floated me. Low tide was just after noon, around .48 feet and rising just to .7 in the early evening, so not much change. As I got my board ready, a tourist approached me to ask where he could rent a board. My mind locked up as I tried to remember the closest rental spots and simultaneously think of how to say “Go home” in a nice way. I eventually mentioned that the shop across the street closed during the pandemic and was probably still not opened, letting my sentence trail off. He said “Oh yeah, right. Understandable…” and walked away.
As I paddled out, that large guy on the larger blue board I’ve seen before also paddled out, along with someone on a foil. They both ended up catching waves and then drifting off to the left, all the way around the heiau and kiddy pool, out of sight. I spent an hour and a half getting used to the new board, feeling it skate and slide around, like a skimboard. I thought maybe the nubs and the channels would help it hold a bit, but the board was sliding all over the place. Eventually, I dialed it in and managed to glide down the line, even pumping a bit, making a turn or two. The most fun surprise was figuring out how to do flat 360s over and over. The first one surprised me right off the board, but I managed to complete a few and keep riding. The waves were mostly waist to chest high but there were one or two rogue waves that drained across the slabs, that I missed of course. I saw a crowd starting to gather, watching, pointing, and I decided to head in.
As I was walking back to the truck, someone stopped me.
“Riding with no fins today?” he asked. I showed him the board and he said he saw me skating around, sliding into 360s. He then took the time to tell me the tide was dropping (it wasn’t) and that it was about to get epic.
“There were some mini bombs out there, yeah. Itʻs getting better,” I offered and headed home.