November 22-November 28, 2020

November 28, 2020

After a few days of heavy winds and warning level surf on the east side, I finally had some time to jump back in the water. I assumed Mahaʻulepu would still be picking up swell but the waves died overnight, along with most of the wind. I met M— at the stables only to find beautiful but flat seas. After double checking the surf report, we headed to check Waiohai, masks on. Again, no real swell, beautiful conditions, and a big crowd of tourists on soft tops. From there, we headed to check PK’s, Centers, and Acid Drop, not expecting and not finding much. A set rolled in just as I parked, which helped me make up my mind to just paddle out. We stood outside of M—ʻs new Dodge Ram, big enough to fit the extra people and animals he has picked up over the year, and talked and watched. He decided to head home, earn some extra family points, and maybe head north tomorrow.

I paddled out into a dropping tide and a light crowd. There were a handful of people on the peaks at PK’s, a few guys on SUPs and maybe four of five people on bodyboards. They were hooting and hollering as they kept catching waves all together, enjoying the easy conditions and early morning light. As I made my way over the shallow collar at the far end of the lagoon, I watched the one guy out at Centers take off on another pretty, but small wave. He asked me if I had checked Waiohai and I gave him the report. He told me about Mahaʻulepu yesterday and the kala he caught there. We traded waves for an hour, talking story about boards and tides and winds, as a smudge of color and light over the million dollar TVRs grew into a full land-to-sea rainbow.

After he headed in, a few other people joined me, one guy sporting ridiculous booties on a bright lime green board, another older guy on a Wavestorm giving serious pieces of advice to the young woman paddling behind him, her pearly thong disappearing as she straddled her retro rental. I caught a few pieces of his high school deep philosophy about the power of “not fighting the ocean, man, you canʻt win that fight, just relax.” After he dropped in on me, they paddled away, maybe finally aware they were out of place.

Though the waves topped out at maybe chest high today, they were beautiful and fun. I found a few long rides, even dropped in under the lip on one, sliding sideways down the face before making it down the line and out into the flats. The rainbow faded, the swell deteriorated, and I headed in.

Looking towards PK’s
Faded graffiti on the bride near Kōloa Small Boat Harbor

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