High wind advisory
There's a saying about the wind driving small children and animals crazy. It could have been started by school teachers who had to deal with skittery kids on windy days or by somebody who hated barking dogs. Here on the North Shore of Oahu, it has been breezy with a high wind advisory in place for the past two days.
Winds up to nearly 50 miles per hour were recorded on Oahu and with the wind came all sorts of weather alerts. Small craft advisory for all Hawaiian waters, flash flooding alerts (parts of Maui had nearly six inches of rain yesterday), plus there was a high surf advisory. Usually that news would bring smiles to the surfers but not when it's in place for the east-facing shores. That basically translates to junk waves.
The good thing about the strength of this wind episode was that it caused a wrap-around effect from the easterly swell with all the northerly swell spots on the North Shore benefiting. The Pipe Beach Park scored waves, Off The Wall had a few, Log Cabins had better waves and Laniakea was firing. If you wanted to go right at any of these spots then you'd have a neat little session but for the crew that wanted to go left there were all sorts of ramps to go crazy into the wind.
At Off The Wall yesterday virtually every left ridden had someone trying to punt into the wind. The Billabong Pipeline Masters is only a few days away and a lot of the top 32 are hitting Pipe to practice but there's a big problem: A summertime sand buildup is still in place and the northerly swell and the howling trades compounded it yesterday.
Pipe is almost a right hand point break at the moment and it doesn't look like it's changing anytime soon. Jordy Smith, who doesn't mind getting a bit of airtime, went right for most of his session and left the water looking dejected. When asked how it was he said, "There were a few good ones if you waited for them but they were a bit small." I guess when you're well over six feet tall and the heaviest guy on tour a small wind swell is not going to make you smile.
Taj Burrow hit the water and tried to get a few rights but he couldn't help himself and started punting into the wind on the lefts. So did Matty Wilkinson who can't hit the water without punting. He tried to practice for Pipe by going right but it lasted for about two waves and he spent the next hour getting air or close to surfing every wave into the wind.
Jadson Andre ran past me laughing. When I suggested there were plenty of ramps out there for him he stopped and explained, "I have to go right, I have to practice, you know the reason." The reason, of course, is the ASP judges have told him he has to mix up his rides. He's been told he can't keep using a front side air reverse, his go to maneuver, as much anymore. I scratch my head over this because that's like telling Taylor Knox he can't do his cutback, but I digress.
Jadson tried really hard to go right and did a few backhand snaps but when fellow Brazilians Gabriel Medina and Miguel Pupo hit the water he couldn't control himself. Not one of those little north ramps went unridden or failed to produce some sort of air move. It was like dueling banjoes, the kids were hooting, the air was filled with flying bodies and boards.
Kai Otten joined in, Dayyan Neve, Mick Fanning, Nat Young, a couple of the Gudauskas brothers jumped in and I even saw Taylor Knox trying to get some air. The CT boys gave up on the air show and hit the sand to get rid of the built-up energy with a game of touch footy.
Meanwhile the winner of the windy Off The Wall Air Masters was a toss up between Gabriel Medina and Aussie, Chippa Wilson. Chippa hit the water late afternoon and blew everyone away with his height and rotations. After the breezy session I figure it's not just animals and small kids that go crazy with the wind -- surfers who love getting air do too.Launch Gallery »