Tuesday, December 19, 2006

South Surf's Up!

That was the big front page headline from one of the local papers yesterday, and, man, has it been rolling! Since Sunday, Waikiki's had a barrage of big, chunderous waves. Until now, the waves have been low, slow and easy, but then all of a sudden… At "Walls," on the Diamond Head end of Waikiki, there were giant waves, blasting in one after the other. Strangely, the number of surfers is always the same (how can this be??) but the sudden swell brought the bodyboarders out in droves. (I recently found out that "bodyboard" and not "boogie board" is the correct term. Unless you are using a real Boogie Board, I guess.)

Big Dog and I were out there with ours, too, paddling and tumbling and riding those waves with the super-fit local kids and out of shape vacationers and everyone in between. Walls is great because it's pretty much dominated by bodyboarders, so you don't have to feel like a speed bump in the way of surfers.

Bodyboarding is a completely different experience from surfing. I am sure there are surfers out there -- the ones who call bodyboarders "spongers," for example -- who think it's a lesser kind of surfing, but it's just different. It's like the difference between luging and snowboarding. It's a full-body experience and, as much as I hate to admit it, better suited for younger bodies than mine. After a full day of boarding on Sunday, I think we were only able to do a couple of hours the next day -- we were so tired.

"Oh, to be twelve, again!" I lamented to Big Dog when I finally battled the incoming waves and paddled out to the Pipeline-sized outsiders. (Okay, maybe not PIPELINE sized…) But it is so much fun you forget how tired you are, how the silly diver fins you've got have ripped pieces of your flesh off, how your cheapo kid's board rubs your stomach raw, how your eyes are stinging from the salt water and are nearly blind from the reflected sun, how it starts to get cold out there, buffeted by wind and waves. You catch a huge wave and it's the ride of your life! Until the next one, and the next one…

Actually, bodyboarding until I was completely exhausted has kept me in the best of moods. Guess I'm like that dog that gets cranky unless you run him ragged chasing after Frisbees.

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