Finally got back in the water this morning. It felt good. I'd been kind fo nervous about going back in - I lost a lot of my confidence trying to surf on the North Shore last winter. I thought I could handle, and that I'd enter the summer surfing like a pro. Instead I was terrified most of the time. I tried to convince myself that it was a matter of willpower, of conquering your fear. Then John Mozo died, and the kid at Banzai shattered his leg leaning too far into a tube.
I decided my fear was there for a good reason.
Another surfer, Malik Joyeux from Tahiti, died at Pipeline yesterday. I heard in the water this morning that another kid from Kalihi had broken his neck, but his story wasn't in the papers. The news had a video of Malik disappearing. It looked insane - 60 guys in the water, all chasing the tube at Pipes. The sport has gotten way too popular. It was already crowded ten years ago. Now it's insane.
This morning I went to Canoes at ten - close to the time the old Surf Club used to go. There were a couple beginners online at the yahoo site who were talking about going, but I never heard back from any of 'em. It was a moderately decent day - good enough for someone who hasn't been out in three months. Waves were hip high, and fun enough. I caught a few early on, and then it got crowded. Soon you couldn't catch a wave without someone crashing into you. Good thing things were slow. And by 10:30 the break had closed out, with a solid line of beginners blocking everyone's way. That was a bit early - close out time used to be noon.