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Teiki Mathieu Baillan surfing a self-made Alaya surfboard in Macaroni, Mentawaï, Indonesia. Photo by C. Naslain, 2009.
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TRUTH BE TOLD - Born and raised in Hawaii. Been surfing since i stoop up 3 feet and now i am 35 years old. I must say that i got the worst BEAT of my life here. Don't get my wrong, i chase big surf, but in this particular day, I TRULY thought that i was going to die here. I got held down for about 40 seconds on the first wave and a set of 4 more waves rolled through. Very, very, very tricky wave because there isn't a channel and if you get early a.m as i did, it appears to be a small passing one, but it soon fades as the tie increases. THEREFORE, if a REGULAR surfer is thinking about surfing this place, please, think it twice because this is a place where i local from Honolua Bay (Maui) almost die on a 20+. Water too cold!!! Certainly, i won't surf here unless there is $ ON IT.
help - whens the best/worst time for surfing here. i'll be there in april and wondering what board to bring, thanks
seasonal? - when is the best time for surfing here? how about the worst. i'm visiting in mar-april and trying to figure what boards to bring. thanks.
By punk dude
here's everything you need to know - you need a 6'2 for small days. 7'2 for in between and 8'0 for big daysyou will do a lot of paddling. take your time and find the lull and the channel.i haven't seen a shark or a car theft yet (knock on wood) but one of the two will happen. plan for it. i've been surfing here for years. i've been met with a frown a handful of times and smiles all the rest. its super spread out so if its too crowded just paddle down the beach. it breaks everywhereand theres no reason to be on one peak. you'll get some amazing waves and be humbled by the earth.
North Shore / OB - I think that is a damn good summary. You get people from all over the place that love to say, "Just like pipeline..." about their home break. In the case of OB, the difficulty of surfing the place is rightfully pretty famous. The waves can be super heavy, enormous, with no channels, football fields full of whitewater, etc. etc... However, the set up doesn't allow for comparison in terms of raw power to a wave like Pipe that breaks over shallow reef. It's just not an apples to apples comparison. OB also does not force riders, even on and possibly particularly on the larger to largest days, to be expert tube riders. There are most certainly some INCREDIBLE beach break barrels to be had at OB, but again, as a shifty, huge beach break, epic DOH-TOH long, 5 second made barrels really aren't the norm, more of the exception.For heart in your mouth, full-bore adrenalin pumping surf, OB is tough to beat in its season. OB is its own animal, one that I'm jonesing to visit often this upcoming season.My favorite part of the year....when we're watching the first N/NWs come though knowing that there is a whole season of their big brothers gathering their energy to grace our beach for the next few months. Git some.JBL
Another opinion, perspective, - more signal to noise. Gotta add my 2 cents. ;-)I'm a tranny in the Bay Area, grew up in Oahu, started sponging at 14, surfing @ 16, then took a hiatus when I moved here 7 years ago. I'm 33 now. I took up surfing again about 3 years ago in Santa Cruz, and had a blast at 26th, and Pleasure Pt. on some south swells. After awhile, I had to try O.B., after hearing a lot about it. I started going in late summer, early Fall, and started with outer bar action at Sloat. Man, when it gets glassy and several feet overhead, that place gets REAL fun. It's definitely a paddle to get out to the waves, and it gets tiring and draining too. A couple of double over head days, I got out and was just pooped. This is at Sloat, and when the outer bars are working, it's the same distance as a paddle out to the waves on the south shore of Oahu. The only difference is, the waves are easy to duck dive at Sloat vs. spots like Pupukea or Ehukai sandbar (when those places are jacking, they are WAAAAY heavier than O.B.; you've gotta see the bombs come through and explode out there when the sandbars are built up). I've been out at Pupukea and Ehukai sandbar at DOH to maybe TOH and that sandbar HEAVES compared to Sloat or even the North end of O.B. The biggest i've been out to both ends of O.B. is DOH, so when it gets 4x OH, it is probably a much different beast that I can't reference. In terms of power, I would compare O.B., pound for pound, to the south shore of Oahu. I've been back for two summers on really good south swells (3-5 feet Hawaiian, close to DOH), and it has the same power as O.B. O.B. doesn't have the same kind of power as the waves in the Ehukai beach park area. That's what it seemed like when I've been back to the N.S. in the past two Dec.'s after a Fall/Nov gearing period at O.B. But, definitely, paddling out at O.B., to me, is a damn good training exercise.In terms of shape, I have yet to get a full on hollow barrel at O.B. I would say even at DOH, depending on the sandbars, but even late Nov., I haven't been in a huge barrel out there yet. I've been covered up, but I had to trim pretty high and tight for that to happen. But, I love the A frame peaks with speeding walls and major bowling sections. You can fly on that wave!The best thing about O.B. to me is the crowds, or lack of them. I catch so much waves out there. And the guys out there are some of the friendliest people around. Also when O.B. fires, it can get EPIC. The worst thing about O.B. to me is the fickleness of it all. You almost have to be able to drop whatever you're doing, on a whim, to be able to get it good. Luckily I work at a job where I can do just that, but I still have been burned many times going out there and checking it out. The damn winds ruin the place. I'm glad that I got back into surfing, and was able to get it back on at O.B. I've got a special place in my heart for that break, even though it's a love/hate relationship. Still, i'd rather be surfing in Indo.
Epic spot - I grew up surfing the beach in the 80's. I got so many good days there its insane. By far the best tube rides of my life there some 5 to 8 seconds...rivals the north shore of hawaii for power. and when it gets big you can always find your own peak but be prepared to take the biggest set on the head cause chances are you will.
By marco "lucky to tell the story"
- Very dangerous spot, if you are not an experienced surfer you´ll end up in the hospital.... like i did... hehehehe...
The 80's - I used to love surfing this place back in the 80's. Plenty of waves and plenty of room. It was nice to get away from those Steamer Lane and Pleasure Point jerks. I've since moved on to greener pastures. I won't tell where.
Hazards - Rips, currents that switch with the tides, undertow, sharks, an occasional territorial sea lion, cutting your feet on broken bottles buried on the beach, getting panhandled for change. By the way, don't eat at the Beach Chalet near Lincoln and The Great Highway. They are terrible to their employees; chew them up, spit them out like old bubble gum, lie when it comes time for unemployment checks after they fire someone for whatever pissy litle reason! I think the manager is on coke or something! Spend your money at Java Beach for good java and food. They're at Judah and La Playa.
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