Opening Day: Pipeline Opens Her Womb For The Boys
We all saw it coming… Over a week in advance for anyone who knows how to turn on a computer and clickety-clack their way to Internet surf forecast site; Typhoon “won-ton-chewy” was steamrolling it’s way across the Pacific. Hawaii was the "deer-in-the-headlights" for the aftermath of a category 4 Super Typhoon, which meant BIG waves coming from an extreme westerly direction, without all the heavy weather chewing things up.
On September 25th, the Banzai woke the North Shore from summer slumber with frightening 12 foot BOMBS! I’m out of the water with an ankle injury, so I was the only one of my friends who wasn’t surfing perfect, sunny Pipeline this last Friday. Some people who can’t participate in an activity won’t watch but I'm not one of those—watching Pipeline break is the best show in the world! I sat in the shade on Jamie O’Brien’s porch and watched ‘The Pipeline Show” all day while elevating my ankle. Friday wasn’t a rerun of any day at Pipeline last year. Instead, it was big, raw, and ledgy. Early season Pipeline is notoriously dangerous due to the clamping lips and bouncy backwash, but most of the sand that causes this had been swept away overnight. Pipeline still had the wobbles though, and daredevils were paying the price for being careless or hasty.
Aside from being one of Pipelines most dedicated chargers, Sion Milosky (above) is nothing short of a fu-king maniac! I watched in horror as he charged over the ledge of a 12-foot First Reef BEAST, tippy toe down the apex of the peak, lose his edge at the bottom, then face plant and skid into the flats while the whole ocean heaved over and dumped thousands of gallons of water onto him. The wave was a straight widow maker out of your worst nightmare! I almost called 911 before he came up from that violent beating. After floating about listlessly for a while, Sion came in, caught a ride with North Shore lifeguard Rick Williams on the ATV back up the beach, and paddled back out! Balls…
Sean Moody’s board theory of going shorter and thicker wasn’t working as he ate shit on three late drops in a row. Mind you he still got a couple barrels before that, but Pipeline was definitely not a fan of his board choice.
Aside from the occasional second reef bomber bulldozing over the crowd, and the chaotic spills due to guys trying to push their limits, there were quite a few gems that heaved through, and it seemed like if you were patient, you could get a shack or two. Derek Ho, Gavin Beschen, Ikaika Kalama, and Jonah Morgan were "on a good one" as they say, and had the best rolls going. Regulars like Mark Healey, Jamie Sterling, Kalani Chapman, and Kawai Lindo threaded a few, while Mike Stewart packed a meaty Second Reefer and was blown out of the barrel on his sponge to show everyone how it’s done, and to start his winter on a high note as well.
Let's hope and pray that Friday was a glimpse of what’s to come for the rest of the Hawaiian winter!—Flynn NovakAbout the author: Flynn Novak is a 26-year old professional surfer born and raised on the North Shore of Oahu and second-generation surf scribe. His father, Walt Novak, was a regular contributor to numerous surf publications in the 80s and wrote the hilarious "The Haole Substitute" novel. One of the most progressive and hardest-charging surfers on the North Shore, Flynn will be providing us with a weekly update from the epicenter of surfing all winter long. Look for his "Coconut Wireless" reports every Tuesday right here on transworldsurf.com and magicseaweed.com.