There’s Nothing Like A Freshly Cracked Season

On Oahu, you know the winter season has begun when Pupukea Foodland changes from a quiet neighborhood grocery into the beating heart of the North Shore. It becomes a watering hole for young beauties seeking a mate… and the beer store for hundreds of drunken cowboys. Foodland gets so packed once the sun has gone down that it can be hard to make it through the door in under five minutes.

Packs of girls stand around waiting to be approached, throwing wanting stares in the direction of every young man they see.

You can sit in the parking lot for hours and be just as entertained as watching a good afternoon at Rockies.

The women dress to the nines for Foodland. They come freshly showered with clean smooth clothes and jewelry. They shine and sparkle like fish lures, just begging for a good hard bite. There’re more women than ever on the North Shore this October. It’s amazing. Country looks more like Mission Beach, California and less like an army camp every year.

And these girls charge. They’re sexy, they surf pretty good, and they want to party. My lord, do any of us even understand?

It can be distracting to say the least. Making it down to the water, with a fresh north swell filling in, it’s hard to understand that summer is over and it’s time to get back to business. These first swells are a wake-up call, not full-power, but powerful enough to rock you a bit, maybe slap you a couple times, and slam you against the reef. Remind you who’s boss.

The winter season on the north shore isn’t all bikini girls and strip poker. It’s 8 months of war. Once the swells start pouring in there’s nothing you can do but immerse yourself or run away. You decide whether to paddle out to the front lines, or just surf weak Leftovers.

Whether you like it or not it’s heavy and dangerous. People get killed. Hell, someone died this week at Sunset. There’s a whole winter of pain ahead.

If you’re not careful you’ll get sucked over the falls head first into 15 inches of clear warm water, and driven into a sharp crunchy cave in the reef.

Or maybe you’ll take a ten-foot west bowl on the head and get dragged under water for an 8-wave set. Dragged for so long that you vomit, and the pretty girls waiting at Foodland seem like distant illusions in your brain-damaged head.

The season has started. It’s time to step back, take a big nosy inhalation, stretch your shoulders and smile.