Not-So-Breezy On The North Shore
Griff Colapinto and Seth Moniz showcase their Hawaiian winter.
The North Shore is buzzing with bravado, energy, skill and intimidation. It’s an area of surf history and beauty that highlights the inadequacy of the everyman. This isn’t talking about the Wolf Pak whistle, the dogfight at Pipeline, and the potential to be sent in by a mean-eyed, local boy with tribal bands snaking from his wrists to biceps. It’s the casual surf session that during peak season–from Logs, OTW, Pipe, Rockies, Sunset, V-Land and anywhere between–as an average surfer getting waves isn’t easy. Back in December, just before sunset I went out for a surf at Off The Wall. The waves were shit for the North Shore standards, but solid for Los Angeles’.
After a couple hours worth of beers, I paddled hopeful for a fun glide before the earth’s nightly rotation. The Moniz brothers, Griffin Colapinto, Bruce Irons, Kyuss King, Adriano de Souza and other handy QS kids were all sitting on the same peak. Conscious of my lacking skill, slight intoxication and the will to not embarrass myself, I sat on the shoulder hoping for the wide wonky ones, a section to carve, an opening to dip my body into, anything to try and not fuck up in front of the RVCA, Billabong, or Rip Curl houses that sit right above the break. There’s an awkward pressure to surf well at Off The Wall, you know everyone is watching–and they are. While hanging at any team’s house constant discussion and critique of who’s surfing permeates the decks and balconies. Every error goes noticed. The difference between surfing a spot ran by those who do it for a living to your local rippers is the pros have the ability to take off ten yards deeper than everyone else, and they rarely miss sections. I patiently played grom on the shoulder, waiting for someone to dig a rail, blow a section, take a look at a closeout and pull back, none of which happened. Instead, every wave that came through where I felt I may have a shot to wiggle down the line with enthusiasm was taken and devoured by Griff, the Moniz brothers, Bruce etc. My incompetence was showing, I snuck into two waves on the inside and walked back up the coarse sand only to leave OTW alone for the remainder of my time on the North Shore, thinking, Rockies is more fun anyway…
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