Why would someone think that surfing Waimea at night sounded like a good idea? We dunno, but keep reading and Brock will key you in on the details behind the one and only time he took that chance.
I always loved surfing big waves. Day or night, it didn’t matter, I was going to have a good time. I always worried about guys like Foo or even Chesser who were out there surfing gladiator-style. Their mentality was like “do or die.” When it became “do or die” time for me, I quit... but it’s fun to talk about the fearless days.
One evening, just as it was getting dark, I was coming home from town and I saw Waimea was solid 15+. It was too late to go out, but there was a full moon. That kind of planted a seed in my pea brain.
Some friends and I decided to go get pizza and beers at Pizza Bob’s. There were about ten of us and, after a pitcher or two, I decided it was time to surf Waimea. Nobody was too thrilled with the idea. I always had problems getting my friends to do fun things at night. I liked jumping off Wahiawa Bridge, Waimea rock, Haleiwa Bridge, whatever. They just wanted to go to strip bars. Maybe I was gay, but I liked being close to home.
I hate to date myself but this was before buoys so I had no idea how big it would be. Although my friends didn’t want to go out, they were all for cheerleading my session. I always loved surfing at night. In fact, I have pretty much night surfed all over the island with and without a full moon. It was trippy paddling out, because I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
Once I got out there, I discovered that Waimea is a good place to surf at night. You can see the white water of the wave coming from Three Tables which made it easy to line up. Every time I caught a wave I would get half way down the face and I could hear my friends cheering from the point. They could only see my track as I made my way down the face. I probably rode a dozen or so waves before heading in. It was fun. I never did it again, probably because I’m a wimp.
I wouldn’t recommend drinking and surfing Waimea during the day or night but I’m an idiot. For some reason, when I talk about big wave surfing, these kinds of sessions are my favorite. I don’t remember having “do or die” sessions or pep talks with myself. It was always about having fun.
After a few near drownings, big wave riding became less fun. Surfing giant waves became more of a “do or die” thing than a fun thing, and that sucked. My oxygen seemed to get depleted faster and I was a lot more on edge. I still charged, but I had a different mind set that wasn’t a healthy one for somebody trying to ride giant surf. It sucks... When I’m out there, I still go. But death is on my mind... and that’s how you die.