11/23I arrived this afternoon to a new-and-improved Volcom house. This place is a palace now! The upstairs is completely carpeted, a new leather couch faces a huge TV screen, and wireless Internet flows through the halls. The dungeon downstairs is actually kind of nice. What was once a blacked-out room with one bed now reveals bunk beds, a refrigerator, toilet and sink and even a window (trust me: a big deal). Oh, and I forgot to mention that the boys also put hard work into a sick, 30’ x 30’ board room. The waves were 4 to 6 feet today with weird winds, but still a pretty fun first evening session. I guess somebody nailed the back of his head at Pipe this morning and was knocked unconscious. It always seems like it’s the odd days when people get hurt. Bummer, I hope he’s all right.
11/24 Thanksgiving DayThe waves cleaned up early this afternoon. Even though big, plump turkey is on the back of my mind, the best part of Thanksgiving on the North Shore isn’t the food. For all us JOJs and FOBs who left our families at home, the only thing we can take solace in here is that the lineups are going off with only a handful of guys out. Surfed ’til sunset at clean, empty Pipe and Backdoor. Stuffed. The house doesn’t really have a “formal” dining table. Dinner is more or less set up for a no-holds barred free-for-all. It was so classic. The house is filled with a whole range of surfers, 13 to 35 year-olds, Australians, Hawaiians and Americans. One of the Aussies never had Thanksgiving dinner before. Afterward, he decided he would have one of “these” every day at home from now on.
11/25/05The six-star at Sunset started today. I guess when an Aussie kid lost his heat at the XCel, Borg [Kai Garcia] made him run soft sand all the way home from Sunset. Hope I don’t get the same marching order. This evening, I went over to a girl’s house where they were having a bonfire on the beach. By the time I had shown up fashionably late, the fire department was there, shoveling sand onto the small blaze. They were so pissed. But that didn’t mean the lady friend and I didn’t re-kindle our own flames down the beach that night. Owwww!
11/27Surfed Rockpiles for the first time today. Cory Lopez, Nate Fletcher, Russ Smith and Pete Mel were out first in the early afternoon. Nate got a crazy bomb out past the boil, a long bottom turn into a creature of a tube, came out and pulled in again to what looked like a closeout on the sandbar. He got spit out of that, too. One of the craziest waves I’ve ever seen. I asked him, “How sick was that double tube?” He just shrugged and said: “Um, pretty sketchy out there.” I paddled out a little later not really knowing the swell was on the rise. I got out through Pipe ’cause it was too big to paddle out from Logs. I surfed for about an hour and a half. The drop is really steep out there because it comes out of deep water and just jacks on a shelf of boulders and boils. Plus, out of nowhere, 15-foot cleanup sets will break out way beyond you and just land on your head. Maybe that’s why no one was out. I was trying to figure out the lineup when a set came in and I started scratching for one. The wave jacked, didn’t seem makeable, but then suddenly backed off and gave me a courtesy push. I stood up, and it then jacked again twice as hard. On my next one, I took a steep, late drop, couldn’t see much coming off the bottom turn, looked up only to see a 12-foot closeout about to land on my head. I jumped, and got rolled almost to Off the Wall. As I write this, water is still draining from my nose. Easily one of the best sessions I’ve ever had on the North Shore.