We hadn’t really seen anything like it all winter. That big, dark purple blob growling and growing with intensity as it spun just above the Hawaiian island chain, guaranteeing a big hit. But as the North Shore pulled out their rhino chasers and the rest of the world’s big-wave riders called their travel agents, the biggest swell of the season turned out to be a disappointment for most. The swell was there, peaking at 24 feet at 17 seconds and holding strong early this past week. Problem was, the storm was so close that Kona winds also kicked up with the swell, trashing most spots. Waimea — peaking at a solid 18 to 20 feet on Tuesday — looked like a jumbo version of J Bay during devil winds. “It was so hard to ride,” said young female Brazilian charger Maya Gabeira. “We caught a few early in the morning, but it turned into chaos real fast.” Mark Healey, Jamie {{{Sterling}}} and the Longs bypassed the North Shore altogether and tried their luck on Maui, but didn’t fare much better. Word is, it was blowing 50 knots and even made towing a chore. So, who found satisfaction during the best pulse of this increasingly abysmal winter? We can’t name any names, of course, but we know more than a few surfers who headed east and scored. “It was a little to west for the most of the east side” said Aamion Goodwin. “But there were a few mysto spots to be found.”