North Shore Week In Review: 12/10/07 -THE END

Girl, you've got to let me know: Should I stay or should I go?

Parko knew. He packed up the moment the buzzer crossed him off the heat sheet in Round Two of the Rip Curl Pipe Masters. He'd already won Sunset. Stoked. Outy {{{5000}}}.

That was the overall sentiment of everyone finishing their "work" early over here on the North Shore. "I'm done. Good." Gone.

It hasn't been much of a winter, so far. Pretty freakin' weak, in fact…but maybe the late season crew will score. The rest of us, we're falling Parko

Pipe did its thing for a few days — uh, finally — and the comp wrapped up in no time, three days of solid surf with a final to make you see God, and then done.

Victory parties ensued. (When Andy wins, the whole North Shore wins.)

Followed, of course, by a solemn day of tribute to ill winds and foul livers. Possible regrets and strange recollections. Lost slippas, maybe.

And then what? What now.

And, shoots, what just happened?

The week started with blood in the bottom of the pool. Money fluttering down from the sky. And everyone standing around with their jaws on the ground.

A solid swell was on its way… but until it hit, everyone was well entrenched in various other free-time shenanigans. The North Shore Pool Jam was about as hardcore as shenanigans get. With old school legends like Lance Mountain, Steve {{{Caballero}}} and Christian Hosoi sharing runs with new-school heroes like Danny Way, Bob Burnquist and Omar Hassan. With free barbecue, plenty beer and loud music, the boys were going silly, not holding back one bit. Total carnage. Hassan skating in a blood-soaked tee-shirt from a wide-open chin. Chris Miller on his way to the hospital after a high-speed face plant. Burnquist looking like he died and kept skating. When all the charity dollar bills settled in the deep end, everyone in attendance — including Kelly Slater, Shane Beschen, Christian Fletcher and much local surf crew — were certain they'd witnessed something special.

Then there was Pearl Jam/U2 concert in town, plenty games of golf, yoga classes, poker, 14-year-old chicks…plenty things to stay occupied. But when the swell arrived and all that stuff went away.


Then of course the Rip Curl Pro Pipe Masters threw down Bing, Bang, Boom in epic conditions, but surely you know all about that already (if not, click here). Meanwhile, 50 yards up the beach, Off the Wall was daring all takers to pull into massive closeouts for dangling photo {{{incentives}}}. Aussie photo Op Specialist Laurie Towner tried to hang on to a double-overhead drop and got eaten alive, then re-digested onto the reef via an air-pocket free fall that subsequently dislocated his shoulder. Towner took the next wave on the head, but luckily some mates were there in time to paddle him out the back on Curren's bigger board. The rescue Ski was right there, because the contest was on, and the comp doctors were on hand to pop it back in. Towner claimed it was the worst pain of his life, when they were tugging at his arm and couldn't get it in, but then it popped in from another angle. "Then that was, like, the best feeling ever," says Towner, the same stuntman who caught one of the bombs of the year at Backdoor last year, then another at Shipsterns and nailed huge spreads in every mag. "I was about to spew but I held it in. Then I almost fainted." (check the sequence in the April Issue of SURFING.