It all started when I was sitting at home, on the computer, finishing school. It was just about time that my Dad gets off of work and we could go to the beach, today was supposed to be massive so I was anxious. Anxious in a way that I didn’t want to go but that’s what made me want to so bad. Today was a day to push my envelope and see how far I could go. I sat there, looking at swell reports and webcams, thinking about all this. But I had to shut that out because that anxiety can build up over time and make you crack when you get out on the water. No, what I had to do now was focus and flush all the fear out, replacing it with positive energy.
But that positive energy was hard to keep up as we rounded the corner to Hookipa and a double over mast high set came crashing through. I told myself I could do it. Could I?
As I rigged up I saw more sets crashing through, the swell was a west one which made it closeout from Hookipa down about a half-mile to Kuau. My heart pounded in my throat and my stomach felt like oatmeal but I finished rigging and carried my gear to the beach.
You may be thinking, “What’s the big deal? Double over mast is a small day at Jaws.” and you’re right but when Hookipa gets like this there is no channel to try and shoot for on the wave, the whole thing closes out and that usually means that you have to stay as late as possible on the wave until you straighten out to the beach. Otherwise you’ll shoot out into the flats and then get sucked up the face again, not good! So if you get a bomb you have to ride it for all its worth, there’s no way out basically.
I sat on the beach, closed my eyes, and thought about a successful ride on a bomb set. That would for sure get me some “street credit” as Levi Siver would put it! With that I went out a headed for where the channel is, usually. There I just about made it out when the big bomb set came into view on the outside. I knew I wasn’t even close to making it over the wave so I chicken jibed and putted back inside. There the waves came as mountains of whitewater and I fannagled my way around it using what was left of the channel to do so. Finally the last wave came through, through the mist and rolling swells I could make out the wave breaking off the point. It was way over double mast and seemed to rage through the break as the offshore wind made the lip froth and snarl like a colossal animal. It broke and by the time it came to me it was a mile long torrent of whitewater! I barely made it over and pumped to the outside. Once there I thought about going in. It was way over my head and there was no reason for me to be out here. Then I stopped myself, I had never in my life even considered going in without catching a wave. What was I thinking?! Sure I could go in and drive down the coast, but I would regret it later. Sure I could just catch the small waves and avoid the big ones but I was here for more. Today was a day to push my envelope and see how far I could go!
Then, the set came slowly rolling through on the outside and I was lined up for it. It was now or never I had to pull it together and get with the program! So I tacked on the set wave and rode it in as it grew in size on the way to the reef! It went from mast high, to mast-and-a-half, to double mast, to double over mast, and it kept growing until it got hung up on the reef and started to pitch! That’s when I gunned it down the face, absorbing every chop like a skier on the moguls, except the mountain was chasing me down! I leaned into the rail as I bottom turned up to the face, praying not to fall! I looked up at the wave, it looked like a pyramid and the side that I was on was folding over! When I got to the top of the pyramid I made the hair raising transition from rail to rail as I redirected back down the face! I heard the mounds of water crashing down behind me like cannon fire! I yelled at the top of my lungs with the wave! That single turn was one of the most exhilarating things I’ve ever done! And it wasn’t over! The next section was starting to peel and I gunned toward it without a second thought! I turned up under the lip and threw buckets, but then my inside rail caught! My heart sank and lifted to my throat in the same instant and I’m pretty sure I screamed too! I tried everything I could to correct myself but it was no use and I was at the will of the wave. I guess the wave liked me or something because as soon as I realized that, my board straightened out and I got the hell outta Dodge! I was so relieved, I made it out alive! My Dad was on the cliff watching, he was dancing up and down waving at me! I couldn’t wave back, I was glued to the boom!
After a few more waves I went in where all four people that were watching congratulated me, nice! But that didn’t matter because I did that for me, to push my envelope. It was so worth it too! Now I have re-enforced stoke for windsurfing and the water in general! Plus, almost every time there is a big day at Hookipa, I can say I’ve sailed bigger!
Everyone should push their envelope when windsurfing! It makes you feel more confident, not only windsurfing but in everything you do, and it gets you stoked to go out the next day! And it doesn’t have to be going and riding a giant day at Hookipa. You could go and be the first person in your break to sail out to a channel marker a mile out to sea! Or maybe you could try a forward for the first time, these things are all ways to improve your confidence which improves your skill! Go out and push your envelope, get scared a little! It’ll be the best feeling in the world!