The first South swell of the year was coming in the day before yesterday. Dad and I had been looking for reports of North swells, with pretty dismal results, when we found a small bump coming through from the South. So we hopped into the truck and took a right turn to the South instead of the usual left to the North. When we reached the South side we checked Thousand Peaks. Coming around the last corner our hearts raced. Would it be a perfect day on the South side? When it came into view we found a rather pathetic mush breaking through a murky sand bar where 100 other people had decided to surf. Better than expected!
The truth is that the South swells on Maui are not much to write home about. We don’t get many swells since the islands block off many waves from certain directions. The ones we do get are small and weak since they come from the less predominant directions. And, on the off chance that we do get a good swell, there are 50 Billion people out! Surf schools stumble through the breaks, beginners play bumper boards up and down the beaches, and the scraps are fought over by everyone else!
So what we found at Thousand Peaks was not out of the ordinary, but it didn’t mean that it was good! There had to be somewhere that we could go to just catch waves alone! So we decided, right then and there, that we wouldn’t stand for second rate waves anymore, we were going to go searching for a new break!
We drove a while and then the highway pulled along the coast and we could see the water. I didn’t expect to see anything so I busied myself by staring into space. Then something caught my eye, a movement in the water! My first reaction was that this was where Lochness vacations but then I saw what had caught my eye. A wave breaking!
I had seen a tiny wave breaking off of a shallow reef just a few yards out. I pointed and shouted something inarticulate like “MMMM!” and my Dad, apparently focused on the road, jumped and swerved into the wrong side of the road; silly Dad! He gave me a cross look but then he followed my gaze and saw the same wave. He slammed on the brakes, by now for sure scaring some people with his evasive maneuvers, and turned into a little dirt shoulder where we could see the wave.
At first, nothing happened and I wondered if it really could have been Lochness snorkeling. But then a set lined up on the outside and it A-framed onto a reef where it broke in a perfect right shoulder. It wasn’t big, only chest to shoulder high, but it was way better than anything we had seen yet. And there was nobody out, no one even parked, and from the looks of it no one had even been there recently. So we got out of the car and tried to act as uninterested as possible. (Although I think covering my Dad’s 9’0” with banana leaves attracted more attention than it diverted.) When we were out of sight from the road we got prepared to go where no one had gone before! (Aw, its so sad that I no that line.)
We paddled out and immediately there was a set. Four shoulder high waves came through, each the same as the next, and peeled through the break! I tripped out! I couldn’t believe that we had actually done it! We had found ourselves a secret spot! We hadn’t settled for the same terrible conditions we had been stuck in, instead we went exploring and found a great break with no one in it. Later a few head to over head sets came in. We had, by far, the best South swell session since we started paddling and we couldn’t wait to score it again. Little did we know, we would score it again the very next day...