Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Sucked Out To Sea... :)

I was out body boarding with my buddy Russ the other day at Makapu'u beach on the East shore of Oahu. Awesome place.

If you've ever been surfing at a real beach (as opposed to a tourist beach) you know that all the locals make it out to look real easy, like eight year riding the waves all "Weeeeee!!" Then you get out there and the first wave just PUMMELS you.

I'm pretty much used to it after living here six months, even enjoy it, but the other day we were out body surfing (boards left on the beach) in maybe 3-5 foot waves and got sucked out.

We were out there maybe half an hour when I suddenly realize I'm not able to touch the ocean floor anymore, and the waves are just coming in one after another as the ocean is basically blowing it's load... :)

At first I figure it's no big deal, but the waves keep pummeling in, over and over, and I'm having to jump up for short 2 second burst of air before I'm sucked back down under the waves.

I'm swimming as hard as I can but I'm still being sucked out by the undercurrent -- I look over and see Russ is having a hard time as well. Most of the people closer in have been pushed back to the beach and we're like the only guys out there.

This lasted maybe 5 minutes (felt like an hour) as I saved my energy while being pounded under, and then would use what energy I had left to let the waves sort of push me back in, in between being pulled back out again.

I made sure to gasp for air with precision every time I came up, get a quick gulp, and then go back down, until I eventually made it back in the 10 feet necessary to get my feet on sand and push my way back in.

Russ made it in like half a minute after me, and I had to keep looking back to see where he was at in case he didn't make in on his own. He did though, no prob.

Anyway, it was really no big deal and I'm sure that everybody who plays out in the surf has these types of experiences.

At the time I didn't really acknowledge it my mind as being a potential problem. The only thing I was thinking was how to get back in. I just did what I had to do, did it properly, and I was fine.

After I got back in I basically collapsed in the sand and realized I probably didn't have much energy left. Another minute and I'd have really had to tap deep into the reservoir, because I was pretty much finished.

The big lesson from this for me was not to get too cocky and let the waves creep up on you and grab you out before you know what happened.

Local Hawaiins are always telling me this, as I'm sure dumb tourists like myself get annihilated out here on the regular.

Play it safe!! :)



Matthew said...

You look so happy with that board. :)

entropy said...

Dude, if that ever happens again you have to swim at angle back to the beach. It'll get you out of the riptide that's moving away from the shore.

If that doesn't work then you'll probably have to summon The Claw. Don't worry, the reef will be able to repair itself one day...