Beautiful day at Sunset Beach.
Crystal clear blue water and clean conditions.
12′-15′ by standard measure, 6′-8′ Hawaiian.
One of those postcard-type days that makes sunset seem friendly.
Riding a 7’0″ Matt Biolis Mayhem originally shaped for one of his team guys.
Both the point and the west bowl were working and the pack was split into two main groups.
A former WCT’er was a stand-out on the outside and saw him catch a few great waves. He had the eye of the tiger and still looked really fit and competitive in his late 40s as he paddled by me a few times to head back out to the point.
The west bowl was a younger more competitive crowd and was barrelling sick on the sets.
It was tough to get one on the west bowl peak because the boys were in rotation and just feasting but I noticed that every few sets there was one diamond that would break outside of the pack.
So I sat there in a bubble just outside the west bowl pack with no one around me except guys paddling back up the point and waited.
After a while, the wave I was waiting for came and no one else was in my vicinity.
It was one of those waves where you don’t even have to analyze it, you just know instinctively it’s a great wave and that you’re going no matter what.
I bolted out a few more yards to get in a better position because it was already feathering and gave myself a solid 10-yard uncontested buffer from the inside pack.
Paddled straight up the teepee and swung 180 and started digging.
As I was getting to my feet I could feel the west winds holding me up in the lip a bit but I was already committed.
The inside pack was hustling out and started hooting and hollering.
Even though I gave it my absolute all on the paddle, I wasn’t able to attack the takeoff hard enough to get down the face against the wind.
Things kind of get blurry here but I got to my feet and watched the bottom drop out from under me and instead of riding down the face I went out and over with lip.
The wind blew the nose of the board up and I was freefalling in a slight tail first wheely.
At that point, I knew that it could be a really bad wipeout.
Since I was still centered over my board I made the decision to stay with it.
It felt like I never got any separation from the lip the entire drop and came down tail first and just clicked it in the flats and outran the leading edge of the lip going straight.
Somehow I didn’t get exploded and once I was in the clear I looked to up my right and watched as a perfect right barrel freight trained off. Damn!
I kicked out and came up and there was a guy there asking if I made the drop because he took that thing on the head to give me the high side. I said I did and he was stoked about that and I thanked him.
Somehow I basically floatered the drop from top to bottom and made it.
The rush was incredible.
In bigger surf, even a drop can be the highlight of your session.