Sunday, November 30, 2008
North Shore Cranks Up To 11
Jamie O'Brien, getting while the getting's good.
California's Che Stang, holding the line at Sunset
It's been a wild few days on the North Shore, and by the looks of things it's only going to get crazier. With a new round of northwest swells pulsing all through the weekend there's been absolutely no shortage of size. For the O'Neill World Cup of Surfing up at Sunset all the WQS hopefuls definitely had their hands full with what some were calling 16-foot faces. And if you know anything at all about Sunset, you know that just surviving a day like that's an accomplishment in and of itself. We're only a couple of rounds into the contest, so the real heavy hitters have yet to surf, but needless to say, it's been exciting thus far.
The real story though was Pipeline the day after Thanksgiving. The dirty, old Pipeline's only broken a couple of times so far this season, and Black Friday was the first really solid west swell to blow threw and sweep the sand off the reef. As to be expected, there were plenty of heroes, lunatics, and casualties on hand.
Crowd or no crowd, Jamie O'Brien owned the day with four or five ridiculous barrels. It is only fitting Jamie's so comfortable Pipe seeing as it's right out his backdoor. His comfort affinity and willingness to toy with the world's most deadly wave is unparalleled. Other than that, after letting the pack simmer down a bit Andy and Bruce got their share, as did Mark Healey and a handful of other regulars. Even the Aussies got into the act with Parko, Josh Kerr, and Anthony Walsh all bagging some solid ones.
But as with any day at Pipe, for all the glory there also has to be some defeat, and this time it came in the form of a mid-tube collision between Aamion Goodwin and Cody Graham. According to witnesses Aamion was driving through a sizable lefthander when Cody, who didn't see Aamion, took off. The two got tangled. Aamion ended up bouncing knee-first off the reef and was rushed to the hospital for X-rays, MRIs, CAT scans, and all that kind of stuff. It's now looking like Aamion's going to be down and out for some time. For his part in it Cody was devastated. If you recall some years back Cody was with Todd Chesser the day Todd lost his life, and incidents like this strike the good-hearted bloke especially close to the heart.
So there you have it, a couple swell-filled days on the North Shore and plenty to talk about. The Sunset contest is back on today, which means folks will be paddling for their lives again, and there's more swell lining up further out on the horizon. Stay tuned, as we bring it all to you.
Dusty Payne throwing down quite possibly the meanest turn Sunset's ever seen.