Wednesday, December 9

Big Waves

Hawaii is being hit by a monster set, equal to1969 which put surfing on the map. Images of dudes wiping out on 40 or 50-foot giants intrigued a generation of hippies from Santa Cruz to Fiji who, from then forward, pursued the ultimate ride.  Hawaii expects to see 50 foot faces, which draws the world's 28 best surfers who arrive to compete in "The Eddie" which is called only when North Shore conditions sufficient for the ensembled talent. The competition held only seven times in its twenty-five year history.  Gnarly.

Top of my mind: wipeout!  A breaking wave can push a surfer 20 to 50-feet underwater. Once the spinning stops, the dude must regain equilibrium and figure out which way up. He may have less than 20 seconds to re-surface before the next wave crashes.  Additionally, the water pressure at this depth can rupture eardrums and strong currents and water action can slam the surfer-dude on a reef or floor.  Mark Foo, a Master, died this way in '92 surfing Half Moon Bay's Mavericks.

It is easy to see the thrill of these Giants.

Stu Nahan: [Spicoli is dreaming that he's won a surfing competition] "Hello everybody! I'm Stu Nahan, and I'd like you to meet this young man. His name, Jeff Spicoli. And Jeff, congratulations to you. Things looked kind of rough out there today."
Jeff Spicoli: "Well, I'll tell you Stu, I did battle some humongous waves! But you know, just like I told the guy on ABC, "Danger is my business!" "
Stu Nahan:
"You know, a lot of people expected maybe Mark "Cutback" Davis or Bob "Jungle Death" Gerrard would take the honors this year."
Jeff Spicoli:: [
laughs incredulously] Those guys are fags!
Stu Nahan: [
oblivious] "That's fantastic! Let me ask you a question. When you get out there, do you ever fear for your life?"
Jeff Spicoli: 
"Well Stu I'll tell you, surfing's not a sport, it's a way of life, you know, a hobby. It's a way of looking at that wave and saying, "Hey bud, let's party!" 
focuses on Stu's sport coat]
Jeff Spicoli:
"Where'd you get this jacket?"
Stu Nahan: [
evasive] "I got this from the network. Let me ask you a question. What's next for Jeff Spicoli?
Jeff Spicoli: Heading over to the Australian and Hawaiian internationals, and then me and Mick are going to wing on over to London and jam with the Stones!"

to the two girls next to him]
Jeff Spicoli: "
And you guys are invited too!"

--1982's Fast Times At Ridgemont High 

Image from