I'm not sure who the first writer was who penned the phrase, "Just Like Pipeline" was, but I know it has been used a million times ever since. And I also know that the comments that came back at those who used it are equally high in volume. "Just like Pipeline? Are you kidding me? What the hell do you know about Pipeline? I know Pipeline and those waves are nothing like Pipe!" You've all heard it before I'm sure.
So why would I knowingly put myself out there and use that line?
That's a good question. I guess because that line sort of says it all. We all instinctively know what the writer means when he says it. We know, or at least we should know, that the wave in question must be hollow. Let's face it, Pipeline is hollow.
And to be fair, the phrase "Just like Pipe" has been around a long time. Way before the discovery of Chopes and other demented like breaks. Before there was a Mavericks, Chopes, Cyclops, Ours, Shipsterns, and other equally hairy spots, there was just little ole Pipeline.
And just so we are all clear here, I would never describe a local New England wave to be "Just like Chopes". Hell no. We don't have anything even remotely close to that insanity. Thank God. We do however, have days (every now and then) where the waves look like...(gulp) dare I say it? Pipeline.
There I said it. Or rather, I wrote it. Oh no, I'm one of them.
I did hear others say that it was the best in years. But no one but me said the "P" word. Look, I've seen Pipeline up close and personal. I've seen it as big as it gets. And I've seen it on the smaller to medium size days. And the one common trait about it is, it's hollow.
When it's big, small, or in between. It is hollow.
There were waves on Tuesday April 24, 2012 that were so hollow and heavy that the comparison came out easily, and without any regret. It was hollow. I was looking at, and shooting waves that if you changed the color of the water, and the vegetation, one would easily see what I am talking about. I'm not saying all the waves were like it. But there were sets that came through that afternoon, that had me staring in disbelief. Just like Pipe.
And the funny thing is, it happened so suddenly. Because earlier in the day the surf was anything but like Pipeline. It was terrible. South/southeast wind and just completely disorganized. It was like the ocean was sick with the flu. There were waves though. And everyone who had the time and space could get their fair share of surf. But there were NO hollow sections first thing in the morning.
There were plenty of fun sized waves that offered anyone of any level plenty of excuses to get wet. And they did. Lots of familiar faces were out up and down the entire New England coast. There were some spots that were better protected from the nagging South wind. But most spots were a little under the weather per se. We used to call days like this "Kag". Onshore kag.
Almost not worth shooting. But then again, there was some size and well, that's all I needed. Same with Ed, he was out shooting as well. We both shot in the morning and headed home. Later on my son called and said he was going back out. That the wind had shifted and it cleaned up. He was very nonchalant about it. There was little, if any, excitement in his voice. So I took my time and finished up what projects I was working on, and made my way back down to the beach.
I did not bring a tripod, because I did not think it worthy to shoot video.
When I pulled up to the ocean I was stunned. Cleaned up? Damn it was firing! And I was the only one around with a camera. I was actually stumbling trying to get my camera out. I saw Max pull into a long backside barrel. And the peaks were just blowing spit out of both ends. The waves were actually hissing. I was stunned.
I kept looking over my shoulder to see if anyone else was there to shoot but there was no one. It was just me and these spitting barrels. Max, Jared Veltsos, Perry Reynolds, Jake Davidson, and Ryan McGill were having a field day out there. So many waves. So many barrels. So many eats. I mean there were some heavy eats going on. So many in fact that I have a special EAT gallery this week. Oh yea, there was hell to pay for those waves.
Max later told me how really heavy it was out there. I could see it myself.
I didn't need anyone to tell me what I already knew. I know heavy when I see it. Like I know a Pipe looking wave when I see one. And these waves were looking like a small Pipe day. Trust me a small Pipe day is nothing to sneeze at. The waves I was shooting had all of what makes this area so special. It was in a word perfect.
At one point I felt a presence behind me. When I turned I saw a figure aiming his camera at me. At first I could not see who it was. The sun was in my face. When he spoke I knew in heart beat who it was. "You think you're the only one who can should photographers shooting waves..." Nevins.
I had not seen him since his exciting week he had winning $10k in a Photo Shoot Off out west. He was still beaming over that one.
Then his beaming went bigger when he focused on the waves in front of us.
We both stood there slack jawed at the sights and sounds. And make no mistake about it. Those waves were making sounds. And that is my big regret. I did not shoot video. I kicked myself over and over again. Those waves would of made some impressive video. The sounds of those thick lips unloading onto the sandbars. The sights of those huge bowls spitting compressed air and water like demented fire hoses up and down the beach, was a sight I won't soon forget.
It was breaking just like..."Pipeline!"
I mentioned Chopes earlier in my blog. There's a video clip that I posted here this week that you really should check out. It's called CODE RED and I highly recommend it. Take the time to watch it. It was shot with the NEW Phantom camera and the slow motion is nothing short of mesmerizing. It is without question some of the most breathtaking footage you will ever see of surfing.
Though I would hardly call that surfing. It is to me, and to almost everyone else I know, something beyond surfing. If you are one of the rare individuals on this planet that actually has a desire to want to surf that beast, I want to hear from you. I want to look into your eyes and see what's there. Or what's not there. Because that is one crazy ass wave.
I am beyond surprised that there are not more deaths there.
That wave looks terrifying. No iota of fun around it. It is liquid death. And yet people are drawn to it like it was a fun day at Malibu or the Wall. I shake my head when I hear those that surf it talk about it like it was no big deal. Are you freaking kidding me? Dude? Really? You guys are amping to get out there and ride that? Why?
I'm still not over Laird's first ride there. But today? Oh my God...there's a whole new slew of dare devils who live for that spot. Who might end up dying for that spot one day.
Homie wants nothing to do with that. No thank you. And look I'm talking about the old Ralph as well. I would of stayed clear of such a spot no matter how young and in shape I was. I want and would of wanted NOTHING to do with it. I'm not sure I'd even feel comfortable in one of the boats that hang around on the shoulder when it's big.
I mean have you seen that scene? You must be joking.
The boats that hang on the inside and near the bowl to get the ultimate photos are now becoming part of the whole mystique and danger. It's only a matter of time before one of those boats get caught by a big swinging wide. And boy won't that be something to see on YouTube about a million times.
The deaths of some boatload of tourists or journalists. Think that can't happen? Take a look at how many boats, skis, and surfers there are in the water there. Oh it's going to happen. I guarantee it.
A boat will get caught by that cement mixer lip and get drilled into the reef and someone, or a bunch of someone's will not be coming back up for air. They will be splattered all over that reef. Dead as a doornail. Kaput.
But you and I? We'll be home safe in our homes watching it all on some live podcast. Then later on YouTube. We'll be safe and sound. Because we have brains that work. Thank God for that.
But I won't be surprised if someone discovers a cold water version of CHOPES out in the North Atlantic and some of you feel brave and young enough to have at it. If that's the case, and I am still around I'd love to come and see it. And better yet, I'd love to come and shoot it.
After all, it would be fitting to have your last wave on video. I think your family would want a copy.
Hey, it's the least I can do for you.
Now for some of my Weekly Global Observances:
Did you all catch the most absurd Basketball insanity in years last week when Ron Artest (Mr Worldpeace) elbowed another player in the head after he scored 2 points in a non de script lay up? Are you kidding me? World Peace? Huh? Hey Ron, you're a loose cannon. You've always been a loose cannon. He should be suspended and then fined. If this was the NFL he would be gone. Same with the NHL or Baseball. That is a crime. Ron Artest is a criminal in Lakers clothing. Get rid of him.
The Bruins have left the building. What the...? That was shocking.
Now I know why they call it sudden death. It was damn sudden. Talking with people who were there in the Garden when that OT goal was scored said that it was a deathly silent. Just silence.
I know I felt the suddenness of it all. I guess we all did. Man. Maybe it's time to change those rules as well. Like the NFL does. This Sudden Death BS is too quick and sudden. Of course I'd be saying none of this had the B's won. But that's not the case. We lost. And honestly? We deserve to lose. I did not have a good feeling going into this series. Every game decided by one goal? That's too tight. We lost our edge.
No Lucic? No Thorton? If it wasn't for Marchand and Seguin we'd of been out of it sooner. Thomas? He was not himself either. Look it's hard to get back to back Championships. Except the Pats did it in 03-04. But Hockey? It's hard. Next year? I think we'd have a better shot. Still, I have to admit, NHL play-offs is still the fastest and most exciting game on the boob tube. So thanks for the excitement. We'll see you next year B's!
Bill Belichick and company picked some Defensive players that should help. Jones and Hightower. My son thinks they'll both see plenty of playing time next season. If they can help us get back into the BIG SHOW, play them all day long. We need a solid D. I think we can all agree on that. Defense wins championships.
GO SOX! GO CELTICS!!!