Hawaiian Recollections : Dion Myers.
The following article was one of the first that we published here at Infoamed, when we had maybe 5 readers, tops. Now that we’ve grown our audience we think it’s a cracking tale well worth revisiting, especially at a time when the Hawaiian migration used to occur for Bodyboarders the world over.
By Dion Myers.
Hawaii, the main stage for bodyboarding.
Back in the day, anyone who is anybody went to the big rock to prove their worth and hopefully get that one photo or that one wave that would make the whole season.
Stepping off the plane to all the sights and smells of the Pacific Island nation was something to behold, all the stories of the heavy locals and waves was something to inflict fear to any red blooded person.
My first year in Hawaii was one not to be forgotten. Making our way to the North Shore from Honolulu was a mission in itself. Landing on the North Shore, walking up and down looking for accommodation, asking other Aussies if they had floorspace or knew of anywhere.
We finally got to Log Cabins where other Aussies were staying and placed bags down, just get ready to start another walk to look for accommodation, when someone came up to the house saying that Mikala Jones was chasing an Aussie that dropped in on him. He pointed straight at me and said “ He’s looking for you, a blonde Aussie….”
I’d just landed on the island, hadn’t even gotten wet yet!
I plead my innocence. Turned out to be another bodyboarder from Australia. Eventually found some accommodation to put our stuff in the Waimea house at Sandy Swanson‘s.
That house was a dream come true but also a nightmare. The amount of people and space and the weirdo named Rusty watching everybody on the security Cameras all day was off putting to say the least.
Many years were spent on the roll out beds at sandy place, or the ghetto… run down houses jammed with beds for bulk accommodation.
The wet stink and rotting floors was an experience.
A few seasons to the north shore with countless surfs at various waves, rubbing shoulders with the best of the best was a dream come true.
Then along came the pipe comps. Always a dream to surf pipe with 3 other guys out. Money spent well I would say.
It was the comp of all comps.This was the world stage, people and cameras seeing and catching all the action ready to be developed and sent off to the magazines.
A notable year for me was 2002. Paddling out solid pipe for the comp, I was seeded in the event so missed out on the earlier rounds out there. Bullet was in the previous heat, he looked an laughed as we paddled out saying, “Your going to love it, sit on that inside rail and scoop!!!”
The roar of the waves crashing on the reef was deafening, you heard the hooter at the start and finish of the heats, that’s it.
Knowing everyone was watching was a rush in itself, but coming from Coffs Harbour, where it’s all beachies, I had something to prove to myself and make my friends at home stoked.
The end of the heat sounded, I caught a wave in to see Michael Crawley yelling something, but I still couldn’t hear until I got to the beach.
“You got the first 10 of the comp!”
Stoked was the least I could say. Over the moon more like it.
Next round was similar conditions, took a wildly late drop, held it, only to get closed out on at gums. I thought to myself I need some redemption here.
Next wave I tried to boost of an end bowl.
Didn’t quite happen like I hoped!
Got caught in the top, and came down hard, punished on the bottom for a bit. Had to laugh and kept going. Didn’t make that round, but happy with the overall result. Got some epic waves and memories with 3 other guys out pipe.
That night we all got hammered, ended up in Honolulu at the hard rock with the No Friends guys, Nelz V asking if I wanted an ice tea, sure… got to be better than drinking booze. Ha! Long Island ice tea..
If you are over 21 there, you get a wrist band.
Let’s say mine got cut off and I got ejected shorty after, stumbling around, fell into a hedge out the front, and bumped into Photog Phil G who also was outside for similar reasons.
Life on the north shore was heaven, ride round on bikes, surf, food land, surf, bike gangs, shories, spotting big names, catching up with guys you haven’t seen since last season, the vibe stoke was unmistakable.
You don’t get it from anywhere else.
Skip forward a few years, the swell was a monster. Unsurfable everywhere, they predicted offshore winds at lunch, which came and by mid arvo pipe had semi rideable waves.
You could have counted on two hands how many guys were out. Sitting out in the ocean dodging the bigger bombs that washed through, seeing which ones would line up right, then choosing the right one.
A big double up came through and I was in position, G.T. and Kainoa had caught waves before so they were paddling back out yelling to go, so I paddled, hard.
The way the water draws off the reef out there is insane. Got to the bottom of it and lined up, never have I had a pit that big.
The fear of been seriously injured was overcome by adrenaline and ego of having something to prove to myself and anyone watching.
Hawaii is a special place, the cold showers at pipe after a surf there will always be the best shower in the world…..