Adventures In Misadventure.
By Ben Sawyer.
I was the first guy to paddle out at Cape Solander this morning, it was big, maybe 10ft with a few bigger ones, there were multiple wash throughs that morning (too big or not east enough, take your pick), my first couple of waves were really solid. It was full low tide and bottoming out below sea level and eating me alive, it was super heavy out there and just seemed to get better and better, I was pushing my limits trying hard to get some crazy ones, I got a heap of really nice heavy waves, then Mitchy Blewitt caught his short circuit entry.
I ended up snapping my leash, I continued to surf on my board with a broken leash, swimming for my board if I didn’t make the wave, it was at about this point when I caught the wave pictured below.
Not long after the wave I was feeling great and had pretty much forgotten about my leash being snapped. There was a big set looming on the horizon, I swung around super late when a surfer was half paddling but did not commit to this bomb and then pulled back, I was paddling super hard but I was inevitably going to get stuck up in the lip and pitched from the top straight to the bottom, I regrettably pulled back at the last second, throwing my board to try and stop myself from being sucked over with this beast.
I somehow avoided the beating and was still in the line-up, after about 5 minutes my board had not reappeared in the channel as it had previously and Chris Bryan was able to tell me it had never come back out from the cave section. While I was floating around out there hoping for my board to be released by the Cape gods, they presented me with another opportunity, the front end of Wayne Cleveland’s half broken stand-up drifted by so I grabbed it kicked my way out into the take-off zone and waited for a wave to ride:
The first one I got was decent, I made it and kept the half stick in my grip, so I went out and got another one, sequence below:
Once I lost that board I had to try and find my Boog, so I swam in and asked around up on the rocks, one of the many spectators that day was able to tell me it had been getting belted over and over again in the cave section and he pointed down into the cave section, I could see the white slick emerge with a black HP sticker, I climbed down as fast and safely as I could to grab it and get back out there but it just disappeared almost never to be seen again, after half an hour of looking and wondering where in hell my board had gone, I gave up and decided to come back in the afternoon for low tide.
I got a chicken roll in the mall and went to check Shark island for high tide with no board ☹, I watched it for a while and it was crowded, a little wind affected but still decent.
I still had to organise a board for the arvo surf, so I called up one of my best mates Des at Emerald and was lucky enough to borrow his “big wave board” for the afternoon, he reckons it’s a big wave board because its plugged.
I drove back out to Cape and had a good laugh in the carpark with a few of the local boys about how good it would be if my board was blessed by the Cape gods and waiting for me down on the big rock in front of the cave. Would you believe it was sitting right there as I had joked about minutes earlier, I posted the footage on my Instagram account:
The bottom was scratched up and the rails were almost ripped off, I took Des’s big wave board back up to the car swapped leashes over to my board and went out for the 2nd epic surf that day, getting out of the water at last light.
On Monday the 21st of December a framed picture from that day was mounted on the back wall at Emerald Bodyboard Specialists: