Hawaiian Swell Journal – November 18, 2011

18 Nov 2011 0 Share

Report by Anthony Walsh

Log Cabins is a very dangerous wave - you must paddle to the right or left of the main peak and be ready to avoid the reef finger-like rocks sticking out randomly all over the break.

Log Cabins is a very dangerous wave - you must paddle to the right or left of the main peak and be ready to avoid the reef finger-like rocks sticking out randomly all over the break.

The first week of the six-week Triple Crown waiting period has been sad by Hawaiian standards with no classic days at any of the world renown spots like Sunset, Pipeline and Haleiwa.

On November 12 the waiting period for the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa started. This also was the biggest day of the week but the four-five foot northeast swell was too small and too north to get into Haleiwa for the Haleiwa contest to kick off and it only stayed around for the good part of two days.

Sometimes at Off The Wall you think you see these seeking little lefts that come into the right - most of the time it’s a mirage: they end up on dry rocks on the inside.

Sometimes at Off The Wall you think you see these seeking little lefts that come into the right - most of the time it’s a mirage: they end up on dry rocks on the inside.

Haleiwa isn’t the only spot that misses out on swells from this direction. They pass by a majority of the North Shore spots. Only a few breaks, like Kamies, Pupukea, Lanis, and the featured spot this week Log cabins working when the swell’s from the north to northeast. We also had a stiff 20 -30 knot east-northeast trade wind. These spots are fairly protected from these trade winds as well.

Logs, as it’s commonly known, is a very tricky wave. It’s a peaky left and right barrel that sucks up really quickly as it moves from deep water to shallow reef really abruptly. It breaks from one foot to eight foot. Any bigger and it’s a real battle. There is an outside reef which starts to break and wash through. This reef is the more famous part of the Log Cabins setup. It holds as big as it gets and is more of a tow wave. In the early tow days, it turned on some the biggest waves ever ridden in Hawaii at the time, like in the movie Big Wednesday.

Majority of the lineups were crawling with the top female pro's like here at Off The Wall.

Majority of the lineups were crawling with the top female pro's like here at Off The Wall.

The inside reef is known for its super shallow finger-like lava rock. It can be six feet deep then jump straight up to one foot where a spike of Lava rock sticks out of the sand. It has taken as many lives and paralyzed as many people as the North Shore’s most feared spot, Pipeline. Surfing here, especially when it’s over four foot is very dangerous and only for experienced surfers. You have to know what you are doing and know the shallow sections of the reef.

Early in the season there is a lot more sand covering the reef, but any swell from the west to north and bigger than five feet in size will move it around more then any other spot on the North Shore. So from day to day it can change dramatically. You can paddle out on either side of the main peak. You just have to be careful of those shallow sections, especially on the right-hand side of the break. From time to time the rocks will actually stick out of the water close to shore.

As far as boards go, I wont ride anything over a 6'4” because the wave really draws out and you have to get yourself under the ledge. With a bigger board you will nose dive. I will ride my 6'0” when it’s under three feet feet then step up to a 6'2” from four-six feet. Any bigger and I’ll bust out my 6'4”.  For Hawaii, you want a board that’s a little thicker just for paddling into the waves as they move a lot faster in other parts of the world. Especially at logs you want thickness rather then the length for paddling power.

Looking at the charts, the next week shows a little more promise with a couple of northwest swells brewing up. Hopefully I’ll be able to report back to you with better waves and a champion crowned at the Reef Hawaiian Pro.

Aloha

- Anthony Walsh

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