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Women/Julias Big Adventure

Julia's Big Adventure

Julia

As I was sailing back out through the Lowers channel, I lost speed getting over the wave sets and was taken down by a curling wave.  Though it wasn't an intense maytag session, when I cleared my sail to waterstart, the entire sail was torn almost in two. Bummer!  The dragging sail pieces made it impossible to ride back or even fly the sail, so I began swimming.  I thought that the current would push me in towards shore, but the rip was actually carrying me out to the notorious Weird Wave.  At this point a guy dropped in the water with me and shouted that I had to get out of there (no kidding) and insisted that I try to fly the shredded sail back to shore.  While proving that this was not possible, a lifeguard suddenly appeared on his jet ski and my real Lowers session began.

Our hero instructed me to pull my board onto the sled of the ski and climb on top.  With all the drag and need to proceed slowly, we were quickly overtaken by a logo-high wave.  The lifeguard shouted to ditch the gear, and I had the surreal experience of speeding in front of the crashing wave while my gear rode on top of the wave right behind us.  We had to circle back out to get around to the gear.  If you've ever had the opportunity to ride a jet ski over an 8-foot curling wave, you'll understand the thrill of the speed, the gut-wrenching impact after the drop, then the whipping of the sled as we outran the next wave.  The lifeguard's eyes were shocked and pleased that I was still on board (and grinning) after a few of these.  Some of my friends caught the show as they rode in, and I don't think they've ever seen me performing so many off the lips and aerials on a wave.  The lifeguard maneuvered the jet ski by my gear a second time (the first one was a miss, followed by a round of wave jumping) and he held my board while I lay on my sail and held the boom with my foot on the sled.  We made it back to shore and the lifeguard rode off to rescue the guy he was originally sent out to help.  Miraculously, only the sail was damaged in the whole wild ride.

Though I didn't get his name (I'll be going back there to find out, beers in hand), that lifeguard was unbelievably skilled on the jet ski and showed amazing patience waiting for an opportunity to get my gear when he could have simply brought me back to shore and let the current take my rig down to the beach in front of the waste treatment plant.  Instead, there we were, riding giants like Dave Kalama and Laird Hamilton.  Kudos to all the Kanaha guards!

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