Sunday, January 9, 2011
"Memories of the North Shore: Sunset 1968" by Bill Powers
(Map Source: Shark's Cove, North Shore)
Memories of the North Shore:
By Bill Powers
(Edited and transcribed by John Thomas)
When I first saw Sunset, I was surfing a place called Kammieland, just on the other side of the rip from Sunset. My friend Luke and his girlfriend lived in front of the break. I watched Sunset a lot before I surfed it. The amount of water that moves down the point during a set is impressive. It feeds a lateral current that runs down the beach and forms a rip that can have head high troughs with breaking waves going back out to sea. The big offshore wind blows straight off the island with the rip, out to sea.
Before the advent of leashes, people would lose their boards in the rip, which would disappear out to sea never to be seen again. Bright colored boards were the way to go and red and yellow colors were common colors on the north shore.
The big offshore trade winds that blew straight at the Sunset break would stand the wave up another third larger than its actual height and would blow spray off the wave top one hundred yards outside you and prevent the wave from breaking until it was fifty yards inside you. The amount of water contained in one wave and the speed it would go by you was truly amazing and humbling.
I moved onto Sunset point to get as close to the break as I could. I surfed it every time it got good. The best surfers from all over the world would be out at sunset throughout the professional contest season. Day after day to be able to watch the different styles of great surfers in epic overhead waves was something I will never forget.
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Many Thanks to Bill for another great story and to JT for passing it along to us and for his transcription services. 10-4!
"Surfing Atlas" Kammieland Reference Heads Up: http://www.surfingatlas.com/spot/4181
Below, a recent photo dated Dec. 27, 2010 in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., showing, Left to right, LACo veteran/retired OLS, Bill Powers, his golden retriever, LR, and John Thomas.
Until next time.....
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