Reliving the legend, Curren scores classic Honolua Bay.
“But as fast as the media picked up on the place—it burned out. It became “A Place In Space” and when the giant winter swells hit, The Bay was where it was happening.”—THE BAY, by Randy Rarick, SURFING Magazine, April 1977
Brah, let me tell you, this day was a LONG time coming. So, to all the guys who just came over to SCORE, just called Aloha Air and said, “Oh, Hi, may I please book two 9 a.m. tickets to The Bay,” I can’t even begin to tell you how lucky you are. You better keep these memories tucked close, boys, ’cause you got it good.
Now, the whole thing went down like this:
The night of December 14, I was at my home, waxing up the “Thundercat,” my tube-time-navigator 8’0”, ’cause the swell was already up and there’s only so much a man can stand when anticipating A Day At The Bay. It’s a wave you have to feel in your innermost soul and ride with your heart wide open. It’s taken me years of mental preparation to be ready for days like these. Before dialing the number for the buoys, I paused for a breath, told myself something like, “Yo, boy, stay cool,” and then picked up the phone. And let me tell you: what I heard this time almost made my head explode. The dude, all in his, “I’m some meteorologist, I don’t know the true magnitude of what I’m saying,” said, “Buoy One, 26 feet at 19 seconds!”
Shoots, but I was mellow. It didn’t really surprise me in the least. I’d already seen all those tow-in “Agronauts” driving ’round town for days. They always make it real obvious, you know? Shining their Jet Skis by the side of the road; doing test runs like a mile out, so you can just barely see ’em skimming on the mid-day sea. Whatever. Far as I’m concerned, Peahi could be the dark side of the moon.
For me, I knew where I’d be first light. The Bay.
So, I was up the morning of December 15 at around 5 a.m. and was in my car cranking the Zep’ by about 5:15. When the surf is gonna cook, I like to give myself plenty of time to be wide awake. There’s a lookout spot on the other side that I like to park, blare my music, relax, jump some rope and peer out at my diamond in the rough. Yeah, I was on it. I mean, c’mon, a big swell is always bound to be a hair morning sick. But this swell was looking too good to be true.
It was around 6:15 when all the boys showed up. And there were high-fives going down. Low-fives. My brothers were showing some big teeth. “So, what, I heard the Eddie’s gonna go over on Oahu—is that true?” I asked my congregation. Anyone? Shoulders shrugged, no one knew. Guess we don’t waste away working tourist-trap jobs in Lahaina for nothing. My friends and I, we’ve all got one wave on our mind. If Eddie went that’d be cool, but as for the boys and I…well, it ain’t no big thing.