Big waves draw big crowds on North Shore
By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email
NORTH SHORE, Oahu (HawaiiNewsNow) - The waves may have been too small for most of the day for the "Eddie" at Waimea Bay. But the waves got big enough for those who could handle them.
The swell was big Monday evening at Waimea, as surfers -- and spectators -- tried to catch the last waves before sunset.
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Click to view big waves on the North Shore.
"With the waves this high, this is the closest we've come out," said Oahu resident Deborah Leigh.
"I think it's actually awesome," added Leigh's son, Andrew.
Lifeguards were busy keeping people away from the pounding shorebreak. The waves were definitely big enough to cause injury.
"First wave for me out there, not really sure what happened. But the end result was I dislocated my hip," said Charlie Herr, who was injured at about 3 p.m. Hawaii News Now caught him three hours later, after a trip to Kahuku Hospital, where he got a leg brace and a pair of crutches.
"I wasn't really sure what happened to me. I just felt a lot of pain in this area," Herr said, pointing to his right hip. "I was thinking, underwater, 'okay, broken femur.' Or something. I just knew something wasn't right."
While the waves were too small most of the day for the Quiksilver Eddie Aikau big wave surf meet, they were too big for the Volcom Pipe Pro, up the road at Pipeline. Lifeguards there said there were a lot of surfers in the morning, but as the swell grew, the number of surfers shrank. But dozens of people stayed on the beach to watch nature's power, even if there were few riders.
"It's amazing, the waves, how big they are, how close to shore they are," said Brad Whitlock, a visitor from Vancouver, British Columbia. "Certainly, when you see of couple of the guys catching them, mostly just seeing bodyboarders, it's pretty cool."
One of the bodyboarders at Pipeline was 18-year-old Brazilian Joao Luiz Zik, who was stoked to be riding those waves. "It's my first time in Hawaii, and Pipeline is good. Very good," he said, smiling after getting out of the water.
Sets became smaller and more inconsistent by evening at Waimea, but the big wave riders were still excited to be out.
"This is actually a really good day for the bay to be honest, because it's glassy on top of that," said Matt Bush after his last ride of the day.
SLIDESHOW: Giant surf slams Waimea & Pipe
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