I have been to the North Shore of Oahu a couple of times before. I first surfed the south shore in summer when I was 7 years old. I was 9 when I first surfed small Pipeline. V Land was my favourite back then and I was stoked to go back.

I thought I knew what to expect in Hawaii, but I was to learn that spending a whole month on the island late in the season is a whole new game. We got so many changing swell and weather patterns. It goes from rippable to barrels to heavy to “sit out and watch” and then back to rippable. You don’t get that amazing variety on short trips when it might just be sunny for 7 days with 1 swell that comes and goes.

Mum, Sunny and I lived on the beach at Log Cabins. We arranged to stay with two friends that we met in the Mentawaii Islands in Indonesia last year. Arjuna is a Pipe and Waimea guy. I got my worst hold down ever in the Menatwaii’s with Arjuna and his wife Mel Mel last season surfing Niapussi. Arjuna promised me at the time that it was nothing compared to a North Shore hold down.

Arjuna and Mel Mel have an old beach house. Arjuna built it from recycled stuff he either found or bought. It has cool art, surfboards everywhere and an electric massage chair. You eat all your meals outside on a park bench. It was also my class room desk. At the end of the deck is a round wooden swing seat hanging from an old scrapy rope attached to a coconut tree.

They live with three rabbits and heaps of random cats. Sunny was stoked. One cat called Pirate has no eye, just a hole in his head which freaked out Sunny and my Dad when he visited. An old dude called the Captain lives out the back with the pirate. They think the beach shack is their ship.

I don’t think I have ever lived closer to the surf. You could see all of Pipeline and Backdoor and Off the Wall from our outdoor shower in the front yard. John John lives about three doors up. When a swell hits it sounds like thunder, all night long,

Log Cabins can be such a heavy wave and the shore break is next level because it’s a short reef. Its maybe two turns in deep water then a closeout section that you can get either barrelled on, or huck or get destroyed. I broke two brand new boards in one session.

I got a couple of local boards made on this trip. It’s the first time I have done that. They are amazing boards made by Carl Shaper. Mitch Ross from Hurley introduced me to Matt Biolis a legend shaper. Carl does Matt’s boards in Hawaii. It was so good to have a Hawaiian shaper. He helped me a lot with boards, fins and meeting people. Carl introduced me to a local family with kids who became good friends. It was an important lesson, always learn from locals.

Lost surfboards also shipped me 2 custom boards from California shaped by Matt Mayhem Biolis. Carl gave them to me in the Foodland Carpark where everyone meets. Even Carl was amazed how these boards felt. Carl made me another board, a copy of one of Matt’s but glassed for Hawaii. It became my magic board for Hawaii, Tahiti and Indonesia until I was to get smashed again at Niapussi again 2 months later!!!

On a duck dive I got pushed down into the reef hard but held onto my board. One of my futures fins hit the reef and actually got pushed all the way through the deck of my board!!