In a very matter of fact voice, MSG surf instructor and former alum Gaby Barsotti, said she surfed Waimea Bay over the weekend. I was of course floored and pryed for more details. I remember coaching Gaby into shoulder high waves at Guardrails, and then onto Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica, to head high waves at Hookipa in Maui…but Waimea Bay! Gaby has come a long way in her surfing. She’s overcome her fear of commiting to the drop like I once remember her having. I’m proud that MSG had a hand in her ability to charge with the best surfers on the northshore!
I asked Gaby to give us all a lil update on her new life in Oahu and her first surf experience at Waimea Bay.
Gaby here! Giving you an update from the island of Oahu.
If some of you don’t know I moved to this island about a month ago to go to Hawaii Pacific University. With the help from Dustin Tester, a.k.a. “Mama D”, I got moved in and settled quickly. I am living with a fellow Maui Surfer Girl that many of you might know Nicole Nakamura a.k.a Nakss! It has been so amazing that we have kept in touch from 2008 when we were both CITs together! She goes to University of Hawaii at Manoa and has lived here for 2 years. She has been showing me around the island and a couple weekends ago we went camping under the full moon at a place called V Land on the North Shore. We made our own camp fire right on the sand and talked story under the stars. The scenery was absolutely beautiful listening to the 8-12 foot swell coming in over night. The moon was so bright that it was like trying to sleep with the light on haha. We woke up early the next morning at 6, I went for a run along the beach and Nicole did some yoga on the grass. After our morning activities we packed up our things and headed to famous Waimea Bay!
The waves were going off at least 8 foot sets if not bigger. As I walked to the waters edge the life guard had asked me “Do you feel comfortable and confident going out there?” I responded with a yes and a big smile 🙂 I looked around and saw the high surf advisory signs and secretly it made me a little nervous. Nicole did not feel comfortable going out on her 9’2 long board and I don’t blame her it would have been very hard and dangerous. We left the her short board behind at the house. I began to paddle out on my 8’6 pink Kazuma board realizing that first I was the only girl and almost everyone out there had a gun board or body board. I had some major butterflies in my stomach but when I took off on my first wave I had such a rush of adrenalin as this wave pushed me at a speed I have never felt before. I have surfed swell this size in California but the waves on Oahu have way more power and strength that it’s incredibly different to surf. I got 5 waves in that session, they were all great fun and a completely new experience. Nicole enjoyed watching me on the beach and relaxing at beautiful Waimea. We had a great beach day playing volleyball and swimming. Since that day we have made camping a tradition of at least once a month. It’s an amazing experience to wake up to the sound of the waves and a beautiful sunrise.
Remember to keep in touch with your fellow Maui Surfer Girls because no matter where you go and places you visit — you will have a friend to show you around and have some fun. I miss all of you out there and I send all my love your way!
Gaby Barsotti aka gabsss 🙂