Chris Del Moro riding the Alaia.
A few months ago I was fortunate enough to surf & travel with the Wegener Brothers while exploring Taiwan. During our stay we were greeted with back-to-back perfect typhoon swells. The oceans energy was full power and Tom Wegeners stoke for the quiver of Alaias he showed up with was equally as strong. I was immediately enthralled with the speed and effortless glide he was able to control out of a seemingly flat piece of wood with no fin.
As it turns out, this simple piece of wood has forever changed my life. Once I got to my feet and glided across a wave, the alaia reminded me of the pure joy of riding waves for the first time as a child. Back in California a few good friends of mine (Dan Malloy, Thomas Campbell & Scott Soens) had also caught the alaia addiction, riding the points in Santa Barbara/Santa Cruz County. Naturally, I have since ventured up north many times strictly for alaia sessions.
We had heard rumors that Rastovich was waiting to surf the boards at big Sunset. Seemed fairly insane! However, after riding larger waves on them, I was intrigued by the potential of riding deep-water swells at earth shattering speeds. Shortly thereafter I received an email from T.Campbell inviting Dan and I to go along. My dreams and my curiosity would soon become reality. Once the swell forecast looked promising, we all booked last minute tickets and headed over the night the swell arrived. As we tried to sleep, the ocean growled through the stillness and when we awoke Sunset point was 10-12 feet, sunny, offshore and perfect. For the next two days we rode incredible offshore, emerald colored water-mountains in the same style as the ancient Hawaiians. We all had such a strong buzz going that nothing seemed capable of topping our previous sessions.
On our forth day in Hawaii the waves were supposed to get smaller overnight. As we awoke we were surprised to see the sea was maxing-out and the only option for wave riding was Waimea Bay. As we checked the line up, I had my doubts about the alaias performance on such big waves. Dan and Dave, being seasoned Waimea surfers, reassured me that we could possibly paddle in off the bowl and get the ride of a life-time. As we walked to the waters edge my fear turned into concentration and I realized that my best game plan was to follow two of surfings finest wherever they went. Within five minutes of water time we were scratching to get over a set when Rasta quickly swung, and stroked into a frothy wave that all other surfers pulled back from. As he tried to keep his paper thin rail in the water the nose was blown towards the lip leaving just a tip of his tail in the water and looking like he was about to get eaten by the monstrous wave behind. In true sea ninja style he touched the nose down in time to fly down the face and into surfing history. Rastas wave received a huge reaction from the crowd and was easily the best wave of the Hawaiian alaia journey. The rest of the session saw us all catch some great waves, take some horrendous wipeouts and come out with a new respect for ancient Hawaiian watermen and the beautiful sea crafts they have created.
Words: Chris Del Moro