The ocean often plays the role of a trickster as two young women who tried their luck at the Hawaiian North Shore “experts only” surfing spot, Gas Chambers, found out. Cara and Ana paddled out a two-person surf kayak at this shallow-breaking, reef-bottomed barrel generator with the gruesome name on what they thought was one of the North Shore’s mild and manageable days. The girls discovered that the local surf gods had a sense of humour to match the darkness of the name of the surfing location.
While the women were paddling around in the deeper water beyond the line-up the surf began to dramatically increase in size. Realizing that their fun little paddle was rapidly turning into a not-so-funny situation the girls waited for a break in the waves that would enable them to make a rapid run for the shore. Noticing a flat spot in the swell the women turned the craft towards the beach and paddled for all they were worth. Suckers! Paddling for all they were worth did not count for much on this occasion. The ocean was having none of their puny but desperate attempt to escape the thrashing it felt they deserved.
Just when the girls felt that they might have cleared the danger area the biggest bomb set of the day charged at them from out of the deeper water. Still paddling along at top speed the girls flew down the face of the huge wave just as the peak started to pitch out. The craft went vertical. Cara (who was in the front of the kayak) took the roller coaster free-fall down the face to be smashed in the shallows. Ana flew over Cara’s head as the kayak somersaulted through the air. Despite the thrashing they both received, the girls survived and washed up on the beach a few minutes later. In between guffaws of relief the girls tried to reassemble what remained of their brief bikinis.
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