We had been hearing stories of a mysterious surfboard, a surfboard that was sixteen feet long and seven feet wide, it could be ridden by multiple people at a time and was capable of surfing two foot waves as well as twenty foot waves. The mysterious board was called the SUP Squatch, We set out on an immediate hunt, when would this mysterious board show itself and better yet when was it going to ridden? It was only a matter of time, creatures like this can only stay hidden for so long.
One fateful day, the SUP Squatch showed itself to us! On a drive up the West Side of Oahu we looked out on Makaha beach to see the Squatch gliding down a glassy Makaha face, carrying eight people on its back. It happened, we knew where the creature dwelled, and we devised plans to soon return, equipped and ready to ride the beast.
The next few weeks brought less than ideal weather, and small surf. The beast remained an ever present fixture in the front of our minds, but would have to take a back seat to other adventures. The anticipation to hunt and ride the mysterious creature was immense, but hunts like this require patience, tact, and a little bit of luck. So we were willing to wait.
After several weeks of waiting out the weather and ocean conditions, we were presented a promising day. The sun was bursting through the clouds and a strong North West swell was hitting the island. It was the kind of day a creature like the SUP Squatch might step out to warm its back, and wreak a little havoc in big Hawaiian surf. The energy was next level! Would the beast be out? Where would it be? And the biggest question on everyones mind, would we ride it?
Nothing felt fast enough; stuffing breakfast down, loading up the car, and most of all the person driving in front of us to get to the highway. Heading west to where we had spotted the creature before we began discussing plans. If it's there how are we going to get to it and bigger question how were we going to ride it. We realized this was going to require something a little more sea worth than the surfboards we brought. A stop at a sporting goods store and we were equipped to take on anything with our four person inflatable raft and two paddles.
The excitement grew as we go closer and closer to our destination. The North West swell was hitting in full force, waves were smashing into the sand of the beaches we passed and were only getting bigger as we made out way farther north. We pulled up to Makaha beach and there it was! The great big SUP Squatch way out past the surfers, with a crew sitting on its back, and the waves were big! We quickly scurried out of the car and inflated out little raft. It was show time, time to face the fabled beast. Now how were we supposed to get this tiny raft and the four of us out through the shore break and into the Makaha line up? Charge it!
We waited for the bigger sets to roll through, then jumped in and started paddling like maniacs. Only having two paddles and the strong trade winds blowing that day made for a challenging paddle out. We were almost there and a big set showed itself on the horizon. We were well out of the way but the Squatch was right in the line of fire. The huge, mountain of a wave broke and landed right on the the Squatch just as everyone on it bailed, narrowly escaping getting squashed by the wall of water. We watched as the big board got pushed and the beach and everyone who had bailed slowly swam there way in. What had we gotten ourselves into?!?!
We paddled our way to what seemed like a good spot and waited. The group on the Squatch rounded themselves back up and were making their way back out. "What's up!" we said as they pulled up beside us. It was so much more amazing being next to the majestic beast! "Hey Howzit, and you really going to try to catch waves on that thing?!?!" It was a friendly voice that came from the back, Blubz, he said his name was and appeared to be the one in charge of the beast. "Yea I guess we are, we paddled all the way out here, haha."
We chatted with them for a while, and Blubz told us that there was another SUP Squatch on the beach, and we should go look for Brian and talk to him about it. "Great thanks!" But we couldn't just paddle back in, we had paddled this raft out here, we had to catch a wave in.
This proved to be very challenging, with the strong wind blowing and only having two paddles. We were getting frustrated and were about to give up and just paddle in when a wave popped up and came right to us. It was the moment of truth! Was the little raft going to stand up to what the Pacific had to throw at us? We paddled like mad and having no idea what to expect. The back of the raft jolted up and suddenly we were flying down the face of the wave, everyone just holding on the best they could. We made it! The wave continued to rush behind us and our victory was short lived when the wave flipped the raft and yardsaled us across the line up. We all popped up with big grins on our faces. We had caught a wave on the raft, and were now ready to step up our game. So made the steady swim all the way back to the beach.
We made it to the sand and pulled the raft out of the water. Now to find Brian. We found Brian sitting in the shade of a tree, and introduced our selves. "Was that all of you that just caught that wave on the raft, that was kind of crazy!" Turns out Brian's company manufactures these big awesome surfboards and he invited us to take it out. The group that we ran into out in the water was just coming in and Brian grabbed our new friend Blubz and asked him if he wanted to take us back out. It turns out Blubz is the Master SUP Squatch wrangler of Makaha and was going to be steering us. He recruited Shania the Makaha Maniac who apparently only will go out if its 15+ feet, but she agreed to come. We thanked Brian, Blubz gave us a quick rundown and we were in the water paddling back out to the peak on the majestic beast.
The Squatch glided so easily over the water and even with the strong wind blowing we were quickly back to the peak. Now the wait! The waves were still pumping and there were plenty of good ones to be had. A set popped up on the horizon, it was show time! Blubz directed us to the right spot and everyone paddled with every bit of energy they had. The wave started to build and lift up the back of the Squatch, and we were suddenly staring down the face of a big Makaha wave and the whole line up looking up at us. The Squatch began to accelerate down the wave as everyones stomachs went up into their throats. We made it to the bottom and Blubz steered us through the line up. After loosing Andrew to the sea and doing a few 360s we made it to the beach. The excitement level was even higher, we had to catch more waves! We quickly got the Squatch back in the water. Picked up our fallen crew mate and were back out to the peak. We spent the next couple hours catching waves and talking story with our new friends. Once everyone was thoroughly sunburned and shivering, we caught a final wave in.
Back on the beach we thanked Brian for being so awesome and shared stories for a bit. As everyone was getting ready to pack up and bid each other aloha, a small Hawaiian rain shower blew through, which Andrew was able to get some awesome pictures of with his chopper. It was a great afternoon which none of us will soon forget.