Waimea Taboo | “… there was a dark cloud that hung over the “7-Mile Miracle” in the ‘40s… “
How about those historical surf tales that Jamie Brisick tells over at Outerknown? So good.
Here is another one about the early days of Hawaii’s North Shore. One far different than we know today. In the 40’s and 50’s there was a great fear of Waimea after Dickie Cross and Woody Brown drowned and almost drowned there trying to find a safe way in after surfing gigantic Sunset. A very sad curse indeed.
“On December 22, 1943, Dickie Cross and Woody Brown paddled out at Sunset Beach. The waves were eight-foot and rising. It was late afternoon.
A succession of big sets came in, each larger than the one before. Cross and Brown had to paddle out, out, out to avoid wearing the wrath of the Pacific on the head. They found themselves in what seemed like the middle of the ocean, mountainous swells looming all around them.
The infamous Sunset rip tide was too strong to fight. They elected to paddle the two-and-a-half miles down to Waimea in the hopes of an easy way to shore. By the time they got there it was closing out. Brown managed to sneak between clean up sets and washed to shore, unconscious. He would survive. Cross was not so fortunate. He bolted to shore hastily, got caught by a giant closeout set, and was never seen again.
Greg Noll referred to it as the “Waimea taboo”—that miasma of fear that kept surfers away from riding the break until 1957.”