Damn Hawaiians and their lies! Yeah, that would be about 6 foot "Hawaiian Scale" which makes no sense, but that sounds about right. With that being said, Pipeline has never been larger than 15-18ft. And Mavericks on a Big day is thigh high.
I knew a big NW was coming in, so I called in sick, shrugged on my boardbag and rode down to the overhead. When I arrived at the overlook, there were a half-dozen guys checking it. Big angry grey bombers were breaking over the outside reef, while the inside was a DOH wash of logs, debris, and junk. I watched it for a while. Then, just when I was about to ride back south and look for some smaller surf, a couple of guys I knew rolled up, lets call them "Bravo" and "Charlie."
So Bravo says to me: "You paddlin' out?" and I'm thinking are you crazy??, but what I say is: "Maybe." Then Charlie says "C'mon, let's go before the wind gets on it."
So, being a fairly young man with some piss and vinegar left in me, I gamely roll my bike down over the tracks and lock it to the gate, suit up, stretch out, and then stand staring at the boulders, tree trunks, and bamboo rolling around in the soup. Looks like there might be enough time to squeak out between sets if I start paddling when the first wave of the set starts breaking at the overhead. Turns out I was right, though I barely squeak over the back of a DOH++ wall on the way out. Then the looooong paddle out to the overhead.
There's maybe 10 guys sitting on the reef and the waves don't look all that big when they roll in, but then they stack up on the reef and suddenly you're staring down a 15-20' face. I watch Bravo take a late drop on his first wave, and disappear beneath a massive lip 2 stories under me as I frantically scratch for the outside to get over the back. He disappears for an hour, and both Charlie and I start to wonder if his body is floating somewhere in the quarter-mile runout.
I catch one right waaaaay out on the shoulder and take a 100 yards of Mr. Toad's wild ride. Then I catch a bigger one a little deeper and spend my time just trying to hold it together and outrun the shoulder untill it fizzles out into a DOH lump in deep water off the reef. Bravo shows back up; he got stomped, his leash broke and he had to swim all the way back to the beach. I can't believe he's alive/paddled back out.
The wind is offshore, but it's picking up a bit and we're so far out that the chop is a serious problem, so I take a series of smaller ones in. I could've paddled around the reef to where the lefts were more protected. However, they were a lot faster and heavier. So there's a good chance I wouldn't be around to tell this somewhat boring story if I had.
Did head south, after that, to find that every spot on the coast was maxing. Shot some video but didn't paddle back out again that day.