Sunday, December 31, 2006
I called Jeff and he told me to chose it from the ones available online on their site.
There were three of them and I immediately fell in love with this one.
This is the email that I just sent him.
I'm not sure I understood right, but I went on your website and amongst the 2007 sails I found the one that I attach.
I don't know if you saw "The secret", but I'm gonna think all night about you giving me that sail tomorrow at the shop...
I love it!
And hey, even if it's not going to be that one, it's still going to be a Superfreak. Best sail in the world by far.
Today an italian buddy of mine tried mine. He came back with a smile on his face and said:"You just don't feel the gusts anymore!"
Those sails just make people happy.
Talking about which, I wish you a very happy new year full of waves... and wahines, why not?
PS. Tomorrow might be longboard sailing paradise. And if not, it will be shortboard sailing paradise...
PPS. I will do a post on the blog of that sail and this email as a tool to make it happen :-)
Well, now you know why it's here...
Let's do a little survey: here are the other two available.
What do you think?
I think it's a no brainer...
Saturday, December 30, 2006
The first couple of days it kept me at home. Now, fortunately, it's getting a little better and I was able to get back in the water. It still hurts when I speak, but I can sail no problem. So... no complaints! Also considering that it's the first (and likely last at this point) time that I've been "kind of sick" this year. 2006, I mean.
Only one time sick in one year?! Must be the ocean and the exercise... and the lack of office life and air conditioning... and the non polluted air of Maui... and the healthy food... everything together, I guess.
Allright, let's talk about some better kind of sickness... Today's session was sick!
It started mellow with the wind doing it's up and down Maui thing. I had some fun with the 5.0 and the 87 liters board... that I finally decided to fix after 10 days, even though it was still a bit humid... no big deal. Then, during a break, I climbed on the old life guard tower at lowers and took some shots of Glenn.
Let's start with backloop # 26,821. The other guy on the wave is Italian for sure... he got a Challenger sail... a pretty good looking one, I'd say.
Talking about good looking sails, check the beautiful new Fire. Good job, Tom and Jeff!
Even though the table top is the ONLY jump that once in a while I try, I can't even come close to this. Really good.
From the top of tower I had a nice view over the beautiful beach of Kanaha...
...and over the silicon valley.
Around 4.30 it got a little windier and I went back out on my small wave board. From 5 to 6 it got unreal. Everybody left, probably tired and overpowered on their 5.3s. The wind was definitely 4.7able, and with the help of the low tide the waves got a lot steeper. The last half hour of light it was like 4-5 of us (all Superfreaks plus Glenn). You could just pick the wave you wanted. It feels really good to be on a head high wave and let it go because you saw a bigger one behind and nobody on it...
Five stars, for sure! Wait for the last post of year for a description of the rankings and some stats.
More radical sailors than me (doesn't take much) sailed Hookipa and Sharon took some shots. I subtly downloaded them on my pc. Here are some, more on her blog .
But that's the price to pay sometimes... Hola Pato, como te gustan las rocas?
Now, remember the weather map of the last post? That was a forecasted one of 5 days ago. Below is the real one of tonight. See how freaking accurate the mathematical models of the atmosphere can be?
It's a deep low that won't really set a captured fetch though. So, my prediction is that the related NW swell is only going to be extra large, not giant...
Lastly, thanks to the DJ of Radio Rock in Rome, that just played Talk to the wind by the King Crimson.
Monday, December 25, 2006
I'm not going to get into the details of all the great surfing sessions I had... I'll let the photos speak instead. These ones were taken on the 23rd at Hookipa.
A few teams were towing in in front of Mama's. Go paddle, you pussies! (I'm just jelous...)
The following two show Francisco Porcella at Lanes.
Today it started sunny again, but I felt tired (not used to go to sleep at midnight anymore...) and I wasn't pulled towards the ocean. "Luckily" it started to rain and it turned into a perfect day to spend some quality time at home. A book, a nap, a dvd (eheheh)...
The rain was so thin and drizzling that it looked like snow. I tried to capture that, messing with the focus and the shutter time. Didn't succeed, but here's an interesting one. Click on it... needles in the air.
Here's a couple of old boards I don't use often...
Lastly, an exciting look to the coming days.
The NOAA is forecasting a close to 25 feet face swell on Thursday. Surfline forecasts a peak of 16 feet open ocean heights at 15 seconds Thursday night... enough for Jaws, for sure.
Curious to see the storm that will send that swell, I went to mywxmap and ran the 6 days loop. I saw the storm, but that's nothing compared to the one that will completely take over the north pacific in about 5-6 days from now. There it is.
That means that in 9-10 days from today (January 3rd-4th) we'll receive an extra-large NW one. Maybe even in the giant category. I'll let Pat decide that...
PS. James Brown, may you rest in peace. Thanks for writing that song about me, by the way...
Friday, December 22, 2006
I love that.
Today I sailed on the longboard (or surfed with the sail, if you prefere) four hours in a row. I had so many killer left/upwind, backwinding rides.
The highlight of the day, though, was Pete Cabrinha that passed by on his kite, smiled and shouted:"that's great!".
Maybe he was just talking loud to himself... but I really think he meant the thing that I was doing!
Maybe it wasn't him...
Yesterday the waves were pretty big, some mast high sets, but fortunately not particolarly consistent, so it was possible to use the channel.
I went out for a couple of hours (longboard sailing, of course) and kept an eye on Michelle, that was out there alone on her shortboard trying to catch these monsters and... guess what? Catching them!
Here she is shaka signing. See the wave on the back almost closing all the way to Kahului? That was a small one...
Ok, today and yesterday are covered... what about tomorrow?
Here's Pat's little table of the swells for the following days. Feet, direction, period. The size in feet is of the swell in open ocean. When it hits the reef, depending on the period, it can easily be double of that or more. As Pat says:"the longer the period, the bigger the amplification on the reef".
Friday 12/22 1PM
8 NNW 12
5 ENE 8
2 SSW 13
9 NNW 13
5 ENE 7
2 S 12
9 NNW 13
5 E 7
7 NNW 12
5 E 7
5 NNW 10
7 NW 14
5 E 7
7 NNW 14
5 E 7
The wind is forecasted to be 9-13 mph for the whole period. And that means... more longboard sailing ahead! Let's see if I can get some action shots...
Let me quote Pat again:"Happy hollowdays!"
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
The title says it all, but let's add some proof of it. Ok, this is the tuesday report.
In the morning I surfed knee high waves at Puamana, standing up on the 12.6.
I was fooling around with my little water camera. I put it on the ankle first, then I strapped a tie down strap to the front of the board and hooked it there, so that I could shoot myself when riding a wave. Paddling for it, mostly.
That's what I mean.
Now, imagine this.
I'm standing up with the board parallel to the waves, so that I only have to turn it 90 degrees when the wave comes. I see what I think it's gonna be a good wave, I kneel down on the board and turn the camera on, click a button three times to set it on the videos, push the shutter, stand up, turn the board towards the shore and paddle like crazy to catch the wave... it's a bit tricky.
But, as Robby Seiberner said, don't let anybody tell you that you can't do it!
So much fun!
The strap is not a good idea because it slows down the board a lot. I think it's because even though it's pretty tight, it still flips down when the board moves forward and catches a lot of water. Glenn suggested me to use duct tape instead, and I think it's a good idea. Packaging tape might be even better.
Anyway, when I drove back to Hookipa, I was delighted to see some super clean head to overhead high waves with just a few windsurfers out... did I say that already lately? Actually, today the windsurfers out were none.
I rigged my 5.5 and put the helmet with the PVC pipe derived camera mount on my head and hit the water around noon. Yoshi followed me shortly and it was a great pleasure to share the waves with him... he's such a smiler! And a good sailor too! Today he was ripping. I took more photos and videos.
I put all the little videos together (not all of them were great, but it's sunny from the start to the end...). As usual, I searched all the songs with the length of the movie and I chose a song of Koala Beamer with very significant lyrics. I found out afterward that the name of the song is Home.
Just in case somebody was still wandering... Maui is my home now.
Tomorrow... who knows. The world is so big!
Here's the movie.
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As usual, if you can't see it try here.
Here are the photos.
Here's a close up of a very fun little toy. You can buy it online at: http://www.goprocamera.com/
How does this karma thing work?
While sailing at Hookipa in the afternoon I saw little Bernd's board headed towards the rocks and he swimming after it. Of course I stopped and I grabbed mine and his board to keep them away from the rocks. I succeeded with his board, but not with mine.
Well, not too bad, I can easily fix that. The thing is that I'll have to wait at least a week or two for the board to dry out... no problem, I got plenty more. Plus, the wind is going to be light in the next few days and it's gonna be longboard paradise.
Hey Norm, don't worry about it! As I said, it's an easy fix. And don't yell at Bernd either!! He did what he was supposed to do. He saw a wave way bigger than him and went for the lip... you should be proud of him! I'm sure you are...
If you guys got time for a few more pics, here's another guy that went for the lip.
And here's what's called a roundhouse cutback. It's a move I love to do sometimes, though I don't do it often due to incapacity.
And last but not least, here's the weather map of tonight, tuesday 19.
You know what it says? It says that some serious seas headed towards Hawaii are being built as I type and will be here around Saturday. Plenty waves even before that, but the weekend should be particularly intense. Yet another big swell. Yet another episode of this incredible winter in Maui. Without any doubt, so far the best winter of my life.
And since I didn't post this tuesday night and I'm back on it now, on wednesday night, let me add my little daily report.
As forecasted, the wind was lighter than yesterday. I sailed one hour on the big blue 9.6 and I had forgotten how much fun that board can be. Only riding the lefts upwind, though. So that once done with the ride, I'm in the upwind channel, tack, sail out a bit, jibe and catch another one. It's the Kanaha Marry-go-around! My favorite in the world.
Plus, when I jump on the backside of the sail, I can even kind of turn it and if I keep the sail neutral enough it's like surfing frontside on my normal goofy stance... an extremely fun thing to do.
I don't like to go right downwind on that board, because then sailing back upwind is painfully slow.
Taking advantage of a further drop in the wind speed, I switched to my 12.6. The wind kept going up and down. Wind down, I go left, wind up I go right. No wind at all, I take the paddle. It's like playing roulette and always winning.
The waves increased and a few glassy logo high sets came thru. About four windsurfers and a couple of kitesurfers where out with me to share the stoke.
I'm tempted to describe my best wave, but it would be too difficult. I really need one of those Strange Days disk recorders...
Anyone wants to send me one for Christmas?
Monday, December 18, 2006
I got so much stuff to post that I don't know from where to begin. Let's see...
Sunday morning I went to Hookipa to surf. There was no wind in the morning and the windswell was pumping. I went out on my 9.0 and it took me 20 minutes to manage to make it through the channel. The waves were extremely consistent and because of the direction,the channel was often closing out. Exhausted I rested a while in the lineup and eventually tried to catch a few. I didn't succeed.
Two weeks without surfing and I can't catch a damn wave! Surfing is a sport that requires an incredible consistency in the training. It was quite humbling to be reminded in such a way...
Here's the first set of photos.
And here's my pick of the best one. I must have got at least three sets like that on the head when I tried to go through the channel... good timing!
In the afternoon I went to Kanaha and on my longboard with the sail I enjoyed three hours in total solitude on some very fun knee to shoulder high waves. No surfers, no windsurfers, no kitesurfers. No human being around, only turtles. Once again, I was the king of Kanaha. Too bad it's not going to last forever, since longboards like mine will be soon available in all shops...
As I said on the Hot Sails forum, at least I'm stoked that I had Kanaha all for myself for three years.
Like that guy that discovered Mavericks and surfed it alone for 15 years or so...
There's an out of season south swell and so this morning (Monday) I drove to Dumps and it was head high with 15 people out. A bit closing out, nothing epic (Meesh don't risk your neck for it tomorrow), but still... the color of the water in that spot is unreal. And I even caught a few this time!
After the surf session, I drove to Hookipa and I was delighted to see some super clean head to overhead high waves with just a few windsurfers out. The wind wasn't particularly strong and I picked the 87 liters board and the 5.0, which has already become a classic combo. I had two sessions and tons of fun. In between, as usual, I took a bunch of pics.
Here's my pick of the set. It's glenn's backloop #26,313.
Here's a comment that Mistery Bob left on the flickr site: Thanks for catching my good friend, good human being and talented windsurfer Glenn in a nice air shot Giampaolo. He works, lives and breathes windsurfing and they don't come more humble.
I couldn't agree more Bob.
But guys, please don't leave comments on all the sites I use as support. Leave them all here. This is the mother of all sites...
Here's a great little interview with Robby Seeger.
Robby is an amazing waterman and the things he says are always very interesting.
At the end of the interview, I must have got too excited (maybe because of the girls getting ready for the photoshoot) and I stuttered the following words:
Thank you very much Robby Sieberner, a reeeeal real wuderman
I found it so funny that I thought about repeating that a few times in the clip.
You guys in Holland where it's legal, roll one before watching it... and you'll laugh your ass off!
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The Mac users that can't see the video, can see it here.
Lastly, but not leastly, here's an email I sent to the Master forecaster Pat Caldwell. The subject was:"deep appreciation".
if there will ever be the world championship of the best swell forecaster, you'll win easy!
I was almost going to bed when I thought:"wait a moment, it's friday night... I got to check Pat!"
Here's a couple of things that I loved about your last forecast (I love them all, independently by the content):
"During the latter time period, marginal gales about 800-1200 nm NNW of Hawaii should push on the kamchatka-generated swell trains, with the combined effect bringing in a moderate surf episode locally..."
"Over the few two decades, there have been three years with short-lived, low-end high, southern hemisphere swells, 1980, 1993, and 2004, respectively. Charts and models suggest 2006 will be added to the list."
My deep appreciation goes to both mother nature and your ability to forecast its behavior.
And after all these compliments, of course, here's a question. :-)
I had a blast today wavesailing over the windswell at Kanaha. Shoulder to head high. Question: how come the summer frequent fresh trade wind episodes don't generate such a high windswell? The colder winter ocean should be even heavier and harder to shape into a swell... I must have read that somewhere.
Is it because of the fact that in winter most likely the windswell adds on top of an existing other swell (from the N or the NW, for example?).
Thank you so much.
And this is what he replied.
Nice to hear from ya. Mahalos for the kind words. Surfing has given me a career and I'm stoked to feed back into the circle.
Epic wave sailing in Kailua on Fri and Sat, 5.0 sail, mast high waves on the outside (big mushburgers). Got the quota, then hit some good S.swell yesterday. Gotta love living Hawaii.
For your question, its primarily the wind speed. The large scale prevailing upstream wind in summer is 18-23 knots with 7-9 feet seas of 6-9 sec periods during the strong events while the recent one was 22-27 knots with 10-13 feet seas and 7-11 second periods. Amplification of wave during shoaling becomes exponentially stronger as wave periods increase from 6 to 10 seconds, so the dominant wave period of this past episode is equally important as the higher seas.
Keep chargin', happy hollowdayz,
PS. As you probvably figured, I'm trying different sites for photos hosting and I would like feedbacks.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
I want to thank:
- mother nature that is providing us with some killer conditions (today superfun waves shoulder to head high at Kanaha)
- the 87 liters wave board that I recently bought that allows me to rip in crappy windy conditions (today at moments it was like 5.8, at moment like 4.2)
- the ability of the Superfreak to handle the overpower (I was on my 5.0)
- my attitude. I had no expectations at all and I got in the water already stoked just to be windsurfing in Maui. I ended up sailing four hours in two memorable sessions.
The slideshow of the best photos of a great day at the beach on my flickr page.
As usual, to see the caption, you have to go here and click on them individually.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
2 17.73 Kelly Slater USA
3 12.50 Cory Lopez USA
4 8.96 Rob Machado USA
That's the score of the final heat at the Pipeline Masters (the best two waves contribute to a maximum score of 20... A.I. was pretty close to that!).
And I missed it... I just can't believe it!
I can't wait to watch the video of the final ( check when day 7 is there).
Well, let's post some barrels anyway.
Very Christmasy, with the red wave and the light of the Christmas tree reflected by the table...
I did the windsurfer and the wave, Sharon did the surfer girl.
You can't see it in the barrel, but the board is a fish!
And look at her hair!
Give some colored clay to two adults in Maui and that's what you get...
PS. In case you didn't get the joke in the title, check this. If you got time, watch the video... 17 years old from Maui.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
I think I got 20 winner shots or something like that. Too many to post on this page.
This time, I'll put them on my flickr page.
Click here to see them with my description or click here to see them as a slideshow (no description, though).
And don't forget to let me know how you liked the flickr thing, if it was fast enough to download, if the photos were big enough (I reduced the size of all of them but the Keith Taboul one... doesn't seem any different on my screen) and if you would like them instead all on this blog, like I've always done so far.
Also, don't put comments there, because I won't check that. Put them here, if you feel like.
For me, it was a lot easier to do, because I could do a "bulk" upload, all at ones.
Here's a video that is probably too long (almost 10 minutes)and at times not so exciting, but I didn't feel like editing it... 'cause it's freaking late! Hey, if you get bored you can always stop it...
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For the Mac users who can't see it from this page, go here.
Two words about the conditions.
The photos and the video don't show how offshore and gusty the wind was. I went out early and I am just stoked that I had a few fun rides without even a wipeout. I played it very safely and I like the fact that I've become (finally!) smart enough not to stupidly risk injuries and/or equipment damage.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Sick barrels in solid 8 feet hawaiian, some of which ending in very shallow water. Like the one of Kuau neighbor Ian Walsh, that after having done excellent at Sunset beach is doing nothing worse at Pipe.
Talking about Pipe, here's Derek Ho in a water cave. This photo has been my desktop for quite a while now...
Lately I've been tempted to switch to this one instead...
Any preference on the net?
Today it was yet another great day in the ocean. Standup surfing in the morning at Kanaha and windsurfing on a 5.5 and big wave board at sunset. The wind was very offshore and light on the inside and that made the waves pretty freaking clean. Super fun. Tomorrow, more of the same.
Plenty moderate swells on their way, but unfortunately the wind will be howling again in the last part of this week, as uncle Pat says in his last forecast.
Check the other photos on Ulli's and Sharon's blog.
Check the official ones at the surf contest site.
And if you're in the mood, watch the men's contest live at Pipeline here. I also strongly recommend to check the video section for yesterdays' best rides.
Hey, Kelly Slater will be in the water at 8.30am... damn, I better finish this post soon!
Not before having reported that yesterday (Sunday), as forecasted, a new big NW swell arrived and the wind was a lot lighter than the day before (thank god!). Perfect conditions for a 5.5 and my 87 liters wave board. Lots of fun at lower Kanaha and many close to epic rides.
The trick is quite simple. Stay away from the big close outs and just pick the medium head to logo high waves that peel a lot better...
Then I had the bad idea to start fooling around with the fin of my blue longboard and, even though I learned a few things, it wasn't that much fun anymore.
Let me share the main lesson I learned: experimenting is good, but I better choose a crappy day for it!!!
Saturday, December 09, 2006
We are now three days into this long period of wind and waves. Here's a little summary of my sessions:
Thursday 12 7.
11am. The swell is large and lower Kanaha is closing out. Lots of people breaking lots of stuff. When it's like that, I go to the outer reef of Uppers, instead. So I did. Not many sets were breaking out there, but I caught a few mast high waves.
Here's the description of the best one. I saw this set that was really, really big. I carefully avoided the biggest one (must have been a mast and a half), skipped the one behind and caught the last one. Just mast high...
When I got in the impact zone the water was completely white, because of the big wave that broke ahead of me and absolutely glassy (for the same reason). The wind was zero (it defenitely gets stopped by the wave itself) and it was like... snowboarding on powder. Kind of different, for sure...
In the afternoon the swell went down a lot and at sunset I had a killer sesh at Lowers where I caught a bunch playful logo high ones.
Friday 12 8.
11am. It's really big again and the wind is kind of light and a bit onshore. I select a 5.0 (5.5 would have been better...) and my newly bought 87 liters wave board and head towards the break at Lowers. I could only ride backside (upwind), but I really like that too.
Here's my favorite game. When it's big, the left at Lowers bowls... like a little Jaws (yeah, right). What I like to do is try to be downwind of the bowl when it starts getting steep I snap a last backside turn right in the middle of it just before it closes out. I really love the sound of the bowl that explodes a few feet behind me... hopefully!
Since it was a bit onshore, in the afternoon me and Glenn tried the west side and we scored. Superwindy (I was on my 4.2 and he was extremely overpowered on a 5.0!), head high with a couple of logo high sets. Only the two of us out! The sun low on the horizon made the vision of the wave in the bottom turn particularly enjoyable and scenic, but at the same time hard to see...
As a result, now I have a bump on my forehead to remind me that... I shouldn't go for the lip if I can't really see it!!
Here's a photo taken from the car when we drove by Maalaea. 50 knots, at least. At the same time, people were slogging at Kanaha... the power of the Venturi effect!
Saturday 12 9.
Unfortunately the wind was already howling at 11am. The waves were down to head high at Lowers. I rigged the 4.2, but it was just too gusty. I had a short sesh because I wanted to save my energy for tomorrow (Sunday). The waves are supposed to pick up again (13 feet, 16 seconds at 5pm at the NW buoy) and hopefully the wind will slow down a bit.
I drove to Hookipa where there were only three people out. The wind looked pretty horrible and full of holes over there too. This is Graham Ezzy.
That's it for the ocean. Stay tuned for updates, 'cause the waves are here to stay!
This moth is beautiful, but unfortunately dead.
Sharon put the Chistmas lights at her house and despite the fact that I'm against them, I had to help her. Here are a few shots. Hey, it's cold in Makawao!
And here's a few shots of the inside of my car. As you can see, I'm sponsored by K-mart.
Damn, I just noticed that my safety expired!
I bought this fin five years ago, but it still works great. May be time for a new one, though...
And these are the channel phasers of my 87 liters wave board. I have no clue what they are for. If you do, post a comment and let me know.
Lastly, my favorite brand of sails.
PS. I forgot to reveal why my canoe doesn't steer on the wave. It's because when it's on a wave it moves at the same speed of the water... can't steer a boat that it's not moving...
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
I'm sure Hookipa was great surfing, but for some reasons, I'm in a deep longboard sailing space right now.
Around 3.30 the forerunners sets of the new swell started to arrive and they were extremely clean. At sunset I drove to Hookipa were it was already big.
Just to clarify, in my personal scale everything over head high is big.
It's a very blurred photo (not enough light), but maybe it's better than nothing...
The 9pm reading of the NW buoy is an impressive 13 feet at 15 seconds.
Forget about surfing the north shore tomorrow morning (too big), I could drive to the west side to score little Makaha. But maybe I'll just save my energies for the afternoon sailing. Longboard or shortboard, I'm stoked on windsurfing these days. It's like a second wind...
And here's what Pat Caldwell has to say: "Into the long range, continued high surf episodes on about a 3-day spacing next week with dominant direction NW to NNW. The models out 15 days suggest this pattern to continue past mid December"
Mum, I'm not coming home for Christmas...
Monday, December 04, 2006
I'm trying a sw that a guy called Diego developed to flick on a blog thru photos that are stored in flickr.com. I like it, even though you don't see the description that I added to some of them (unless you click on the 'photo link' button and go to flickr).
I like the space saving though. You can just click on the big photo and it will flick thru all the photos.
Let me know your comments about it. And grazie Diego! Which is a sentence that sounds familiar to a guy from Napoli...
Mmm... I don't like the white space on top of the photos.
AND, it's too wide and it makes the profile and archives sections go all the way to the end of this page. Tried to resize it, but then you lose the filmstrip at the bottom. For this reason, I'll keep the flicker for a few days and then I'll replace it with a link to the flickr website where you will still be able to see the photos.
Oh well, I tried...
If you can't see them on this page, go to my flickr page.
Here's the slideshow.
Anyway, some kewl shots, uh?
These other two photos deserve special attention, so I left them out of the flicker.
This amazingly beautiful body part belongs to a sweet argentinian girl.
And this is the fantastic vechicle that made the trip possible. 32 miles per gallon (thanks to the manual shift), power locks, power windows, excellent sound.
I would not trade my car for any other vehicle. Unless it has more room and eats less gasoline, which is pretty much impossible to find in Maui. Maybe a biodiesel wagon... now that Ben makes me think about it...
A van? Forget about it! I need to feel free to get in my car and drive to any surf spot in the island without having to calculate how much the trip will cost me...
A small pickup? No way, all that rain on my sails and sun on my board...
This IS the car of my dreams...
PS. The front bumper was attacked by a shark...