Thursday, October 18, 2007

The saddest day at Hookipa

Update 1 to this post. If you haven't read it yet, read the post below and then come back up here.
I just received this email from a friend. I replaced the name of our common friend with XYZ. Here's the text:

hi giampaolo i dont know if you saw it, I didnt but he told me. XYZ went to talk to the lifeguard ,the red neck /red hair one about a surfer in the middle of 50 windurfers. making it short the lifeguard told him "get the fuck out of my tower, fucking haole" and a bunch of "fuck and more fuck" and almost punched him but the other lifeguard stopped him.
XYZ doesn't know if he should make a police report about the aggression. if i was him, tomorrow i would be calling my lawer planing a lawsuit.
because of this week events(two lifeguard running over a windsurfer in sprecks, confiscating equipment at hookipa and now XYZ) i think it's time to start fighting back.
if you see XYZ tell him what you think whatever it is.
thank you !!!

Not having seen the fact, I can't guarantee it's exactly true. But I know XYZ and I know the lifeguard... it's highly possible! So, not even after 24 hours I proposed it, I already realized that my system wouldn't work.
What I forgot is that NONE of the lifeguards at Hookipa is a windsurfer. Instead ALL of them are hard core surfers. They probably wouldn't be too objective in evaluating the conditions...

I know nothing about the two lifeguards running over a windsurfers in Sprecks.

For sure, the heat is up. And this atmosphere of guerrilla disgusts me... just like the ignorance and the racism shown by somebody (red hair... clearly not 100% hawaiian himself!) calling somebody else fucking haole just because he had a foreign accent. I've been called like that many times too. I'm sick of the stupidity of the human beings...

----end of update 1 -----------------------------------------------------------
----start of original post -----------------------------------------------------

Tuesday 10 16 2007 was a very sad day for the sport of windsurfing.

Two windsurfers, one tourist from Japan and another from France, were fined by the State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) police, had their equipment confiscated and were given a date to show up in court.

Ah, forgot to mention... this happened in Maui at Hookipa (which, by the way, in hawaiian language means hospitality...!), the world windsurfing Mecca... at least till now!
This photo (sorry if it's dark... wrong settings) shows the DLNR police writing the ticket to the Japanese guy.

Ok, take a moment to absorb the shock and if you feel like learning some facts and my opinion, just keep reading...

Let's start with some history.

For thousands of years, turtles and other marine creatures have shared the water at Hookipa. I don't know how peacefully, but for sure without the need of regulation of any sort.
Then one day a few hundreds years ago, the ancient hawaiians invented the sport of surfing.
Windsurfing was invented a lot later and the first windsurfer was patented by Jim Drake and Hoyle Schweitzer in 1968.
After that, Mike Waltze was the first one to launch a windsurfer at Hookipa in 1980.
Since then, thanks to the combination of big waves and strong winds, Hookipa has become the most known windsurfing spot in the world.
For years surfers and windsurfers have coexisted, not without some friction, but definitely without too much drama either.

Pretty much, what happened in the past was this.
If there were waves, there were surfers. From dawn to around noon, the surfers could surf in all the three breaks of the bay: Pavillion (the most upwind one), Middles and The point. Then, around noon, one of the three possible following things would happen:
1) if it was a non sailable day (no wind or too light): the surfers would keep surfing all day everywhere
2) if a strong wind picked up: most of the surfers would came out of the water spontaneously, because the condition deteriorated and the windsurfers would go out sailing. Eventually a few leftover surfers (the ones without really nothing better to do...) would move upwind to Middles (going left) and Pavillions.
3) if a light but sailable wind picked up: the windsurfers would go out sailing and as a consequence all the surfers were pushed up to Middles-left and Pavillions.

When the wind would die (usually between 4 and 6) the surfers would have all the breaks for themselves again.

Even though some surfers (for example the ones who for whatever reasons couldn't surf in the morning) weren't too happy, the system seemed to work and, IMO, it was actually also quite fair, because both surfers and windsurfers had a share of the time. No wind for the surfers and wind for the windsurfer... makes sense to me.

What's changed in the last few years?

Three things:
A) every year there's more surfers and windsurfers on Maui. It's inevitable. This place is magnificent and people (me included) moves here from all over the continental US and the world. It belongs to all the human beings (it actually belongs to the turtles way more the to the humans...) regardless of where they're from, when they got here and if they were born here. Well, you know what I think about countries, borders, flags and shit like that...
All these people wanting to either surf or windsurf started creating some safety issues, also because of some irresponsible windsurfers' behaviors (like backlooping in a pack of surfers and landing right in the middle of them, for example...).

Purely as an example (I'm not blaming him!), and to give a little color to this article, let's take this backloop of Glenn on Sunday the 14th.

Honestly, as a surfer I wouldn't like to be in the proximity of that...

B) three years ago, somebody (not sure if the County or the State) decided to put a lifeguard station at Hookipa.

C) not too many months ago (sorry, can't remember exactly how many), a safety rule was made by the State of Hawaii DLNR.

Here's the sign describing this rule.

And here's a closeup of the three zones. Read it like this:
Zone A: Pavillions
Zone B: Middles
Zone C: The point

The rule itself is quite clear. But... is it fair?

Lately, specially during the last week, the rule has been often broken.
The waves weren't big enough to wavesail or surf anywhere else in the island. The wind wasn't strong enough to make the surfers spontaneously leave.
So, with a lot of tension in the water (surfers yelling at windsurfers, lifeguards whistling on the beach without being heard...) somebody decided to call the DLNR police, who showed up one day and randomly picked two windsurfers caught coming out of the water with more than ten surfers out, hence infringing the rule.

Here's the japanese guy again, putting his gear in the police's truck.

The really sad part is that, as said before, these happened to be two tourists, both of them sailing at Hookipa for their first time (!), who probably didn't know anything about the rule.
Now, can you imagine? Maybe those guys dreamed all their life to go windsurfing in Maui and when finally their dream became true, they almost got arrested in their board shorts!!!
I am sooo sorry for these guys. If they caught me or any other Hookipa regular it would have been more fair at least...

Here is a short video taken that morning (or should I say that mourning?).
First, it shows Josh Stone discussing with one of the DLNR official and then shortly Dave Ezzy with one of the lifeguards trying to understand where the borders of the zones are. It's not a journalistic document of much relevance, but it shows how even the super-duper old time Hookipa windsurfers can't really believe what's happening...

And now, my take.

As I said before, more and more people come to Maui to either surf or windsurf. I can totally foresee a very near future in which there will ALWAYS be at least ten surfers in the water, no matter what the conditions are. Trust me, if there's a hundred or more people surfing at 7am, there will be at least ten who will choose to surf crappy, windy but uncrowded waves later on in the day.
And that, according to the actual rule, will be the end of windsurfing at Hookipa. This will be a major damage for the economy of the island itself (in terms of tourists and all related businesses) and for the windsurfing industry, most of which is based in Maui and has in Hookipa its main R&D lab.

I think there is the need of a rule (to ensure the safety of everybody), but the actual one isn't fair. Here's how I would do it.

First, no windsurfing before 11am. Kanaha has a no windsurfing rule before 11am rule. It works! Why not apply it in Hookipa too? Sure, there's not much windsurfing happening before 11am anyway, but it will give the surfers a sure time frame in which to go surf without having to deal with windsurfers... It will have a psicological effect and it will show fairness in the time sharing of the place... 6 to 11 is 5 hours!

After 11, there will still be the need for a rule, but it needs to be more conditions related rather than crowd related. Let's put a wind meter at the point and set a minimum threshold of wind speed for windsurfing. I got no idea what the threshold should be, but this can be easily determined and adjusted by a few days of experimenting.

At that point, somebody needs to take charge of setting a clearly visible sign (a big flag will do it) to let everybody know if and when it's sailable or not. Honestly, the lifeguards at Hookipa are not particularly busy, since 99% of the ocean users are expert surfers and windsurfers... they should be the ones that decide (based on the windmeter reading) when to put the sign up or down.
They should also use horns to signal a change in the flag status to call the windsurfers out or move the surfers upwind.

I'm sure that such a rule will still make some people unhappy (specially in those days in which the wind keeps going up and down) but it's clear that it's impossible to make everybody happy...

Well, at least this is my idea. Got a better one? Post it as a comment or even better post it in this thread that I just opened on my forum, so that the discussion can keep going even after this post will not be at the top of this blog anymore...

If a windsurfing magazine wishes to purchase the rights of this article (of any future ones), please email me by clicking on the "email me to advertise on this site" link on the top right of this page.
Talking about which, and also because a photo of it was requested by some users of the forum and I just got to post it somewhere, here's a photo of the latest Hot Sails Maui harness. I just got one and I love it...


wally said...

WTF is happening to Maui?

Nowhere to stay on the north shore and now no light wind wavesailing at Hookipa. Don't they understand you need the freakin' channel to get out when it's light?

Is this punishment of windsurfers by the government for daring to criticize their heavy handed enforcement of the vacation rental situation?

Anonymous said...

Well let face it theirs just to many people F-ing and this is just the end result. I hate to say I remember but I will, Lived on maui 1969-1980 most of the time the only spot surfed was Pav. local kids mostly ,the only time I surfed middles or the point or lanes was on kona winds or if I could get up for dawn patrol.
Like you said looks like they need new rules.good luck

horndog said...

damn! did the dude get his gear back or was it confiscated forever? the feds always ruin a good thing...

Anonymous said...

I actually agree with the rules. I think its fair. Was their last month and was often one of the 10 out waiting for some real wind to pick up and still in the water at 10. I saw the rules for the first time and assumed they were completly ignored.

When it was me windsurfing late on the day and a few surfers went out. I always went in after a couple entered the water, not wait anywhere near 10. i couldn't imagine sailing with 10 surfers ! The bonus to that was then i was one of the first to also paddle out and get some uncrowded waves.

The answer, if I was waiting to windsurf and the roles reversed, I would had sailed lanes. Only trouble is getting there or out. The rules should allow for the use of the channel to get out. Maybe make it non-planning.

cammar said...

Wally, this rule has nothing to do with the vacation rental situation.
It's about safety. I thought that was clear...

Anon, you're correct. There's too many people in Hookipa, there's too many people in Maui there's too many people on Earth. Shall we finally stop making babies?!

Horndog, I don't know the answer to your question, but I doubt it. I heard that the court date for the french guy was in more than a month and he's leaving in two weeks...
The good news is that he was out the day after (smaller crappier waves and stronger wind... less than 10 surfers out, no conflict) on some other gear...

Anon, the fact that you took advantage of the rule doesn't necessarily means it's fair.
Till a few days ago, I thought it was fair too. But then I realized that, as Josh also mentions in the video, there's now a lot of people "kind of camping" at Hookipa, always ready to get in the water and catch uncrowded waves, no matter how shitty and blown out they are.
That excludes completely windsurf out of the game.
For ten guys surfing shitty blown out waves, there would be 40 guys sitting on the beach that instead would have a blast wavesailing those same waves.

I don't think it's fair. Think about the time sharing percentage too.

The rule already allows to go out through the channel and sail Lanes. But there's some swell directions and sizes in which Lanes is just not as good as Hookipa.

Today, thursday 10 18, the waves were gorgeous. Light wind in the morning, surfing looked like a blast. I saved my energies for sailing and had a five stars double sesh at lower Kanaha (plenty footage, don't know if I'm ever gonna find the time to edit it...). I heard that the wind picked up also at Hoo and Kauli, Robby and other pro windsurfers went out and it was windsurfing again. I have no idea if there were more than 10 sailors when they got into the water. Maybe Pascal can tell us that... and don't forget to mention how bloody good it was too!

Anonymous said...

The problem is, windsurfing is perceived as a sport for rich haoles, and vacation rentals are perceived as a business for rich haoles, and locals are fed up with rich haoles coming to these islands and taking everything over as they have done since 1893. Can you blame them? Go anywhere in the world and the most common graffiti message is "Yankee Go Home."

Anonymous said...

Bullsh*t for the lifeguard, he's a real nice guy, and wouldn't have said that.Maybe your friend XYZ pushed the wrong buttons, but he wouldn't have been racist...

Maui Windsurfer

Two Cents said...

I think it is unfortunate that something that has worked for almost 30 years changes all of the sudden.

The sign described and used by law enforcements with the rules was planted last year as the pressures were already starting to rise ...especially on weekends when a few very sailable days were lost because everyone off work, and that amounted to loads of surfers. The lifeguards were put between a rock and a hard place, and having the "official" rule in place was one more argument to facilitate their work, and the reason why the sign was posted - no one has ever seen such a sign for as long as we can remember.

Perhaps it would be time to adjust the rules ...Hawaii (the state) has dozens and dozens of premiere surf spots, but only one windsurf spot. The surfing world itself has dozens of classic spots ...Teahupoo, Sunset, Waimea, J-Bay, Pipe, Honolua, Maalaea, Hanumanu, LaPerousse, Supertubes, and on and on... Windsurfing has ONE, Ho'okipa! There are others, but this is really Mecca to a whole sport, the official shrine... There is probably 50 percent of the pictures published that come from there, hotshots, ads and all ...this is the one word within an entire world, industry, passion which everyone reacts to ...ok, maybe there are others like Naish, and cie...

Point is, it's all about sharing the ocean and the ressources available. Now that there are many people out here, the pressures make it such that the "rules" have to be re-evaluated, re-written, people have to adapt and compromises have to be made ...unfortunate, but that's the price of "fame" for this island.

The old gentlemen's system as described by Giampaolo had always seemed to work for the most part, that's almost 30 years, but now the pressures are becoming too great for self-policing.

Now, if going to the other extreme, why not make it (from Green Tree to H'poko/point - the zone windsurfers use anyways) for windsurfing only from 11 to 4:30 or 5:00 ...simple clearcut rule, simple to apply, plus, it's typically the tradewind hours by default, and again, the way it's always been for the past 30 years! ...make it the 5-windsurfer rule! Yet, the place can be surfed all morning, and again in the evening ...not to mention on any windless day! Think about it, all-in-all, the percentage for surfing will still be FAR GREATER than that for windsurfing, even on a windy day!

Then, on the super windy days (it does happen that the wind howls even early in morning), if no surfers are present because it's too bad, windsurfers could go out even sooner sense wasting good conditions if the waves are empty anyways!

And were not even getting into the argument of the industry, jobs, etc etc.... And they are NUMEROUS!.... Nope, just an objective analysis of sharing, would it be sparing a very small percentage for people who, at this point, could probably make a case for a granfathered right!???......

When the windsurfers (at least 5) are out, people (surfers) can go Middles, Honolua, the whole west side, Waiehu, Pavilions, Paia Bay, and MANY other "secret" unmentionned places ...windsurfing has only this one peak, not even the bay, but a single peak to itself.

Some would argue windsurfers have Kanaha ...but this place is not really much for surf as soon as it's semi-sailable... Sprecks, crapshoot for surfing anyways, even when it's not windy ...those places were never used by anyone prior to windsurfing. Even Kanaha on a windless day 10 years ago, you would not find more than 10 people!... But we are digressing...

At this point, arguing at the beach each day will go nowhere, if not for frictions as seen these past couple of days, and arguing such facts as surfers don't maximize the conditions vs windsurfers, who pays taxes and who doesn't etc etc ...obsolete and off the point. Even that of the fact that the greater percentage of Ho'okipa users (windsurfers) are local residents.

I believe the windsurfers will have to regroup, create some form of more official representation and go to the authorities that be to discuss the problem in an objective manner. I believe such respected people within the sport will need to step up and spearhead this effort if it is to have any credibility. Such people as Josh Stone, Keith Teboul, Naish, Angulo brothers, etc...

This will be the only way to come to a clearcut solution ...otherwise, tensions will keep on flaring everyday at the beach, and it will not get any better as more and more people are coming to the island.

The 10-surfer rule is also obsolete ..."10 surfers, windsurfers get out!" ...then, one dude comes in for a break ..."OK, 9 surfers, OK to get out!" ...and on and on... Also, even if there is 3-4 surfers, it becomes a great risk ...surfers paddle out throught he waves, and are always in the impact zone opposed to a windsurfer, when downed, gets pushed out of the danger area very quickly... One more reason to make this clearcut, simple, efficient for all, and above all, safe!

Also, following the recent events, the surfers have realized of this obsolete rule (10-surfer rule) and as demonstrated today, are selfishly using it to their advantage only needs to gather 10 people at Pavilions, go down the bay, and you'll have the whole spot to yourself! ...can even shut down the windsurfers at will, mid-day even if it's blowing 30!...

In the end, such a rule would only emphasize, clarify and simplify a system that has, by definition, worked for the past almost 30 years! ...again, a case to be made for granfathered rights....

Let's just hope people remain respectful throughout this whole thing...

This is all so very unfortunate and is leaving the whole windsurfing community of the island and the world aghast as seen in the small clip....

Thanks Giampaolo for initiating this debate of the utmost importance!.... Not just for the windsurf world, but also for making the beach an enjoyable place for all to go...

elysurf said...

It's time to start printing some bumper stickers, "windsurfing is NOT a crime!"

It is very sad indeed. Any "law" can be changed. Perhaps the best idea now would be to bring this issue out in the open, time to get the media involved! Editorials to Maui News, Maui Times, etc. If this issue is brought to a head, the sooner it will get resolved! Of course the problem would be that the greater constituency of surfer's would have the louder voice. But perhaps something fair might come about from making this issue public and out in the open. Let's give it a try!

There are so many issues there that seem to be related in spirit. Wally on Giaopaolo's blog, making a connection between the vacation rental ban and what's happening at Ho'okipa rings partially true to me. They both seem influenced in some way by the prejudice against having too many rich haole windsurfers spoiling the north shore. I guess those that have those attitudes wish for every windsurfer to swim back to the mainland with a kitesurfer under each arm! There are many people on Maui that have such a narrowminded and myopic view of the world around them. And the level of xenophobia is pretty high, too!

In a very real sense, that is the real problem, It's xenophobia! As more "outsiders" move to Maui and the gap between the haves and the have nots widens, people become more xenophobic and resentful. I truly believe that everyone is an "outsider" on Maui, and the haves and the have nots really relate to those that have an open mind and a multisport approach to the ocean as opposed to the have nots who are rigid, close minded and only care about their surfing turf!

Anonymous said...

Hi guys,

Randy here,

I did a bit of looking into this issue. The DLNR is a State of Hawaii department, not a Maui County one, so this falls under their domain. HAR §13-256-127 (bottom of GP's sign picture) is the number for this individual rule. I pasted the actual rule at the bottom of this post for any who are interested, as these things often contain little clues that may not be readily evident, such as that this map was dated August 20, 1988.

Most interesting to me so far is this snip found in a planning description discussing recreational use in Hawaii (also taken from the state's website),

"On the north shore of Maui (at Kanaha and Ho’okipa) surfers and kiteboards/windsurfers
stay out of each other’s use areas, and there are rules, such as the 10-man surf rule, that
started as a gentlemen’s agreement and are now written into rule (HAR §13-256-127)."

This clearly states that the gentlemen's agreement was the basis for this later rule. This is interesting, and may be a potentially useful piece for later argumentation. Consider: What was the nature of this pre-existing gentlemen's agreement, that had been working? Was it that windsurfers had effectively no rights to any water time at Ho'okipa? That does not pass the logic test, as windsurfers have always had a spot (within a time range and when conditions favored their activity) at Ho'okipa. In the past, another element of this never entirely defined agreement was that after 11:00, and if the wind came up to a significant enough level that the conditions were more favorable for the activity of windsurfing then of surfing, then the priority in that zone changed to a windsurfing priority. If that agreement was intended to be honored by this (now written) rule, then that may be substantial reason to appealing the language of the rule, so that the intent of the original agreement is more closely met.

By the way, don't tack to close to the dry reef on the inside. By these rules, that's a ticket too

Here is the rule in its entirety:

§13-256-127 Hookipa Restricted Zones.
(a) Zones A, B, C and D, Hookipa restricted zones means
the areas confined by the boundaries shown for said zones on
Exhibit "WW", dated August 20, 1988, located at the end of
this subchapter. The boundaries are as follows:
(b) Zone A, Hookipa restricted Zone.
(1) Beginning at a point at the low water mark at
the northern tip of Hookipa Point; thence
measured clockwise from True South, 075 degrees
for a distance of seven hundred fifty feet; 360
degrees to the boundary of Zone D; then along
the boundary of Zone D and the low water mark of
the shoreline to the point of beginning.
(2) Restriction. Zone A is designated for swimming
and surfing only. No person shall operate a
sailboard or other water craft within this area.
(c) Zone B, Hookipa restricted Zone.
(1) Beginning at a point at the low water mark at
the northern tip of Hookipa Point; thence
measured clockwise from True South, to a
beginning point in the water 075 degrees for a
distance of seven hundred fifty feet; then
continuing at 075 degrees for a distance of five
fifty feet; 360 degrees to the shoreline; then along
the shoreline to Zone D and along the boundary of
Zone D to the boundary of Zone A; then by straight
line north to the point of beginning.
(2) Restriction. Zone B is designated for surfing
when at least five or more persons (5-man rule)
are engaged in surfing within this zone. No
person shall operate a sailboard within this
zone within the surf break area.
(d) Zone C, Hookipa restricted Zone.
(1) Beginning at a point at the low water mark at
the northern tip of Hookipa Point; thence
measured clockwise from True South, to a
beginning point in the water 075 degrees for a
distance of thirteen hundred feet; then
continuing at 075 degrees for a distance of four
hundred seventy-five feet; 360 degrees to the
shoreline; then along the shoreline to the
boundary of Zone B; then by straight line north
to the point of beginning.
(2) Restriction. Zone C is designated for surfing
when at least ten or more persons (10-man rule)
are engaged in surfing within this zone. No
person shall operate a sailboard within this
zone within the surf break area. Access for
sailboards between the surf break and the
shoreline shall be provided at all times.
(e) Zone D, Hookipa restricted Zone
(1) Beginning at a point at the low water mark
three hundred ninety feet from the western
boundary of Hookipa Beach Park, thence measured
clockwise from True South; 180 degrees for a
distance of one hundred feet; 270 degrees for a
distance of four hundred ten feet; 238 degrees
for a distance of five hundred forty feet; then
in a straight line to the shoreline; then along
the shoreline to the point of beginning.
(2) Restriction. Zone D is designated for pole and
net fishing. No person shall operate a
sailboard within this zone. [Eff 2/24/94 ]
(Auth: HRS §§200-2, 200-3, 200-4) (Imp: HRS
§§200-2, 200-3, 200-4)

Anonymous said...

hi giampaolo,

thanks for posting this thread - something needs to be done - or let's first maybe see how things develop, what do you think?

ho'o was ok today, i started sailing at 2pm and all the surfers had cleared out - i guess it was too big for most of them (a thing i've seen seen many times over the years at diamond head - as soon as there are real waves the surfers go home.

maybe it had also to do with how many windsurfers were out there, including robby, levi, polakow, keith etc. - the wind was quite flukey (offshore) and many people ended up on the rocks. i opted for my 4.7 and had a blast, sailing very conservative but nonetheless it was nice to ride some logo-high waves and the occasional mast-high bomb.

let's hope that this surfer-windsurfer situation doesn't escalate too much - we will never give up ho'okipa!



To Elysurf said...

Elysurf, welcome to the Republican Party. Your innate understanding of their MO earns you a place of honor in their midst. So what's the MO?

First, invade and conquer the locals.

Second, trample over their rights of access and control over their own resources.

Third, if they resist or show any resentment, label them as "prejudiced," or "xenophobic," or other morally derogatory epithets.

Fourth, devise logical-seeming arguments ("nobody is a local") to undermine their standing.

Finally, do it all in the name of "open-mindedness," interchangeable with "freedom," or "democracy," or "our way of life," or some other so-called virtue.

Is it a wonder that the locals find you arrogant and unwelcome? You, and the others, who have made windsurfing a kook sport, and who have made the US a hated nation worldwide, are bringing it on yourselves, brah.

As a good friend put it: "Sometimes I am ashamed of being a windsurfer." And another said: "Sometimes I am ashamed of being an American."

Two Cents said...

This message for Pascal...

The windsurfers were out by 2:00 (you wor til too late! ;-)) because a group of sailors, many of them with notoriety, all rigged up and went out just after 1:00 ...before that, there were about 15-20 windsurfers that were sitting the guardrail and pacing back and forth because they were afraid it was going to turn like it did a few days ago with DLNR confiscating equipment and such... All of which because there were exactly 10 surfers out and the lifeguards were keeping a close eye on anyone thinkin' about heading out ...which I think shows how this whole thing has degenerated and now people are exploiting it - aka the minimum of 10 surfers out there. The problem is obviously less when the waves are larger like yesterday, but now that a door has been opened in the application of the "law" to the letter, surfers will be likely to use this newly created weak link to an otherwise system that had been working for many decades now.

Big waves/small waves, this has been in the making for over a year now, with rising tension, particularly over the weekends when there are more beachgoears and ocean users ...not so sure this is one of those situations that resolve themselves as much as one which will require special attention at higher levels than the beach/lifeguards/windsurfers/homeless/surfers/DLNR agents ...certainly, no one wants to go through what has been happening every day for the past week now.

cammar said...

Wow, that's a lot of comments!
Too many to reply to each single one.
Looks like as usual most of the readers prefere to post comments here rather then on the forum... must be the anonymous form...
Too bad that this discussion will die when I'll post something else...
Anyway, thanks to everyone for posting comments both here and on the forum.
The waves seem to be slightly smaller today... let's see what happens! I may end up sailing Kanaha again, not because I'm scared of the rule (which, btw, I plan on respecting as long as it's there), I could always go to Lanes... but because when it gets mast high it's just too big for me.
I wish I had taked photos yesterday, must have been epic with the offshore conditions...

meesh said...

Thank god the back yard session was all time and I don't have to get near this bad energy! I've also discoverd the only place I'm surfing all winter - mellow people and uncrowded. Gotta choose your spots.... and when these places get crowded, it's time for me to move.

Anonymous said...

another nail in the coffin for windsurfing, i'm afraid. while i now kitesurf and surf mostly, i still windsurf and this is a bummer....somebody please put windsurfing out of it's misery....

Anonymous said...

hi giampaolo,

which lifeguard is that? do you know his name? i'd file a lawsuit right away, people like him shouldn't get away, what kind of an attitude... poor guy...

i think the wind rule wouldn't work too well - what about just using hours - 11-4 for windsurfers, even if it is superlight - the rest of the day for surfers.

looks like in any case the windsurfers need to get organized and get the law changed...

cammar said...

Meesh, that's the way to go! And next time I see you, better tell me that spot...

Anon, why everybody keep saying that windsurfing is dead?
I see a lot of new things coming out... new shapes (seen the AHD Seal?), twin fins revival, new names winning events, new moves that a few years ago were not even imaginable, kids that rip at 11 y.o., SUP boards with the mast track, my Superfreaks that get better every year...
No really, from my point of view windsurfing has never been so alive!
What's happening at Hoo is not going to kill windsurfing, that is for sure.
I admit to have probably reported in a slightly dramatic way, but I was really shocked and sorry for those two guys.
The situation is not that bad... at least it wasn't for the past couple of days, in which there was no conflict at all.
It's just a bad rule. We'll see what happens...

Anon, I think that guy must have a double personality (or bipolar disease), because with me he has been both extremely rude and nice. A lawsuit wouldn't help the cause.
Sure, time division is easier, but when there's no wind the surfers should be able to go surf... so it has to be related to the wind too.

elysurf said...


I have an idea. Why don't you or someone you know (or someone from this blog), compose a petition that all of us who are opposed to what's going on at Ho'okipa, can sign. We can do it through the Hotsails Maui Forum, for instance. This petition can be signed by all windsurfers on every bulletin board, blog, equipment forum, and online magazine, and can be sent to the local media, DNLR, State and county of Maui, and all local political representatives. It's time to be practive, let's get on it, you'all!!!

elysurf said...

It's time to get proactive, is what I was trying to say...

Anonymous said...

I agree with elysurf.
I look forward to sign such a petition. In fact, I just emailed British Airways a complain regarding their desition to completely ban oversized sport equipment in their flights (see for more info).
All these things could do a big damage to our sport...

Bill said...

Bummer with the new ordnances there at Hookipa. Fight it!

Luckily, we do not have that here in Hatteras. Only access things we deal with are beach areas closed to nesting sea birds. Though in 2005, the Park Service guarded areas of beach with assault rifles at Hatteras Inlet to protect the birds. Seemed excessive...

cammar said...

The petition will be the way to go if the problem will persist.

The last two days everything has been fine, nobody seems to be worried anymore, and with the new wave season just starting I feel that nobody wants to draw further attention to the issue, in the hope that somehow it won't be an issue anymore.
I got the feeling that even the surfers are realizing the consequences of abusing of the rule and being in the water at the point in more than 10 in shitty conditions just to be assholes towards the windsurfers...

No petition for now, let's just wait an see for a little longer...

jeff E of the Great White North said...

Is it time for windsurers to get paranoid?? As soon as i read this i too thought"wow does this have anything to do with VRs"? But as Giampaolo stated it is just what it is . But, are windsurfers under seige? As a group there are less of us then there ever has been ..SO .. so why trouble now?
More surfers on the breaks?? As to
windsurfers buying up properties?? Well with again with windsurfing numbers in mind,wouldnt the case rather be rich surfers or kiters ?? Rich surfer that may be an oxymoronic statement.LOL.
But we are a highly visible group in maui with kit in the roof. An easy target for any xenophobic attitudes agianst the rich outsiders buying land.
I think if it was easy to poll most outsiders buying land in Maui or Hawaii the vast majority
have NOTHING to do with windsurfing. But i agree , Maui
is chock full of outsiders,we are more or less just easy targets. It seems to me recent Ohana are"some" of the worst like the white
guys are Jaques bistro calling me a typical north american ( dood and what do you think YOu look like?)
or the waitress in Charlies ( making fun of us toorists,her tip was a bad one )
or the white haired white skinned
crazy woman infront of hawiian island telling me to go the *&( home Haole ( mad in the bad traffic i was on foot)
. Some people ( and i mean just some)seem to come to maui make it there home and latch onto a resentment based on a real persecution that did happen but
that has nothing to do with their own family history.

Anonymous said...

Maui sucks. The wind is never any good. The waves are awful. There is no place to stay. It's expensive. The locals are aggressive jerks. They have sharks biting people all the time. Now they're arresting people, for windsurfing. Why would anyone want to go and windsurf in Maui, when there are other great and welcoming places to go, like Bonaire, or Jeri? If I were planning a windsurfing vacation, I would go to one of those other places, and forget about Maui.

David, Sweden said...

Seriously, what the fuck is happening over there? Rules and restrictions on accommodation and now this shit?
The surfing and espacially the windsurfing community has really been a huge economic benefit for Maui.
I was there 10 years ago and it was ALL OK, just as long as you obeyed the morning rule and mind your own business and not messing with the locals.
Is really sucks, all of this. I can see Joshs' frustration in the clip and really feel for it. And the poor guys that got fined. That is just fucked up.
I was thinking of coming over for xmas and newyear (and yes, spending my money, and I'm not a rich "f-ing haole"), but all these strange things that has happened lately really puts me in a bad mood considering Maui. Where is the heart and sole and the hospitality?
Thanks Giampaolo.

Anonymous said...

David, you're right, Maui is a terrible destination. The poster before you gave a laundry list of problems - but there are other even more serious problems. Crime and theft are rampant. The island is overrun with crystal meth addicts. If you leave your car unattended, you are just inviting a break-in. The ice-heads specifically target rental cars. They also target vacation rentals for burglaries, because the authorities turn a blind eye towards theft from visitors - too difficult to prosecute. This summer our friends were robbed three times in two weeks. They swore never to go back there again.

Matty said...

Maui sucks!!! First no place to stay. Then no Aloha. Now cant sail hookipa. Wtf is going on around here. Please shoot me and spare me the misery.

Anonymous said...

We've started a petition on a Swedish site, I will send it to various authorities on mauii when we'we gotten as many names as possible. I don't think there is no harm in telling the mauii policitcian about our worry on the recent development on mauii.

And I totally agree with your idea for solution of problem, there's no point in either wavesurfing or windsurfing when the conditions are crappy! So why should wavesurfers screw with the windsurfers when there are no good waves in any case.

Another way of solving issue might be to reach out to the wave surfing community and offer them a deal, like the no windsurfing untill 11 rule. If we could find an agreement with them there might be no need to involve the politicians.

The swedish protest petition … nvisa=namn

I think you should start a similar petition in your home countries and send to mauii officials.

Griff said...

Yo Matty, we feel for ya braddah! Dont give up on Maui. Its still da kine. We still pissed about da shit but we work on fixing it, yea?

Anonymous said...

Save the superferry too please!! :)

Stinkin Haole said...

Personally I never had a trip that was ever as bad as my last trip to Maui, in October 2006. First, there was no wind, not a breath of wind, for three weeks solid. Sure, there were plenty of other things to do besides windsurf, but THAT'S NOT WHY WE WENT TO MAUI! And that's supposed to be a windy month! Then, while we were there, there was a friggin' earthquake. It felt like the friggin' illegal shack we were renting in Haiku at $300 a night was gonna fall right off the flimsy stilts it was built on. And if that wasn't enough, all we got the entire time was friggin' stinkeye and bad service wherever we went. A guy at a surf spot called us "stinkin haoles" and told us "Don't even think about goin in da wada." I could swear that the waiters and waitresses were spitting in our food. We figured out pretty quickly that the "aloha spirit" is just something they made up to lure tourists here, and rip them off. You want it that bad? You can have it. It's all yours.

Anonymous said...

Do something for Hookipa:

1) Take the sign down
2) Burn the lifeguard's house down

Sailor said...

When I saw the LG tower go up I knew it would be nothing but trouble. It is always trouble when buroucrats have time on their hands. When I broke a mast on a big day and came in at kuau, I asked them why they didn't help. They said "Bra, you weren't dead yet" ha ha ha. What a waste of taxpayer money.

sailor said...

p.s. San Carlos has way better surf than Maui. Don't think Maui is the end of the world! I get 3-5 bottom turns at Hookipa, and in Baja 20+ with nobody jibing in front. I'll take a wetsuit over confiscated gear. I say rent a van and sleep in it. NO REVENUE FOR MAUI COUNTY! LET THEM EAT ALOHA.

keoni said...

see what happens when da haole takes ovah?

Da Haole said...

Da haole is the best thing to happen to Hawaii. Otherwise you'd be speaking Japanese and picking sugar cane for Japanese overloards, instead of surfing "Bra" "Be careful what you wish for." (old chinese proverb) your racist comments only show your ignorance.

Kalani said...

Amen Haole!

Anonymous said...

You know what... I am lifeguard myself. A lot of us don't windsurf, but surf. All the surfers are probably willing to work things out, but one thing to remember is that show aloha first and you will get aloha back. Us real locals test every single person that comes to our spots, and if you don't show aloha, watch out!! It's you guys that visit have to remember that Maui is not the " everything is free " attitude. We all grew up here in the same manner you are being treated. If I windsurfed, I would respect all laws, new and old. Also last but not least, for those who think they can just walk into our towers, don't!!! That Lifeguard who snapped(if he did) is a great waterman. Just because we look like we are not paying attention, does'nt mean we're not. If you needed help he'd be there. Plus we are not taxi drivers to pick up gear. We are there to give help to those who really need it.

Anonymous said...

Come to Western Australia. Heaps of wind and waves,great windsurfing beaches, no agro, good food ,wine and cheap accommodation. Best of all the locals love tourists, no windsurfing cops. Current world number 1 speed sailor (Chris Lockwood) resident of Perth is soooo windy here. Also Ezzy Sails rule in Western Australia.

Anonymous said...

My point of view, coming from a surfer, is that windsailers should have access to the channel by zone C anytime. But if there's more than 10 surfers in zone C, don't windsail there. You have the power of wind to venture anywhere in the sea. Why hang out in an area with the possibility running someone over (i seen it happen)?
Lifeguards should regulate this, but don't be a prick about it. If they can't handle this task, maybe it's time to look for a different job.
I lived on Oahu for 25 years. surfers and windsurfers using Diamond Head tolerate each other. The windsailers use good judgement going further out because they can. Come on now, cirling around surfers, flying by 3 feet away from people is asking for a beatdown.
I laugh when there's racism to white people on Maui. 80% of this island's population is haoule. They reversed the game here so deal with it.
In conclusion, Maui sucks to live...great for vacation. Inconsistent surf, higher gas prices/food, good jobs are hard to come by, 10:45 PM alcohol shutdown, judges trying to shut the Superferry, and where the hell are the hot asian girls hiding at? going back to Oahu!!!!!

deepfried said...

I'm sure it will all be sorted out one way or another. If its a 'law' then its something that can be legally changed (if the locals can get organized).

In the mean time if anyone is thinking of going on a windsurfing vacation. PLEASE DON'T COME TO NEW ZEALAND! We like our breaks the way they are... windy and uncrowded.

(nah..... come on down, you'll love it!!) :-)

Anonymous said...

no surfing pipeline if there is more than 10 people swimming

Anonymous said...

come to Taranki in New Zealand.

check out and the pungarehu session on 07-10-18

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Sorry to join your discussion as a "rich haole" who passed through in Oct 2006. My wife made a wrong turn and ended up going through a mass of people in the parking lot. We were driving a convertible and were going very slow because of safety reasons (a girl walking on our right front.) Behind us two locals in a jeep were shouting "Go tourist go.. go tourist go!" My wife yelled back "Do you just want me to run her over?" Another local in a picnic shelter yelled at the jeep "Shut the bleep up and watch where you're driving."

Tension runs high there, it's easy to see.

I say you get out your flags and set up a removable system YOURSELVES. Send some NICE person around with a clipboard and ask people to sign up on a clipboard. If they don't speak the language then get another person as a backup.

Have people sign up and AGREE to do this without getting the uniforms involved. Instead of bitching, show some leadership. This is how little leagues are run. People walk around with clipboards and everyone just agrees.

Put up signs that tell tourists that this is a surfing area. Ask them NICELY to avoid the parking lot.

Put up signs for Windsurfers to sign up on a clipboard. Yes there will be A-holes and haoles who ignore you, but they will get BOOED off of the beach.

Take charge of this and stop whining about this. The authorities will let you do this because they would rather look the other way to unofficial organizers than deal with people bitching at them all day.

Just a suggestion from a haole.

Anonymous said...

I just want to reply to this comment from the initial email:

"XYZ doesn't know if he should make a police report about the aggression. if i was him, tomorrow i would be calling my lawyer planing a lawsuit."

This is one reason we have to have f'd up rules like this. Main-landers, and other tourists come here with the "lawsuit" mentality. Show some respect to the locals!!! If it is windy, and locals want to surf, deal with it. If you are a surfing tourist, and see locals want to wind surf, get the f outta the water. And if you want to sue a local, just be ready to learn about pain. even the police don't like you!

Show respect, and you get respect. If you get punched, then deal with it. Don't be a coward who hides behind lawyers.

Anonymous said...

born and raised in haiku....i surf hokeeps every day of my life, we have priority in the water. if you want to whine about it you might get slapped. locals used to have aloha until all these people moved over here acting disrespectful and arrogant. if you don't like it then GO HOME!!!.....if you start a dumb petition, trust me the surfers outnumber the windsurfers. to the guy who started this little letter, i see you all the time bro, don't say stupid shit or i may walk up to you and give you a 1 2. why don't any hawaiians windsurf? because it is a haole sport. LOCALS RULE HAWAII

Anonymous said...

I was very confused today watching lifeguards at Hookipa and how they stood and watched as 2 windsurfers got swept into the rocks. People on the beach responded and went to help as the lifeguards just watched almost like they couldn't be bothered. There was clearly an attitude going with them. Many people were asking why they didn't respond, some just shaking their heads like its normal.At what point does the lifeguard get involved in such situations? Aren't they trained to deal with situations like this? Or do they have an attitude with windsurfers?

Anonymous said...

Stupid jerk attitude. Gives surfing and surfers a bad name