Monday, November 05, 2007

surfing post: what a swell!

Windsurfers: you guys take a break, kick back and relax, because there has been no wind for a few days (my muscles thank god for that) and this post is about the wonderful sport of... SURFING!

A lot of people called in sick last Monday.
Back then, when the Hawaiians were still living uninvaded and "uncivilized" by the white people, a day like Monday would have been declared a royal Hawaiian holiday... the King and the Queen in person would have gone surfing.
Today, people have to call in sick... we got all the priorities fucked up!

Monday a large out of season south swell hit the islands (well, more precisely it hit already Sunday at sunset, but I surfed Hookipa instead...).
I surfed my favorite wave twice (morning and sunset) and in between I took plenty photos of another break nearby.

Here's one to give you an idea of the size (check the one on the back).

Here's one to give you an idea of the gnarliness.

Here's one to give you an idea of the colors and the glassiness before the wind picked up.

The sun was ferocious. And even though it only lasts for a few seconds, the relief brought by the shade of a water curtain is always enormous...

Artsy one.

Artsy two.

I also took photos of the shore break at a nearby beach. This girl is actually standing on the sand... she's just below the huge step created by the pounding waves...

Boogie boarding gets pretty radical over there...

Plenty more photos in this slide.

I also took a few videos that I put together without much editing. In fact, I wanted the resulting clip to be long enough to include a song from one my favorite reggae singers, Lucky Dube, who was killed Oct 18th in a suburb of Johannesburg, apparently by carjackers.
Ironically, in his songs he always preached love, peace and care for the poor.
I saw him in concert in Maui four years ago and it was THE best reggae concert I saw in my life. Maybe the music... maybe that cloud of da kine smoke constantly floating over the audience... maybe the fact that I left with two phone numbers... I don't know what it was, but it was just magic!

Here's the lyrics of that song. Pretty scary...

So far so good we still living today
But we don't know what tomorrow brings
In this crazy world
People dying like flies every day
You read about it in the news
But you don't believe it
You'll only know about it
When the man in the long black coat
Knocks on your door
'Cause you're his next victim
As you are living in this
Living in, living in this crazy world (x4)
Leaders starting wars every time they want
Some for their rights,
Some for fun and their own glory letting people die for the wrong that they do
Oh it's painful come on now little boy
Say your prayers before you sleep
Little boy went down on his knees
And he said:
Oh Lord Now I lay me down to sleep............*
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
And if I die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
'Cause he's living in this crazy world
Oh Lord

Back to the swell: here's the storm that generated it.

Where's Maui? See that * on the right of the "I lay me down to sleep" verse? Roughly there...
Waves have an incredible ability to travel without dissipating too much of their energy. That's because it's not that the water molecules move all the way from over there to over here... it's more like they push each other, like a domino.

They do lose some energy, though. You can easily guess that if take a look to this amazing photos of the same swell, hitting Tahiti four days earlier. Where's Tahiti on that map? Da hell, do I have to do everything? Here, this is good enough.
Jaws can get bigger, but Teahupoo is the heaviest wave on the planet.
Unbelievable. Those photos are just unbelievable.

Well, at this point you guys probably won't care too much anymore that I had two more great surf days Tuesday and Wednesday, but I'll tell you anyway.

Tuesday I was so lucky to score on the the most fickle waves in Maui. I had checked a couple of spots already and I didn't like them. Then I saw this one with only one guy out. "Well, that's kind of fun" I thought, "plus I never surfed here..."
As soon as I got in the water, the other guy left. "It's all yours brah, I surfed it for two hours... I'm done".
As soon as I was left alone, a couple of head high sets arrived.
"Well, it's better than it looked from the shore", I thought.
10 minutes later it got so good that the same guy paddled back out... he just couldn't resist!
I caught a couple of waves that were the best waves I had had in a loooong while. It looked like Indo. Steep, open, glassy, blue walls of water. Not a long ride, two or three turns... still!
A third surfer joined us and it was perfection for an hour.

Three surfers in the lineup is a perfect number. You can take turns and can sit a little spread out, so that if the peak is shifty, most waves will still be caught and ridden. And there's no competition at all. Only yelling joy at each other, sharing the stoke of something that unfortunately doesn't happen often. One hour later, an onshore breeze picked up, the tide got too high and I just couldn't believe that it was the same place!
Clearly, I have the weather map of the storm responsible for the waves of that day (I save ALL the weather maps every morning on my computer), so I can try to guess when that spot is going to go off again. It's like a game in the game.

Wednesday, I went quite early on the Lahaina side and scored more glassy shoulder high waves.
Right now, I got all the possible rashes a surfer can have. Thank god (again!? Good job that I don't believe in him!) tomorrow the wind should be back, together with a moderate NW swell (4 feet, 12 sec from 330 at the NW buoy as I type) and that should make for some fun wavesailing conditions... what a bloody good life!

Talking about which...
Tonight I saw a movie about Buthan, a little country in the middle of Asia where the local government has defined the Gross National Happiness as one of its main goals. Fantastic. Hopefully they will survive the threat of globalization and consumerism that the television has lately started to bring in...

As a parameter to measure my happiness, instead, I have my own QUOLI (QUolity Of Life Index). Up to date, I'm doing pretty well with only 10 days NOT in the ocean from the beginning of 07. Can't complain.

Last but not least, the australian Mick Fanning won the ASP world title. The whole thing was webcasted, of course. Here, in the video section, you can find some highlights.

Happy, happy, happy, I salute you blog readers and I go get some well deserved sleep.
Hasta luego.


Lano said...

A really enjoyable post GP, you dont know how much hapiness your stories and images bring me....

cammar said...

My pleasure, mate!

Thanks for letting me know, it's good and motivational to be reminded...

PS. Kiss the ladies at the office for me ;-)

Anonymous said...

soooo niiiccee , wow !!!!!

Sharon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
cammar said...

Sorry Sharon, I was testing some administrator features and I ended up deleting your comment and not being able to restore it...
Maybe you want to post it again, but this time make sure you check Tahiti and Fanning first...

Can't make it to the Simmer sale... not at 9am at least, dammit!

Sharon said...

Hardly worth repeating, but suffice to say, your photos are wonderful and I hope you scored a new visor at the Simmer sale today.

I on the other hand scored a new personal best going 0-60mph on my 4.0 in 5 seconds! Ulles was there as my teacher and witness! Madafuka it was windy as shit today.

elysurf said...

Hey GP,

Great picturess, Brah!

As a great fan of reggae music, I thought you might want to check out this website I stubbed my toe on this morning:

All the best to you and yes, Lucky Dube's death is a real tragedy. He was wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Hey GP,
thanks for the link to tehapoo!
I have a question for you:
I just found that C4, one of the many brands that is now offering SUP boards, is making an inflatable board (!?). At first I tought it was a joke, then saw pics and video (see
I don't think anybody on Maui would need/want to ride such a thing, but for guy like myslef living on Manhattan (another island), without neither a car nor much storage room, that would actually work great.....
provided that the board has a decent performance level. I don't expect it to have the stiffness of a carbon/kevlar composite board; but I have seen surfboards made with the construction of bodyboards, maybe it will compare to something like could potentially get the stiffness of a car tire.
If you see/test such board I'd appreciate your comments as a waterman and engineer.
We have already inflatable kites, and considering the recent BA ban on boards, and the ever improving technology, maybe inflatable boards are the future..

cammar said...

new visor... why? Mine has only 24,000 miles!

Ely, thanks for the link... too bad it requires Nero to listen to the stereo streaming.

look or submit a post on the standup zone forum. Those guys are way more into SUP than me!
Also, here's a petition against the BA ban.