Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Turtle SUP surfing

Just want to let everybody know how freaking perfect SUP surfing conditions Maui offered the last two days.

Not a breath of wind all day, not many people out. Clean 1 to 2 feet little peelers on all breaks from Kuau to Hookipa.
Way more difficult than when it's big. They're small, but they break fast anyway. And you just have no buffer zone for timing/positiong. You got to be in that spot in the moment. Challenging, hence fun.

This afternoon I started at Kuau, caught a bunch at Mama's (which used to be a wave that I disliked... today it was classic!), and then I decided to go check turtle bay (upwind of Hookipa). Never surfed there... unfortunately it needs more size, so no waves there. But I found out why it's called turtle bay...
I saw the biggest turtle ever! It was right under my board in shallow water and I thought it was a big coral head. I was quite shocked when I saw it slowly swim away...
It was so big that I could have stood up on it and paddle...
Maybe tomorrow I'll go back and try.

Anyway, after a total time of 3 hours of SUP wave riding and cruising, I felt the need for a rest. I beached at Hookipa and like a seal I crashed my body on the sand. I took a short nap in the mild late afternoon sun. It felt really good... really animal. And then I caught a few more at Lanes, that all of a sudden got shoulder highish.

This morning, instead, I surfed Hookipa on my shortboard... perfect condition for a shortboard kook like me. After the sesh, I took just one photo. Here it is. Look at that little, clean wave... look at the colors...

I gotta say: I love wavesailing, but surfing glassy waves is just another thing...
If for some reason I had to choose between the two, I'd have no doubts...
Also because I always wear some kind of wetsuit when it's windy. Today only shorts... more animal. Tomorrow, naked... even more animal!

Hey, thanks to the ones that voted. The poll is not over yet. If you didn't vote yet, please go down one post and do so.
Hey, where's the italians? E cazzo, in passato avete votato pure Berlusconi e mo' un voto a me non lo date?!!

PS. How am I going to finish that book if I like writing more than reading...?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Hana 2007

Another postless week, let's see what happened.

Let's start with this funambolic (I know it's not an english word, but I want to use it anyway) parking seen at Hookipa a few days ago.
Actually the pilot (the girl) was just driving through staring at the waves and she crashed into that little one foot concrete edge (quite dangerous indeed).
Notice the face of the guys... they were actually pretty cool and didn't get upset at all with their friend. If they were Italians they would have given the girl some really hard time...

Saturday afternoon (after sailing) me and Shazza went to Hana for the weekend. We love going there at least once in a while. It's a place in which you can really detach from everything. Not even the cell phone works over there. We had a great time and here are some shots.
Activities included:
- listening to hawaiian music at the hotel Hana Maui
- hiking
- jacuzzing
- eating two great dinners cooked by a girl from Leeds... can you believe that?!
- watching oscar winner movie "the departed" by Martin Scorsese. I think the movie should have been called "the retarded", instead. What a stupid, badly done movie! One of the worse I have ever seen. No wonder it won such a american fake prize like an oscar... Let me speak out: most american movies suck. There's a few exceptions that fall in the masterpiece category, though. For example, I lately saw (for the 5-6th time) Natural Born Killer. And when I watched it again with the director Oliver Stone commentary, I liked it even more. Strongly recommended... in case you haven't noticed yet, we live in an overly violent society. Time to do something about it. Time to start spreading love... without involving Jesus, please!
- reading. I'm getting more and more into "zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance", but I wouldn't recommend anyone to read it in a foreign language... not easy.
- listening to a new mp3 reagge cd collection. In particular, Hebron Gate from Groundation & Don Carlos is really working for me...
- watching and surfing (I caught two waves!) the rough windswell at Hamoa beach
- papaya picking
- goofing off
- taking photos

Talking about which... there's a lot of youth in other three main page deservers of today.
The beauty of 14 years old Cheyenne.

Hana local 20 year old pro surfer Ola Eleogram was tearing apart the messy waves at Hamoa beach.

We got back on Monday afternoon, just in time for a sailing sesh at Hoo. The windswell waves were small with some occasional shoulder high sections and the wind really gusty and up and down. Nonetheless, 17 years old australian Jaeger Stone was able to pull out an aerial like this.

And now a crazy idea.
I'm thinking of doing another blog in which I would do a post a day. A blog that would not replace this one, but would be an addition to it, a complement. For the real hard core aficionados that can't now live anymore without their daily GP post... ;-)
Such a blog would be a pay per view one... just like a magazine. A fair price that would cover the expenses of the web hosting and development (I don't think blogspot can host a website with account authentication) and partially also the time/energy I would put into it.
I thought about doing a month test free for everyone, so that you guys can have an idea of the product and I can have an idea of the work and related commitment.
But first, I'd like everyone to honestly express your opinion through this little poll.

Please do vote, but vote only once! Thanks!

Monday, March 19, 2007

The best waves of the winter

And the fastest growing and dropping swell I've ever seen.

It happened last Tuesday... hey, it has been a postless week, I got to catch up!
Have a look at the Surfline NW buoy. It started sensing the new swell around midnight of Monday and by noon of Tuesday it was 20 feet, 18 seconds. Never seen anything like that.

This is the weather map of two days before (the 12th).

The storm is not particularly deep. The fetch is not particularly wide and it didn't even become a particularly captured one.
The only thing that would explain such a size, is the relative vicinity to the islands. Usually, in fact, the NW winter swells are generated west of the 180 parallel.
This one was closer, but still far enough to arrive extremely clean.

I timed it perfectly, checking the Pipeline and Laniakea webcams on surfline. I got in the water at Hookipa at 3.30.
The point was shoulder to head high, but the first forerunners sets were just starting to show up.
Nobody was surfing at Lanes (needs to be bigger to be good), so I paddled there. Halfway through the channel, the first big set arrived. I sat on my board and admired the beauty of it. The most beautiful waves I've seen at Hookipa, for sure. Thanks to the offshore wind, from my position I could watch into a deep barrel on my right at the point and into another deep barrel on my left at Lanes. Unreal.

I was stoked just to have seen that. I could have paddled in already...
Instead I did surf Lanes for an hour... or tried to. The rib was still hurting and I couldn't quite paddle fast enough to get into those steep lefts...
I got out of the water just in time... it got bigger and bigger.
Unfortunately all the photos I took are kind of blurry, because it was getting dark. I still put a bunch of them here.

On this one, Alan Cadiz drops in a triple overhead bomb. Looks like a little Jaws... Respect!

Yesterday and today we were blessed with some fun windsurfing conditions. Actually, THEY were blessed... my rib is still sore and I could only have a couple of short sessions. But I took a bunch of photos. Here are yesterday's ones.
And here are today's ones.

These are the three main page deservers.
This one hand tweaked table top is sick. Got to find out who he is. It shouldn't be too difficult... da hell, he's sponsored by Fiat!

KP in a sprayful turn.

Jeff Sutherland in a big aerial.

Last, but not least, don't miss out Sharon's latest hysterical post.

Monday, March 12, 2007

iodine addiction

It's been hard, but a few days of rest paid back and I'm back in the water.

Check last Friday's surfing conditions at Hoo and try to imagine how I felt not being able to go surf...

47 more photos here.

Today, instead, I sailed with the Kona wind on a 9.9 longboard prototype at lowers on some waist to shoulder high waves and I had quite a lot of fun.
The Kona at lowers implies straight down the line, superfast rides. More than deep turns, in fact, we're talking quick pumping on the rail, a little up and down, but still on the face of the wave most of the time.
If you have a strapped board, the final section often offers the opportunity for an aerial, thanks to the offshore wind.
I didn't have footstraps, but I had a blast nonetheless.

Once I fell in the impact zone and the waves took the board to the inside. Never a big deal at Kanaha (especially with this size waves...). You just swim a little and you're back to your board. But I didn't swim.
After only three days of water abstinence, I was enjoying so much being tumbled by the waves in the white water that I didn't want to swim. It felt so good...

Once a friend (may well be Gianfranco) told me the following theory:
In the impact zone some of the oxygen contained in the water gets released in the air. And it's a particularly pure oxygen, because it has not been in contact with the air pollution yet.
I don't know about the oxygen, but for sure there's a lot of iodine (vital for good thyroid function) there.
Whatever it is, for sure it's healthy. And that's why I'm almost never sick in Maui.
Plenty injuries, but those are different...

I met a friend at the post office the other day.
"Hey Olaf, how come you're limping?"
"I wiped out and my foot got stuck in the footstrap"
"Sorry to hear that... I got hit by my surfboard and I bruised my rib... I guess if we really wanted to avoid injuries we should be stay of the water..."
"Yes, but we would get sick instead!"
Good point... next injury, I'll think about the fact that I haven't got a flu for six years...

More Kona today and tomorrow. Wednesday is going to be pretty damn big...
Tons of iodine... yu-hu!

PS. Check this out. WTF, that's the Italians I like! Shaping surfboards in Italy... why not!
I love the 8.5...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I should be resting...

...instead I keep trying to get in the ocean, despite of the fact that I have a bruised rib.

Yesterday I tried surfing. Forget it.

Today I tried stand up surfing. Paddling on one side is ok, but the other side hurts.
Caught a few waves at lowers (I tried the SOS big red 11.11 and I liked it much better than the blue 10.10) and then I had to give up.

Went back home to rest, but the wind sensor at the airport (and a gust at my house that came from a weird direction) told me that a light Kona wind had picked up.
"Wait", I said, "I still have to try longboard sailing..."
Went back to Kanaha and rigged a 5.0 (easier to uphaul than the 5.5). The waves were tiny (belly high on the big sets), but wavesailing on the longboard with the Kona is still one of the most fun things I can do... worth it and not too much pain.

Well, yesterday I did go to Ho'o to take photos. Here are some of an unknown surfer. He might be unkwown, but he's pretty damn good! Look at how he demolishes this wave in the sequence below.

And here he's on another wave. Roundhouse cut back.

Here are all the other 39 photos that I took. I like them all.

Last, but not least, here's a little video that I took Sunday at Kanaha.
Enjoy the view from my beach chair (grab a cold one to make the experience more realistic...).
If you can't see it on this page, try here.

Photo Sharing - Upload Video - Video Sharing - Share Photos

Tomorrow, more Kona and a swell on the rise (even though from a direction a bit too west for Kanaha).

Oh yeah, I should be resting...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Injured again

What's wrong with me lately?

During yesterdays' surf sesh at Ho'o, I got hit by my board on the back. Bruised a rib, nothing major...
Here's two ways to look at this:
1) Goddamit, there's some nice glassy waves today and I can't go surf, because it hurts. Fuck here, fuck there, etc, etc...
2) Thank God I only bruised a rib and I have to stay only a few days out of the water. If I had broken one instead, it would have meant months of recovery time...

It's the glass half empty or half full thing. EVERYTHING in life can be seen like that. I'm the world champion of the half full, so I'm enjoying this (hot) day of rest and right after this post, I'll grab a beer and go take photos at Ho'o.
Still a much better life than being an Afghan refugee, right?

Oh my god, don't let me get political and talk about all the innocent people the NATO and American armies are murdering over there... Not here, not on this blog.
I should start another blog on which to start open discussions about subjects of planetary interest like:
- global warming
- american imperialism
- how to pick up canadian girls
etc, etc..., but today I guess I'll stick to the beer at Ho'o plan...

Actually, a while ago I did start a new blog. The only post so far is about monogamy. Some people found it and put a lot of comments. Check it out and put your comment if you feel like.

March 1st was the last day of good wind (and it will still be for a while). It was my second day of test of my new Quatro board, and there was also a Hot Sails photoshoot.
I sneaked in, and even though I sucked as usual, the ability of photographer Kris Mills produced the following two decent shots.

All my other shots can be found here.

Hasta luego.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A couple of things to celebrate

Just a quick post to celebrate:

1) my 7th wavesailing day in a row at Hookipa (probably the last for a while, since the wind is supposed to die in the weekend)
2) my new fantastic Quatro board. It's a 7.4 (!), 68l custom shape by Keith Taboul and it's so good that when I ride it, I feel like I'm sailing like Keith. Looking at the photos below (thanks Noa), it's quite obvious that I'm not...
But, it's the feeling that counts, right?

Got to go sleep now. Tomorrow I have a full day private surf lesson with a Japanese girl. On the phone she sounded extremely determined to surf and learn as much as possible. God, I love these kind of students.
She's been riding a 7.2 for 3.5 years in California. I'm afraid she's going to wear me out...