Monday, July 30, 2007

fish video

Okey, okey...

even if the camera on top of the mast wasn't aiming at the proper spot, I edited the clip anyway. Hopefully it will give you an idea of the turns you can achieve with that fish of Brian.
It actually doesn't, really... a front shot from the beach would have been much better, but... better than nothing!
Check those couple of jibes, if anything...

Here are the results of the Molokai Oahu paddling race. And here's a couple of photos of the amazing winner Jaime Mitchell.
A wonderful action one,

and one that shows the unbelievable level of fitness of this guy.

What else? Oh, nothing... just a fantastic SUP session at 1000 peaks this afternoon... glassy waist to shoulder high peeling perfection...

Life in Maui is awwright!

PS. The music is clearly UB40, but I'm too tired to re-edit it now...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Brian's fish + the Maliko race video

My friend Brian Cartwright is a shaper.

Not a famous one yet, but he may become one if he keeps on shaping things like this.

That is the sickest looking board I've seen in a while. I tried it and I had a blast. That thing is 6.8 long and 22 3/4 wide (forgot to ask him the thickness, but not much more than three). It's the loosest board on earth. It bottom turns in three inches and on small mushy waves you can hit the white water lip and slide for a mile.
If you guys ever surfed on a fish, you know what I'm talking about.
The fins I had (it's a twinser) were too small so I was spinning out a bit too much in the sailing part and of course the board wasn't particularly fast, but... let me tell you... turning that thing is a blast.
Here's a photo with a 5.0 (that's why I was spinning out... I think those fins were good for a 4.7/4.5) that will make you appreciate how small that board is.

If you are interested in getting in touch with Brian, drop me an email and I'll give you his number.
I'll open a topic on my forum, because I believe this board will get some interest from the windsurfers...

What happened to the Maliko race video?
I kind of fucked it up... when you have the camera on your helmet, you can't check if it's filming or paused. The only way is to stop, sit on the board, take the helmet off and check, which I did a couple of times, but not at the end, because I was trying to catch up with the leaders (which I never did)...
So at the end I was thinking I was shooting and commenting live, but the camera was actually paused. And when I thought it was paused, I was filming instead... minutes and minutes of boring, light wind, no action, downwind cruising.
But I was still able to get something out of the cutting room. Here it is.

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If you can't see it here, try here.

PS. Saturday 7 28 I missed a day in the water for the fifth time from the beginning of the year... I'm at 157 out of 162, a solid 97% QUOLI.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Catching up

Finally my laptop is back with a new screen!

It's been a while since the last post, let's see what happened.

- last wednesday, thursday and friday we were blessed with some really fun up to head high windswell at Hookipa. Somebody said it was from the ex hurricane Cosme. I don't think so, but I can't be sure, because without the computer I couldn't check the weather maps. But... who cares! Waves in summer? I'll take everything...
Here's a couple of surfing shots (when it was windy I was busy sailing...).
Look at that July wave!!!!

And what about this July barrel?!?!

- friday I was actually able to do a double sesh: wave sailing at Hoo first and speed at Sprecks second. The wind was nuking, and extremely overpowered on a borrowed Speed Demon 5.0 (don't worry Juan Pablo... sooner or later I'll bring it back...), I was able to log a personal best of 29.6 knots. 3.6 knots better than the first try, not too shabby...
Actually I did even better than that... I swear! I had one run that was faster, I'm 100% positive. But when I checked the speed on the GPS, the damn thing was blinking... it lost the connection to the satellite. I have to confess that I got mildly upset... a laud "ma vaffanculoooo!!!" was heard all the way to lower kanaha.
Results (session 7), here.

- sunday there was the Maliko downwind paddling race. Here you find the results for the different categories.
Michelle was racing on my Starboard 12.2 and came in third behind the always-winning Andrea and another girl, both on specialized downwind boards (the starboard, instead, is specialized to tear apart waves at lowers).
Here is a well deserved post on her blog.
Congratulations also to my friend Jeremy, who won the standup 12 footer no rudder category.
Dave Kalama won the unlimited SUP with rudder category and australian Jaime Mitchell won the traditional unlimited lay down paddleboard division. Here's the aussie.

I'm actually stealing these photos from Sharon, but I'm leaving her the exclusive coverage of a sunday afternoon most dramatic sunset. Oh, good post about the superferry too.

I filmed some of the race with my helmet cam (I was on my Timpone 12.6 and a 4.2...), but I haven't edited the video yet... stay tuned. Here's my arrival in the arbour.

I was first (and only) of the non existing windsurfing category and for sure the one who did the least work and had the most fun catching tons of glides on the windswell waves.
Here's a new friend that came to me thinking I was an astronaut just landed from Mars on my magic windsurfer. As such, I was able to convince her to do something naughty... don't fret, just wait for the video!

This Sunday there will be the Molokai to Oahu race. Here's an article I found.
Hey, I could do that one too on the longboard with the sail!
No wait! New south swell due on sunday... I'd rather be surfing...

By the way, talking about SUPaddling, if you're looking for a good source of information on the subject in addition to the HSM SUP forum, my friends Randy and Chantalle just started a new forum entirely dedicated to SUPers: Check it out.

- yesterday I had my very own Hookipa-Maliko-Hookipa slalom session at sunset and it was an absolute blast. This time with a Speed Demon 6.0 over a very, very smooth ocean.

- today there were some fun waves at Hookipa again! And the wind wasn't the usual ugly gusty summer one! What is going on?!?

- in the meantime, a few weeks ago the third PWA wave event was held in Gran Canaria. Once again, Spanish rising star Victor Fernandez beated Kauli for a second win a row. Here's a video on Kevin Pritchard's blog that shows how these guys are really pushing the limit...

- last, but not least, I just found that you can see a lot of extras on the Hawaii: message in the waves website. If you don't have the time to see them all, please at least watch this one.
When you'll see feathers around a bunch of plastic objects, that was a bird that died because he ate all those objects.
The discussion about what to do to try to respect the environment is still active on my forum.

So long.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

10 Little things I do to try to respect the environment

The funny thing is that the vast majority of them also allow me to save money. So, I wonder why not everybody do that. Mostly unawareness I guess, but also lack of care unfortunately. Or is it the other way around?

1. I stash a little stock of bags in my car, so that when I go grocery shopping I can reuse them and don't get new ones that will end up in the environment. At the same time, I teach the cashier not to give away too many plastic bags.
This is a photo of a tree that is located downwind of the Maui landfill. It doesn't look too happy, and I'm sure the birds that used to nest on it aren't happy either.

Now, that is one of the few trees that are on the road downwind of the Maui landfill. One wonders... what happens to the other plastic bags that don't end up stuck in those trees? Well, if you know Maui geography, it's easy to guess that they will sooner or later end up in the downwind waters of Kihei and Maalaea and do even more damage.

This is the site where I found that photo (that makes me sick in my stomach...): read it and see how you will feel next time you get plastic bags at your grocery store.

2. I try to keep all the electric appliances at a minimum when at home. In six years that I've been in Maui, I think I used the drier once or twice (in very rainy weeks). Otherwise, I do it the way I always did in Italy (there's NO driers AT ALL over there): I put my clothes on a line and let the sun dry them. Guess what? My clothes last a lot longer too!

3. I shut down all eletrical appliances when not at home. Here in the States, there's a horrible habit of leaving on lights, fans, computers, a/c, radios, ect. in houses and offices. There should be fines for that.

4. I own a 4 cylinders, manual shift, small engine car that does 33 miles per gallon (up to 35 lately!!). Compared to european cars it still sucks, but for here it's pretty good. How come a super technologically advanced country like the US doesn't make efficient cars? Maybe because the automobile industry and the gas companies have strong lobbies in the government? Most businesses can write the money for buying a large SUV/truck off their taxes...
And how come a large number of Americans proudly own 6 or 8 cylinders, 3 liters or bigger engine, huge SUVs/trucks? I'd say a mix of brain wash from tv commercials and lack of awareness. In most cases though, they just don't give a fuck about the environment.
This guy is so proud, he even wrote it on the plate!

5. I reuse stuff as much as I can. For example, since I spend quite some time at the beach, I always need to have two plastic bottles filled with water in my backpack.
I have personally installed a reverse hosmosis water filter at home, so that I can refill my two bottles as many times as I want. Doing so, I also save money (big time) compared to buying new water bottles every time.
Now, is refilling water plastic bottles safe for your health? That's one of the things I couldn't really find a clear answer on the internet... oh well, at least I'm eventually doing something bad to myself, not to a defenseless turtle.

6. If I can't reuse, I recycle. Thank god a couple of years ago they introduced the 5c cash back when recycling beer bottles and cans in Hawaii too, so that more people would be motivated to recycle. Actually, what I noticed is that most rich people keep don't giving a fuck, but now at least there's hords of poor/homeless people digging in the trash that do the job in order to make a few bucks...

7. Whenever possible I pick up trash, especially from beaches. I've always done that while teaching at Kanaha, but since I saw the movie "Hawaii a message in the waves", I try to do it everywhere. I love nature and animals and I just can't stand the thought that all that trash will eventually kill a bird or a fish or a turtle.

8. I use rechargable batteries.

9. I try to teach people to respect the environment. Hopefully this post will do better than my individual little efforts.
Especially if you guys will add your suggestions too. And, for this specific post, I kindly ask you to do so using my new forum, instead of the comments. In that way, the discussion can go on for longer. Here's the forum address again:

10. The last one is a quite generic one: I try to live as naturally as I can. Let me try to explain this.
The nature is an amazing self-adjusting wonderful system. I've been watching a really killer documentary lately (BBC's Planet Heart available also in DVDs) and two things appear clearly:
a) all animals act driven by the survival instinct that allowed them to evolve and survive for millions of years
b) the humans are the only species that has deviated from this natural course.
Thanks to our gift (can we really call it a gift?) of some kind of intelligence (questionable in most cases), we have been able to develop habits that are far from being natural. As a conseguence of this, at the same time we are also destroying the environment and that is a fact that, unfortunately, not many people of the western countries know well enough yet. I would recommend the vision of Al Gore's "An inconvenient truth" for a heads-up on the still incredibly UNDERESTIMATED global warming issue. Here's a photo of the Vorab glacier in Switzterland that they are trying to save from melting covering it with a huge blanket...

Back to my point: what I noticed is that the most naturally I live (and by that I mean following my natural instincts), the less I pollute and viceversa. I could list hundreds of examples. But I'm going to list a few very basic ones, just to give you an idea.
I pollute less if I eat a fresh tomato rather than one in a can.
I pollute less if I choose not to smoke a cigarette.
I pollute less if I choose to walk instead of taking my car (whenever possible, of course).
And the great thing is that by doing so I'm also healthier! Most of the human diseases, in fact, are caused by society induced behaviors.

So, my final message here is to try to live according to your natural instincts.
Unfortunately, in the western world, those have mostly been overrun by the desire to own an SUV...

How pathetic.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007


As you guys can probably guess, I love this blog.

Being a blog though, it doesn't really have the possibility to continue the eventual discussions on some interesting topics that may arise in the comments, because after a while the post with those comments is going to end up too low in the page and nobody (me included) will check it anymore.

For that I need something called a Forum.
Instead of spending some precious time investigating how to create a forum of my own, my friend Jeff allowed me to use the Hot Sails Maui forum.

That is great Jeff, thank you so much!

So every time that there will be a topic that I will want to discuss (or keep discussing) with the blog readers, I'll open a topic on that forum and redirect you guys over there.
To be able to post replies and even open new topics, all you have to do it to register to it.

I added the forum link on the top right of this blog, but here it is again:


Here's the text of an email that Erik Beale sent me:

Looks like heavy air on the way,current prediction is for tropical storm Cosme to make landfall on Maui Saturday A.M.
Potential sustained 40 knot windspeeds at Sprecklesville, possibly gusting to 60 knots. Wave height 3m. In other words perfect open ocean speed-sailing conditions!

I don't know Erik... if the wave height is really going to be 3m, I'd rather be sailing Hookipa... we'll see!

On Sunday there will also be the paddling race (standup and lay down paddleboards) Maliko-Kahului and it's going to be interesting for those guys.
Michelle is going to do it using my Starboard. With gusts up to 60 knots, I'll make sure she wears a good leash...

Monday, July 16, 2007


As soon as I'm done with this quick one, I'll put my laptop in a FedEx box and ship to San Diego to have the screen fixed.

It's going to be hard without it: I'm definitely addicted to the internet. Oh well, maybe I'll finally finish "The winter of our discontent" that I started reading back in Italy (I mean two months ago, not six years)...

Very quick updates:
- I went a couple of more times to Sprecks (which I hate, because my car becames a sand dune... outside and inside!) to train for the speed thing. I'm playing with the equipment and that's kind of fun.
I've been looking for a small slalom fin, but they're pretty hard to find. I ended up buying a super narrow (18.5 inches) Jimmy Lewis super old speed/slalom board with a brand new 28cm slalom fin... I'll cut it.
The price? 50 bucks for everything... and the board is one inch narrower than my Peter Thommen, so it may be even faster!

A new south swell hit yesterday. Very nice and glassy knee to waiste high waves in the morning. When the onshore breeze started to blow in the afternoon, I went back to the north shore and found the sweet surprise of some up to head high windswell waves at Hookipa. Pretty light wind, but I could do it with the SO board (which I'm starting to think is close to 80l) and a 5.5.
Some waves were so close to each other that in the bottom turn you almost hit the back of the one on the front, but still... I had a lot fun, also because wavesailing in light wind is one of my favorite things.

Allright, got to go surf. See you guys whenever the box comes back.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

speed challenge

I don't particularly like speed: it scares the hell out of me.

I do like slalom sailing, but I usually do it when the wind is really light and the water is smooth. Mostly in the last half hour of light, here in Maui.
But yesterday I finally felt like trying this speed challenge thing. Learn what it is on this website:

I ended up having a lot of fun and, despite the poor performance (last of the slalomers and well slower than a lot of people of wave gear), I will definitely go back to improve those 26 knots... IF THERE'S NO WAVES ON THE SOUTH SHORE, OF COURSE!!!

Here's a little video with some interesting interviews with some of the fastest guys (sorry Alex for the bad light). Next time, I better put my helmet cam on the head of one of them...

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If you can't see it here, try here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

downwind on an F16

Me and Jeff did a downwind on a 16 footer with a singular steering system (at least the name of it is quite singular...).

The board is designed to go fast and it does its job. It requires an advanced paddler though, since it's not the easiest board to balance on. It's extremely light, so you want to be very careful when you handle it. Specially in the wind, it's better to have someone helping when loading on/unloading off the car.

Designed for downwind runs (I had my longest glides ever), both me and Jeff had the impression that it would do really good on calm, flat water too. A board for efficient long distance stand up paddling.

Here's the baby.

Here's how to steer.

And here's a little video.

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If you can't see it here, try here.

Thanks a lot to the shaper Mark Raaphorst that let us try the board. You can find more info about the F16 and other SIC products at

Nice shirt, by the way!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Everything I wanted to post in the last 10 days...

... but I couldn't because too busy surfing and because my laptop screen hasn't arrived yet and the lack of mobility is killing me.

Let me start with something Glenn created this morning for me.
This is going to be my new quiver of Superfreak and I can't wait to put my hands on it. Actually I have to choose three of these six colors. The blue and the yellow on the left are in for sure. I'm indecided on the third and I need your help. Please vote.

Here's the story behind the dolphin.
One of the many inspiring things that gave me the courage to quit everything and come to Maui (I also feel like mentioning the Porcupine Tree song Stop Swimming and the movies American dream and Dead poets society) was a magic little book by Sergio Bambaren called the Dolphin.

A poetic story of a dolphin who is different from the others and instead of spending his life feeding himslef in order to survive, he likes to surf waves and leaves in search of his perfect wave...

The funny thing was that after I moved to Maui I felt like contacting the author describing him my story and he replied saying that the similarities with his story were shocking. I even ended up writing a book too. Too bad he sold a few more copies than me... :-)

Busy firemen
The Firemen in Maui have been very busy lately.
Just after having extinguished a large fire that burned a lot of acres in the Olowalu/Launiupoko area, they stroke in Kihei too.
This is Hot Sails Maui chief Fireman Dioni Guadagnino checking the situation from above on his aircraft.

Unfortunately, this is the first photo I took that day and I didn't have the time to set the zoom right. In other words, it's zoomed in too much to really appreciate how frikin high he went.
But you can see that he has shifted his left hand back on the boom. You know what that means? It means he had the guts to go for a forward... without a wetsuit!
Fortunately for him, he bailed just before landing, otherwise right now his voice would sound more like his sister Colette...
Here are some other photos of the Firemen platoon (Dioni, Glenn, Andres and Juan Pablo).

When did I go to Oahu? Feels like a life ago... Here's my favorite shot: click on it and look at that expression of pure joy...

Here are some other shots of that trip. Sorry, no time to really talk about it. Just one word about Waikiki: Babilonia.

One last remarkable photo from Kailua.

That gives me the opportunity to move to the next subject.
I recently saw the movie:"Hawaii a message in the waves".
I was shocked to see how direct is the impact of our pollution on some animal species. The albatros on the northwest hawaiian islands (inhabited islands) die because they eat too many plastic objects floating on the surface of the ocean and in their stomach there's no more room for food.
And after they die and decompose, the only things left are a handfold of feathers and the plastic objects that killed them. Still there, ready to kill more.
Since then, I'm trying hard to use and buy as little plastic as possible. But it's a really hard task. Our society is based on plastic.
Most european countries have differentiated garbage collection. Here, it's up to you to bring it to the recycling center.
In most european countries, you pay for those damn plastic bags when you shop.
Here, they give you 6 free plastic bags for 10 items.
The lack of care for the enviroment in this country is astonishing.
Please, do something in your world to make this change. Anything, even the most little thing can make a difference.
Last Sunday I went for a beach walk on Baldwin beach with some frieds. Here's what we collected.

Not bad at all for such a big beach. Collecting that shit made us feel good. Dropping it in the trash made me feel bad... it's going back to the environment... and we even added our little plastic bag...
Boy, what a tough problem to solve!

Uff, I got more to post but no time. It's a bit frustrating.
Bloody Sony's support...

Monday, July 02, 2007

That last wave...

Not much to say here, other than:

1) I'm not dead. I'm just surfing my ass off...
2) Every year when the winter is over I feel like committing suicide, but then every year I end up loving the summer. Surfing in the warm water of the always sunny south shore of Maui is a bliss. Also considering that 3 out of 5 of my favorite waves are located there.
3) That last wave I caught today was perfection. And I was so lucky to have a surfer paddling out in front of me in the last section, so that I had to bottom turn around him... man, I never hit the lip so hard on a 9.0!

I got so much stuff to post, but you guys got to be patient: there's waves!
I'm really digging this swell... when did I forecast it? June 21st... excuse me if I know how to do that!

And the best is still to come.