Well, despite the fact that it's windy as shit, I had a hell lot of fun the last few days.
Up the coast saturday afternoon, lowers sunday early morning and late afternoon and lowers again today from 6.15 to 7.15 (still fully powered on 4.5) are the sessions logged on my file. Btw, my 08 QUOLI up to date is 90 out of 98 for a "mere" 92%...
In the break between sessions on sunday I drove to Hookipa where there were all possible photoshoots going off. Lots of people on the bluff, parking in overflow, helicopters hovering over the sailors, all the gotha of the windsurfing world was there.
Unfortunately the light was pretty bad, I'm sure it was a lot better today (monday).
Here are some pics I took and a little story in between them.
This is Diony bottom turning on a bomb.
Here's the story. During my morning session, I admired a kitesurfer doing turns on a wave that I:
1) have never seen any kitesurfers do before
2) have never seen any windsurfers do before
3) will never see any windsurfers do in the future.
That guy was shredding the waves apart. He was riding down the line regular stance (front side). Every bottom turn he had his body almost parallel to the water with his right hand deep in the water and the left one on the bar.
Every top turn he destroyed the lip still with one hand in the wave and one on the bar.
He looked like Kelly Slater.
Tiffany training a dog to do table tops.
I was so impressed by that kitesurfer that I got out of the water determined to try to get back into kitesurfing (maybe on the first day of light steady wind...).
IMO, kitesurfers have a couple of significant advantages compared to windsurfers:
1) the "engine" is way lighter
2) they are not as "tightly" connected to their sails.
Advantage 1 allows them to ride smaller, thinner boards.
Advantage 2 allows them to move their bodies way more freely. Even though the really good windsurfers can sometimes pull out top turns with their front hand in the water, they can't take a hand off the boom during the bottom turn.
Having the possibility to put one hand in the water during a turn is a huge, huge factor.
Having a sail (with a longer boom) connected directly to their boards greatly limits the range of movements of windsurfers compared to kitesufers.
The life guards rescued a windsurfer with a broken mast.
An injured sailor. Mystery Bob took this photo. I donwloaded it from its collection that you can admire in its entirety on this Hot Sails Maui forum thread.
Don't know yet who the sailor is, but I'm sure someone will soon post a comment. Good luck to him!
These feelings (about kitesurfing) were reinforced by seeing Robert Theriteahu ripping on his kite during the evening sesh. He was all smiles until he dropped the kite in the wave zone in a lull... and that was the start of his kitemare... I saw him swimming for 15 minutes and then I lost track of him...
So in terms of pure wave riding, thanks to the new completely de-powerable kites, I believe kitesurfers can rip harder than windsurfers. If you guys don't believe it, come check that guy out...
But they still have some disadvantages. Here are the usual ones:
1) it is recommended to have somebody launch and land your kite
2) if the lines get tangled out there, that's the end of the session
3) even though way safer than a few years ago, it's still more dangerous than windsurfing
4) when in trouble, a windsurfers just lets go off everything and then eventually swims back to its gear and waterstarts again into his session. Instead for a kitesurfer it's harder to do so, because if he does so then it's really easy to get tangles in the lines... specially in the waves. That's why you see kitesurfers still hanging on their bars even in the gnarliest wipeouts...
5) they need more space. That means that it's harder to share waves with others.
Jesse Brown going for a no feet goiter...
Mmm... what to do? Give kitesurfing another try or not?
Hey, there were some sets! I told you... a significant bump from the north...
Let's see if somebody adds some constructive contribution here. Please don't send any "kitesurfing sucks" or "windsurfing has been canceled" kind of comment, because as I stated already, stupidity is not welcome on this blog.
The wind was more than 30... so clearly Laird was out standup surfing...
That's it for tonight. Sorry for the quality of the photos. Unfortunately I accidentally had the camera set on the poorest quality...