Monday, July 14, 2008

the kingdom of the light offshore

I went over to Oahu for a few days to see a friend who was there for a surf contest. We surfed intensly every day at the Ala Moana breaks.
This is the view from the condo he rented (well actually from the fire exit... the condo wasn't quite as ocean front!).






The quality and size of the waves were so much better than Maui's south shore. I knew that already, but it was still a big surprise. It's the kingdom of the light offshore wind. I'm sure that when it blows over 25 it gets blown out over there too, but we got four perfect days in a row.






Surfing in front of the skyscrapers of a big city is weird. At first I didn't like it, "it would look better with some green hills" I thought. But then I had to admit that it had a special feel (and they must act as a wind shield too!).
Wait a moment, what's going on... that weird wave is coming from the beach!!!


Optical illusion... here's the lineup getting ready to duck dive... love this photo!


And when the sunset came for the first time...
Oh my god, what a trip. Believe it or not, even the skyscrapers change color at sunset and it gets increasingly surreal until it gets dark and... they turn the lights on! The almost full moon was out and we ended all evening sessions very, very late.





Even going left (that'll be east, away from the rising moon) was fine, because the face of the wave was reflecting the light of the town. Unreal.
If I lived over there I would surf mostly at night...

Despite the age, big belly and speedo, this guy had a great seventy's style...


Sure, it was crowded. Sure in the weekend it was very crowded. But no bad energy in the water. The level of the surfers was pretty high (I guess the beginners have plenty other breaks in front of Waikiki) and most of the times respectful of the priority rules. Plenty bikinis too.







Here's a few more pics.






Back in Maui I went to the south shore to check the waves. I looked at them and I didn't even go out... what a difference... what a difference!
Allright, let's see how long it takes me to get used again... no complaints, no problem, I'm still happy...

PS. Sorry for the consistently blue sky in the photos... annoying, uh?

11 comments:

Maui Addicted said...

Great shots!!

29 days to go and I will be back to Maui!!!

Can't wait!

Aloha,
Giampaolo

www.MauiAddicted.com

Carles Carrera said...

Really beatiful pics. 100% summer feeling.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you scored some really nice surf. I agree with your comment about surfing in front of high rise hotels, a little strange but they have a beauty all there own when the lights come on at dusk. I just came in from a quick surf in Atlantic City, NJ in front of the big casino's. Similar feel with the tall buildings although we don't quite have the turquiose waters of Hawaii. Conditions were really sweet which of course makes it all worth while.

Rob

Anonymous said...

Really nice shots!
I discover an other hawai'i from my bad weather in France.

cammar said...

Thanks for the comments.

Rob, when sitting out there, I thought about a photo of NJ surf I saw lately on a magazine...

Brian said...

Cammar,
I got to surf that break you show in your first photo, last year on a short visit there. It turns out that Eddie Aiku's brother (can't remember his first name at the moment) runs the surf lessons in front of that hotel. The guy is in his late 50's and still surfs the big winter waves on the north shore!

Jeroensurf said...

Nice pics! Really smooth wave.
But conclusson:
In the end the best place to live isnt Maui or Oahu, but in a boat inbetween. Sail to Maui for some windsurf, go back to Oahu for some surfing.... hmmm time to buy a winning lotery ticket :)

cammar said...

How about summer in Oahu (surfing and wave sailing at Diamond Head) and the rest of the year in Maui?
I'm SERIOUSLY thinking about it for next year...

Just finished watching Kelly Slater demolishing a couple of waves at Jeffreys Bay and winning his heat with 19.15 out of a possible 20.
Mick Fanning is up next, but I have to go to sleep.
No problem, I'll watch him tomorrow in the heat highlights in the video section of the billabong site.

Just like a webcam and a live ticker...

nico said...

cammar..
it was something better than you said: I watched the finals and although it was NOT on a comparable level (with ASP Tour) it was not too bad..
Just the Spanish comment.. not so impartial (!)
see U

Sharon said...

I ‘feel’ summer when I look at these photo’s. That little gopo is worth it’s weight in gold for the water shots.

cammar said...

Nico,
that sounds like somebody was actually filming and commenting live. I still haven't undestood on which website...
Being in spanish and not publicized on the pwa site, sounds like somebody organized the webcast without pwa being involved...
If it's like that, it's a confirmation that it's not that difficult...

Sharon,
considering how light the gopro camera is, I'd say it's worth even more than that.
A little object that sure changed my life... for the better, of course!
Too bad I didn't have it for any of the sunset sessions... I wonder how the nights shots would have come out... probably blurred. Maybe with a trypode on the reef...

Kelly Slater won the Jeffrey's bay contest.
He won four of the first five contests of the season and even thought there's six more, the gap between him and the others is now already huge, so at 36 he's going to win his 9th world title.
What an incredible athlete, both physically, technically and psycologically.
Read more here.