Tuesday, November 25, 2008

unexpectedly epic

Ask any Hookipa regular who's the guy who throws the highest backloops and you will hear one name: Nico Drasimino.

He's a super nice guy from Argentina (like pretty much all of them that I know), he's not a pro, but he jumps really, really high.
Think I'm exaggerating? Check his famous youtube clip.
I like Nelisblog's comment: "tjezus christ what a jump!"

Unfortunately, I had the camera zoomed in too much to really appreciate the height. The thing is that I was following Nat Gill riding the same wave a bit more downwind when, THANKS TO THE FACT THAT I WAS LOOKING IN THE LCD DISPLAY OF MY LOVELY SONY and not in the viewfinder of that stupid Canon (that I'm so going to return!), I saw him blasting out with the periferal vision of my upwind eye and I was able to redirect the shot. Not to change the zoom though.

As a comparison, here's a jump of an unkown sailor. I played with zoom on this photo on the computer a bit, trying to get a similar zoom to Nico's one, and I think that in this photo he would be right at the very top of it.

Anyway, who cares how high exactly he went! He went high... oh-my-god kind of high!
Lots of people can backloop at Hookipa, but for some reasons Nico's ones are my favorite.

Just like Francisco Goya's bottom turns. Check this one out (and the superduper digital zoom of my Sony...). Click on the photo and get yourself a magnifying lens to appreciate the microscopic distance between his boom and the water...

In this department I feel like mentioning Levi, KP, Polakow and Naish as my other favorite ones, but there's something about Cisco's bottom turns... I think it's the supersonic speed at which he does them.

As you guys probably figured out by now, conditions were pretty damn good at Hoo today.
Give this place a 4 feet, 14 seconds bump from 330 with the help of a 7 feet, 9 seconds windswell, and you'll miracolously get head to logo high sets with a few sporadic mast highers. Add strong and offshore wind and you'll get unexpectedly epic conditions. Think I'm exaggerating again? Check these other photos...

Levi, always a photographers favorite.

John Skye is consistently ripping hard.

I'm usually not a Naish sails fan, but that sail looks quite good. Skye boy again.

Another of my favorite sailors: Nat Gill. He landed this aerial 360 off the lip perfectly. 10 from the italian judge.

You can count on KP to do something worthy in every session...

In between sessions, he couldn't stay put and he went for a water photo shooting... without a helmet!
Now, that's bold. No pun intended... ;-)

Diony's new Superfreak. Now, that really is bold!

More photos in this slideshow. If it stops, click on the x on the top right to make it start again.

My session report.
I stopped by Hookipa around 12.30 and seen the size of the waves I was going to go sail somewhere else downwind. But then I saw my friend Benjamin getting in the water to shoot and I decided to challenge the fate... what would I not do for a good water shot!
I always say:"the photographers in the water are annoying and dangerous... unless they're taking photos of me, of course!"

Anyway, don't know what happened to Ben, but he swam in after 10 minutes and left me out there without a purpose in life... other than trying to save my ass and don't go on the rocks. Which I managed to, unexpectedly.
Didn't manage to have too much fun though... too many people, too many times too close to the rocks. I had a really good one lined up with no one else on the way, but of course a 30+ knots gust on the wave face made my 4.7 way too big to sheet in in the bottom turn.

< And all of a sudden, the shuffle selection I had on my WMP came up with "Come to my aid" by Simple red... Simple red?!! Jesus, I really got all kinds of shit on my hard disk! >

Where was I? After an hour of survival sailing I sat to take photos and after that, around 4, I ventured back out. I got immediately nailed by a big one on my way out, brushed the rocks on the consequent wipeout/swim, caught a nice wave but ended up downwind of guy who wasn't too willing to share... "Fuck this shit, I'm going to Lanes!"
What a great decision that was.

It was me and Elliot Leboe on his kite... we often share waves/sessions either in superlight wind at Kanaha or standup surfing.
He's got a good energy, never aggressive and very respectful of priorities. Plus, he absolutely rips and it's a great pleasure to watch him carving hard on those small surfboards he uses.
I had a blast. The quality of the wave wasn't as good as Hookipa, but the quality of life was much better!
Didn't have to worry about the others, could choose the section of the wave that I wanted and didn't have to swim like Michael Phelps to save the gear from the rocks!
I was so relaxed that I finally even managed to make a couple of decent turns!

More of the same tomorrow, Wednesday. Actually, a bit smaller waves.
Thursday instead, I don't care if it's windy or not, I'll take part to the annual Paia Bay invitational surf contest, to which I was honored to be invited.

Everybody knows that an extra-large NW swell will hit on Friday.
No one knows what the wind is going to do. That's the case when the front generating the swell gets very close to the islands. I personally think that there will be not enough wind for windsurfing... but sure enough for surfing! :-)
Oh, DO NOT miss out the webcast of the second event of the Triple Crown of surfing at Sunset beach. Just pray for the waves not to be too big...
Hey Ian, when are we going to webcast the Bay invitational??!

What not everybody knows is that next week another extra-large swell will hit. This one actually looks bigger to me, but from a more westerly direction. Too early for details, I just love when the north Pacific remembers that it's winter time...

Quite characteristically, I'm going to ignore (for the moment, at least) the suggestions I received regarding the posting topics list. But you guys keep voting...
Actually, I'm gonna report it again here and add a couple of more items.
1) reef model (don't get too excited)
2) underwear website link
3) windsurfing pole vault video
4) quatro/goya/mfc sale banner
5) photos kanaha (mine and alex)
6) photos hookipa (mine and jazz)
7) Kazuma series
8) my new wave board quiver (I still have to take a photo of this)
9) Chico's amazing windsurfing photos
10) windsurf boards museum. You guys won't believe your eyes...
11) description of a scary moment at Hookipa

Life is grand.


Anonymous said...

hey don't blame your Canon camera just cause you are shit photographer.

It's like those guys that are shit sailors... they always blame the equipment

cammar said...

Wrong, I'm not a shit photographer.
I'm not a photographer at all!!!

All I know is that with that 250mm lens that came in the bundle is not powerful (zoom) and good enough to take sharp close up photos.
The same opinion is confirmed by plenty more credited photographers:"can't get sharp photos shooting with a cheap lens at its maximum range. You'll have to spend a couple of grands on a more powerful, higher quality lens".

Screw that! Specially considering that I can get great shots with my 300 bucks Sony. Not real colors? Overexposed whites? Not enough resolution? (btw, I intentionally shoot at a low res to save disk space)
Who cares? They're good enough for the blog!

And yes, my board sucked today. How do you know?

Anonymous said...

wonna see 1-11 ;)

Jeroensurf said...

Cammar, why make a selection?
But in the vote:
I love to see the new boards and the museum with all the past glory.
Cisco rips, so its always a pleasure to watch pics of him and reef chicks..why not!

Funny to see the link to the IJmuiden storm.

Olaf said...

great pics gp!! nico is nuts!

my vote goes to: Kazuma Series.

cammar said...

No worries guys, all those topics will (eventually) make it to the blog. I was just asking preference for which one to publish first...
They might all have to wait a while though... not my fault if Maui offers so many photo/posts opportunities!

Maybe I'll just prepare all of them as drafts, so when I'll be in Italy for Christmas (damn!) on dialup connection it's going to be easier for me to publish them...
Problem is: here I don't have the time to prepare them, there I'll have plenty time. Oh well...

Olaf, although one could easily think so looking at the photos and videos, the definition of "nuts" doesn't quite apply to Nico.
He would be nuts if he would just go super big and crash most of the times. Instead, he sticks the landings of MOST of his big loops and when not, he gets very close to sticking them. In other words, he's not just crazy (which he probably is a bit), but he's really in control of what's going on even at 15m of height.
So, incredible technique and yes big nuts, but not in the head... cojones I mean!

Jeroen, after I decided not to go sail Hookipa just because the wind was too strong, I had to publish that link... to remind myself how spoiled I am and how greateful I should be (and I am!) to wake up every morning in a place like Maui.
Those conditions the other day would have been paradise for you guys and yet they were not so good for me (and I can always use a day off).
BUT, the secret of happiness is to be happy with what you have and I'm sure that to be able to sail in that kind of sea (I'm talking about your conditions now), gave you guys a special thrill that I probably will never experience. More than a thrill, a chill I'd say... ;-)

Olaf said...

"So, incredible technique and yes big nuts, but not in the head... cojones I mean!"

I totaly agree! THat´s what I was thinking.

Anonymous said...

As always: nice funny posts, good pictures and a positive attitude!


antonio said...

Hi everyone,
my name is Antonio, I am photographer and my pasion is take pics from the water in Hookipa. Is very funny, because always I check this website from Spain, and I was dreaming all the time about the pics of this website. And now I found to myself in one of these pics....YEAH!!!
I found this pics, it´s my with the blue helmest. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_czUfPbJKZic/SSzp0fEm93I/AAAAAAAACZc/HJa6AzGIrqY/s1600/DSC09896.JPG

But I would like to know if this another pics was bigger, because I was just in the corner of this pics, but I am out of the pics...for a few cms.

And this is the pics which I go in that moment:

And this is the other shoot.



cammar said...

Hola Antonio,
great to see that shot of John both from the cliff and from the water.
The photos of this website made you dream when you were in Spain?
Bloody hell, take some photos of me, next time we're both in the water!!!
Hasta luego.

antonio said...

The photos of this website made you dream when you were in Spain?


take some photos of me, next time we're both in the water!!!