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.