Saturday, December 06, 2008

Thank god for duct tape

Whatever that means, as predicted Hookipa was "all time" yesterday.

Let's start the show!
Best shot, as often happens: Levi with a sick goiter. I love when the tip of the sail touches the wave... it doesn't seem to prevent the success of the manouvre.

In this other goiter instead, Brawzinho's t sail didn't touch the water as much. Cleaner and faster execution, I have to say. Probably a bit easier, since he could use the energy of the closing out section in front of him.

One of those beautiful KP's bottom turns.

A rare "simple" lip hit by Mark Angulo (later in the post you'll understand what I mean...).

Brawzinho wave 360. I think there's way too much pure monofilm in that sail (later in the post you'll understand what I mean...).

Big waves, crazy moves all over the place and... Phil McGain testing race gear.

Jason Prior wave 360.

KP hits the lip and does a counter clockwise rotation... what's that a taka off the lip?

Jason Prior tweaked aerial.

And now four post subsections.

------------- subsection one: backloops --------------------

Francisco Goya in a big one. Nico's one (a few posts down) was taken from the same spot, so imagine how high he went...

Polo makes it to the blog!

Kai Katchadourian (always a nightmare to guess the spelling... I may start to call him KK).

------------- subsection two: on the rocks ---------------

Plenty people on the rocks, since occasionally some sets where closing out the channel. Danielino stopped and held Mark Angulo's and Browzhino's boards in an attempt to save them from the rocks.

Here's how all ended up.

See what I mean about too much monofilm without reinforcement?

Mark did a bit of damage too.

The Hookipa rocks is one place where Karma doesn't work. The one time I stopped to hold a board (it was little Bernd's one), I saved his board, but mine went on the rocks. That's when I decided not to do that again. Anyone who enters the water at Hookipa is on his own.
Another great example of this theory happened earlier this year: I went on the rocks and a guy came and help me to rescue my gear. While doing so, he cut his foot so bad that he had to stay out of the water for more than a week. I felt so bad for him, since he just arrived from Argentina and was going to stay just for three weeks...

Sure, it's nice sometimes to help somebody or if somebody helps you, but there's situations in which the help can not only be useless, but even counter productive.
In this case, for example, it could have been possible that the strong current would have swept those two boards faster and saved them from the rocks... who knows.
For sure Daniele wanted to be nice, but unfortunately it turned out not to be a good idea.

------------- subsection three: Mark Angulo crazy move --------------------

What is he exactly trying to do?

It looks like an aerial wave 360 off the lip, but with an arched back tweaked start.

This third shot, taken a little later in the rotation, may confirm the theory. He landed a few on the back. I wonder if he ever landed one on the face... I have to ask him. For sure he's collecting a huge amount of interesting wipeouts...

------------- subsection four: shared waves --------------------

Laurent (can't remember who was the other guy).

Jason and Jason (Diffin and Prior).

Cisco and KP.

This last section gives me the opportunity to explain the title.

Despite my sore ankle I was able to get in the water at Kanaha thanks to duct tape. Gary showed me how to wrap it in a way that won't allow the foot to overextend and the system proved to be quite efficient. Way better than the neoprene ankle braces that I tried at Sports Authority...

I started early with light wind and my footstrepless 100l modified tail board, AKA The Experiment. No problem there, seen the total lack of streps.
The wind picked up a bit and I went out on a 90l wihtout the back footstrep. Kind of weird, but somehow it felt great to be able to move the foot around.

Here's what I experienced: during the bottom turn the back foot doesn't need to be too far back (since you're in flat water you're actually trying to push the whole inside rail in the water). In the top turn instead, I was moving it all the way back to achieve a tighter radius and to better use the energy of the top of the wave to turn the board.
In other words, I found myself moving my back foot back and forth in the sequence of bottom and top turns.
Can't go too radical, can't do crazy aerials, can't jump... but I felt free-er. You guys should try in a not too choppy day.

And what did the shared waves section had to do with the duct tape? Oh yes, because thanks to the duct tape I was able to go sail, have fun and in particular to enjoy the best shared wave of my life! Swiss Ian was upwind of me (without priority, I think) and he signals with his hand: "shall we go together figure-eighting?"
"Sure, why not..", I nodded back.
Oh my god, what a great wave that turned into! Can't remember how many turns each we had (at leat four, maybe five), all of them in the very pocket of that miraculously perfectly peeling wave. So freaking cool to be at the top and see your buddy bottom turning below and immediately after starting to bottom turn yourself and so on...
Wow. We were both screaming at the end. I tell you what. If any of us would have ridden that wave alone, it would have not been even remotely as much fun.

Things I noticed:
- I was so focused on what he was doing, that I don't think I checked at all if there was anyone else in the water. Dangerous! Next time, I'll have to pay more attention and in general those rides are probably not a good idea in very crowded conditions.
- You need to trust your buddy. In other words, make sure you pick one that knows how to wave ride...

Superstoked that his ankle injury is mild and looking forward to another gorgeous day in Maui, your reporter from paradise reminds all readers to let go of all the possible bullshit reasons (a very common one these days: the economy!) that make you eventually pouty (NOTHING MATTERS, since one day we'll all be gone and that day could be tomorrow or even today!) and to enjoy your life wherever you are.
If you are reading this, it means you're sitting in front of a computer checking your favorite blog ;-) and that means you're way luckier than these guys.


Anonymous said...

lifes good here in nz too gp. waveride dtl starboard tack thurs, onshore backside riding different direction same place sat, 30kts bump and jump diff place sun. oh yeah wife day on fri while dad time with 6mth old. paradise is where you find it.
great post thanks

Anonymous said...

Love seeing the amazing sailors and resulting rock carnage! Your right about helping others it can be a double edged sword at times. My friend got hurt helping a kiteboarder recently. For a laugh check out the get well video/song I made him on youtube/ Texas windsurfing ballad. Jeff

George Markopoulos said...

Maui is firing, I may have to book my airfare soon!

cammar said...

Hi Goeff,
I wonder if that huge N swell got all the way down there...

I enjoyed your video. It also reminded that I should practice more for my little youtube musical project... at the rate I'm practicing now, I might be ready for 2032...

George (or anybody else),
just in case: I'm not really publicizing it too much, but my studio will be available from dec 16th to Jan 1st, since I will be in Italy. Anybody interested, plese email me.

Lano said...

Looks amazing GP, Francisco is sailing better than ever!

z00t said...

You really are living the life ;-) I always manage to pick up your posts on the train on the way in to work. Instead of moping about the fact that it's really really cold in the UK, there's no wind, and I have a dull day ahead in the office, I get to read about the cool times you're having on some epic waves, and it makes me smile.

Great stuff - thanks!

cammar said...

uff that's a big statement... considering how good he was when he didn't have a company and family to be after!
Sure enough, he still rips.

glad this blog makes you smile. Even though you're in cold and windless UK, it's probably better than Zimbabwe right now...
At least you have a job and no cholera!

Fantastic wave sailing conditions continue here in Maui. Didn't take any photos because I was sailing...

de leden said...

hi there

I'm warming myself here in a cold Belgium(2°c and 22knots of freezing wind by reading your blog.
keep on Bloggin
grtzs pat de bruyn

Anonymous said...

about the "on the rocks" section, i recall one time you went on the rocks, earlier this year, and another guy that was on the hill watching went to help YOU and ended up with a cut that left him out of the water for several days... i wonder why you didnt mentioned this situation, and instead, you mentioned the time that YOU tried to help another person while on the water... this blog is very macabre, it shows your nice side, no one can tell what kind of person you really are. you are false. that was just one example of many i saw on this blog, quite dissapointing... readers end up thinking you are quite a good person, but this shows you are egocentric and selfish. i am glad for the people that read about a good person, and im sad for you, you believe you are a good person, you cant cheat yourself gp, you can cheat others, but one day you ll realize what a horrendous person you are.. at least you give a good message to the readers, but how shameful it is to know it is false message. you are quite a character

cammar said...

thanks for reminding my of that guy that cut his foot while helping me. It's such a good example of my non karma zone theory that I updated the original post and included in it. The reason why I didn't do it in a first place is that I forgot about it.

As for the rest of your lovely comment, I'm incredibly fascinated by the possible motivation that can push someone to regularly check a "very macabre blog" made by "an horrendous person" like me... The only possible explanation I could come up with is a dreadful combination of extreme masochism and intense boredom...
I hope the quality of your life will improve soon.