Friday, February 29, 2008

bottom turn festival

Ahhh... back to posting something good, finally!

As usual I got a lot of stuff to post and little time to do it. Let's start clearing some of the backlog with some photos of Wednesday Feb 13 at Hookipa.
It was almost the end of an incredible six days of wave sailing (from the 9th to the 14th), in which I scored four 5 stars and two 4 stars sessions... my best sequence ever!

And the best thing is that I kept scoring plenty memorable sessions even after the wind died and it got glassy perfection for surfing. North shore, south shore... plenty awesome waves to ride.

Anyway, here's a first small selection of the photos I took that day from the bluff.
I selected the bottom turns. Unfortunately I didn't take any of the other great sailors (Levi and Kauli, just to mention a couple), but this is already a great show.
Watching photos of bottom turns of the pros, I noticed how the tip of the mast usually points towards the section of the lip they will hit.
I tried to do that myself and it helps... at least in big waves.

Let's start with uncle Robby.


Jason Polakow.


Kevin Pritchard.


Robby Swift (figure eighting with Polakow)


Michi Schweigher.


So, what is your favorite? Oh, I forgot... you can't put comments anymore...
Btw, thanks to all the people that expressed solidarity via email.
Eventually the comments will be back with some form of moderation.
In the meantime the counter stats show that you guys are still reading the blog even without the comments while I enjoy a momentary lapse of quietness...



Post update: to celebrate the return of the comments, I'm adding two other bottom turns of the two sailors mentioned in the first two comments.
Jason.


Kevin.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A couple of more things.

1) Before I shut the comments down, there was one (clearly anonymous) last comment on my "classic hawaii" video complaining about me revealing the names of the spots.
But of course, what was I thinking?
Those spots are so secret that almost nobody knows about them. You have to hike half a mile in the jungle to get there and there's no way you can spot them just by driving on the highway. No way. They're hidden, secluded and private property of a few privileged surfers that want to keep them all for themselves. How did they find them... it's a mystery!
So I edited the video and covered the names of the spots with beeps.
Just in case, I even beeped the names of the mountains... you never know!
Check it out, it came out kind of funny...

2) I'm soooo happy that those miserable comments are not on my blog anymore.
Somehow this morning I was able to channel all that shitty energy in the right direction and be an even better and happier man!
I had a great session in a spot so secret that I don't even know were it was (they blind you at the park entrance and guide you there), caught a bunch of beautiful waves, smiled to everybody, didn't mind a few drop-ins, gave tips to beginners, shared the stoke with everyone of any color, any age, any religion out there and in the parking.
I was just ecstatic to be who I am and not one of those sad individuals that left those comments full of hate. I was happy to be able to enjoy the amazing beauty of yet another gorgeous day and share it with everybody else in the ocean.
I hoped that I was going to meet some of those sad haters, so that I could try to infect them with my contagious happiness, but I don't think I met any. Everybody looked pretty damn happy already...
Well, I actually did meet one usually pissed off towards windsurfers guy at lunch time at Mana food and I smiled to him: "Howzit brah, how's the waves at Hookipa?"
Believe it or not, he smiled back!
Here's my answer to all that shit written in those comments: stoke, happiness, positive vibe, love.

And, MOST IMPORTANTLY, that positive rastaman vibration I had this morning must have helped my surfing too... I kicked some serious ass on my 8.6!

no more comments

The main reason I keep this blog is to share stoke, to inspire and to inform.

Unfortunately, the chain of comments of the last posts took a path towards agressiveness and insults and was really bugging me.

Here's the last comment of that list:
It seems that instead of having fun people prefer the hate. How people can be miserable in paradise!
A wave is just a wave, one can leave without, Maui is not that crowded, go to Europe or China and see how beaches look over there. The color of the skin does not make the person, just respect one eachother and be able to let go.
This discussion instead of solving issues is making everything even worst and building up even more hate.
Either you are Hawaiian or Caucasian or South American, please stop, this does not bring any positive, and the mediator should put a stop to it.


I am shocked too how people can be miserable in paradise.
Sure, Maui is more crowded than it was before, this is a fact. I noticed that too in the seven years that I've been here. But instead of bitching about it I focus on the many positive things that still are and think that I should be stoked to be enjoying it now as it is, because soon it's going to be a lot more crowded. And there's nothing you can do about it.
You can't hide the beauty of a place in 2008. You can't hide the beauty of any place on earth in 2008.
Go on youtube and search for surfing and you'll find about 118,000 videos.
Just in the first page, there's videos of:
Teahupoo, Alaska, Amazon, Mauritius, Japan, Hawaii, even Texas ditch surfing...

Somehow, the comments show the readers that on top of the natural beauty, Maui has some issues and hate.
Got that? It's not 100% paradise in which everybody is happy!
Do I even need to tell you that? There's nothing like that in the whole western world.
Maybe some uncontaminated tribes in the middle of Amazon (if there are still some)... maybe Buthan... maybe somewhere else.
As long as it's a society ruled by money and material things, there's always someone that will be unhappy because they want more.

I agree 100% with that last comment and from now on, the comments are disabled.
Somebody feel like fighting over the internet?
Create a group (there's plenty free ones) on the internet and do it there.

I'm sorry for the hundreds of readers that used to write interesting comments. Maybe one day I'll enable them again. Maybe.

Alright, now it's time for me to go catch a few waves and share the stoke with the other ocean users (irregardless of what sport they're doing) and shake some of this shitty vibe off.

Aloha.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Unfair County rules may kill watersports instruction on Maui

I received this email from David and Suzie Dorn.

Maui County has proposed new rules that will almost certainly kill watersports instruction on Maui. This is bad news for the Maui watersports community
And bad news for all the schools that have been serving the community for decades.

One example is, Proposed Rule 10-102-22 prohibits windsurfing schools from having more than two instructors working at one time. This will eliminate our kids camps, and any other high-school programs. This will put the vast majority of watersports instructors out of work, and most (if not all) schools will go out of business. The sports affected are Windsurfing, kitesurfing, surfing, kayaking, Scuba diving, etc.

We need public testimony from anyone who supports these sports. Please support our schools and instructors by writing a letter or email. And send it to

Tamara Horcajo, Maui County parks director, tamara.horcajo@co.maui.hawaii.us
Zachary Helm, deputy director parks, zachary.helm@co.maui.hawaii.us
Mayor Charmaine Tavares, charmaine.tavares@co.maui.hawaii.us
Jo Anne Johnson, jo_anne.johnson@mauicounty.us
Michelle Anderson, michelle.anderson@mauicounty.us
Senator Shan Tsutsui, sentsutsui@Capitol.hawaii.gov
And cc a copy to info@mauikiteboardingassociation.com

The testimony could be sent before 5pm Tuesday 2/26/08 (next meeting), or the final deadline is in 45days.

“Say goodbye to kids camps like these, if Maui County has their way!”

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A few waves at Kanaha + a lot of other stuff

So, despite the long list of stuff I have to post, here is something completely new... still hot out of the oven (the SD card).

The weather in Maui is just unreally pleasant. No wind, sunshine and beautiful waves out of the NW. Here are a few waves at Kanaha. Welcome to Hawaii...


While you're still in youtube mode, you may want to check out the video I took of little Jordan (10 years old) that I am stoked to be coaching...
Cool, uh? And you still don't own a Digital Hero Gopro camera?

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Here's the text of an email from Marc Lefevre that I'm happy to publish:

There is a similar bill in the HOUSE of REP as well. It was introduced a day before the SENATE one that we just testified for.

Might want to put the word out on that one as well.

I found it by doing a text search in the Hawaii state website.


Good job Mark. Let's monitor this other puppy and keep our eyes open, everyone.

Oh, if you're looking for a night read, here's the testimonies for that famous bill.

The ones arrived on time.

The late ones.

And Makani has a video of the hearing on his website.

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This song left by an anonymous reader regarding my complaint about different kind of surfers hating each other just cracks me up... thanks for that.

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Luke, an employee of Kanaha Kai, got his Starboard SUP board stolen off his car at night. It's a 12.2 and it looks just like this one: good!


If you see it, please call the shop at 877-7778.

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Still plenty waves ahead and light or no wind for the rest of week. Loving it.

Serious out of season south swell on Saturday that will unfortunately be ruined Sunday by some Kona wind. The two things are completely unrelated, so it's a case of bad luck, I'd say. Oh well, I'll sail Kanaha instead...

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Did you guys wake up this morning stoked just not to have died during the night and to have the chance to enjoy one more day alive?

NOOOO?!?!

Something is wrong with you...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Josh and Alex and huge Hookipa

Oh, finally we move on.



Here's a brief list of the stuff I'd like to post:
A - a video shot from the helmet cam of two epic sessions (saturday 2 9 and sunday 2 10... jesus, it's already more than a week ago!). I have to edit it and that takes time...
B - photos of great Hookipa wavesailing conditions on wednesday 2 13
C - my report of the kenalu.com huge Standup board test on friday 2 15 at Launiupoko
D - the description of six great wave sailing days
E - the description of a mystical wave on thursday 2 14 at uppers
F - the review of a Kevin Pritchard MFC wave fin
G - the review of a Goya 90l wave board

Any preference?

I got so much stuff and so little time. And, as usual, I'm late with my monthly article for the italian magazine Windnews...
By the way, for whom it may concern: from now on, you can find my weekly reports in italian on their website. Here's last week's one.

Tonight, I choose to post some photos from thursday 2 14.
When I drove by Hookipa and couldn't believe that two sailors were out. It was huge and closed out like... 99% of the time. When I entered the beach park, I saw the sailor all the way on the outside in position to catch a wave of a huge set... and I made a mistake. I should have pulled into the lookout over Pavillion and taken a photo from there.

Instead, I thought that I would have been able to take other photos afterward from the usual cliff... yeah, right.
By the time I got to the parking, the sailor had caught the wave and was riding it. It was the biggest wave I've ever seen anybody riding at Hookipa. More than two masts high. Clearly, after the huge close out the sailor had no other chance than to sail back to shore.
That sailor was good old Alex Aguera. He had been out with Josh Angulo for a little while and I got there just in time... to see them both coming out of the water...

I was a little disappointed by that. By that was nothing compared to what Alex felt when he found out that nobody took a picture of that wave... very understandable!
"Oh, come on Alex! Stop whining, go out again and catch another one!" I teased him.
He gave me a look that made me say:"hey, hey... I'm just kidding, ok?"

Anyway, we were chatting on the beach when Josh grabbed his board and yelled:"Da hell, Alex. Let's go out again!"
I don't know what he saw. I don't know what he felt. But he was able to sneak through the channel in the only little lull I saw that day. A sixth sense, I'd say. Or a huge lucky strike.
He caught a few waves. My pictures suck for multiple reasons:
- I have a cheap camera
- there's 12x optical zoom and 2x digital zoom (this last deteriorates the quality)
- the light was horrible
- the waves were breaking so far out that it's pretty misty
- I'm not a professional photographer

BUT... da hell, they're still better than nothing. And they're free!
The first one was the one at the top of this post.
Here's an aerial.


Here's another semi-hidden bottom turn.


And yet another one.


Signature one handed top turn on a mellow section.


In the meantime, the poor Alex tried too to go out again, but he wasn't as lucky and couldn't make it. Here he is swimming back. Oh, forgot to mention. The wind was pretty freaking light.


Nonetheless, for a few eye witnesses he will remain the guy who rode one of the biggest waves ever at Hookipa. And I'm lucky enough to be one of those.
Good job, Alex and Josh.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

New proposed windsurfing limitation: let's act soon!

Third update: Saturday 2 16 08 5.15pm.

I just received and I'm happy to publish an email from David and Suzie Dorn of Action Sports Maui with a few more details about the hearing and I'm happy to publish it.


Hi GP,

Here is a recap of yesterday in Oahu.
We had missed the deadline to submit our testimony via e-mail or fax (the deadline was THURSDAY February 14th at 2:45) I think most people found out about this bill after 2:45 on Thursday. We found out we could submit our testimony in person so we had no choice but to fly to Oahu. David wrote a 13 page testimony regarding safety of kitesurfing and windsurfing on Maui, including photos. We phoned the Maui senators and found out there were no Maui based Senators on the land and water committee involved in SB2091. We were able to book the last 2 tickets for the 12:50 flight to Oahu. We received calls from frantic shop owners, windsurfers and kiters, that were panicking about the meeting, missing the deadline to submit their testimony and not being able to get to Oahu for the meeting. I told everyone to e-mail me their testimony and I would submit it in person. We arrived on Oahu at 1:40p.m. took a cab (no time to get a rental car) and rushed to the Senate building. We found the public information room at the Senate building where we were able to download and print all e-mail testimonies. We had to print 12 copies of each testimony. We had a giant stack of testimonies. We received e-mails from shop owners, professional sailors, a judge, international visitors, local kiters and windsurfers, and international and local associations. The meeting began a little before 3:00. Senator Clayton Hee began the meeting by stating that SB2091 was being deferred (delayed or put on hold). Senator Hee said he would not be hearing public testimony related to SB2091. David Dorn stated he wanted to testify. David Dorn's testimony stated that based on safety issues and the proven track record of co-existence with swimmers and surfers there was no need for this bill. David also stated this bill would affect hundreds of jobs, businesses and most importantly the entire community of windsurfing and kitesurfing on Maui. David told Senator Clayton Hee that we already have rules and local associations for the user groups and we all work together. David also was able to submit all testimonies that we received via e-mail.
SB2091 has only been deferred so it may come up again. Anyone who would like to have their testimony on file can send it to me at suziej@maui.net and I will submit it if SB2091 comes up again.

Thanks
David and Suzie Dorn


Thanks a lot to David and Suzie for getting on that plane and going to the hearing.

Ok, now that we all are a bit more relaxed, I think we should figure a way that things like these will not pass unobserved in the future. And to make this point a bit more dramatic, let me tell you the chronological sequence of the events that brought to this post, as I know it.

A Maui sailor owns a boat business and as such he's always checking all the new water related proposed regulations. One day (don't know when) he sees this proposed Bill and emails a friend of mine about it. This friend of mine is smart enough to forward it to me. I read his email at 6.45am on Thursday morning, sitting on the toilet during my morning ablutions (thank god for laptops and wireless routers). I had to be out of the door by 7am.
In 15 minutes, I go to the Senate website, realize the gravity of the proposed Bill, decide to make a post on this blog, email my testimony, start a thread on the Hot Sails Maui forum about it, send a few other emails to friends to call them to action, finish my ablutions (yes, I can multitask) and leave my house on time.

Around 11am I receive a call from Jeff (who was on the mainland), who had just read the post (because he saw the thread on the forum). I honestly had completely forgot about this, since I had been busy first and I was now getting ready to go sail.
We agree to call all the surf shops (I called a couple, he called the rest) in Kahului.
The two major surf shops I called knew nothing about it (at least the persons I spoke to) till my phone call.

And then I thought:"Wow... if I didn't take a poo this morning and checked my email in the meantime, all these people would have not known about this..."

I'm not trying to be credited with anything at all, just pointing but that what happened is pretty scary...
It should just not be possible that things like this almost get approved just because nobody knows about them!
So, windsurfing/kitesurfing business owners/employees or just simple wind/kitesurfers... let's all figure a way of being informed a bit earlier in the future. Do we only have to check that Senate webpage? Is there anything else to check? I don't know anything about how laws are proposed and approved in the States... is there anybody out there that can and want to take charge? Or just post a comment with the right procedure so that we can all be in the know?

Thanks again everybody for the help. And thanks iwindsurf.com for the nice present they sent me to thank me for the heads up they received from this blog.

Oh, I also wanted to add something else, but I forgot. Then I read Ward Churchill comment (number 37) and I remembered.

Every ocean user has the same right to enjoy their favorite activity. Unfortunately the room is limited, so we all have to share the same waves. Even though every spot is different there's a few general rules that apply everywhere: common sense and safety.

Here's some info for some wind/kitesurfers (no, dear Ward... we're not all perfect... there's plenty dickheads between us too...) who may not know or may know and don't care and with their behavior they fuck up everything for everyone:

1) surfers ALWAYS have priority on a wave. No matter how early a kite/windsurfer catches a wave, it's always the surfer's right to eventually drop in that same wave. It's the kite/windsurfer obligation to watch what the eventual surfers are doing and if one of them drops in, the kite/windsurfer should just ride the white water and don't interfere with the surfer's ride (and safety).
Personally, I even often encourage the eventual surfer about to go on a wave that I'm already on... "GO, GO, GO FOR IT!!!", so that he knows that I saw him and that I won't mind if he drops in.

2) if there's surfers out, dear kite/windsurfers... don't bloddy jump/loop/blast three feet from them!!!

Thanks again Ward, that was really important...

Here's a little clip from a recent session... how apropos!

video

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Second update: Friday 2 15 08 5.15pm.

The bill has been deferred. Cool... what does that mean? "Delayed, put off to later" says wordreference.com.
Too much opposition, too many opposing testimonies, too many good reasons not to approve it.
Thanks to everyone who sent emails, who made phone calls, who went to the public hearing. In the next hours I should have a few more details by somebody who went there. Stay tuned.
Let's keep the guard up, because the bill has not been rejected, but only deferred.

PS1. In the meantime, today I took part to a HUGE standup paddle surfing showcase organized by my friend Bill Babcock, editor of kenalu.com.
In six hours I tried 20 boards out of... something like 50. Check their website for the results and this blog for my very own personal report in the next days.
My back has never been so sore and I'm drinking the tastiest beer of my life.

PS2. In the past six days I had four 5 stars wavesailing sessions and two 4 stars ones. I don't remember a week like this in my whole life. I should post a mini report of each single one, but I got an incredible amount of stuff to post (and other things to do). Now instead, is the start of a week of light or no wind and great waves to surf. And next weekend there's even a south swell... life is great!

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First update: Thursday 3 15 08.
Ok, it's 2.45pm hawaiian time, so I guess it's too late to send testimonies via email (but if haven't done it yet, I would recommend to do it anyway!).
Thanks to all the people who sent emails and called other people to do that. Some of you also sent me the content of their emails (way more effective than mine... I wrote mine and this post at 6.50am and had to be out of the door at 7!!). Thanks for the comments too.

Let's not forget that the hearing is tomorrow Friday 2 15 08 at 2.15 in Oahu.
If you can, just get on the plane, go there and speak out loud. The more, the better.
Thanks again!

PS. I just had an amazing sesh at the outer reef at uppers... no surfers, no swimmers, just a bunch of kitesurfers but I'm alright with those...
PPS. I also just saw Alex Aguera catch the biggest wave I've see a windsurfer on at Hookipa: over two masts high. Too bad I was driving and couldn't take a photo of it... Took a bunch of Josh Angulo, though. Stay tuned for that...
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Just received an email from a friend (thanks!) that may REALLY mean disaster for the windsurfing industry/community in Maui.

Read this. For what I understand it's the Bill for an act (here details) that passed the first reading (here the history) and will have a public hearing on Friday at 2.45pm in Honolulu (Conference Room 414, State Capitol - 415 South Beretania Street).

According the first page I linked, there's the possibility to send tetimonies via email (testimony@capitol.hawaii.gov) or fax (586-6659 or 1-800-586-6659) at least 24 hours prior to the hearing. That's today Thursday 2 14 at 245pm.

If you read this in time, please send an email explaining that a law like this would mean a huge damage to the windsurfing related industry (shops, tourists), that in Maui is pretty big.
Please feel free to copy and paste the following text (that's what I'm going to email), if you feel like. Even better, explain your own reason for why you like or not the proposed bill.

For what I understand from the first page instruction, this MUST be the subject of the email:

Email subject:
Testimony to bill SB 2091 COMMITTEE ON WATER AND LAND hearing of Friday February 15, 2008 2.45pm

Email body:
A law like the proposed bill SB2091 would mean a huge damage to the windsurfing related industry (shops, tourists), that in Maui is pretty remarkable.
With a 200 feet limit, in fact, a single surfer on the break will virtually mean no sailboards on the break. And that'll be the end of wavesailing at Hookipa or Kanaha when there's waves and it's windy.
At Kanaha there's already the 11 o'clock rule (no windusrfing before 11am) that leaves plenty time to surfers to enjoy the less windy hours of the day.
At Hookipa there's already the 10 man rule (no windsurfing if more than 10 surfers in the water) that protects the surfers' safety.
A rule like the proposed bill SB2091 will not be fair towards windsurfers and kitesurfers.
Please, don't pass it. Thanks.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Great wavesailing

Ops, I forgot to link my friend Martino's photo page... check it out, he's a crazy white water kayaker and world traveller...

Just a few pics to show what kind of conditions this week are finally happening here in Maui.

The weekend was unreal and I was busy shooting video clips with the helmet cam. Makani got some footage of epic Hookipa on Sunday, check his website, he just posted a video of Kauli.

Monday, in the break between morning and evening sessions, I drove to Hoo and took a few pics, mostly of Kauli and Levi. Here's the latter with an aerial from high in the sky...


Here's Kauli with his new JP painted board. Both fins are out of the water. The only thing that keeps the board there is the front rail.


There were only 5-6 sailors out when I stopped there. I was so tired, I took the photos from the car...
Here's a unidentified sailor who chose a bad moment and place to wipe out... Ouch!


Here's Levi with his newly Quatro painted board (at least there's a high chance that that one is shaped by Keith Taboul) in a stylish one hand aerial.


This is Kauli again.


And this is Levi again in a dynamic top turn. Is windsurfing a dynamic sport or what?


Sunday, my friend Martino was on the bluff and he took some photos. Here's Francisco Porcella. The whole sequence (together of more of the Levi-Kauli duet) in the slide below.




Last, but not least, here's the usual Laird show shot by Randy on Sunday morning, I believe. It's a bit heavy... open it in a new window (right click--> open in new window/tab) and let it load... it's worth it!

Huge swells on the horizon for the rest of the week, as this morning weather map clearly confirms.


Life is great!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

What a day!

"I had the best wave of my life" (...oh, come on!)
"I had the best wave of the last five years" (...that's more credible.)
"I'm in awe"
"Un-fucking-believable"

That's some of the comments I heard on the beach yesterday.
To be honest, I also heard mild complaints about the waves closing out too much, the wind being too strong and the water being too choppy, but overall I would definitely describe yesterday as a fantastic day of wavesailing and rank it a five star without a doubt.

I was shooting with the camera and got a lot of footage. I have no idea when I'll be able to edit it, since the forecast finally looks the way it should in winter time. Here's how Pat Caldwell summarizes it: "Normal winter surf, high."

This morning I only have time to post a shitty photo (taken by mistake... maybe I should take more photos instead of videos, whatcha think?). But it somehow shows the quality of this swell.


I'm on a wave (so is Gary initiating his sequence of bottom turns downwind of me). Please appreciate the distance with the previous wave: a football field!
It's called wavelenght and together with the wave period (seconds between waves) is one of the parameters that affect the shoaling of the waves when they hit a shallow bottom.
Without getting too much in detail, the bigger the wavelenght (and period), the more the waves grow on the reef. Not only that. Longer distance between waves, makes it easier to go out (more opportunities to pump and get speed between waves), makes it easier to emergency water start when falling in the impact zone, makes it easier to spot other sailors in the impact zone, makes it easier to read the waves. In other word, it's higher quality wave sailing, compared to wind swell (which can still be a hell lot of fun, of course).

Also, try to follow the crest of that wave in front of us (click on the photo for that)... it's a whole freaking wall of moving water all the way to kite beach. That's because it was low tide in the morning (when I took this photo) and the biggest waves were closing out. That's not good... but it got a lot better in the afternoon with the high tide.

Let's see what the Waimea buoy readings were for this swell.


Notice how the size went up from 6 to 9 feet, but also how the period increased and MOST IMPORTANTLY for Kanaha, the direction went from just over 300 degreess (that'll be NW) to just over 330 (NNW). The impact of this for Kanaha is huge.

Check the following map and try to understand (maybe using a small ruler on the screen) the shade provided by the West Maui Mountain for everything coming more west than 320...


This is the weather map of this morning, Sunday 2 10 and it's dedicated to those friends leaving Maui today to go ski/snowboard on the mainland (I got three of them). Congratulations, what a good week to do that you guys!!! ;-)


Now, that's a serious storm and it's occluded, so it's gonna stay there for a while. The resulting NW swell will be in the extra-large category and will last pretty much all week. You thought the West Maui Mountain blockage was a bummer? Sometimes it is, but sometimes is a blessing! Without it it would be too big everywhere!
EVERYTHING in life has at least one bad aspect and one good one. Wonna have a happy life? Just focus on the positive one... it's THAT simple!

AND, as the satellite photo clearly shows, there's not a single cloud over Hawaii.


Since the first photo didn't really show that, here's how the sky looked like yesterday.


In other words, Maui is back to being the paradise it's known as.
And I'm conscious that I'm extraordinarily lucky to be able to experience this. If I was just a little less lucky I could have been born in Afghanistan and being a refugee right now... or somewhere in Africa and being starving...

This goes to anyone who woke up in Maui today and has even the smallest complaint about anything at all, like:
- my job sucks (...at least you have one)
- I don't like my partner anymore (...either keep her/him and shut up or leave her/him!)
- Kanaha is too crowded (...hey, there's waves!)
- I wish I earned more so that I could buy a bigger truck (...which half of the working world population do you belong to? The one that earns more or less than two dollars a day?)
- etc, etc, etc...

YOU GUYS ARE SO UNAWARE of what the lives of other human beings are in other parts of the world in this right moment! Stop bitching and start becoming aware of your luck...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Windsurfing in a rainy winter day

Despite what the title may suggest, it was a lot of fun.

This was last Sunday (ops, that was 2 3 08, not 2 4 08 I guess...). Superbowl was on and pretty much nobody was out. The plan was to film Glenn riding his AHD Seal. I had a few technical difficulties (it was a long time I didn't use the GoPro camera and I had forgotten a few things).
Plus, filming somebody going down the line with an helmet cam is a pretty hard task.
But we learned something and maybe next time we'll do better.
Here's the goofy outcome... love that face!


Talking about the GoPro camera, Bill put it on his RC plane. Pretty interesting stuff...

And talking about the Seal, Glenn has a few for sale. 77 and 88l. See him at Hot Sails Maui or send me an email and I'll get you in touch with him. Here's the 88l he was using in the video.


Forecast.
That storm in the top left in the map below is generating a swell that will hit Thursday (from WNW) and Friday (from NW). As indicated from the red arrow, it's modelled to move NE. In other words it won't move towards Hawaii and it won't create what's called a captured fetch. That'll be a limiting factor. Still, there will be big waves (my definition of big is: anything above head high!).


The modelled charts 7.5 days out from today, show that another NW swell will hit around Wednesday next week. It will be bigger, because the storm will be closer. This seems to be confirmed also by Pat Caldwell's words:"models show a jet stream track much closer to Hawaii starting near Japan, a more normal February pattern."
It's about time!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

small ding fix + murky Hoo

Topic 1.
My board fixing carrer probably just reached its apex.

Before...


After...


Final touch: pad patchwork.





I can't believe it came out so good. Look at that rocker line! Well... that doesn't mean it's not gonna snap again on the first wave, but I'm stoked.
Ok, now I'd like to learn how to shape (and build) boards. Any shaper out there that needs help?

PS. Thanks to Amir of Ding King for the precious tips and to Keith Taboul for the sandwich foam.

Topic 2.
Huge amount of rain in last few days in Maui. Yesterday in particular (Saturday) it rained all day till around 3pm. Went to check Hookipa, Kuali and Nik Baker were out slogging through squalls in murky water. The waves were actually not too bad. Still shifty (is that an f or a t?) windswell, but when they got one right it looked like fun.
Here's Kauli.


Here's Nik.


Of the other three "normal" sailor that ventured out, one came in safe, one ended up at Lanes and one went on the rocks. That's because the wind was really up and down with the squalls until it finally died. In other words another quite bad day of a really bad winter so far. For the Maui standards, of course...

PS. Nice Irish story on the PWA site.