Monday, March 31, 2008

fireman for a day

Sunday I decided to take a day off and went for a bike ride.

When I stopped by Hookipa around 4 though, Andres' gear was there ready on the beach and I couldn't resist the temptation.

Underpowered (thank god) on a 4.2 with only crappy windswell... who cares when somebody else rigged for you...

and there's still whales around...

and you can uphaul on a 75l board...

Yeah right, nearly!

Thanks to Andres for rigging, taking photos and derigging. Feels good to have a caddy for once in your life...

Forecast looks good with some small NW swells starting tomorrow (2 feet, 15 sec from 315 at the waimea buoy tonight) till friday. Probably too west for Kanaha, allright for Hookipa. But then in the weekend a big (messy, full of energy, strong current, easy to break stuff) NNE one will hit.

We shall wave sail.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

back footstrap vision

Goofy little video shot with the camera mounted on the back footstrap.
I cut out all the wave sailing parts, because you can't really see anything... too much water around.
Hope someone will enjoy it anyway.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

awesome wavesailing

It's been a couple of awesome days at Hookipa.

I especially liked wednesday. Slightly underpowered on a 4.7, unusually not so gusty wind, clean head to logo high waves. A hell lot of people, but all good sailors that know how to share a wave.
Today (thursday) the waves were a bit smaller and it was windier, so I liked it a notch less (4 stars instead of 5!). I had two sessions and in between I took a bunch of pics. Got some good ones. Here are the main page deservers.

Let's start with Browsinho, who was in jumping mood.

I need to get in touch with that photographer and check with him how his photo was. If it was a magazine worthy one, my photo would make a great little inlet photo...
Anyway, I don't know the photographer, but the sailor is Keith Taboul.

Explosive top turn by Taka.

Browsinho again.

And Browsinho again.

I love this shot. No sponsors, no radical rotations, just a "simple" high jump... so much freedom in this photo.

How about this Taka wipeout?

And the rest in this slide (if the slide stops just click the "x" on the top right corner and it will start again).

Windsurfing, what a wonderful thing.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It's all about me

Been windy and gusty here in Maui with a mix of ground and wind swell waves (now down to pure windswell only). Still kind of fun at Hookipa, as the following photos clearly show.
For a change, the photos are of my beautiful self, so nothing radical.

For the first one I want to thank Gisela Helenius, an extraordinary Swedish woman who can take photos (and enjoy doing that) of her husband Ola and take care of two kids at the same time. Pretty much every windsurfers' dream wife...

The second photo's thanks go to photographer Benjamin Thouard. He's in Maui for a while and he's available for photoshoots (email me if interested). This day I sneaked in one without knowing that he had a fish-eye lens and that I had to be really close to him. Still, I like this shot a lot. Too bad I'm clearly applying way too much pressure on the back foot... can't blame the photographer for that!

For the next slideshow I want to thank the gopro digital Hero underwater camera guys that sent me the expansion kit for all kinds of mounts. When I opened the box, I started playing with them like a kid with the Lego...
The first one I tried was on back footstrap, shown in the photo below with the empty case.

Disappointing results out of the video (too much water around, you can't see the waves at all), but I got some cool snapshots out of it.

So long.

The new UltraLight SuperFreak review

A while ago Jeff gave me a UltraLight (UL) SuperFreak (SF) 5.0 to test.

Assuming everybody knows what a SF is, the UL is a version with most of the panels made of an ultralight dacron. Think about a parashoot or a kite and you'll have a pretty good idea of what kind of lightness we're talking about!
The photo below shows Ulli taking it out for a spin. The funny thing is that the other SF in the background is Micheal's and that's an UL too, and then there's a kite. In other words, everything you see in that photo is extremely light... other than Ulli maybe.

I didn't notice any difference at all in the performance compared to a regular superfreak. Instead, here's the advantages I found:

- every time you move the sail around it's better because the sail is
lighter: jibes (big time), tacks, bottom turns, top turns, backwind rides...
- it seems to absorb the gusts even better... which is hard to believe, considering how incredibly gust-absorbing the regular SFs already are!
- much easier to fly the sail when water starting. I had a couple of
emergency water starts in the impact zone with a bomb approaching and I went for it with no hopes to succeed.... "no way, there's no way I can make it"... and voila', the sail was out and my ass was saved.
- in SUPER light winds I even prefer it to my regular 5.5. In fact that's when I use the light wind water start technique (front hand on the mast below the boom and back hand on the foot of the sail) quite often. The difference between an UL 5.0 and a regular 5.5 in that particular case is huge. Way, way easier with the UL.
And when the wind is too light to even water start like that, uphauling an UL 5.0 is way easier than uphauling a regular 5.5.
Add the fact that with the shorter boom of a 5.0 I can be closer to the wave face and you'll understand how I now don't give a damn about that little extra power and upwind sailing ability that a 5.5 would give me.
Plus, in super light wind you don't use your harness that much. A lighter sail in your hands means so much less work.

Here's a video that (after a short introduction) shows mostly Jeff sailing an UL 4.7 in one those epic days we had in February.
When I showed it to Jeff, he went like:
"cool, who's that?"
"what you mean, it's you!"
"me? And when was that?"
"what you mean, it was that epic day, you forgot?"
"that day?!? You got to be kidding me! The waves look so much smaller than they were!!!"

Unfortunately that's what it is... the waves look smaller, but... da hell, at least it's something... Enjoy it! Ah, and if you want to see a better definition version, it's also on the Hot Sails Maui video section. Check it out, so that you'll have an idea of the quality degradation introduced by youtube...

If we're talking sailmakers that are trying to do something new/extraordinary/out of the box... the other ones will excuse me, but I put Jeff on top of my list.

Allright, what else.
Extremely strong and gusty wind continue here in Maui. Here's a forecast I read on surfline: Going into the longer range, the NPAC looks to take an extended break with high pressure asserting its dominance over the region. This will set up both breezy trades in the next few days and prevent any major storms/swells from taking place.
If I wasn't conscious of how lucky I am to live in Maui, I'd be depressed now...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Mikey Dread

After Lucky Dube, another of my favorite reggae artists died.

Here is Mikey Dread's most famous song. I heard this song hundreds of times, but those trumpets at the end always give me the shivers...

And here's a biography I found on a forum.

Radio disc jock Mikey Dread is dead. He succumbed to a brain tumour late yesterday afternoon at his family home in Connecticut, USA at the age of 54. Born Michael Campbell in Port Antonio, Jamaica, he distinguished himself as an extraordinary studio engineer and presenter at the now defunct Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) where he came to prominence in the 1970s as "The Dread-the-Control Tower", the name of the late night show he presented at a time when reggae music was scoffed at by many.
Mikey Dread... hailed as one of reggae's greatest innovators One of reggae's greatest innovators and original radio engineers/technicians, the past student of Titchfield High School, in
2006 celebrated the 30th anniversary of the night programme which he started at the JBC, and revolutionised the after midnight shift making it into the most popular slot on radio, by playing strictly dub music. This innovation is seen by many musicologists as the antecedence of dancehall as we now know it.
Upon leaving the JBC, Mikey Dread ventured into recording and scored with a number of releases such as Weatherman Skanking in combination with Ray I, Barber Saloon, Love the Dread, as well as albums such as Dread at the Control, Evolutionary Rockers and World War III. Over time he attracted the attention of British punk rockers, The Clash, who invited him to produce some of their music, the most famous of which is their single Bankrobber, and contributed to several songs on their 1980 album, Sandinista. Mikey Dread also toured with The Clash across Britain, wider Europe and the US.
He also worked closely with producer Trevor Elliot to launch musical career of singer Edi Fitzroy, who was then an accountant at the JBC. As the news of his passing surfaced yesterday, the Sunday Observer got comments from a number of persons in the media and the music fraternity, all of whom hailed Mikey Dread as a significant contributor to the development of Jamaican music. "His (Mikey Dread's) work, is not only national or regional, but also international," former JBC's journalist Leslie Miles noted. "It spanned the world scene and made Mikey a pioneer broadcaster for playing dub music, and also redefined aspects of radio, especially night time radio" Miles, who is now head of news at Bess FM, also spoke of the struggle Mikey Dread faced at the conservative JBC. Music consultant Colin Leslie pointed out that the consequence of the "fight" he received from the management was putting him on at night, but that backfired.
"Remember he is a Portlander, so I always appreciated the fact that we shared the same alma mater (Titchfield High School), that is something I've always cherished and I hold him in high esteem. Although he was ahead of my era, he was somebody who laid an awesome foundation and was very unique and highly respected," was how Richard "Richie B" Burgess of Hot 102, remembered Mikey Dread.
"We were at JBC together, and in those days when he started at the JBC dreads weren't popular on the air. The powers that be in management really gave him a fight," Ali McNab told the Sunday Observer.
"Michael Campbell, is someone who revolutionised radio in Jamaica when there was still an anti-Jamaican sentiment regarding music and culture. In terms of the emerging dancehall, it was Mikey Dread who popularised it on radio. Although it was late night, he still managed to popularise dancehall music and bring it to the masses," was the perspective of Dennis Howard who also worked on JBC Radio, in the post-Mikey Dread era.
And Irie FM's disc jockey, GT Taylor hailed the late Mikey Dread as a role model. "Reggae music in Jamaica, owes a lot that that brother. He was one man who stood up for reggae in the early '70s, bringing the music to the forefront. He is one of my inspirations."
Veteran singer Freddie McGregor attested to the fact that "Mikey Dread was one of the persons fighting the struggle for reggae music. Mikey and I did a lot of shows together over the years. A wonderful brethren".

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Levi and Jake

While horrible, gusty, strong wind continues, the really good guys seem to be able to make the most of it.

Clearly, I'm not one of them. My one hour session at Hookipa today was ranked one sad star... and my body is all sore from three days of this kind of sailing.
I may well take a day off tomorrow... well, at least the morning, since Juventus-Napoli will be live at 9.30am on Fox Soccer Channel!

Anyway, lots of good sailors out today, but for some reasons the only decent pics I got are of Levi Siver and Jake 'the snake' Miller. Both just got back from Cabo Verde (where there's only one more day to eventually finish the double elimination) and both seem to be charging pretty hard. First and last pics is Jake, the others is Levi.
BTW, some of these photos were taken less than an hour ago... that's almost real time! Enjoy.

Friday, March 14, 2008

One more day of nuking wind

My 4.2 was big at times, but somehow I managed to have fun and ride a couple of really nice ones.
I was impressed by the intensity of some gusts on the outside. A wind with a strong personality Peter commented later in the day...
After sailing I took some pics at Hookipa and I saw both Robby Naish and Francisco Goya falling on a jibe on the inside... I believe they would agree with Peter...

Anyway, here's Robby flying high above everybody.

Here's Francisco digging a crevasse.

Marcelo goes for it.

Jesse Brown.

One of those young brazilians.

The argentinian goiter-er again.

Tomorrow is another day...

PS. Makani was there just before me, so look for more photos/videos on his blog.

From five stars to two

Thursday wasn't nearly as good as Wednesday.

The waves were a notch smaller (which was good), but the wind was just horrible: super strong and gusty.
A few sailors challenged Hookipa. This one looks like Maxi to me...

This other one in the mist could be Keith Taboul (I stopped five minutes on the lookout over Lanes... couldn't really tell).

I went for the sunset sesh at lowers, and rigged a 4.5 hoping the wind would drop, but as the graph clearly shows, it didn't and I was mostly overpowered.
The waves stayed kind of choppy and I didn't particularly enjoy it. I really don't like strong wind. From 20 to 35 mph... is that gusty or what?!

Unfortunately, that's what we're going to get in the next several days: strong and gusty east wind. Oh well, at least there will be some waves: a mix of NW swells (the weather map below is from this morning... that swell will hit around Monday) and building windswell.

In other words, we have some low quality (for my standards) wave sailing days ahead. In my personal scale of conditions, there's only one thing worse than that: flat.
Actually, there will be also some small south swells, maybe I'll go surf Lahaina instead.
So, not too bad, it could be worse... I'm not complaining, I'm just informing.

Life is great and I'm loving it!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

great sailing

Just received from Martino (these are his videos and these are his photo albums) some photos of Lowers that show today's conditions.

Together with a couple of friends I first sailed for the first time a secret spot where we scored a few mast high peeling gems.
But I had a board to try, so later I moved to the wave I like/know best on the planet. It was classic all time.

Tomorrow, more of the same. Life is good.

In the meantime, in Cabo Verde they're waiting for wind and waves. Here's the double elimination ladder up to date.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Maui stoke

This is a (long) photographic report of a day at the beach(es).

Let's start with the photo that I called: jurassic harness.
Actually, OPEN ocean surf gear is a pretty cool name for a brand that makes (or made) windsurfing accessories... but you just can't put the logo there, come on!
Or maybe they did it intentionally, in which case congrats for the humor!
Click on the photo and see what I mean...

Right, and now with the boom that high, the diaper, I mean the harness that low and the lines that short... how in the world are you going to hook in?! You need a ladder, brah!!

Oh well, the wind was super light anyway... so light that the waves at lower Kanaha were exclusively populated by standuppers... or should it be standlowers in this case?

For all the newbies of this sport, here's a document that explains the etiquette.
IMO, it should be printed by all the shops and given to the clients who rent or buy standup boards. It should also be printed on signs on all main surf breaks.

Let's move on to the next character. This is Alan, who once I heard saying:"here in Kanaha, I'm more famous for my napping than for my sailing!"... hysterical.
By the way, he really is, considering that he takes daily fat naps on his board bags under a tree.

Throwing sand on the beach with Dad's hat on MUST feel good.

Italian foot at ease in hawaiian slippah... very symbolic.

Mr. Cabrinha goes for a stroll.

And now let's move to Hookipa. Young kids were ripping at Pavils. This one is 13 at most.

Nice light.

The beach scene was more relaxed.

Well, can't really relax with things like this around...

Ops, she found a spot on her right leg!

Ops, she found another one on her left leg!

Beautiful sceneries...

...whales flapping tails...

...wild tropical birds...'s easy to understand why this guy is so stoked to be in vacation in Maui!