Thursday, July 30, 2009

Oahu wrap up

I'm back in Maui and this is the last post about the Oahu trip.

As you guys know already, it has been an awesome trip. I was incredibly lucky and scored great conditions pretty much every day. I only remember a stretch of like three-four days when the waves were only knee to waist high, but even that was fun, because I could finally surf an uncrowded Ala Moana Bowls (that otherwise is pretty much off limits).

A local guy told me that to remember a summer as good as this one he had to go back to 1995. "That's when the waves were breaking on Kalakaua" (the Waikiki boulevard), he said...

This is the spreadsheet with all the stats of the 1050 waves that I caught. Click on it to read it. DH stands for Diamond Head and DS for Da Spot.

600 windsurfing waves vs 450 surfing ones. That's a bit of a surprise, considering that I went there mostly for surfing.
The thing is that I knew how good the surfing spots were, but I had no idea of how good Da Spot was. It definitely exceeded my expectations. Thank god, because if Diamond Head was the only sailing spot, I would have not sailed AT ALL.

My favorite surf spot, instead, was for sure Publics. But only in the morning, since in the afternoon, when good, it can get up to 50 people...
China Walls is a way higher adrenaline wave, but adrenaline is not everything and Publics is a more playful wave.
Plus I got it on a couple of epic days and those waves were of a beauty that I really can't even try to describe. Unique shape and movement, I don't know what was about it, but I really digged it. The only place I know where it can be double overhead and slow, clean and mellow, that's what it was.
Even Kanaha gets challenging at that size (the bowl starts closing out), instead the waves at Publics can get big, but they still keep the typical Waikiki character of easy mellow surfing. Awesome and incredibly fun.

A few considerations about life outside of the water.
Bad aspects: traffic, parking.
Good aspects: there's less racism and hostility towards white people. Maybe it's because there so many people from different places (lots of Chinese, Japanese, Philipino and tourists from all over the world), but I was treated by the locals like one of them (i.e. a human being). And that was refreshing.
Unfortunately, in Maui there's still a lot of hostility towards the whites. In Oahu I didn't hear one time the word 'haole', usually preceded by the work 'fucking'. Hey, even Wikipedia says so:
In current application, Haole can be used descriptively or as a racially derogatory word (often, if not generally, preceded by an obscene invective

I met some really great people.
The windsurfing community is just a delightful bunch of great guys and they welcomed me in with joy and love... once they saw I wasn't snaking waves! I feel sorry for them knowing that the August crew will not behave as good and they will see their beautiful waves crowded by unrespectful tourists (some of them, unfortunately from my home country...).
Guys, it was a pleasure to meet you all.
Special thanks go to Fabrice Beaux who lended me a mast for the last couple of days.
Here's a great video of him I found on youtube. The wave sailing part is entirely filmed at Da Spot (from the raft: very cool!).

And here's a link to an SUP video he just sent me.
Many thanks also to Scott for showing me places and for the dinner parties.

More about the Oahu-Maui comparison. Maui is definitely more "provincial" so to say. If on one hand it's nice to go to Kanaha and have to stop every 10 yards to shake hands with someone that says "welcome back" (fortunately most of them followed the blog so I didn't have to tell them how it was, otherwise I would have never made it to the water), I kind of liked going out in Waikiki and entering a pub knowing that nobody would know me and that I would know nobody. Variety is a spice of life and Honolulu clearly offers more of that than Paia...

Friday morning and the start of a new south swell. Ala Moana is already head high and there's not even a shore break in Kihei. Uff, this weekend is going to be hard not to miss Oahu. Well, looks like after this swell the south shore is going flat for a while, so that should help.

This post concludes the blog coverage of my Oahu trip (all posts can be retrieved by clicking on the "oahu" label). I hope you guys enjoyed it. Aloha.


Windwiner said...

Awesome, bring on Da Movie!

tormod said...

Impressive wave statistics GP! It has been cool to follow your Oahu reports!

John said...

Hey Giampaolo,
It was great meeting you. You were a definite plus to our small group at "Da Spot". I wish all visitors who come here could show your sense of Aloha. The crowd during August at least makes us appreciate the good vibe we get to enjoy the rest of the year! Hope to see you on the water in Maui!