What a day!
To summarize today's conditions I could just report Josh Stone's comment while exiting the water with his proverbially beautiful smile.
"Man, that was some fun windsurfing!"... he was visibly stoked.
Instead, I will also add the usual bunch of pics and words. You guys lucky...
The photo of the day goes to a nice bottom turn by Keith Teboul.
Here's the other ones in chronological order.
Andres rescued my gear from the rocks (see session report at the end of this post), so I wanted to thank him with some nice shots.
Not a difficult task, since he's a damn good sailor (and a hell of a guy).
This move has always fascinated me (carving 360 on a wave and backwind wave ride with the feet in the footstraps... anyone knows if it has a name?). Robby and Sean Ordonez are the ones that do it best (Robby with more power, Sean with more style). Last week, when the waves were smaller, I finally pulled one out. I'm overly stoked to be now able to do something that a few years ago seemed like impossible to me. Now I have to do it on a big wave...
Philippe is sailing great.
Nico is famous for his backloops, but he also has a great timing for the aerials.
Sweet table top by Andres.
Robby, late phase of a push loop.
KP, taka on the lip.
Robby, early phase of a front loop.
My sessions report.
When I got to Hookipa around 2, it wasn't as big as I thought. Not mast high for sure (maybe the occasional freak set). Still solid head to logo high, but nicely spaced out and with occasional lulls. Despite the strong wind there were some smooth sections, specially the last bowl right in front of the rocks.
"Damn", I thought. "That looks really fun! I might have to go sail that!"
So I did and everything was going great. I was sailing smart and safe and was having a blast. Until I met a tempting head high section that was perfect for an aerial.
"Da hell, I'll go for it, otherwise when am I going to learn?"
On a smaller day, that's when I'm going to learn, dammit!
Clearly I didn't land the aerial and clearly the next 4-5 waves pushed me right on the rocks. No cuts, no dings: stoked!
Plus, I got the first point of the season. The guys at Kuau every year have the Kuau Cup to celebrate the sailor that doesn't sail back to the launching point most times in that season.
Inspired by them, this year I'm going to start the Hookipa Rockstar Contest. From this swell to the end of the season (we'll see when that'll be), if you guys want to compete, please send me (email on the right column of this blog) the date of your day as a rockstar (that'll be when you go on the rocks). Photographic evidence would be appreciated (and eventually published).
I'll soon start publishing the ranking under the ads on the right column of this blog. I also just created a facebook group. It's completely open anyone can post rock updates, photos, videos. Post your rockstar day there and I'll update the rankings on this blog.
Please help me spread the word, tell all your friends, post it on your blog if you have one.
After the rocks, I sat to take photos for a while and after that, despite the fact that the swell was visibly starting to drop, I went to Kanaha for a mellow sunset session.
A bit too windy for my taste, but waist to head high waves made for a fun sesh. After you've sailed Hookipa for a while, riding the waves at Lowers feels like a piece of cake. So much fun to finally aim for that lip without any fear at all. I stayed out till 7 and I was missing a couple of sunset regulars that are temporarily off island: Glenn and Juan. I dedicate this post to them, hoping to see both of them soon again on those waves.
Here's my tomorrow's plan (Tuesday):
- (try to) wake up early.
- do laundry
- finish packing and boxing everything in my studio
- move from studio A to studio B on the same property
- clean up studio A
- set up studio B
- pack for the italy trip
- pick up the person who is going to subrent my new studio when I'm away (3pm at the airport)
- go back home, show him everything, empty the car from all my gear (he's going to use my car too), take a shower and go to the airport again to catch a 6.40pm flight to start the LOOONG trip to Italy.
Do you guys think I will be able to squeeze in a sailing session? I almost hope that the waves will be gone, not to be tempted... but I know that they will be smaller, but still there. We'll see.
Any which way, I'm not too worried because - I swear to god - I just received this text from my buddy Nino in Rome:
"I guess you must already have a boarding card, since the wave forecast looks pretty good over here in this coming week..."
No way, I can't be that lucky! Oh well, I went to check and looks like I can...
This map shows the wave height and direction for Sunday September 6th. That's clearly a strong Mistral (NW wind) episode. My luck goes beyond human comprehension. I'm speechless.
PS. Check this out. Thanks Patrick for the link.