First, I'd like to spend a few words on the webcast of the Eddie Aikau that went on yesterday.
Despite the fact that they were not as well organized as when the event is setup by the ASP, thanks to the amazing display put up by the competitors it was hands down the best live webcast I have ever seen (and I've seen a bunch).
Yesterday, I strategically made sure to be off (actually I strategically made sure to be off the last three days) and I tuned into it first thing in the morning. As soon as the first waves were ridden, I thought: what the hell am I doing here watching these big waves on the computer? There's big waves in Maui too and I should be out there riding them.
The webcast was on channel 1250 of the cable and I asked a friend to record it, so that we could watch it later...
So I went to Kanaha and it looked big and gnarly. Nonetheless, I went out with the standup and was lucky enough to meet another fellow standupper who agreed that there was not much to ride out there (too big and closing out).
"Shall we go to the outer reef at Uppers?", I suggested.
"Sure, why not!"
It was like paddling from hell to paradise. Big, smooth, non intimidating (kinda) rollers. The most mellow double overhead wave you can think of.
Fortunately I was wearing the GoPro chesty mount that proofed to be perfect for SUP (it never got into the way of anything... wipeouts, diving under big waves, etc...).
Unfortunately, as usual, the videos don't really give a sense of the size of the waves when you catch them or ride them.
But this clip has an interesting moment in which John (the other guy) is in front of a wave I was trying to catch and you can see how down below he looks like. And that was a small one.
The videos do give a sense of the glassiness and peacefulness of the place, though.
Only the two of us. And a bunch of huge turtles.
After he broke his leash (and I rescued his board, that's why it's good to be two people when you surf outer reefs), we decided to go back in. I caught a right at the inside reef and this is the related clip. Again, that wave was well overhead and steep as hell, but unfortunately that doesn't really show. After the close out, I ride the white water for a while and then the wave reforms on the inside for a couple of fun turns. Total duration of the ride: one minute!
And I was going pretty much straight while riding the white water.
That should give you an idea of the great distance I covered. In other words, it should give you an idea of how wide the area where the waves were breaking was. Probably twice as big as it normally is.
I'd like to send my thanks to Jonathan, who came from Australia for a trip, bought a magic SUP board and sold it to me before leaving: a wonderful Kazuma 9.2x27.5. Still clearly a standup board, but the closest feel to a regular surfboard I've ever experienced.
Cheers Jonathan! And cheers Matt (the shaper)!
PS. There's still waves, but I think I'm not going to take any videos/photos today. I got so much stuff to edit and work on and no time to do it and it keeps adding up...