Friday, July 30, 2010

5 hours

This is the final version of this post.


I surfed a total of five hours today: 2h SUP, 1h shortboard, 2h longboard.

Thanks to my trusty gopro I got plenty clips and photos, but I'm so tired that I will only post a photo tonight. Plus if I get up early I may go surf again tomorrow morning...

This is me on my resuscitated best board ever 8.6 Rapoza. It had been in two pieces since last winter, but now I finally put it back together.

No, it's not the same board anymore. But if it got me in this kind of situation, it was definitely worth fixing.

Here's three clips that document the intensive use of all the three boards I had with me.
I started on the 7.4 SUP. What a fun board that is!

Here's session 2 on the shortboard. You can tell how I still ride a 6.6 too much like a longboard. Plenty improvement ahead. Cool!

And, after a lunch and ukulele playing break, here's session 3 on the longboard.

Now, compare the SUP clip to the longboard one. See how I use the paddle constantly on the wave? That HUGE advantage of having a prolongation of your arm to touch the water is teaching me to try to stay low and lean towards the water at every turn also on a regular board. In other words, SUP surfing is making my regular surfing better. It's also making me a weaker surfer though, since I don't exercise the lay down paddling muscles. That's why it's good to mix it up a bit.

AND, believe it or not, because of the characteristic of that wave that is a perfect match for my awesome 7.4 Starboard, the SUP one was by far the most fun session of the three. Now, that's something unusual for me!

So unusual that that little magic board (AKA the flying saucer) deserves a few photos of its own.
Going over waves is not the easiest thing in the world, but not as bad as you could imagine. Beautiful hawaiian background.
Women staring at my muscles: please don't come all over your keyboard.

Lil sequence of take off setup turn,

getting some speed down the line,

setting up the top turn.

You can even nose ride it.

This is one of the features I like best. To turn the board 180 degrees, all you have to do is an extremely wide (starting on the opposite side) stroke... voila'. 2 seconds later, at the end of the same stroke, the board is now turned towards the beach and ready to catch the incoming wave.

Loading the springs (read: legs) for a back side bottom turn. I was all inspired by Kai Lenny (who was in the lineup) and tried to imitate him... he's sooo good.
He was doing a MASSIVE use of the paddle, moving it at each turn on the inside of the turn. The quickest paddle switch I've ever seen. Looked sick!

The reason for this picture is to show why I regretted putting an off the shelf back foot pad. Those ones have a ridge in the middle. On a regular board, that feels good because it ends up under the arch of your foot. On a standup (way wider tail), you have to move your back foot so much that the ridge often ends up under the heel! Not too bad, but I may want to change it... the problem will be to find one without that ridge.

More on the back pad. For this board, this is a perfect position for small waves. Any place further back would slow down the board or make it bounce too much. Might be different for big waves, but my feeling is that this is a board for waves up to head high.

So far I've been riding it as a quad or as a 2+1.
As a quad is super loose and slashy, I like it up to waist high. For waist to shoulder high, I like it as a 2+1 with a 6 inches center fin and 4.5 side bites. For head high, I should try a bigger center fin (like 7.5), but I haven't done it yet. Better get one soon... bigger swell coming up!!!

Ok, one more photo. I started this post with a longboard photo and I'm going to end it with one from the day before.

Actually, now that I think about it, I'm going to end it with a photo that describes the equally important resting/ukulele playing mid day session. Thanks Chico for the photo and the caption that pretty much sums up what I feel about surfing these days.

Wow, it took me 4 days to complete this post.
In the meantime I caught an enormous amount of waves surfing every single day. After a rather slow start, this summer has picked up a notch and this week (I'm writing Tuesday morning) will see plenty more action, before going flat next week for a little while.

I'll see you guys in the water.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Surf Film Festival: my review.

During my recent short stay in Oahu, not only I surfed my ass off, but I also had the chance to watch a few movies of the awesome Surf Film Festival at the Honolulu Academy of Arts.
Here's a brief description of each one and my brief review.

Last Paradise: An Eco Adventure Film 45 years in the Making
Director: Clive Neeson
New Zealand, 2010, and mins.
• July 13 and 25 at 1, 4, and 7:30 p.m.
The son of wildlife photographers, New Zealand director Clive Neeson’s life was one big adventure. The film starts with his parents’ footage of his action-packed 1960s childhood then graduates to Neeson’s own footage—from vintage shots of surf spots Noosa Beach, Petacalco, Spain, Portugal and Bali to proto-wakeboarding and snowboarding. Over time, Neeson saw that his 45 years of records of good times, faraway places and adrenaline-pumping feats could tell a larger story. Neeson reveals how the journeys of a generation of adventurers shaped their lives, values and vocations, and how they paradoxically laid a foundation for eco-tourism. These early sports pioneers’ exploits were rarely captured on quality film footage and most of it was kept under wraps to avoid exposing the secret and fragile refuges—until now.

Mark: 10. Awesome movie with a great positive message about trying to reverse the mess we're doing. Great vintage footage of the pioneers of many different action sports. More of a documentary than a surf movie. Great soundtrack too. I loved this movie.

Director: Russ Brownley
Bangladesh, 2009, 33 mins.
• July 14 and 30 at 1, 4, and 7:30 p.m.
You’re invited to the Bangladesh Surf Club, which introduces a highly unconventional surfing method to more than 30 boys and girls, many of whom are poverty-stricken street kids. Due to a fearful, conservative culture, the ocean was once deemed off limits to these children, who now see surfing as a source of fun, escape, and even a way to make a living. The film follows professional surfer Kahana Kalama (a past guest star of Fuel TV’s series On Surfari) as he works with Hawaii-based nonprofit Surfing The Nations and learns that sometimes surfing involves more than catching waves.

Mark: 6. Enjoyable. Makes you appreciate that you are living in a place where you can actually watch a surf movie...

Fiberglass and Megapixels
Directors: Craig Hoffmann
Derek Hoffmann
USA, 2010, 48 mins.
• July 14 and 30 at 1, 4, and 7:30 p.m.
Every winter swarms of photographers come to Hawaii to focus their cameras on the best surfers in the world. The filmmakers shine light on the North Shore and the overcrowded image-gathering free-for-all winter surfing scene. The surfing industry relies on these awe-inspiring photos to sell surfing to the masses. But before those images can capture the attention of consumers, they first must be captured on camera. Professional surfers, photographers, and cinematographers share their perspective on what it takes and what it means to get that epic shot. This film has won awards at top national surf film festivals and was a hit at HIFF.

Mark: 8. Pretty damn good photography. Shows how some crazy good shots have been taken and gives an interesting view on the world of professional surfing (makes you want NOT to be a professional surfer). Once you have a sponsor, you're not free anymore.
PS. That's why I like my only sponsor Hot Sails Maui. Never one single time I didn't feel free to do whatever I wanted. Thanks Jeff!!!

Hanging Five: Five surfers—five artists
Director: Christopher Cutri
USA, 2009, 53 mins.
• July 15 and 24 at 1, 4, and 7:30 p.m.
This upbeat, joyful film focuses on five contemporary artists who also ride longboards: Andy Davis, Tyler Warren, Julie Goldsetein, Alex Knost, and Wolfgang Bloch. The artists distinguish themselves as artists who surf, but their artwork is inextricably linked to what inspires them—the power of the ocean and the energy and exhilaration of surfing.

Mark: 3. Even though most of these artists have interesting things to say, the movie lacks decent surfing action and gets boring way before the end.

Directors: Mike Stewart and Scott Carter
USA, 2008, 48 mins.
• July 15 and 24 at 1, 4, and 7:30 p.m.
Nine-time World Bodyboarding champion Mike Stewart has built a reputation as a top international waterman, dominating professional bodysurfing and bodyboarding events for more than two decades. Besides being a Pipeline icon, Stewart is one of the elite pioneers of deep tube riding at Tahiti’s infamous Teahupoo. This film is the culmination of his life’s journey as a wave rider, featuring incredible footage shot of and by Stewart.

Mark: 1. Without lacking respect to body boarding, I'm not attracted to it. What I like about surfing is the dance that the body does in order to achieve turns and maneuvers, an element that is extremely reduced in body boarding. I left as soon as I realized there was going to be no surfing...

Director: Joel Conroy
Hawaii, California, Ireland, 2010, 75 mins.
• July 16 and 17 at 1, 4, and 7:30 p.m.
Featuring such internationally renowned surfers as world champion Kelly Slater, Kevin Naughton, and the Malloy brothers, Waveriders explores surfing’s legendary Irish roots. This remarkable, awe-inspiring film begins with the heroic tale of visionary Hawaiian-Irish waterman George Freeth, and travels from Hawaii to Southern California to the striking cliffs of Ireland. With must-see footage, this film reaches a thrilling climax when today’s most daring surfers, wearing extra heavy wetsuits, booties, gloves, and headgear conquer the biggest swell—waves reaching more then 50 feet in height—ever ridden in Ireland. Surfer Magazine writes that Waveriders is “a gripping and artful story.”

Mark: 6. A bit too much talking about the life of Freeth. It was going to be a much poorer mark, but two final sections, one with Kelly Slater and one with the Malloy brothers being towed into some heavy, mean, big waves made it worth it. Sure makes me look forward to my October trip to Ireland!


So, the tight schedule of my trip was pretty much this:
- surf two hours in the morning
- eat lunch and eventually nap
- surf two hours in the afternoon
- eat dinner
- go see two hours of surf movie...

That's how much I love surfing these days.

My buddy Paolo just sent me this shot from last winter. It was my birthday (I'm the one in the back) and we were surfing some really fun waves at Lanes in a completely windless day.
I was testing a 6.6 from the shop and that thing was very fast. I remember I had a blast. And Paolino too. Click on the photo... can you tell?

And the day before we sailed these kind of offshore conditions.

God, what an unbelievable winter that was. Had I broken my foot at the beginning of it, it would have been a major catastrophe!!!
I would have missed plenty epic sessions like this...

Allright, looks like south shores are already coming to some kind of life, so I better stop dreaming about last winter and go to sleep in order to try to get as much surf as I can... now!

Monday, July 26, 2010

the 2010 Molokai Oahu

Just received this press release.

HONOLULU (July 25, 2010) -- Australian Jamie Mitchell, 33, claimed an unprecedented ninth Molokai-2-Oahu World Paddleboard title in Hawaii today, completing the 32-mile distance just four minutes outside of his own record in a time of 4 hours, 52 minutes and 45 seconds. His record of 4:48:23, set in 2007, stands for another year. Mitchell attributed today's convincing win to experience in Hawaiian waters that allowed him to overcome an uncooperative ocean of disorganized swells. And if Mitchell is the 'King of Paddleboard', then Hawaii's Kanesa Duncan-Seraphin, 34, is the 'Queen', claiming her 8th Molokai-2-Oahu title in a time of 6:02:45 - less than 10 minutes shy of the record she set in 2004.

Above: Jamie Mitchell. Credit: Bernie Baker.

In the men's division, it was 1-2-3 for Australia with Jackson English, (5:07:54) in second, and Joel Mason (5:15:42) in third. Fourth-placed Mikey Cote was the top placing Hawaii paddler (5:15:42). Beyond the finish line, Mitchell and English were paddling today to raise funds for SurfAid International. Their impressive 1-2 finish will likely see them surpass their $10,000 target.

"You had to really work for everything you got out there," said Mitchell. "The wind seemed a little more out of the north, meaning a lot of of disorganization out there so you had to really work through the bumps.

"There was no real current, but the wind and the swell just made it hard. It was definitely not the hardest one I've done, but it wasn't the best one, either, maybe 6 out of 10."

Duncan-Seraphin was perhaps a little more forgiving: "It was a fairly fast course, but it was technical. The bumps were very close together and you really had to stay focused. I love this race and this was my 10th (year doing it). I'm just stoked to finish. I felt like I had a great race today. This was one of my top 3 performances."

Victory in the stand-up paddle (SUP) men's and women's divisions went to Maui's Dave Kalama (4:54:15) and Andrea Moller (6:00:00), both setting records for their respective divisions. Stand-up paddlers can be faster across the channel than the traditional paddleboarders, as standing upright with the wind at your back, and using a paddle can be of assistance. Kalama was roughly two minutes behind Mitchell, and Moller was two minutes faster than Duncan-Seraphin. Today's rough surface conditions were a particular test of balance for the SUP contestants.

Above: Andrea Moller Credit: Bernie Baker

"There are a lot of really good sprinters, but I'm not one of them, so the windy races are what I train for and that's what I'm built for," said Kalama. "I'm really happy I won. Last year was really frustrating and to comeback and win it means everything."

Above: Dave Kalama (L) & Jamie Mitchell (R)

Renowned as one of the most treacherous bodies of water in the world, the Molokai Channel upheld its reputation today dishing out either high times or heartbreak. One hundred and fifty paddlers started out today, eight did not officially finish. Among the eight were 2009 runner-up Brian Rocheleau (Hawaii), who was forced to withdraw part-way through the race due to severe illness. Mark Matheson (Hawaii), the only paraplegic to ever undertake the famous Molokai Channel crossing, found himself on a sure course to finish today, but lost his mandatory escort boat to engine failure with 10 miles remaining and was forced to call it a day. Kauai's Ann Hettinger, 52 and the oldest woman to SUP solo across the channel, had to withdraw after 11 miles when the steering rudder on her paddleboard failed.

But like every channel swell, every trough has a peak, and it was high times for many paddlers who accomplished personal bests today. Among them were 12-year-old Riggs Napoleon (Hawaii, 7:10:30), the youngest person to ever cross the Molokai channel on any unmotorized watercraft; and Jeff Denholm (California, 7:49:10), an inspirational athlete who designs his own prosthetics and then puts them to the ultimate stress tests in a variety of sports. Denholm, 43, lost an arm to an accident on a fishing boat off the coast of Alaska more than a decade ago, but never allowed it to undermine his athletically driven lifestyle. He crossed the Molokai Channel last year in spite of his prosthetic glue giving out on him. Today he posted a personal best of 7:49:10 and vowed to return even faster in 2011.

"I jumped up to an 18-footer today and I wrestled it the whole way and had a hard time, but the arm was a bomber!" said Denholm. "So just one more piece of the puzzle: if I can figure out a board that matches what I can do then I'll be faster. It was humbling as usual. My arm worked great, the crew was strong, but I just got on a board that I couldn't handle. I was paddling sideways the whole time. I was more sideways then I was straight! But I'll be back."

(Full list of official results not available at time of issue)
Men's Traditional Paddleboard.
1st. Jamie Mitchell (Australia) - 4:52:45
2nd. Jackson English (Australia) - 5:07:54
3rd. Joel Mason (Australia) - 5:15:42
4th. Mikey Cote (Hawaii) - 5:17:56
Women's Traditional Paddleboard:
1st. Kanesa Duncan-Seraphin (Hawaii) - 6:02:45
Men's Stand-Up Paddleboard:
1st. Dave Kalama (Hawaii) - 4:54:15
Women's Stand-Up Paddleboard:
1st. Andrea Moller (Hawaii) - 6:00:00


Good job Dave, Andrea and specially Jeff!!!

While those guys were paddling their arses off in the middle of a rough channel, I did a rather relaxing 45 minutes downwinder from Kuau to Kanaha. Plenty turtles, sunshine and a few little bumps to catch. Beautiful out there!

Lil forecast: Thursday and Friday a new moderate south swell will be on the rise. After that I keep seeing favorable conditions on the south pacific weather maps, so I think there will be waves for most of next week.
I also saw a little fetch in the north pacific. That should bring a little NW swell towards the end of this week together with some strong trade winds and related windswell.
Damn, strong trade winds are the the best for surfing on the south shore, but it's Maui... can't have everything! Some wind/kite-surfers will be happy.

One last link. My friend Sierra is organizing a fund raiser for a school trip to Oahu of a some nursing students on Tuesday Aug 3rd at Flatbread.

$2 tickets will be sold for a raffle that includes prices like these:

PS. There was some kind of online live streaming even for the Molokai race, from the middle of the channel!
At this point, I'm pretty sure that windsurfing contests will be the last ones to be decently broadcasted, probably just after Bocce tournaments...

Friday, July 23, 2010

the 2010 Naish Maliko-Kahului race

I know, this race was last Sunday and in two days there will be already another race (the way more important Molokai-Oahu), but I found the time to post this only now... hey, better late than never!

Sunday morning I went to Maliko with a 12.2 Starboard (it's a surfing SUP, not a race board... thanks Bart for the loan!) and 60 dollars in my pocket.

The weather was pretty gloomy with frequent squalls and light onshore wind.
"I'm not going to pay money to do something unhealthy!", I said to myself.
When the wind is not exactly on your back, in fact, on a board with no rudder you end up paddling on one side more than the other and that's not exactly the best thing for your body.

So I grabbed the camera and earned a good spot on the rocks to shoot the start. As you can tell from the photos, fortunately the sun came out just before the start. I was told that the first part of the race sucked, but then the wind picked up and it was fun.
Doesn't matter, because I left Maliko with the awesome feeling to have just earned 60 bucks without doing anything...

Here's a couple of shots of the start of the unlimited SUP division (prone paddleboarders had already started).

This is the start of the 12.6 no rudder SUP division. Mark Raaphorst and Zane Schweitzer syncronize their strokes on the right.

And on the left.

The 12.6 division approaches the exit of the bay. In front of them, the 14 foot division that started 3 minutes earlier. The guy on the right shows how bumpy the ocean can get.

Watch out the rocks!

SUP unlimited division winner Dave Kalama cathes one last little glide before hitting the shore in the Kahului harbor.
He was the first to get there, so they say he was the first overall, but that means absolutely nothing to me. All different categories had different starts, it's like comparing apples and oranges.

Livio Menelao was second right after Kalama.

Aussie Jamie Mitchell won the unlimited paddleboard category. This guy is a legend and even Dave Kalama pays him tribute on this post on his blog.

Kalama should be the Hawaii governor!

Andrea Moeller won the women unlimited SUP division.

Bart didn't win, but he lended me a board and so he gets a shot on the blog!

Here's where the volunteers were lining up the boards on the beach. I heard that the wind made one fly over the others causing some serious damage. Lesson for the competitors: go get your boards as soon as you cross the finish line!

And this is the real reason why I'm happy I didn't do the race. I would have not had enough energy to go surf afterwords, like I did instead.

This photo is a bit deceiving, since the conditions weren't as good as it looks (the offshore wind was just a bit too strong), but I sure had fun. More fun than on a downwinder, that's for sure!

Allright, full results of the race here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'm either dreaming or dead (and this is heaven)

Here's the description of the situation that led me to think that today.

On a secluded beach of Maui, five gorgeous sexy women were begging me:"Giampaolo, you have to tell us how you like us, what you want us to do! Put your hands on our bodies and move them the way you like it best!".

May my balls drop to the floor if I'm talking bullshit.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

A few quick updates

The ASP contest at Jeffrey's bay started in perfect conditions... what a wave that is!
All the heats of round one available on demand here.

This is Kelly's heat. Check the 360 in his second wave...

Connor Baxter and Andrea Moeller won the Maui Molokai SUP paddling race last Sunday. Congrats to both.

Next race is a Maliko - Kahului on Sunday and that is going to be packed.

The weekend after that, the big one: the Molokai - Oahu. Jeff Denholm will compete again... still with one arm only.

And Mark Matheson will compete too, without the use of his legs. In my book, these guys have won already.

New edition of the Windsurfer International, with an interesting article about a new fin system.

Lastly, from Surfline:
What seems like the endless run of moderate but fun southerly swells continues today for southern shorelines. Most locations have some great waves in the waist to chest high range with larger sets in the shoulder high+ range at channel entrances. The Kilo Nalu buoy has consistent readings of 2.5 feet @ 14.8 watch for this swell to remain steady throughout the day. Increasing tradewinds winds will provide typical offshore conditions for town shorelines.

My arms are about to fall.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

the road between heaven and hell

That's what Kalakaua Avenue is.

On one side, the most perfect example of how our species has deviated from its natural path. An astounding Babilonia of make-up, nail polish, high heels, trendy boutiques, electronics, artificial foods, colors, smells. Everything on this side is about look and money and is man made. Even the occasional bird doesn't look too natural when hopping on concrete.

On the other side, the most perfect example of gorgeous untouched nature. Waikiki and its beautiful, gently rolling waves.

Like a small magnet between different polarity magnetic fields, my spirit is repelled by one side and attracted by the other.
Ironically, my favorite way of immersing myself into the nature is by the means of a very artificial man built object. That's why, maybe, this time I bought one that looks pretty and has the green color in it...

Well, not really... they had two 7.6, but the one with the airbrush had Future fins, so I dropped the extra cash for the sake of testing (at the shop, we have plenty of those fins to demo...).

7.6x21 1/2x2 3/4... a bit on the thick side for my taste.
I know that the glide offered by long water lines can't be replaced by thickness, but I wanted something that would get in almost as early as a longboard yet a lot looser... we'll see how that goes. Right now I'm waiting for the right tide and time (working people, go to work!) and then... Publics, here I come.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My favorite pieces of art

If someone visited me when I was in Naples and asked me to show him my favorite piece of art, I would take him to see the Cristo Velato.
Yes, that's marble.

If someone visited me when I was in Rome and asked me to show him my favorite piece of art, I would take him to see the amazing statue collection at the Galleria Borghese museum.
My favorite is Pluto and Proserpina.

Here's a detail. Yes, that's still marble.

If someone visits me in Maui in the next couple of months and asks me to show him my favorite piece of art, I would take him to see Francky's photo exhibition at the Green Banana Cafe in Paia.
This Honolua Bay surfer is my favorite.

I was all mesmerized staring at it in awe when I saw a little detail that made me go:"no way!". Let's see who sees that first.
All the prints are for sale and I'm seriously thinking about getting a couple.
This one is my second favorite (you have to see the print!!!).

This was many people's favorite.

I hope that Levi gets this one for his place.

Allright, topic change.
Good luck to all the participants of the Maui Molokai race that are paddling their asses off as I type.
I've been doing some Maliko-Harbor runs and honestly all that hard word got in the way of the fun. I don't really know if I'm cut for this racing business...

Yesterday, instead, I lucked out into 30 minutes of glassiness (in between wind cycles) with the right tide at thousand peaks and those 5 waves I caught were super fun.
In the afternoon I even went windsurfing, almost 3 months and a half after my foot injury! Planing with no footstraps on my 80l was a bit tricky and I couldn't really do much on those windswell waves at uppers. Footstraps don't feel good yet, so I guess I'll stick to surfing.

I'm caressing the idea of going to Oahu this coming week, let's see if I can get a schedule re-arrangement at work.
Uncle Pat predicts two feet at the buoy all week with light trades and that makes for super fun waist to head high conditions all day long at Waikiki...
Needless to say, I'll keep you guys posted.

BTW, Victor Fernandez won the PWA wave contest in Pozo. This is the video of the final day. Impressive sailing by him and by Philip Koster who this year came second.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

never a dull moment

In case you were wondering if the lack of updates was due to lack of things to post or boredom, here's a hell lot of stuff that I just didn't have the time to post.

"Never look down on the board!", I used to tell my surfing students...

These gopro photos were taken on 6 24 (the same day of the those Oahu photos of last post) on the south shore. Funny how the wide angle makes the big waves look small and the small ones (they were waist to chest high) look big!
Unfortunately, I keep having a major droplets problem. I tried many photographer tricks, but none worked, since the screen of a water housing is flat and lets the drops run easier than the very convex screen of the gopro.

Fortunately, I didn't have any droplet problem for the photos I took during the short walk on the beach between surf spots. My stalking has gone to another level.

It was the first time I used the gopro on a shortboard. That was when I found out that kicking with my feet when paddling for a wave is bad for my foot.
As a consequence of that, I'm trying to put together my broken 8.6. Unfortunately, the way it broke made the two halves not match at all and I tried filling the gap with some pour resin. Kind of got the rocker straight, but the pressure of the expanding foam made the two pieces end up not in line.
Tried this (went up to three bricks) for a few days, but it's not moving.

Plan B will be to cut three inches of the board around the break and try to stick together the two parts... I'm going to have an 8.3!
Since I'm not too confident about the result, I'm also planning on going to Oahu and getting myself one of those Tanaka mini longboards from the Town&Country factory.
7.2, 7.4, 7.6, 8.0... they all look pretty good to me.

In the meantime, I filled a hole in my SUP quiver. After I sold the Sea Lion, I was missing a short board for summer time waves. Looks like I found it...

Lately, I've been lazily trying to understand if the Canon 20D I bought on eBay is a keeper or not.
I'm not a photographer, so pretty much I don't know how to use it. But the other day I met Francky, who is an awesome photographer and does know how to use it. He took a couple of photos focusing on the mailbox of this house and I did the same with my old, cheap and trusty point and shoot Sony.

Here's the shots and here's what I sent via email to a bunch of friends that are helping me figuring out this atrocious dilemma...

I'm attaching a couple of those photos we took the other day.
Don't even know how to download the raw files (the sw didn't see them), but it's a jpg at the highest quality. Res is 3504x2336, file size is 3.8 MB. I cropped the Sony shot to have similar frames. The Sony shot is 1094x818, file size 329 KB!!!

Sure, the Sony shot looks over exposed and kinda bleached (can't see the tiles on the white wall... that's something that I can try to fix in future shots), but it also looks way sharper!
We were both focusing on the mail box, but even that is sharper in the Sony shot.
The Sony shot is taken at f3.5 and that should give it a narrower depth of field (compared to the canon shot taken at f6.3), nonetheless everything looks more in focus in it (I don't even know if that's a good thing or not).

I'm really perplexed...



FYI: Francky is doing an exhibit at the Green Banana cafe in Paia. The opening party is Friday 9th at 7pm. Can't wait to see the photos he selected.

Also, my buddy Chris sent me this email:
I would love it if you could give a shout out on your blog to my summer project which was initially inspired by your Oahu trip last year. Branded 60 Days of Summer. The aim of the 60 Days of Summer project is a simple one; to show that there is far more to Hawaii than winter surf and that with the right attitude, the right equipment and enough time you can find waves, wind, surf, freestyle, slalom, SUP, skate, kite, hike, bike, you get the idea, tons of action and have a whole lot of fun too – after all isn’t that what it’s all about?

Check how Chris does on his blog. My guess is that he's going to have a blast, also because it looks like he's going to get lucky right away!
In fact, I just saw on the weather maps a pretty deep storm that will send an overhead NW swell by Sunday/Monday.
This map is forecast to happen Thursday... not a bad fetch for summer time.

This south Pacific one instead is forecasted for Friday 9th. And that means that the weekend after that will see waves on the south shore. How come south swells always happen on weekends?

I saw this great gopro video on Fabrice Beaux and Rob Stelhik in Oahu.
I like the way they hold the paddle while filming.

And I saw this on Facebook.
Congrats to Bruno Andre for pushing the limits. My only hope is that whoever will feel like trying that, will do so in an absolutely deserted lineup. That's one board you don't want to be run over by!

FOIL STAND UP PADDLE from Surfsailing Team on Vimeo.

SUP Downwind racing season is about to peak. This sunday July 11 there's a Maui Molokai race, then July 18th the Naish Maliko Kahului and after that the Molokai Oahu.
If the wind will be forecasted to be strong, I may enter the Naish race with my 50 pounds, six years old 12.6 and wooden paddle and show them all the effort they put into making more technologically advanced gear was... worth it!

Last, but not least, I'd like to thank Dave Kalama for this inspiring post on his blog. After I read it, I stopped using the bus to go to the launching spot for my downwinders. Now I do that on the bike. If the wind is strong is not exactly a piece of cake on my old shitty bike, but sure it's a hell lot easier than paddling for five hours against the wind from the harbor to just past Peahi... you got to be kidding me!!!!

Thanks Dave. With the first five bucks I'm going to save on bus tickets, I'll buy you a beer.