Thursday, December 29, 2011

this looks 10 times better than it was

Today I felt better, but not strong enough to get in the water.And that was a blessing, because the conditions weren't exactly my favorite...

As I state in the title, the photos can easily fool you. The waves were nice, but the wind was horribly strong, gusty and offshore. Nobody really sailed at their usual level. Even the very top sailors at times struggled... imagine what kind of embarassing performance I would have produced!

So I covered myself with shirt, sweatshirt and wind jacket and sat to take some pics.

Shot of the day goes to Levi, whose bottom turns are getting consistently mind blowing fast.

These are the other shots, in chronological order.

The Maui county decided to put a fence around the lifeguard tower and nobody is happy with that. They also replaced some piece of rusted guardrail and everybody is happy with that.

Bunch of Italian vacationers.

Francisco Porcella feeling it out under the faithful guard of his dog.

Not a good first wave for him.


Second major wipeout for Francisco. Told you it wasn't easy... but, very characteristically, he charged anyway.

Mark doing his thing.

Mr. Polakow showed up. He literally destroyed this wave. First top turn.

First bottom turn.

Second top turn. Notice the spray he threw when he changed his trajectory to get more vertical up the face.

Third top turn. Getting three turns in a day like today was no easy feature.

I had to leave at 1.30 to go to work, so that's all for today folks.
I feel like tomorrow I might be able to be back in the water.
Let's bloody hope so, shall we?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

sick day!

Unfortunately, not in the sense that I had a sick session (even though I heard Hookipa was pretty damn good in the afternoon), but in the sense that I really was sick today!

I choose to spend the whole day at home (not my favorite thing in life), hoping that tomorrow I'll be fine.

Why, what's happening tomorrow?

Well, with the NW buoy reading 9.4 feet, 16 seconds from 335 degrees at 4pm, a guy like me just can't afford to be sick... 'cause it's gonna be sick!!!

Here's the surfline graph still on its way up.

Unfortunately, the wind is forecasted to still be pretty strong, but that is all going to change soon. Winter is about to take a wintery turn ('bout time!) and we'll see some big NW swells with no or light wind.
This is the weather map forecasted for Tuesday January 2nd. The close proximity of the fetch associated with that deep low will generate a swell that will fall in the extra-large category.
That means: Jaws, Waimea and all the outer reefs.

In the end, for me those days are very seldom the best ones ('cause I don't surf the above breaks, I guess). And even though it might be difficult to find a place where to surf, I just like to watch the big waves, to feel their energy and to hear their sound at night...

I'm about to move from one studio to another on the same property in Kuau (the new owners wanted to rearrange things differently) with a significant rent increase, but what's the price of that...

Allright, more ginseng tea.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

christmas swell

As forecasted, Christmas day saw a beautiful 7 feet, 14 seconds NNW swell. Unfortunately, as forecasted, the howling wind made it very difficult to really enjoy it. I speak for myself, of course.

Even though I timed everything right (a very early session up the coast and a very late session down the coast), I had to give up too many beautiful big waves completely devastated by the chop/windswell to be truly satisfied. But it was a gorgeous sunny day after weeks of rain, so that felt very good.

Strong wind sucks. At least on this blog...

Here's the shots I took at Hookipa.
Mark performs a clew first aerial 360.

This time he's in the middle of a big set.

Shit, that's gear from the shop...

Not sure at all, but to me it seems an aerial kick out jibe. He's back foot (right) has already moved to the new position and he's jibing the sail. I could be wrong, but I seem to remember that he stuck it...

The aerial Nick Warmuth did off that lip was glorious. Unfortunately, I totally missed. Still getting used to the new camera. Still not liking it 100%.

Very impressed by Nick's performance.

Kai Lenny went out on an old asymmetrical board of his dad. Right click on the photo, open the photo in a new window/tab and you'll see the tail.

One wave was was all it took for him to figure out that board so radically different from nowadays boards. This is the bottom turn he did on his second wave.

Top turns were all pretty bad though. Good news: modern boards are better!

On his third wave he really started to look like Craig Maisonville...

Paolo has to work on his style, but good job being out there.


As usual, Zack Howard surfed well.

Polakow did a downwinder. He thought about catching a wave at Hookipa on his 14 footer, but he's too smart to do something so risky. I wonder if he regretted not going sailing. I think he would have liked it.

Nick going late again. Me shooting early again.

Lovely shoulders.

Patrick backloop at Lanes.

Quite impressed by Morgan too.

Lastly, here's a clip that shows how Jack miraculously escaped the rocks.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

oh my god, when is this shit going to end?!

Well, that's my very personal take on strong wind forecasts in Maui.

In other parts of the world, other windsurfers seem to get a little more excited than me with these kind of forecasts...
This video is a little gem by a really funny guy called Muzza.

Monday, December 12, 2011

the 2011 PBI video, Slater vs Florence, forecast, etc.

A rainy day was what it took for me to edit a little video of the 2011 Paia Bay Invitational. Enjoy.

The 2011 PBI was sponsored by the Paia Bay Cafe. If you haven't checked it out yet, you should, it's quite lovely. It's where the bead shop is, next to Puka Puka. Ocean side, just before you hit the traffic light when arriving to Paia from Kahului.
Photo by Joe Bergeron taken from this gallery.

From a prestigious surf contest to another: the Pipeline Masters.
These two guys didn't make it to the final, but they put up an amazing show in the quarter finals...

As I said, it has been raining a lot as this satellite IR shot shows. We're actually pretty close to the edge of that big rain, so if we get lucky we might see the sunshine again soon!

This is this morning's weather map. It shows a long fetch of wind that will provide us with yet another NW swell. More fetches like that throughout the whole week, so there should be no lack of waves.

Surfline's 5 day forecast. The green line is the NW swell. Shows up on Tuesday, then bigger Wednesday, and then bigger Thursday, and then bigger Friday...

A new buoy has been deployed off Pawuela Point in Maui. Here's the link for its readings.
The page provides many interesting ways of looking at the data, but they're not as easy to read as the breakdown in all the different swells that Surfline provides.
So I immediately sent them an email asking them to add the buoy to their website.
If you guys find something similar somewhere else, please let me know.

For today we mostly have a big easterly windswell on tap, so I guess I'm gonna try to tackle the infamous east facing break known as "the paddling treadmill" or "duck dive central"... wish me good luck!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

That is just amazing surfing

Just ran into this video and thought about posting it again.

bit smaller, but still kinda big

The wind went up and down with the squalls and so did the windsurfing action yesterday at Hookipa.

I didn't take too many photos, but here's a few.
This bottom turn from Levi looks unreal.

But as the last photo of the sequence shows, he actually caught the back knee in the water and blew it!

He quickly redeemed himself with this aerial.

Uncle Robby found some time to go sail.

Nat Gill probably sails once a week. Nonetheless he totally rips.

Also this year Matteo Spanu is the visiting italian that impressed me the most. Oh god, let's hope the other ones don't get offended now... they're so sensitive! :)

Quarter final heat between Kelly Slater and John John Florence is starting rght now at Pipeline, so... so long!

Kelly is out on a 5'6"!!!!!! You kidding me!!!!

Friday, December 09, 2011

big Hookipa

The big swell arrived and it sure wasn't disappointing.

The westerly direction made for sailable conditions at Hookipa, so after work and before my sunset session, I went to take some photos in a 45 minutes photo shoot. I shot from inside my car on the lookout at Lanes, because I was watching the Pipeline contest on my phone...

This is my favorite shot.
Looks like Francisco Goya's trademark bottom turn (notice the little fade in the trail), but I also love the color and smoothness of the waves.

Here are the other pics in chronological order.

Not sure who this is, but look at the wake of the board... that was a bumpy one!

A lot smoother face for Bernd.

Same wave, a few seconds later.
On another wave, Bernd did an amazing aerial that I missed. Jimmie got it, but he didn't put it up because he hopes to sell the shot to the magazines. Nonethelss, his gallery is worth checking out...

Oh, there we go! My friend Chico got a shot of it from the water level!
Check out his gallery (I guess you have to be friend with him to see it though...).

And here's another photo of the same aerial taken from Globalshots Vinnie Amato's gallery.

Congratulations Bernd, that was a magic aerial!
Wait, just found a video of that! Thanks Giora!

Uff... how was that?! Back to my shots now.
Mark Angulo attacking the lip of a over mast high wave...

... and catching some air.

This is KP on a much smaller final section of a wave. Great style, nonetheless.

And that's the price he had to pay to go all the way to the end section. He got stuck inside for a few minutes. Absolutely no bid deal for a guy like him. Lots of other people on the rocks, instead.


Gun Sail... not sure, but could be Nicola Spadea.

Honestly, the Hookipa show was better than the Pipeline one! But I just don't like to miss out on things...

Beautiful bottom turn. Looks like Browsinho.

In the meantime, Jaws was going off and a bunch of crazy surfers were paddling into it. This is Marcio Freire (who has been paddling into Jaws since at least 2008) in a photo taken by Mike Neal. Here's Mike's whole gallery.

More action today. The swell went down in size here in Maui. The buoys are still up and the direction didn't change much, so I'm gonna blame the decrease in the period for that. The longer the period, the more the waves can wrap around land points, islands, etc.
A clear example of that are tsunamis (periods in the order of minutes). Remember the one that hit after the earthquake in Chile a year ago? The direction of the waves was SE and the biggest waves were recorded at the Kahului harbor...

The Pipe contest is still on and John John Florence just won his round 3 heat with a total of 19.20 points. He looks unstoppable.