Wednesday, August 31, 2011

8 spots in 36 hours

That's how I honored the first two days of this majestic south swell (and the original title of this post was 7 spots... 'cause I forgot one!)

There's only three in this little video that I slapped together real quick, hope you guys will forgive me.

There's already tons of material online, but this photo of Kai Lenny in front of a glorious closeout deserves a steal...

Jimmie's gallery on FB.

Stay tuned, the swell is not over yet...

Monday, August 29, 2011

three sports day

Today I did:
- surfing in the early morning
- wave sailing in the afternoon
- SUP surfing at sunset.

Even for my high standards, it was a really good day. I even worked a five hours shift!
Tomorrow instead, I'm off and I'm quite excited. The forecast calls for the biggest south swell since I'm Maui (10 years).
I'm at the point where 25 seconds buoy readings get me excited more than a date with a hot girl... should I worry? Nah, it's all good. It's all really good!

At the same time, the best surfer in the world pulled off his 67th ASP win (out of 44 finals) and managed to get back to the top of the world rankings, despite his decision to skip Jeffrey's bay, because Fiji was firing.
If I was forced to swap lives with someone else, Slater would be the lucky one... :)

This is the heat analyzer of the final: (the link thing doesn't work tonight).
Watch the waves and then click on Kelly's interview and let it go till the end. The final 5 minutes of it are just amazing. Bruce's Irons wave looks unreal. I can't even imagine what seeing that from his eyes must be. And the wipeout...

Alarm is set at 4 o'clock. I have ambitious plans tomorrow. Goodnight.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Teahupoo craziness


Craziness 1: yesterday's tow session. Highlights below.

I would definitely also recommend to check out the single waves/wipeouts in the heat analyzer page.
The "extras" bottom line offers some amazing super slow motion replays shot with a camera capable of 1,000 frames per second.

And this is the Surfline photo coverage.

BUT, the real show is going on as I type. The monster swell went down in size, but there's still some serious bombs and they're running the contest.

In the first heat Matt Wilkinson scored a perfect 10. Right after it, Jadson Andre felt the urge to free fall drop in a massive wave. He stuck the drop, but didn't get deeply barreled, so he only got a 6.77. That's the kind of day it's going to be...

Slater coming up next in the webcast.

Can't watch it all day, 'cause at noon I got to go shoot some customers that hired me to make them a windsurfing video... but I'm not worried because I'll watch the heat analyzer tonight.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

waves, forecasts and archive photo

Let's see what I'm gonna post about today... how about waves and surfing?

Tahiti is on hold and in fact the webcast shows rough stormy surf.
But, if you were jonesing for live webcast, there's a wqs contest in Virginia Beach right now.
These guys better complete their contest before they get hit by Hurricane Irene. Which will definitely create some problems this weekend all along the east coast of USA from South Carolina up. Surfline discussion here. Good luck and be safe to everyone over there.

After that it will turn into a "regular" North Atlantic storm and create a big, long fecth of wind for the delight of the European surfers from Ireland down to France. Wish I was in Brandon Bay for that swell...

Well, not really. Maui's water is warmer and will see some fun waves too in the next few days.

In the meantime, Maui's north shore is finally seeing some kind of waves. I surfed Hookipa yesterday afternoon and this morning. Kinda crappy, but it was nice not to have to drive 30 minutes to go surf.

But the south shore will still be the primary place for surfing in the next coming days.

Even though the big Tahiti swell will miss us to the east, will still get plenty energy from the angular spreading of it. Surfline is calling for a 7-8 feet, 19 seconds on Wednesday, but Monday afternoon and Tuesday should be fun too. I try to never get too excited for a south swell, but it's going to be hard this time...

More waves. Big swell hit G-Land and here's Surfline's report. Wonder if Kai and Francisco got some of it...

What, a post with no photos? Mmm... let me look what I can find in the archive... How's this one?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Also geese surf

Buoy readings at 5am.
SE Hawaii buoy: 3.1ft @ 16s from S (182°)
West Lanai buoy: 2.2ft @ 17s from SSW (192°)
W Hawaii buoy: 2.8ft @ 15s
Barbers point buoy: 2.6ft @ 17s from S (190°)

Should be a fun day today... secret plan is not happening again, nonetheless I'll spend the whole day on the south shore.

Beautiful uncle Pat's forecast.
And that's the first little fetch of wind north of us oriented towards us that I've seen in at least three months.

In meteorology, that is technically called "the light at the end of the tunnel"...

PS. They're holding off the event in Tahiti, because slightly overhead is not spectacular/challenging enough for the best 32 surfers in the world. Hats off to contest director Luke Egan!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tahiti contest day 1 highlights

Yesterday, first day of the Tahiti contest and it was immediately a great show.

Below the highlights... how's those waves of CJ?

Let me also point out that they are now calling the heats on demand with the name of "heat analyzer". Check it out how cool this is. You can skip right to the waves, the interviews and everything that mattered during that heat.
They're getting close to perfection. Perfection would be a thing like that but with the additional option of not displaying the final result and the waves scores until they get ridden and displaying instead the score situation at any point in time.
In that way, if you don't know who won the heat or what happened, you can watch the condensed action without having any suspence or drama spoiled.
Mmm... maybe I should email them this?

Today they called a day off, even though it's still beautiful, because they know it's going to be bigger/better... Tomorrow they'll run for sure, so tune in

Not a single wave to ride instead here in Maui.

Friday, August 19, 2011

bit of a forecast

Usually towards the end of August Maui's north shore starts seeing some kind of swells from the North.

Not this year. August 5th was the last day with some decent waves and after that it was just flat.
Note: thigh high at Hookipa is considered (by me) flat.
From what I can see from the maps there won't be a decent wave breaking at Hookipa for at least 10 more days.

South shore instead keeps looking alright. Right now it's tiny, but there's another good Tuesday ahead and I'm off again. I didn't manage to go for the secret project last time, let's see if it happens this time.

And after that swell, it should be good again. This is the weather map scheduled to happen in a couple of days and that's the beautiful fetch that will generate that huge swell for Tahiti.

Surfline's forecast for Tahiti reflects that. I still think those days are going to be too big for the contest, but I've never been there, so what do I know...
It would be great if they would finish the contest by the 26 and after that everybody would still be there to tow into those monster caves of water. It would be probably the best documented big Teahupoo action ever, considering that all the media would be there and the best surfers in the world too...

The contest starts tomorrow and today at 10am there will be a live webcast of free surfing. The best surfers in the world tuning up with the heaviest wave in the world without the stress of having to post a good score. I'll watch it...
And timely enough Prince Faster has just finished an awesome live streaming program on radio rock.

God, I love the internet!

PS. Superlative (as usual) description of the Teahupoo mechanics by Sean Collins.
PPS. Just tuned in and watched Dusty Paine getting a sick stand up barrell... and today it's supposed to be 3 to 4! Commentators are saying that with that forecast, more than when to run, the contest organizers will have to decide when not to run!!!
OMG, Jadson Andre, barrel and screaming cutback... you can tell how much free-er (spelling?) these guys surf when they're not competing...
Wow, Dusty again! And CJ as deep as it gets...
This is great!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

ASP Tahiti contest coming up!

Well, I surfed 5 hours today, but I didn't get any wipeouts (nor barrels) like these... thank god!

Get your smart phones and computers ready... it's gonna be a big show! Forecast is good... very good. Check the 24-25 below... that might be too big to run a contest, but the days before and after will be spectacular.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

do you like barrels?

Even though I think they're overrated, I do like barrels.

Here's an amazing clip entirely shot with the GoPro.

Here's a long barrel by Jamie O'brien.

And here's Kelly destroying Restaurants, which is by far my favorite clip of the bunch since we see some turns... and what turns!

Here are some nice surfing photos.

And after all this beauty, how do I dare posting a photo of myself?

Thanks Harry Wievel. The other shots in this gallery.
That was August 5th. Probably one of the last days with decent waves at Hookipa.

South shore was fun Friday, and I have a little secret project for Tuesday...

PS. I received an email with the content of a letter that has been sent to the Maui News. Here's what it said.

FYI, There is a 6-story medical plaza building planed to be built in Kahului right next to the Kanaha Pond nature reserve.

letter sent to the editor, Maui News:

Medical center madness.

How can the Maui County planning commission allow a six story medical to be built next to the Kanaha Pond in Kahului?. The Maui Medical Plaza at Kanaha, is a planned six-story building with a five-story, 300-plus vehicle parking garage on the edge of Kanaha wetlands. It is out of place and will be a virtual skyscraper dwarfing every building in Kahului and block views from every direction. Why place a high rise structure next to the open space of the Kanaha pond wetland?.

All the surrounding buildings in that area are two stories high, and the Kahului skyline is relatively unblemished, with views of Haleakala and west Maui mountains.

Driving by Kanaha pond you can still enjoy its natural beauty and appreciate it, perhaps we take Maui’s vistas and visual appeal for granted and forget how important it is.

A 6 story medical plaza, is way too big for this location, and is so out of keeping with any other development in the area, it is absolutely mind boggling how the county would allow it.

How was this development granted a permit that will allow the creation of an eyesore of such magnitude? It will be a visible from every point in the central valley. This would be one of the tallest structures on Maui (except for the county building, and the hospital) and will be the same height as a major hotel. There are so many other places that would be more suitable for this project where it could be among other taller buildings, where it would not have such a negative impact. For example in Wailuku.

What is surprising is that there seems to have been no consideration for the visual impact that this project will have. Where were the public displays of this proposed development? Where were the artist’s impressions of the finished project for the public to see? Shouldn’t the developer be required to make this information public? This project affects every resident of Maui, and we will all have to live with the negative visual impact for the life of the building, 30-50years or maybe more. The planning commission is responsible for stopping developments that go against the public interest. This development deprives the public of their right to an unobstructed view and right to be protected from irresponsible development like this. It will change the look of Maui forever, it will change our views forever, it will be our shame forever. Every persons view will be diminished and the character of Kahului, and the natural areas surrounding the Kanaha pond will be irreparably lost forever. What about the EIS and the SMA? Did they consider these impacts either? The county should not let this happen.

Fortunately it has not been built yet, so the county should put an immediate moratorium to allow time for public input. The residents of Maui have a right to vote on whether this development should be allowed in this area. The Kanaha pond nature reserve and wildlife sanctuary is in the public trust, so every resident has an interest in protecting this area and maintaining the natural beauty of this area, and has a right to say whether they approve of this project. There should be a public meeting and a proper process to determine whether this project is akamai and pono, or whether it should be relocated to a more suitable location.

Saturday, August 06, 2011


Summertime continues with a lovely alternance (just made up this word) of small south swells, sailable windswell episodes at Hookipa and standup downwinders. Not a bad summer, for sure.

Talking about SUP downwinder, Standup journal has published an article in which I claim to have done the first one ever. Well, originally I wrote that I thought I did, but they changed the words in a more affirmative way... too late to fix when I realized it. Who cares anyway...
I did win the first official race (four standup competitors in total!), that's pretty much for sure. Amazing the number of people that got into the sport and the level of specialization of the equipment that happened shortly after.
I still do my downwinders on that 50 pounds good old Timpone though...

Thanks to the Standup journal for publishing it. Believe it or not, that was my first paid article in English. 'Bout time!

We're in standup mode, let's enjoy this video that Dave Kalama posted on his blog. What a surfer he is!

And still talking about magazines, this is a photo published by Windsurfing. See those stones carefully placed under the ladies hills so that they wouldn't sink in the sand?
I did that. And, since Francky was super focused on getting the light right (tricky backlit shot at sunset), I was also nominated by Shawna as the director of the poses... that was a fun photoshoot!

Yesterday the local windswell peaked and there were some fun waves to play with at Hookipa. Very short period (8 seconds), not as fun as the California windswell of the beginning of the week (10 seconds and better direction), but still better than flat.
Jimmie caught a bottom turn of me. More, much better photos in his FB gallery.

This is the weather map predicted for the south pacific on Monday. That's a serious fetch that unfortunately won't stay in that position for long. But I predict high surf advisory on Monday August 15.

I'm still selling these two boards. 9.3x27.5 Kazuma SUP.

2011 74l Quad IQ Starboard. Email me for details.

Plunger and liquid plumber didn't work. Now what do I do?

PS. US Open of surfing happening at Huntington beach. Quarter final Slater vs Burrow coming up soon on the live webcast.
PPS. Congrats to Graham Ezzy who won the AWT contest in Punta San Carlos.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

waves on both shores

Monday was a really fun day to spend in Maui.

The south shore was on fire with solid head high and occasional overhead sets. The period was around 17 seconds and that just makes better, easier to read, more powerful waves.
After a dawn patrol session, I worked my 5 hours shift and then went to Hookipa to sail on windswell waves generated off the California coast (head high sets with 9-10 seconds period).

Yesterday it was pretty much the same, just everything smaller.
I don't have any photographic evidence of the above, so here's some other stuff.

My friend Ian celebrated his birthday on Lanai and here's a little clip made by Ulli.
The knowledge that nobody got hurt will probably help you laugh harder.

Think you want to throw your surfboard and/or windsurf board away and only do couch surfing? Wait until you see this other video that long time blog reader Lano posted on FB.

Lastly, I'd like to congratulate my missing in action coworker Russ who came third in day two of the AWT contest in Baja, just before the Pritchard brothers. He'll have to tell me how he pulled that off.
Good job Russ, you'll be rewarded with 5 lovely full day shifts in September for that! :)