Monday, November 28, 2011

support the relocation of Kuau Mart

Just received this email from Matt Meola and happy to publish.

I would like to personally invite you to join me in supporting the relocation
of Kuau Mart.
Albee Layer, Hank Gaskell and I are hosting our premier of
Taylor Steele's Innersection at the
MACC on Wednesday
November 30 at 7:00.
It is a fundraiser for Kuau Mart.
We are going to give away a lot of stuff plus 3 surfboards including my favorite -
an SOS Shapes Slushi.
Taylor Steele will be there, Lily is going to sing a few songs and it should be
a fun night.
If you can't make the premier and want to make a donation,
you can make a check out to Kuau Mart and send it to me
Matt Meola
15 A Kaimao St
Paia, HI 96779

PS. Little update. The big swell arrived and, as forecasted, it was big, messy, choppy, closing out and with a lot of wind on it. It was an epic day for many visitors, but, spoiled as I am and with my peculiar taste, I would rank it as a mediocre day. I'd rather take head high light offshore with 5-6 turns than those mast high rough waves with only a couple of turns...

PPS. Second contest of the Triple Crown of Surfing live now at Sunset beach.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

little update before the big (stormy) swell will hit

The 2011 Paia Bay Invitational on Thanksgiving day was a huge success.

Here's the podium:
1) Marcio
2) Michelle
3) Rich

I shot some video clips, so stay tuned for a video that will hopefully give you an idea of the uniqueness of this competition.

In the meantime, this is the weather map of Friday 25th afternoon. That's the big beautiful captured fetch that will finally break this long sequence of November small days (which include head high days at Hookipa... it's all relative!).

The problem is that the high pressure that will move over the islands right after the pass of the front, will bring blustery NE wind and make the ocean conditions extremely rough.
That's always a high risk when the head of the fetch gets so close to the islands.

There's another big swell on the horizon though (the low in the upper left corner), and that one instead will be generated way more far away and will hit on Thursday/Friday when regular trades are forecasted. Should be epic windsurfing.

Here's what uncle Pat Caldwell says about this November:
The long-lived pattern in November with the jet stream further north over the northwest basin and consistent blocking ridges between the dateline and Hawaii has broken down. The counts of days in the small bracket are set to match the record in November 1994 of 19 days. Only two days of high surf occurred in 1994, which was well below the mean count of 7 days for November. Since no high days have occurred yet in November 2011, it appears the record of fewest high days could be matched or beaten this year.

Ok uncle, what's next?
The new pattern resembles the common late fall scenario with a steady pace of troughs in the jet stream progressing eastward centered on about 42°N steering gale to storm-force surface low pressures from the Kurils towards the gulf of Alaska. This pattern is expected to hold through next week, suggesting an active pace of episodes with peak days over the high mark into the long range.

Thanks, that's what we like to hear! Read Pat Caldwell's whole forecast here.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

It's the morning of the 24th...

...and the Waimea buoy reads 6.7ft @ 13s from NNW (347°).

That means that the annual Paia Bay invitational will have plenty waves.
Unfortunately an extremely small percentage of them will be rideable (that's always the case at Paia Bay...).
Yesterday, for example, I had an hour to surf before work. Hookipa looked like victory at sea (very stormy) and so I thought to go do a bit of training on the wave of the contest. In one hour, completely alone, I stood up once (and went straight because it was a close out). Imagine my chances in a heat!
Who cares, it's all about having fun with friends on the beach...

Here's the shot that I was hoping some photographer got. Kinda felt a bit more radical than that when I did it, but I guess that's often the case. Thanks Sofie. This is her gallery of Nov 22 (I got a bit confused, but I now linked her gallery of Nov 21 in my "fun day" post).

I'm hearing some excitement about a possible Jaws day on Sunday.
Yes, with a forecast of 12 feet, 14 seconds from around 330 like the one below, Jaws will most likely break.

And tomorrow's forecasted weather map confirms the fetch that will generate the swell.

BUT, let's have a look at Sunday's weather map.

As you can see, it will be windy, but the shape of the high pressure will cause a decent NE windswell (uncle Pat forecasted it at 10 feet, 9 seconds in his forecast last Tuesday). That means a huge amount of chop on the face.
I'm no expert of Jaws by any means, but I think it will be less than ideal.
Not that I particularly care... I have no interest whatsover in sailing Jaws, plus it will be good somewhere else.

Happy Thanksgiving and eat a salad instead of a bird! (yeah, right...)

PS. Here, let me leave you with another weather map, this one of the South Pacific on Saturday 26th. You know what that means...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm a happy soccer fan (and windsurfer)

My home town soccer team is playing in the early stages of the European Champions league (after 21 years).

Unfortunately, they got into an extremely difficult group together with two of the best European teams (Bayern Munich and Mancester City, the other team being Villareal). First two advance.

Today, 9.45 am Hawaiian time, there was Napoli-Manchester City, a very important game (with two more to go for the end of the group phase).
I could have swapped my morning working shift in order to watch the game live online, but I didn't.
Because I knew it was going to be a fun windsurfing session in the afternoon.

The session ended up being fantastic and the game too.

Here's a reply I just sent to a couple of friends, whose celebrating email I of course read only AFTER having watched the game.

just watched the game on-demand online.
chose to do so and stick to my morning working shift to be able to sail Hookipa in the afternoon.
the sailing session was fantastic!
and now, this awesome game.
which I could enjoy thanks to the fact that I was able to stay away from emails, phone calls, facebook, text messages, message carrying pidgeons, etc and stay unaware of the result.

you guys may think I’m weird, but having scored a session like today’s, I think I’m rather smart.

please, do not send me soccer updates. ALWAYS assume that I’m going to see the game with a delay. Unless it’s flat, of course...



And now I can't wait to see if the facebook photographers got a shot of that decent slashing turn I did...
I totally understand how the sailors felt in the early days in which I was the only one (yeah, that's a claim I think I can reasonably do) to take photos and posting them on the internet two/three times a week.
Now, the service is daily and I'd like to thank all the photographers that alleviated me from the task. I'd rather be on the other side of the camera, really.

No posts without photos, here's an amazing football player. His name is Edinson Cavani and he's from a country that one day I'd like to visit: Uruguay.
He plays for Napoli, though... thank god!!!
(that's what he's doing, btw)

How did the game end? If you feel like listening to 15 minutes of a slightly dramatic commentator, you'll find out. It was a bloody awesome game.

fun day

It sure was another fun day at Hookipa yesterday.
Between my early and late session, I took some pics. Here we go in chronological order.

Ricardo Campello is on the island and you definitely can notice him in the water.

Camille with a well positioned water photographer.

Wonder how those shots came out.

Nayra little aerial.

Don't be fooled by the standup paddler. I was windy (I was on a 4.2). It's just that when you only do one sport, you do it no matter what the conditions are, I guess... that's why I'm very happy to do three and I wouldn't mind to do four, but I'll get back to this towards the end of the post.

Bernd coming down from a nice backloop.

Dear Griffin, I highly doubt you landed that, but some photos look sick no matter what!

Bernd is becoming an aerial machine. His style is getting so clean that he reminds me of two great aerialists: Josh Stone and Mark Angulo. Not a bad compliment!

Here we go, there's now a rule for kiters too at Hookipa.
I'll let you read it (click on the photo to make it bigger).
I don't think it will change much. The only case in which there's less than 10 between surfers and windsurfers at the point are those 3-5 days a year in which the waves are so big that only very few people can be out. And in that case, kiters won't bother anyone. That's how I see it.

But I'd like to add a couple of more words on the topic.
This windsurfers hate kiters or surfers hate windsurfers is just plain ridicolous. What are we, 6 years old kids?
For me kiting is just another way to enjoy the ocean and ride waves. I have a lot of respect for all the kiters and am friends with a bunch of them. I would be myself into kiting if it wasn't for the following reasons:
1) it's still too dangerous
2) there is no conditions that I can't have fun with, with the three sports that already do
3) kiting in Maui is limited in where you can go. The only fact that you can't kite Hookipa (well, no you can under the conditions of that sign), is enough for me to say:"screw that"!

Sure, kites take more room and it's dangerous to be hit by their lines, but how much room do you have and how dangerous it is when there's five windsurfers on the same wave (seen that a couple of times at Hookipa yesterday and all the times at Kanaha)?
Let's stop being like little kids and respect each other more.

Last, but excuse me not least, blog author in a nice shot taken from this gallery by Sofie.

No wait, this morning's weather map looks pretty impressive... big waves are on the way for Thursday/Friday!

PS. sorry about mistakes, no time to review this post... got a surfboard to try...

Monday, November 21, 2011

second official Paia Bay Invitational forecast

It's monday morning, and this is the weather map we were hoping for the contest.
As you can see, in fact, that fetch north of the island will send a swell that is confirmed to be around 5 feet on Thanksgiving day. See you guys at the beach!

A couple of more maps.
This one is forecasted for Friday 25 and it shows another northerly fetch. This time longer and way closer to the islands. It will create a big swell that will hit a couple of days later. Sunday and Monday should be windy too, Hookipa might be mast high plus.

This other one is forecasted for the 28 (last day available). It shows a nice little NW fetch that could evolve into something big, but most importantly shows a comforting lack of high pressure north of the islands.
I'd like to take it as a sign of a weather change. I'm definitely over these strong and gusty easterly trades that bring so much rain and I look forward to some beautiful sunny windless winter days. We'll see.

Yesterday Hookipa was occasionally logo high, thanks to the NNE swell forecasted a couple of posts ago. Today should be a bit smaller, but during the day the NW swell (see same post) should start showing up. There's already small waves at Haleiwa, hence the reef hawaiian pro got finally underway.

This shot is from Jimmie's gallery from yesterday. I love when Kauli does the top turn in the air and lands it sticking the whole board back on the face of the wave.

This one instead is from the day before (gallery) and shows the blog author doing a slide at the top of a wave. Not too bad, but what a difference with the good guys! Oh well, there's only one way to get better... lots of practice!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

first official Paia Bay Invitational forecast

Yesterday I had the pleasure to meet contest director Ian Haywood and the honor to be nominated official forecaster of the upcoming annual contest on Thanksgiving day.

Well I have two news: one bad and one good.

Let's start with the bad. It's officially a La Nina winter! Read this simple article on Surfline and you'll understand what that means. Make sure you'll flip through the four slides.

The good news is that, despite the presence of the bad girl, there will be a swell on Thanksgiving day! Hurray!
Here's the Surfline offshore swell forecast. As you can see there will be a NNW (the yellow one) swell, peaking Thursday morning at around 5.5 feet, 13 seconds from 334.
High tide (always a good thing for inside breaks like Paia Bay or Tavares, since more energy can pass over the outside reef) will be at 1pm, the wind shouldn't get crazy strong and that means solid perfect conditions for the whole day!
Note: perfect at Paia Bay means just as messy as usual! :)

And if you're like me that don't just trust the outcome of the mathematical models that generate surf forecasts, here's the weather map forecasted for the 21st. You can see the fetch pretty much north of us that will generate that swell. That's in two days from now, let's hope it stays like that.

I'll post an update on Monday to see how that weather map turned out to be.
Competitors get your wax ready!!!

PS. I met Ian at the second public screening of the Minds Wide Open movie at Cafe Mambo yesterday.
I just want to say that, just like Jason Polakow's solo session at Backyards on the Windsurfing Movie, Kauli Seadi wave sailing solo session at Ali Baba in Cabo Verde is mind blowing.
Two amazing sailors, two different styles... would love to see them both together in conditions like that!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

flattest mid November week I can remember

We're in the middle of it.

Looking at this morning's (Wednesday) map, you would think that there's light at the end of the tunnel, but unfortunately those two fetches (WNW and N of us) will only send a small temporarily relief in the weekend. The rest of the maps for the next 8 days in fact, only show strong high pressure and gusty, easterly trades with their associated windswell.
Not good.

Due to the abnormally shitty conditions, I didn't take any interesting photos, but photographer Marco Coppadoro just sent me the ones he took of me during the contest, so -like it or not- I'm going to post those! Thanks Marco.

Monday, November 14, 2011

goodbye Prince

Among many others, there was one thing that gave me (like if I needed it...) another confirmation that moving in this time zone of the world was a good idea.

My favorite dj on my favorite radio was a guy called Prince Faster (Sandro his real name). His program aired at 6pm every week day in Rome, the city where I lived the last 11 years before moving to Maui.
Usually, at 6pm I was still at work. I was actually working in average till past 8pm (yeah, that's the life of a salesman for a big corporation like Hewlett-Packard) and I was frustratingly only catching the last part of Prince Faster's program.

In Maui, instead, I would listen to it live over the internet and often catch the show's starting signature tune as the music I woke up with... I can't think of a better background soundtrack for my buoy readings morning check.
This is the song, best reggae song you'll ever listen to. I strongly recommend to click on the "more" button to follow the lirycs.
Of course Price's program started with when the trumpets kick in...

Lately I found a software on the net that allowed me to record whatever music was played by my computer. I could then record his all show in the form of an mp3 file, put it on a memory stick, and listen to it later in my car, while driving around looking for the best waves in this gorgeous island.

Up to yesterday, knowing that there was a show every day, I used to delete the programs once I listened to them. But now that I learned that UN-FUCKING-FORTUNATELY Prince Faster is not working at Radio Rock anymore, I'm so gonna keep those few more programs I still have on my disk!
One day they're going to be like relics to me. They already are, actually.

Well, I'd like to thank Price Faster for all the fantastic music I had the pleasure to listen to thanks to his deep knowledge of all musical genres.
For example, just tonight, love when things like these happen, I ran into a video on Facebook that is - BY FAR - the best music video I've ever seen!
Rammstein is only one of the many bands that I would ever never got into, if it wasn't for Prince Faster.
It is absolutely mandatory that you let it load, connect some good speakers to your computer and, as Prince would say with a very calm, serious, intense voice... "alzate il volume della vostra radio!"
(pump up the volume of your radio!"
He wouldn't say that often, but when he did you knew that something good was coming at you on the FM...

Rammstein - Mein Land from Rammstein on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

good fun now, not next week

The NE windswell has been fun, but the next week looks as bad as it gets (for my taste): it will be windy but there will be no waves.

Let's have a look at the difference between the following two weather maps to understand what the difference will be.
This one is from the 10th (two days ago). As you can see, there's plenty isobars running over the islands, but a lovely low pressure east of the high pressure created a fetch that sent us the windswell.

This one is forecasted for Sunday the 20th. Still plenty isobars over the islands, but no fetches of wind oriented towards us (other than the eastely trades, of course). High pressures dominate the north Pacific and the whole next week looks pretty much like that.
To the point that even the annual "Paia bay invitational" on Thanksgiving day seems to be at risk of small waves!
Well, these long term forecasts can change, let's hope for the best...

Windswell had been fun, I was saying. Hookipa was pretty gnarly, but the tough guys were out there. I clearly wasn't, but photographer Paul Karaolides was and I stole these two pictures from his gallery.

Levi's bottom turn is becoming my favorite.

This is Mark mid mutant. You got to check the whole sequence in the gallery. It's hard to believe, really...

These, instead, are a bunch of turtles that came on the beach at Pavillons (thanks Patrick).
Did you notice how many turtles hang out on the shore break at Hookipa and pop out their head right there?
Well, my theory is that they're checking out how busy is the beach to eventually come take a rest, a poo, or whatever they need to take. They end up never doing that, since there are always a lot of windsurfers (at least, when I see them). In other words, in believe that we, windsurfers, bother them, just for the fact that we use the beach (and keep it busy). I don't think it's a huge deal (they can always beach at night and judging by their number in the water they seem to be thriving), but I do feel like sorry for them...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bouj's board

Yesterday I tried Boujmaa's board (a custom built by Starboard).

It's a twin fin (my favorite) and has a beautiful curvy outline. In other words, it looks pretty sick to me.
And on the wave it is pretty sick! Unfortunately, being around 72 liters it's not quite enough for me off the wave. I don't think I'm much heavier than the Moroccan, so I think the difference is purely skill level...

Here are some pics. Unfortunately the wind was pretty light and I couldn't get much speed on the waves.

That's right after a tack on the inside with light wind... water up the knees.

Here's that beautiful curvy outline... too bad she's so small.

Here's another beautiful curvy outline and this one looks even the right size for me!

After my session(s), I took some pics. 14yo Casey is enjoying his new Firelight too. That sail is a breakthrough.

Mini sequence of a top turn by Camille. His board is barely touching the water...

...and then he will stick the nose and the rest of the board into the face to regain the grip. The master of these kind of turns IMO, is Kauli.


That's it for now, have a gorgeous day.