Sunday, February 26, 2012

better than snow

First of all: I just found a bunch of other photos I took (including some whale ones). No time to upload them, come back tomorrow for an update.

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It was another day of gnarly conditions at Hookipa.

Of course, the good guys make it look good no matter what. Photo of the day goes to Mark Angulo. Photo of the day made by me, I mean. At the end of the post you'll find a couple of stunning ones from Jimmie Hepp...



My day started with a short surf session at Paia Bay (it was more catching up with an old friend than surfing, really) and another winning Napoli game watched together with a fellow Napoli fan.
BTW, here's an article that defines Napoli as the coolest soccer team in Europe!

Right after that I went to Hookipa around noon. The transition from Lavezzi to Robby Naish was a lovely one to experience. Especially because this time I was actually in the same field of play of the greatest windsurfer of all times. That's always a special feeling.

When I pulled into the parking, what I saw were once again pretty gnarly conditions. Very strong and gusty easterly wind, a long period ground swell completely brutalized by the chop and the windswell running through it and some occasional mast high bombs.

Knowing that Kanaha would have not offered much for my high standards (sorry, as someone called me today on Facebook, I'm a picky fucker...), despite all of the above, I rigged my 4.2 and went out.

Here's the iWindsurf.com graph that shows the wind (in mph) at Hookipa today. The sensor is on a house in Kuau, so I think it actually registred a lot less wind than there was on the outside.
I believe I went through some gusts that went up to 40 knots. It was brutal.
Notice the ESE direction. East is already offshore. ESE is very offshore.



Nonetheless, some waves offered sections that were actually ridable. I somehow managed to have some kind of fun, but it was mostly because of the challenge.
Those days in which everything is perfect, smooth and easy are great. But, despite all my whining, lately I started to thoroughly enjoy also the less than ideal conditions. In other words, as long as there's waves, I'm happy.
This photo was taken by Norm out of this gallery. Thanks a lot for that!




And before we start the photo show, here's what Robby Naish has to say about the conditions.
Sorry, it was the first interview I shot with the new camera. Next time I'll try to shield the microphone with my hand.


video

In case you didn't catch the first part, here the trascript:
"Robby, what do you think about the conditions?"
"It's like Pozo. It's soo windy..."
"Did you have fun?"
"No..."

You guys believe me now?!?!


Pozos. I mean, photos.


Mark doesn't count...

I believe Kai Lenny was riding a new board that Sean Ordonez shaped him.

Here's the shaper saying:"OK Kai, my turn to try it now!"

Browzinho needed a bit of medical assistance later on at the lifeguard tower. Maybe a cut, not sure. Nothing serious though.

Pascal Hardy

Unlike the photo, Ricardo looked sharp.

Nathan too

this is the second upwind taka Kai did on the same wave. The first one was in a bigger and more critical section.

Jesse Brown always up there with the best ones

Morgan about to be eaten

Morgan about to be eaten again. He did some outstanding wipeouts. You got to give it to him that he's pretty fearless.

Well behaved Swedish kids

Graham got into a virtual backloop off the lip contest with Ricardo

the usual crazy speed KP bottom turns at

Ricardo

Between wipeouts, Morgan also did this nice aerial. Awwright! I think this is his first time on the blog with an actual move, so congratulations Mo Mula!

Graham

Ricardo

Jason Prior, I think

Ricardo

Ricardo backloop off the lip answer. This one was pretty high.

Jake the Snake on a fine looking one

Morgan back to normal :)

He wasn't the only one wiping out. This guy got so overpowered on that wave!

Ricardo landed this other backloop off the lip just at the back of the wave. I personally haven't seen anyone land one in front of the wave. Come on you guys, is this all you can do?!?! :)

Around 4.30 the wind seemed to have eased up a bit (maybe gusting to only 30 knots), and, not sure where I found the energies, I went out again.
It got progressively better and I ended up having quite a lot of fun. "Just" one hour though... can't sail till dark at Hookipa because the surfers enter the water and claim their fair share.

More of the same for the next few days. No complaints, there's waves... 'kin wind!

Wait a moment! Just found this sequence on Facebook.

What are Jeff Henderson and his stepson Dax up to?








"what do you think Dax, should we go catch a wave?"

What a L-U-C-K-Y kid!!!!

This also gives me the opportunity to point out that Hot Sails Maui sent me a new banner for the blog with a link to their Facebook page.

Which in turns gives me the opportunity to point out that another blog advertiser is the American Windsurfing Tour. Their first contest is coming up in May in California. I'm already signed up for the Maui one. Check out their webpage and sign up for a contest. I guarantee you it's a lot of fun.


Wait another moment! Another facebook gem. This is my friend Marcio, charging the left at Jaws in the same day (feb 26) of 2008.
That's how Hawaii should look at the end February: big waves and no wind. No wonder Robby called it spring instead in the interview...
Amazingly ballsy drop, by the way.



Wait another moment!
Jimmie Hepp just published his first gallery of the day and I took three photos out of it.

moi, in a rare turn

this one shows the brutality of the wind

did I say occasional mast high? Make that mast and a half for Kai Katchadourian


This is really it for tonight. Not sure why, but I feel kind of tired and slightly sore...

PS. The Gold Coast Pro is on and wecasted live here.

3 comments:

Morgan "Mo" Henderson said...

Waybetter than snow! I would be wiping out just as hard there too. I cracked up when i saw your blog, hilarious. I think I fell on every wave. You got the best one too, the one where I am eeking up the face trying too water start. My sail was tto flat..better off tomorrow. I am stoked you caught that whale too, that was very special. Windsurf!

Weasel's wake said...

Graham Ezzy is using a sail that I've never seen before. I know you're a Hot Sails Maui guy, but do you have anykind of idea of that sail (new Panther or Cheetah prototype?) that he is using?
It's not listed on the Ezzy site.
Great pics as usual.

cammar said...

Morgan, I have a photo with you and the whale... will post it later either here or on fb.

WW, windsurfers are like sheep. One goes four battens, everybody wants to go four battens. So Ezzy is doing four battens sails too... wise move.