Monday, January 29, 2007

Crazy Kona

First report of a Kona wind episode.

It started blowing gently yesterday. The first sets of a new big NW swell showed up in the late afternoon and I went sailing on the longboard at Kanaha.
The Kona wind blows side offshore (very offshore) from the left on the north shore of Maui and that changes the waves a lot, because it holds them up a lot longer.
I shared some fun down the line rides with Glenn and canadian Jeff that were out too. Then the wind got too light for their shortboards, but not for my 12.6.
I sailed one more hour. At the end, the wind got very light and I could only go right, upwind. And that's when I realized how perfect the rights were.

On the last one I caught, I took a couple of steps towards the nose, holding the mast in my left hand. From that unique perspective I could admire one of the most beautiful waves I have ever seen.
I felt like I was in one of those surf movies in Indonesia.
Standing almost on the nose of the board, a few feet upwind of the barrel,in front of me the face of the wave was walling up without doing all those sections that it normally does. Just perfectly peeling like a slow match of a bomb (not sure about the translation, miccia in italian).
I was struck by its beauty... and stoked!

Today, instead, it was blowing like crazy.
Here's the wind chart of the airport sensor (notice how south it was too!).

Here's how Lanes looked around 10am, just before the wind started nuking. Beautiful.

I went out around 11 at Kanaha on my smallest board and a 4.2.
In the first half hour, I didn't have any fun. It was pure survival.

So I went back on the beach, chilled out for a while, looked at the waves and figured out the trick. The most difficult part for me, believe it or not, was to go out through the downwind channel. Even though the waves weren't that big (thank god!), it wasn't easy to go over even just a couple of feet of water with the weak leg (the left) on the front and the supergusty wind about 45-60 degrees offshore.
But in the second session I was doing the inside jibe far downwind of the channel, so that I could hit the channel in the smallest spot, just upwind of the weird wave. I still had to time it, avoiding the big sets, but it was a lot easier.

And, at that point, helped by a confidence boost, I even managed to have fun. Not that I did much on the waves... the timing was completely different and the wind on the face of the wave was often a bit too strong.
Once I kicked out on the back of a wave, because it was closing out in front of me. I was slammed in the water by a waterfall of spray.
But those few times that I managed to stay on the face of the wave, I was just screaming down the line.
Once, I was on the last wave of a big set and the water was incredibly smooth, because the previous waves had erased the chop. Blasting full speed fully powered on a 4.2 on the face of a beautiful wave... boy, THAT was fun!

At around 2 o'clock I went to Lanes to check the action. Just in time to see a windsurfer coming out of the rocks. Too much wind.
Here's two crazy individuals on a jet ski.

The firefighters were superbusy because of trees falling down on the highways and a fire in Haiku. Prolly not so much fun to drive a chopper in 50 knots gusts...

I went home to rest my beat up body and then back to Lanes at around 5 pm (yep, that was a fat nap!).
You can check some of the action I missed on Makani's blog.
Check also a few pics on Sharon's blog.

Tristan Boxford was still out, though! Here's a big one.

This is a smaller one, but nonetheless quite a radical turn.

Just like the exit: aerial 360 perfectly landed on the back of the wave.

Last wave: aerial in the dark.

Here's an interview with the English windsurfer.
If you can't see it here, try here.

Photo Sharing - Upload Video - Video Sharing - Share Photos

You can find details on his upcoming event here.

Eye in the sky.

Tomorrow's forecast calls for even bigger waves and slightly lighter wind (thank god).
The 8pm reading of the NW buoy is an impressive 22 feet at 17 seconds. And it's still going up.

We'll see...

Oh, I almost forgot.
Sharon's surprise birthday party's theme was "the British invasion". I partially shaved my gotie to look like one of the beatles. I didn't succeed, but I made some people laugh anyway... Let's see if it works over the internet too...


Anonymous said...

so, jeff is still there? does he still have his areostar mauicruiser? hope its running well, it was mine before :D

damn nice pics by the way!


cammar said...

He's still here and he still has that cruiser... not sure how well it's running though. Maybe he should post a comment to let you know...

Anonymous said...

as i said saturday, it looks like the german invasion! nice handlebars!!
also thanks for the video ;-)

Anonymous said...

well, tell them canadians Klaus said hello, u guys keep ripping these epic conditions :)
aloha from austria

Anonymous said...

Hey Klaus; howzit!
And Giampaolo, great perspective as usual. Watching was good fun for me though I was stuck working in town. The word I think you were looking for was "fuse". In the old movies all the action was happening while the fuse burned slowly on toward the keg of gunpowder.
Rock on, Mystery Bob

Lano said...

You look like a porn star!

Sharon said...

Nice pumping action from Mr. Boxford.

Hey Lano, what do you mean "looks like"....!

Lano said...

Maybe I dont know him that well! :0

cammar said...

You guys too funny...

Fuse, that's the word! I even knew that... thanks Bob.

Oh boy, another battle out there today (Tuesday). I'm beat up again...

Anonymous said...

hi bob, nice to "meet" you on here :)
Always nice for me to see whats happening on the island - great work giampoalo.

ALoha, klaus