Monday, April 30, 2007


List of costs I had/will have (to post the stuff I post):

- new laptop with an SD card reader
- bunch of SD cards to be able to shoot hours of videos at the beach so that you guys won't miss a thing
- bunch of rechargeable batteries
- various items at ACE hardware to build the different camera mounts
- monthly subscription to dropshots to host photos/videos

That's why I just added a little PayPal button on the right so that, if and when you feel like, you can support this website. If you feel like doing a money transfer instead, email me and I will email you my bank account information.
1,10,100,1000, a million dollars... it's all welcome and appreciated. And when you'll have made up your mind, please give half of that amount to Unicef (or to the homeless people of your town)... there's a new link for that too.
And don't forget to forward the address of this blog to all your friends!

Thank you!

I just changed the number of posts of the main page to 20. Please let me know if it loads faster.

Hereafter just a couple of shots of the latest camera mount I experimented yesterday.

Notice the second camera on top of the mast... that means that when I will edit the clips I will try to mix the shots from the front to the ones from the top...
I don't think I'll have the time to do that before I leave for Italy, though.
Here's my plan: shoot as much as I can before I leave and then edit it over there, since I'll have plenty time...
I hope I'll find a internet cafe with a fast wireless connection... (one more cost to cover!), so that I can post the videos from there.

In the meantime, here's a couple of snapshots from the video clips to give you an idea of what you can expect.
This is Jeff Henderson, Hot Sails Maui founder, who is very impressed by the videos and photos of the magic little GoPro camera.

And this is me after having cut that piece of boom that was on the way (and was quite sketchy indeed... ).

And this is Jeff's dog Patch, who likes to lick the duct tape!
This photo was taken in photo mode: 2048x1536 (or the other way around, since I flipped it 90 degrees).

Lastly, as requested, here are a couple of more photos of the mast mount.

The batten is attached to the mast with two hose clamps. It goes through the mast sleeve of my 5.5 and 5.0. It doesn't go through the one of the 4.5... Let me know if you came up with a thinner attachment...

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Gliding in the blue

Friday 4 27.

There was a Hot Sails film-shoot for the 2008 sails. 10.30 at Hookipa was the time and place for the "business meeting".
Me, Glenn, Dioni Guadagnino and Taka (Japanese sailor that gave name to the windsurf move). Tom Hammerton joined us later on for the speed sails shoot.
Just being is such company was a great honor.

This one inspired the title.

The day was gorgeous. I had the longboard with me and, even though there were no 2008 Superfreaks to show, I didn't miss the opportunity to sail an uncrowded Hookipa (3 surfers out when I first got out... they seemed pleased to watch this new thing... maybe they were windsurfers...).
Ok, I may risk to state the obvious... Hookipa is not the best for longboard sailing. At least not the right at the point! Too fast and steep...
I wanted to ride a few lefts at Middles, but there were too many surfers and i didn't invade their space...

Backside ride at the point.

Glenn shortly joined me and for at least half an hour we had Hookipa all to ourselves, before the others showed up. It was so nice...

Look at the glide of the longboard again.

I was riding my new 12.2 Starboard longboard. Here you find a short write-up of a test I did a few weeks ago.
Not much to add about the board... it's a sweet board that works great in small to medium waves. Prolly not as comfortable in really big stuff (like logo to mast), specially if choppy.
This time I had a huge central fin and two side fins. Great drive in the turns, but a bit slow overall. Got to try a smaller central fin.
I went out on a 5.0, because it was 11.30 and I knew the wind would have picked more (as it did). The sail size on a longboard doesn't really matter... or at least doesn't matter as much as it does on shortboard. Overpowered is a bit uncomfortable. Underpowered is not a problem.

Signature move.

Try to erase all you know about wave riding on a shortboard if you're getting to sail a longboard for the first time. The lines you do and the things you do to achieve them are completely different.
If you're a longboard surfer (SUP even better), then the shock won't be that much...
Leave all your aggressiveness and radicality on the beach and bring in some style, smoothness and relaxation. And this is the most difficult thing to do...

Look how my back foot is on the inside rail. Footstraps would not allow that.

The reasons I got these photos on my camera is that I hired one of the lifeguards to take them... What you're looking at costed me a 12 pack... whatcha think? Worth it?
Here are the other ones...

Hitting a mini lip.

Later in the afternoon they gave me a Fluid 6.0 2008. I first put it on my slalom board and reached some ultrasound speeds and then I switched to a 91l wave board. I caught a few backside lefts at Lanes and then I saw the videographer leave his position on the rocks.
"Well, I guess we're done", I thought.
Sailed back to Hoo and caught a logo high lonely beauty that only wanted to be ridden...
The wind had dropped enough for most sailors on shortboards and 5.0s to get back in. I was on a 91l and a 6.0... I was planing most of time and I could easily catch a bunch of head to logo high waves. Of course the wave riding on a 91l board cannot be particularly radical, but it was perfect after the longboard. Plus, I didn't want to wipe out with a brand new all monofilm 6.0... and thank god I didn't! Instead, I had an unexpected huge amount of extra fun...

I don't know how long I sailed, but I was just as tired as happy. We all enjoyed a cold beer sitting on the rail talking about the waves and commenting on the girls that were passing on the beach...

Overall, a grand day. Five stars.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I love Doc. Bird!

I went to see him yesterday to check my foot. He did an x-ray and told me:"No broken bones, even if it hurts, you can go sailing without the risk of doing any further damage. Just ice it in the evening..."
Now, that's a doctor that knows his patients!

I got out of his office with a big smile (never been happier to pay for a visit...) and drove directly to Kanaha where I sailed pretty much all day.
I started on a 4.5, but soon I had to replace it with a 4.2. I usually don't prefer strong wind, but this time, because I had no expectations to sail at all today (and maybe all week..), I just loved it. Not too gusty, a bit choppy for sure, but not too many people out... head to overhead high waves, not a cloud...
The sunset sesh was even better. The wind calmed down a bit and the waves got smoother... a few friends out sharing waves... oh man, can't get better than that!

Talking about friends, here a clip of Glenn from the top of the mast.
It starts with a long sequence of five jumps. Notice how the sail moves like a bird wing when he pumps it... specially before the last jump. And notice how the board moves like a snake during the pumping action...
There's two backloops and a forward (together with a bunch of high jump, a table top and a vulcan)... good luck at spotting them!
In fact, a rotation jump with the camera on the mast makes the world rotate around the sailor and it's quite difficult to understand what's going on... that's why I put a couple of slow motions...
If you can't see it here, try here.

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What else? I got so much stuff to post...
Monday April 23 was a great day for windsurfing. I took a few shots at Hoo. Mmm... from which one do I start? Oh, what am I thinking...

The sailor of the day was Phil McGain. For two reasons. Not only because he rips at 44 (actually there was a bunch of over 40 out there that day), but also because of the veeery short kilt he was wearing at Andy's scottish party. Somebody told me that it was an hysterical vision. Some other told me he was unwatchable... too bad I don't have a photo of that...
Anyway, here he looks pretty good...

And this is Robby Naish off the lip.

A bunch of more photos here.
Got more stuff to post, but no time. Come back tomorrow.
PS. Hey, check this out: I've been added as an official Hot Sails Maui team rider... you got to be kidding me! How did I get there being such a kook? I don't know... it's one of the things I do...
Thank you guys!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Pretty cool stuff

Here's what's happening.

Thanks to my new amazing Digital HERO 3 camera, I'm shooting more than I can edit...
Today, thanks to my umpteenth (first time ever I use this word...) injury (got stuck with a foot in the footstrap and tweaked knee and foot... not too bad, could be worse...), today I found some time to edit some videos.
Still got plenty photos to go through (like the ones of the 4 20 party at Kuau beach for example...hang on, you guys...).

Let's start the show with the first video.
If you can't see it here, try here.

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Here's a photo of the top of the mast mount that I engineered out of a broken boom head... The mount on a vario top sail is pretty straight forward... Here's Monica's 4.2 that I used at the very start of the movie.

But my Superfreaks are not vario top, so I had to come up with a different system. With the help of Glenn and Tom of Hot Sails Maui, I attached it to a piece of batten that is linked to the top of the mast and comes out of the mast sleeve. Here's how it looks on Glenn's Fire. And that's good news because it also means that I got some footage of Glenn... stay tuned for some serious wave sailing action...

I have to confess that the result of this experiment was way beyond my expectations. I really like the vision from above, even though it's amazing how much it flattens the waves. Believe it or not, the waves in the above video are mostly head high (even though in the last section they often go down to waist high) and I remember for sure also a couple of almost logo high ones... you just can't really see the difference, can you?
I guess it's because even though I go up and down on the wave face, the distance between the camera and the water underneath doesn't change... it's always the whole mast...

This, instead, is another video that i shot at Hookipa with the camera mounted on my helmet. As you can see, it's quite a different perspective. I don't particularly like it for wave riding, because when I ride a wave, I have to constantly turn my head all around to check what the wave is doing and what the other sailors I'm sharing the wave with (specially at Kanaha) are doing... But you guys will let me know which one you prefer...
If you can't see it here, try here.

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Also, I'd really appreciate a feedback on the quality of the videos and on the speed of the download from dropshots.
Here and here, you can find the two videos of above in a slightly better resolution (still way less than the original one). If you guys have 10 more minutes, I'd like to know if you can appreciate any difference at all and if the streaming was uninterrupted.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

on a little journey...

...that's where I'm gonna take you guys today.

A downwind run on my one man canoe (OC-1) from Maliko bay to Kanaha.
The video is 10 minutes, so grab a coffee or a cold beer, depending on your time zone...
There's a surprise ending that I will explain later on this post.
I strongly recommend not to blow the surprise and watch the video first... THEN scroll down.
If you can't see it here, try here.

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What happened to the canoe?!?! Not yet... I'm gonna create some suspense and tease you with a few... windsurfing photos, for a change!

It's blowing like stink these days and Tuesday 4 17 there was a decent NW swell. A lot of photoshoots. Here's Boujmaa hitting a critical section.

And here he's in a one hand aerial.

I don't know who this guy is, but this photo gives you an idea of how windy it was...

Hookipa was so busy that the JP sailors went to Lanes (the photographer was on an helicopter). Here's Alex Mussolini. I love the light.

Mussolini again in a one hand backloop.

Polakow in a huge backloop.

Plenty more photos here.

Ok, time to explain the end of the vid.
What happened is that the canoe got capsized by a wave entering the inside of the reef at Camp One. I always enter the reef there, because it's very close to the beach...
Well, this time I definitely appreciated that, since the boat capsized and after I turned it back over, a wave took it out of my hands. Swimming with the paddle is not the best and before I finally realized that with the paddle I could not reach the canoe, it was too late...

I saw my canoe happily sailing away from me. I wasn't too worried because, again, the swim to the beach is short and there's a million windsurfers downwind.
In fact, once on the beach, I met a group of them and one offered to tow me to the canoe. It had a 5.8 and slalom board in 25 knots and it turned out to be Jimmy Diaz (the F2 guy).
The towing action (I was holding the back footstraps) was a lot of fun (almost planing), but the canoe was a bit too downwind and we couldn't make it, so he towed me back to the beach.
In the meantime, another guy called Steve had got a rope and sailed to the canoe. Jimmy went back out and after a few minutes he was able to tow the canoe back to shore.
UNFORTUNATELY, by then the camera had already shot for 54 minutes and the memory card was full, so it didn't shoot the rescue...

Here's what I learned:
- next time I'm gonna have a leash attached to the canoe
- if it's windy and there's no leash, immediately drop the paddle and swim as hard possible. The paddle floats and it drifts downwind, so it's easy to be rescued afterward... and it costs less than a canoe!
And I learned that much without losing anything? I'm stoked...

This little camera rocks! And I just had an idea... stay tuned.

PS. Rambo's comment inspired me to write more about my canoe. (BTW, check this crazy Makaha action on his blog).
It's a Honu (shape by John Martin), and it's quite old and heavy. Heavy means robust, so I like that. Compared to the lighter new canoes, it's slower (don't really care... the workout is actually better...), but it has more rocker, so it surfs the waves better. I'll do a proper canoe wave riding video later on in summer time.
I kept it at the canoe club in Kahului on an outside rack (too cheap to pay for the lockers) and somebody stole the ama. Then somebody stole my car in Kahului and on top of the three surfboards that were inside and the stereo components, they also took the two iakus and the paddle. So, all of a sudden, I was left with the boat only.

I built the iakus out of a windsurfing boom (prolly better than the original), bought a used abandoned ama at the canoe club (I offered 40 bucks, they said:"that's fair!") and had Malama shape me a new paddle. And now my baby is back in the water.

Oh, her name is Mergellina, which is the Naples' neighborhood where I grew up. Here are some photos and here, believe it or not, is the related wikipedia entry.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Jacquline needs help

...worked all night on editing the downwind canoe video only to find out that dropshots had cut out the end...
bummer... I decided it was time to go to sleep... check my email before that... bad news:

Hello Everyone,

A well known and loved family in our community needs your support.

Vince and Annette Steves' 6-year-old daughter Jacquline was diagnosed with bone cancer, a rare but aggressive form of cancer. Her condition requires immediate and long-term treatment at Kapi'olani Children's Hospital on Oahu. Treatment at a specialized facility on the mainland may be necessary.

Vince is a fire fighter and plumber (North Shore Plumbing). Annette repairs windsurfing sails and kites out of their home in Haiku and is well known in the windsurfing and horse community. Both have lived on Maui for many years and some of you may know them as members of the Maui Country Club. Their older daughter Dominique is almost 9 years old and goes to Haiku Elementary School.

This is how you can help:
Let us know if you have a jogging stroller or know of a place that sells one on Maui, so Annette will be able to take Jacquline on walks later. Money is tight. Not only are there expenses neither their insurance company, nor any other institution will cover, the family also has to deal with loss of income due to their frequent trips to Oahu. And, firefighters don't come home at night like the rest of us. You can make donations to "Jacquline's Cancer Fund" at any Bank of Hawaii location. (Please note: correct spelling is Jacquline). Your contributions will be greatly appreciated!

For more information, support forum and guestbook, please visit If you have any suggestions on how else we can help please email me at or send an email to Annette's close friend: Uli Montague. Her address is

We will also try to organize a fundraiser for Jacquline and her family soon. Stay tuned!

Aloha and Mahalo,


This is definitely not the post I had in mind...
Good luck Jacquline!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Billabong XXS Global Small Wave Awards

I received my new GoPro waterproof camera.

Here's why I think it's a fantastic product for 140 bucks:

- now there's two batteries that last a long time. I can leave the camera on and either film everything and then edit at home (like I did in the video below) or, if the camera is mounted within the reach of my hand, click the shutter to pause it and start it again when the action is about to happen
- it takes an SD card up to 2GB. That means either 54 minutes of video 640x480 (even on full screen the resolution is good) or tons of photos
- it can take still pictures (eventually also a sequence of three pics with one shutter click): 3 megapixel, 2048x1536.
- it has a wrist band that you can easily paddle with and take photos of the surfing action from the water

The result of the first water test was way beyond my expectations. Here's what I think is the coolest little video I did so far.

What do you think? I wish you could see the original (dropshots compresses it and reduces the quality) on full screen...
And those were one foot waves. Imagine on a ten foot wave... too bad the winter is gone! But the south swells are just round the corner... Sooner or later, I'll take you surfing double overhead waves at Dumps...
I also filmed a downwind on the one man canoe. Stay tuned for that.

Randy saw me at Launio and went to buy the camera right away (Hawaiian Island in Kahului has it). Here's his first funny little video. BTW, if you need ski, snowboard or wakeboard equipment, here's his website.

And, since I am in advertising friends' businesses mode, here's Wardog (a man, a myth) website for all the mainlanders' surfing and windsurfing needs.
Maui sailors know already where to find their Hot Sails Maui and Starboard gear.

Let's move on to the windsurfing action that happened in the afternoon of the same Friday 4 13.

The three sailors of the day were Brouwsino, Graham Ezzy and Alex Mussolini. They were throwing rotations at every single wave. Check some of the action here.

Here, instead, I feel like posting photos of the best looking wave sail on earth. It's the new Hot Sails Fire.
Here's Glenn's backloop 32,414.

Dioni Guadagnino is a new Hot Sails teamrider.

This is another team rider: 10 years old Kalani Hunt.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

not sure about the title of this one...

Allright, let's see what we got here... let's start with a few links.

My review of the Starboard production longboards.

A nice windsurf related blog.

There I found this photo sequence of Kauli at Jaws last Sunday.

The ASP site where to read the results of the Bells Beach surf contest that I just saw online...
Taj Borrow won with a wave worth 9 points in the last minute of the final against Andy Irons. When are the PWA contests going to be webcasted online? The Cabo Verde event would have been awesome to watch!

An hysterical little video that Ely shot with his head cam. Kevin Pritchard made Ely's day, that's for sure... He sounds more excited than being in the hot tub with Pamela Anderson...

Talking about blog readers... here's Lano's blog. He's been reading my blog for ages and I want to welcome him in the blogosphere.

Here's a few shots from today at Hookipa. I sailed there with a 4.7 and the 68l, but soon the wind dropped and I could not enjoy that much. Those guys did. In these conditions, you can have fun only if you're really good...

And here's the sailor of the day, Boujmaa Guilloul, flying really high in one of the rare jumps of today (no wind on the inside).

I know, the horizon is not straight... you guys don't want to pay-per-view... I don't have the money to buy a trypode... :-0

Here's him again showing how ALL windsurf boards should be: bloddy five fin boxes so that the sailor can fool around with the fins and find the best setup. I would love to try that board! I want the possibility of side fins on all my boards!

Lastly, here's an extremely uninteresting list of my personal preferences of famous windsurfers' skills:

- most radical: Kauli Seadi. He was born in the pocket. I'm not talking about his mother's womb... I'm talking about a wave's pocket!
- craziest: Boujmaa Guilloul (with a mention for Mark Angulo)
- cleanest: Kevin Pritchard
- most powerful: Josh Angulo
- most spray off the lip thrower: Jason Polakow
- best ability to perform well under pressure in contests: Josh Angulo and Kevin Pritchard
- best light wind wavesailing: Josh Angulo and Matt Pritchard (both are big guys... how do they do that?)
- best jumper: I don't really care
- best sail number: US1111 Robby Naish (got to put him somewhere...)
- nicest guy (among the ones I know): Francisco Goya
- most vertical approach to the top turn: Keith Taboul
- most stylish: Levi Siver (mention for Sean Ordonez)
- most promising kid: Kai Lenny
- least amount of hair left on the head: Scott McKercher (mention for Keith Taboul)
- most getting better every time I see him: Graham Ezzy
- most underrated Hookipa sailor: Nat Gill
- most contagious smile: Josh Stone and Brian Talma
- best girls around him: Sean Ordonez
- best looking: me

Monday, April 09, 2007

I learned the lesson...

The last three days have been quite intense.

Let's proceed with order.
Saturday I tested Starboard longboards all day. And when I say all day, I mean all day.
From 11am (can't sail earlier at Kanaha... thank god!) to 5.20 pm, with 20 minutes lunch break. That makes 6 hours.

I don't get paid to do this.
I don't even get equipment (that would be nice, though).
Why do I do it?
Here's a few reasons:
- it's a lot of fun
- the fact that Svein and Jeff listen to what I have to say feels good
- but most importantly... I'm increasing my knowledge. I look at a new board and try to guess how it sails. Then I try it, see if I guessed right and learn stuff. And the more boards I try, the more I know about boards. And one day, who knows, maybe I'll know enough to want to design (and eventually shape) my own board. That would be dream number 11,284 coming true...

Here you can read more about the test (technical stuff). Actually, I don't think I can write that tonight... too tired. Maybe tomorrow. Come back later if interested...

Sunday an extra large swell hit the islands. It was windy and lower Kanaha was pretty much closing out. The outer reef at uppers was going off (big chop on the face, though), but I just couldn't sail well. I was so tired and slow that I had to give up after one hour.
Note to myself: brah, you're 44... can't sail 6 hours in one day...

Here's a few photos from Sunday.
These guys were towing in at Kuau.

Big swells trap the fish inside the reef and fishermen are happy.

Like this one.

Da hell is that? Oh yeah, my car's leash compartment. Kind of handy if somebody brings soup to the beach...

More photos here.

The forced rest yesterday was actually a good thing, because this morning I woke up all perky, went early to Kanaha and hit the water around 8.30am (no wind). Standup paddling on the 12.6, I caught a vast number of rights. The waves were smaller, but still plenty overhead bombs.
A lot of fun.

At 10.30 I came out and had a quick snack.
Around noon I rigged a 5.3 and went out sailing on the 87l wave board.
A lot of fun.

At 1.30 I had to came in because a footstrap screw came undone.
There was a message on the voicemail from the neighbor. A hose under my sink broke and the kitchen was flooded.
I left boards and sail on the beach, drove home, dried the kitchen floor, took the broken hose off, drove back to Kahului, bought the new hose and went back to Kanaha.
Unfortunately, there I found out that the insert of the footstrap screw was worn out (no more thread) and, since the wind seemed to have got lighter, I went out again around 4.30 on the 12.6 with the sail.
A lot of fun.

At 6pm I finally decided that the wind had become strong and steady enough to risk my 68l Quatro 7.4 wave board. I took it out and, even though the wind was barely enough for it, on the waves I had a blast for 30 more minutes.
A lot of fun.

Let's see... 2 hours in the first session... 1.5 hours in the second session... 2 more hours in the third session... hey, that's only 5.5 hours!


I learned the lesson...

Friday, April 06, 2007

today's frustration

I had some business to do at noon and so I got to the beach late.

The wind was extremely light. Only Jeff and Svein were out, but they didn't seem to to be catching any waves. Nonetheless, I rigged my sail, grabbed a board and sailed out.

As soon as I hit the water, I saw the the jet ski towing them to another spot at least one mile upwind.
You'll know what happened next reading the email I just sent them (didn't even see them afterwards):

I was launching from the beach just as you guys were being towed to that other upwind spot.
I got out there and tried to sail upwind, but there was no way. I caught one wave in (one wave caught me) and I broke my boom.

The beach photographer caught me while I was riding a reformed wave on the inside holding the sail with the mast and the leech, with the boom hanging off the clew... that may be an interesting shot...

I heard from the jet ski guys that probably they got one or two good shots on super glassy waves... damn, I wish I was out there with you guys!

Hey, are we trying again tomorrow?

Let me add that my right thumb, which I hit yesterday while SUP surfing, is getting more and more swollen as I type...
Well, not all days are great... even for ME!

I got to get over this stupid sense of frustration... I think I need a carpet session...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

things I like about Maui

Here's how the waves looked from the Hookipa lookout this 7.40 am.

I took four photos and didn't have the courage to leave any of them out...

I was beat up from too much surfing yesterday and I went to Kanaha instead for a mellow SUP sesh.
Jay was so nice to let me try his Ku Nalu (the Ding King board). That is the board that so far is my favorite longboard for wavesailing in light wind. I hadn't tried it for standup yet... what an awesome board!
I could catch the smallest ripples effortless. It paddles so fast...
And it surfs pretty damn well too!
So far, the best multiuse board I tried, no doubt. I'll stop by Ding King and compliment Mark once more...

After lunch I went for an hour photo shoot sesh at Hoo. Here's 27 worthy shots.

Inspired by Eileen's comment on the last post, here's a few free thoughts...

Things I like about Maui:

- ocean activities (they deserve a whole sublist/discussion... see below)
- the weather. No shirt, only slippers and shorts. Fucking love that!
- the sunsets.
- the people (most of them)
- the laid-backness
- the road courtesy. Don't forget I come from Italy... Naples, to be precise... where the highway is a jungle!
- the smiles. Even though not everybody smiles, it's still the place where I've been where I see more smiles around. When I go back to Italy, I still have that attitude and I smile to everybody at the Fiumicino airport in Rome... they look at me thinking that I'm gay... well, that happens in San Francisco too...
- the vegetation
- the mountains: the Haleakala is often gourgeous at sunset and the west maui mountain at night looks just like the Vesuvio...
- the colors
- the air
- the fact that for most people surfing is the number one priority
- the birds that wake me up at sunrise
- taking photos from the hill at Hookipa
- the Kuau mart chicken... but only once in a while, because I'm vegetarian... ;-)
- the guy that sends kisses on the side of the road... I love him, I love him, I love him...
- the rainbows
- Hana
- whales, turtles, manta rays, flying fish, etc, etc...
- the north shore
- the south shore
- the east side
- the west side
- up, down, left, right... I fucking love it all!

Ocean activities sublist/discussion

- water temperature is bloddy perfect. I'm a pussy and I always get cold (it's because I have NO body fat...), so almost always I wear a light wetsuit. Nonetheless, I prefere that to a warmer temperature, that will blow my windsurfing calluses and will make me feel too hot and dehydrate me while surfing.
- with some exceptions, most waves are easy. Beach breaks are way steeper and more difficult. Point breaks have a very concentrated/crowded lineup. Instead, there's some reefs in Maui that are really mellow. And I love those ones just as much as the tougher ones. Kanaha is the best example.
- with some exceptions (the same as above), the surfing crowd is friendly.

Waves are seasonal all over the world, right? When it's winter in the northern hemisphere, there's storms and swells from the northern directions. When it's summer, the waves come mostly from the south, because it's winter down there. The hawaiian islands sit at about 20 degrees of north latitude sorrounded by a huge ocean. That means that if there's a storm somewhere in the Pacific, most times we'll get waves.
Of course in winter time the waves are bigger (less distance to travel), but summertime is not too shabby either. Now, let's talk about Maui's surfing conditions compared to Oahu and Kauai, for example.

The north shore of Oahu is a surfing Mecca. Pipeline, Sunset, Waimea, tens of world class waves... too bad most of those waves are too hard core for a guy that started surfing at 38 like me... and too bad that, being a surfing Mecca, the best surfers in the world live on the north shore, leaving few waves to catch for an average surfer like me...
Ok, ok, whatever. North shore of Oahu is better. The trade winds over there are offshore, so the conditions for surfing are better... I admit it. Let's leave it there for a moment.

Kauai, is pretty much the same. Heavy waves, hard core surfers, not as many breaks. Still, prolly better than Maui in winter time. So, where would you live if you were a surfer? In both cases on the north shore!

And what about summer time?
Driving time from Hanalei to Poipu is one and a half to two hours (depending on the traffic).
Driving time from Haleiwa to Honolulu is 50 minutes... plus the time you'll spend stuck on the highway to get to Waikiki.
Driving time from Paia to Thousand Peaks is 20/25 minutes!

AND-AND-AND... hear this: both Oahu and Kauai shouth shores get blown out if the trade winds are blowing strong (and summer time they are). In Maui it can be blowing 30+, you go to Lahaina and there's not a breath.
AND-AND-AND... what about windsurfing?!? Maui IS the windsurfing mecca of the world. And I love the alternating of windy periods to non windy ones. It's good for my body (use of different muscles) and good for my mind (never get bored to always do the same thing). Prolly it prevents me from becoming a very good surfer or windsurfer, but as I said many times... I'm only driven by the fun.
AND-AND-AND... those Maliko-Kanaha downwind runs (either on my one man canoe or on the standup board) are something really fun... the other islands don't have anything like that.
AND-AND-AND... thanks to the above described conditions and to my toys my QUOLI this year is 99% up to date.

And I wrote all this without stopping or thinking for a second. I mean, that's just the first things that came out!
I'm sure if I really want to think about it, I could add a lot of more stuff. But for tonight it's about time to go to sleep. Got to wake up with the birds tomorrow morning and go surfing.

Excuse me rest of the world if I enjoy my life so much.

PS. And let me add a little cherry on the cake... Jeff just called me saying that tomorrow we have a bunch of new Starboard longboards to try and photoshoot if the wind allows... how extreeemely cool is that?
PPS. If you don't have a phone number that correspond to the name Jeff in the contacts on my phone, don't even waste your time trying to call me tomorrow... ok?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

QUOLI update

As of April 4th, I'm at a solid 99% (78 out of 79 possible days in the water).

The only day I missed was Friday 1 19. I had to deal with a car problem and I'm so glad that I did miss that day... so that I don't feel the pressure of going out just to keep the QUOLI at 100%...

Here's the forecast for the next days:
Outlook through Tuesday Apr 10. Several northwest swells are expected over the next couple of days. Surf will near advisory levels along north and west facing shores late Thursday and Friday. The surf will decrease on Saturday, but a significant northwest swell arriving Sunday will produce surf near warning levels. Surf will trend down on Monday.

...thank god!

Here's a couple of shots of a chick surfing Hookipa. Just to give you an idea of the conditions these days...

Hey, thanks to Ely and his NY friends for yesterday's lovely dinner. Now that I think about it, I left without leaving the contribution I promised... Didn't want to offend you guys... ;-)
Sharon just posted some funny pictures... well, maybe funny is not enough...

And U&M back from Tahiti just posted some photos of amazing waves... well, maybe amazing is not enough...

Monday, April 02, 2007

six drops

Howzit everybody.

It has been a week of great surfing in Maui. Many, many waves have been ridden.
I've caught a few myself. The most remarkable session was a standup one I had on a north shore reef with one and half to double overhead waves.
Here's what I wrote to a friend still flying high on the wings of the stoke:

I was totally alone and the big sets were rolling in covering the horizon. So much water moving. Somehow I managed to handle that and catch six memorable waves. I had goose bumps at every drop. Partly for the fear, partly for the beauty of the act I was doing. I was able to ride those giant rolling water hills on a surfboard. Man, that's the coolest thing in the world!
Six drops. Six big adrenaline rushes...

And here's a few photos I took after that session.

The lineup.

It was big enough for these guys to tow-surf.

This one is blurred because I was too lazy to get out of the car and took it through the windscreen of my car... A sizey one at Hookipa.

This, instead, is a little video that I took the day after. It may result rather boring, but the soundtrack is quite intense. Let's see if it helps you guys to get into the bliss of a mellow, lonely session in knee to belly high waves...

Photo Sharing - Upload Video - Video Sharing - Share Photos

If you can't see it here, try here.

Today I just had another very fun longboard sailing session with a light side-onshore wind at Kanaha. Waves were kind of messy, but I caught a couple of bombs that did the bowl... I love the bowl...

This week should offer some more epic conditions for surfing. The wind is supposed to die and the surf should be pretty consistent with a peak on Friday when an advisory level NNW one should hit.

Yu and hu.