Sunday, June 22, 2008

the story of my 8.6

To celebrate last week's 7 days of great surfing (4 of which in a row at my favorite spot), I'm going to post some pics of my beautiful self riding my favorite board: a T&C 8.6 shaped by Keola Rapoza.

This board has quite a story. Long time readers of this blog may have read parts of it, but I'm going to tell the whole thing again.

I bought it 3 or 4 years ago from Ed Angulo at a garage sale (Ed's garage sales are legendary) for 200 bucks.
As soon as I caught my first wave, I knew it was a magic board. Super light, thin enough for me to duck dive it (even though it took me some practice to learn how to do that), it turned really nice and loved cut backs.

It had a problem though: not strong enough on the deck. The pressure of my feet was doing canyons along the stringer... not positive. Back then I wasn't as much into fixing boards as I am now and I didn't know one of the most basic rules of surfing: never-ever under any circumstances sell a magic board!
So, before the damage got bad, I sold it to a girl: 350 bucks.
"Cool", I thought. "I'm going invest that money into another stronger 8.6... now I know the measures and the shape..."

Yeah right... how naive!
I tried a bunch of 8.6ish boards and clearly none was not even remotely as good as the beloved sold one. Big regrets...

After a year or so, I met that girl again. She had just bought another smaller board and I asked her if she would sell me the 8.6 back.
"Sure", she said, "350 plus a surf lesson to me and a water start lesson to my husband".
One of my selling points in fact was:"listen, this is a great board. You are lighter than me and don't surf as big waves as me, so as long as you don't ding it, the board will stay in great shape and will keep its value for long time".
You can't say I was bullshitting her, can you?
By the way, I remember I gave her husband the water start lesson, but I don't think I ever gave her the surf lesson... might be about time, since they just divorced! ;-)

Super stoked to have my baby back, I glassed an eight inches strip of fiberblass over the stringer and happily rode it until one sad day my car (with three boards inside) got stolen in Kahului.
The car was found the day after in the Lowe's parking (pretty much across the street). Clearly the boards were gone (the other two were a yellow Bill Foote 9.3 and a 6.10 that I can't even remember the shaper), together with the stereo components, the iakus of my one man canoe (later replaced by self re-shaped aluminum boom arms), a canoe paddle and a bunch of other stuff.

Yes, there is criminality in Maui too. But in this case, the application of my motto of "it can always be worse" was pretty easy, considering where I come from...

I put signs in all the surfshops, sent emails, posted a photo on this blog, but clearly nothing came out. I bought a 9.0 Stewart (Collin McPhillips model) that seemed a good enough replacement.

Two more years later, I was checking the waves at a very localized spot on the south shore when I saw this hawaiian guy coming out of the water with my 8.6.
My heart went ballistic.
I approached the guy with a smile:"Hi. My name is Giampaolo" (mmm, I guess that didn't help) "and that board was stolen from my car two years ago. If you don't believe me, I can retrieve a police report with a clear description of it"...
There was no way in the world I was going to call the cops in that spot... it would have meant the end of my surfing days there...
"I'm sure you bought that board from somebody, but let's find an agreement, because I really want that board back"

"Lissen brah, I just got this board for 200 bucks and I don't even particularly like it." (he was way heavier than me) "...must be the bad vibe of a stolen board. But I don't want to lose all my money, so I'll sell it to you for 140 bucks".
I added a six pack and happily bought it for the third time.

The day after I went to Breakwall and while paddling out I wondered if I would have still liked it as much as I used to. In those two years without it, in fact, my surfing improved quite a lot. I had become a better surfer and maybe I had different needs...
Once again, one wave was all it took. I immediately tuned in the sweet spot, like if I had been riding it forever, and ended the ride shouting a "YES" so loud that all the people on the boats turned towards me thinking that I must have just had the best wave of my life.
I wish I had the GoPro mounted on the front to shoot the smile I had when I paddled back out...

Thanks to Laura for taking these photos.

PS. Here are a few random links I received from friends:
- Josh Sampiero's blog
- Hugh Stott's photo album
- Harry Wievel's video of the kids camps

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Great surfing + Maui film festival

So far the season of the swells on the south shore has been really good.

This last swell in particular is one of those rare ones that lasts more than a week. That makes most people (me included) surfed out and if you time it right, you can really score epic sessions. I surfed three days in a row with perfect light offshore not too crowded conditions and that doesn't happen often. I may have said this already, but I have to say it again:
Surfing, simply the best thing on earth.

Here's a few photos, but the reality was actually even better.

Here's a few GoPro pics from the water.
Click on the X at the top right, if the slideshow stops.

This one's for Lano.

And here's a few photos from Makena. The shore break was really big. Hundreds of people (including a lot of tourists) on the beach on Sunday. No lifeguards. And they're putting a second lifeguard tower at Hookipa (at Pavillions), a beach where 99% of the swimmers are people who live in Maui and know the ocean... I don't get it.



Here's a few pics from the Maui Film Festival at Wailea.

Blurred Maui milf.

Hot English guy.

That's all for today. I hope you enjoy the photos... I'm having a blast!

Spread the stoke, be happy, be nice, love everyone... and I don't just say it, I mean it and I do it myself (at least I try to)! Give it a try... it feels great!

Friday, June 13, 2008

An old video... better than nothing.

This video has been waiting in the folder "videos to be published" (now empty) for more than a year... well, who cares about the date if it shows some sunny wave sailing, right?
Sorry about the soundtrack, it was a song that matched the length perfectly and I thought it was kind of funny. The WMM project file has now been backed up on the external disk and I don't feel like retrieving it to change it... so enjoy some good old Fred Bongusto!

The "videos to be edited" folder is now getting pretty full, but there's waves on the south shore for the morning surfing and small windswell on the north shore for the afternoon sailing and taped basketball (how did the Lakers lose yesterday???) and soccer games to be watched and I just can't be bothered.

Here, I'll leave you with a couple of friend's links:
- has a new expanded world coverage
- I just got a pair of Olukai slippers and they rock (I got the Lomi kind)! The physical therapist told me that I need a better feet sole support...
- my friend Harry is back in town and he took some nice shots of the race at Kanaha last weekend. Here's his website and if you have time check the Costa Rica photos too.

I don't know if it's the shoes, the stretching or the core muscles simple exercises I'm doing (probably all of the above), but my back is not bothering me anymore and life is absolutely gorgeous again, also considering that there will be south swells for the next 8 days.

So long, got to go surf...

Monday, June 09, 2008

Little beach

This may well be the best photo I have ever taken... click on it to enjoy it better.

I love Little beach.

This one is not too shabby either. I really enjoy taking photos of skimboarders...

As I just said.

Beer bubbles.

The beach runner.

The day before I hung out at Kanaha instead. This is a nice MFC harness... ;-)

Another bum...
Wait a moment, what's up with all that hair? Geez, that must be a man!
Nice swimming suit, brah!


Sunday, June 01, 2008

a 22 people SUP downwinder

What to do on a sunny, windy and flat Sunday on Maui's north shore?

Easy... a downwind on a standup board!
Looks like this group is making almost a fixed appointment of it every Sunday. The start is at 1pm at Tavares bay. Last Sunday we were 22!

Here's the start.

Michelle's favorite yoga position: the downwind facing dog.

It was blowing up to 30 and it was gorgeous out there.


CLEARLY, I was chasing all the girls to take photos of their bums. This came up the perkiest.

At the end, even a Coors light tastes great!

Well, for a change I took mostly photos (I had the camera on the wrist band), but I did shoot a few clips too. Here's the (weak) short video.

PS. Kelly Slater just won the surf contest in Fiji and he's flying towards his possible ninth world title (not too bad considering he started the season going to events only if the forecast was good...). At 35 he's still the undisputed best surfer in the world.
Here's a well done wrap-up of the last day of the contest. Stay tuned for J-bay!

Talking about surfing, very slow and small start of the forecasted south swell here in Maui. There should be reinforcement towards the weekend.
Yesterday I went for the sunset session only to get skunked and stuck in Lahaina because a motorcycle accident forced the closure of the highway till 9.30.

My take in these cases is: "hey, better stuck that involved in that accident!".
It can always be worse... or (same thing) the glass can always be seen half full...
Plus, I got to enjoy the sunset at Launiupoko completely alone and in total silence with no cars passing by (the police were blocking them in Lahaina). I had a feel of how the islands must have sounded a few centuries ago, before we humans arrived and brought our artificial noises and pollutions with us.
Only the waves and the grasshoppers... how peaceful!

PPS. Any internet gurus that can help with this?

Maui Sports Unlimited Kids Windsurfing Camp

I'd like to welcome a new sponsor:
the Maui Sports Unlimited Kids Windsurfing Camp

Pre-register for Maui Sports Unlimited Kids Summer Windsurfing Camp
Camps run weekly June, July and August. (wed, thurs, and fri)
9:00am -12:00 pm for beginners and intermediates (equipment included)
12:30pm - 2:30pm for advanced sailing (bring your own equipment)
BONUS: snacks and souvenir rash guards included!
3-day clinic: $175
For more information visit:

phone: 808-280-7060
or register at Kanaha Kai Maui

PS. I added a banner on the right. Clicking on the photo will take you to their website.