Saturday, January 31, 2009

two short clips from the boom

Sunday morning update: I added a photo and another clip at the end.


Howzit everyone!

Hookipa has been superfun the last couple of days. Fun size, not too strong and gusty wind, perfect (that meaning slightly underpowered) 4.7 and 75l for me.
I've put my new wide angle Gopro's (clearly I got two...) on two different spots on the boom. No time at all to edit all the clips I shot, but I feel like posting two unedited clips so that you guys can have an idea of the different point of views.

This first one shows the head band camera I used in Uppers vs Lowers (already a classic, somebody told me at the beach) and how I start the video on it. It even shows an half way decent turn!

gopro short clip from the front of the boom from giampaolo cammarota on Vimeo.

This second one, instead, shows first a lame ride on a tiny wave. But after I jibe I was so lucky to film 12 y.o. Bernd who did a really nice aerial right upwind of me.
Afterward, he was so nice to apologize and ask me if he was too close to me.
"Well, you were a bit close", I said, "but hopefully we got lucky and I got that on video!"
There you go little monkey... you own me a wave next time! ;)

gopro clip with Bernd's aerial from giampaolo cammarota on Vimeo.

Well, I know that you guys have been looping on Bernd's aerial a thousand times, but now you should try to get to the very end of the clip. Just look at the color of the sky if you get bored...
See that totally unconscious tapping I do with my thumbs? My dad does the same thing on the wheel while driving the car!
Now, how is that? What kind of thumb tapping gene did he pass me?! I got to show him this...

As kindly requested, here is the mount I use for the boom. It's a standard accessory. I believe it's the Roll Bar Mount you find scrolling down the GoPro main page. Not 100% sure though, since they sent it to me without telling me what exactly was, but from the description it really looks like it.
I think I had to buy the screws and washers to adapt it to go on the boom. As you can see, there's plenty joints (and I have even more) that will allow you to give turn the camera according to the angle you want to get.

And, while we're at it, here's another little clip that shows Glenn on a wave. In it you can also see how the mount looks on the boom. That position though, is a bit too close. In fact it gets in the way of the back hand when you sheet in in the bottom turn. Next day I moved it a few more inches back and even though it wasn't super easy to reach, it was not in the way at all.
Why do I always want to be able to reach to camera to start and stop the videos?
'Cause it saves me a load of time in the editing process. Plus if I didn't, now you guys would not be able to enjoy these unedited short clips...

short gopro clip of Glenn from giampaolo cammarota on Vimeo.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Uppers vs Lowers

Post update.
Blog reader Sergey took some time to apply to my video his magic recipe of compressions and enhancements and who knows what else. I replaced the Vimeo version with his. BTW, no need to pump the volume to the max anymore.
Here's the link to the old Vimeo version, in case you want to check the difference.
Thanks Sergey!

--------------------original post-------------

Here's my last Fellinian effort.

Just in case after watching this you guys feel like expressing some gratitude for the bliss you just received, here's a short list of things/persons to thank:
1) the internet
2) the guys at GoPro for making such an amazing camera
3) Jeff Henderson for giving me the best looking sail in the world - hands down
4) my parents

Point 3 exclamation mark:

PS. Earlier I mentioned that this wide angle camera renders the size of the waves better than the old one. I will be more precise here. Thanks to the wider angle, it includes more of the wave in the picture. But the waves still look way smaller than they were. Not a complain, just an observation.

Saturday 1 24 09: Hookipa

A day in which I didn't like the wind at all (freaking gusty and offshore), so I took photos for a long time. Hard to make a selection when you got so many decent ones.

After a long scrutiny I decided to award the honor of the first and best photo of the day to Andres, also considering that he was sailing with a broken finger (!).

Close competitors were the following photos.
The usual Levi. Notice the compact, stylish and relaxed body stance. He keeps the board slightly twisted so that he can catch some wind under it and flight a bit higher/longer and he's looking at the landing spot. Overall, a sense of absolute control.

Glenn checks if he threw enough spray.

Two words on the zoom of Glenn's photo. It was with 12x optical, plus 1.7x of the additional optical lens plus 2x digital. Taking photos with the digital zoom, a decent photographer told me, is the same thing than cropping a photo afterwards. I don't agree with that.
First, there's the challenge (and the fun) to get the subject well centered and not blurry at the very moment you're taking the photo. Big challenge (and fun) when you shoot photos without a tripod (like I do).
And secondly, once you crop a photo that much, the resulting photo is not going to be as big as the original one, even if you save it as big as photoshop allows you.
Here's the Levi shot after a cropping that brought his body size comparable to Glenn's one. Click on both photos and you'll see what I mean.

So, in other words, even though taking photos with digital zoom will clearly deteriorate the quality of the photo, it's sill better and more fun than cropping photos, IMO. Or, am I missing something?
Of course you need a camera with a good digital zoom. Mine has a decent one. I've seen other more expensive ones that have crappy digital zooms.

Let's move over. This is Keith. Don't remember how much, but clearly a bit of digital zoom too. It's the internet you guys, it's not a magazine. It's just fine...

Carter shows off an old school Drops. I believe that's one of those shaped my Sean Ordonez, but I'm not sure... illuminating comments are welcome on this one.

Laurent in a classic high jump. Knowing him, I'm sure he thought about throwing a forward loop, but the gust must have been just too strong. Look how sheeted out he is.

Yes, there were some really strong gusts and if Glenn got one on the way out, that's how high he went. Glenn, how's the world upside down? AND, where the hell did you pass? Between those two sailors?

Andres trying to save his hand.

Giuliana's brazilian superfreak.

The rest of the photos in this slideshow.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

yesterday's hookipa shots

Best photo of the day, as often happens, the usual Levi that keeps ripping the hell out of every wave he's on.
This particular one was absolutely average, but what he did on it wasn't. Before this one, he did two more remarkable turns, accelerating in each one. Only a lot of speed, in fact, can allow him to throw such an amount of spray. 10 from the italian judge.

Let's get rid of him and publish three more photos. Don't click on this one, since it's blurred. Looks better small.

Wave 360.

And another aerial.

Well, at this point (and after watching the following photos), you might think that conditions were epic at Hookipa yesterday, but you would be deceived.
The pros always make it look good. The wind was super offshore and gusty. The waves were inconsistent, since a new NW swell was just starting to show up and overlap with the leftover of the old NW swell and a short period NE swell. In other words, less than ideal.
Francisco Porcella may not agree with me.

Here he is again (this one is for the ladies), probably giving a bit more outhaul (some gusts were just too much). I keep hearing rumors that Mistral is done, finished, kaput. If that's true, after F2 that's another historical brand that goes. I will always remember that Mistral Stinger I had ages ago and that was the perfect board for my spring time home spot Scauri. Thanks to whoever shaped that board, I really enjoyed it.
Post update. An allegedly more accurate rumor says that they're not closing, but they're just cutting down some costs: no more sponsored team riders and no more Mark Nelson as a shaper.

Talking about shapers, french Hot Sails team rider Bruno Andre is here. He brought me a board that is completely out of the ordinary and will find some place on this blog soon.
Here he's riding his latest three fin AHD desing.


Brazilian stretching (sorry, wrong side).

Mark Angulo.

Graham Ezzy.

A local.


Stuff I have to post (I write this as a note to myself):
- photos from the very first day of the Kona swell
- video clips from two days ago. They're really nice, but I want to edit them and do a little video called Uppers vs Lowers... stat tuned. The new GoPro wide angle camera is amazing. I can't believe those guys have improved the product so much in so little time. Thanks a lot for that.

The new swell is 6 feet, 17 seconds from 110-115 degrees at the Waimea buoy this morning at 6am. That is a great size and period, but probably a bit too west for Kanaha. I may have to sail up the coast again.
The wind is going to be offshore and gusty again, maybe I'll rig 4.2 this time. The weekend should be fun anyway, thanks to the waves, but next week looks pretty bad.
A low level low (can you say that?) will develop just north of the islands and give us some unsettled weather, super choppy short period northerly swell and variable winds. Then towards the end of the week, trade winds will be back with related windswell, but without any long period NW swell at all. Oh well, we had waves for more than 10 days, I guess I can't complain... so I won't!

Stoked to be alive, well and in Maui! Life is great. Off to the beach.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

kona report part five

I told you I had stuff to post for a week! And I'm not even done yet with the Kona stuff!

First I'd like to welcome back Maui Ultra Fins as a blog sponsor. They purchased three months of banner space (which you'll find on the right) and two photos (this one of Swift and this one of Polakow), that were riding on their fins. Thanks again for believing in the advertising potential of this blog (6,126 hits last week).

Talking about Polakow, check the little aerial he did in this clip.

kona lanes polakow huge aerial from giampaolo cammarota on Vimeo.

This other one shows, in case you guys were still doubting, that even the best ones do make mistakes in these conditions. First it's Kai Lenny on a wave, then it's Levi. I wrongly say it's Francisco (who went out again right after he went on the rocks), but it's really hard for me to identify the sailor looking at the small screen of my camera in the sun. Once you see the video at home, you can tell much better.
Anyway, Levi kicks out of a medium one and misjudges the size of the next wave (that Kevin Pritchard is riding), doesn't make over it and his gear goes heavily over the falls. You guys should feel a little better next time you'll do the same... I will!

Levi's gear over the falls from giampaolo cammarota on Vimeo.

This one is just to apoligize with Francisco (who did go on the rocks a second time, btw...).

apologies from giampaolo cammarota on Vimeo.

What did I say?!?! "He taked a couple of waves on the head"?!?!? Hey, it taked me eight years in the States to learn to speak English so well!!!!

Absolutely stunning photos of the same big swell that reached California on Surfline. Here's set 1 (16, 25 and 31 are my favorites) and here's set 2 (#11 is unreal).

Oh, thanks to blog reader Herb from Wisconsin for his donation. And thanks again to all the readers who donated in the past.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

kona report part four

It's now time for the video I did using the GoPro wide angle for the first time.

I really like this camera but unfortunately I had a little bit of fog at the end.
I also made a stupid mistake at the beginning: in order to record my voice while rigging, I did remember to turn the audio recording setting on HI, but I left the camera in the waterproof case! So the volume was recorded still pretty low and to make it audible, I had to pump it up in editing phase.

That means that you will hear a lot of noise too. Sorry about that, can't blame the camera if the videographer is an idiot!
In fact, the camera itself records a great audio. I switched it back to the LOw setting for the sailing part and I can't believe that you can actually hear my voice while sailing and not too much of the super strong noise created by the gusts.

The fact that I was using the head band that comes with the camera helped (can't look more dorky than that, but who cares...), since the camera was right on my forehead and not on top of my head like it is when I wear an helmet.
The head band is great. Make sure you put a safety leash to your wetsuit if you go out in waves though, because a big wipeout will rip it off.

Pump up the volume if you want to hear what I say at the beginning. And if you can't still hear, the main thing I'm saying is that the Ultralight dacron of my Superfreak makes it an incredibly light sail. And that is a huge advantage. I mention that kitesurfers have that advantage towards windsurfers (their superlight gear allows them to go out in lighter winds), but with these kind of sails tha gap between the weight of kitesurfing and windsurfin gear is starting to shrink.
I expect Jeff Henderson to come up with a sail made by ultralight dacron and inflatable mast, boom and battens soon...

1 15 09 Kanaha with the Kona from giampaolo cammarota on Vimeo.

The Ultralight Superfreak is something I liked right away. This is the video I shot when I tried them. It's one of those that was muted on youtube. And so I now uploaded it on Vimeo! I want you guys to watch it and leave a comment IF you enjoyed the music and think that you now may possibly buy one of their cds. That was only the guitar solo of a great song (but probably not even in my top 10 PT songs, btw) called She's moved on. You can hear it all guess where? ... here, on youtube! And that's not copyright infringement?!? Maybe not yet...

Oh, maybe I got it. Maybe it's because it looks like I'm promoting a sail (and in this case, I bloody well am). But what about the other video they muted? I wasn't promoting anything on that one (other than the great sport of windsurfing). But it was shot with a low camera and it had the Hot logo often in it. Maybe that's what triggered the muting action.
They think I'm using their music to help sell stuff. That would make sense. But I'm promoting their music at the same time!
Whatever, 'nough of that.

Not done with the Kona reports yet. I still have the photos of Wednesday, GP's first time at Lanes with the Kona... ah, what a grand day that was, Gromit!

PS. Thank god it's over.

Monday, January 19, 2009

kona report part three

Been busy with some car problems, but I finally found the time to upload that clip that shows both a kitesurfer and Kevin Pritchard kind of struggling to make it back in.

Talking about videos, I need to find a good video hosting system. In fact:
1) the video uploading process of sucks. Very often it gets lost somewhere or it generates a mistake of some sort.
2) I wanted to try Vimeo for the first time, but when I uploaded the above video, I had to wait 135 minutes before it was processed.
3) I liked youtube so far, but I just received terrible news. Two of my videos have been muted because "A copyright owner has claimed it owns some or all of the audio content in your video".
The videos were: 09 ultralight superfreak test and 10 18 07 kanaha wavesailing.
Both had songs of my favorite band: The porcupine tree. I've been following these guys for a while, been at 6 or 7 of their concerts and tried to promote them as much as possible (for example through my videos). I just can't help it... I'm taking it a bit personally!
Those videos won't be the same without that soundtrack.
And if I can't use a song as a soundtrack of a video, a big thick slice of fun is taken out of the process.
I need to find a solution. Any ideas?

Well, finally the day after the vimeo version was ready and I thought about publishing it too to see the difference.

kevin pritchard and a kitesurfer struggling at Lanes from giampaolo cammarota on Vimeo.

Definitely way better quality. Still, I like the exposure that videos on youtube get independently from the blog. Mmm... maybe I'll use both!

Oh yeah, I forgot about the youtube high quality setting. Here it is.

Friday, January 16, 2009

kona report part two

I got more video clips, but let's have a look at the photos I took yesterday.

Tristan Boxford was the protagonist of the craziest windsurfing shot I have ever taken. It's the first of this two years old post.
BTW, if you feel a bit nostalgic, check out another mythical post of that swell. Yes, that's were Laird went out and acted like he was Neptune.

Well, looks like a couple of years later, the english sailor can still throw some serious aerials.

Second best shot of the day. Lalo Goya drops in a double overhead bomb and looks at the exact spot where he's going to hit. And he did.

This is Polakow and I like the two kites in the background. Sorry about the tilted horizon. Too lazy to straighten it out.

Got to throw some female body parts somewhere. Here's a nice elbow.

Polakow again.

Mmm... maybe two parabolic stringers on the rails are not as strong as a straight one in the middle.
Pato is wondering if it was better to stay home. Actually he knows that.

A meaty hollow of the knee. Kniekehle in German.

Robby Swift was in form.

Plenty more photos of him at the end of this slide.

Today (friday) the waves were bigger and the wind stronger, but it was also kind of rainy. Polakow, Levi, Boxford, Kai and KP went out (not at the same time!), but none of them could really tune in the conditions. Not sure why, I guess it was just too gnarly.
Bad light most of the time. I took only one decent shot: KP on a clean one.

No wait, I took another decent shot: a couple of mysterious and beautiful eyes.

PS. Funny, same exact shot on KP's post. He mentions that he was swallowed by a wave on his way back. I have that on video with my commentary, stay tuned for that.

PPS. Thursday and Friday I had more than a thousand unique visitors per day, from all over the world. If they had told me that when I started this blog, I would have not believed it.
I want to thank all blog readers for their interest in this blog. Keep spreading the word.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

kona report part one

OMG, between yesterday afternoon (when I left you with my last post) and today I collected so much stuff to post (in terms of sessions, photos, videos and emotions) that I really don't know where to start from. I got stuff for a month! But I better start posting something, since it looks like this second half of January will be just wave stuffed.
'kin awesome!

I'll resist the temptation of following a boring chronological order by delaying the report of yesterday afternoon GP's first time at Lanes with the Kona (!!!) and starting instead from this morning.
I went sailing at Kanaha and used for the first time my new GoPro wide angle. You guys know already how much I digged the regular GoPro. But this one is so much better!
Check this photo I took on a well overhead wave (there's a setting that makes the camera automatically take a photo every 2 (or 5) seconds).

Unfortunately I had a little of condensation inside the waterproof case, so it's a bit blurred on the side, but you can have an idea of the potential of this little toy. Compared the the previous one, it shows the size of the waves in a more faithful way.

In this one I'm heading out (click on the photo and notice how freaking offshore the wind is by judging by my board's direction...) and Manu is on a head higher that is lining up really sweet. Look at the beauty of the West Maui Mountain!

Somebody on a rare mast higher.

I got really excited out there...

75l and 4.2 was my happy choice (perfect in the gusts), but many 4.7s out too. Super offshore and gusty, but overall relatively manageable conditions and a hell lot of fun.
If I would have been actually able to do proper bottom and top turns on a wave when riding port tack, it would have probably been even more fun. Oh well, the only way to learn is to do it...
Would you like to feel something very similar to what I felt on most of these wonderful waves?
Try to brush you teeth with your other hand.

What a beautiful day it was.

Done with that, I went to Lanes and took photos and videos. Here are the very first two clips. No time to edit them, you take them the way they are.
I would strongly recommend to watch them, if you're thinking about trying to sail those conditions.

Makani has a video on his blog. From it you can see that Robby Swift was charging particularly hard.

OK, now I got left:
1) photos from yesterday
2) videos from this morning
3) photos from this afternoon
4) more videos from this afternoon
Tough life to be a blogger in Maui these days...

Forecast: stronger wind and bigger waves tomorrow. If I will suddenly stop updating this blog, you guys don't cry for me because I died having fun.

PS. Hugh just added a very valuable comment to the boards from the past post, check it out. Hey Hugh, would you mind dropping me an email? I have a question for you. My email is on the top right of this blog. Thanks!

PPS. Michelle just posted an album of photos from today on FB. Can you guys see it even without being friends with her? Just curious.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

epic surf + new blog sponsor

Classic Hawaii surfing condition Tuesday morning, thanks to the light offshore Kona wind.

Beautiful! And...

...covered. Hey, where's his head?

Oh, there it is.

Clean overhead open faces.

"Hey look, that guy is getting barreled!"

Hands in the water are so important for tight fast turns.
That's why I can't watch SUP surfers who don't use the paddle when they surf. It's like they have the big advantage of a very long hand and they don't use it!

Mini sequence dedicated to a body surfer.

Technically, the purest for of surfing. Or at least the closest to how dolphins surf.

Deep in the pit. That and the consequent wipeout must feel really good. You got no board and, as long as you don't hit the reef, nothing hard will hit/cut you.
One big advantage of body surfers (the guy in these photos told me): once in a while a big macker set catches all surfers by surprise and they all get caught on the inside.
He, instead, can dive under the waves and be the only one who made it through.
For a few minutes he's the king of the spot alone on the outside and can choose whatever wave he wants.
That must feel good too.

He can't throw all that spray though.

Kaleo riding an avalanche. Even though I should re-touch most of these photos with photoshop (but I don't have the time), I really like some clearly overexposed shots like this.

I'd rather be out and take more shots like this than spending time re-touching them with photoshop!


I'd like to welcome a new blog sponsor. You'll find the text link under the banner section on the right.
Current prices are $40/month for a banner and $15/month for a text link.
Blog readers are continuously growing. Here's a graph of the quarterly traffic. Q4 2008 had 55k unique visitors and 77k page loads.

So if you like this blog and would like to support it, help it grow by emailing its address to your friends and posting it on forums, on your blog, etc.
And don't forget the donations. Feel like a post is worth a buck? I'll take it! The paypal donate icon is on the right.
A hundred little donations of one dollar and I'll get the money of the new lens back. You like those duck dive shots, don't you?

As shown, yesterday morning the surfing was awesome. In the afternoon, I sailed Kanaha with a light Kona. Fun, but the waves were barely head high and inconsistent (the swell was on the way down).
This morning it was again very fun surfing and even smaller (but super clean) waves with light kona wind.
Now, wednesday afternoon, the kona is blowing stronger (gusts up to 24 in Kanaha), but the new swell is not here yet.

Here's the surfline NW buoy reading at noon.

12 feet at 18 seconds, but from a little more than 300 degrees.
The waimea buoy just started to sense 2-3 feet, 20 seconds forerunners and consequently the Oahu webcams are starting to show some long period head high sets.
That means that, I don't think we'll get anything big to sail in Kanaha this afternoon. There will be sets in the late afternoon up the coast towards Hookipa, but for the Kanaha wave sailing action, we'll have to wait until tomorrow.
I hope I'm wrong and I'll go check anyway...

And tomorrow classic show at Lanes with strong Kona and huge waves. Get your ass on the hill if you're in Maui.
Get your fingers on the mouse if you're not, since all Maui bloggers will be there filming and taking photos.
Mmm... all of them?!? Not really sure about that... stay tuned!