Sunday, January 31, 2010

back in the water

Well, surfing sucked (still relatively speaking), but light wind wave sailing at Kanaha was quite a lot of fun.

It's really great to see Matt Pritchard back in the water after that gnarly accident he had.

As soon as I saw him sailing, I had a moment of extreme happiness. "Wow", I thought, "that must feel really good"...
And then my thought went to Baptiste. I don't have any updates on his conditions, but I keep sending him all my best wishes.

The lifeguards went to rescue a windsurfer. Evidently, his racing gear was so big, that they couldn't carry it with them. So, listen to this, one of the lifeguards stayed with the gear in the water, just outside the big surf, while the other was taking the sailor in. Then the jet ski driver (his name is Rick and he's a super nice guy... quite funny too!), went out again and picked up his colleague (whom I don't know) and the gear.

There goes several hundred bucks...

Looks like the Volcom pro saw a pretty good day of competition. Too bad I was out surfing and sailing and couldn't watch it... but I'm going to watch the heats on the demand! Cool stuff, uh?

Surfing should be good tomorrow.

PS. Just watched the heats on demand of day 3 of the Pipe contest. It looked more like The Wedge than Pipeline... very, very gnarly.
Kuau resident Ian Walsh is the last of the Maui boys (who did pretty damn good overall) still in. Tomorrow he's in a super tough semifinal against Anthony Walsh (from Australia), and two of the best Pipeline specialist: Jamie O'Brien and 17 y.o. John John Florence, who is my bet as a winner.

Mmm... what to do tomorrow morning... go surf or watch the contest... what a dilemma!

it's all relative

Considering the incredible winter we're having, Saturday afternoon's conditions at Hookipa were considered below average...

Not enough to stop Matt Meola and his buddies from ripping the hell out of those "small" waves... (and me from having some serious fun myself!).

New swell on the rise, today it could possibly be a sailing day. But for sure it will be a surfing day (and the Volcom Pipeline Pro will be probably on) in the morning hours, so I'm off to dawn patrolling.

Oh, KP celebrated his birthday with his family on the bluff... happy birthday!

PS. Can someone fix the Waimea buoy please? I need to know where to go surf and at 6am it's still dark for the webcams...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pascal loves Lanes

Post update.

Looks like Francky loaded more photos of that day here.
And the last photo of the gallery c'est moi. Thanks Francky!

In the meantime today two things happened. Well, plenty more, but two that I feel like mentioning on this blog.
1) Contrary to my wrong forecast, the trades today blew pretty strong (at least in Kanaha). Fully powered on a 4.7, I wish I had my small board with me, but sure it was fun.
2) The first day of the Volcom pro at Pipeline was completed. Here's a photo of Jamie O'Brian, who absolutely dominated his second heat posting a 10 and a 9.33.


Tuesday saw light Konas and occasional head high waves at Lanes. When I got in the water around 2.30, there were something like 20 sailors slogging around.
Very difficult to catch waves, since the wind on the inside was extremely light.
Francky showed up with his camera and everyone pushed it a little harder.
Pascal got the photo of the day.

When Francky left, most sailors left too and just four of us stayed. I thought I was going to catch a lot more waves, but the wind was so light that it was still very challenging to be in the right spot at the right moment.
I got out around 4.30 and thought:"maybe I should go take some photos of Pascal... Nah, he's been out for a while and the wind is dropping... he's going to come out of the water soon..."

Then I started chatting and forgot about it. When I left around 5.30, guess what I saw from the highway...
The man was still out there slogging and ripping the hell out of those waves. I pulled over and shot this little sequence on a wave. What he did on that wave is way more that I was able to do in my whole session.

But, other than underlining how good he his, I'd like to point out what kind of a soul sailor he is. I'm sure he's stoked if he has photos (like everyone else), but I'm also sure he was loving the fact that he was the only one out there (together with one kitesurfer) and that he could enjoy IN PEACE the beautiful colors of the sunset light and those port tack light offshore conditions he really digs.
Good job.

PS. The Volcom Pipeline Pro is on in gnarly conditions with 15 feet mean barrels. Unfortunately their website is experiencing problems, but I'm watching from the surfline webcam and what I see looks scary.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

An intense day of surfing

Once again in this UNBELIEVABLE winter, Sunday the waves in Maui were as good as they get.

I checked Hookipa early morning and the spectacle was unreal. Way too many surfers for my ability though. Not a problem for Matt Kazuma Kinoshita instead, who was hitting the lip at every single turn, fully in control, in the middle of all the other surfers...
I just watched the Occy documentary dvd, and I have to say that Matt's backhand turns reminded me of him... and that's a hell of a compliment!

Here's a clip from my session.

And here's a few shots.
Let's start from this one on my last wave in, because it clearly shows how content I was about my awesome session.

This mini sequence shows how clean the waves were. Didn't get barreled.

This one also shows the cleanness of the waves. Do I look like Philippe Noiret or what?

The mysterious foam ball.

I remember this wave very well. Me and Sid saw a big set and started paddling out. Even though it was his turn he was too deep for it, so he yelled:"go GP, it's yours!"
"Damn, now I have to go", I thought and turned my board just in time for a late drop...

If I look worried, it's because I am.

Made it.

Now I'm at the bottom of the wave. Thanks to the speed I got from the steep drop, I pushed hard on my back foot and cranked one of my best bottom turns ever. Unfortunately the camera (that was shooting every two seconds) missed it. Oh well, it felt good anyway...

And now iniziating the top turn. God, surfing is so much fun...

After my session, I went back to Hookipa and took some pics. The waves were still nice, but not as good as earlier. Imagine that.

Weather windsurfing, tow-surfing or shortboard surfing, Francisco Porcella always goes for it.

A brazilian ass is always welcome on this blog. Big wave charger and top canoe paddler Andrea Moeller hasn't lost her femininity despite her incredibly strong muscles.

This is the weather map of today Tuesday 1 26 morning. That deep low will send yet another major NW swell arriving Wednesday afternoon.
This afternoon light Kona and relatively small waves.
Tomorrow afternoon, big waves and onshore wind.
Thursday, big waves and a very short episode of light trades (don't get excited folks, it's going to be cloudy and quite possibly too light/onshore to be sailable), before the whole thing will start over again, thanks to another big waves generating deep storm.

Bart got some nice SUP footage on his blog.

And, even though a little more flat than Hawaii's ocean, Jeff posted an interesting windsurfing on ice video.

The Sunset Pro SUP contest will be held February 6th to 14th. Check the incredible rides with which Ekolu Kalama won the first event in Tahiti.

In the meantime, the Volcom pro at Pipeline hasn't started yet.

This post contains 24 photos, a video clip, a forecast and five links to other videos/contests. Appreciation, please.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kauli gets wacked

Blog reader Rille sent the link to this video in which Kauli gets wacked by a big wave, destroys his gear and gets rescued by the lifeguards at Hookipa last Thursday.
I hope this will contribute to finally stop that stupid attitude I see in most windsurfers that say that the lifeguards don't help them...
Lifeguards job is to save lives. If you break your gear and the conditions allow you to swim back through the waves on your own without putting your life at risk, that's what you got to do. If you don't think you can do that, choose a different/easier spot.
I got plenty friends who's life has been saved by the lifeguards and I have been rescued myself with a broken mast at the outer reef at Kanaha on a huge day (October 28... was it 2003-4?). The day after that, it was windier and more windsurfers ventured out in the still huge surf and the Kanaha lifeguards made 36 rescues, or something like that. They were supposed to take off at 4, but they stayed till dark to make sure everyone came back in safe.
Off course, like in every job, some individuals are nicer than others, but overall, I love the fact that there's lifeguards and I'd like to thank them for what they do.
I'm sure Kauli would agree.

Kauli gets wacked from Rille on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

An intense day of wavesailing

After that teaser light wind day on Saturday reported in the last post, the wind in Maui has been extremely light again till yesterday (Wednesday) when it blew strong sideon in the late afternoon. Lots of fun in some unusual conditions (yes, sideon is unusual for Maui...).

Today, instead, it went back to a regular easterly trade direction (after something like a month and a half).
The waves were big and gnarly at Hookipa (I heard of Kauli destroying his sail and been rescued by the lifeguards) and most pros were down at Kanaha.
I got lucky and sailed for a couple of hours with manageable 4.7 wind, before it went up again around 5 and made the whole quality of the sailing way worse (overpowered and overchopped).
Not an epic day, but a hell lot of fun for most sailors (me included) after such a long wavesailing abstinence.

Other than a possible Kona day on Saturday though, the next windy day might be in exactly one week, next Thursday when another very temporary high pressure cell will build just north of the islands. One week wind forecasts... I honestly don't trust them. In the meantime though, no shortage of waves and that's what counts in my world.

I took out my new HD GoPro camera and shot some video clips. In the meantime that I slap them together, please enjoy these photos.

I like the colors in this one.

Andres backloops downwind of me.

It looks like I'm in the right spot at the right time, right?

Two seconds later...

I had the camera on the shots every two seconds. Unfortunately, it didn't shoot when Omri was at the apex of his jump, otherwise you guys could admire how freaking high he went, before wisely ditching everything.

Wow, I'm exhausted (thank god for the Superfreaks, otherwise I'd be even more tired!). My legs are sore for all that bouncing on the chop. Time to go to bed. Also because tomorrow might offer good surfing conditions.

What a life.

PS. The Volcom Pipeline Pro starts tomorrow (wave permitting).

Saturday, January 16, 2010

15 feet, 18 seconds from NW and still going up

Saturday January 16 saw excellent conditions for a super light wind slog and surf session at Hookipa. I caught a couple of really clean waves and then took a few pics.

Kauli is an amazing sailor.

Being dropped in is never a good feeling. But in this case there's two facts that should make it more acceptable:
1) a standup surfer (like any other surfer) has priority over a windsurfer, since for him it's not as easy to catch a wave (I just wish all standup surfers would apply the same rule towards regular surfers)
2) the standup surfer is an old windsurfing glory like Miki Eskimo

Actually, there's a third fact that should make it more acceptable:
3) you end up on one of the coolest blogs on the planet.

That's the end of the windsurfing section of this post. Before we move into the surfing one, let's enjoy a couple of 'lifestyle' shots.

I use to like women with toe nail polish. It might be the result of all these years living in an higly hippy populated area like Paia, but I now find it kind of disgusting. I'm still not much into hairy legs though.

Here's a happy gal.

She's paddling out. You guys make a mental mark of the bikini bottom level.

Michelle's attire is not quite as sexy, but it's definitely warmer. Nice wave sistah.

Surfer dude 1.

Surfer dude 2.

Surfer dude 3.

She's now paddling in and after a whole session in head high + waves at Hookipa the bikini bottom is at the same exact spot. Now, how's that possible... she puts it there intentionally, that's my guess. And I'd like to thank her for that.

Tomorrow yet another giant swell will hit. This one was generated by a storm that wasn't as close to the islands as the previous ones. That should make for longer periods and cleaner waves.

I can't wait to ride some. And, unless I die tonight, you can be absolutely sure that I will...