Saturday, February 27, 2010

Big waves + tsunami warning

Here's some photos from Friday February 26th.

The waves up the coast were big and mean. Nonetheless, a few sailors were out. This is Russ who, together with Art, tried to make it out for something like 30 minutes or so. Dale Cook, instead, was on the outside catching waves and kicking out carefully early enough.

Yes Russ, chicken jibe was a wise idea.

Art's turn to try... good luck.

In the meantime, Bart was able to catch a wave at Hookipa.

Chris was out too and here he is making his way back in.

Finally Russ and Art made it out. This is Russ. He rode this one in.

A couple of tow teams showed up.

Bart caught a medium one at Hookipa.

Art broke his mast. That's one point in the cup and a tough swim back in. I met him later at the Kuau Mart... he was ok.

Another wave for the tow surfer.

Dale's last wave was actually a pretty good one... three top turns!
My respect to all the sailors that were out there.

I, instead, chose a way more mellow session at Kanaha. I put the GoPro camera on the mast above the boom and took a few pics. The conditions weren't that great and most photos had droplets on the lens.
This blog gets almost a thousand readers a day. Is there a water photographer amongst them that feels like sharing a tip for avoiding that? I tried Rain-x and sunscreen with no success. Thanks.
Lil bottom turn.

In search for better conditions, I sailed up to Uppers. Didn't find them, but I saw this amazing kind of catamaran on some kind of hydrofoil literally flying on the water pulled by a kite. I think to have recognized Don Montague. Wouldn't be surprised, since he's a pioneer of kite boating. Unfortunately, the usual droplet covers most of the boat and the kite is out of the photo.

This is a funny one.

It's 12.46 pm. It was pretty cool to watch the water going so fast out and in at Hilo bay on TV. Never seen anything like that. It looks like nothing destructive happened. Pretty impressed by how organized the warning was and everything else.
An unexpected day off and an unexpected day of rest too. Both very welcome. My thoughts go to the poor people in Chile that got their lives devastated by the earthquake.

PS. The 2010 ASP season started. The Quicksilver Pro Gold Cost is on. I just watched on the heats on demand Dusty Paine advance in his first heat against Jordy Smith and Drew Courtney... way to start your first ASP World Tour year, Dusty!!!
As while you're at it, don't miss watching heat 5 to check in what kind of form Mr. Slater is...
Great surfing also from reigning champ Fanning, but it's going to impossible to beat Slater if he surfs like that.

Friday, February 26, 2010

the death of my favorite board

If you really want to get into the drama of this post, you should first read the story of the best surfboard on the planet.


Wednesday February 24 the waves looked pretty good (even though a bit meaner then two days before), but since that Monday I took those great shots from the front of the camera (see two posts below), I decided to grab my 8.6 and shoot a few more.

Here's a nice sequence.

Alex suggested me to rotate the photo to straighten the horizon and I have to say that it definitely renders the steepness better.

Here's how it looks without rotating... kind of flat, uh? What do you guys think?

Here's the bottom turn... no horizon to line up, plus I'm pretty deep down almost in the flat.

And top turn. So cool!

At the end of the session I was quite tired (read: surfed out) and I did a bad mistake. I moved in the lineup in a spot right in front of the beach in order to catch one last one in. That's a very steep and fast right that I never really surf, since I suck back side. I think (can't quite remember) I must have fucked up the takeoff on what would have been the last wave of yet another great sesh (that's why the camera was shooting photos) and I ended up in this situation with a fairly big wave approaching.

I guess I didn't have time to turn the board around to either turtle roll or try to duck dive... or maybe I was just too tired to try that...

...but two seconds later I was still holding it from the tail.
Now, that's like offering it as a sacrifice to that lip:"here take it and destroy it!".
I think I wanted to hold it because I saw a shortboarder on the inside and even though he was way deep, I just wanted to protect him in case the leash snapped...

14 seconds later (I'll save you the underwater shots) here's the front of the board with the camera still shooting photos. You can see me with the other half of the board in the middle and the shortboarder on the left.

Then the half board got washed on the inside.

A little swim later.

Now, I tried to make this dramatic just for the sake of it. I was actually not that bummed. You can see that from my expression...

I'm a strong believer of impermanence and unattachment. Nothing last forever, everything is replaceable.
Instead of being pissed off because of all the rides I won't be able to have anymore on that wonderful board, while I was paddling back in I was thinking at all the magic rides that wonderful board actually gave me (how's the glass, half full or half empty?).
Here's a super fun session at Lowers (one of my favorite video clips, only seen 255 times).
Here's one screamer at China Walls.
Here's wave number 999 of the Oahu trip at Publics. So many wonderful memories.

AND, I'm not going to throw it away!
I already put together three snapped boards so far. The first one (a 9.0 Charlie Smith) clearly came out ugly: heavy and with wrong rocker. I got lucky with the second one (a 12.2 Starboard SUP) and got the rocker line perfect. Pretty damn good job also on the third one, but it was a Goya windsurf board and I could borrow a similar one to measure the rocker... that helped a lot.
Anyway, wish me luck with it and if you are Keola Rapoza in Oahu and feel like shipping me the rocker sticks of that board for a few days, I'll definitely take the offer... :)

What else.
Bart did a post of that great SUP outer reef session we had together. He had his HD GoPro on the head band and the colors in this photo are just ridiculously good. Plenty more photos on his blog.

As forecasted, yesterday (Thursday) the wind blew pretty strong and offshore (at least up the coast). Windsurfing was really fun. Francky was in the water at Hookipa and Petch got the photo of the day... congrats!
Jeff shot same hit from the bluff.
Plenty more photos in their galleries: one and two.

I had surfed already in the morning and all that gusty wind took a toll on my arms and shoulders, to the point that I could barely lift my dish at dinner...
Today more windsurfing (provided that I can carry my board to the beach...), then Saturday hopefully one last day of glassy waves before a very strong high pressure will settle and create some really strong and gusty 4.0 kind of winds. Some people like that. I really dislike it instead (not a huge fan of chops), but considering that the waves will be pretty damn big, I won't complain because:
1) this winter has been the best ever so far
2) it could be worse: flat
3) other than the intense muscle soreness, I'm alive and well.

Life is wonderful.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

awesome outer reef SUP sesh

After that magic session on Monday, Tuesday an extra large NW swell made the north shore a big close out and fired up the outer reefs.

Bart and I paddled to one of them and scored some beautiful, big (bigger than it looks), glassy, clean and peeling waves together with two other standup paddlers and a couple of tow teams.

I had the camera mounted on the paddle and this is the result.

14 years old Joao Marco Maffini and 13 years old Chaz Kazuma Kinoshita, instead were being towed at Jaws and this is a little video of that.

Four hours of Jaws action were webcasted by

This morning (Wednesday) I snapped my favorite surfboard. Post with photos coming up soon.

Forecast: the glassy days are about to end.

PS. A blog reader sent me an email regarding a missing 43 yo woman called Laura Vogel. Here's an article with her photo and the numbers to call if you have information about her.