Thursday, March 31, 2011

6.5 hours, 20 seconds

Yesterday was an epic day by all means.

I like a nice shot at the beginning of the post, so here is Browzinho in the shot of the day.

But before we move on to the other photos, I feel like telling about my amazing day in the water.
At 7.30am I entered the ocean at a south shore spot. Having checked the buoys I knew exactly that the big NW swell would have not hit until late in the afternoon. I also knew that there was a 2 feet, 17 sec swell from the south.

I love when there's a south swells AND a big NW swells, because usually the first one goes under the radar. Most people on the north shore didn't even know about it.
Anyway, the waves were shoulder high in the sets, perfect for my new 6.2x20.75x2.5 Kazuma with carbon stringer (which will deserve a post soon). Four people out for the first hour, then slowly up to 10 people, but still very fun.

South swells are less physically demanding than north swells, because there's more time between sets, in average they're smaller and there's usually an easy channel to paddle out. So I wasn't really all that tired when, after three hours, I got out at 10.30. But I was supposed to work for Russ and be at the shop at 11.
When I got to the car, I found a message from him saying that he didn't need to be replaced anymore.
"Damn, I could have surfed longer! Well, I can always paddle out again I guess, but let me go check that other spot..."

As another example of how good things are always hidden in what seems to be a bummer, that other spot (one of my top 5 waves in Maui) had only three people out. Sets were inconsistent, but when they came there were at least 5 waves in it...
So I surfed 1.5 hours more (before the wind got on it).
Had a lovely lunch with my lovely friend Sharon and then went to Hookipa to shoot the start of the swell.

The show was top level. Helicopters, the best windsurfers in the world, beautiful waves with a football field between each other, offshore wind, bright sunny sky. For shooting windsurfing, it doesn't get better than this.
Following the plan I had already thought days in advance (the buoys only help to eventually reassess it), I then went to Kanaha for the late afternoon session. The waves were chest to overhead high (occasionally logo), very clean thanks to the light offshore wind.

After sailing so many sessions at Hookipa, when I go to Kanaha I feel like Robby Naish. I hit lips (that mushy ball of white water shouldn't really be called lip, but you know what I mean) after lips and sailed as aggressive as I've ever sailed.
I hit more lips in two hours there than in the whole winter at Hookipa, that's for sure. That's why, at my level, when Kanaha is working is still way more fun for me.

Two hours I said (5 to 7), and that makes a total of 6.5 hours in the water, which explains the first part of the title.
The second is related to the period of the first sets of the swell. There's something magic about long period waves which I can't really describe, so you just got to trust me on that. It was really magic out there.

A big fish salad at Fish Market was the worthy dinner of a wonderful day. I ate together with a friend who was smart enough to forget his JS 6.2 V2.1 two days ago on a wall in Lahaina and clearly didn't find it the day after. Please email me if you know about it.

And now, finally someone will say, the rest of the photos in chronological order.

Helicopter one, Starboard photoshoot.




Keith (follow the line left by the tail of his board).

Skyler. He was super pissed when he got out of the water. No idea why.

Nice legged aerial by Anne Maire.

Mark, something off the lip.

Boujmaa broke three sails and finished the photoshoot with a 5.5 (waaay overpowered). Not sure that's the one in the photo though.

Doesn't really look like, but this turn of Levi was pure poetry. The speed at which he did it was mind blowing. He and Keith have extremely different styles. Yet they both rip at the highest levels.


I wanted to get Ricardo and the helicopter in the same shot and this is not exactly what I had in mind. But you can see Ricardo's body through the back door of the helicopter. He did an amazing crash on that wave and I'm sure the photographers on board have some good shots if it.

Bernd escapes.

Victor. Love the shadow.


"Nice turn, master! Woof!". Keith's dog faithfully awaits on the beach.



Leo Ray with one of the new Naish sails.

Robby figure eighting with Bernd.

This morning I woke up early as usual, but decided to skip the surf session.
The waves are going to be a lot bigger and the plan is to do an early windsurf session, a photoshoot at Hookipa (IF someone will go out) and a late windsurf session.
Maybe I'll take the gopro out, so stay tuned.

Life is good. Like, really really good.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

fart off the lip

There is no doubt that all these international sailors ripping the hell out of the Hookipa waves are inspiring the local sailors to push a bit harder.
The photo of the day is a clear example of that. Never seen Amir trying a forward off the lip before!

Even I felt the urge to show what I can do!
Not being able to do forwards though, I decided to push my limits my own way and invented the "Fart off the lip". I had a couple of good ones, but I haven't landed one yet. Not easy you guys, not easy.

Here's the 29 other worthy photos in chronological order.
Scott McKercher.





Ricardo. His whole board is under the water... no wonder he didn't spin out!

Thanks Tif!


Ricardo sailed incredibly well today. He almost landed a double forward off the lip. Soon I'll have to try a double fart off the lip.



Thomas Traversa having a bit of an argument with him boom head.




Sean Ordonez showed up with a brand new sail (no idea who made it) and a brand new board.

Boujmaa. Really nice colors in his sail.

Just like the usual great looking Prydes. Campello all over the place.

Ricardo. Shot of the day runner up.


Kai has a video camera on the helmet and he's trying to catch Boujmaa's action.

Keith. Check the lines. 90 degrees with the lip. In other words, perfectly vertical.



Looks like Laurent.



At 6:01pm, Elena (the last sailor out) sailed back in. But only because there were too many surfers out, otherwise she'd be still out there. Nice article on Windsport magazine, sistah!

As for my session, it sucked. I went out at 5pm and hoping that the wind would ease off a bit I rigged a 4.7. The wind didn't ease off and I was way overpowered on the wave. It was like South Africa out there today. Offshore, strong and gusty.
Just like when I surf, when I sail I like light offshore, but I don't like strong offshore.
Tomorrow the big swell should pick up in the afternoon. We'll see what the wind will do.

PS. Just received this press release for the Oxbow jumping contest.

Oxbow Ride the Sky presented by Naish will take the sport of windsurfing to world-record breaking heights on Maui in April. This event will be held at Ho'okipa Beach Park on the east side of the Valley Isle with its one-month holding period beginning on April 1.

A celebrity panel of watermen will be judging this event: Maui windsurfers Mark Angulo and Baptiste Gossein, as well as 2010 ASP World Longboard Champ Duane DeSoto. They will be judging 20 of the world's best windsurfers in Oxbow Ride the Sky presented by Naish in April. These professional athletes will be competing for highest air, best trick and worst wipeout. The highest air will be awarded a $100 per foot and $2,500 will go to best trick winner.

Oxbow Hawai'i is also proud to announce a list of alternate local sailors from Ho'okipa for this mind-blowing event: Leo Ray, Patrick Bergeron, Kevin Pritchard, Kai Katchadourian, Nathan Mashon, Nicolas Dramisino and Diego Femenias. If any of the primary invitees are unable to compete in Oxbow Ride the Sky presented by Naish then the aforementioned world-class windsurfers will take their place.

This event will be held at Ho'okipa Beach Park on the east side of the Valley Isle and its one-month holding period begins on April 1. Oxbow Ride the Sky officials will choose the best possible conditions for the single day of competition.

Comment 1: it would be great to see Baptiste back on Maui!
Comment 2: what the hell does Duane DeSoto have to do with windsurfing?
Comment 3: yeah, at least Nico is in the alternates! I wonder in which order they will call them in case one of the 20 won't show up... maybe they'll ask Duane.