Monday, May 28, 2012

off to Indo

Tomorrow morning I'm out of here.

Maui is actually been fun lately, because the crazy strong wind (I was often on a 3.7) has brought a fun windswell that today was often head high.
And I'm gonna miss a fun 4-5 feet NW swell that will hit Friday, but I'm not too sorry about that.
Because hopefully I'll be on something like this.

A person who surfed it described it like Honolua Bay, but left and with few people. Sounds good to me.

Here's the Surfline Bali forecast.
I'll land there on the night of the 30th and as you can see, the waves are going to be relatively small for a couple of days.
Since getting to that wave takes two days (and that's the main reason why I hope that the crowd will be little), I decided to book a flight out of Bali already in the morning of the 31st and be ready for the long period SSW swell on the 2nd.
Let's see how the plan pans out, but I got a good feeling about it...

I just hope it's not gonna be as big as this.

Should have internet connection, so you guys stay tuned for updates. I got all kind of cameras with me.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Been a long time

Thanks to Emma and her behind for entertaining the readers that checked the blog to see if there was any update... I believe that helped making the disappointment a bit sweeter.

Well, let's start this post with another beautiful girl... why not?
I bought a new water proof camera (the gopro is the best for taking shots of yourself, but I wanted one with a bit of zoom to take shots of the others) and my friend Alexa was happy to model for the first test.

It's a Fujifilm Finepix xp50 and Costco sells it for $180 with a memory card.
I bought it because I want to take photos of the beautiful waves I will (hopefully) ride in Indo...
I also tested this wrist mount that was sent to me by the guy who came up with it a while ago. I didn't need it with the Gopro, but now I finally had the chance to use it and I loved it.
The weight of the camera on the left wrist will make the left arm tired a bit before the right one, but I believe it's a lot better, quicker and safer than keeping the camera in the pocket of the shorts or under the wetsuit.

Anyway, these are the rest of the shots. Not too bad for those bucks, uh?

This is my friend Rob (or Ron... who cares, names are overrated!) smiling and giving shakas during his last surf session in Maui.

After 15 years in Maui, his lovely Sprecks rented home became unavailable and he and his wife decided to move to the Bay Area.
We shared the most epic session of last winter and here's a little memory tale.
Kanaha, kinda big. The wind was Kona and it was strong enough to allow a few sailors to go out. I arrived around 3pm, rigged as soon as I could and managed to catch one wave before the wind got too light for sailing.
Then I grabbed my lovely Starboard 7.4x29.5 SUP board (I just LOVE that board!!!) and paddled out. It was raining on and off and only a few other surfers showed up, most of which placed themselves on the right which, truth to be told, always looks amazing with the light Kona.
Rob and I instead, were the only ones on the left and we scored many gorgeous waves hooting at each other.
It was as good as it gets, really.

I am sorry to see him leave, but I wish him all the best. And hopefully another great session together at Lowers... :)

Not exactly as good as Marina's shot, but it's surprisingly hard to duck dive without a wave!

Which Marina's shot? This one from Giora. O-M-G.

And this is my new lovely little camera again!

This is a post I did lately on Facebook.
Since my other two rental co-workers are off island, I'm going to work 9-6 for six days out of the next seven. Last time I worked that much was the last week of February 2001 (when I quit my job in Italy).
Good things out of it (the ones that I know already... I'm sure I'll find plenty more):
- it will make me appreciate even more when I go back to my usual light schedule
- it is going to be the flattest week of the year so far (timing is everything!)
- I'm going to push myself to try to get in the water everyday before and after work
- I'm going to Hana on Thursday (that one day off) to surf the windswell
So now it's time to go surfing the windswell at Hookipa and enjoy it! Aloha.

Well, that week is over and I can definitely confirm all the points I listed there. The appreciation of a day off (today), actually went way beyond my expectations. Also because, as usual, I did not waste any time. Here's how it went:

Knowing that there was going to be a south swell, I woke up around 4am.
The buoy was showing 2 feet, 17 seconds. Not quite enough for my favorite wave on the island to give its best. But just passed the intersection with the Haleakala Hwy, in the darkness of the wee hours, I decided to take the turn nonetheless.
"Yeah, it's not quite enough", I thought... "maybe a lot of other people will think like that and if it's breaking, maybe I'll score an uncrowded session!"

It was three of us at 5.45 in the parking lot. The sets seemed to be waist to occasionally chest high and quite inconsistent.
"You need a longboard for that!", one said.
"I agree. You got one?". I replied.
"Nope, only shortboard."
"Me too", guy number three added.
"Yeah, me too" I also added. "Oh, wait a moment. I got the standup with me!"

I confess that the thought of doing standup surfing there felt quite sacreligeus. But:
- the two guys were leaving, so I was going to be the only one out.
- the conditions were absolutely perfect for it.
"Whatever, I'm just gonna paddle out and see what happens".

The session turned into a major score. The sets were still waist to chest high, but that's exactly the size where my lovely board (did I say I love it already?) gives its best.
For 45 minutes I was absolutely alone scoring perfect little and fast peelers.
Then a head high set came and I caught one on the peak and pumped my way like crazy all the way to the channel.
Never gone faster on an SUP, I can guarantee you that!

The performance must have been noticed from the shore, since in less than 20 minutes I was joined by 8 longboarders. That was too crowded for me. So I took a tour around the point and I was alone again. Me, the beautiful blue water, the lava rocks and the magnificent Haleakala in the background.
Bloody awesome way to start a day off.

This photo was taken with my phone after the session. That's the only overhead set I've seen.

The rest of the day, saw:
- a nap in the car (I'm a master of those)
- another SUP surf session on the west side
- grocery shopping at the farmer's market
- total relaxation at home (this post is part of it).


Ok, what else happened this week?

The moon was close and big and the tides reflected that. This is the "beach" at Lanes and I've never seen those rocks so shallow!
If you ever break your gear and have to come in at Lanes, I only have one tip, but it's a good one:
the downwind part of the reef is MUCH better than the upwind part. There's a little tiny inlet on the reef that is usually leveled with the ocean. You wait for a wave and throw your gear over it. Then on the next wave you hop on the reef with your butt. Like on the edge of a swimming pool.
The upwind reef is a lot sharper and always (well, not in this photo) has a foot or two of water with a pretty strong current. No good.

A lovely piece of the Hana Hwy.

I believe the meaning of the second bumber sticker is:"I'd rather like you to be a real ass than a phony friend", but the way it's written seems wrong to me. Come on, there's a verb missing somewhere!
I do like the "stop global whining" one a lot though, so I guess I'll stop whining about the lack of a verb...

This is it. More small waves from the south tomorrow and a nice 4-5 feet, 11 seconds NNW swell on thursday/friday.
No whining here either.

PS. Maui Surf Report team rider Nico Dramisino made these t-shirts and he's selling them on e-bay. I put a banner up to help him out. He's the guy who did this mega backloop at Hookipa.
He's a team rider of this blog (the only one, actually) and I'm proud of that.