Saturday, June 27, 2015

2015 Indo trip n.2 report 1. Day 1 of the highly anticipated big swell report.

I started the day by checking the waves at the Airport reefs at 6am and they looked already too big. So I went to Balangan.
Tide was high and the waves looked big but doable.

I paddled out, tried to catch a couple, got caught inside by a big set (the swell was on the rise), got scared the by the raw energy of it and went straight in.
Considering that the last session I had in that spot I came out of the water all bleeding and with a hole in the head, I was quite happy to have not injured myself. Got to know your limits and play it smart.
The following is a fat section of photos I took there after my "session".

That's got to hurt.

Empty, but too beautiful to discard.

Very happy to see that they already rebuilt the warungs that got burned down some months ago. This is the Sunset warung, my favorite.

Then I got back on the bike and drove towards Uluwatu. This is the lineup at Padang Padang and the following are photos from there.

A successful drop at Impossibles. Didn't go too far.

The deceiving perfection of Impossibles.

Next spot on the list was Uluwatu which was considerably bigger.

Indonesian little girls are ALL incredibly cute.

One of the many casualties of the day.

That's my observation point. Not too shabby.

After lunch I went back to Padang Padang and no, it didn't get less crowded.

 I tend to think that this guy got the shot.

This fellow stole the bottles of water that are my Bali portable shower.

I hope I won't offend anybody, but that's 100% society induced bullshit, IMO.

I finished the day with a fun session at the Jimbaran shore break. A session that, compared to the morning session at Balanagan, I could give the following titles:
- the pleasure of wiping out knowing that nothing was going to happen to me
- the pleasure of duck diving without fearing to get slammed on the reef
- the pleasure of dropping in a wave without risking to die
As you can imagine, I had fun.

That's it for today, I'm going out for dinner. Tomorrow more big waves action. Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

california surfing + italy trip

Been on the road and finally found the time for a post.

I'm doing a round the world trip made by one way tickets with the following stop-overs:
- Los Angeles (12 hours)
- Italy (10 days)
- Indonesia (2 months)
- Sydney (12 hours)

I did something similar last year and I think I might keep doing this for the next years as well.
If you spend enough time on the internet in fact, you can actually find some cheap tickets. Being flexible with dates and booking well in advance both help, of course.

Since I know some of you guys are curious, here's the prices I paid when I booked the tickets in February.
The Maui-LA was on frequent flyer miles. LA-Rome was $556, Rome-Bali was $502, Bali-Sydney was $269, Sydney-Honolulu was $300, Honolulu-Maui was $81.
So the total cost of the trip was $1708.

Last year I did considerably better than that with a total cost of less than $1700 that included also the first leg Maui-Vancouver (and a lovely stop over in Fiji on the last leg).
Doesn't really matter where you book your flights, but my two favorite sites are kayak and google flights. And don't ask me what airlines, because that doesn't mean anything. They keep changing and sometimes you just got to monitor the prices that can go up and down. I started looking at the costs a month before I decided to book. Had I waited another week, I would have saved $150 bucks. But instead 3 weeks after that, the cost would have been $300 more.
It's a bit like gambling with the stock exchange, really.

Enough of that, here's some photos fom the LA stop over.
My friend Gianfranco was healing some cuts and unfortunately couldn't join me in the water, but he was nice enough to come pick me up, take me surfing, take some photos, hang out all day and take me back to the airport.
He's an absolute character and a very creative guy. He patented a hollow carbon stringer technology and here's his FeatherFlash website.

The double ender longboard below is one of his creations. The black lines you see on the deck are the hollow carbon stringers and that is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from the usual piece of wood you normal see in the middle of a surfboard.

This was the first early morning session at Manhattan Beach to wash off the poor rest I took on a 5h red eye flight from Maui. It worked.

Low tide, short period beach break meant a lot of closeouts, but I had fun. Chose a peak and surfed it by myself. That's a graceful dismount.

Later on he took me to Malibu, which was catching some long period energy from the south instead (3f 15s).
What a beautiful, fun, rippable wave! Too bad it's so crowded.

It was my second time in the very famous point break and just like the first one it was very difficult to catch a wave. There's always someone already on the wave there, no matter how deep you sit. My only chance was to be the next in line if someone fell. I had better luck with the small ones on the inside like the one below.

A board made in Italy and another one made by an Italian. Being Malibu, I find that peculiar.

This guy didn't mind the drizzling rain.

In this photo you can see that the board has fin boxes on both ends. Sometimes Gianfranco rides it with a single fin on the back and side bites on the front.

Some other times he uses the fin box in the front to mount his FinShot gopro mount. Check it out in this great video he put together.

Back in Napoli I went windsurfing with my old buddies. Scauri is what I used to call my home spot. Now it's Hookipa. Quite a lot better, I must admit, but I had fun planing around nonetheless. Also because my friend Maurizio (pictured below) let me use his Hot Sails Maui Firelight 5.7 and that of course made the experience even sweeter.

This is my lovely niece Laura. I was really happy to have guessed (with the help of the knowledgeable sales women) the right size for the dress I bought her at Hi-Tech.
A bit of a urban, very cement filled background, I know.

 But at least the front view is like this.
This is the view from down the harbor instead.


Excuse me the cliché, but a post from Napoli cannot end without a pizza shot. Mine was a delicious "salsiccia e friarielli" one, my other niece Alessia got a very traditional Margherita instead.

I'd pay $100/month to have that in Paia. Same exact stuff and taste though! Oh well, can't have everything.

I feel like adding some very personal considerations.

Every time I travel I notice how pervasive cultures are. Most people behave the exact same way of the people around them. The priceless value of travelling, IMO, is to be exposed to these different ways of living and question the one you're used to.
I consider myself lucky to have been exposed to different kind of cultures (to different extents) throughout my life: Italian, many European countries, American and Indonesian.
All have their good sides, all have their bad ones.

The more you see of them, the more you can decide to delete the bad ones from your behavior and to include the good ones.
In other words, if you are an attentive traveler and willing to make changes, travelling should make you a better person. Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity if you're somewhere different from your home.

Next post will be from Bali. A massive swell is forecasted for the weekend of June 27-28 and I haven't quite decided yet where to escape. There might well be no escape, actually.
In 5 years that I go to Indonesia, I have never seen a forecast of 14f 18s. Not sure I've never seen that in 14 years in Hawaii, actually.
That's the period map for Friday the 26th. Unreal.
Lovely back to back long period swells for Chile and Peru too, btw.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

South shore coming in at waist to belly high. Looks inconsistent but there's 15 seconds energy in the water

6 9 15 morning call

Today's morning call is presented by:
Manaloha rent-a-car: same friendly faces a new fleet and the best deals in Maui.

Been in love with the south shore lately.

I think I drove there every day for the last three weeks with one exception: a day that there were waves at Hookipa (and I regretted it).
There's something about the water quality, the light, the water temperature, the sometimes complete lack of wind, the shape of the waves, the fact that they travelled 3 more days than the NW swell, and a bunch of other things that I can't even rationalize now, that made me really fall in love with it, this brief taste of summer I was lucky enough to experience.

The big swell has been nothing short than amazing with days in which breaks like Breakwall should  have rather been called Cloudbreakwall.
But the days I remember with the most joy are the ones in which there was not a big swell in the forecast and it was still magic. And there were a lot of them.

I went yesterday too and I took some photos between sessions.

This one is actually from at least a week ago at Olowalu.

These ones are from yesterday and this is where I had my first session. This guy was ripping on his Takayama In The Pink 9.3.
We have a few in the rentals at Hi-Tech, so rent one if you want to try it. Lots of customers stoked on them.

The sticker shows that he's a Hi-Tech team rider, so he gets a second shot.
Hi-Tech gets a big thank you for letting me take so much time off and have the life style that I love.

And I just remembered seeing some nice shots on facebook of the Hi-Tech organized keiki contest at Launiupoko last Saturday, so I'm gonna squeeze one in here.
The girl's focus is what surfing is about for me. Nothing else matters in that moment. None of the society induced bullshit is bothering our experience. 100% of the brain is focused on what to do with the body to achieve whatever it feels right to do.
I can't think of anything else (other maybe than some drugs I never tried and probably never will) that does the same. Not even sex.

Thanks Cuda Shots for the photo. He's got a whole album on his facebook page.

Watching the WSL dawn patrol show on demand on my phone while checking the waves after my first session and taking a photo of it felt pretty cool. Got to love some of the society induced bullshit too sometimes!

And this was, without any doubt, the wave of the morning. That's probably three feet in the Hawaiian scale. I call that solid head high. The guy doesn't care what we might call it. He's surfing it.

Ahhh!!! With the arms up in the air!

Another turn with possess (or whatever Pots calls it) for good measure. 10 from the Italian judge. Easy.

Ripping a roundhouse cutty on a Hawaiian one footer. That's fun you guys. No need six feet every time. Just need the right board. And the right attitude.

To wrap yesterday (and the last three weeks) up, I'm just gonna mention that the last wave of my second session was magic. Perfect, steep waist high runner with the reef clearly visible the whole way through the wall. A dream.

Thank you Maui for having delivered a magic stretch of surfing. I leave tomorrow for an exciting trip that will take me first to briefly visit my family in Italy and then for two months in Indonesia.
Got four boards and a girl over there. Life is good. Very good.

Nonetheless, I packed everything tonight because tomorrow I got a tight schedule and I wonna surf in the morning. No need to say where.
And with that, let's move right into this morning's call.
Better do a good one, since it's the last one in a while (they will resume on August 22).
Gonna keep posting though. Keep checking the blog if you may.

3.9ft @ 8s from 45° (NE)
2.5ft @ 10s from 89° (E)
1.7ft @ 15s from 148° (SE)
1.3ft @ 13s from 157° (SSE)

3.4ft @ 8s from 347° (NNW)
1.4ft @ 5s from 23° (NNE)
0.8ft @ 16s from 258° (WSW)

3.6ft @ 9s from 63° (ENE)
3.5ft @ 7s from 76° (ENE)
2.5ft @ 8s from 308° (WNW)
2.2ft @ 15s from 209° (SSW)
Not much on the north shore and a beautiful 22f 15s reading at Barbers. The early packing plan is working.

Windguru page not loading this morning, this is the noon MC2km map, but it's not updated to today.
I do remember trades being forecasted for today.

Nothing for the north shore in the wind map, but a nice fetch in the Tasman Sea to get the competition going in Fiji.