A mystery (partially solved in this post) swell and light kona winds made for epic surfing conditions all day at Hookipa.
I took a bunch of shots, let's start from those.
Shot of the day goes to Micah Stevens. He didn't land that, but the shot looks cool.
Chronological order from now on. This guy must have seen the Tom Curren sticker on my car's door before paddling out.
I hope nobody gets annoyed if I point out again the beauty of Carissa's boobs. In this couple of photos her surfing doesn't shine, her boobs do.
She actually landed pretty hard with her butt on her board. Ouch.
I hope John Gangini is a Jimmy Lewis team rider, because he makes that 7.0 Destroyer look pretty good.
68 years old. Good job.
Much younger, still good job.
Courtney Conlogue was ripping.
Small inside section, but very dynamic action for the title contender Conlogue. Honolua was probably tiny and ruined by the kona wind and most of the WCT girls were at Hookipa.
Perfect leash position.
Fooling around with the digital zoom, I got this guy's super closeup. Some ladies will appreciate.
This guy got so many barrels.
Courtney tried a few different boards.
This was a very sketchy situation in which she took off not in control and with too many people in front of her. Fortunately she managed to regain control just before running over that guy, but for me that was bad behavior. Doesn't matter who you are, safety always comes first.
There he goes again.
Another no landing but cool aerial shot.
Here's the guy that is my biggest inspiration in the whole world of surfing: I believe Ilima Kalama is 73-74 and he's always out there. I plan on doing the same. If I ever heal from this very tricky rib injury, that is.
He tried to go back to that lip, but you can tell how late he is. He got annihilated.
Courtney. I like her.
Afternoon session. Conditions were very similar. No sun when I got there, but...
...the sun eventually came out for half an hour or so.
And it was perfect light again.
At least for shooting.
Low sun on the horizon is tricky on the wave, if you're looking into it you're pretty much blind. I broke my foot windsurfing around this time of the day 5 years ago because of that.
Pavils looked good too.
There we go, now we can talk about Carissa's surfing, which is phenomenal.
I love power surfing with tons of spray in the turns and Carissa is the most powerful girl out there, IMO. She surfs like Jordy Smith. And that is a pretty big compliment in my world.
Another favorite female surfers of mine is Leah Dawson (here's a nice video
of her if you have a facebook account) who instead says: “My biggest compliment is not that I surf like a man, but that I surf like a woman.”.
All good, the girls on the WCT are judged with the same criteria as the guys, that's why Carissa is the champion, Leah is not and everybody is happy with their own styles and life styles.
After this shot the sun went behind the clouds and that was it for the shoot. Not for the surfing.
"Tiny bit of energy from the north, but in Maui most of the energy still comes from the windswell."
That's what I wrote in my call yesterday and that's why I called it extremely wrong.
It wasn't easy to predict it though seen the 6am buoy readings that were a mere 2.9ft @ 14s at the NW buoy and 1.3ft @ 18s from 331 at the Pauwela (with Waimea similar to it) plus 5.8ft @ 9s from 75 of windswell.
I saw it, but I didn't think the NW swell was gonna get that big. And I still don't quite understand why it got as big as it got, even if I look at the buoy readings from the three main buoys from yesterday!
Check the graphs below.
To the left is the NW one and I had to put red lines to identify the NW swell since its line it's all broken up. Middle is Waimea, right is Pauwela: 2f 16s, that's what those waves were!
Factors that contributed to the incredible amplification on the reef of Hookipa:
1) those 5-6f 9s of windswell were mixing up with the long period NW walls and making their peaks bigger than they would have been been without them. Nonetheless, I saw some sets that had walls that were head and a half + tending to DOH, even without windswell induced extra feet on the peaks.
2) the light offshore wind held the faces up and by the time the wave broke for sure the face was a little bigger than it would have been had it had no wind (or even worse had it been onshore).
Despite all that, that was the biggest 2f 16s I've seen in my life.
But at least I now know where they came from!
Below are the weather maps of Nov 18 and 19. The low right north of us is the one that made the swell for the Haleiwa contest. The one I circled way up in the NW corner instead is the one the made yesterday's (and today's!) swell.
It went under my radar because most of its winds seemed to be behind the Kurils, which in my experience block the energy almost completely. I guess I need to re-evaluate that. Or maybe not, since in the end it was still only 2f 16s at the buoy!
Anyway, at least we found the culprit fetch.
And today we have pretty much the same situation! Here's the wind map in the windity version.
A close much smaller fetch NNW of us and a much stronger one in the NW corner. I use this global world view to point out eventual fetches in the south Pacific like the one the the Tasman Sea (what a week for Fiji... and it's still gonna go on!).
But here's a much better detail of our main storm region in this other version.
The closer fetch is really tiny at the moment. The remote one is way bigger, but only the section with the saw teeth has strong enough winds to generate significant waves for us.
I outlined this fetch first thing in the morning pretty much, before I got into the analysis I just wrote above. As you can see, I followed the contour of the Kurils, because I thought that pretty much no energy generated north of them would pass on the other side.
North of the Kurils energy included or not, this one is going to be much bigger than 2f 16s at the buoy, that's for sure.
Surfline calling for 4f 15s from 325 on Thursday and that could be round 1 for the Honolua contest.
Keep in mind this fetch is NOT the one that will generate the much bigger swell (10f 15s) on Sunday and a similar one on Wednesday next week. Plenty waves.
Today's conditions? The answer is in the buoys and the wind.
Pauwela is 4.5ft @ 9s from 68° (ENE) plus 2.7ft @ 14s from 339° (NNW) at 7am and below is the MC2km map at noon. So, shorter period, but overall kinda similar conditions to yesterday. Go surfing if you can.