We just launched an online shop for iSurf branded merchandise. It’s a great way to stay connected to the brand and its initiatives. We are enjoying free shipping for 5 more days (until february 2nd) and a 30% launch discount. If this was not enough to get you started, the first 5 transactions will receive two stickers by mail. Send an email with proof of purchase and address to claim the stickers.
Puntuale come un orologio è arrivato lo scirocco di fine estate.
Un tempo a chiudere l’estate faceva il maestrale (ricordo diversi anni fa una settimana di fila, proprio a settembre , e la ricordo bene perchè avevo passato l’ordine al mio laboratorio di fiducia per costruire una tavola nuova custom dando la mia subito in cambio per arrivare al costo della nuova…), adesso è qualche anno che il maestrale è andato in pensione. . . e ci ha lasciato lo scirocco, che quest’anno ha preso pure il posto del termico e un’altro pò sostituisce pure la tramontana. E vabbè.
Uno dice, a guardare le probabilità, esiste il 14% di possibilità (1/7) che faccia vento durante un giorno qualsiasi della settimana scelto da voi a caso. Quindi le possibilità che faccia vento il fine settimana sono il 28% contro un 72% che ti fotta e lo faccia in un feriale (qualche purista della statistica avrebbe da ridire . . . ma semplifichiamo le cose, per completare il ragionamento) Tutto sommato poteva andarci peggio. Se pensiamo alle probabilità di vincere al superenalotto (che tutti i surfisti giocano con la prospettiva di trasferirsi alle Hawaii), sono molto ma molto inferiori. Facciamo a tempo a diventare tutti Campello, uscendo esclusivamente nei fine settimana. . . Allora la domanda semplice e disarmante che ti faccio è: ma come mai il vento arriva sempre nei giorni feriali? Come mai il nostro log book è una somma di 72% che si danno man forte l’uno con l’altro, e il vento fa sempre due pompate di venerdi e riesce a planare liscio attraverso i nostri fine settimana, senza fermarcisi neanche per sbaglio? Mah. . . A questo aggiungerei le perversioni informatiche che ormai ti informano in tempo reale e le telefonate degli amici e il quadro di sofferenza è completo.
Per ricapitolare. Già lo sapevi dal giorno prima, ma saggiamente hai fatto finta di niente. Magari di mattina ti arriva un sms del professore, se hai sottoscritto il suo servizio di infowind, che ti avverte che non solo era previsto (cosa che ci lascia ormai quasi perfettamente indifferenti, date le possibilità ancora elevate di sòla) ma c’è anche e per davvero! Verso le 11 poi magari la telefonata di un amico (c’è n’è sempre uno, e Andrè?) che dal tuo spot ti manda un laconico sms che declina “Lo so che stai soffrendo, ti volevo dire che è bellissimo” Ora dico io, ma se lo sai, perchè diamine mi mandi l’sms? Spirito sadico? Per vedere se scoppio e sentire il botto dalla Centrale? Mah. . .
Purtroppo non è finita li . . esiste anche Internet e la lan aziendale . . e i siti meteo in tempo reale, alcuni con i grafici temporali del vento (corallo beach, windfinder osservazioni ita, surf.it, windwatch). Il mio browser in queste giornate al posto del pulsante di refresh ha un buco, a forza di rischiacciare per vedere gli aggiornamenti . . .
Ultimo e non meno curioso fenomeno. Se Mercoledi 15 settembre 2005 andavi alla Centrale, o Giovedi 16 a Focene, e ti portavi l’elenco alfabetico dei serfisti romani – che a Roma come ovunque in Italia grazie alla lungimiranza delle politiche di produttori e negozi sul settore giovanile si sono praticamente estinti nel corso degli ultimi 20 anni – e facevi l’appello, notavi non più di una decina di assenze parzialmente giustificate. Ora io sono anni che mi chiedo che lavoro facciano i surfisti.
Certo meglio del mio, che non mi ha mai consentito di fare sega (va bene, lo ammetto, qualche rarissima eccezione, che ricordo però una per una, per il contorno creativo di palle che ho dovuto inventare a supporto e per il malox che ho dovuto assumere pre riprendermi dopo aver zippato un’uscita windsurf in 2,5 ore ufficio-uffico), pur avendo cambiato completamente genere almeno già tre volte. Sono tutti professionisti romani che hanno visto in anticipo la sciroccata e si sono sbancati la giornata dagli appuntamenti? Tutti medici e dentisti che fanno chiamare i pazienti dichiarando gravissime incombenze dell’ultimo istante? Tutti commerciali che si fissano l’apputamento col cliente guarda caso in località marina? Tutti imprenditori che sanno far lavorare gli altri al posto proprio? Tutti disoccupati o impiegati ministeriali?
Non sarebbe possibile . . Penso che i clienti alla terza sciroccata di fila si ribellerebbero, o no? E al successivo professionista o fornitore di servizi prima di diventare loro clienti gli chiederebbero “Scusa, ma n’è per caso che te fai uinserf, vero? .. No perchè sinnò tieni un pò bene aperto l’occhietto a zio ..” Che il capoufficio alla terza richiesta di permessino gliene farebbe uno definitivo, che non richiede la necessità di rientro. . E un adagio dell’imprenditoria detta che se non stai a bottega, difficilmente le cose funzionano.
Ti immagini l’economia del windsurf? Ti alzi in un giorno di vento scendi al bar e trovi un cartello con scritto: “Chiuso causa vento” Fai dieci metri vai per fare benzina, e trovi chiuso. E vabbè, dici, tanto oggi vado a Focene, la faccio domani. Passi dal tuo negozio di windsurf preferito prima dell’uscita per ricomprare le cimette del trapezio, e niente, stanno al mare pure loro. E vabbè, esco senza cimette, ergo senza trapezio, alla Craig Mainsoville, detto Masonite, che diversi anni fa usciva a hookipa sempre senza trapezio (ora è in cura in un centro specializzato per le malattie neurologiche, ma non alle braccia). Arrivi al mare, e prima di fare i primi due bordi, ti viene fame (lo ammetto, questa è improbabile . . data la foga prevento del serfista .. ma abbi pazienza). Ti giri intorno e niente. Bar tutti chiusi. Stanno tutti serfando. In compenso dai un’occhiata al tuo spot, sul picco, e vedi 3 milioni di romani. E questi? Mo che ci fanno tutti qua? Ma n’annavano alla partita na volta? No, non sarebbe possibile.
Sono peraltro anni che mi chiedo se uno contribuisce più al PIL lavorando o surfando (si lo so, non sto bene, me lo dice sempre anche il mio psicanalista. . . ) Caso I – scelgo di lavorare: nel mio caso se c’è vento, il contributo è minimo. . . dato il tempo che passo a fare refresh sul pulsante del browser del sito di meteo in tempo reale di cui sopra. Però è anche vero che vado in pausa e mangio (transazione economica) che uso il telefono (transazione economica) che faccio perdere tempo ai colleghi distraendoli (transazione economica di effetto negativa). Diciamo che vuoto per pieno il vostro stipendio diviso per 210 lo portate a casa, a cui si aggiungono appunto i caffè, i costi di trasferimento da e per l’ufficio, le telefonate etc etc. Diciamo che tutto incluso su un profilo medio di windsurfista (gente che tra attrezzatura, viaggi, station wagon e amenità varie ha una struttura di costi non proprio indifferente . . . )circa 160 eu.
Vediamo ora il caso esco in windsurf e vado alla Centrale. Gasolio: per la centrale con andata e ritorno alla media 150 kmh (velocità minima prevento 240 kmh . . . con ritorno a 60 kmh in stato comatoso . . . codice della strada e punti inapplicabili al serfista) fino anche a 20 eu. Casello autostrada 3 eu (forse di più, mo c’ho il Telepass e manco lo so più . . la Società autostrade infatti ti manda quegli estratti conto con scritto sopra 60 . . . ma per quanto ne sai tu ce potevano scrivere pure 6,000) Supplementoscendo-in-acqua-tra-poco-non-sia-mai-che-mi-viene-famealla colazione: 5 eu. Ammortamento auto accelerato per usura = 5 volte l’uso normale. Infatti vi sparate 200 km, supponendo che teniate l’auto fino ai 40,000 km che fate in 3 anni, che questa valga nuova 25,000 e 10,000 quando la vendete a fine periodo questo vuol dire circa 100 eu di costo aggiuntivo per la vettura (136 eu – i 26 di ammortamento se la tenete ferma in garage). Trascurando l’usura dei pneumatici, minima se non sei il DeCesaris .. Usura attrezzatura. Vale circa 5000 eu (supponendo che abbiate roba buona, 2 tavole, 3 vele, albero rdm, boma carbon, muta trapezio e ferraglia standard + due pinne, e cha abbiate comprato tutto bene, o molto bene). Sta roba se non siete particolarmente fissati la tenete in media circa tre anni, quindi 5000/180 (media 60 uscite/anno per i windsurfisti della domenica molto dediti) e abbiamo quindi circa 28 eu. Morale: 20+3+5+100+28= 156 (i 4 te li risparmio a meno non che non ci tieni prorio). Quindi? Quindi è perfettamente indifferente se state incollati alla sedia o andate al mare!!!. Se vi andate a sparare qualche forward alla Centrale o rimanete in ufficio all’economia italiana non gli cambia niente!!! Ammesso chiaramente che non vi licenzino o non andiate falliti per l’assenza, nel qual caso aumentano i costi sociali. Se avevi anche il minimo senso di colpa, ora ti ho liberato. Quindi dovendo proprio scegliere, serfate gente, serfate! .. incuranti di quanti rimangono in ufficio e rosicano ..
There are rare times when even Italy pulls it all together. Rome is endowed with a decent fetch both from the west and the south, south being reasonably better.
The Med is a big lake, but its shores are pretty far apart. Under the right conditions and when the wind blows for a couple of days in the same direction the swell can pick consistently and even if it never reaches a truly ocean-like period it can ratchet up in the high single digits, making it for an enjoyable session.
The second of December was one of those days, and we have a little gallery to prove it.
And so the mythical and long sought after swell came and .. went .. and was a bit of a disappointment to me. You would have expected – having been surfing and windsurfing and in one more day kiting for five weeks – that I would be the fittest and readiest windsurfer in town. I know this place. I cannot say I command Ho’okipa after a total of over 12 months of sailing here spread over 20 years – my first time here was in 1999 – but man I do know this place, his tricks and pitfalls. And I have been on the water in Ho’okipa almost every day for five weeks, so being fit and training are definitely not an issue. My session on the 19th of April alas was a total disaster. I’ve had three separate sessions, with in between the second and the third a long shooting session whose results are captured in iSurf.it albums. Take away from the day number one, especially when it’s hyper busy.
Do get the sail right. It might look obvious but if you are underpowered and your session mates are the best windsurfers in the world you’d better be going if you want catch a wave. That is unfortunately not what occurred to me around 12:00 when I first got in. I was slogging on my 4.5 and saw everybody else taking waves from the back, from the front, from the upside, from beneath me. I was standing idle, not moving at all and could not even pump to get on the plane, coz someone else would already be coming planing from the outside and make my “pumpable” wave on my behalf. This ain’t mid march anymore where an error like this, having often been in 5 on the water or less, would be spared. This is end super busy of April and a mistake like that kills your session. I got close to zero waves and what I made was the left overs of others.
I did get out, but in the meantime the bad news is that you have wasted all your best energies of the first session, as the rest of it, the waves on the head, the let-try-my-luck-to-get-out part and the effort are on par with the best sessions. Sesh two was in mid afternoon after having had my take-away home-made lunch at the car. I got back in, and boy this time it was windy. It was not just windy. It was nuclear. My 4.5 was way overpowered and the wind was typical Ho’okipa stuff, up and down 0 to 35 knots. By this I don’t just intend to exaggerate the fact that is the wind is not constant. I do intend to say that at times you are sitting empty handed, and two seconds after you are struggling to sheet in your sail. It’s a bit of a ride on a raging bull.
So I got three nice waves, and then found myself in front of the beach with the forearms completely stiffened and having a hard time to water start due to fatigue and the nuclear wind. As a Ho’okipa semi-veteran I now am, I do know what needs to be done in these cases. Get your ass out of the water immediately before you damage your kit or get hurt. And that is what I did: I sailed in after less than half an hour. Next I got to my spot on the hill to shoot photos and videos and appreciate at the fullest the art of windsurfing represented at the very top of the game. After an hour and a half I was done with over 450 shots and 2 Gb of hi quality video: Album Part IAlbum Part IIVideo
After shooting the champs, I figured I was ready and hyped to get finally a good sesh in. I went back in, always on my 4.5 with on an easing wind. Got out nicely, what I dub “the strike” in bowling terms, that is when you are able to get in without taking any waves on the head, not very common feature in my sessions at Ho’okipa, and set myself up at Green Tress waiting for some good sets. The crowds were much better than the morning. We must have been 12 but were rapidly increasing with the late session brigade making the water. By comparison at lunch we were out in just 5.
Unfortunately the wind had eased a bit too much for my 86 and 4.5 to feel confident. I got another three nice waves, rode them to the best of my ability and then decided, noting I was tired, it was getting busy and the forecast for the next day looked even better than it was for the day, to come out after less than 1 hour. I did not want to find myself struggling the little wind and high surf in the evening. I got out. The day was gone. My wave count was minimal to my 2019 standards, with possibly less than 10 good waves. What in 2016 would have counted for a super session. I was hopeful for Saturday, but Saturday will prove to be a total disappointment, with the swell going back to 1 ft summer conditions in a matter of a few hours. So my Good Friday was wasted and the expected session of the season did not work out for me as it has for many others.
But – men and women – this is Ho’okipa. You are welcome to love her or hate her, but you have to acknowledge she is never and easy girl. She does not let herself be subdued by anyone. She can work in your favour if you pursue her long and well enough and you whisper to her the right words in her ear. But she will never ever be yours. An acquaintance, never a friend. Ready to let you down and run for the next lover, more appealing, fitter or simply more motivated to pursue her than you are. Ho’okipa, I love you!! Like all the things that you know for sure in life will never be fully yours.
Ok this picture deserves raccontino, a little story Today we were supposed to get a hard earned day off from the wind.Yesterday I shot all my bullets (Italian figurative way of saying) since we were supposed to get three days without wind.I checked with Giampaolo Cammarota on his blog were to go surf – SSN was giving massive 3-7+ at hookipa. But Giampaolo gives you bouy readings and webcams, and the new swell wasnt supposed to kick in until later in the day, so I decided to give a shot to hookipa.When I got there quote early for my standards I found hookipa surfwise as good as it gets: 1-3 and glassy.I felt so confident that I mounted my gopro on the board. A thing you don’t do on bigger days if you care about your camera.I had a nice session an possibly something will come out of that cam. I’ve had a few wave. Nothing worth mentioning as there were 20 people out, spread between Green Trees and H’Poko, and more farther towards Pavillion.
A lot by hookipa standard. A friendly chap from southern california local of Topanga, a place I surfed too a couple of times while living in LA, a boy who must have been no older than 13/14 came by and with a grown up grim told me “these people are complaining it’s busy. This is not busy. They have no idea” Well I remember a day at Rincon on a very large north swell – a day that would see most of SoCal maxed out – entering Rincon and working all the way up from being the last one in to taking the top spot on the main peak. I did that not do that of the intention to actually surf, but simply to reduce the number of wave that I’d be getting on the head. That day in that spot I counted hundreds, literally hundreds of surfers.
Going back to my session I got up on a few waves with my favourite technique: sitting in the inside with the kids and taking advantage of the leftovers of the other surfers. Of course this strategy comes at expense: you will get all the incoming large sets on the head. if you are sitting deep inside that is the deal.
The business was worth a few take offs, followed by very short runs. I still don’t have the speed to stand in the right spot on the board, so I tend to loose the wave that eventually closes out on me. But I am improving.
As I ended my session with my third wave, I got out and it was obvious that the wind was picking up. Windguru had sown a dead north shore, but I was on the hill trying to read my book and it was impossible. After half an hour with perfectly glassy conditions the first guy is out. I decide to go back home and get my gear. Rule of thumb for hookipa: always have your gear in the car, you never know the magics of the North Shore. As I got home I relaxed had a coffee connected with friends back at home and .. an hour wen by. By the time I was back on spot I could see a lot of action (check Jimmie Hepp album from the 04-05-2019 to judge for yourself
In the water the likes of Browzino, Jaeger Stone, Thomas Traversa. As I was almost rigged, they started to come out. The conditions had become too light even for them. I decide to go in anyways. After 20 minutes to get to the point with 10 knots maybe less of wind I decide to make it back in possibily on a wave. This was the result
If you want to check out the pow video from the boom – you can see the cam in the close up picture
If you want to check out the full quick edit of the session, you can find on Vimeo iSurf video channel https://vimeo.com/328873718 Enjoy and keep the stoke alive!
Dice Luca!, qual’è la tua prima associazione libera con le Hawaii?
La magia di un arcobaleno?
Il misticismo di un tramonto ad Honolua Bay dopo una session con dimensione umana?
Le incredibili onde di Jaws?
Le incredibili condizioni perfette di Hookipa?
No signore. Nulla di tutto questo. La verità è piuttosto questa:
F***ing dish washing. Dentro la mia testa ogni volta che penso Hawaii penso ai piatti che avrò da lavare. Migliaia di piatti. Decine di migliaia. Ma dico? Sto paese che sostiene di essere arrivato sulla Luna – uno dei più grandi cover up della storia dell’uomo, secondo solo alle torri gemelle – possibile mai che si perde sui piatti? Nel 2016 ero cosi disperato che ho pensato, mentre cercavo business opportunities, mo torno qua e distribuisco Electrolux. Quando questi scoprono quanto è comodo faccio miliardi. Poi però quest’anno si è delineata parlando con Sergio una realtà meno poetica. Le lavatrici per dindirindina ci stanno. Solo non ci stanno nei posti che affitto io. Voglio dire non ci sono mai state. Manco una volta. Manco per sbaglio. Ma dico io! Come diceva il conte! Mai un proprietario che gli venisse in mente, ok questa non è una luxury accomodation, ma a sto poraccio de Roma mo je faccio un regalo e je faccio trova na lavastoviglie. Niente! Invece arrivo qui e mi trasformo nel piccolo cenerentolo. Lavo, stiro, ammiro, cucino, faccio la spesa. Se mi vedesse mia moglie – e fortunatamente queste cose le faccio solo di nascosto – penserebbe “Luca, esci immediatamente da questo corpo che è posseduto!!”
Beh, boyz and girls, posso aggiungere: che cosa non abbiamo fatto nella vita per il dio del surf! Le seghe a scuola, le bugie in ufficio, i pranzi di famiglia bucati nelle festività comandate. Ma ora la risposta migliore ce l’ho.
I piatti! Sissignore. Abbiamo fatto pure quelli. I piatti.
Aloha 🌺 ♥️ and have a great day 🌅night 🌃depending where you live.
First thing first. I am trying a custom board to complement my pyramid 92. Found this beauty at Quatro, one of Levi’s boards. Volume aft and thin tail. Tried it today in marginal conditions and rides like heaven. Snappy turns when needed and longer carves rail stuck in the water if that is your game.This is what it’s like to ride naked in Hawaii. Who needs board and sail bags anyways?The most loved sailor of all times is back on the water after sometime. It was great to meet and greet him. He was always here with Brian Talma when I first got here in 1999. He explained me – on my request – how to land a back loop. A backie he told me it’s not a rotation, rather a jump and a drop. Unfortunately Josh the advice was inpeccable. It’s implantation in the last few years less so.Lead Aloha Classic commentator and Simmer Sails team manager talking to the reigning queen of hookipa Sara Houser Jimmie’s weaponWind’s unfortunately turning soft. The odds of a surfing break from windsurfing are increasing
I have the feeling that many of those who follow iSurf might share the same lifelong passion that has animated this brand since its inception.
We have probably all lived or still live through the dream of chasing waves in the far corners of planet.
But what it’s like to actually live in Hawaii, provided that Hawaii is one of those places where surf happens for real?
Let roll back a little and see how it goes. I first came to Maui in 1999 to satisfy my thirst for waves and to live windsurfing at its fullest. Mind you these were still the good old days, not the peak, but still good enough. Money was pouring in and the sport was awash.
I found the experience excruciating.
My first time at ho’okipa was intimidating. Got here at the beginning of September to be blessed with the first proper winter swell and very light winds. I still remember Josh Stone’s younger brother going out in the little to no wind and pulling out a sick one hand aerial. I definitely have the picture somewhere and will look for it.
Next day, when the swell went down to 5-7 and the wind picked up it was nuclear.
All of the sudden I found myself inside one of those windsurfing videos I had long consumed as a boy. Most of the world cup was there: Bringdal, Stone, Naish, the Prichards. It was intimidating. I started rigging the sails I brought over (wild winds they would be blown to ballon size when it was strong and ho’okipa in Septmber is strong on a sportex mast, a nice 2/3 kg of epoxy resin). Then realised it was probably beyond my ability. Probably, mostly a psycological barrier. So I drove to Sprecks (it took me another 10 years to find out about kanaha) and stayed in Sprecks for most of the swell. It was terrible. Side on and most like my home spot at the time – Ostia – when it blows westerly – on-side-on with rough sea. Is this why I came to hawaii, I was asking myself all the time? Every morning I would drive to hookipa, check it out and proceed. Then one day something clicked, the swell was down to windswell probably. I got in. I survided and actually had fun. It was the first taste of the power of that wave, that has very little comparison elsewhere. I never ever changed spot and got all subsequent swells. I was a lot into jumping at the time and in three weeks I evolved my cheese roll into a proper quite high forward. I’ve always like jumps.
It took me several years to get back and the reason why is one to mentioned. I had found Hawaii too expensive, overcrowded sand overdeveloped for my taste for nature. I remember having to wait minutes just to get onto hana highway from the Stones’ property I was leasing. So I moved the next ten years the center of my attention to Mauritius. I spent every summer (austral winter) there, at least a month.
But after a few years around 2004 I think when my Mru swing was full still full on, out of thin air, this guy from hawaii – Dan Rayburn, a photographer – sends me a mail on the website. He says he’s been trying to sell Jaws shots to magazines, hadn’t managed to and had decided to make me happy. I told him my site was not making any money – it never has so far – and I had nothing to pay him with. He said he liked the vibe of the site and the fact that it was an “underdog” and we published. It was a hit! At the time Jaws was really new and having those images a rarity. Online even more.
Roll another few years to 2010 and there I am booked for a conference in silicon valley on technology, my other passion. I send a mail to Dan and tell him I’m going to his hometown California. He suggests I hop over to Hawaii after the class. I hadn’t remotely even thought about. But of course the windsurfer in me goes into planning mode and after being offered accomodation and car the offer becomes too hard to turn down. It’s now a plan. I manage to secure an extra week vacation – my employer at the time considered a self financed class in technology in SV a “vacation” – and head to maui.
Dan is kind enough on a rainy early march morning to give me a tour of the north shore. I discover Kanaha with him and blame myself for not having asked the year I had been here. Next day it’s howling. Dan was still a good name in photography for the north shore at the time and offers to take picture. I was out of my mind. A session in paradise. The conditions. A dedicated semi-pro photographer. Memories I shall never forget: thanks to Dan.
I source all of my equipment at Quatro: they have me test different boards and sails and that is the moment Quatro/Goya sticks in my brain: it means from there on Maui and fun. Great associations for a brand.
Week goes by quickly. I retain some of my best windsurfing pictures ever from those sessions. I also remember that my heart too went off at a certain moment, I had been out the wind at died and had struggled quite a bit to get back. The it went back on full force and I was alone surfing big waves for almost half an hour … tbc
It’s fairly amazing the extent to which our surfing passion takes us to experience the extraordinary. This time it was on the way to Australia it was China!
Ended up finding a very cheap ticket with Southern China that took me through Wuhan, a place I was at odds identifying on the map in first place. Let’s say that it’s somewhere forgotten in the middle of this huge continent. From there next stop is Guangzhou – formerly known as Canton – and from there next hop is Perth.
First impression with China was boarding the plane. A lady was in my seat (all the way to the back .. next to that there was the rear exit). The hostess firmly asked the lady to move. I offered to swap seats but the crew member denied the lady the opportunity.
Most interesting was my oversize experience with Southern China Air. I opted for SCA because the ticket was dirt cheap and – apparently – they offered a good deal for the surfboards. The story as typical changed at check-in. The info I was given by my travel agent appeared to be sketchy at least and the amount due quickly grew to become almost as much as the ticket itself. My attempt to negotiate on the basis I had been ill informed encountered but the strictest reaction by the ground personnel. TBC