Category: Windsurfing

The story of an unexpected double session

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.

What it looks like underwater

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.

The wait game

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 fatigue of going out: you can see surfing is more social than expected

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.

One of take offs

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

The drop: mind you there is close to zero wind. You see that from the crest braking and not being blown at all
Close up
Wave is over

If you want to check out the pow video from the boom – you can see the cam in the close up picture

You can see from the video that there are two top turns that have not come out in picture

If you want to check out the full quick edit of the session, you can find on Vimeo iSurf video channel
Enjoy and keep the stoke alive!

Associazioni libere di pensiero con la parola: Hawaii 🌺

Dice Luca!, qual’è la tua prima associazione libera con le Hawaii?

Aloha Classic 2016

La magia di un arcobaleno?

Honolua Bay

Il misticismo di un tramonto ad Honolua Bay dopo una session con dimensione umana?

Jaws Peahi challenge 2016

Le incredibili onde di Jaws?

Ho’okipa 2019

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.
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!
Abbiamo fatto pure quelli.
I piatti.

Aloha 🌺 ♥️ and have a great day 🌅night 🌃depending where you live.

Trip to the West side

As hookipa was slightly beyond my ability I decided to go check the west side and a some good south swell forecasts I had seen in the morning, calling 2-3, when it is normally 1-2.

Slightly over double overhead

First stop on the west side is my favourite McDonald in the world. Why it’s my favourite? Because .. it’s got the best flags! McD+US+Hawaii.

A super cool US truck
Inside an hawaiian Mac
McDonald = predictability

After refueling, I continued towards one of the most beautiful spots on the island, and not just for the conditions: Honolua Bay

Getting there
View from the side
Reassuring sign of human presence
The break: looking inconsistent
The beautiful beach to get out

On the way back, trying to surf the south swell, I stopped at another favourite of mine: Laniupoko

This is a nice park offering grass, palm shade, a nice beach, an enclosed little beach for kids and a decent south swell exposure.

Laniupoko – on the road to Lahaina
Laniupoko peace
Author enjoying a busy hawaiian afternoon
More sleeping under the palm trees

Nice protected little beach and finger

After some rest and having checked the minimal surf I headed back home. Drove through Ho’okipa to find it fully packed by the after work brigade.

Beach update 26-3-2019

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

What’s it like to live on Maui

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

Flying through China for surfing

Flying through China on a trip to Australia. It’s fairly amazing the extent to which our surfing passion takes us to experience the extraordinary.

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

The most famous windsurfing image ever

This is one of the most famous windsurfing images ever shared and an example of pure marketing genius. As such, it might easily be the product of the marketing department of the depicted brand. It exemplifies the relationship we surfers have with the activity of surfing. We strive to surf, we become addicts and having a good session releases an amount of serotonins comparable to another, much more widely practiced activity. Nah yah. We also tend to fall to blue periods if we go still and windless for several weeks. Reminds you of anything else you might be aware of?

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