Windsurfing, surfing, Maui, The Gorge, and random rants.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sailing Kanaha, Big Waves at Hookipa

The day after Halloween a big NW swell hit Maui. This was from a former typhoon that went extra-tropical (aka "gender bender") north of Japan, so it had a lot of west in it. The period was 18 secs which is pretty large. The NWS surf report mentioned that with a period this long the open ocean swell height is tripled to get the wave face height on the reef (or in your face) on the "better breaks". Meaning 20 ft waves were possible.

However west Maui tends to block some of the swell from this direction so Kanaha was getting maybe 12 ft in the bigger sets. Either way it was a lot of fun. I had a Go-Pro camera mounted on my boom and will be posting a video here real soon (just getting up to speed on editing videos).

After the Kanaha session we drove down to Hookipa to see what the big boys were up to. At first it didn't seem all that big. Then a huge set came in. Here are some shots I took during this set...


Getting bigger...


Notice that the white water is almost as high as the sail..


These waves were breaking all the way from Lanes down past Pavilions. In fact the waves looked even bigger just east of the lookout. Looks close to 20 ft so the NWS surf forecast was right on.


Looking down toward Lanes and west Maui...


There were some sailers caught on the inside during this set that ended up almost on the ledge at lanes (not somewhere I'd want to land). But after about 6 giant waves it let up, the channel went flat (it had been completely closed out) and they escaped. Barely. There were about 3 surfers out during this set. I saw one try to take a left on one of the bigger waves. He stood on the board, dropped straight down about fifteen feet, his board looked like it spun out and went air born simultaneously, then the entire wave came down on him. Didn't look like much fun. As for the windsurfers, I didn't see anybody end up on the rocks. Most of the dudes kicked out before the wave closed out. Seems like the way to go on the bigger waves.

GP's has a Hookipa post on this day with a lot more action shots.

You can also see all the above photos in higher res here:
Hookipa Nov 1 - Big Waves

Speaking of GP I saw him at lowers earlier in the day and if my second video ever gets finished I've got a few snippets of him going down the line when we were on the same wave.

2 comments:

BobD said...

wow!! those are huge waves - like 20ft+. Look forward to checking out your go-cam video. Wish I was there with ya -
bob

Nat said...

Yeah .. awesome pics Jammin !! Love to see the videos. Cold and rainy here in Sea/HR -- have a blast on your b-day ! Nat

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