While the trades are on this can be a blown out choppy break, but after they fade the east trade swell lives on for a few more days only without the wind - and piles can become a very fun place...
We can see piles from our porch here and last spring during one of the no wind - nice wave episodes we were in Costco and picked up a pair of their soft top "wave storm" boards. $100 each. Now I know what you're thinking - cheap boards from China. True. But we had nothing else and very little surf experience and besides (let me catch my breath) I watched an instructor give lessons to a student at piles on this very board and she caught some waves. More interestingly, after the session was over he took the board out for a solo sesh and not only caught waves but made some turns with this board that proved that it could, well, at least turn. Which is nice.
Second Wind and we both had a fun day riding it. I was concerened this board would feel too small and be hard to paddle or catch any waves, but on a easy 3-5ft day at Launiupoko neither of us had any problems. So at least we knew we had the potential to move up from the "wave storm".
Now we normally wake up before dawn because I work on a west coast schedule here. A cool sight to see on mornings when the wind is totally calm right after the trades have quit is all the SUPs catching rides before sunrise. Yesterday was like that, with clean overhead waves and about a dozen SUPS out before the sun cleared the slope of Haleakala.
After watching a bit, Julia and I drove to Maui Windsurf Company to rent a pair of NSP 7'6 Funboards . We'd seen these when demoing the Goya board (these guys are the Goya test center and they're really nice so check this place out next time on Maui) and Stephan over there thought we should be able to catch rides with these sticks. Now a 7'6 board is way smaller then anything I'd tried before, but these are epoxy and therefore light, and, as I discovered, thick and wide enough to float me decently. We paddeled out into what turned out to be some overhead sets (bigger then we thought). Julia got tumbled by a wave pretty good and didn't stay out too long, but I was able to catch enough waves to be stoked that such a small board could work for me.
OK, I mentioned earlier there was a big north swell today. Yeah, just 20-26ft. Pretty much nothing considering what's lining up behind this. Check the forecast table below and note that Saturday is showing up to 30 ft waves. That's already Jaws potential. Now check out Monday: 36-46 ft waves! This is the really huge day we've all been talking about. And it could be bigger - in fact the "better exposed outer reefs", which I suppose is another way of saying "Jaws", can add another 50% to the wave height due to the magic mojo that Jaws posseses. So maybe 60ft waves at Jaws is possible. We'll just have to wait and see.
Alrighty, now in another post I sort of talked about Kuau but didn't actually follow up with any photos or anything. Well I didn't have any at that time. Today, what with this wimpy little minor league swell that we're having, I decided to give Kuau a closer look. Just to better understand what it might be like to sail or surf there on a not so big day.
First off, here's a nice small wave breaking just outside the channel at Kuau. (As I'm sure you already know, you can click any of these photos to get an enlarged view). So you would need to clear the little wave you see below to get to the outside. Now consider that these waves will be more then twice as high in a few days...
Something Very Random But Cool
Julia has had a board for sail on Craig's list. She decided she only needed one board on account of the Mistral 76 twinzer we acquired over the summer working so well for her. So we didn't need the 07 Goya 68 custom wave, though she never rode it much and it was a very nice ride for Julia on the windier days. We're just trying to keep things simple here. Plus we pay for storage. So the board's been on Craig's list for a month and we're leaving in a few days and we hadn't heard nada, even though the price was very reasonable IMO. Finally I updated the posting and added my phone #. I assumed it was good enough to have my scrambed email address in there. Actually I'm still not sure that for whatever reason the email address ever worked. I get emails from Craigs list but never one from a potential buyer. I even sent myself a test message and got nothing. How do we know Craigs list is not dropping half the emails? No way to know. Its free so you get what you pay for and everyone's happy even if the system sucks, right? Opps, sorry I just went off on a rant there. Ok, so I added the phone # and almost instantly we get a call from a guy with a foreign accent (which is cool) who says has name is Shaka, or at least sounds like that. We finally arrange to meet in Paia and it turns out that "Shaka" is really Shahar Zubari (and pronounced a lot like Shaka). Shahar is no less then the Isreali olympic windsurf champion, and he won a bronze medal in the Beijing 2008 games. And he bought our board! Which I think is random but very cool!