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

Thursday, October 21, 2010

First October Swell

As widely anticipated, the first swell in about a month showed up yesterday. Julia and I stopped by Hookipa to check it out and take some pictures. Around noon the wind was light to non-existent and the swell was still building. This came after a period of slack waves and wind for a few days, so the water at first was very glassy and smooth between the sets. This swell originated from a storm up near the Aleutians so the period was fairly long (15 secs). The created some very clean conditions as the swell was building. We started at the lookout taking shots of the surfers on the east (pavilions) side. A few really stood out (if anyone knows names please add to comments, thanks!)

Next we wandered over to the bluff (west side) and took photos of the surfers on that side. Out there we spotted Keith Teboul on one of his custom Quattro boards.  Keith surfs as well as he windsurfs - very impressive.

At this point the wind was gradually building, though it never got much above 20 and was always near zero on the inside.

By 2pm a few kiters launched from Lanes and started shredding the (now much larger) waves down there.  Guessing the max face heights around 12 ft on the larger sets at this point.  Note to kiters - you guys have it so easy when it comes to getting over large waves!  Just a quick boost needed to jump over the double head high sets.  So if that's too easy for you... try windsurfing!

Next Josh Angulo ventured out (with much slogging on the inside), quickly followed by Kai Lenny and Ricardo Campello.

And soon by the rest of the Hookipa windsurf tribe...

With the wind now getting lighter and the waves still building (sets to 15ft by now), inevitably there was carnage, with broken gear washing up on the rocks.  No damaged bodies though, so that's good.

Those still on the water played on.

Showing up very late, as the wind was pretty much nil, was Francisco Goya.  Watching him schlog out, barely making it over the now huge waves (and almost ending up in Lanes) and then still catching waves and getting back in one piece was amazing.  It probably helps to have a very pretty (and strong) sail!

Kai Lenny, after windsurfing for hours, didn't get enough of a workout. So he went back out on his SUP and showed why he's #1 in the world.

Eventually, as the sun started to set, the water was left to the remaining surfers and the large surf.

It was awesome to see all the water sports represented out there (with a few individuals doing multiple activities).  All of us love the water and the waves, each in our own way.  Lets maintain the respect and the passion for these sports, including those sports we might not necessarily participate in. It's important that an incredible spot like Hookipa can be shared in this way.  I saw very few conflicts out there.  I watched Francisco on several occasions jibed away from waves to let surfers take them.  At one point Keith Teboul was surfing while his windsurfing buddies were on the next wave.  Stoke, respect, passion.  Mahalo!

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