Super bowl Sunday. Traditionally a time to put on a silly hat, go to a bar or party, drink excessively, and watch six hours of commercials with an occasional glimpse of a football game thrown in. But for the first time in years we didn't do any of that. When in Maui, act like you're on Maui I always say (or I should). So instead of these ancient traditions, we took our surf boards and headed to the beach. (actually surfing is way older than super bowl parties, but I digress)
At Kanaha we found a nice overhead to way overhead wave breaking on the reef. Plus some kona winds to stack it up a bit and throw some spray out back for good measure. We waxed up our boards and paddled out for a fun though challenging sesh, as the kona winds were stronger than expected on the outside. The wind would push us back up the face of waves at the critical moment of descent, and a couple times I had to delay this action and continue paddling far past the normal jump point. And sometimes I still didn't catch the wave. But as usual, a few wave rides were awesome and made the whole effort worth it, including the oh so long paddle back into the wind.
The kona winds were definitely picking as we came in, but were never too strong, I think averaging around 17 at best on the outside, and nada near the beach. Back at the car I was a bit surprised to see GP rigging up his Hot Sail (5.0 ish I believe) on a 80 lt board. I walked up to him and said "ah good, you're going to show us how it's done". GP being modest replied that there were others who could do a better job of that, but truth is he was the only one who rigged up and sailed the waves at Lowers today. The conditions were very iffy, as the winds had already seemed to lighten a bit, not that there was much to begin with. He pondered the situation for a long time, but eventually put the gear in the water. Julia and I hung out in the dunes and took these pictures. And despite a slight equipment malfunction at the end (a busted uni) he **did** show us how it's done.
Before all that, Jeff Henderson was cruising around on his SunFish with a Hot She-Devil Sail. And of course there was all the surf action going on in Lowers. You can see the waves weren't too shabby and there was plenty of spray getting blown around.
Part one of the GP almost no wind kona sailing lesson - first you have to swim way out (back stroke) to the wind line and then up-haul your rig.
Next you have to make it over the waves, which were not inconsequential, then slog tack and grab one. Pretty easy to see that this first set was about logo high. In the seventh picture of this sequence, it looks like the lip of the wave literally has teeth. And a big mouth!
And then, assuming you avoided being caught and annihilated by that set, you head down the line, get to the channel, and repeat. The fourth picture was the only time I saw GP planing as he headed back outside. Must have been the only gust to 20. In the sixth shot there are some background splashes which are likely whale breaches (right now you see this constantly). In picture eight note the SUP getting rejected backwards and over the falls. Those boards really hurt if they land on you.
GP caught a bunch of nice rides and made it look fun. In conditions that were definitely not easy. I'd like to try a kona day sometime, but perhaps when there's a touch more wind. Anyway, Bravo e grazie per la lezione GP!
Windsurfing, surfing, Maui, The Gorge, and random rants.