Wednesday, September 20, 2017

10am Hookipa has occasional organized sets in the midst of the windswell. Waist to chest, occasionally bigger. Windy.

Wednesday 9 20 17 morning call

I didn't go to Lahaina this morning and I took my time to make this post a bit more content filled, also because there's not much to talk about the current poor conditions. It's a bit of a foil dedicated post and it starts with a video of a very long wave somewhere in Australia, posted by GoFoil.

This other one shows an even longer wave. A wave (or a bunch of connected little waves) is 7 miles long from Maliko to Kanaha. That's what the top downwind foilers are achieving these days on a good day. This one is Dave Kalama filmed by Jeremy Riggs (last part of the video is Bill Boyum on a surf ski).

Maliko Run On A Foil, SUP & Ski from Paddle With Riggs on Vimeo.

For the technical guys, heres a snapshot of the above video that shows that Dave has footstraps on both feet and the back foot is surprisingly positioned over the trailing edge of the mast. Next time I see him, I'm gonna ask him why he likes it that far back.

And that's a section of Step Into Liquid that illustrates how it all started.

Talking about historical movies, maybe this one will become one of them. Remember, this Friday September 22 at the Macc 6.30pm.

A quick glimpse to yesterday's conditions (or lack of there of), this is a photo by Jimmie Hepp from this gallery showing a windsurfer at Hookipa playing with the windswell. Should be a  bit better today, as the buoy readings below suggest.

5am significant buoy readings
South shore

2.3ft @ 13s from 199° (SSW)

2.8ft @ 11s from 133° (SE)                      
1.3ft @ 15s from 138° (SE)
Well I chose not to go to Lahaina and take it easy this morning, but I might have made a mistake, judging by these surprising readings at the outer buoys (SW one doesn't feel anything, at least at 5am). I'll wait for the 6am ones to became available and eventually decide to go anyway. In which case, I'll post a beach report.

** 7.45am update: Those readings completely disappeared at 6am, plus the Kihei webcams don't show anything, so I'm not going south. Todays it's all about the windfoiling for me. **

North shore
2.1ft @ 12s from 336° (NNW)

1.6ft @ 14s from 327° (NW)

1.8ft @ 14s from 348° (NNW)
4.8ft @ 8s from 75° (ENE)

As predicted, the small NW bump arrived and is hitting the buoys with the (small) numbers above. Some more organized lines will occasionally appear in the midst of the windswell bumps.

Wind map at noon.

North Pacific still shows a small NW fetch and the usual windswell fetch.

South Pacific only shows a small Tasman Sea fetch.

Morning sky.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

8am south shore is flat to occasionally knee high

7am pavilion is waist to chest high with the usual crowd.

Tuesday 9 19 17 morning call

Double foil session for me yesterday.
It was the first SUP foil surfing attempt after I learned how to windfoil and the difference was huge. I was able to get the foil up and control it most times and most importantly, control the wipeouts. No scary out of control moments like in the previous attempts. I was just going straight, but I can claim I had fun. So some of the skill did transfer from windfoiling to SUP foiling. That was a winning strategy which I recommend to all the windsurfers who are interested in learning how to SUP or surf foil (and eventually downwind foil): learn how to windfoil first, because it's the easiest foiling discipline (unless you have a jet ski and a lake to practice some towing, and I'm still not sure that's easier).

After that, I went windfoiling on the north shore and that was fun too. I predict a lot of foiling practicing in this week, since there's no good waves for surfing anywhere.

Later in the afternoon the windsurfers hit the windswell at Hookipa and this must have been the set of the day.

Most of the waves must have looked like this one instead. Photos by Jimmie Hepp from this gallery.

5am significant buoy readings
South shore
The outer buoys only show the windswell and that's a sign that the Tasman Sea swell we surfed the last three days has got very small. It will be tiny on the south shore, but maybe I go anyway to SUP foil, in which case I'll post a beach report.

North shore
0.9ft @ 12s from 307° (WNW)

5.4ft @ 8s from 75° (ENE)

Windswell at levels similar to yesterday at Pauwela, while a sliver of WNW energy coming from the fetch I pointed out in the last three days is hitting Waimea. We could possibly get some lines in the afternoon at Hookipa too, but don't expect nothing major, it will still be mostly about the windswell.

Wind map at noon.

North Pacific shows a small/weak NW fetch and the windswell one.

South Pacific shows a small fetch in the Tasman sea and a weak (25 knots) SSE one. I don't expect much from either one.

Morning sky.

Monday, September 18, 2017

7am south shore is flat to knee high. Bit of morning sickness in lahaina. Peaks was too windy, olowalu too small. Hookipa looked small and ugly. Not a good day for surfing.

Monday 9 18 17 morning call

The picture below taken by blog reader Chris shows a set at Launiupoko yesterday.

Yesterday I did my first attempt at a downwinder with a foil. As I expected, I was never even close at getting the board out of the water. I just wanted to have a feel of the experience and how difficult it was. Well, it is very difficult. I've never done a downwinder on a 7.4 and that's the first difficulty: it's rough out there and the balance is hard. The second difficulty is to catch a glide on a windswell bump. Obviously a 7.4x29.5 paddles a lot slower than a longer and more narrow board, but I managed to catch a few. But I couldn't go pass the third degree of difficulty: getting the foil up. My more experienced friends were achieving that by keeping the paddling up and at the same time pumping the board with their legs.

It was so hard and not particularly fun that I cut it short to Sugar Cove and while I was getting out of the water, like the ocean god that he is, Kai Lenny arrived on his tiny wakeboard style board foiling probably all the way from where he launched. He didn't have a paddle, he was just flying across the water. I asked him for a few tips for the downwinders, here's what he told me:
- got to catch the wave paddling in surfer stance already
- the surfer stance has to be a bit narrower than when surfing
- practice that on tiny waves on the south shore

Well, that's what I'm donna do today. Too bad it's low tide at 8am.

Thanks Kai, you deserved another pass of your movie reminder for Friday Sept 22 at 6.30 pm at the MACC

4am significant buoy readings
South shore

2.2ft @ 13s from 168° (SSE)

1.8ft @ 12s from 141° (SE)
Period trending down, but still a couple of feet of size at the outer buoys, so it should be smaller than yesterday but still something to ride.

North shore
6.6ft @ 8s from 71° (ENE)

Decent windswell, Pavillions should be chest to occasionally head high.

Wind map at noon shows less wind than there will be, IMO.

North Pacific shows a corner of a NW fetch otherwise oriented towards the Marshall islands (big arrow shows the direction of the swell). That low is not going to move eastward as usual because of the block of the strong high pressure dominating the eastern part of the Pacific. That creates the strong trades and consequently the windswell is on its way up too.

South Pacific shows a narrow Tasman Sea fetch.

Morning sky, plenty rain last night.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

6.30am Lahaina has waist high waves with occasional bigger sets. Bit of morning sickness. Harbor still has the kids contest. Peaks was too windy, olowalu was moderate offshore and probably the cleanest spot.

Sunday 9 17 17 morning call

Yesterday I spent the whole morning on the south shore, but, for a bunch of different reasons, only my last session was good. Lahaina was a bit off limits in the early hours for the concomitance of:
- a kid's contest at the harbor
- the Run Forrest Run 1miles 5k/10k on Front Street
- a city cleanup
The distant parking forced me to pick the wrong spot and that was session 1.
Session 2 was at the spot pictured below and it was looking pretty good with the offshore winds. Of course, as soon as I paddled out it turned onshore (and I saw it going back offshore when I was leaving).
Btw, this was the biggest wave I've seen of this swell which has been in the waist high range in average. It's a Tasman sea swell and that means it's particularly inconsistent.

Then I finally had my fix surfing this spot. That's more the average size of the sets. But once in a while, a stronger one that found its way through the maze of the Polynesian islands arrived.

And catching little runners like this.

Or like this.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore

1.9ft @ 14s from 188° (S)

1.6ft @ 14s from 153° (SSE)

1.7ft @ 14s from 105° (ESE)

Southerly energy holding up at the buoys, but with a slight decrease in the period. South shore is the place to be if you want to surf some small clean waves. I'll post an update later, sorry about the lack of it yesterday, I forgot my phone home. Good to be disconnected once in a while.

North shore
4.2ft @ 7s from 73° (ENE)

Windswell on the way up, but still pretty small blown out stuff at Hookipa.

Wind map at noon shows the usual strong trades.

North Pacific shows that NW fetch that the forecasts keep ignoring. We'll keep a close eye on it instead and check what the buoys will register in a 2-3 days. It's definitely oriented more towards the Marshalls, but I believe we're gonna get some angular spreading energy.

South Pacific only shows a non particularly impressive fetch in the Tasman Sea. Next week looking a bit grim on the south shore.

Morning sky.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saturday 9 16 17 morning call

A bit of a historical day for me yesterday, as I taught my first ever windfoiling lesson. Here's my student who did extremely well, thanks mostly to the fact that I have the right gear for a beginner foiler.

Here's a little clip that shows what I can already call "the most common mistake": flying the foil too high. As a first timer, as soon as the foil starts foiling, you should increase the weight on the front of the board (both with the front foot and some pressure on the mast) to keep it leveled. Nonetheless, I couldn't believe how well he did. That is thanks to:
1) the GoFoil Maliko foil who foils as slow as 6 knots speed (a proper windsurfing foil will need twice as much, and you can imagine how much more difficult/dangerous the whole thing would be)
2) the forward position of the box allow the foil to start foiling much earlier than a backward position
3) thanks to the two above points, with my setup I can use a very small and light rig (the sail in the photo is a 3.4) and that is a massive advantage not to get tired too soon. As you can see, I didn't even give him a harness, because they are dangerous and counterproductive when learning to windfoil.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore

2ft @ 15s from 173° (S)

1.6ft @ 15s from 176° (S)

1.4ft @ 17s from 114° (ESE)

Lovely low long period energy at the outer buoys. That's what Pat Caldwell has to say about it: "High seas filled the Tasman Sea from the mid latitudes to the subtropics aiming in the general direction of Hawaii 9/7-10. New Zealand and islands of the SW Pacific block most of the swell. "
Lahaina town was knee to waist high yesterday and it might be a little bigger today. I'll probably post a beach update later. Stay tuned, because without the webcam it might be an important one.

North shore
3.4ft @ 6s from 78° (ENE)
2.5ft @ 8s from 29° (NNE)
Slivers of energy leftover from the northerly swell with a windswell slowly mounting. Overall, a pretty tiny day on the north shore.

Wind map at noon shows the usual 20+ knots, bit stronger than yesterday. Yesterday's map was spot on.
North Pacific shows that NW fetch I pointed out yesterday and the start of a building windswell fetch. Nothing reported on the official forecasts, but, depending on how it looks tomorrow, I think we might receive a bit of energy from it.
South Pacific shows a Tasman Sea fetch.