Sunday, December 10, 2017

11am The waves are starting to pump and the groms are ripping at the kahului harbor

6.45am Hookipa is head to head and a half and rising. Poor shape and ugly weather.

Sunday 12 10 17 morning call

Yesterday I started my day with a surf session at Hookipa.

I just wanted to surf it after more than month (maybe even two), say hi to my lineup friends and see how it felt. In one hour, I caught two short waves (crowd and high tide didn't help) for a total amount of fun that I would rank as 1 in the usual scale of 10.

Then I went SUP foiling at kite beach, caught a large number of very long rides (many lasted till 50 yards from the beach) and scored a session that was a 9, but that's just because I want to leave a little room for a possible 10 in case conditions will be even better in the future.
These are a bunch of photos that Tomoko took and I shamelessly grabbed from this gallery. Check it out, there's plenty more.

Let's start with Kathy Shipman, who I call "trottolino", which in Italian means spinning top, as it seems that she never stops. How's that wall!

This is one of the many dreamy waves I had. Notice the weight slightly more on the back foot here to bring the nose of the board back up a bit.

I love this one, because it shows very little wake from the mast of the foil. It renders perfectly the idea that the board is flying on top of the water. It really is a magic carpet ride.

Dave Kalama on a wave that took him to the sewage plant.

His rides reminded me of that video of Laird at Chicama. Beautiful carves left and right like snowboarding on air. I told him that the board is riding looks like the best SUP foiling board I've seen in the water. He agreed from the functional point of view, but he would like to sexy it up a bit.
Very impressive how little the board looks like a regular SUP board and how short time it took him to figure out what works for foiling instead.
At the moment, I'm riding my retrofitted old boards, as I'd rather put my money towards foils ( got a Iwa and Maliko 200 combo on order). But I can see that at one point I'll ask him to shape me a proper SUP foil one. I'll wait for him to add net stockings and high heels.

Dave Kalama commented in the lineup:"it is perfectly slow. You catch a wave, go the distance, then paddle back out without sets breaking and having to go over the white water, then you sit in the lineup, rest a bit, chat a bit and then another set comes and the merry go round starts again. But in the meantime, the water on the inside has settled perfectly and there's no weird bumps or backwashes".
This is one of my favorite shots, because it shows just how perfect the water was.

And that's what you have in the background while riding those endless rights.

Just the right steepness. No use for surfing, but incredibly fun flying over them with a hydrofoil.

The aggressive pumping action of Junior. Every time I have to pump to make a section, I try to emulate him.

This photo instead is from the same day, but that's the beach of Capo Miseno in Napoli, which is where I did my very first windsurfing when I lived there (no breakwalls back then). A friend of mine posted it because it was a great day. God, I'm happy I live in Maui now, even though dinner might have been slightly tastier over there. In the background, the islands of Procida and Ischia.

Enough foiling? Not yet, because I just saw this video of a tidal wave in France. Once again, the right steepness (or lack of there of) enables the foiler to carve back and forth while the other guys can barely go straight. Enjoy.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore

No indication of southerly energy at the buoys, the Surfline forecast calls for 1.5f 12s.

North shore
12.5ft @ 13s from 351° (N)

5.2ft @ 14s from 344° (NNW)
5.1ft @ 8s from 345° (NNW)
2ft @ 11s from 348° (NNW)

3.9ft @ 15s from 338° (NNW)           
2.7ft @ 9s from 341° (NNW)
2.2ft @ 11s from 330° (NW)
New big NNW swell is on the rise at all the buoys, a bit below the Surfline prediction that calls for 9.5f 14s at 8am and 13f 14s at 2pm. Below is the collage of the graphs of the three reported buoys and the aforementioned forecast. Most likely too big and rough (because of the wind and the leftover shorter energy from the old swell) on the north shore, look for sheltered spots and/or check the upper west side. Don't forget that the harbor will have limited parking and no access to the jetty wave, because of the HSA contest.
Wind map at noon shows moderate NE trades.

The very active North Pacific shows the strong fetch that will provide us with Wednesday's big swell that Surfline predicts to peak at 18f 15s from 325 mid Wednesday. Too bad for the NE wind, otherwise it would have been an epic day at massive Jaws.

South Pacific shows no fetches of relevance.

Morning sky.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

6.30am Hookipa is head to head and a half and clean.

Saturday 12 9 17 morning call

Absolutely gorgeous day of surfing all over the island yesterday.

I did everything: SUP, longboard, shortboard and SUP foiling. The choice of the discipline, as usual, was dictated by what the conditions called for. What made the day even more special (other than the variety) is that all spots I surfed belong to my top 10 favorite list and the shortboard session saw some of the best surfing I've ever done thanks to an absolutely magic board that I lately put my hands on. And I even passed on a nice but too slow shoulder high Honolua Bay!
Photos of that below.

Nice hip weight shift to the front foot, this guy would make a good foiler.

My friend and ex coworker Kazuma pulled off a sweet 360 at The point.

Jason Hall described being towed (by Dave Kalama) at full speed into a wave while foiling, like "the next level shit". Here he's calling for a drop on the second wave of the set.

While in Oahu the Pipeline Invitational was held and now the heat draw for the Masters is complete, in Maui the harbor jetty has been assaulted by an army of ripping groms training for the upcoming HSA contest that will be held on Sunday. Here's the division order:
Boys 14-15
Open Longboard
Boys U10
Open Men
Boys U12
Girls U14
Boys 16-17
Open Women
Boys 12-13

7:00am start ; 6:30 Check-in

And here's the heat draw. That'll be fun to watch, the level of those kids is incredible. Some 9 years old already surf better than I will ever do.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore

No indication of southerly energy at the buoys, but the Surfline forecast (2f 14s) was once again correct. Two of my sessions were in Lahaina and, even though I couldn't find the source on my database of fetches maps, there sure was some energy in the water with some occasional chest high sets. Today is calling for a declining 2f 12s, so expect knee to waist high.

North shore
5.8ft @ 10s from 326° (NW)
2.2ft @ 17s from 323° (NW)

4.9ft @ 12s from 326° (NW)
3ft @ 9s from 341° (NNW)
0.7ft @ 20s from 318° (NW)

4.3ft @ 12s from 337° (NNW)
3.4ft @ 10s from 342° (NNW)
First of all, cheers to the Pauwela buoy back on service! The NW001 buoy is already recording some long period energy from the next swell, and so is Waimea. For Maui, the Surfline forecast (which now I'm starting to really blindly trust) calls for only 0.6f 18s at 2pm and for 2.5f 16s at 8pm. So some forerunners sets should be noticeable in the late afternoon. In the meantime, 4.3f 12s is still a fun size, I might possibly surf Hookipa after at least a month of either too big or too bad conditions.

The wind will be calm in the morning, so it should be pretty clean, but a 2f high tide at 7.30am might make the 12s waves a bit soft. Stay tuned for a beach report.
Wind map at noon shows already the onshore flow that, according to this model, will start as early as 11am. I noticed that sometimes it can happen 1-2 hours before predicted, so don't wait to much to get your sessions in.

North Pacific shows a strong nearby fetch (which will add on top of the energy generated by the multiple fetches we've observed in the past few days and provide us with a big swell tomorrow 14f 14s from 340 at 2pm) and a strong remote one that is starting to stir the waters for our next big swell predicted by Surfline to peak at 17f 15s from 326 on Wednesday.

Such strong fetches deserve a look at the old school weather maps. Dense and parallel isobars, what a lovely thing.

Nothing from the South Pacific.

Morning sky shows that the tail of a front is passing over us today and that will make the wind go onshore at one point in the morning.


Friday, December 08, 2017

10am Honolua has inconsistent chest to head high waves, not really worth the drive. Lahaina side had knee to occasionally waist high waves. Clean everywhere.

7am Hookipa still big but surfable if you have the skills. That's a doh plus set at pavilion.

Friday 12 8 17 morning call

Spectacular day of windless waves, two SUP foiling sessions for me yesterday. I particularly enjoyed the afternoon one, since the waves were just perfect for it (small, soft and clean). Here's a couple of images from the harbor in the morning.

Today is the start of the waiting period of the Pipe Masters, follow the action here. It will preceded by the Pipe Invitational to select two more surfers to join the usual top WSL tour competitors. Check the lineup below or read this article, and you'll see that it will be a shame if they don't broadcast that (I don't think  they did the previous years). Plenty Maui surfers in it too.

5am significant buoy readings
South shore

No indication of southerly energy at the buoys, the Surfline forecast calls for 2f 14s, so there might be some waves.

North shore
7.4ft @ 11s from 332° (NNW)
4ft @ 10s from 339° (NNW)
7.2ft @ 13s from 334° (NNW)
4.5ft @ 11s from 334° (NNW)
NNW swell still still up at the buoys, very slowly coming down in size and period. Hookipa was still pretty big at sunset, even though some courageous surfers were out dodging the big sets. A couple of tow teams at Lanes too, it was probably a great day of towing due to the lack of wind.
It's gonna be the first spot I'll check this morning, stay tuned for a beach report later. In the meantime, I hope that most readers know that 7f 13s is still a fairly big size with some possible double overhead sets. West side will be going off for the third day in a row. Below is how Honoolua looked yesterday.
Wind model not working this morning, here's the Windguru table that shows no wind for today and very good surfing conditions until Wednesday when some NE trades will return (together with a massive NW swell).

North Pacific shows a wide NW fetch.

Nothing on offer in the South Pacific.

Morning sky.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

7am Hookipa still too big, harbor has clean little waves but much smaller than yesterday.

Thursday 12 7 17 morning call

Double SUP foiling sessions for me yesterday, but that's because I had some gear to test. The waves were good enough for regular surfing in fact, and that would have been my choice if it wasn't for the test. But testing new gear is fun, there's always something to learn. The main thing I learned yesterday, is that heavy foils aren't as good as light foils, unless you're going really fast (in which case, they might add control). They also keep momentum when a wipeout occurs and that's dangerous.

The harbor was flooded with action yesterday. The photo below shows Dave Kalama surrounded by a bunch of fellow foilers, but there were many other legends (Robby Naish nose riding his regular SUP and Pete Cabrinha foiling on his shortboard, for example) and all the elite foil shapers of the islands testing gear. It was exciting just to join the parking lot technical conversations.

5am significant buoy readings
South shore

No indication of southerly energy at the buoys, the Surfline forecast calls for 1.5f 15s.

North shore
10ft @ 13s from 330° (NW)
5.6ft @ 10s from 335° (NNW)

7.5ft @ 14s from 329° (NW)
5.2ft @ 11s from 339° (NNW)

Solid numbers at the buoys. The mix of different period energy should hold pretty steady today, then declining tomorrow and Saturday, before a new similar swell hits Sunday. Look for sheltered spots on the north shore, while the upper west side should be good also today.

Wind map at noon shows very light sea breezes and that should be the case all day. Finally.

North Pacific keeps offering remote and closeby sources.

South Pacific shows a weak southerly fetch.

Morning sky looks clear and air is slowly moving in from the north. That's why the temperature in Paia at 5am is 57 degrees (14C), the coldest so far this winter.