Friday, January 28, 2011

Ups and Downs

The Watchful Eye! 
Whew! The last two days have been full throttle. Both mornings we've hit Ho'okipa early in the AM to try and score some smooth waves. Ho'okipa has had a tendency to get windy and choppy fairly early. This morning, Chris woke us up extra early because he had am early "spin-class" with the gym hottie. He's making the best of his knee rehab! Both days, Ho'okipa has just murdered me physically. The conditions weren't the best "wind" wise but we went for it anyways. I ended up getting stuck on the inside count it... 4 times today and by the end of it I was just beat. Catching a Ho'okipa wave, priceless!
Boost of the Day! (click on it)
Yesterday the wind was blowing on the south side (right in front of Quincy's house) so we decided to do a down-winder from upper Kihei to Quincy's house (a couple miles). We made Shane come with us and he had some great success. We kited for almost 4 hours straight as we had the ocean to ourselves! Today was a little different story. After getting punished again at Ho'okipa in the morning we went straight to Kanaha as the wind had already picked up. During my first session I was playing in the outside surf (one of the bigger days) and got tumbled.
End of the down-winder at Quincy's House! 
My board flew off my feet and I couldn't find it. Somehow I ended up on top of "Bone Yards". Bone Yards is a 4X4 football sided area where the ocean is extremely shallow and the reef is exposed. I was standing on the reef (my feet and legs are not thanking me right now) looking for my board. I couldn't find it so I decided to try and get off the reef and head in. On my way down to the lower beach about 1/2 mile away I saw my board floating in the water! I thought luck was on my side until I had a pretty bad disaster later that day. During session two I lofted a pretty good sized jump when my center line snapped which sent me careening towards the water. I hit pretty hard but didn't have time to cry about because my kite was looping out of control due to the missing line. I pulled the safety but didn't realize that the safety line was the line that snapped. My kite nearly flew away but I caught the bar last second. I pulled myself to the kite by the two outside lines while the kite was powered up. I ended up losing my board and having a very long swim in. Luckily, Chris being the good brother he is was watching the whole fiasco and borrowed a long board on the beach and paddled out and grabbed it before it floated away. What a guy!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Maui Tranquilo!

One Man Canoe - Pegasus
The Argentinians
Makena with the Boyz
Artzy Pic of the Day
Radio pick of the day was Christopher's favorite, "Firework" by Katy Perry. Today was super mellow as there wasn't any wind. Yesterday at the end of the day, my kite completely deflated when I was on the outside. I accepted the fact that I was going to have to swim in and drag my stuff with me but somehow the kite relaunched itself and I was able to make it in. When we were leaving the beach, Woody Harrelson pulled up in an eco-friendly Bug and asked if the wind was still good. I replied "nay".
To fix my kite I spent a bunch more hours finding leaks. I think I've finally fixed it. After many frustrating hours slaving over my kite I decided to take Quincy's one man canoe "Pegasus" out for a paddle. The boat can catch any size wave so you get the longest rides on ripple sized waves. I saw some more turtles and tried to get close to take a picture but they didn't let me get close. After seshing the canoe we went over to Makena Beach to body surf and hang out with the Argentinians. Makena is one of the nicer beaches on Maui and has some huge shore break. Tomorrow, we're crossing our fingers for wind. We plan on doing a down winder from Ho'okipa to Kanaha which would be an epic trek if the wind picks up. Quincy's showed me this funny video - you have to check it out!

Monday, January 24, 2011

So Many Activities!

Shakas All Around! 
Sunburn Prognosis - My Back=Semi-Lobster
GoBro Kiting!
Yesterday Chris showed up ready for some rays. We picked him up from the airport after surfing Ho'okipa early in the AM and went straight to the beach. We've been jamming to 90s radio everyday since we got Peekaboo who is lacking a CD player. Prince and Ace of Base "The Sign" have been the favorites of the trip thus far. The last two mornings Shane and I surfed some tasty waves at Ho'okipa. Ho'okipa consistently has the biggest surf and is a sea turtle feeding ground so you have to watch out for land mines when you're ripping down the line. Both mornings the wind has picked up before noon at Ho'okipa so we head to Kanaha Beach to get our kite on.
So Fuerte! 
The wind has been very strong the last two days and I've been logging hours on the water. The waves add a whole new element to kiting for me Back home we kite on a river and we don't have the luxury of perfect waves.
I've been teaching Shane the art of kiting and so far all has been well except two scary incidences. Yesterday when I launched his kite he brought it across the power window and got picked up and dragged down the beach. He walked away unscathed but has been digging the sand out of his ears since. Today was a little more scary. Today is only day two with the kite and he already started using the board. On his second run with the board he crashed the kite near a rock jetty and just barely missed it when the kite relaunched... wheew!
While on the beach, Shane (fluent in Spanish) heard some Argentinian girls talking and he started chatting it up with them. They've been trying to learn to kite too so we've been hanging out with them everyday at the beach. So far the one girl has been showing Shane up but he's convinced that he'll lay down the law tomorrow. Yesterday we almost got kicked out of Costco because we snuck in to get some cheap but delicious pizza and we didn't have our Costco cards. With a little sweet talking and luck we avoided the disaster of having to eat more of our trusty trail-mix. I'm taking a helmet mounted GoBro with me tomorrow kiting so I should get some awesome shots. Stay posted!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

"When Life Takes Your Pants... Walk Naked"

Another Classic Maui Sunset
Kite Repair Fiasco
This is what Shane told me when I wiped out kiting which nearly claimed my shorts. Shane and I picked out our new rental ride. Officially dubbed "peekaboo" because the tint on the windows is out of control. Definitely a drug running car. Friday, Quincy and I finally got out kite gear all situated and ready. When I went to launch my kite, it was completely flat. So annoying as I know this is a really hard fix. I decided to deal with it later. I rushed to the Naish Dealer across the street where Coach (my ski coach when I was a wee tot) hooked it up with a brand new 2011 Naish Bolt. All I was told was to "be careful with it and don't crash it in the waves" as he doesn't demo these kites to just anyone. Famous last words! When I was launching my kite a friend on the beach told me to take it easy in the waves because they are really firing. I was so pumped to finally be on the water kiting. I went straight for the first wave in a huge set and smacked the lip KAPPPOWWW I completely wiped out and dumped my kite. The next three waves were even bigger and landed right on me and the kite. I wasn't happy at this point thinking that I ruined this new kite in the first 3 minutes. Miraculously the kite unfolded and filled up with wind and relaunched. I had to go in with my tale between my legs because the kite lines were really tangled. My buddy was laughing when he saw me limp in. I untangled everything and went for round two which was really successful. The waves on the outer reefs at Kanaha were very big and pretty intimidating. 

On one set I was flying down the line about to rip the top off when Crush decided to poke his head out of the water. I swerved and just missed him. After kiting I was debating how I was going to fix my kite. I fiddled with it for about two hours before I called it quits for some z's. Long story short, I woke up at 7 to fix it and didn't finish fixing it until 2 and during the process I managed to get the sunburn of a lifetime on my back. I found around 14 pin holes in the leading edge. After this debacle I went straight to kite beach to test it out. Pretty pumped that all the work paid off as the kite flew like dream. Also I would like to say props to Shane for completing his first body drag today! While kiting today I avoided a certain decapitation. I was crossing paths with another kiter at full speed (you guessed it, a girl) and she skimmed her kite across the water right when I was about to pass her. I threw my kite bar and jumped off my board and dove headfirst into the water and I'm almost positive that the kite brushed my head as I hit the water. Our two kites were temporarily tangled but not too bad. She was yelling non-stop apologies at me but I honestly wasn't mad. I was just happy that I didn't get my head stripped off. About Shane's quote. I crashed really hard on a jump and found my board shorts almost around my ankles. So far this trip has been killer and I can't wait for Chris to get here tomorrow. Until then I'm going to be putting copious amounts of aloe vera on my back!  
Shane is Here!
Artzy Pic of the Day

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hype is Right - Honolua Bay!

Honolua Bay
Our Hiking Trail
Whew! Today we woke up super early and headed to the upper west side of Maui in search of perfect waves. Honolua Bay for me is the double black diamond of surfing and today it was firing. I didn't have too much luck with this wave as it was very crowded and the locals have the spot dialed.   There will always be another day... tomorrow! After Honolua, we hiked down this treacherous path (which we made) to the other side of the bay so Quincy could score a cool angle of the surfers for his portfolio. Also tomorrow, my buddy Shane arrives and we're getting a rental car which will be a blast. The wind forecast is looking solid tomorrow. Shane and I are hoping to get some kiting in at Kanaha Beach. We heard from local kiters that the waves are breaking 30+ ft on the outside Kanaha reefs. I'm hoping to check this out myself! Below are pictures from Quincy's house.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Quincy BUYS a KITE!

Today Quincy and I started our day off with a stand-up paddle sesh at "Quincy's Beach" (beach right in front of his house). I managed to fall in about 15 times due to the chop and size of his little stand-up board. Quincy ran over a lazy turtle (no harm done) while shredding an ankle sized wave. While the wind continued to get stronger I was getting antzy to go kiting. Little did I know Quincy didn't own a kite so we rushed into town to fix this debacle. The wind and waves have been funky due to the weird weather this year in Maui so the wind died as quickly as it had picked up. We decided to end the day at our trusty Makena Beach with a skimboarding sesh. Almost forgot! Tomorrow, the swell of the year is supposed to smash the north-west beaches and everybody is PUMPED! My favorite thing about Maui and surf towns in general is the "buzz" you feel when there is a new swell coming. Not a physical buzz, I'm mean the buzz of others whispering about it, the rumors your hear, and extra hype! Well, I hope the hype is right! Tomorrow should be epic, my fingers are crossed! Here are a few pictures from today.

Maui Sunset

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

First Leg of the Journey

I'm in the first leg of my very long journey. I'll be studying abroad in Brisbane Australia in March. I decided I should go to Maui before and get some kitesurfing and surfing in before I'm off to life "Down Under". I just arrived in Maui after a quick direct flight from Portland. After waiting at the wrong baggage claim for 30 minutes biting my fingernails I thought my travels were off to a bad start. My USC kite and surf buddy Quincy picked me up at the airport and brought me straight to Makena (Big Beach) for some skimming and swimming. For a cool down we went and ran the King's Trail to La Perouse Bay. Turns out running in DC sneakers is rough on the ankles! I brought my trusty GoPro (waterproof camera) along and these are some of the shots I took.

This is my buddy Quincy shredding on his skimboard

Makena (Big Beach) barrel shot on the GoPro