Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Maui Sessions 164-166

Session 4.164: West Maui (8/29)

The swells continue to be mellow as yesterday. Basically W wind swells hitting the NW part of Maui. As we drove up towards Lahaina, the waves looked more surfable. The first stop was a spot a bit further north of Olowalu and this spot was the first spot that was breaking up to about chest high. I went there and did not catch any, but saw more breaks further north, so I got out and then got back in. As I was paddling out there was a long boarder signaling me to paddle out further to the left and to paddle around. Admittedly, I was in a hurry to get into the lineup, so it was a correct advise. I never had this kind of situation, but I greeted the surfer and thanked him letting me know. This turned out to be a good spot and I caught two good very good nice rides. Most, actually all, people were surfing on long boards. Of course nobody was wearing a wet suit at all. But I was glad that with a bit of a confidence in riding a hybrid, I could surf just as well as the long boarders. I had a helmet and booties on so I am sure I looked like someone really foreign. But as usual, I don?t really care what others think. I have, however, got my first brush with the corral and got my first surfing scar in Hwai?i. Just a bit of brush with the corral and now I had a wide and big enough wound. It took me about 2 hours for it to stop breeding.

Session 4.165: Kalama Beach Park (8/30 AM)

The waves continue to be small. So I gave up on short boarding, and instead we stopped by at Kalama Beach Park in Kihei rented a 10 ft Softop to surf. This was a good choice as the knee high waves were breaking about 500 or more yards out. One thing that is different from most of the NorCal locations is that the almost the entire island is coral reef supported so the breaks happen quite a far away from the beach then they continue to roll almost all the way to the shore, so I paddle out quite a distance then when I take a ride, it lasts for quite some time. I had several of these rides. Based on the fun I had I traded in the JC 7?5 with a McTavich 9?1 board today. I think I am going to ride the rest of the vacation.

One thing that we noticed is that the used board market is fairly slim in Maui. May be we are still looking for wrong places, but most ?surf shops? that I have seen do not carry much used boards, and usually double as wind surfing stores. In terms of getting both new and used boards, I think that Santa Cruz seem to have much more in terms of selections and number of stores. These findings may change, as I explore more.

Session 4.166: Ka?anapali Area (8/30 PM)

One nice thing about surfing in Hawai?I on this trip is that I just drive around, if I find a break that I want I just basically get the board out, and paddle out. It is almost always the case that I can drive the car right up to the beach, or there are paved parking lots with showers. This is great. Bad part of Maui is that the development is taking over so that there are some spots that surfers are practically denied of accessing the beaches. Even though there are paths to get an access, there is a very limited parking space available especially in places like Ka?analali or Napili further notrth. There are public parking spaces available but they seem to look like some regulatory mandated spaces that the developers had to provide so the space are very limited and also they are in very obscure locations. On the other hands, there still are a plenty of choices and I could always find very uncrowded breaks along the highway.

We did manage to find the public spot in Ka?anapali, and I did surf there. It was very crowded with surfing schools and other people, and it resembled more like a crowded weekend day at Linda Mar where people are paddling right into surfers lines while surf school instructors push students to take off on their 15 ft Softop boards. Once I realized what was going on, I just switched the gear and start having fun. The 9?1 MacTavich is a very nice board with a channel in front and it is very wide so it catches almost any waves. I think it is a good nose-riding board. One nice thing about this location is that my wife can kill time by shopping in their shopping centers and numerous hotel gift shops. Where else in the world where there are shopping centers and beautiful surfing beach? Though, probably the beach sand is being imported from other locations to please the guests. When I arrived, I was asking a local person about sand beaches in Wilea and apparently there was one but over time the sand eroded away leaving only the lava rocks.

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