Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Session 4.189: New Board, Great Fun.

I like the John Carper JC Hawai'i Equalizer 7'5 that I rode in Maui for a few days, that when I got back home I ordered it. (Picture) (Web Site). Last night I put the virgin wax on it and this morning I went out to try it out. The waves were just perfect size and speed for me up to shoulder high with a bit of speed, and the board has performed just like it felt like in Maui. A very nice thing about 7'5 length for me is that it has all the good characteritics of a long board... like the glide, ease of paddling, yet it is nimble that it let me to stay on the wave! It is significantly smoother than the 6'6 fish and so much easier to take off. Compared to the Arrow 7'6 I had, I noticed also that it is a bit easier to sink for ducking through the waves, probably because its shape is more "gunny." Still the tail push does require a lot more efforts and if the waves get bigger, I might have problems. I will have to see.

With a nice condition I really had a blast, in fact, it is the best session I had in a week!

Here is a quote from the SurtTech site about this board:

For Surftech, JC is making a line of six boards that draw on his 40 years of shaping experience. "The Swallow Stingray is a modern Fish design," he said. "and it's meant to haul okole in small surf." The NX1 is a thoroughly modern shortboard that pros swear by in several languages. JC has two Peter Mel designs. The Peter Mel Machine is a 6' 4" for bigger guys (like Peter) who want performance. "Peter is kind of amazing because he is 6' 4" and weighs 200 pounds and still rips in small waves," he said. "There is a 6' 4" and 6' 8" made for him and guys like him. Bigger guys who can still rip or for the rest of us who just want to catch a wave easy." The 6' 10" and 7' 5" are for mature surfers who aren't super freaks like Peter Mel but aren't yet ready to get into longboards. "We put a lot of volume and a full nose on the Hawaiian performance rocker and guys can still rip on this board," he said.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Session 4.188: "Stormy" Surfing Today But...

Went to M----- this afternoon. Waves were mostly closing out and also just agitated all over the places. One interesting ride I had was a body surfing. When I took off I got separated from the board but I kept surfing on my body in a perfect body surfing position. The head sticking out of the wave and body gliding! Otherwise it was just a ton of white water mess! Good fun ducking through those though.

When I got out though there was this surfer that walked up to me and asked me where I was from and I said I am originally from Japan. Then he started to speak to me in Japanese. He seemed to be a seasoned surfer going to OB and surfs up to 20 ft waves etc. Very interesting to see more surfers speaking Japanese!

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Session 4.187: SC with Co-workers

From time to time, people at work ask about surfing. It took about two months of announcements at the office memos etc., then in the end there has been no commitment from people to come since I had to collect money in advance to reserve the instruction. This goes to say that surfing does require a quite a bit of commitment to do. Most other recreational sports require time commitment.

So there was only one person from work and her friend still wanted to go, so we decided to go to Santa Cruz.

Well, the waves on the way to Santa Cruz looked great, but in Santa Cruz it was not much. It is true that if Pigeon point is not breaking, then Santa Cruz is questionable.

But there still are waves to surf and we had a some fun small waves to practice catching waves.

A couple of things I noticed today when people are learning surfing.
  • People tend to paddle with their weight too far back on the board. I also saw another person doing this to scoot up a bit, and his response was "I am too tired." Somehow it give people impression that paddling in the back of the board is easier.
  • People tend not to start paddling early enough. I think this timing is difficult. Actually if you are looking at experienced surfers, they don't paddle as long because they have the strength. May be some people try to imitate that.
Based on this, I am going to update my beginner's page.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Session 4.186: Morning Surf - Glassy and Nice

The nice sunny fall surfing continues this morning. I had a bit of late start, but as I was getting ready, Jack (from SRF) was honking driving down the road and decided to join. Shortly after another local Rick came down too plus another local, 4 of us had nice glassy morning session. The cliff was casting a long shadow into the water, so we were in and out of the sun. Too bad I had to cut it short to get to the office. Well, there will always be more waves!


Thursday, September 23, 2004

Session 4.185: Nice Fall Afternoon Session

Nice, small, warm, sunny afternoon surfing. The sun was right in my eyes, and that means it is the fall. One of the best time of the year to surf. Great to meet up with Ed.


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Session 4.184: Excellent for my level.

Today was first day that I can recall having a lot of fun surfing since I got back from the vacation. The waves were just steep enough for me to take off on but not too mellow, so again, it was kind of being a blink of hitting my top limit and so I had mixed very nice success and some failures too. But it was challenging.

A couple of take-offs were really thrilling, especially I was trying to out run the cloing waves really fast and at the same time trying to make a turn so I don't crash immediately into the beach. It is really an amazing feeling when the waves are fairly steep and I am just hanging onto the tail of the board to stay on.

Couple of progresses here. In the past (and still today sometimes) the board slips out. But I am increasingly more successful in shifting the weight forward and makeing a turn all at the same time. Gradually these types of take offs are becoming more consistent than before. As with these success, I am also starting to tap into speed and with it I had a nearly compolete success on a standard pull out one time.

This kind of condition is fairly rare though as there is either too much or too little. But I am hoping that I will be able to take on bigger faster waves as the skills improve.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Session 4.183: Untitled

I often ponder whether writing and sharing my surfing experience is a good thing or bad thing to do. I think that the opinion will likely split. Personally, there is some incentive for me to keep writing because there are at least a few people I know who are looking forward to reading them for what it's worth. I am actually appreciative of them. Of couse, this is one of the ways my wife can dicover what I am up to. At leas this gives here some additional information on top of daily interactions. I am actually not a very good communicator vocally. It has been an issue since when I was very young. My mom always told me that her neighbor girl will tell everything that has happend at the school and I never divulge anything that has happend. I was already into corporate proprietaryship back then. If I had that women (yeah, ok, the person) in my company, our IPO plan could have been in a big danger, right?

Why am I bringing this up? Because now several decades later I am now divluging everything that goes with my surfing experience. I am sure my mom would be happy to hear about it, only that she does not understand English so that is how I am still keeping a good part of my life a big secret to my mom.

I am, however, still at a bit of a loss as to whether this wavelog is a good thing or not a good thing. I might be causing a loss of a long term reputation of myself by letting people know a lot about what I think and I do, or may be it is completely be other ways around.

The time will tell.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Session 4.182: Surfing at the limit

Every now and then, I can be in a situation where I am hitting the upper threshold of something. This means that given a session success and failures are intermixed at both extremes. Today was one of those days.

This does not necessarily mean that waves were bigger, but waves were challenging to me to the extent that it was faster closing ones. While in Maui with these gentle rolling waves, I thought I became an expert, then, a big awakening... After coming back, I felt like I was hitting some slump because I was catching so many waves in Maui. They were slower and more gentle even though the size can get fairly big -- up to overhead size.

Today, though while some waves were breaking fairly fast for my pace, there were "slow enough" breaks that I could catch. And that is where I mean the limit. Sometimes, I just don't catch them and I get held under for a bit and sometimes when I caught, they were just really great with so much speed going and so much pressure on the knee.

The progress I am making slowly now is that I am starting to be able to deal with more speed and the resulting power and be able to catch and hold on. But success is sporadic. It is a progress that I do succeed sometimes, unlike before I never did.

I am hoping that this part of the surfing will improve further, as it is probably a key for more dynamic riding style.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

He'e Nalu 181: San Gregorio

After the beach cleanup today at San Gregorio Beach, I have surfed there for a bit. I am drying out the Fish to get the tail filled so I used the 7'0 which I do not take it out usually. This is still such a difficult board to paddle and ride, even though it is 4 inches longer than my fish, it is about half as stable as the fish.

The width of the board really matters quite a bit in the stability! In a quick ellipitical computaion, one inch addition in the width have made about 8 inch difference in the length in terms of the surface area.

Friday, September 17, 2004

He'e Nalu: 4.180. DPLM again. Surfed nearly half the year!

Today was the 180th day of my surf session this year. That's almost half of the year.
The set waves were not that ridable to me, and especially after two weeks of catching lots of wavess in Maui, I felt like starting over again, even with a 9'0.

It is really interesting to learn and experience how the ocean comes up with all these different kinds of wave conditions, and sometimes it is so difficult to catch and ride them. Other times it gives me so much nice waves.

I have learned enough about this that when there is a day like this, I can say, yeah, there will always be another day that will be better.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

He'e Nalu: 4.179. DPLM

Finally back to regular morning surfing schedule and it is great but the Sun is coming out later so going at 6:30 means it is still dark, and will even get darker.

Met the Stokemaster member Greg for the first time. It is always great to see new face, and especially for the DP sessions.

Great workout but not much ride as the waves were closing out quickly and not breaking outside.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Reflections: Letter to the Guru

I have been corresponding with a local surfing guru for some time. This kind of give you some of the state of my mind right now. A bit deep may be but some of you may enjoy it.

Hey Guru;

It is very intersting to hear about your whole day.

You know... probabably don't. But whatever I do or whereever I go, whoever I try to associated with, I get very frustrated because they seem to think and do things so differently as I do. It is probably only the last couple of years that I have realized that it is not them but the cause is me. But somehow, I think that you are the same way, and probably many sufers are like that.

One example of this happend this week. On Monday, I saw a message at a local beach from some local saying "Whoever soliled our beach, you are not welcome here." Then I wrote to other people that I trust in this matter the fact and stated that I saw this and I agreed the nature of the issue, but this looked like a "hate" message. I got a couple of responses back from "socially responsbible" people that I am associated with, but their response was basically "way to go!" I was a bit (actually very) disappointed by this message. So I try to aligned with the people whom I trused and even then there was some differences in the thought, and I was almost ready to leave the group as a result of this.

Given the breadth of the worldly wisdom that you got, I think you probably can related to that. And when I discovered surfing that was just for me. I just go out and just mind my own thing and continue to challenge myself. I don't have to worry about not returning a nice Tennis shot or playing at the same Par with other golf buddies.

Then, on this trip, I rediscovered the teaching of The Buddha, and I did not even realize how deeply rooted that teaching within me.

The main thing is this. "When you go, you are going there just by yourself." and when I was surfing with just my shorts and a board in Maui, that's about the closest experience I can achive that. This was something that our neighbor priest told me all along, and I have totally forgotten about that one until now.

Well so much for the philosophy, but I really came to terms with what my life is all about and I am going to coninue to work to become a more refined person as a result of it.

On to surfing more!

He'e Nalu 178: More work with big waves...

On the way back from work, I drove up to LM and boy, the parking was full of cars, and that means that I had to surf with many other surfers. If I was super good, it would not be an issue, but based on yesterday's experience, it would have meant that I might collide with someone if I took off and someone else happens to do that at the same time. So I drove on and chose another spot.

I had to do a "good deed" first. When I arrived at the parking lot, this man with Prius lost his key and everything else including his phone and wallet was in his car, and no hand-held phone works from this devilish location. I checked to see if my 3 watts phone worked and it did, so I did offer to help him out. I must say though he was put on hold with AAA for a good 5-10 minutes then we decided to call Toyota road-assistance and that took another 5-10 minutes to get the business done. But I hope by now he has been rescued. It goes to say, it is always good to have some backup means of getting back, ya?

From the cliff top it looked decent, but man, once you are in there, it just was a lot of work to get out. It looked like the god poured the All temperature Cheer and I got a nice wash for my wetsuit, but it was not a relaxing sort of a situation. There were some better watermen braved all the way to the outside, but I could not risk that when I was here all by myself without any buddies that would look after me. So I chose to to stay inside.

Positive part of this experience is this. Yes, I am taking off and getting the best I can out of head-high dumpers, I am riding them, I am bottom turning on them, but the rides are short lived. Progress, yes, and I was really happy about that one. Again, if this was a year ago, I would say to F it and not have gone in, but now I am paddling out, ducking under waves and catching them. I think that's progress!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Session 4.177: More closeout condition... but

The waves were still on closed out mostly today, but I think I am making a bit more progress to take off on waves that are coming down faster; paddle really hard and fast, and get up as quick as I can. Easy said than done though, but my paddling strength is getting better than ever so I am taking off into smaller but fast drop waves than ever too. One thing stopped happening is that the board is not slipping away from me like I used to. That probably means that I am starting to take control of the board sooner.

In one wave I caught, I was moving so much faster than I have experienced that I was barly riding it. I knew I was not really controlling the board but I was totally up and finished the ride. So it looks like if I kept at it I would get used to the speed and take advantage of the power. At this rate more paddling speed and power is required for me to set up to be confident in the situation. In the after thought, actually it was a lot of fun to be in that situation. Instead of usual tumbling and hold downs, I was actually riding the very wave that have caused these issues.

Hope this condition continues some more so I can challenge myself a bit.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Home Session 4.176: Conquest of Junky Waves

Today was one of the junkiest days, especially when I was surfing gentle smooth reef breaks in Maui for nearly two weeks. But in some ways, I was looking forward to it, because after that two-weeks worth of long board sessions, I was ready to get back on my 66 Fish. Also, it might sound strange enough to you, I like to be in the cool water. When I was in Maui the water was so hot that I was definitely sweating a lot in the lineups and in the 80 degree water too. There was not really much chance to cool off. Here, after a ride or a paddle out, it is refreshing to just dip under the water and get my head cooled. Try that in Hawai'i!

Today, the water started feel normal to me. My hands did not freeze up like yesterday, and the water actually felt warm enough.

The waves were junky all over, and it was one of these days that getting out was some work with all the local wind chops on top of any surfable waves. You know, you paddle and paddle and duck, duck and duck and paddle and there are more white breaks out there. I was definitely being pushed back because other girl paddling out left of me did not move an inch even though she was paddling just as hard as she could.

BUT, I think I am improving. I got two good enough rides, first one was about 5 seconds and second one lasted for at least 10 seconds. They are long enough on days like this, especially when I saw only a few others caught anything longer than I could.

I think I am getting into the initial turn much faster now, so as soon as I am up I am already gliding the face of the wave when these waves are relatively steep to start with. I just had to hope that the wave does not close out quickly (but they did). That has made me very happy because previously there was no way in the hell I could get up and hold up a line in this kind of condition. Since I am still scared as hell to take off on rapidly closing waves that's bigger than, say, my shoulder so today was a perfect day to build some confidence in this area, and I had to ditch a few times when these bigger ones did come. After those passes under, I would say, yeah, I could have caught those too, so what's a big deal. But in front of them, I am in "oh shit!" mode.

But I think I can go for taking off on bigger breaks 1/4 of inch at a time. Some day, yes, overhead faster breaks will be mine! I do like to play it safe and confident each time.

When I caught the last long ride to the beach, I said, I am going to stop now because if I paddled out, I would probably have to paddle back to get out, and someone in Hawai'i said that I should never paddle back in, but ride back in. I am trying to do this right, you know, and I now know why.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Session 4.175: Back at Home

Now I have surfed in Maui for two weeks, I wanted to check out what it would be like to surf back in our water. In contrast to "show up with a pair of board shorts" style in Maui. I had to put back on the black wet suit. I felt like I have not been wearing the wet suit for like a month or more. Also having the wetsuit means that I have to bring a tub and also a change mat. With just board shorts, I can swap them from wet to dry one just standing on a flip flop, but with the wet suit it is a bit more convenient to have a change mat and a tub.

The water today was about 59 F at the HMB buoy, which means that it is still on a higher end of the scale, what I would normally call "warm." But I sure noticed the difference when I get in. Even when I am used to it the first immersion into the water is almost painful. Once I get over that, there usually is no problem. Since I stopped wearing gloves, the first 10 minutes of a session give me painful fingers too, but then magically they losen up, probably the blood starts to fill back in.

Condition today was just junky with waves just closing out every where at the near-by beach I selected, but I was really glad to get back into the water and paddle out, practicing duck diving again, which I did not have to use in Maui.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Reflections on the Maui Trip

Back at home relaxing a bit to get ready for back to work.

On this trip. I have done a lot of long boarding, and it was really great to share the wave with some great local surfers. The feel and the vive of surfing is noticeably different here. I think I can feel that some surfers have been doing it for generations. It seems that playing and even working with the ocean is the part of the big culture here. A surfboard is used as a mean of work. I have seen a boy paddling out on a surf board with a snorkel and a float to go fishing.

I was, however, surprised about the difference in surfing equipment stores. First thing I noticed is that there are many ?surfing stores? such as Local Motion and Honoula Bay Surf Shop, and Tropics but many of the stores are geared towards selling clothing than surf boards. I looked into stores in Paia, Lahaina and Kihei. The only places that were obviously surf shop were Hi Tech Surf Shop in Kahului and another one next to it. All these shops also cater to wind surfers and that looks, rightfully, a scene here than surfing. The only other place was the Local Motion store at the north end of Lahaina with about a couple of dozen used boards (cash only). Most other shops only carried less than a dozen new boards. I was originally expecting a scene more like Santa Cruz where there are just plenty of surf boards both new and old to be checked. So I was originally going to buy a board here and bring it back but I decided not to do that.

In terms of surfing in the late August to September time frame, the temperature outside was about 90 F during the day and by 3 or 4 PM in the afternoon very strong wind blows until 8 or 9 PM at night. This all stops in the morning.

It is really true that when there are no waves, Lahaina breakwater always has some, and you can even expect to see shoulder to head level breaks that erupts just a few hundred yards from the breakwater. It was not as crowded, compared to Pacifica or Santa Cruz, even during the Labor Day holiday time.

Surfing in Maui can become dangerous as the coral and volcanic rock reef extends very far out. You can be paddling out quite a distance (may be 500 yards out) and you can still stand on the bottom. When you get off the board you can either bang the knee on the coral, in that case a deep cut is inevitable, or you can stand on it, and if you don?t have a pair of booties on that will also be painful. No locals wear booties and good number of men do not wear any tops. And all locals never get off the board. Once they get in the water, they paddle to go anywhere, never walking in the water even when they are getting out of the water. Also when they are finished with rides either they ride the wave all the way, or belly ride in. Graceful pull-out at the end of a ride is a necessity; otherwise, some rock or coral is waiting to catch you. I think that it is, in general, a good practice to ride boards that way at all times, never to walk the board or stand in the water. Even the most beginners will just sit on the board to pull out and not jump off the board and paddle right back. Most local women surf with just bikini tops. Breaks are more like you see in Santa Cruz and in spite of the size they can be rather mellow, and very long lasting so it is a lot of fun to catch and ride a long distance. Of course, once bigger swells set in, I have read that there are fast hollow sections and I cannot imagine being pounded into the reef after making an error.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Maui Session 4.174: Final Session at the Cove

Wendy wanted to try surfing again. We went to Kalama Park in Kihei where the waves are fun and gentle. Wendy tried to learn how to kneel on the board and also tried to paddle to take off. It is still difficult to get up on the board but she had fun. I caught several waves from the outside. Waves were only hip high but with a lot of paddling I got a couple of long rides and it was a gentle and fun day to conclude the last day of surfing in Maui!

It is kind of sad to leave the water of Hawai'i to head home at the same time, I am looking forward to surf more familiar home breaks, and I am happy to know that there are waves to look foward to in California instead of always wanting to surf in Hawai'i.

The cold water is invigorating and I have made a lot of good surfing friends!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Maui Session 4.173: Launipoko Park

Another nice very uncrowned morning at the Launipoko spot. Breaks were happening up to mid chest high with most breaks at high hip level. A few long rides but the tide was getting high and so the waves did not last for a longer distance.

In one of the rides, I thought I was done with the wave, so I was ready to sit on the board and turn back around, then the same break started build up again, so I was immediately paddling into the wave, so I had essentially two rides without paddling back out!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Maui Session 4.172: Lahania Again

Did not surf Monday. Went around the East Maui from the South after eating lunch at Haliimaile General Store, then took the Pilani Hwy through the southern edge of the East Maui to Hana. On the way to Hana we came to Hamoa beach where it was breaking really cool but also it was very intense so I decided not to go, but I did bring back some video footage.

Tuesday, we went back up towards Lahaina to find a spot.

Checked out the Olowalu spot. Nice spot but there was nobody out and also shark warning was posted so decided not to go.

Ended up at the Lahaina Breakwater again because other sports were not breaking. Not as good as the first time I was there but still had a lot of fun catching one wave after another of up to chest high breaks.

After the lunch, we went up to Honolua bay, but it was completely flat (video coming).

Monday, September 06, 2004

Reflections: Spirituality in Surfing

Surfing in Hawai?i has made me enhanced the spirituality of surfing. Upon my return to the nature, I can only take myself. Neither nobody nor stuff I owned, I can take with. Here I can experience the solitude in the nature by just taking myself out to the ocean and let the nature take care of my enjoyment. About the only material possessions I got is a pair of board shorts, a rash guard (optional) and a surf board. It is about as close as you can get to the state of being returned to the nature.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Maui Session 4.171: Lahaina Breakwater

I have read in some of the guide books about Lahaina Breakwater about the place being so crowded and intense plus there is no parking.

As I drove up the highway from Kihei, and as I got closer to Lahaina usually breaks tends to happen. This being Sunday, I finally started to see people out. One thing I have noticed is that just about everyone is leaving a bottle of water either on top of the car or on the ground, making it warm when they finish their sessions.

I almost stopped at usual beaches before Lahaina, because I have been hesitant to get there. But I thought, heck, there is not much to lose by taking a look. I can always turn around. I should just drive by and take a look at it. So I took a bit of risk and kept going. When I got there I found the Public Beach Access parking right away, and everyone is respecting this spot so there were a plenty of space to park ? sigh of a relief number 1.

The parking lot is a bit further back from the shore so I had to walk to the beach in an anticipation of what it would be like. As I approached the area, there were already two surf lesson groups at the beach practicing flick ups. That is another sigh of relief that there are some gentle spots too, and there were at least shoulder level breaks happening on the outside and there were only a handful of surfers out. I sat and looked at the breaks, and I gave it a go.

Once I got out, it was really interesting scenery, a bit familiar. The jetty constructed with black rocks on further left, bunch of boats parked. But in addition to that I can see the Lahaina water front on further left where it was breaking a bit more consistently (I did not go there though.) Underneath me is very clear water. I can see white and purple coral. As I paddled out there were some high spots where the coral covered rock is almost up to the surface level. I just got to be careful not to catch the fin on it.

Surfing here was the best in Maui yet that I have experienced. As I got more confidence at the location by looking at other locals surf, I moved further and further north to the breakwater area where the waves were breaking a bit harder. Some of the good waves I have ridden in 3 sections. The outside initial break and the middle reforms that comes from the right then the inside section past the breakwater that is actually the continuation of the first one.

You would take off and do a real quick right. A mistake in here can cost as if you just went straight it is not too far from the jetty. As I continue to the right, the first break fizzles out and but another break is forming from the right. This requires a quick cutback to the left. But if you kept going you are going to hit the corner of the jetty, and in front of me, I would start running into people in lessons, so I would cut back to quick right close to the jetty and that will take you all the way to the beach. When you negotiate all the turns to come from all the way from the outside to the beach, it is really exciting, and also I am starting to be able to nail the tail pivot turns on a long board. That?s one thing I have seen a lot of good locals do staying on hook by cutting back frequently rather than just gliding across the wave.

It is an equivalent of starting at the inside the indicator and go all the way to the hotel beach in Cowells. It is about half the length of that ride here in Lahaina.

I had a couple of pearls (if you did not you can buy them at Lahaina shopping center, $12 each per clam) and I was really afraid that the front of the board would get caught in the coral reef, but that actually did not happen. But hanging on to the board at all times has a new meaning. It is actually more important at the end of the ride as if you touch the ground you could either land right on top of razor sharp coral or scrape you leg with one.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Maui Session 4.170: Finally some shoulder size sets.

Today, finally I was able to shoulder-size sets. Went back to the same spot as last afternoon. Again, there was only two other surfers out in the area where I was. But it was a bit of paddle out from the main break where most people were hanging around. When I went to Baja in December of 2003, my arm muscle would become painful in just a few strokes and the board did not even move, but now paddling a mile or two in a session is not an issue to me. It is really interesting how one's body changes with training.

The sets were still far and few in between, but when they happens they were breaking nicely. Especially today, it was breaking a bit harder so I did pearl a couple of times as I did not expect the waves to be breaking like that. But after learning the characteristics of the breaks, I adjusted the take off to more tail centered and no problem after that.

Locals were especially friendly at this spot to both touring beginners and people catching waves like me. (I am always afraid of someone just walk up and give me a flat hand for whatever the reasons.)

Right now, the W Maui spots are long-board capital. With most people riding a "tanker" with 10 ft or even longer. At that level, they are just catching so many waves.

Though today I was sharing a break with a hard-core local mom type surfer who must have been on 6'8 or some length of short board. She was ripping just like any short boarders in Santa Cruz or the ones you see on the TV. Initially I thought she was about 25 but when I saw her up close she must have been well into early to mid 40's and she had a early teen daughter with her waiting to take mom's short board out.

Another thing I noticed is that many locals make the surfing an "all day" event. They set up a picnic and a BBQ and sometimes even a canopy and card tables to lay out a banquet. So I though that some good people left the line up, and though it is now my chance to get the waves, but then about 30 minutes later they are back at it again, then the go out to rest, eat or have a drink and be at it again more! With the weather so nice, yeah, why not. Sometimes, if you are standing around, they will even offer you to take a piece! I am even breaking up a day's session including a lunch!

Friday, September 03, 2004

Sessions 4.169 A and B - Pay Off, West Maui Wayside Parks

It is nice that Maui has so many wayside beach parks. All of them have great parking spots and also nice breaks. Many of them have showers too. Today I stopped at Ukumehame park in the morning and Launipoko park in the afternoon with a lunch break. Yes, it is almost like a job. I showed up at the first beach at 9 a.m. took a 30 minutes lunch and then went back to Launipoko park in the afternoon and with 3-hour surfing each.

This is supposed to be a labor day holiday but both places were so remarkablly uncrowded and with only a few locals and also tourist surfers, I had so many waves to catch. Especially in the afternoon, the condition was just right for me to do mega-catch session on fairly small sets but just one after another as the paddle out time was enough for the next sets to come in.

Today I have felt that all these training sessions in the past two years have really paid off to allow me to ride these vacation waves. There is no struggles paddling out, and I am catching the waves I want to catch and enjoying these long relaxing rides. On these rides, I am not even thinking too hard about how to improve the rides, I am just enjoying the rides like the locals.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Session 4.168: More @ Kamaole Beach, Stoke 10

After a coral cut on my knee, I have been a bit cautious about spots. This Kamaole spot has basically rock bottom so it is a bit safer than on spots further north. Also today, the waves were a bit up and giving some nice long rolling mid-chest high sets, though, the sets were still a few and far in between -- about one every 5 minutes. But, like in Santa Cruz, once they fire up there will be about 3-4 set waves. Imagine the Cowells, except that there is nobody and it is about 10 times wider to spread out. This morning the max people I shared the waves was 4 people, with two others who were not catching much, so essentially there is this airline guy who surfs when he stays over and me just owning the whole break.

Another amazing fun is the length of the ride. On some rides, I can easily ride 20 seconds or more on one wave and it is also possible to connect two wave sections to go even longer. So I had many many relaxing, fun, long waves to ride on the McTavish 9'1 Original (http://www.surftech.com/long.phtml?label=18) board, with its 23 inch wide body, it is super easy to catch these relaxing waves!

With a nice sunny day with warm water, I should give it a kind of Stoke 10 day!