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!