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Viewing posts created during January of 2011

Just you and the wave!

"...forget about the donkeys and focus on you and the wave!"

Lots of crazy things have happened in the past three days. I’ve sailed in crowded, windy, and huge conditions. The biggest thing I had to remember was to keep my head and focus just on the wave. Right?

The first day was a mega big day on the north shore and Hookipa was a big closeout mess. My Dad and I decided to go to Kanaha... Mark Angulo came down too. The thing with Kanaha is that it is kind of like a beach break. It is really slow and always closes out to reform on the inside. It can be really fun, although today was not that day. There were about a hundred windsurfers and kiters out and it was burn central!  Mark was killing it but I was fighting with so many other people for waves and dodging others in the water! Totally over it! I sailed in after an hour and later Mark Angulo came in too. My Dad, Mark, and I talked about all the people and how hard it was to do anything! Finally, Mark said that the only way to catch your's was to forget about the donkeys and focus on you and the wave. Good advice, but how could I focus on just the wave when there was so much else going on.

The second day was slightly smaller but not by much. Hookipa was macking and closing out the channel but the sets were ridable...-ish.  I went out, not willing to go to Kanaha, and caught some pretty huge waves! The swells were colossal and ramped up more when they reached the reef—for sure one of gnarliest days I’ve sailed Hookipa. Then it got even gnarlier! The wind went from a light offshore breeze to a tornado in the barrel that practically hunted you down! Then the current that was rushing out from the channel collided into the wind and created a rapid! You would bottom turn and slide sideways mid face... not comfortable. I was pushing my envelope before and now the letter opener ripped open the paper and exposed the Christmas card! If I didn’t blow up on the wave I would go out into the flats where it was smoother but then I would loose speed and get axed. It was ridiculous out there and when Mark got caught by a sneaker set and went on the rocks I came in for a breather. That’s when a local sailor on the beach came up to me. He said, “Was it too much for you?” I didn’t understand at first so then he said it again. I finally realized what he said and, a little taken aback, I said, “No, I happen to be taking a break. Don’t worry I won’t be putting an impact vest on anytime soon.” As he was putting on his impact vest. Maybe it was a misinterpretation but I was so hyped up on adrenaline that I was ready to bite someone’s head off! And when he said that I got so mad that I went back out and got the next set waves for the rest of my session. And I went later than ever, just out of spite! Who needed to focus on just the water when you could compete against a person and use the water as the proving ground. But it was an unfulfilling feeling, like I did good but I was thinking about somebody else the whole time. I told my Dad and he said that when competing or free-surfing in general it is important to forget about what other people say and think about what you need to do, your job, your session. 

Today was my third episode. The waves were smaller... about mast high in the sets. Before I went out I sat on the beach and took a deep breath. I breathed in what my Dad and Mark said, and I exhaled the crowds at Kanaha, the wind at Hookipa, the local... everything. Nothing was as important as just going out and killing it. Nothing was as important as enjoying a session. If I kept a cool head I could go kill it and show everyone how good I was. With that I went out and had one of the best sessions of my life. I fixed the speed problem by cutting my bottom turn drag in half just by turning mid-face. With that I got more speed, power and vertical hits. The sesh couldn’t be better! I went in and on my way the local from yesterday came up to me. He said he apologized for offending me and that he meant nothing by it. I told him it was cool and then we started talking about how sick the day was. It was better to talk to the guy and be cool than be a grouch. I guess the best thing to do, no matter what, is to remember that you’re not on the water to fight; you’re on the water to, well, be on the water!

Posted: January 23, 2011 at 10:42 AM
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Big Swell

I thought the waves were going to be small like yesterday, I was totally wrong.  We got to Hookipa early to beat the crowds but we didn’t need to because the waves were firing.  Double mast high sets came from the west, fully closing out the channel.  The wind was barely sailable on the inside and nuking on the wave.  Perfect!  I was the first guy to go out, Mark Angulo was a few minutes behind.  I sailed around for a few minutes and then a huge set came barreling through!  I caught the biggest wave of the set, probably a bit over double mast, and flew down the line.  I set my rail in the water and carved up to the lip, SmacDonalds!  Then the rest of the wave started to fold over as one mega closeout!  I shot around a section, cutback in the pocket, and dropped down the face with more speed to make it further down the line.  As I shot past the End-Bowl the rocks and current made the wave dredge and spit.  I blew past a section that hollowed out, practically standing on my inside rail to compensate for the water rushing up the face.  I made it to the channel, hit one last lip, and then shot out into the flats to escape the whitewater.  I rode the whitewater into the inside of the channel.  Mark Angulo was sitting on the inside, taking on the endless closeout whitewater.  When the set was over I looked at Mark and said “Swell picked up a bit from yesterday huh.”  “A bit.”

Posted: January 3, 2011 at 09:47 AM
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2011 Day 1

Today was the first day of the year but I thought, honestly, what’s the big deal???  Sure I was excited and ready for 2011 but it was just a day after yesterday, and that much closer to “THE END OF THE WORLD 2012” hahahaha.  Anyways, 2011 was still windy so we went down to the beach for a sail.  The waves were due to come up and when we got down to Hookipa the waves were already head high.  I rigged and went out, eager to boost the first air of the new year!!!  I caught a bunch of sick waves and dabbled in some table-top airs, as displayed above : )  Lots of guys were down, Mark Angulo, Marcilio Browne, and Robby Swift were just a couple but the crowd was still down.  Probably because the wind was light, but the battle with the wind was worth it!  Logo high sets were rolling in from the west making it a full air craze!  I loved it and started to understand how starting the year off right was really important!  With the first day of 2011 being a big success I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in-store.  Hope all you guys have a great year!

Posted: January 2, 2011 at 12:47 PM
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