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» Time for an 'update'...
December 21, 2011 at 03:59 PM
By: Pete Fontaine
» you are a great writer for a young kid.
August 13, 2011 at 12:15 AM
By: PIerre Armand
» Wow
November 18, 2010 at 07:50 PM
By: Rotorhead
» Congrats
May 16, 2010 at 12:14 PM
By: Pete

Spring has been brutal on my equipment.  Everyday there is wind and waves and everyday I am damaging, or just wearing out, my stuff!  One day the waves had come up to 8 ft Hawaiian and I sailed for a few hours, by the end of the day I had buckled two boards in the board snapping machine that is the end bowl!  Most days there is very strong wind, so I go and practice jumps.  Jumps are the most destructive for boards.  When I jump I weaken the boards with flat landings and over-rotations, then I go out at Hookipa on a big day and expose the weak point in the pit of a wave.  So, after a couple of weeks in this routine of destruction, I’m left with my spare-spare board!  All I can say is, it looks as if in a few days I’m going to need a spare-spare-spare board because this thing looks like it’ll break if you pick it up too fast! 

     Then, the day before yesterday, I took it out at Hookipa.  The waves were around 5 ft out of the North, really good shoulders smoked through the break from middles to the end bowl.  I went out and had a blast!  The first few waves I caught were epic, really solid and satisfying.  But then I wiped out.  I tried for an air, went over the falls, and shot into the tumbling abyss!  After that the board didn’t feel the same.  It had been my board over the Fall and early Winter and took a bunch of beatings, this was its last...  I caught another wave and laid into a bottom turn, half way through my board wobbled and warped and I was bucked off and into the pit!  The rest of the session was ridiculous!  I was the only person bouncing through turns and around sections!  Then my second highest batten broke and the sail went out, this was turning into a very unlucky day!  By the end of my session my stuff was tattered and so was my pride.  “Look on the bright side,” I thought “tomorrow can only be better!”

     The next day was much worse.  The waves were now around 4 ft and the direction had turned to an East swell.  Close-period sets rushed through the break like storm surge and I already smelt trouble.  Dad and I had solved the gear problem by getting permission to use the brand new 2012 photo shoot gear, under the instruction to try not to break it!  I went out, tripping out over the new gear and how cool all the brand new stuff was, and caught a few waves.  The board, sail, and everything else felt perfect and my session was perfect!  Then I tried for a goiter, under-rotated, fell backwards over the falls, and my gear rode straight into the rocks.  I remembered the instructions I got when receiving the gear that was now on the rocks, oops!  I swam in through the rocks and clambered up to dry land.  Luckily the gear wasn’t broken so I went back out.  I caught a wave, aired, and went head over the heels into the pit where my gear went into the rocks again!  I repeated steps 1-3 and re-evaluated my situation.  Two unlucky days in a row!  Was there some kind of curse on me?  All I can do is give it another try...

Posted: April 10, 2011 at 09:02 AM
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Pros of Spring!

All the pros were here today.  Kauli, Brawzinho, and Philip were just a few riders at Hookipa.  Everyone was pulling big moves and there was a new energy and life to the break that seemed to be missing during the last few months.  Before, Hookipa was a quiet spot, a bit like an empty house.  Now the entire place was full of enthusiasm, Hookipa was again the hub of wave sailing.  In the past, Hookipa had an intensity as it frothed in the overcast light.  Now, the sun beamed through clear skies and the waves performed in the natural spotlight. 

     Speaking of spotlight, the photo shoots were up and running and every team rider for every company was down here hamming it up for the cameras.  Naish had been shooting the last few days too.  All the gear is brand new and the graphics are fresh and different.  This new energy was inspiring and it only happens in the spring! 

     Spring meant that winter was over and a new phase was coming, summer.  This winter I had done so much and gone so far, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia.  I remembered the winter starting with the Big Island stand up contest and the surprise I felt when I went so far in my first stand up event!  Then, before I could stop gloating, I was on a plane to Japan.  I’ll always remember that trip.  I experienced the new, the people and the culture; and I experienced the old, my family’s roots of samurai and Shinto priests.  Coming back from Japan, I was inspired by my ancestors and their cool stories!  After Japan I enjoyed the winter.  I paddled and windsurfed the biggest waves I’ve ever ridden before, I pushed my limits and learned a lot about myself and how to build my mental strength.  With a strong head I went to the Sunset Beach Pro.  In Oahu’s Northshore I faced a lot of demons and pushed the limits of what I thought I could do.  From there I went home and found that my performance at Sunset had reached a lot of people, after a few days I was invited to Morocco!  Never had I imagined that I would be invited there, why would anyone pay for me to be in their event?!  Where I saw a culture of builders in Japan, I saw a culture of naturalists in Morocco.  I’m so lucky to be able to see all of this at 14!  The lifestyle there was basic and sleepy, it was a peaceful place where I enjoyed some great waves.  Then I came home and ended up here, after a whirlwind of traveling and learning I had survived another winter! 

     Now all there is to do is look forward to summer!  I plan to go to Santa Cruz, for the first event of the North American Wavesailing Tour, early next month.  Then possibly Tahiti for the third stand up tour event.  After that I can enjoy the summer for a while before going to Pistol River for NAWT stop 2 in June.  Then, the next week, I’ll be in Oahu for the Battle of the Paddle.  After another break I might go to the BOP California and then stay for the stand up tour event there.  Then I’ll work on my jumping some more in the summer until the wind begins to fade and the days get shorter again.  When I feel that raw intensity of the ocean as it froths in the overcast light, I’ll know that winter has started again.

Posted: March 29, 2011 at 08:58 AM
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Exploring the Desert

The Dakhla festival was incredible.  We explored the desert, experienced the Moroccan culture, and windsurfed some unreal conditions!  In the week that Dad and I were there, we discovered an entirely new world full of entirely different characteristics.  The first thing that hits you is the desert.  The physical differences. Dakhla is a peninsula on the Moroccan coast, between the Sahara and the Atlantic.  This creates an out-of-this-world landscape full of mind-blowing scenery!  When we arrived in Dakhla, it was midnight. So, because only the stars were out, we couldn't see the vast expanse of desert that surrounded the camp.  But in the next days we found so many breath taking spots it got old!  There are sick plateaus to the Northeast and a gigantic lagoon to the inland side of peninsula.  When you look at the lagoon right, you can see the reflection of the plateaus.  They're two 50 ft high parallel lines that go a mile in both directions, incredible!  But there isn't only desert in Dakhla.


At night, a bunch of people in the camp would go to the town nearby. There we ate kalamari and camel, yeah camel!  The festival had concerts on all the time too.  In town, you could grab an avocado milkshake and listen to local Arab music echoing through the streets. We still didn't come just to eat the food though!  We came to windsurf, and we did!  The waves at the campsite were unreal.  They broke off of a point break about 200 yards out and rolled all the way in before connecting with the next beach break and speeding up.  Then it would all fold over onto the sandy beach.  If you rode the wave right, you could have a long stretch back out again!  Everyday was a good day, the wind and waves were always perfect and we explored throughout the entire trip.  I had an unbelievable time in Dakhla and can only hope to go there again next year to do it all over again!

Posted: March 9, 2011 at 11:23 AM
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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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