May 1, 2010
Ho’okipa Beach Park on Maui is the epicentre of the windsurfing world. Sailors from around the globe long for a glimpse of its beautiful waves and perfectly set-up side-off wind. Those who have dared set foot on this sacred “ground” will certainly remember it for the rest of their lives.
Ho’okipa riding tips
1. “When in doubt, don’t go out.” —lifeguard station sign
2. Know your wavesailing right-of-ways rules.
3. Surfers have right of way over windsurfers.
4. Do not go out before 11 a.m.
5. Get to know and use the currents. When down in front of the rocks and unable to waterstart, swim out and the current will take you past the rocks.
6. Though you can get decent jumps at Ho’okipa, and technically it is your right of way, favour those coming in on the waves.
7. Be careful of the reef. It is often shallower than you think and will hurt you.
8. Never stand between your gear and the beach/rocks. This could lead to serious injury.
9. If you ever have to retrieve your gear from the rocks, disconnect the board and bring it in first before thinking of retrieving the sail. The rocks are slippery, and it’s almost impossible to walk on them in the crosswind with board and sail.
10. Respect the Ho’okipa pecking order. If you don’t know what this is, ask before going out.
11. North swells are favoured as they line up for the perfect rides and better turns.
12. West swells tend to lessen the benefits of the current in front of the rocks, so be careful.
13. East swells can offer long rides but are rare and usually smaller.
Sailworks, RRD, Dakine, NoLimitz and HPL make sure Patrick Bergeron is well equipped for every Ho’okipa session.
words by Patrick Bergeron
photos by Jerome Houyvet