Monday, November 30, 2009

The Child

Can you remember the last El Nino year? When I was growing up, I always heard of the swell of 69'. If you had surfed in the decade following that year, it was the milestone. Then in 1983, the next El Nino hit with a vengeance, the big surf and a new extreme sport of big wave surfing was born. I remember seeing all the surf mags at that time and was amazed. In 1986 another El Nino year, I paddled out in my first big surf at 17. Ten years later I was on the North Shore playing chess at Pipeline watching the "condition black" You could not see the outer reefs break. I sometimes think to myself, too many people have not paid their dues in the big surf. With more and more kiteboarders going into the surf without the slightest knowledge of conditions, I feel concern. I just saw a forecast for next Tuesday and I saw 40 feet at 16 seconds. That is twice as big as my earlier video post "Rainbow Wave". I just hope all these "watermen" know what they are doing. Good Luck

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Maui Mini Movie 2 Meet Shawn Richman

The Agitator: A Kiteskiers Journey

Twin tips, surfboards, wakeskates, strapped or strapless, these are questions most kiters ask every day. But kiter Jon McCabe has a little different take on what to ride. He is a Snow Kite Instructor during the winter months who has taken the powder to the water. The launch off Action Beach can be tough, especially sliding down the small sandy slope just to get into the water. He usually selects a bigger kite size that is a size or two bigger than what everyone else is flying. Backspins, front rolls, big airs with kiteloops are in his bag of tricks. His big move is called the "Colorado Rattlesnake": hop to blind, double rewind backspin to kiteloop. So you want to be a kite skiier, he suggests, "Get out there"

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Goodbye and good luck

This weekend we saw a real influx of people visiting the Island. Sadly enough most of these people are already headed back to the mainland. The wind today was pretty much perfect. There still was some residue swell making the waves head high fun. I see a pretty big swell shaping up next weekend. The wind looks good until Wednesday...then maybe a Kona switch. Aloha

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Bowl

The wind and surf keeps on rolling in, feeling the winter air really for the first time. The surf was running a little overhead out the back. The wind creeped in the morning E/NE and by the end of the day we had a lot of east. There were some signs of trade showers which means squalls for the weekend. A couple more days of wind for the weekend and another swell in the forecast.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

8 reasons you must take a lesson.

Taking lessons is the smartest thing a beginning kiter will ever do. Make sure your school is certified. (IKO for Maui). That your instructor is also instructor certified. (IKO) Also, they have there CPR and first aid certification. As an Action Sports instructor this is what I came with.

1) Safe and sound
Kiteboarding can be dangerous sport. Taking lessons will familiarize you with the safety aspects of the sport and how your equipment works. Knowing this means a safer experience for yourself and those around you.

2) Discover your leaning
Why take months to learn kiteboarding when you can be up and riding in as quick as a few hours? The quickest way to get on the water is to invest in kiteboarding lessons. Kiteboarding instructors use proven teaching methodology that will get you on the water in no time.

3) Save Money and time. Kite:1500, bar and lines 250, harness 200 and board 700 and that's just the beginning. That's a lot of loot to spend if you're not sure if this sport is for you. Kiteboarding lessons could cost in the region of $200, which is cheap in comparison to spending $2000. Taking kiteboarding lessons will give you an idea of if the sport is for you or not.

4) Use someone else's gear
The first few hours on a kite you are sure to give your kite and you a decent beating as you will be dropping it constantly. If you take lessons you get to use school equipment, which means you don't have to worry about dropping the kite.

5) Meet the kitebearders
There's nothing more intimidating than starting a new sport without knowing anyone. Kiteboarding schools are a great place to meet other beginners just like you. Meet other beginners and practice kiteboarding with them once you're done with the lessons.

6)Local Knowledge
You school and your instructors have an intricate knowledge of the beach, the gear and teaching. Their local knowledge is essential for success. They are willing to pass it on to you to make everyone in the water safer. If you start by yourself you will have no idea what kind of conditions are safe to learn in. How would you know if the wind is too strong, or even how to read the wind? Your kiteboarding instructor will take you to a beginner-safe beach that will make your learning experience safe and pleasant.

7) Experience the latest gear
Most kiteboarding schools have the latest kiteboarding gear that is ready for you to try. Taking a kiteboarding lesson will give you the opportunity to try a wide range of gear before you buy.

8)Teacher, coach, caddie
Taking kiteboarding lessons means a kiteboarding instructor is the perfect trifecta. Teaching, then coaching and if needed a great caddie.


North by northeast, the wind shifted to the north blowing steady 22. The surf dropped and then came back up. Thanksgiving eve should be good. The wind and the surf on the rise. Stay cautious, the swell will be on the rise.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Shall we play a game? I call the inside of Pier 1 Candyland, and for good reason. There are endless waves all over the place for the picking. Don't mess up out here, or it's two steps back: One, to Crack Beach. Two, do not pass do not go...straight into the harbor. The NW kicked in great, the wind was in the high 20's to low 30's with a little more east to it. We are going to get more juice on Wednesday into Thursday, and even more at the end of the week. There will be no let up in the wind.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Good Swell Hunting

The NW swell really kicked in, and the wind was "oh my God" perfect. Blowing in the mid 20's not too gusty not to rusty. Out the back, there were some bombs wrapping into the Boneyard all the way to Pier One. Pic: "Wish you were here" Kitebeach in the morning

Out of the Loop

Saturday: Just a lazy afternoon with Cole and Toast. The boys find the pool empty and take advantage.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A case of the East Infection

Degrees. There are 360 in a circle, but at Kitebeach only 90 count. Everyday I watch and launch many kites off the beach. It is one of my favorite things that entertain me. When an instructor launches, there is little fanfare. But, the peanut gallery really revs up when the visiting kiter makes his or her first attempt. I have seen so many kites in the trees it is unbelievable. So, I am going to tell you how it is. First, just take a look at the pro pool and the flags. Many times you might have to drift launch. If you don't know how to do this it's best that you take a lesson. Talk to local kiters, most will give some good advice. Next, don't put your kite at 12, trust me there is nothing up there but disappointment. I know, at your beach you walk up and down, sit there with the kite in the air and talk to your buddy about that great backroll you just did. Get to the water....NOW! Make your life easier and put your board in your upwind hand. No Canadian grip. Lastly, this goes to everyone: riders, pros, instructors, students; the launcher has priority. I cringe every time I see somebody come in patting their head trying to get a land when there are 3 kiters walking off the beach. Wait your turn, go back out for one more jump, let everybody clear out. When it's Easty, gusty and nasty, you'll be thankful that you got into the water safely. This is my theme: if any of this is foreign to you....take a lesson.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Maui Mini Movie

First Impressions

Remember the first time you saw kiteboarding. For some, it was only a short time ago. But in 1999, on the North Shore Oahu, I was there on a surf trip. I had recently broke up with my girlfriend and I had exiled myself to a six month surf trip starting on the North Shore. I was couch surfing at V-Land apartments where my buddies crazy roommate kept talking about this "kiting sport". I just laughed him off as a tweeked out surf rat running a little too much ice in his blood. Finally, after constant badgering and a flat day in March I was pulled away from the "seven mile miracle" to see what this was all about. We drove across the Haleiwa bridge and were off the Kaena Point. Kaena Point was famous for Ace Cool trying to surf the biggest wave in the world . There was a post card in every shop to prove it. We arrived and for the first time I saw kites in the air. These kites were large and I laughed at the sight of them. There was only 3 or 4guys trying to fly. This is fucking crazy. What are these lunatics doing? I sat on the grass and watched. The reality was that it was not that amazing. It was cruel and unusual. What I witnessed was more like a comedy act. Someone would launch, get dragged through the sand, get dragged though the reef, get a respectable ride, crash, get dragged back in. The more I watched, the more thought, this is not what I want to do. Finally, one of the boys asked if i wanted to fly a trainer kite. I thoughtfully declined. The nut jobs are going to get killed and I really wasn't planning on going out flying away. That was it, I was not impressed. There wasn't any magical moment. I did not have the vision to see into the future yet, in fact I pretty much thought it was ridiculous. I kept surfing all the way to Australia and didn't have real thought of kiting for another year and a half later. I look back at that time and realize I really was not that far off. The kiting equipment was sub standard at best; these first kiters had found something but really weren't sure what it was or going to be. My thought was, "look at these poor crazy bastards...getting beat up for a cheap thrill " Years later I got married, quit my rat race job, moved to Maui and look, now who is that poor crazy bastard.?....Rotten Tomato