Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
"The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) has re-surged back into the Active Phase providing enhanced support for storm development over the West and Central Pacific pushing east through the end of the month." These are words that Maui kiteboarders really don't want to hear. So the trade winds are pretty much obsolete, gear tuned, body healed. I guess after a big year, it's time to get back to training, set some goals and see what the new year brings. Wind?
Monday, December 28, 2009
You have seen many changes to the blog over the past month. Slowly, I am starting to figure it all out and give you information, stories and video you want. There are going to be even more changes some good some bad, so hang loose. Eventually, we will get a sick site. If you have any suggestion post them....and if they don't post, well, i am trying to figure that out too.....Aloha
Sunday, December 27, 2009
One man's trash is another man's treasure. So, with the El Nino in full effect there is a lot of time to get prepared; getting my gear in order for the next year is a number one priority. For about the last six months, my biggest kite is 7.5. You laugh, but I can go with winds in the mid to high teens. Albeit, a miserable downwind "run", still, getting the gills wet is very important. I made a pact with Maui when I first got here, and we respect each other. So, with the El Nino in full force, I asked Maui for a bigger kite. I waited with patience. Within a week or two, a neighbor instructor was throwing away two kites that had problems...an 11m Takoon and a 12m Naish. Both kites older and beat up. I took it to Karen (she fixes all the kites), we fixed the bladder, and she repaired all the rips. So, for a little fee, and a little time I am back in business...at least until it blows less than 10....
Rules for Old Kites:
1. If you don't have to sell, don't.
2. Keep the old ones as spares...Lanes is a great place to eject an old kite
3. Part out all pieces, including lines.
4. Recycle out kites..you can figure it out
5. Don't sell really old kites to beginners....scary
6. If you move to a windy spot, keep your big kites (vice-versa)
7. Lastly, find, fix, test and sell...get a new one!!!
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Jaws 2. My wife and I went to Jaws late in the afternoon. It was beautiful. There was little traffic and the surf was pumping. At the end, we watched one guy go in circles for about 20 minutes or more, on a treadmill: Catch a wave, ride, get picked up and do it again. For this day, I know who the luckiest guy in the world was! Merry Mele Kalikimaka!!!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Today, big kites rule. 10, 11, 12 were the size of choice. If you had any of these kites , you were in for steady wind and and a nice sized swell running well overhead out the back. The Maui mini forecast is much of the same, a small thermal with heating convection causing some afternoon winds from the NE.
Prediction: 10+ Kite size
Saturday, December 19, 2009
I thought I would pass this along. If you live here then you know, if you don't now you do.....
The weather had been first warm and then cool that month. There was a feeling of uncertainty, of change, of excitement in the air that inspired Maui, and he decided to build a kite.
And what a kite it was! For a sail, his mother gave him her largest, strongest piece of barkcloth. For cross-pieces he used great lengths of bamboo carefully cut and notched. And from the olona shrub he cut long lengths of branch, twisting them together to make a strong rope. With great care he constructed his kite.
Maui's kite was a work of art. His friends excitedly gathered around to help him carry it to Keeper-of-the-Winds. Maui and the others paraded though the village, and all the people left their work and came to watch.
To the Cave-of-the-Winds they marched. As the approached the cave they could see Keeper-of-the-Winds sitting by the entrance.
"O Keeper-of-the-Winds," cried Maui, "come, bring Ipu Iki, the small gourd that holds the gentle breezes, and let us fly our kite!"
Keeper-of-the-Winds was a wise old woman, and knew that the gentle winds of Ipu Iki would play kindly with the boy. She went into her cave and returned, carrying a small calabash, or hollowed-out gourd.
"The name of this calabash is Ipu Iki," she said, "and it holds the gentle winds; the soft, the misty, and the dusty." And she sang her song,
O Wind, Soft Wind of Hilo,
Wind from the calabash of everlasting winds,
come from Ipu Iki.
O Wind, Soft wind of Hilo,
Come gently, come with mildness.
The lid of the calabash began to stir, and Keeper-of-the-Winds carefully lifted its edge. Slowly Soft Wind of Hilo drifted out and tugged at the kite. Maui let out some cord and his friends held up the great sail, but the wind could do no more than rustle the cloth. Again Keeper-of-the-Winds sang her song.
O Wind, Soft Wind of Waimea,
Wind from the calabash of everlasting winds,
come from Ipu Iki.
O Wind, Soft wind of Waimea,
hasten to me, come to me with strength.
Again the lid of the calabash stirred, and Keeper-of-the-Winds raised it slightly. Misty Wind of Waimea flew out, sweeping the kite from the hands of Maui's friends, sending it soaring over the trees.
Maui's friends cheered as he let out the cord, and even Keeper-of-the-Winds became excited. She called Dusty Wind and Smoky Wind. The kite soared like a great bird out over the sea. Maui leaned back and laughed in happiness as Keeper-of-the-Winds stood silently and looked with pleasure upon the boy's face, and then at the kite.
"That's enough for today," said Keeper-of-the-Winds. "One must respect the winds; they should not be taken for granted. They will respect you if you respect them."
After a few moments of silence, Maui slowly nodded his head. "Yes, O Keeper-of-the-Winds," he said a little reluctantly. "Call your winds back to you."
Keeper-of-the-Winds removed the lid from Ipu Iki and called back her winds. Slowly the kite dropped, and as Maui reeled in the line, his friends caught the kite. Keeper-of-the-Winds put the lid back on the calabash, and everyone went home.
But Maui was not content. He had seen how high his kite had gone, but wondered just how much higher it could fly. He remembered the words of Keeper-of-the-Winds, and knew that he must respect the winds, but still he wondered.
The next day Maui and his friends took the great kite and went back to Cave-of-the-Winds. They found Keeper-of-the-Winds sitting out front.
"O Keeper-of-the-Winds, bring out Ipu Nui, calabash of the Four Great Winds!" cried out Maui.
"The winds of Ipu Iki were enough, Maui," said the old woman. "Do you not remember what I said to you? You must respect the winds, especially the Four Great Winds."
"But I am strong, as strong as the Four Great Winds," said Maui, only half believing his own words, and he began to chant,
O Winds, mighty as the gods,
Wind from the calabash of everlasting winds,
come from Ipu Nui.
Strong Wind of the East,
Churning Wind of the North,
hasten and come to me.
From inside the cave came a mighty roar. Keeper-of-the-Winds started and ran towards the entrance, but she was greeted by North Wind and East Wind, who bowled her over and snatched the kite from the hands of Maui's friends. Maui leaned back as far as he could as the kite was swept far out over the sea. He laughed with delight when he saw how far his kite had gone, and at Keeper-of-the-Winds who was struggling vainly to put the lid back on Ipu Nui. But with a great screaming and howling, West Wind and South Wind roared out of the calabash, knocking it from the woman's hands and sending it rolling away.
The kite went as high as the cord was long, and still it tugged violently. The cord began to hum in the wind, and as the sky grew dark, the kite disappeared into the clouds.
Thinking himself to be in control, Maui called out, "O Winds, mighty as the gods, return to Ipu Nui."
But of course the winds were beyond his control. The sky darkened. The four howling winds raged stronger and stronger until the cord attached to the kite snapped with a mighty crack, sending Maui reeling backwards. The kite sailed away over the mountain, never to be seen again.
Yet the winds continued to rage. The palms that grew around Cave-of-the-Winds bent down their heads in the face of the onslaught, until they too broke. Over the entire island the winds screamed and howled. The sheets of barkcloth set out to dry were blown away and a heavy rain began, flooding the fields, sending the men scurrying in all directions. The winds had proven who was the stronger.
In desperation Keeper-of-the-Winds pounced on Ipu Nui and took it back to the cave and worked the night, gently coaxing the winds back into the calabash. Finally the storm ended.
Maui was in disgrace, and people started to call him He-Who-Brought-the-Great-Storm. The people would have nothing to do with him. His friends left him and Keeper-of-the-Winds looked the other way when Maui came to visit.
Finding himself alone with nothing to do, Maui built another kite, small than the first, and flew it near his home when there was no-one else about. He would tie the kite to a rock and study its movements in the sky, and soon he could tell when the weather would be fine, or stormy. One day he noticed some men going off to the fields.
"It will rain today," said Maui to the men, "Tomorrow will be a better day to work the fields."
But the men just scowled at him. Soon it did begin to rain, and the men came running back to the village, looking in amazement at Maui as they ran by.
Another day Maui warned a group of women that their barkcloth could be blown from its drying place, because his kite told him that there would be a storm that day. The women paid him no attention. Soon, however, they were out of their yards, chasing the cloth which was blowing about in the storm.
In time, the village people began to rely on Maui and his kite. He taught them how to predict for themselves from the dancing movements of the kite which days would be good for planting, or fishing, or drying barkcloth. People stopped calling Maui He-Who-Brought-the-Great-Storm and started calling him Teacher-and-Foreteller-of-the-Weather. Keeper-of-the-Winds became friendly towards him again, but Maui had learned his lesson. Never again did he call for the winds of Ipu Iki or Ipu Nui.
Friday, December 18, 2009
OK, so you want to know what the wind is going to do today, tomorrow or even next week. Let's be real, the live report is the best. But, there is a certain procedure that I follow that is really easy. Luckily, all the information is right on the web so you don't have to go far to find it. Here is the websites that I use for forecasting: Windguru, Ikitesurf, Stormsurf, Maui Weather Today and Guy Hagi on TV. Now, I look at the forecast tables for the week. This is done by a computer pretty reliable, but not perfect. These tables will give you a general idea of the longevity that the wind is going to blow,ie.how many days or weeks in a row. Then, I check the direction of the wind. Now, during trade wind times E,ENE, I add 6 on the low end and double the high end to the wind speed. If the models say 14, I think it's going to 20 to 28. These winds are usually more gusty. Strange, but true. Now, for NE I just add 6 with a smaller variance: 14= 18 to 22. For North winds, I take it a straight face value 14=14. Now, to see into the future I go to Stormsurf. I check on Hawaii map icon on the homepage. On the top right toolbar is the SLP (Sea Level Pressure) I click on this and watch. I am looking for a strong high pressure(H) area North and East of the Islands. This high pressure is like a pin- wheel throwing wind in our direction. This is where our wind comes from. During the winter months, keep an eye on North and West. These lows(L) can take away our wind. These storms need fuel, so the wind get's sucked into the low(L), making it Kona.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
So, the wind does go away in Maui. Working on the beach can be pretty tough sometimes. The sun and sand, wind and water grind you down walking up the "hill" many times during a lesson. Plus, you have to be "on" relaying all that information. So it was nice, getting a little vacation. I mostly stayed inside or under the hood of a car. For the next couple of days, the wind looks good. But, it is the winter, so I am prepared for another "vacation". Christmas is coming, so this is a very busy time for us...walking, talking and riding.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Today, I missed the wind. I am usually right on it, but I was under my wife's car. To make a long story short, I think it's the catalytic converter. Bloody knuckles, greasy hands and mild frustration are all a part of the game. So, I have been looking for a new ride for me and my wife. I found a jeep (I am going through a midlife crisis) What a piece of junk!!! So the search continues. Living on Maui, you must be resourceful. Choosing a vehicle can be a tricky task. Never trust anyone. I need to get up and down the hill everyday. Once arriving at the kitebeach parking lot...well, I am not alone. We are an army...as long as it locks.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Today, Jaws was it. It was the epicenter of the North Shore. Conditions were pretty all time: Light off shore winds, swell steady 30 to 40 (with a couple of 50's) Twenty or so jet skis in the line up for the mid-morning session. I am sure it hammered all day long. I was talking to a friend and she had mentioned when she was in high school there only 10 of them watching Jaws go. Today, the alarm bell was rung, and everyone from the hard-core local to the pasty white tourist, rocking a bright pink leisure suit rolling down to the cliff in her high heeled shoes cackling on her cell phone. I just had to smile.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
12. Gender Equalization: Kiteboarding started out as a male dominated sport as so many other extreme sports have in the past. Until the advent of the Bow/SLE kites kiting was generally difficult to master. Recent kites and lesson techniques have made the kiting less muscle and more finesse. From my observations, women are not only taking more lessons but are also making there presence known on the water.
11. Kiteboarding Families: Father and son, husband and wife; brothers,sisters, mom's and dad's all taking lessons together, traveling together and moreover riding together. Simular to going on a snowboard or ski vacation, more families are making their plans around the windy spots.
10. Kite Kiddies: As with families, dad wants to see junior riding. As teaching techniques improve, more and more kids are making and appearance in the water. Safety, always a number one concern, kids equipment will be modified for their smaller frames.
9. Safety: Safety is the ever evolving process that keeps the sport more user friendly. Better quick releases, universal color coding, and kite depower modifications are leading the way to a safer operation.
8. Cost: The reality is, kites are cheap. Most manufactured in Asia, for pennies on the dollar. Kites are getting cheaper to maufacture, and that cost savings will be passed on the consumer. On the other hand, in the next couple of years there are going to be the release of the first super high-end kite. Made from super materials.
7. Materials: There will always be ripstop nylon. But, kites may follow the trends of sailboat and windsurfer sails. Mylar, cubin, aramid for the sails, and better spectra and dyneema for the lines. Board construction, runs the gamut from pvc all the way to snowboard style sandwich construction. On the other hand, few companies have jumped aboard the green wave that is beginning to take root in the surfing industry. Bamboo and hemp on one end and all recycled materials rounding it out.
6. Progression: In the past couple of years, a new generation of tricks have found there way to water. Gone are the days, of one footers and dead man's. Sliders, mega moves and multiple tricks are becoming common place due to combination of snowboard and wakeboarding. Surf style continues to gain ground and more spots are being kitesurfed.
5. Kiteboarding Space: On one hand, more and more kitespots are in jeopardy due to litigation, user competition and environmental impact. Yet, many more spots open up each year. Simularly, kiters are welcomed as an economic boost to many communities. In the future, some areas will be closed, while a new trend of more kiteboarding parks will arise (Real Kiteboarding)You'll pay for full amenities, patrol, lessons, exclusive features (sliders, kickers, ect.)Also, destination kiteboarding spots , like Tavarua in the surf world, are ready to be found. Luxury meets isolation.
4. Micro Forcasting; This the trend that most interests me. Anyone can open a computer, go to ten thousand different forecasts, weather reports, and make a decent prediction. My trend is a live daily report right from the beach. With, new cell technology, I am going to do a daily report telling you first hand how it is. If you browse kitebeach cam like I do, you'll notice 90% of the action isn't focused on the beach or the water...it's following people on the beach...creepy!
3. The Great Divide: This trend follows many different directions. Boots to wakestyle, strapless to strapped, twin-tip to mutant. Each of these are getting farther apart with more "specialists". Yet, the generalist seems to have the most fun when they can do them all.
2. Mass Media: With windsurfing cancelled, kiteboarding is going to be in the X-games or some other extreme sports event soon. Kiteboarding is very spectator friendly and is a couple years away from being a media darling.
1. Olympics: Kiteboard racing will be in the 2016 Olympics! Most likely as a trial sport, there is a great chance this will come true. It is slowly gaining recognition from the sailing community and the rest of the world.
If you think know of anything else, let me know, I enjoy the comments.
Friday, December 4, 2009
A funny thing happened on the way to the beach today. We had no kites, and there was no wind. So, we surfed. Just down from Lanes is Ho'opkia. This spot, when on, is pretty damn good. The swell was dropping: 6 to 12 foot faces rolling in, with the occasional sleeper set. On the way out, I commented to my buddy Sam that it had been a long time since I had surfed last. "No worries, we'll just catch a couple" Easy as that. Being a kiter, I sometimes forget how fun surfing is, and how outta shape I really am. (surfshape)I just have to laugh at not being powered up by my kite all the time. The paddle, the timing, the takeoff: all a part of the game. Yet, I was a little off. We actually were taking some video, and the usual problems arose....Where are they? I think I got em? Is that...no...? Great wave...oh no.. the power turned off! So as it turns out you should have seen us, dropping in on the bombs, sliding into the pocket, getting shacked... Right? Right.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
It's easy to tell when the Kona winds are blowing: all the airplanes land in reverse. The reality is, just look at any spot on the North Shore. Usually, there is an advisory level swell bashing the coast. This is when train track left at Lanes really goes. Today, there was a swell, but no kiters. The wind did not cooperate. For good measure, 20+ knots will do the job for the side-off lauch. Get ready for the ride of your life...heart in throat....ready...go!!!!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Today saw the end of a great streak of wind and waves. For about the past month there have been mostly steady trade winds and a wide variety of surf. Around the beach, there were a lot of the "all time" comments. Each day brought new conditions, which made kite size selection key. Starting in the next month I will be doing a live beach side weather and surf report in the morning. If you don't know already I am an instructor for Action Sports and I am at the beach almost everyday. The wind forecast for the week is Variable then to Kona. This is usually when the visiting pro's depart. The tourist (JOJ)* and newbie kiters come to the beach and ask "Do you think it is going to come up in the afternoon?" I just laugh to myself and say "maybe......."
*Just off the Jet
*Just off the Jet