Tuesday, September 29, 2009
This morning there was a huge earthquake, 7.9, in Samoa. Although Maui's north shore was not meant to be affected, they made everyone get out of the water at Kanaha right when i had just rigged. grr. . . Off to Kuau, re-rig, and in the water for a quick over powered sail before work. Not a horrible day.
Posted by Sam Bittner at 11:05 PM
Yesterday I got to try out a brand new board from OES. I have never ridden a twin fin and went straight to a quad. I took it to Kanaha, as to avoid the rocks of Kuau with the brand new paint job. I couldn't believe how light the board was. My normal board is so water logged and too many liters so I was much more comfortable on the new board. The quad fin was nice because I felt secure making turns, but wish there were more waves to try it on. Hopefully I'll get it out on a wave day soon.
Posted by Sam Bittner at 10:43 AM
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Yesterday I was lucky enough to have a friend of mine, Dave Baker, in the water taking photos. It was meant to be a huge swell day but the direction was off, and there were not too many waves coming through at Kuau. We all sat on the bench for half an hour watching the light winds and small waves with long breaks in between sets. I decided to go out on my 4.7m despite the meek conditions. As soon as I got through the waves, the wind and waves picked up. I was way over powered but charged the waves anyway. After a few good rides, I fell on an inside jibe and was in the impact zone for a huge set. I had no luck trying to duck under the first wave that hit. My mast was riped out of my hand. I got the full on washer machine, and hit the bottom reef with force on my shin. I was so deep my ears felt the pressure and I didn't know what way was up. When I finally got to the surface, there was just enough time for a small breath before the next wave hit me on the head, then the next and the next. By then my gear was quite a ways away and a long swim with only one good leg to kick. I could see my shin was all bloody and gross. When I got my gear I went straight back to the beach. By that time, Dave was just getting in the water with his camera. I got some ice, rested for bit and changed to my 4.2m sail.
The second session was much better. I was perfectly powered and comfortable charging the waves. I also stayed out of the impact zone. Hopefully Dave got some good pictures. Look forward to seeing them soon.
Posted by Sam Bittner at 9:27 AM
Monday, September 21, 2009
Not much wind today. I did get to teach, however, which is usually enjoyable. Today was no exception. I had an older couple from Oklahoma who had never windsurfed before but wanted to give a go. It took a while but both of them got the hang of it and by the end of the class they were able to sail out a ways, turn around, sail back to the beach, staying up wind with smiles on their faces. It is very rewarding to teach windsurfing and I am lucky to be employed by HST.
Posted by Sam Bittner at 5:08 PM
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Yesterday I worked all day. Torturing to watch big waves and others enjoying them as I'm setting tables at the restaurant. Off at 4:30, run to the beach for a quick session before the sun goes behind the hills and the wind dies. It was nice, I caught a few waves and adjusted my back foot strap. I'll see how that feels for today.
Posted by Sam Bittner at 8:23 AM
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Just in from another epic day on the water. The wind was strong today and I got out early. Solo session for over an hour until one other sailor came out. I was ripping today, making tons of inside jibes (something I am currently working on) and turning on the waste high waves. Although I wish there was wind to go out every single day, it's sometimes better to take a few days off to recuperate. Tomorrow's forecast is for another north swell. Bring it on!
Posted by Sam Bittner at 2:57 PM
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Yesterday I spent the day at Kanaha. Starting off at uppers, where there were decent sized waves, then down to lowers where I had a hard time catching much of anything as the wind died. It was good to get back to the beach where I learned to water start less than a year ago because it reminds me of how much progress I have made. After packing up, I drove to Kuau to meet up with my friends who sailed there, have a beer and listen to stories of the days events. Pictured here is Pete, Russ, me, Dean, Dylan, and Jake.
Posted by Sam Bittner at 9:19 AM
Friday, September 11, 2009
Today was an amazing day on the north shore of Maui! Mast high waves in early September! I started the day off watching all the pros at Hookipa. There were so many great windsurfers, so much inspiration. Just to name a few were Jake Miller, Dave Wissink, Deigo Femenias, Jason Polakow, Kai Katchadorian, Kai Lenny, Levi Siver, Luke Siver, Keith Taboul, David Ezzy, Pete Ross, Mark Angelou, his wife, and tons of other amazing women, I'm afraid to say I do not know all their names. It seams all these amazing women come out on big days but I don't see them on a regular basis, and they do not get the coverage like men do. For three hours I sat on the hill filming with my injured boyfriend, Russ. Some highlights of the day included Mark's "mutant," the Siver brothers sharing huge waves together, and Diego's salvage from near destruction as a "rock star." It was so amazing to watch so many good sailors all together, riding in such amazing conditions.
I could have stayed all day until there was no more wind, but lucky for me a girlfriend of mine, Anna, came and reminded me we also need to sail. So off we went to Kuau, just down wind, to try our luck at this monster waves. I couldn't believe my luck! I had in my mind all the amazing riding I had been watching all day and rode my first mast high wave! I turned down the line and saw the beast right off my shoulder. I rode it all the way down nearly to Tavarez before it closed with such force, I could feel it in my bones. My adrenalin was pumping so much I was exhausted after only 45 min. When I came back in, to my surprise, a friend was there with a camera, and caught the most amazing ride of my life.
Shortly after, Russ and a few other friends showed up and I wanted to show them what I could do. There was still wind and a few people were still charging, despite that it was 5:30pm. I was too stoked to care it was late and went out again.
My second session was great for the first two waves I caught. This time I really tried to turn on the waves more. After catching the second wave down wind, suddenly there was no power in my sail and a big set was coming in with me on the inside. I patiently waited on the inside for the set to finish and was barley able to water start with the little wind there was to get back up wind and to the channel to call it a day. Bobbing slowly along, it was quickly apparent I wasn't going to make it through the break before the next set came rolling through, and I was right. Getting pounded for a second time with no wind in between sets, watching the sun go down, I knew I was in for a good swim. needless to say, lots of swimming, and the help of a friend, I was on the rocks at upper Tavarez beach, and had hitched back to Kuau by the time it was dark.
What an amazing day! I am so stoked on riding the waves I caught and watching all the pros at Hookipa. Even though I should be totally exhausted, I cant sleep because all the rides of the day keep going through my head and I cant wait for the wind to come up tomorrow so I can rig up and give it another go!
Posted by Sam Bittner at 7:31 PM