Since I’ve come here i have been asked the question ‘is it your first time in Maui?’ a lot of times, a question that for me kind of deserves a bit of an explanation so here it goes:
I came to Maui once before in 2007 but I didnt sail in Hookipa back then, in fact the first time I ever saw a wave was in Maui, it was on my gap year after finishing Highschool. I vividly remember just sailing outside of the reef in Camp One and just beeing so impressed by the mountains of water! Not even the breaking waves of the reef, already just the swell was incredible to me. So yeah I went to Maui fresh out of Highschool with one goal in mind, to train slalom, experience the vibe of this Mecca of windsurfing and of course somehow make it happen and become a Pro Windsurfer!
Back then everything was on a super minimal budget and i remember I was cleaning one of the brand managers houses to make some money to buy my first ever wave equipment, my slalom equipment there was borrowed from some very helpful Pro’s ; Micah Buzianis, Pieter Bijl and Jimmy Diaz, if by any chance you read this then just one more time I am sending you a massive thank you from here for all the help back then!!! I had met Micah and Pieter whilst they were in Turkey for the PWA world cup ( my first ever PWA) and luckily they and my parents encouraged me to take this trip to Maui and helped me there a lot! I actually was too young to even rent a car in the states, but once more lucky that i could leave my equipment in someones beachfront garden and was riding there everyday with my bike to train slalom all day, everyday! So i guess my trip to Maui back then was quite different from the more normal Maui experiences and for me it was if not the first, probably the most important step to becoming a Pro! So Maui holds a special place in my heart just because of it being the starting point in many regards for a carreer in what i love doing most and I feel so thankful for that !
Back then it was all about training slalom and with my newly acquired wave equipment I was not able to go to Hookipa, first I didnt have a car, so no means to transport it and secondly i also was way to afraid of breaking it there since i had heard all the stories of going on the rocks and how dangerous it was and I really wasn’t going to be able to afford more wave equipment… (of course skill wise I was nowhere near ready either but that back then seemed to be the lesser consideration)
Anyway to cut the long story short since that trip (now exactly 9 years ago) I have come a very long way! Blood, sweat and tears have been shed and I have indeed somehow made it happen, I am now lucky enough to call myself a Pro windsurfer. I even have a full wave quiver now and have acquired some wave sailing skills during some winters spend in Capetown. ONLY problem – I have never sailed on starboard tack… But yeah the plan is to figure that out somehow and at the beginning of November take part in my first ever wave contest, non less then the legendary PWA Maui Aloha Classic!!!
So Maui is apparently the place where dreams come true, I am too excited to sail in Hookipa and do this event but time flies in Maui !! So much to learn and experience 3 weeks are already down and I have only 1 more week before the Aloha Classic begins! We have been blessed with awesome conditions since I arrived, sailing almost every day! Turns out Hookipa is a lot different from what I expected, in fact it is different everyday! For waves, the swell direction and height and for the wind the speed and angle seem to have endless combinations that make sailing in Hookipa everyday a new challenge. Last week just when i thought i had figured it out a bit more i found myself in what looked like a northsea storm! All of a sudden it was raining like someone was emptying buckets and I was mega overpowered, also the swell seemed to have picked up to twice the size within 5 minutes… I always assume that when the rain comes the wind will stop as thats what its like in my Hometown, but here there seems to be no such rules.. A wise greek men (Heraclitus) once said “The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change” and that is about as much as i can say about Hookipa at the moment…
There is definitely not many constants, except for the magic ‘channel’, – that is the current that sweeps you from in front of the rocks to the side and out (at least on most occasions).
So what else can i say, what have i learned in my Hookipa studies?
- Always go out through the channel
- Never underestimate the shorebreak
- Timing is crucial
- Learning to read the waves will take a lot longer then 3 weeks 🙂
- Sometimes going out over the rocks is the only option
- You can’t swim against the current 🙂
- Next to the little entry beach in the water seems pretty save at most times
I cant wait to get in many more hookipa sessions and do my first ever ave event at this legendary spot, stay tuned for my next update after the Aloha to see how i get on 🙂