I remember days back when I was coming back from my windsurfing sessions in Brittany or Europe, always cold and often frozen, and I was looking at those guys, starting to fly far to this paradise where everywhere is windy, wavy, pretty girls and… always turquoise water…
So one Tuesday morning this dream came true : Marco, owner of Les Belles invited me for 10 days of trip between Kauai, Oahu (Honolulu) and Kahului (Maui) .
March 29th, 09, I packed my S-Quad, Caliber, Xbow IDS, Switchblade, my 2 Canon Bodies, all my lenses, my Go-Pro video, some underwear, tee-shirt and my head full of images… I am going to ride in Kite Beach… it’s must be a dream, I don’t want to wake up…
15 hours after, we spent 2 days in Oahu, sleeping not far from Waikiki… wow that’s real, cool wave, the water is so blue, full of girls in bikini surfing everywhere.. wind everywhere… a dream come true...
Next step was Kauai… I am a big fan of the TV show series "Lost" and I was feeling as Jack or Sawyer (girls you decide for me ;-)) to be part of one the episode. This paradise is really my first contact with local people and this culture: Hawaiian culture is a friendly one, rich in the spirit of aloha, and the cultural tradition. The first settlers, Polynesians, probably arrived on Kauai around 800 AD. The islanders enjoyed a healthy environment overall, even though they lived under the rigid kapu system of rules. The island prospered under a succession of ruling alii (kings and chiefs). The Hawaiians knew nothing about the world beyond their shores until Captain James Cook came ashore at Waimea in January, 1778. Kauai remained independent until 1810, when King Kaumualii conceded the island to Kamehameha the Great in order to avoid the devastation and bloodshed of war. Thus, Kauai was the only island that Kamehameha did not conquer in battle and it was the last to recognize and join a united kingdom of Hawaii.
The weather was not as good as we hoped it to be, we had 3 days of gray sky and raining in Kauai, so we decided to go Kahului.
Maui started five million years ago. It was the result of volcanic eruption on the ocean floor creating two adjacent volcanoes. An undersea volcano, an embolic island try to reach the surface. These volcanoes formed into one island and became Maui. Mother Nature is so rich, everything grows up, it’s so green and colorful, I am surprise the French impressionist didn’t stop there but actually they did in Tahiti ;-)
First day is.. Kite beach (Kanaha Beach) for sure, to touch this famous bench, at least to see in real this spot where so many covers are taken.. .
What a day… the wind was more than 30 knots, whoops, I felt ridiculous with Xbow IDS 10, so Marco borrowed his 07 Xbow… first ride, first waves in Kite Beach, in Pacific and after few mn, welcome with big turtles, this spot is « polluted » by them and you have to be careful because many times you will discover a head came from nowhere breathing and starring at you... I love those dudes…
The Villa ;-)
However there are some guests less friendly also at kite beach: tiger sharks.
I didn’t see any during these days but they are here, just as they are at my new local spot in Florida…
There are some days you keep as best memories for all your life.
Since the first day in Hawaii, I got a lot of them. But one day was very special for me: Meet Pete Cabrinha at Kite Beach on this bench with all his team rider.
We talked already many times by phone before, because me and my wife Tal are Cabrinha dealers on our website and we are working to organize a Les Belle Trip next January.
So after so many phone calls and emails, meeting the legend at this day was great. I had an amazing welcome and we hugged and exchanged stories and updates over a drink. Pete is very busy this days with Cabrinha 2010 models Photoshoot.
He introduced me all the team, Susi, Dre, Cameron, Tracy, Victor, Jesse, Alberto... I have already met David, he came 3 years ago to Anguilla. It was also my first contact with the new 2010 gear but I won’t be able to share with you my photos until July… ;-)
We moved after few days to Spreckelsvilla Beach. We rented a villa directly on the spot, unique heaven where we sep up our kites in the deep green, between palm trees and hibiscus… the launching and landing was not easy at all but the price was magic, directly on the lagoon and you could use between flap water or big big waves after the reef and I rode my first big big wave, you know, high over my head and I am 6’10. What an experience! Had an amazing ride adventure with Tommy and some windsurfers facing Maui and Haleakala mountain.
Kitesurfing Hawaii : Hookipa...
We tried to ride some different spots as Hookipa but now way.. for a fresh Caribbean rider, to launch kites in a reef, I will need more practices to have a chance to ride this spot. Kitesurfers are not allowed to ride on Hoopika, you have to go to the outside, I mean to the west to the main spot.
Any way, Kite beach was so great, to ride with these Cabrinha's riders, most of the time we got more than 25 knots, I even had to buy a 07 m because to ride in 10 with like a survive.
Kite beach is a beautiful beach of the North Shore close to the Airport. Do not forget, we are not allowed to ride before 11:00 am. If you want strong wind, then you have to go between June, July and august but no swell. However, winter is paradise with a good wind blowing between 15/25 knots the whole year. And the temperature… guys, it’s Hawaii ;-)
So next time, I will bring just 2 kites 07 and 10 m in case and only my S-Quad.
And except kite surfing? Paia is a really lovely village with a lot of restaurants, bars, shops… you will find all you need for all budget, for sure you will meet big stars having breakfast or beer after a great session then spend some times over there… Personally I loved the breakfast Café des Amis, my pizza from the Flatbread…
Maui is my best experience kite trip, even Brazil in 2005 was wild, but Hawaii has this energy unique, I will come back this year for sure...
P.S: The Meaning of Aloha:
"One had to recognize the 'god of life' in another before saying 'Aloha,' but this was easy. Life was everywhere in the trees, the flowers, the ocean, the fish, the birds, the pili grass, the rainbow, the rock--in all the world was life--was god--was Aloha. Aloha in its gaiety, joy, happiness, abundance." Helena G. Allen, The Betrayal of Liliuokalani, Last Queen of Hawaii, 1838-1917. (Mutual Publishing: Honolulu, 1982)