And so the mythical and long sought after swell came and .. went .. and was a bit of a disappointment to me.
You would have expected, having been surfing and windsurfing and in one more day kiting for five weeks that I would be the fittest and readiest windsurfer in town. I know this place. I cannot say I command Hookipa after a total over a year sailing here spread over 20 years – my first time here was 1999 – but man I know this place, his tricks and pitfalls.
And I have been on the water in hookipa almost exclusively every day for five weeks, so fitness and training are not an issue.
My session on the 19th alas was a total disaster.
I’ve had three separate sessions, with in between the second and the third a long shooting session whose results are captured in iSurf.it albums.
Take away number one, especially if it’s hyper busy.
Get the sail right. It might look obvious but if you are underpowered and your session mates are the best windsurfers of the world you’d better be going or you want catch a wave. That is what occurred to me at 12:00 when I got in. I was slogging on my 4.5 and sow everybody else taking waves from the back from the front from upside from beneath. I was idle, not moving and could not even pump to get on the plane, cause someone else would already be coming on a plane from the outside and make the pumpable wave. This aint mid march anymore where an error like this, having often been in 5 at the water or less, would be spared. This is end of April super busy and a mistake like that kills your session. I got close to zero waves and what I made was the left overs of others.
So I got out, but in the meantime the bad news is that you have wasted all your best energies of the first session, as the rest of it, the waves on the head, the let-try-my-luck-to-get-out part and the effort are on par with the best sessions.
Sesh two was in the mid afternoon after having my take-away home-made lunch at the car. I got back in, and boy this time it was windy. It was not just windy. It was nuclear. My 4.5 was way overpowered and the wind was typical hookipa, up and down 0 to 35. And by this I don’t just intend that is not constant. I intend that at times you are sitting empty handed, and two seconds after you are struggling to sheet in your sail.
So I got three nice waves, and then found myself in front of the beach with the forearms completely stuffed and having a hard time to water start due to fatigue and the nuclear wind. As a Hookipa veteran I know what needs to be done in those case. Get your ass out of the water immediately before you damage your kit or get hurt. And that is what I did: sailed in after less than half an hour.
Next I got to my spot on the hill to shoot photos and videos and appreciate at the fullest the art of windsurfing represented at the very top of the game.
After an hour and a half I was done with over 450 shots and 2 Gb of hi quality video.
So I figured I was ready and hyped to get finally a good sesh in.
I went back in, always on 4.5 with an easing wind.
Got out nicely, what I dubbed the strike in bowling terms, when you are able to get in without taking any waves on the head, not very common at least not for me, and set myself up at green tress waiting for some good sets. The crowds were much better than the morning. We must have been 12 but were rapidly increasing with the late session brigade making the water. By comparison at lunch we were out in five.
Unfortunately the wind had eased a bit too much for my 86 and 4.5 to feel confident. I got another three nice waves, rode them to the best of my ability and then decided, noting I was tired, it was getting busy and the forecast for the next day looked even better than it was for the day, to come out after less than 1 hour. I did not want to find myself struggling the little wind and high surf in the evening.
I got out. The day was gone. My wave count was minimal to my 2019 standards, with possibly less than 10 good waves. What in 2016 would have counted for a super session.
I was hopeful for saturday ut Saturday will prove a total disappointment, with the swell going back to 1 ft summer in a matter of a few hours.
So my Good Friday was wasted and the expected session of the season did not work out for me as it has for many others.
But – man and woman – this is Hookipa. You are welcome to love her or hate her, but you have to acknowledge she is never and easy girl. She does not let herself be dominated by anyone. She can work in your favour if you pursue her long enough and you whisper her the right words in her ear. But she will never ever be yours. An acquaintance, never a friend. Ready to let you down and run for the next lover, more appealing, fitter or simply more motivated with her than you are.
Ho’okipa, I love you.
Like al the things that you know for sure in life will never be fully yours.