We have arrived in the little historic town of Paia on the North Shore of Maui. This is a crazy place, full of cafes with great curries and banana bread, hippies, radical watermen, people from around the globe who have gathered here to enjoy all the beauty this place has to offer. We have only experienced a glimpse of this beauty, but here are some examples: a mountain that towers higher than Mount Everest when measured from the bottom of the sea, cool lush mountainside places, amazing organic food, wind wind lots of wind from the favourable East to NE direction, great for kiting and windsurfing on the North Shore, big waves when a North swell is running, beautiful beaches on the South shore, tropical waterfalls, and a very laid back lifestyle.
We are staying with Dave Stein, one of the crazy guys with a jet ski in his back yard. Sure enough, two days ago, he fired up his machine at 6 in the morning and headed out with his partner Zak to Pier 1, an outer reef break. To get an idea what these guys do, here a sample from Dave, in 2004 at the world famous Jaws (which is just a few miles from where we are staying).
Later that morning while standing at the pier, Robbie Naish pulled up and I asked him what his plan is for the day. Amazingly, he went and surfed the outer reef on a stand-up paddle board (as if tow-in surfing wasn’t crazy enough!).
That morning a few days ago was truly spectacular: here is a shot of Hookipa closing out. At 9 am there were probably 60 guys out, at 11 am the last guy was being washed up on the beach.
And here is an image from the inside of the harbour. The guy riding the wave at the mouth of the harbour (he is very small) is also on a stand-up paddle board. You can imagine the size of the waves at the outer reef!!!
We also hooked up with one of the strongest and humblest watermen on earth, Pete Cabrinha. He evolved waveriding on windsurfers with Robbie Naish in the 80s, then innovated kitesurfing and now produces a premium line of kite equipment, holds the world record for the largest wave ever surfed (70 feet here at Jaws on Maui), and produces very inspiring art (see www.cabrinha.com). Here is a sample from the type of waves he likes:
It is great to see that watermen like Pete Cabrinha and Robbie Naish have not lost their passion for riding waves. They have absolutely nothing to prove to anyone, but they will be out playing on the big and good days just because they love it.
Here is a shot of Hookipa a few days later. It still is the most famous waveriding spot in the world, at least with Italians, who seem to have taken over the spot:
Interestingly, we have introduced time back in our life. This is because the entire North Shore of Maui lives by one number and that is 11 am. This is when you are allowed to enter the water with wind driven craft. Before that it is fishing and surfing. Here is Gesine at Kanaha with the orange kite, negotiating traffic at Kite Beach near Kanah Beach Park. On a good day there will be 50 to 100 kites on this beach, so you spend most of your time trying to escape the lines of kites charging towards you… quite a challenge to say the least.
Here she is again, in a close-up, on her way out to the waves :)
Our friend Levi Verwoest has been kiting since the age of 10, he is now 20. He was definitely the hero on the water that day, with the biggest highest craziest jumps, way above the palm trees, and the smoothest style.
Maui is definitely one of the best watermen and waterwomen playgrounds in the world, with waves, warm wind, beaches, organic food, and a very down to earth life spirit. I love this place !!!!
Categories: Hawaii - Maui