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Published on August 8th, 2008 | by Lonny

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Hangin @ Kitebeach

Well first off I have to say that if and when you get married hope that you can marry someone whose family is willing to do a family trip in Maui.  Here’s how the conversation goes:  “Ah, Honey, my Dad is planning a family trip”.  I  reply, “Gee, sounds, ah, yeah great.  So where are we going?”  She replies – “Maui” – I reply – “Maui, are you freaking kidding me??”

Waiting in the AirportAfter my 15 hours of travel time from Miami, I reach Maui.  I had been informed that the wind in Maui had recently been very Miami like.  A lot of 12 and 10 meter days.  Sounds perfect to me, or for the local Maui riders, “not worth going out”  🙂 Sure enough, I get off the plane, get my gear bag that they charged me $100 to check, get the rental car that I booked, but oddly they didn’t have, drove to kitebeach, and what did I see? Rainy, overcast, and around 10 – 15mph of wind. Am I dreaming or maybe I am still in Miami?? Well tomorrow is another day.

On the plus side my wife’s family booked these killer condos in Puamana. Sweet as hell with nice surf in the back yard, and only about a half hour drive from kite beach…

Nice Backyard!!
Sweet Pad
Sweet Pad 2

I figured I would be in good shape with 3 new Switchblade IDS, 12, 10, and 8 all , my trusty skim, and yes, I brought my 138 Custom TT 😳 . The first day I headed down to kite beach and pull up only to see it blowing a solid 25 with huge gusts. Not your normal rock solid, steady, Maui trade, but mega gusty. I decided to get the lay of the land and just see what was going on. Mostly everyone was riding 7’s and 6’s, and a couple of huge dudes using 9s. I started to think that going out on my skimmy and the 8 was not really the best idea. I chilled out for the afternoon and just watched. Most of the people riding would only go out for like a 1/2 hour and then leave. Guess its different when you know it is going to blow again tomorrow, and the next day? Well, I came away from the day realizing that I probably should have brought a 6. Shit. A 6, are you nuts? I have never even used a 6 much less thought of owning one. I mean we get a handful of 25 – 35 days in Miami, and I can usually hold my 8 or 9 down. However, it would seem in Maui that 25-30 is more the norm and not the exception to the rule.

Fortunately, the next day I was able to borrow a tasty new 6 Switch IDS from the boys over at Cabrinha. I could not believe they were going to lend me a 6, much less a new one!! Thanks again Ian and Phil – you da man!! When I arrived @ Kitebeach it was at least as windy as the previous day, but much more steady. However, the wind was shifting a bit to the East which makes the launch a bit sketch because the wind does not fill into the whole bay area where you launch. I watched a lot of people botch their launches, and in 30 mph you don’t want to screw up or end up on the news at 6. After I watched about 15 people launch and see what they did right and wrong I pumped up my new 6 to head out.

I would be lying if I said I was not nervous heading out there. Its intimidating enough going to a new spot where you don’t know anyone and its also blowing over 30 in the gusts, but this is Kitebeach! The mecca! I didn’t want to look like a total idiot. It was bad enough that when I pulled out my skimmer people were already looking at me like, “who is this tool?”. It was almost enough to make me ride my TT. 😳 Ah… I did say almost right?

I rigged my kite and carefully set up my girl to launch me. She did a great job and I jumped on my board and quickly headed out away from the gusty, shifty shoreline. Once I got past the famous rock pile you see upwind of everyone doing their tricks it was a solid 25-30. The 6 felt nicely juiced and really good. The bar was so tiny it was like I had a mini kite. Considering I usually use a 55cm bar, when you have a 40cm bar it is really kite a different feel. It’s a good thing I had it too, because that kite was turning like a mosquito. It definitely took half hour or so just to get tuned into the kite, but once I did it was sweet! I started to see why all the local boys don’t go out unless it’s at least enough for a 10 or smaller.

Overall, it was an amazing session. It was so windy that I had to keep my aerials pretty low or make sure to grab the board before it whacked me in the face. There was some nice rolling ocean swell about a mile out that was tons of fun to pop-shuvit off, or hit some nice frontside 180s. I mostly stayed out of the “Pro Pool”, which is where all the riders show off their stuff, or eat shit big time. Although that is also where the best butter is located.  I did pop in a few times just to represent a little, but I was just so stoked to be out there and pushing my boundaries and expanding my horizons a bit. Overall it was a really great day. Here are a couple more shots of the LTS invasion:

Switchblade IDS 6
Switchblade IDS 6 - 2
Kitebeach
The Famous Table @ Kitebeach


About the Author

Founder and Admin of Lose the Straps, the original site dedicated exclusively to the progression and evolution of strapless kitesurfing, Lose The Straps.



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