I don’t have any good excuse why this took so long to post. First off, a BIG Mahalo (Thank You) to Bill (Pono Bill), Diane, Bob (stoneaxe) and Sue for treating me like family. I had the best time and really enjoyed getting to know everyone. I hope I wasn’t too much of a hassle. I’m not a morning person and did my best.
That said, the weekend was such a blast. I got to Maui pretty late and was hungry so I stopped off at Jacques to eat. After some sushi I got the Bill’s Pono House around 10 pm. Bill and Diane were busy working to organize the rating forms for the board test. He had a couple vans, a jeep and a SUV already loaded up with tons of stand up paddle gear. I went to sleep around midnight and Bill and Diane stayed up to finish preparing.
We got up at 4:45 am to drive an hour to Lahaina to setup. It was freezing cold which in Hawaii means somewhere below 70 degrees. I drove the jeep which had open windows and rear so I kept on the heater to help me out. We got to the beach and it was somewhere around 6 am and still pitch dark. You can see from the pictures that we started setting up in darkness.
It seemed like forever before people arrived but when they did everything moved many times faster. I was amazed at how many boards there were. I think it was around 50 or so but not sure. We had a great time and I got to try 14 new boards. I was dead tired and looked at my watch to see that it was only 11 am. I got to meet a lot of cool people and even hung out a bit with Rand and Chan from www.StandUpZone.com. Rand is a good surfer but that’s not what impressed me. Although he’s skinny, Rand can eat like 3 adult men. I watched him eat kalua pig, rice, salad, chips, cookies and was totally amazed. I eat a lot but Rand can beat me with no problem. The difference is that I just look at food and my butt gains 10 lbs while Rand maintains his fit physique.
The next day I joined Bill, Diane, Bob and Sue at Kanaha and was planning to go visit a friend later in Lahaina. My flight was scheduled to leave at 6 pm so I thought I had enough time. The surf at Kanaha looked pretty good from shore but it was a fairly decent paddle to the break. The wind was light and conditions were beautiful. The sky was blue. I was curious about the Surftech Takayama 10’7” that I rode the day before because on small waves I couldn’t tell if the board was special or not.
I caught some head high waves and was instantly impressed by the Tak. It turned on a dime. I was able to nose ride it. It paddled good. The board is sweet. The Kanaha wave is a slow wave but it has juice. I had a blast. We even saw Jimmy Lewis out there on his stand up board and the guy from Lightning Bolt. Rand and Chan were also out there although Chan paddled in when we were coming out. Rand was on a small board that I managed to duck dive while standing on it the day before. It’s an interesting experience to duck dive a stand up board.
I ended up going out for 2 sessions that day and rushing to catch my flight with wet clothes in my bag. What a fun trip. I hope Bill and Diane continue to do this event and I hope to be able to make it again in the future.