Sunday, July 3, 2011

Zip lines, gear, and races

Yesterday was a day to try something other than surfing - ziplining. We first stopped at the Lavender Farm, here are some pictures:

Next stop was ziplining, a first for all three of us. Lots of fun - here's a video from a helmet-mounted GoPro Hero HD:
Afterwards, we started to drive up to to the crater, but got fooled by the rental car: going uphill made the car think the gas tank was almost empty. Since there was no gas station anywhere close, we played it safe and turned around. By the time we finally found a gas station, everyone was to tired to turn around once more for the long drive up. Well, we have a few more days...

For today, we had planned to watch the Maui Race Series, and to get a board Nina can use until she gets here custom. I had played with the idea of entering the race, but after having a bit a hard time with dry jibes here, and seeing the racers train on full (and usually relatively new) slalom gear, I decided that playing an obstacle would not be much fun. Instead, we watched the races for a while from the beach. Without a doubt, every single one of the racers sails better than I do, so I still have a lot to learn...

We had picked up two older Goya boards at the local store to try out, a FSW 77 and a custom wave 75. At the beach, we added a Tabou Da Curve 79l to the test quiver. Nina went out first on a 5.0, and liked both the Tabou and the Goya 77. The wind was steadily picking up, and she was starting to feel a bit overpowered, so I took the same gear out for a ride. The Goya One 77 was ridiculously easy to sail. I made my first jibe dry, something that's rare in chop or when I'm on a new board. The Tabou was almost as easy, but a bit more fun. The only board I did not care for was the Goya custom - its actual volume seems closer to 70 l than to 75, and the rocker curve is too dramatic in front, which made getting on a plane much harder. Note that wind meter reading during this time were about 20-25 mph; on flat water, I'd be on a 118 l board and 7.0 sail under these conditions. Quite amazing that I was able to plane easily on 2 of the 3 sub-80 liter boards with a 5.0 sail. There's something about the wind here that's different - perhaps the meters read low, because they are close to shore?

We decided to get the Goya FSW 77 and the Tabou for a total of $400. That's about what we typically pay to rent windsurf gear for a week, so it's a really good deal. We hope to take the Tabou home with us, but the Goya is pretty beat up already, so it will be the board for trying loops and other tricks were the chances of damaging the board are increased. The fact that it is so ridiculously easy to sail will certainly help trying new things. Now we only need wind - but so far, we have had 5.0 or better conditions every day we wanted to sail :) 

This trip has already changed a few things in our windsurfing. Now, my big board is 93 l, and my small board will be 77-79 l. That will be the size of Nina's big board, and her small board will be 71 l. My big sail will be 5.7; I doubt that Nina will use anything bigger than 5.0 here. For someone used to rigging 8.5 meter cambered sails in the summer to get planing, that's quite a change. But at home, where 2 "windy" days a week make it a windy week in the summer, I could never imagine to stop sailing after just a few short runs while the wind was still blowing. Here, there's always a windy tomorrow.

Finally, a few more pictures from the beach today:

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