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I'm a wave windsurfer and skateboarder based in the South West of England. I love to push my level in these sports with my friends, both in England and other countries around the world, while enjoying as many incredible experiences along the way as possible! I started this blog to feature my favorite photos and videos along with written stories, thoughts, rants and bits of knowledge I've gained from my adventures. Click on any photos to enlarge them.

Maui... what it's really like to come here part 4... the surfing (posted 12th April 2013)

I'm back in Maui for 5 weeks and I've decided I want to use this blog to really give a description of what it's like to come here, rather than purely a diary about the waves! This is my forth time here and I'm 4 weeks into the trip.

So surf action! Surfing is something I've always tried from time to time, as in once or twice a year. I've never really got into it for the same reasons that I think lots of other windsurfers... having to paddle out is way too much effort, it's an absolute mission to postion yourself in the right place to catch a wave unless you're lucky enough to be at a spot where the waves consistenly break in the same way, it's not very practical to travel with a surfboard as well as windsurfing kit, and it's generally just not as exciting as windsurfing. BUT, that's all changed over the last month. Check it out!...

When I first got here the forecast was showing no wind for the first 5 days, so I decided to get myself a surfboard. I'd previously been using a funboard (a reasonably small longboard) which made it pretty easy to pop up but a mission to duck dive and get out back. I decided to get a slightly fished shortboard that was still reasonably big (6'4" long and 19 3/4" wide). This alowed me to learn to duck dive (which on its own is a massive buzz as you duck under and look up at the wave breaking above you), making getting out not too hard. I came to reaslise that being out in the ocean with no windsurfing kit and nothing but a little board and the waves and your friends is such a pure, beautiful and awesome feeling. You get to connect with the raw power of the waves that little bit more than windsurfing as you're not getting any power from a sail. You also don't have to setup a sail which is sweet. I thought back to when I first started windsurfing and how much time I spent learning to just plane along nice and fast and carve around a turn, and how long it then took me to be able to windsurf in the waves, but how it was definitely worth every single second of effort as I now get to enjoy riding the waves and pushing my level further and further. I've come to accept that surfing takes this same level of effort, determination and commitment but I now think it's soooo worth it. I've also been told by a lot of people who both windsurf and surf, that surfing really helps with your windsurfing, such as reading the waves both before you catch them and while you're riding them, and how to use all the power of the wave to get your speed and acceleration.

Surfing just fits so perfectly alongside windsurfing. I pretty much only go windsurfing at wave breaks. The wave forecast is pretty reliable, because when the waves are on their way (from a storm however many hundreds or thousands of miles way), they're on the way and that doesn't normally suddenly change. Where as wind forecasts can change or just be totally wrong pretty often. So now, when I get to the beach and I can't go windsurfing becasue there's no wind, I can just crack on with progressing and enjoying my surfing. Having a shortboard, although enitially harder to pop up on, not only makes it a lot easier to get out back (and therefore have more chances at catching waves), but also makes it a lot easier to chuck the surfboard inside your car or van, and I've also found that if you get a windsurf board bag that's a little bit too big for your windsurf board, then you can just take all your fins and straps off and then fit both your windsurf board and surfboard in 1 bag, therefore recieving no extra charges from most airlines (win!). So overall, I've gota say I've been pretty stupid not getting into surfing earlier. Windsurfing and surfing are like a match made in heaven!

Beautiful, quiet point breaks to be found

As for the surfing breaks in Maui, there are loads of them! If you're windsurfing then you'll be based on the north shore reasonably close to Paia (the little hippy surfy old town). The best spot for surfing on this part of the island is Hookipa. It's a pretty powerfull wave and can give some pretty epic surfing. It's a reef break and gives both both lefts and rights. Lesser experienced surfers can however still go out there by just starting on days when the waves are smaller. The rocks aren't an issue when you're surfing with is nice! It can be pretty crowded here but you'll work out the quieter times to go. Make sure you don't surf on the right of the bay though (called Pavillions) as this is pretty much locals only. Windsurfing isn't allowed at Pavillions either. Checkout my post about the windsurfing on Maui for more info on Hookipa.

Mike at Hookipa!

Mike at Hookipa
A few miles from Hookipa is the beach at Paia. It's a cool beach to hang out at and has some messy, fun, beach break style waves. There are plenty of other surf breaks along the north shore and all around the island for you to enjoy, from super soft and easy peeling breaks to fast, heavy, barreling breaks. There are especially loads of good surf breaks above and below Lahaina on the west coast. It can certainly get crowded at lots of the breaks but we managed to find some epic ones where there were only a few other people out. Paradise! You'll have to find them yourself though!