Maui, Hawaii… or the windsurf mecca. How can I go there without making a small resume? I’ll tell you my story and also all the good things to do and the ones to avoid in windsurf… or not 🙂
Firstly, I want to say all the content of this article is based on my own experience.
First of all, you need to know that Maui’s life is more expensive than the average, prepare a higher budget (thing I did not do… L). Unless you have a friend to stay with, you should find a place for 100 CAD or the best thing according to me is to find a shared room (more or less 30 USD a night). You also need a car to discover the island. Food is a little more expensive than in Canada but still quite okay.
When I landed in Kahului, it was sunny and hot, it changed from my departure in Texas.
Check out my Texan Adventure here if you have not read it yet.
I arrived in afternoon, super tired after a long flight and almost no sleep. I just made a little ride across Haiku, bought some food and check the famous Hookipa spot.
On the following day, I went to Kanaha for the first training!! We cannot go on the water before 11am here so you have a lot of time to sleep or discover the island. 33-36 knots on a choppy spot and full of turtles (many fins and boards got crashed with turtles unfortunately). I prepared my 5,5 TR XI with a 33 IFJU fins on the 107 isonic, my smallest gear actually… I needed a good hour to find a correct set up with this gear but finally, I had a lot of fun all day long and I even met some new friends already!
The routine is now taking some shape and during a complete I ride my 5,5 or 6,3 with some super good mates from everywhere around the world. Waking up at 7-8am to check mails and everything, then I move around the island and I go train just after that to finally end the day by chilling with the other windsurfers and friends. I even finally found a good set up for my gear, it is killing it now!! I was one of the only ones to go on the water with carbon fins. Hopefully my IFJUs are super nice in strong conditions and still more powerful than G10, I can hold them much longer than usual. Well, after these trainings and the Nationals, I decided to switch a bit on the wave gear even if there are not really big waves at this time of the year, but still a lot of fun with the 4,8 Mutant. According to the forecast websites, you need to times it by 1,5 or add 10 knots to have a real idea of the wind (14 knots on windguru = 21-25 knots in Kanaha). This spot has many water fields, from the small tight chops to the big swells a little bit further. It is so complete, you will meet people from the beginner to the pro level either in slalom, freestyle or waves. Quick reminder: never mess with the locals, trust me it is not a good idea, especially fishermen.
Nevertheless, Maui is not only a windsurfing or Kitesurfing island. I flew almost at the other side of the world, I think I have also to discover some more things, let’s go! With new friends, we visited Paia town, one of the classics. Super friendly and cool place where shoes and shirts are only accessories. You can find a lot of shops, nice coffee and fresh fish. Made with small roads, it is a nice place to visit one morning.
There are also many things to do like the Haleakala trail, see the sunrise or sunset on a 10 000-foot summit, visit a bamboo forest, fish or swim with fishes and turtles and many other things I didn’t do. I did not visit many beaches because I already see a lot of them with trainings and windsurfing in general. But you would not miss Big Beach, Hookipa where turtles rest on the beach or Baldwin Beach.
The normal windsurfing conditions seem to be favorable for the north-east shore but if the wind change, you still can go to Kihei where the spot is totally flat on the west side (also more sharks … 😉 )
The following week, Gabriel Browne from the Mauisails team is back in town and we could train together in lighter conditions, 7 and 7,7 on average, and make some tuning on gears. On Maui, you are going to meet most of the big names, just at the airport you can see a legend like Levi Siver or simply ride with different designers or pros. It is not one of the best place for nothing…
Then comes the light wind… Yes, it is possible on Maui also. I did not believe it but yes… Finally, it is not that bad as we can rest or explore more the island, like driving along Hana’s road. We also worked with Gabriel on masts, sails and even did some theory. A mate like that is reallyyyyy precious.
In two weeks, I trained in all possible conditions from the 5,5 overpowered to a pumping 8,4 session on the last day. I learnt a lot of things and I could say much more things again… I fly now to Montreal, 16 hours in the airports plus 6 hours of jetlag, youhouuu… It is also known that check-in with bags for a good price is hard in Maui as they really know the equipment. But I disagree! I had one of the best welcome. I only paid 75 USD for 2 bags and a suitcase, moreover they brought the gear for me at the oversized door. So maybe it is the exception that confirms the rule but there is no denying that the quality of the service was perfect.
A big thanks to my family, friends and sponsors who helped me in all these great and unforgettable days.
See you soon for next adventures in Montreal 🙂
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