I just got back from my 3rd trip to Maui to test boards for Windsurfing Magazine. It, as per usual, was awesome.
10. Luggage tag on boom. My flight arrived at 5pm Maui time. I was given a ride to Kanaha, set up on a MauiSails legend 5.0 and a board they just knew I would like. A 30 minute session after a 5 hour flight is definitely a mood enhancer. All I did was switch to my boom, which still had the luggage tag attached to it.
9. Getting body slammed by Jake Miller in a parking lot.I won't say I didn't deserve it, but Jake got the best of me, and both of our elbows were oozing nicely for a few days following. 8. Wine straight from the box.It pours much faster than you'd imagine.
7. Criss-crossing wave ride at Lowers with Josh Sampiero.You might have been able to squint and mistake us for Polakow and Naish crossing at Jaws. Or not, but it was just as fun.
6. Best wave.Being a sub-mediocre surfer means that getting a head high drop and a 10 second ride right along the peeling section pretty much one of the best things that could happen to you.
5. The long paddle to Lowers. The break at Lower Kanaha seems pretty close when you're riding a windsurfer. It's not. But to surf overhead, peeling waveswithout a crowd, some sort of payment must be made. 4. Dreamy conversations with beginner-hood heroes. When I was a wee-waterstarter in this sport, Kevin Pritchard and Ricardo Campbello were two guys that I aspired to sail like. In one night, I got to chat with both of them for a few minutes. It was awesome. 3. Surprisingly awesome 2011 boards.This year there were a handful of boards that blew my mind. You'll have to get the magazine to find out which ones they were. 2. Levi pretending to recognize me.I helped out with a beach clean up on the North Shore in a program that was help run by the +H2O team. I have maybe briefly met Levi Siver once a couple years ago. In any case I said "what's up", shook his hand and he said, "It's been a while since you've been here."It had been a year, and realistically we hadn't really met. It's ok, he has better things to worry about. Ya know, like being the rockstar of windsurfing.
1. Geordie reunion. My friend Chris from Tynemouth England came back this year, along with his friend Laurence. About a year and a half ago I was swilling ale at a local pub in North England with these two, telling dirty jokes and making fun of each-other's accents. It was awesome to hang out with them and lots of laughs came along with it. It reminded me that windsurfing, for me, isn't about personal achievment. It's about sharing stoke and laughs with good friends.