As promised in my last posting, here is a brief report of a brief
stop-off in Maui this February, on the way back to the UK from down
Thanks to Drew Jenkins' posting last year (thanks Drew) we had a great
place to stay about five minutes from Hookipa. If you want more info
on the apartment we stayed in, drop me a line. For car hire, we went
with "Word of Mouth" who are recommended by most windsurfers. They
have racks for about a buck a day.
We were staying for a little more than a week, so on the second day (I
wasn't up to it on day one) I checked out the board hire places. The
rental shops are located near the airport, and all of them offer
exactly the same prices. It didn't seem that cheap to me (I think it
was $280, board + two sails for a week, cheaper with one sail), and it
looked like a bit of a cartel. However, one good thing is that they only
charge for the days that you sail, with daily prices getting cheaper
the more days you sail - although one needs to check the details of
this winter-only offer. In the end I went to Doug Hunt's place in Paia
near Hookipa. He didn't have much of a selection of gear, and some of
his sails were well hammered, but he had what I wanted (some nice wave
boards) and he was relatively cheap at $175 for the week with no
refunds. If you want to check out the latest sails/slalom boards etc.
then you would be much better off going somewhere else, but this worked
out fine for me (and besides, Doug's a nice guy).
Winter is not the best time for wind (as I had been told before I
left), but I still managed to sail five days out of seven, mainly at
Kanaha. What surprised me was how few people were sailing at Hookipa.
On the first day the biggest waves were mast high, but overall it
didn't look too gnarly, and there was only one guy out. I guess while
I was there the wind direction was not favourable, as it looked
horribly light on the inside. What also surprised me was the number of
pro's sailing at Kanaha. The waves were about head high most of the
time I sailed there, with 4.5 - 5.5 conditions. There were dozens of
US pros out - I don't recognise many of them - plus all the top women.
The UK's only two PBA-tour sailors Nick Baker and Nigel Howell
(unknown outside the UK I'm sure) were also wavesailing here, so it
must have been a fairly respectable spot. On the last day someone
dropped in on my wave (one of the best of the day) and then pulled off
a 360 off the lip. Only on Maui! My regret is, of course, that I
didn't sail Hookipa, but the lack of sailors (plus of course the
rocks) didn't inspire much confidence in me.
I didn't really hear any interesting gossip on the beach. They are
thinking of developing the Sprecklesville beach are - putting up
"condos" etc. for the windsurf tourism, and I heard that the PBA
world cup has a new overall sponsor, Cacharel the perfume/after shave
people I think. But who cares anyway.
I loved Maui, but I wasn't there for nearly long enough. I am happy to
pass on any other info that I can.