Maui Impressions

Posted on Posted in Equipment, Latest News, Travel

Although my 10 days in Maui weren’t the windiest, the trip was a success. I had the opportunity to windsurf various beaches around the island and take part in the photo shoot for the 2017 Starboard Windsurfing product range.

Phil Soltysiak CAN 9 windsurfing air at Ho'okipa
Phil Soltysiak air at Ho’okipa

Even if it was my first time on the island, I felt right at home from the get-go. I spent my first few nights at the Aloha Surf Hostel where I met a few windsurfers from around the world; French, Brazilian and Canadian. Going to the Ku’au shop for coffee and lunch, or a social beer at Rock and Brews in Paia I was mostly served by windsurfing friends I’ve known for many years. People say “it’s a small world”, but the windsurfing world is even smaller.

Board fence at the Aloha Surf Hostel, Maui.
Board fence at the Aloha Surf Hostel, Maui.

On the first few windless days the Starboard team kept us busy with entry-level equipment, wind-sups, and interviews about the new equipment. During my free time I paddled out from the Starboard house towards the reef for a SUP surf session with Sarah-Quita Offringa on some beautiful new 2017 Starboard SUP toys. The small windsurf world experience continued as out on the reef bobbing around were more familiar faces; PWA World Tour photographer John Carter and fellow Starboard and Sailworks team rider Fiona Wylde.

Phil Soltysiak windsurfing at Ho'okipa, Maui, Hawaii - Photo by Jimmie Hepp
Phil Soltysiak windsurfing at Ho’okipa, Maui, Hawaii – Photo by Jimmie Hepp

Beside the low wind days we also scored a couple gusty days of wind for the shoot where I used my 5.0 Revolution for some freestyle pictures and 6.5 Retro for freeriding. We shot using helicopters, drones, from the water and beach, pretty much anyway possible to get a variety of angles. As for the 2017 equipment – it’s working and looking incredible – but I can’t say more, as it’s top secret until it’s officially released!

De-rigging at Kihei after a windsurf session on freeride gear.
De-rigging at Kihei after a windsurf session on freeride gear.

One of the windless days there was a big enough swell for the famous wave Jaws to break, so I bumped my way down the long dirt road in my trusty Toyota Corolla rental to see the action. Here’s a video of what was happening there that day:

After the Starboard shoot I had a few days to enjoy the wave sailing on Maui for myself, so I windsurfed a couple of times in Ku’au which was a great spot to avoid the Ho’okipa crowds and to catch a hundred waves without anybody on them. I also had a few sessions at Ho’okipa, with small waves, but a ton of fun and at least I got a couple of photos.

So to summarize my first trip to Maui, I have to say I was disappointed with the number of windy days we had, but very impressed by the beauty of the island and kept busy by non-windsurfing activities. I’m probably just wind-spoiled after a great winter in Venezuela and Brazil 😉 Will I go back? Probably next year, but I think no more than 10 days is the right length of trip there for me.