Thursday, June 13, 2024
TravelPacific Ocean IslandsTim Walsh - Maui Kitesurfing Guide - Pick Mangoes in Mango Season

Tim Walsh – Maui Kitesurfing Guide – Pick Mangoes in Mango Season

by Tim Walsh

Springtime is typically my favorite time of year on Maui for a number of reasons, but this year a lot of the usual things I look forward to didn’t happen. So like Dr. Steve often says – if it is mango season, pick mangoes and that is what I tried to do. This spring we scored tons of amazing days with little or no crowds and I literally kited my brains out.

Frankie Bees photo

Springtime also is photo shoot time on Maui. Many brands do their yearly product shoots here. There is a lot of excitement when all of the international riders arrive, the new gear has come in and it is time for everyone to push the limits. Helicopters and drones are buzzing around Ho’okipa and everyone is squeezing into the frame

Frankie Bees photo

to get a moment of glory. This year travel to Hawaii was shut down and international riders and tourists were not able to make it to Hawaii. It was really sad to have the Ewan Jaspan pro model board arrive but Ewan could not be here to ride it. Beach parks were closed, restrictions were put in place, but fortunately direct access to the ocean was always kept open and we had all the new gear to ride.

One of the reasons brands do their shoots on Maui in the spring are the amazing conditions. Trade winds are strong and consistent and we still have the famous north swells coming in. Because of COVID-19 our school had gone to remote teaching and we were off by noon every day. There are great kiters on Maui and we were very lucky to have a few additional riders like Ethan Koopmans, Alden Simmer, Tomas Aguirre, and of course Robby Naish, who was spending more time here this spring then he ever has in his entire adult life. It was amazing to have the best conditions of the year with only a handful of friends to ride with!

Fishbowl Diaries photos

Some of the highlights:

Ho’okipa Session 

Ho’okipa was wild! It was during the first few weeks of May and we were expecting a big swell (which is late and super rare for that time of year). We went down for a session on the first day but the waves were small and the wind was light; not too exciting. But the next day when we pulled up to Ho’okipa the waves were over twice my height and the wind was up to 20 knots at 9 a.m. It was big enough for the channel to close out. All the riders had their game face on. We were headed out over the notorious Lanes reef. Heading out for the first tack was scary. Massive bombs were rolling through and I just barely squeaked out. I headed upwind to Ho’okipa and caught a bomb on the way upwind, that’s when the adrenaline kicked in! We scored a three-and-a-half hour session of the best Ho’okipa day ever and it was shared with some of the best wave kiters ever: Jesse Richman, Patri Mclaughlin, Olivia Jenkins, Robby Naish, Alden Simmer and Ethan Koopmans. Big score!

Frankie Bees photo

Pro Pool Session 

Due to COVID-19 all gates to all beach parks were closed. We had to hike our gear in pretty far but it was worth it! Pro Pool used to be the center of kiteboarding, but over time the scene moved away and the beach was taken over again by fishermen. But with the gates to the parks closed everything was empty and we got to kite there with nobody at the beach. What makes Pro Pool so awesome is a group of rocks forming a pool of flatwater, which makes it one of the best flatwater spots on the island. The whole crew was there, and we shared an amazing session!

Frankie Bees photos

Foil Session in Maalaea

Maalaea is a rare spot to get good conditions, but we got lucky. We arrived at 8 a.m. to find nothing but butter flat, crystal clear, blue water and perfect straight offshore wind for foiling! What a playground with perfect scenery of Haleakala mountain as a backdrop and the islands out front! 

Frankie Bees photos

Kite Loops at Kanaha

I got a last minute call that we were going to shoot at Kanaha. I heard that Kanaha was super windy that day and empty. I left the skatepark and headed to the beach and got the perfect conditions to shoot big air. Upper Kanaha is normally only a windsurfing spot, but without the usual summer crowd, there weren’t any windsurfers and I had the place to myself, scoring 12 meter line Kiteloops!

Frankie Bees photos

Kiteloops at Secrets

Although there were no international kiters on Maui this spring there are still a lot of really good kiters on Maui. Everyone ended up in the same spot this afternoon and it was really fun to ride with everyone. Jesse Richman, Kai and Ridge Lenny, Patri, Olivia, Ethan and more all came out this session. The energy was high, the wind was strong, the waves were lining up and everyone was pushing each other. It is a small spot and it is challenging to find the space when you are going for big jumps. I felt like I was in a beehive.

Tim and OG Des Walsh. Jennica Lowell photo

Waiehu

When we were heading out to Waiehu the wind did not look too solid. When we got there we were a little disappointe, but we decided to go out anyway. The wind was fairly light and flukey, but just as we were about to give up, a good wind cycle came through. Everything lit up and it was game on. Tomas Aguirre was doing freestyle on the Torch, Alden was riding strapless and I was going for Kiteloops. It did not last very long, but everyone got what they wanted and it made the trip all worthwhile.

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