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» Time for an 'update'...
December 21, 2011 at 03:59 PM
By: Pete Fontaine
» you are a great writer for a young kid.
August 13, 2011 at 12:15 AM
By: PIerre Armand
» Wow
November 18, 2010 at 07:50 PM
By: Rotorhead
» Congrats
May 16, 2010 at 12:14 PM
By: Pete
My Biggest Day Ever!

  It all started when I was sitting at home, on the computer, finishing school.  It was just about time that my Dad gets off of work and we could go to the beach, today was supposed to be massive so I was anxious.  Anxious in a way that I didn’t want to go but that’s what made me want to so bad.  Today was a day to push my envelope and see how far I could go.  I sat there, looking at swell reports and webcams, thinking about all this.  But I had to shut that out because that anxiety can build up over time and make you crack when you get out on the water.  No, what I had to do now was focus and flush all the fear out, replacing it with positive energy.

     But that positive energy was hard to keep up as we rounded the corner to Hookipa and a double over mast high set came crashing through.  I told myself I could do it.  Could I? 

     As I rigged up I saw more sets crashing through, the swell was a west one which made it closeout from Hookipa down about a half-mile to Kuau.  My heart pounded in my throat and my stomach felt like oatmeal but I finished rigging and carried my gear to the beach. 

     You may be thinking, “What’s the big deal? Double over mast is a small day at Jaws.” and you’re right but when Hookipa gets like this there is no channel to try and shoot for on the wave, the whole thing closes out and that usually means that you have to stay as late as possible on the wave until you straighten out to the beach.  Otherwise you’ll shoot out into the flats and then get sucked up the face again, not good!  So if you get a bomb you have to ride it for all its worth, there’s no way out basically. 

     I sat on the beach, closed my eyes, and thought about a successful ride on a bomb set.  That would for sure get me some “street credit” as Levi Siver would put it!  With that I went out a headed for where the channel is, usually.  There I just about made it out when the big bomb set came into view on the outside.  I knew I wasn’t even close to making it over the wave so I chicken jibed and putted back inside.  There the waves came as mountains of whitewater and I fannagled my way around it using what was left of the channel to do so.  Finally the last wave came through, through the mist and rolling swells I could make out the wave breaking off the point.  It was way over double mast and seemed to rage through the break as the offshore wind made the lip froth and snarl like a colossal animal.  It broke and by the time it came to me it was a mile long torrent of whitewater!  I barely made it over and pumped to the outside.  Once there I thought about going in.  It was way over my head and there was no reason for me to be out here.  Then I stopped myself, I had never in my life even considered going in without catching a wave.  What was I thinking?!  Sure I could go in and drive down the coast, but I would regret it later.  Sure I could just catch the small waves and avoid the big ones but I was here for more.  Today was a day to push my envelope and see how far I could go!

     Then, the set came slowly rolling through on the outside and I was lined up for it.  It was now or never I had to pull it together and get with the program!  So I tacked on the set wave and rode it in as it grew in size on the way to the reef!  It went from mast high, to mast-and-a-half, to double mast, to double over mast, and it kept growing until it got hung up on the reef and started to pitch!  That’s when I gunned it down the face, absorbing every chop like a skier on the moguls, except the mountain was chasing me down!  I leaned into the rail as I bottom turned up to the face, praying not to fall!  I looked up at the wave, it looked like a pyramid and the side that I was on was folding over!  When I got to the top of the pyramid I made the hair raising transition from rail to rail as I redirected back down the face!  I heard the mounds of water crashing down behind me like cannon fire!  I yelled at the top of my lungs with the wave!  That single turn was one of the most exhilarating things I’ve ever done!  And it wasn’t over!  The next section was starting to peel and I gunned toward it without a second thought!  I turned up under the lip and threw buckets, but then my inside rail caught!  My heart sank and lifted to my throat in the same instant and I’m pretty sure I screamed too!  I tried everything I could to correct myself but it was no use and I was at the will of the wave.  I guess the wave liked me or something because as soon as I realized that, my board straightened out and I got the hell outta Dodge!  I was so relieved, I made it out alive!  My Dad was on the cliff watching, he was dancing up and down waving at me!  I couldn’t wave back, I was glued to the boom!

     After a few more waves I went in where all four people that were watching congratulated me, nice!  But that didn’t matter because I did that for me, to push my envelope.  It was so worth it too!  Now I have re-enforced stoke for windsurfing and the water in general!  Plus, almost every time there is a big day at Hookipa, I can say I’ve sailed bigger!

     Everyone should push their envelope when windsurfing!  It makes you feel more confident, not only windsurfing but in everything you do, and it gets you stoked to go out the next day!  And it doesn’t have to be going and riding a giant day at Hookipa.  You could go and be the first person in your break to sail out to a channel marker a mile out to sea!  Or maybe you could try a forward for the first time, these things are all ways to improve your confidence which improves your skill!  Go out and push your envelope, get scared a little!  It’ll be the best feeling in the world!

Posted: November 18, 2010 at 07:10 AM
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Catching up on homework

Sorry for slacking on the blog, but all these trips have meant lots of homework to catch up on!  I’ve finally got all caught up so I can start writing again, and what a sick day to start! 

This morning was totally flat and it looked like the huge swell that was supposed to pump in today wasn’t gonna happen!  Then, later in the day, we got the report that the waves were coming in and we went to check Hookipa.  When we got down the waves were starting to pump in and I rigged up!   After about a half an hour this sick mast high set came rolling through and I caught it!  The wave shouldered to the corkscrew and then I busted a wave 360 right under the lip!  It was the highest 360 I’ve ever done and I was so surprised that I just sat at the apex looking around at the view until I fell out the back!  After that a few more sets came through until the tide shifted and the waves went down.  I caught a little wave on the inside and went into a sick Spock.  It was sick because I went tail first down the face, almost like a Stalled Spock! 

After a while the wind started to die so I decided to head in.  All of the sudden another set came in and I was in the perfect position!  I pumped onto it and shot down the line!  Then I laid down the sail and shot up under the lip!  The lip hit me and shot me up and over the whitewater where I floated down and landed softly into the flats!  I went in right away because I knew I wouldn’t get a wave like that anytime soon!

Posted: November 15, 2010 at 07:33 AM
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Japanese Adventure - PART THREE

"I told myself to forget about what everyone else thinks and do what I want to do!"—Bernd

   The event itself was pretty small compared to the BOP but for its first time it was a good size expo! I talked with everyone and introduced some product, and then I went and surfed!

   The wave was right in front of a river mouth so it was unbelievably messy due to the current. There was also wind on it, which didn't help. The wave was head to over sometimes and you could only really work the whitewater since it closed out fast. You would do one or two turns on the wave and then work the wash in to the inside left where it opened up a bit. But in order to catch the wave you had to fight with the current and the relentless waves to get to the line up. Once there, every wave that came was impossible to read and picking the wrong wave meant having to struggle for at least five minutes to get out again, fifteen if you got caught in a set. After an hour it seemed like a losing battle, I saw many people standing on the beach watching and felt embarrassed to be doing so badly! Then there was a surf exhibition while I was out paddling that I missed because I couldn't understand the Japanese announcements, Takasan was teaching in his class, and Marosan was in an appointment, so I didn't get the memo! I felt frustrated that I missed it. I felt like that expo was my time to shine! Everything was going wrong and I felt like the whole event was a waste! That’s when my Granduncle came into mind again, his attitude towards my dream and me seemed almost right at this point. Maybe I should give up on the pro thing and just go to school like everyone else. Maybe I wasn’t the one to become successful in another direction. Maybe I should just go back to the beach. But no! I couldn’t go back to the beach, I wouldn’t! I told myself to forget about what everyone else thinks and remember what I think, what I want to do, and my dreams! Then an over-head wave rolled through and broke way outside! As the whitewater rushed toward me it reformed and I caught it right! Then the wave pitched as it hit this sandbar and I carved around and stuck my nose into the wave, as the wave hit me I redirected back down while covered in foam! I worked the whitewater with an aggression that I had never really felt before. Then all of the sudden the wave reformed again! But this time it was a left so I switched stances and pumped down the line to the shoulder. When I got there I started hacking and slashing all the way back to the beach where I ran straight into the sand and face-planted! I lift my head up off the sand, panting, and got up. I brushed myself off and then my Mom and Grandma came over to me. Just then I heard something in Japanese over the loudspeaker and then heard my name spoken. I looked a question at my Grandma and she said “They’re saying good things about you.” Then my Mom said “They did the exhibition where you were surfing anyways so you were basically in it.” “Lots of people were watching the event and they were watching you too!” That made me feel a lot better!

   What happened that day was I let other people get into my head and tell me what I could and couldn’t do, I’ll never let that happen again.

   At the end of the day I was stoked to have had a good session and ready to go back to Tokyo. I went with Marosan to his college team's football game and then to my Grandma's friend's place in Tokyo. The next morning we did some sight seeing in Harajuku, went up the Tokyo Tower, and rode the huge ferris wheel at night. The next day we flew back to Maui and I had a lot of time to think about what happened on the trip. I was happy with what I did and how I did it, which is all that matters.

Posted: November 14, 2010 at 08:59 AM
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Japanese Adventure - PART TWO

"There weren’t any other paddlers out but there were hundreds of surfers."—Bernd Roediger

[The good thing was that I slept all day and ate plenty of soup and felt way better by the next day, just in time to]… meet up with Marosan, the head of Naish Japan! From there we drove over to Omaizaki. At night we had bacon wrapped beef, asparagus, and kimchi at Robby Naish’s favorite restaurant that he discovered while on the windsurfing tour! It was really good! But then I accidently had bacon wrapped ginger! It may not seem like a big deal but when I was young my Mom almost killed me by feeding me too much ginger (she thought it was fish) so I hate it. As I bit into it my eyes watered and my nostrils flared! I think I scared Marosan really bad because I never told him I didn’t like ginger and he probably thought I was dying right there! I could just imagine him thinking of how terrible it would be to have to tell my Mom that he killed me on the first 6 hours that we had been together! That’s like pet sitting a dog that has a heart attack as soon as you walk into the front door! Luckily I recovered and started laughing, which gave him the ok.

   The next day I finally got the chance to surf at Omaizaki. The wave there, mostly a left, was a fast pitching beach break that you had to drop-in-and-turn fast in otherwise it closed out, so that made it really challenging. But my 6'6" worked great in those conditions, it handled the drop even on the head high sets. As it was still a beach break it had its mushy points so my quad really helped me to make it around the sections. There weren’t any other paddlers out but there were hundreds of surfers. Luckily the beach is so long that it spreads the crowds out pretty well…

   The only problem was that an experimental board that I call the Footstrap board didn't really work because the current is real strong there and the board is getting too small for me to ride it in those water currents. It would have made me real bummed because I wanted to show everyone in Japan how cool this thing was, but my Dad sent me this video the night before.

This video is from the BOP when I had some time to go surf. I decided to try the Footstrap board there and it worked great! There are so many possibilities with footstraps that I can’t wait to see more people trying it!

   We hit the road again after a couple hours of surfing and spent the night in Shonan. Marosan and I went to a Korean barbeque restaurant and that was beyond describing. (But I’ll try) You walk into the restaurant and the whole place smells like simmering beef. Then you find a table and there is a small grill built in the center, you order and they bring you raw meat that you can sit there and simmer for as long as you want. I’m talkin’ beef tongue, liver, raw hamburger meat… everything! That last one was really weird but I can appreciate it! After eating I looked around at what a fancy restaurant this was. I don’t think I’ve ever been to such a “high dollar” (or yen) place in my life! I thought about what had been bothering me lately, my Granduncle. I wondered what he’d say today or what he’d say for the rest of the time that I continue on this path. I think if I ever get a big money contract I’ll send it to him and see if he approves! The next morning we surfed there with Takasan, a rider for Naish. It was flat so we didn't stay long. When we started driving again I went with Takasan to his house in Tokyo. The next day we woke up early and shot down to Chiba for the Nalu SUP Meet SUP expo, this was the main reason for the trip so I was excited to see what was in store for us!

...STAY TUNED FOR PART 3 to be posted this FRIDAY!

Posted: November 10, 2010 at 08:54 AM
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Japanese Adventure - PART ONE

"The lifestyle that I have chosen has brought me all the way to Japan, and I’m only 14."—Bernd

I just got back from Japan and the trip was so much fun! You know, it’s funny, I always knew that I would travel to places as far out as Japan but I never thought it would happen this fast. It was only four years ago that I didn’t even know what stand-up was; now I’m traveling the world because of it! I mean, Japan! This trip is so huge and it was very cool for me because I have so much family here. For me, this trip was not only about promotion, but also to learn more about my family and what kind of place I fit into there. Here’s a short story about what I discovered in the land of the rising sun.

My Mom and I flew out of Oahu in the afternoon on the 14th and landed in Kobe at night on the 15th, weird! The first four days I spent in Kobe.

On the first day I went up to Mt. Rokko, which had a super cool view of Kobe. The city is so big that it seems like it goes on forever! That night I ate sushi with my Mom, Grandma, and my First Aunt (who’s place I stayed at). She also brought her three sons and husband who were very funny! The food was awesome and I ate way more weird stuff than I have ever thought possible!

Then the next day we all went to the Universal Studios Theme Park, which was the sickest thing ever!

The first ride had about a 40ft drop and I was freaking out because I had never been on a roller coaster before! We slowly chugged all the way up at like 0.5 miles per hour and then stopped right at the top. From there I stared down at what seemed like pure death, and went shooting down it! I felt terrible. Then the ride went into a sharp turn that resembled a 30 ft spoon. I got pressed into my seat as the ride went around the spoon and then got basically bucked up and down on these hill things. Then the ride corkscrewed back up to the top and dropped back to the bottom again. Yah, that ride was only the sickest thing ever!

My third day in Kobe was more relaxing; we went to the Himeji Castle and saw some really cool ancient Japanese architecture. Plus I honed my Kanji reading skills by reading fire warnings and gate names in Japanese!

That night we went to my Granduncle’s house and had Suki Yaki, it sounds like Sucky Yucky but its for sure not!

After dinner my Grandma started talking about how my Great Grandfather was the first in his family of Shinto priests to become a scholar, this change in his life affected his children and their children. (I found out that many people in my family have graduated from college and are very successful.) Then my Granduncle, who is a “scholarly man” himself, asked me what I wanted to become when I grew up. I wasn’t gonna lie, I told him I was going to be a pro athlete. When I saw the disappointment in his eyes I thought of how hypocritical he was. 100 years ago my Great Granddad probably told his Granduncle that he was going to become an engineer. Can you guess what his Granduncle said? But despite his lack of support he graduated, became a great engineer, and became so successful that he was able to send the rest of his family to school. Am I so different? Am I not choosing a path that future generations will thank me for? I didn’t argue my point but I kept it in the back of my mind on the way back from his house. The lifestyle that I have chosen has brought me all the way to Japan, and I’m only 14.

Anyways, by the fourth day of riding on trains and using overcrowded public restrooms I was sick and had to miss my Mom and Grandma's trip to Kyoto, which is where there are many ancient temples and shrines.

The good thing was that I slept all day and ate plenty of soup and felt way better by the next day, just in time to... (PART TWO will be posted on Wednesday!)

Posted: November 7, 2010 at 09:42 PM
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