Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Maui Surfing, Part 2

Not everyone at Ho‘okipa Beach is surfing. Here a mother and her young daughter are splashing in the tide pools. The smiles on their faces show how much fun (and bonding) is going on.

(Ed. note - if any of my Maui friends know this family, please get me contact information. I would love to share a print of this moment with them.)

Another woman in the tide-pools with her "kids" of the four-legged variety.

Well, it was time for me to leave for the airport (to pick up my wife and Johnny) when something caught my eye — a green sea turtle. I rushed the shot because these turtles break the surface for a breath then submerge again. You only have a second or two to shoot the photo. GOT IT!

Well, it turned out that the flight was late — a runway shutdown on O‘ahu was causing flight delays from Maui to Honolulu and back again (I had the same delay when I arrived a few days earlier). So with a little extra time on my hands, I drove over to Kanaha Beach Park which is perhaps one mile from OGG (Kahului Airport). It is also a surfing beach but primarily kite surfing.

These kites sitting on the sand look to me more like tents than kites. However, their frames give them a airfoil shape once they catch the wind — and away goes the surfer.

Here we see a kite surfer ready to enter the water. Note the hydrofoil on the bottom of his surfboard. I was not aware that kite surfboards had hydrofoils and thanks to Mr. Google, I learned that it is a separate class of equipment. Most kite surfers use a board that is more like a standard surfboard but some advanced and expert kite surfers go with the hydrofoil board. Note that the first one I found online sells for $1500 — you gotta love the sport to part with that much money just for the board.

I also found some tips for the kite surfer staring to use a hydrofoil.

1. Do it is the first key point. The feeling of flying in silence and traveling distance with little impact on your body is a great feeling.

2. Do get the best advice on board & foil combo.

3. Do go and learn in 15 knots or more.

4. Do go out in flat water with smooth wind & ensure there is a space for long runs. All this will really help you progress.

5. Do give yourself time – some people take 15 mins and others 10 hours to go along without crashing.

6. Do wear a helmet and impact vest when you are learning and be prepared to crash a lot!

Wow, "be prepared to crash a lot"!!!

The trade winds were blowing strong and steady — giving good riding opportunities. It amazes me how fast these kite boards go. My Google search indicates that the expert kite surfers can reach speeds over 50 knots (57.5 mph).

And, if you do it right, you can get the kite to pull you above the surface of the water and fly. Looks cool!

I noticed that these kite surfers were sailing across the wind in opposite directions. My guess is that provides the fastest speed — but watch out for the other surfers on the water.

And in some places you have to watch out for the rocks and reefs you can encounter in the shallower areas.

The speed that these kite surfers travel, make photography a challenge — trying to frame and focus requires anticipation and speed, even with all the technological aids on modern DSLR cameras. Even with those challenges, the photography is fun and I hope you'll agree the results are worth it.

Well, time to head back to the airport. I had to allow a few extra minutes because construction of a new rental car center has the roads temporarily rerouted from what I am used to. Progress comes to Maui (I guess).

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com