HIGH WIND ADVISORY
What a week. The Aloha Windsurfing Clinic got swept off their feet. They were wooed by insane passionate winds that settled down after day three into a slower dance, something more like the salsa instead of a mosh pit. We were all very grateful when Peter Thommen came to visit every day bearing chocolate lunch time treats. Micah Buzianis, Phil McGain and Peter Bijl came for a day and put on an amazing private racing day show for our guest. The whole week was run as usual with Shawna Cropas and Matt Pritchard and in the driving seat cruising the Aloha May Clinic into an overdrive of fun and learning.
The gale force winds were something to be reckoned with. Two hundred pound men were whimpering as they soared across the seas on 3.7. When our large group left the beach and not a single soul was left out on the water, we soon realized the Aloha Clinic were the only ones challenging the high wind conditions. Shawna and Matt spent the first three days keeping all eighteen guest safe by spending hours on land with each individual guest to make sure they were able to crunch into a high winds stance before anyone was released onto the water to make sure they were able sail comfortably maxed out. The only way to sail in high winds is to commit one hundred percent to using your harness, in a crunched tucked in stance without using our arms for even a second.
The two extreme ends of super light winds and cranking high wind conditions are where you are going to find out super quickly where your level of windsurfing is really at. Both challenge you’re windsurfing abilities into perfection. It’s is super important to learn the correct technique in order to improve your game, especially in high winds situations… Otherwise if you are not sailing in the correct stance the winds will seem completely unmanageable and you could get really hurt.
Matt and I were stoked to see all our guest sailing comfortably in both the high and light winds as well as managing a couple days of swell. Our group not only discovered their high winds stance, but some also turned their carve jibe turned into first attempts at bottom turns on a wave. Those who did, never returned back to the flat water for the rest of the week, like Ian who met his inner ‘wave addict’.
Carla and Sharon looked fear right in the face and tossed it aside and went out sailing anyways. Vibrant Daniel cracked two jibes and is on his way to doing circles. Remo, Jeff, John, Ray, Dion took their jibes to a new level and worked on their bottom turns. Andrew, Guilherme, Martin and Monty unconditioned a lifetime of extra back arm work and learnt to stick it.
Our Kiwis get better everyday and hats off to Richard, who after two years of sailing, he’s practically around his jibes and sailing comfortably between swell movement in the water.
As usual Maui delivers and by day seven our group were a sorry heap of tired muscles, sore hands and exhausted of energy. Though the Aloha Windsurfing Clinic guest can take a day off anytime they want, no one could bring themselves to rest. It was a charge on attitude that got them all sailing through fifty mile and hour gusts, some lighter on shore days, small surf bumps and choppier seas and one day of mast high waves. Every aspect of their abilities were challenged from high to light winds, from flat seas, bumpy kind to mast high sets rolling in. There were moments of break downs and break throughs. Usually one and the same.
Matt Pritchard and Shawna Cropas are so stoked about how well the whole group faired and improved! They look forward to sailing with everyone again on Maui!
Mahalo and Aloha
S & M 😉
As usual the people joining the clinic were a wonderful group of interesting, funny and supportive sailors with skill levels from cleaning up water starts and getting into foot straps to wave sailing, jumping and front loops. We cheered for each other and helped each other trouble shoot. I love the little world each clinic creates. It somehow makes it safe to push past old habits and challenge yourself to go for the things that are hardest or scariest. Also, as usual, Matt and Shawna were able to identify exactly what skills I needed next for my sailing and articulate them to me in a way that felt exciting and supportive.
What was remarkable for me this time, was that I became aware of how much I’ve learned from Matt and Shawna. (I should mention now that this month I am celebrating my first anniversary of windsurfing.) When the winds got lighter, my light wind skills learned from the previous clinics kicked in. I found that I could read the wind and manage the gusts and lulls. I could sail upwind and upcurrent at will. I knew what to do in the chest high beach break. I found that I could hear their advice and feel their teaching in my body as I sailed back and forth, beach and water started and practiced my pivot and step jibes. It was the sheer amount of information and understanding of what was going on with myself and my equipment and the conditions as I sailed that truly impressed me.
Most people are shocked when they hear that I’ve been sailing for such a short time. I truly believe that this is due to my participation in Shawna an Matt’s clinics. Their combination of personalities and teaching styles, dry land muscle memory training, video, and direct feedback while sailing next to you is unparalleled. The environment they create is ideal for the learning process, and it all happens on Maui in beautiful warm water in one of the best places to windsurf in the world.
After the clinic, when I returned to my usual sailing spot, I spent a few hours sailing around practicing my new skills. I had rigged my biggest sail since the wind seemed light when I went out. While I was sailing the wind picked up so I lowered my stance and found my ‘crunch’ and continued enjoying my session. When I came in, the usual discussion with fellow sailors about conditions and sail sizes ensued and I found that I had been sailing on gear the same size or bigger than some of the guys. I was so comfortable that I didn’t even know that I ‘should have’ felt overpowered. I could hear Shawna’s voice in my head saying ‘change your stance not your gear.’ I could hear Matt laughing with me and saying ‘hang low like a monkey.’ I did, so I didn’t have to re-rig and it felt amazing!
J ust want to thank you for the great Aloha Clinic on Maui. I am practicing all the moves I learned to get my jibe. The clinic made a big difference. I am getting a few jibes now and I am making steady progress. When you actually moved my head to make me look up wind during the land jibe practice,it really sunk in. I was told many times to look where I was going but I always forgot to do it. That little trick made all the difference. Sometime you just need a personal touch to learn and you were there totally. I loved the clinic for its’ professional instruction and fun atmospphere.
Mahalo, Maria Szczecina
I just wanted to thank you again for running a wonderful clinic. I really enjoyed myself and learned a great deal. Your energy and enthusiasm, your love of windsurfing, your drive to see us improve, and your willingness to answer any question, no matter how basic or silly, fostered an exciting environment, in which learning was fun!!!
Today was my last day of windsurfing on Maui, (I will be back!), and I had a great day at Kanaha and I had the time of my life! Let me just put it this way: I no longer dread jibing!!! I actually love it, it’s exhilarating. Thanks to the both of you, jibing has become an exciting part of my windsurfing, and I now love to take short runs and attempt a good jibe, whereas in the past I would take long runs simply because I did not want to jibe. And in this way, the clinic exceeded my expectations.
Anyways, it was great to meet the both of you. You guys rock! Keep up the good work, and thanks again for everything.