After spending a couple months in the snow I decided it was time for a change of climate.  It would be a few months before it started warming up anywhere north of the tropics so at the end of January I headed out to Maui for the spring.  Maui is one of my favorite places to ride, especially in the winter since I hate wetsuits.  The NE trade winds here are pretty consistent and strong through the winter, and on those off days there is usually some swell to surf.  This year the conditions have been good with only a couple weeks of no wind.  There have been a couple big swells but for the most part it’s been pretty average.

I’ve been spending most of my time hitting kickers at Kitebeach with the Newton wakeboard.  The increased rocker compared to a kiteboard is just what I need to handle such hard, slacked landings.  I don’t really need to worry about it slowing me down or dragging me down wind since it is usually blowing 20+ mph.  The kickers are great since they aren’t part of a surf break, allowing me to drop my kite without worrying about it getting eaten by a wave.  Recently I’ve been mostly working on adding grabs to my flat spins.  It has been a lot of fun and feels unbelievable when you nail it right.  My favorite thing to do right now is add the grab after the handle pass.  You really have to have the spin down to be balanced enough to focus on a grab so late in the trick.  If you want to see what I’m talking about click here to check out a video of a Backside 3 with a late grab.  If it is not that windy or there are no kickers I ride the Darkside since the flatter rocker lets me plane easier.   The wind is rarely north enough to fill in at the pro pool but when it is it is a great flat water spot.  Maui Sunset in Kihei is also pretty flat but only works on a south wind.

When the swell starts pumping I bust out the Tyrant and hit the surf.  I usually ride the right at Lanes, but if the wind is really strong and east there is a sick left near my house at Waiehu.  Make sure you lock your car if you ever go to Lanes though because I had my gear ripped off while I was out riding.  Luckily I was able to recover it all when the thief sold it to a guy at Kitebeach.  Other than that I’ve hit up the lower reef at Kanaha, Pier One and Sugar Cove a couple times.

I’ve got a couple more weeks here to hone in some new tricks before I head back to the East Coast to kick off the summer season and hit up the 2011 Triple S Invitational at Real Watersports in Cape Hatteras, NC.  Hope to see ya there!  Peace.