The surf was big and heavy. I was having a hard time keeping up with the waves even when I was flying at full stick - these waves were fast. There was a 10 year old named Ty Simpson Kane who was riding some of these big waves. It was amazing seeing such a young man out there enjoying some serious waves. He had a huge support network helping him and making sure he was safe and I am sure they play a huge part in his success.
I did not have my new 5.4mm lens on the GoPro black yet, but I am really looking forward to trying this out. I am hoping I do not have to get so close to the waves and riders to get good footage with this new lens. There were some close calls with the waves but somehow the Phantom will live to fly another day!
A big south swell was pounding the southern coast of Maui, especially La Perouse Bay. Ekolu Kalama told me he was going out so we packed up and cruised down there. I did not nail this shot but it still turned out great. After this wipe out, Ekolu described the following beating he took as violent and said there was nothing to do while you are being held under but sing church songs to yourself. He also said "There are no atheists in the impact zone" and it really stuck in my head. These waves have some serious power! More pictures and video coming soon!
Ekolu Kalama catches a big wave at La Perouse Bay. After I filmed this he was describing what it was like and what stuck in my head was "There are no atheists in the impact zone." The wave before this one, before I was flying, was even bigger and he nailed it. I have been bummed all day that I missed it. These waves are moving really fast and I can't get my Phantom to keep up. It was flying full bore 11 m/s and was falling behind. Not a shining example of drone flying, but I still think it is interesting.
Some friends of mine decided last minute to head over to Lanai because there was some south swell coming in. We loaded up on the ferry and headed over to camp and surf. The reef was really shallow and rocks stuck up near the peak and I managed to ding my surfboard within the first 5 minutes. After that, I started being really careful and didn't catch too many waves. After surfing alone with my friends for many hours, I came back to the beach and pulled out the DJI Phantom to try and get some surf and beach footage. These guys got lots of waves that were way better than the ones that I captured here but the long time between sets made it difficult to get the best waves.
Lanai is a beautiful place and it was not crowded. Surfing with only a few friends was a new experience for me as the breaks around Maui are always crowded. Below is a short clip that hopefully shows how cool Manele Bay is and what it is like to surf there.