The Maui forecast read: 20-30 kts and temps from the high 80s to high 60s all week. Standard procedure for the Heineken kids the day of their flight – driving around the bay area, collecting kites, board bags, and shorty wet suits (it’s been a while since I’ve ridden in anything thinner than a 4/3).
Johnny and I were invited to the 5th annual Maui MaiTai by our sponsors at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). We feel so lucky to have support from this out-of-industry sponsor and are invited to attend events with them. Everyone kept saying how this was one of the greatest MaiTais ever.
The trip turned out to be nothing but spectacular. I arrived at the beach in the early afternoon, wearing 4 kites on my back and dragging an enormous board bag. Immediately I was swept into the minivan, driven a ways upwind, handed a surfboard, and next thing I knew we were off on a downwinder. I was juiced on my 6m Catalyst with 21m lines while slashing the huge swells off the coast on northern Maui! Not bad for my first Hawaiian kite session.
It’s really silly how Maui is just a 5 hour nonstop flight from my home, and I haven’t visited since I was a kid. I remember standing on the beach watching Robbie Naish kill it on the windsurfer long before kiting ever took off. I have a feeling this will turn into a regular weekend vacation spot for us Bay Area folk.
Day in and day out the wind never mellowed. I rode only my 7m Edge and 6m Catalyst. Johnny and I were psyched to show off our new quivers of brand new Edges embroidered with SVB logos. I think we’ll start to see more logoed kites; the Ozone factory does such a professional job making the kites look perfect. Picking our way through a pack of twintips and surfboards (and turtles!) on zippy new kites and raceboards made for plenty of fun.
Gotta love how kiteboarding can really bring people together. I ran into a few other Ozone riders on the water: Rikki, Alex Aguera, and Paulo Rista. I wasn’t even aware this was their local spot!
Last but not least, to round out our weekend we finally met Dennis Parton of Tectonics Maui. This man has been instrumental in the fin development for windsurfers, and together with Johnny has worked to create the fastest kiting fins! Nothing like culminating the weekend with some fin testing, on new kites, with new friends (and potentially new race boarders). We sure had a tough time boarding the flight home!
Read original article: Ozone News:Erika Heineken - 5th Annual Maui MaiTai 2013