maui monday: dec 12- 19, 2011

by Graham

An old pic of my dad David Ezzy from 1983 courtesy of French WIND. Check the fins!


Ah windsurfing! How you tease and tantalize! A good forecast came out too messy on Friday for it to be any fun at Hookipa. Instead, I spent the day doing a free ride, flat water sail photoshoot at Kanaha with Kevin Pritchard and my father. It was surprisingly fun to go fast.

Saturday Hookipa was still big and messy. But there seemed to be a decent wave every once in a while. When I pulled up to the beach, no windsurfers were out, only Skylar Haywood sitting on the guardrail with half a sail rigged on the grass. He lamented to me that he’d forgotten his harness. I rigged up a 5.0 and in that time a kind japanese tourist lent Skylar a much needed harness.

We launched and it was just the two of us. Ezzy and Haywood. It’s funny, that could have been a day from 25 years ago in the mid 80’s with our fathers (David and Fred). Some things stay the same even as they change!

I had so much fun! Carving on these messy walls of water and going for some big splattering lips. I had a few big ones that I hit and had to bail resulting in long swims. But I got in a really fun groove. Unfortunatly, I went for a 360 on a section that was not a 360 section at all– it was just a energized mast-high ball of foam. It whipped me around really fast and I was in the perfect position to pull it, except that somehow the power of the wave folded my back in half backwards (hyperextended). I heard a loud crack and let go of my equipment instinctually (I knew it wasn’t going to go on the rocks as I was in middles). After surfacing, I saw that I could move my legs and therefore guessed that my back was not broken. I swam to my gear and sailed into the beach, not wanting to risk it.

On Sunday, the pain/stiffness was still there. Not anything bad, but enough to make me conscious of it. I’ve never had any problems with my back. My spine et al have been healthy and happy. And it makes me so angry to think that I may have just injured it! So I took Sunday off from sailing– even though it looked epic (the logic being I have many trips planned in the next months and I don’t want to jeopardize them for one day of sailing). Still, it appears only Levi sailed at Hookipa.

The worse part though is not the pain– rather, it’s the not knowing. I hate not knowing whether I’ll injure it more by going on the water. I hate not knowing whether I just tweaked the muscles or did something more serious. The uncertainty kills. All I want is a personal MRI machine so that I can know what– if anything– is the matter.

Adding to the frustration is windsurfing’s amazing ability to be inconsistent. How long will it be till the next good day? Truly good days are so rare that missing one seems like travesty.

These random rewards are one way that our sport keeps us keenly addicted.There was a study done on rats to test reward schedules. Rat A was fed a pellet of food every time it pressed a button, rat B was fed every 5 times it pressed a button, and rat C was given food pellets every x number of times it pressed a button, where x was random. After a certain period of time, the experimenters stopped the food delivery, so the rats could still press the button but nothing would happen. Rat A stopped pressing it almost immediately after the food stopped, rat B stopped but only after pressing the button many times, and rat C never stopped. We are rat C.

And I love it. In windsurfing, we deal with randomness and random rewards daily, keeping us addicted. “Addicted” can have negative connotations, but I don’t mean anything negative here. Rather we are possessed and passionate in the most alive way possible. To be any other way, for us, would be to become zombies.


This is what I need!