Maciek Rutkowski, Challenger team rider and successful international racer – he finished in 14th in the PWA slalom overall ranking and 12th in the foil overall ranking – travelled to Hawaii. The Mecca of wave sailing welcomed the Polish pro with huge waves. Read how much adrenalin Maciek pumped in his venes during the first few days of his stay when he lost his gear on an outer reef or had his premiere session in the waves of Jaws (Peahi).
Somehow ever since I booked the Maui tickets 2 months ago I knew I’m gonna get a Jaws swell right at the beginning of the trip. I was hoping it’s gonna come towards the end of it, but somehow I always knew it’s gonna greet me right out of the fucking gates. And so it did. I only managed to get one super light wind outer reef session which ended up with me having to sink my broken rig (rest in piece 5.3m, I loved you that one hour I used you!) and paddle on my board for almost 2 hours to even get back to the beach. I thought this maybe was a sign not to go to Jaws, but then I thought it’s probably a once in a lifetime opportunity so fuck it.
Got there, rigged at the back of the jet ski which took me ages because my hands were shaking so much I couldn’t thread the rope thru the extension but finally I managed. Got out, tried to take things step by step, figured out all the directions, the positioning, my lineups etc.
After about 30minutes of feel out I caught a wave. It was a tiny one but good to get the nerves settled a little bit. Then unfortunately the wind died and it got much harder to get waves. I got this one bomb which ended up to be on the pictures and I was going so fast I got scared and bottom turned a bit too early. The speed of this wave is just crazy. It gets choppy, too! It’s basically like doing the first reach in Fuerteventura with your wave gear and a mountain of water behind you. It took me more than 1 hour to catch another wave and by that time the wind was pretty much gone so it was time to de-rig and head back to the harbor.
I made a pretty good first experience with Jaws and if the forecast stays I might get my second one soon!
Maciek Rutkowski was on a NoveNove Chameleon 93 and a ChallengerSails 4.7m 2018. He used an impact wetsuit and two impact vests.
©Lyle Krannichfeld Photography