Online newsletter of the Hawaii Paragliding Association

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Chase

There's only one way to catch the elusive flying conditions that mark our winter season: release the hounds! Oahu pilots will drive around the entire island for days on end to hunt down a flight. Over the past week, a determined pack of air-starved beasts could be heard baying for their wily quarry at every corner: Dillingham, Kaena, Makapuu, Kahana, Koko Head, and Diamond Head. On many days we've done more driving than flying, but we know that's what we have to do this time of year for any chance to bag the big game.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Happy SeaHawkensmith Day

Another awesome flying day and a great day for Washington football fans, including one particular monkey who is hanging his hat in Seattle, temporarily! Bill 'FlyStrong' Hockensmith has been back visiting his home sites. He brought some amazing weather, not from Seattle I am guessing, but he and we have scored flights for the last ten days from the End of the World to Makapuu.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Kona Wind Wonderland

An anomalously strong Kona flow today brought ten pilots to Diamond Head, and seven of them flew, some for many hours. I'm not sure why it was working that well. There does happen to be a front approaching Kauai tomorrow, but this didn't seem like a true prefrontal flow. I wonder if it wasn't just a stronger than usual effect of the surface ridge parked over us that has been producing these consistent southerlies.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Journey to the End of The World

Yes, it's a journey, but worth every step. First there is the drive: over an hour and a half for many of us, to the most remote beach park on the island. Then you walk for 45 minutes, starting at the end of the asphalt parking lot, along an abandoned, dilapidated dirt road. You can see where the beachy sand ends. Well, it's a walk, all the way to the point, the End Of the World. Then it's a hike up to a launch about twice as far as the Makapuu juice trail.

Monday, January 12, 2015

...and I Feel Fine!

There is a secret shining jewel of a flying site hidden on our northwest peninsula. As much as I love to fly Dillingham, I am even more enthralled with the other side of that beautiful point! We don’t have a good name for the site yet. Southwest Kaena? The End of the World?

Nanakuli Faithful

Sunday dawned with a forecast of light southerly winds. We know there is only one place that is going to work well in those conditions. (Well, and that other one that is a pale echo of a flying site.) And yet people were posting hopeful messages about Makapuu and Diamond Head! But a small group of faithful thermal zealots made the proper pilgrimage to pay tribute to Nanakuli, our long neglected mistress of the west side.

Makapuu Koko Party

Zillions of pilots got into the air at Makapuu on Saturday. Conditions were light and easterly, and Cactus was the launch du jour. The ridge was working well, with some nice thermals, but it was cloudy and leeside downrange.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

A Great Year

If the way you start the year means something for the rest of it, 2015 will be a great year. If I haven't seen you in person: Happy New Year! Alright, long story short. After reading on Wednesday that da Prez' sperms got frozen solid, I was hesitating to fly on Thursday, mostly because I still need to keep those precious fluids in good shape. But, well, I took the risk, and drove kinda early to Makapuu, only to find an iffy flow. I knew if I wanted to get the best of the day, I had to get in the air and leave the Makapuu area ASAP. A kinda cross cycle showed up, and I took it. It was still cold, so I barely made it above the power lines, and finally got some love in the corner of the lookout.

Better with a Buddy

Don and I have been lucky so far this year, having gone 2 for 2 with both KMX (my first time there) and then Dillingham with Alex, both flights lasting as long as we desired with some small XC thrown in for good measure. We both took yesterday off to do some work, and missed out on the first flights at Kahana, which sounded like a lot of fun. Speaking of Kahana (shameless plug here), I'm actually selling my beloved condo in Makaua Village. So, if you're a pilot and want to live in the lift band across the bay from Kahana, hit me up!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015


To mark the third flying day of the new year, Kahana welcomed twenty one pilots, and while some remained on or near the ground, fifteen of them braved the snow chilled northerly breeze that had obviously blown straight down from Alaska. Yes, it was that cold. I’m pretty sure my sperms are frozen solid. Not that I need those little guys anymore. But after a short hour’s tour of Kaaawa above three grand, I was forced to return for a top crash and dig out my gloves, and to beg for someone to hike up with my extra fleece. Thanks to Reaper for answering the call! After that I could just barely tolerate the wintry chill at altitude. For four more hours.