Earlier this year, Cabrinha team riders Keahi de Aboitiz, Alby Rondina, Moona Whyte, Annelous Lammerts, Matt Elsasser and Theo Demanez traveled to Maui for the 2019 range product shoot. The crew was handed a few film cameras to document the shoot. See how the photos came out below and find out about the infamous spoon game, battling the weather and why only one camera turned up in the end…
What was the best thing of the 2019 photoshoot?
Alby: The Maui vibe with the team is pretty hard to beat: surfing in the morning, kiting all afternoon, hot tub in the evening! You get used to that pretty easy 😉
Keahi: Somehow scoring perfect 6ft hookipa with no one out except us. I don’t where all the windsurfers were, but thanks to whoever skipped it as it made for one of the funnest sessions I’ve ever had out there!
Annelous: The best thing during the 2019 photoshoot was the one session we had with everyone at (spot a little down wind of Hookipa, starting at the reef). We had a few bad days cloudy days and needed to shoot some good content. Both Elliot and James swam out and the conditions got really good. Other days we always shot different disciplines at different spots but this session everyone went out at the same time. Keahi and Moona on the surfboards, Matt and Theo on the foils, and Alby and me on the twintips. Sharing that session with everyone was one of my favorite moments.
Matt: For me the best part was going over to Oahu and kiting with Moona and Keahi. I had been wanted to check out Moonas place on the North Shore for awhile so it was awesome to finally get over there and get a few fun sessions! They have it dialed over there!
What was the worst thing of the 2019 photoshoot?
Keahi: That walk getting in and out at lanes in 30 knots over that dreaded patch of reef. If you know you know.
Matt: Dealing with James and Alby constantly trying to steal my slippers without me noticing.
Annelous: The worst thing during the 2019 photoshoot was probably that I swam back from literarily every foil session I had. Once I had a crazy long swim back, it probably took 45 min, which was is still not that bad when your floating in crystal clear warm water and see turtles swimming around everywhere. I kept telling myself there were no sharks there, but once I arrived to the beach the guys told me it can be pretty sharky there..
Alby: The weather wasn’t really cooperating this year, we struggled to get good windy sunny days, and also I missed the best banana bread of the island for 2 years in a row!!
Theo: The Spoon game I guess, haha!
What are the challenges with shooting on Maui?
Annelous: The challenge with shooting on Maui, or anywhere else, is the weather. It is so unpredictable and even in the best season you can be unlucky. The main challenge this year were the clouds. We had a few windy days were it was really cloudy and everything was just looking really gray, not something we want for our photo and videos. We unfortunately didn’t get the conditions to ride at kite beach so and it ended up being pretty tricky to get good freestyle tricks on film. Luckily we got some windy and sunny days in the end and that made up for a lot!
Moona: We can’t go kiting before 11am, which makes us miss the nice morning light!
Keahi: Trying to maximise your time there and working around the weather and different rules of Maui. You have a lot of spots to play with but being at the right spot at the right time can prove pretty difficult sometimes. The weather really has a mind of its own too.
How does the weather affect things during a shoot?
Matt: This year we didn’t experience the strong trade wind patter we are used to experiencing in the spring time. So we had to leave the 5 mile radius we usually kite on the north shore and look outside the box to new locations on the west side of Maui. I have spent a lot of time on Maui over the last few years, but on this photoshoot I kited places I never thought I would. Sometimes desperation can bring you to kite some pretty rad places!
Alby: You can have a black and white shoot now and then, but what we really need is blue sky and sun. So even small high clouds covering the sun can mess up the day for us.
Moona: The weather is everything in kiting, and even more so in shooting kiting. So many elements need to line up. But the team is pretty good at adapting to whatever we get – being able to kite in any conditions, getting the shots with difficult light, and our secret weapon, Theo’s lightwind foil skills.
What are the rewards with shooting on Maui?
Matt: Crystal blue water, sun, strong wind, beautiful mountains in the back drop. Need I say more?
Annelous: The weather in Maui changes more than in some other places, but that also creates the most beautiful scenery. I never saw that many rainbows as on Maui and cloudy days sometimes created the most insane sunsets. No doubt that the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen was on Maui.
Keahi: Getting those magic conditions everyone goes there for and finding those special sessions when you don’t expect it. We had a really unique session this year at one of the most popular spots on Maui with a completely different look. See if you can pick it!
Put someone from the outside into your shoes for a typical day, what would they expect?
Matt: Wake up at 6:30am. Check the group chat on WhatsApp. Read that Alby, James, and Annelous are surfing 2ft slop at Paia bay. See a couple funny pictures of Theo from the day before. Meet at the office at 8am. Walk over to Maui Coffee Roasters. Bug Phil for a minute while watching his drone footage from the day before. Talk about the wind and surf forecast. Come up with a plan and load the vans with the necessary gear for the day. Drive around and kite all day until the sunsets, head back to the office, unload all the gear and have a beer and a laugh with every at the office. Eat dinner with the team in Paia, go to sleep and repeat the next day!
Alby: People would probably expect to hear that we were chilling on the beach, easy kiting, smiling. But in reality would be lit on a 7m, sore muscles everywhere. Haha.
Keahi: A decent amount of stress and FOMO (fear of missing out) but its always a good time in the end. Usually things start with a morning surf, then missioning it around for the day trying to find the best conditions and making the most out of whatever conditions are thrown at us. Its always a good time with the cabrinha team.
How do you find working alongside the staff from the Maui office?
Matt: The staff of Maui is awesome these days. They treat everyone like family, its always fun to have a beer with the crew after a long day.
Annelous: It was my first time going to Maui and meeting the complete staff from the office and it was great to work with them. We wouldn’t only shoot, but also try gear, give feedback and talk more about gear. One day we were shooting at Secrets and everyone from the office came down to the beach to have a beer and that just makes me realize how good it is to have the office of Maui there!
Alby: I’ve known most of the people for a really long time, so its really like a second family for me. A day in the Maui office goes pretty smooth for me!
Theo: It was really interesting to see how all the team work, sharing a lot about products and learning so much.
Keahi: Its always a good time. Having an office in one of the birthplaces of the sport, everyone that works in the office all live and breathe kiting so its generally feels like more of a good time then working. They’re an amazing group to work with!
Moona: It’s great because the crew feels like a family and they’re able to get so much done quickly!
What do you think happened to the 2nd camera?!
Matt: It’s probably in someones board bag… Hopefully it will appear again in 20 years and we can relive the good times!
Annelous: I have no idea what happened to the 2nd camera, it might still be somewhere in one of the rental cars! I hope it is not the one that I used because I would love to see how those photos turned out. Maybe a random person that will rent the car will find it one day and if he develops the photos he will for sure find some good memories.
Keahi: I have a rough idea..
Anything else you can tell me about your experience during the shoot?
Matt: Don’t show up to a photoshoot without knowing what the spoon game is. You will pay the price.
Alby: It was super fun foiling all together, foil fever is definitely out there. We were doing tow in with the kite into the waves, surf foiling, or any sort of fun things. These new foils are super fun especially when the conditions are pretty average!!
Annelous: The 2019 photoshoot was so much fun and I’m happy to be part of such an awesome team. Can’t wait to show everyone the new products.
Keahi: I’m pretty sure I won at Spoon.
This article first appeared on the Cabrinha website here: https://www.cabrinhakites.com/blogs/news/behind-the-2019-product-shoot