Skate Trip To Paradise – Julian’s Adventure
Today’s story comes from Julian, one of the contributing authors here, at Heelsidechill. He’ll talk about he’s skating trip overseas to beautiful Hawaii, island of Maui.
Well to put into simple words from a skater Hawaii, is one of the best places on earth. Especially if your a skater, from my experience it has amazing coffee, beaches, jungles, volcanoes and towering mountains, scuba diving, food and the best roads you could ever skate. I already can’t wait to go back and in the back of my mind thinking of doing in a couple of years.Through out this article I will describe some of my month journey.
Arriving to Maui
After spending a few days in Oahu enjoying the amazing beaches, coffee and hiking trails Hawaii has to offer, I arrived to Maui. Where I would spend the rest of December.Maui has a more spaced out country like feel to it compared to the busy and bustling tourist hotspot that Honolulu is. I stayed at two hostels in a town called Wailuku.
The “Northsore hostel” and the notorius “Banana bungalow”. Well known for its frat party vibe and feel. Both hostels were absolutely amazing.
Meeting the locals
Through out my trip I hung out with “Zach Newman” and “Dakota camp”, malachi Oeretel. Joined by a fellow Australian “Jack Bain” from Adelaide. These guys were awesome and defiantly helped make the trip for me.
However during the trip we also came across over 11 skaters from Washington D.C . Deciding to stick together we headed out to hit many hills that this skaters paradise had to offer.
The first mountain road ”Mendes”
After being caged inside due to rain I went out solo to hit my first road, just eager to hit my first bit of Maui tarmac.If theres one con of Maui it can be said to be the public transport system. As the buses only go so far to some places . So I decided to say screw it and skate/ hike the whole way to the mountain. After about two hours of hiking/skating along highway roads, I reached the top of the road known as “Mendes” amongst skater folk .
The walk up the mountain was brutal but I was treated by views of the ocean, black sand beaches, massive rolling waves, as well as cascading waterfalls in the distance.After having trekked over 9 km’s. It was a relief to get to the top and after a much needed rest I headed down the mountain on my board after a break in the traffic. Now this being one of first downhill experiences and first mountain roads, it sent my mind and heart racing.
The road was fairly mellow with lots of nice mellow turns, and speeds of around 50-60 km/h. Riding premier blue wheels weren’t exactly ideal but either way managed to make it to the bottom. After arriving down to a bridge over looking a water rapid. It was a pretty awesome feeling, being able to pull something like this all on my own.
On the walk back, I was offered a ride by a passing group of locals A ride much appreciated after probably the longest walk ever. The folk in Hawaii were some of the nicest Ive met and it wasn’t unusual to be offered lifts to the top of hills and I even had my meals shouted by a stranger at Christmas at one point.
Wapiti road is one of the first hills I hit on Maui with the other riders.A well paved 1 and a half wide car road often covered often covered by dense fog, and rolling grassy hills.The road stretched for over 19 km’s till the top. Me and the crew were treated with a beautiful wide sweeping views overlooking the island.
The road featured lots of technical corners, hairpins and turns. My first try on the road resulted me pushing limits of my abilities as I was thrown against corner after corner, and some tight sections. Split second decisions determined whether you’d wipe out . After surviving the first run, I reached the bottom of the road to be met with a thick fog.
The atmosphere and visuals were spectacular. Which can be pretty much applied everywhere.I was just loving life and loving every moment.It was a pretty surreal feeling having just completed one of the worlds most well known roads, when it was just a dream a few months ago. If you come down to Maui you absolutely have to do this road. It stands as one of my all time favourites, and I’m sure will be one of my fondest memories for years to come.
Around the second trip to “Polli” we met a skating crew from Washington DC, who upload under the name “RecRoom Productions”. And recorded their trip as part of the “Migrate to skate series”
Skating Halekea Crater
Halekea creator. A massive dead volcanic crater that towered over the clouds.This was the next road on the list. As we traveled through the mountain forests and jungle we were met with colder and temperatures as we ascended.The mountain road was surreal and the sights blew me away.
Seeing it on youtube was one thing but in person is of course a whole different experience. The road, in pristine condition and ran for about 34 kilometres from bottom to top. With a obersvatory at the top. We found ourselves skating above the clouds surrounded my martian like volcanic rock. Looking like something out of mars. The road was wide, and definitely a good choice wild ride for those looking for some high speed action. With plenty of long winding, steep, tight corners, and straight sections. I was exposed to a wide amount of different conditions.
It was a surreal feeling skating through a winding forest then opening up to a road winning down the creators side above the clouds. Now being someone who wasn’t exactly to ready or confident yet to full send it down the mountain road, I decided to skate it despite finding my mind starting to fill with doubts.
Despite being limited in by ability I skated down the volcano at a constant 40-50km/h. Almost reaching the bottom until I hit some speed wobbles due to my aching legs from the skating of over 15 minutes. It was a surreal feeling and unique experience being able to look back and realising I just skated down the volcano. Something many people wish they had the opportunity to do.
Road to Hana highway
After skating Polli and the volcano, I was coming toward’s the end of my trip. Meeting up with the Maui crew and Jack Bain once again we drove through the infamous Hana highway. The drive was entertaining the whole way to say the least, with beautiful vistas ranging from black sand beaches, cliffside roads, waterfalls and jungles right next to the car door window.The narrow the roads were sometimes too narrow causing drivers having to work together to squeeze past.
Through out the two days we camped out, went out cliff diving. Stopped by a little hut selling coffee and fruit in the dense green jungle. I even tried pink guava bread(yes it exists) Before hitting up a massive coastal road. Known as the Pilani Highway. Transitioning from jungle to a massive opening. A cruisey road surrounded by massive mountain backgrounds rolling into the ocean, canyons,gorges and green clifftops.
After my trip came to a close I spent the last couple of days returning the favour as a follow car down halekea one more time This time a fog enveloped the road. Opting as the follow car I followed down Malachi and Dakota skate the volcano and continuing after. Descending Thorough the mountain towns, and forests until over 20 minutes later they came to a stop. Epilogue
There is simply too much to put into words, but Maui is an island that should be on the list for any skater. However there are many other islands in Hawaii to explore and I look forward to returning some time. Full of endless pristine roads that run for kilometres through a wide variety of environments. Not to mention Maui has some amazing scuba diving spots, coffee, locals, and a infusion of Japanese and American food. There is something for every type of skater down in Maui.