FLYING HIGH

Rider & Words: Kaden Pritchard
Photos: Fish Bowl Diaries
Location: Ho’okipa, Maui
Date: Sunday May 21st, 2023 (and a bit of Monday)

Things don’t let up much for young Kaden Pritchard, who’s having to find the balance between his sponsor commitments, world travel, and just getting in the water to regularly top up his stoke levels. But, as you’ll no doubt conclude after reading this article, his stoke levels are doing just fine…

 

This day started just like any other. The wind was blowing through my window, and I could hear the trees shaking. Then, abruptly, my mom wakes me up. She was all hyped saying, “Kaden! The west side is firing right now – Oluwalu is going off!” I was so stoked. I couldn't waste any time. I made a peanut butter and jam sandwich, and we hopped in the car to drive an hour to the break.

When we pulled in, I could see the waves were straight-up insane! I mean, there were back-to-back air sections and barrels everywhere. I didn't wanna leave the water, but my mom reminded me that it was my last day before heading to Hood River and I needed to do a photoshoot. In a mad rush, my mom drove me towards Ho'okipa, we called my dad and had him bring all my wing foiling stuff to the beach. I grabbed all my gear… and guess what? We forgot the attachment to pump up my 2024 GA wings! Can you believe it? It was scorching hot at 2pm under the Maui sun. So instead of going all the way back home, we decided to go to Sugar Cove and borrow a pump from one of my dad's buddies.

Back to Ho’okipa and the wing pumped up I was ready for action! I got in the water with Paul, the photographer from Fish Bowl Diaries, and later, we did some sick lifestyle shots with Sophie, his partner. We nailed some incredible pics that showed off the epicness of wing foiling. Then Paul had this genius idea to capture a backflip on a wave. When the perfect wave came, I geared up on my Cross 3.5 wing, went for the backflip, nailed it! But I wiped out when my foil hit the reef. After that wipeout, I headed to the shore and grabbed the brand new Poison 3.5 wing and I had the most epic sesh, catching sick waves and having a blast. And let me tell you, the bonus was we got some killer lighting and the sickest views of Iao Valley.

We had a blast getting more shots, focusing on the jaw-dropping scenery of Ho'okipa Beach, and the sesh was hands down one of the most memorable ever. As the sun started to set, we packed up our stuff, thinking about all the sick photos and unforgettable moments we had throughout the day. The spontaneous decision to chase those waves at Olowalu, the mind-blowing wing foiling sessions, and the breathtaking views of Ho'okipa… it was all a freakin' epic experience!

The next day I woke up feeling toasted! My arms were super sore, but we had to jump on a jet to PDX  because we were about to score some epic wind at the Gorge. When we hit the front desk, we had to lug around seven heavy bags of gear! I'm talking wings, boards, foils, wetsuits, and helmets, all that jazz. We were sprinting through the airport hallways, barely making it to our flight in time. We had  a solid 10 minutes to chill before takeoff.

Once we landed in Portland, it was already 9pm, but we didn't waste any time. We headed straight up to the Gorge. The next morning, I was dead tired, like a worn-out dog. Jet lag was totally catching up to me, and I was still feeling exhausted from the previous day. But let me tell you, getting on that plane and heading to the Hood was the best decision ever. We had a whole week of the sickest wind you can imagine!

 

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