Mike Waltze, better known as the King of Ho'okipa, or the owner of your parking spot. They say it's not the size of dog in the fight but the size of fight in the dog. Pound for pound, the most bad-ass wavesailor in the least friendly slice of planet, there was no disputing his throne nor his territorial rights. He was the first one to plant a stake in the reef, right there at H Poko Point. A one-man, Mighty Mouse, pit bull, black shorts wrecking crew, not much stood in his way. If it did, it got knocked down. If otherwise, he got back up again and delivered a mightier blow. We're talking about windsurfing here, just in case you're wondering.
Mike was reluctant to invite a few friends over to his secret spot, but one came and then they told others and well, those damn photographers. So he organized a little contest, just so he could win it. He won a bunch after that, too, but it wasn't the point. It was more point the nose at the fatty and go to town. We're talking waves, okay.
Waltze was lucky from the beginning, his parents being friends with the Schweitzers. He was right there in the thick of genesis, and though Matt would be higher on the booms and dominate the triangle races, still managed to break through his shadow at the Windsurfer Worlds in Japan.
But when Mike came to Maui, it wasn't on a golden chariot. He lived West side, in a tree house, trying to carve out a living teaching windsurfing. Nobody really knew what to make of that sport yet. One thing Fred led to another Jimmy and with BK, together they started Sailboards Maui. The rest is history.
Mike was quick and compact with surfer moves engineered from his rough childhood growing up in Newport Beach, CA. Photo Weston
The railride was invented by Naish, but the waterstart by Mike just messing around. In Germany, they call it the Waltzerstart . Photo Aeder
Early days. Photo Gordinho
Mike meeting Jimmy Lewis for the first time, before Sailboards Maui, before short boards, before long shorts. Back when masks were just for shapers, grinders and glassers. Jimmy was all the above.
Boards got shorter, and Mike was parcel of evolution. Photo Weston
Your first windsurfing experience? "Diane made a kids rig for me and Matt when we were 9. Hoyle showed us how to steer the board with the sail."
Mike, washing machines,
Impact Zone movie.
Posing in 1982 for cover of Maui Glory Days. Photo Weston
Mighty Mike. Photo Aeder
Either you were in Mike's circle, or you were in his parking spot. With Pete Cabrinha. Photo Gordinho
Commencing countdown, engines on. Photo Gordinho
Always good to have friends in the lineup. Photo Aeder.
And I'm floating in a most peculiar way. Photo Gordinho
Far above the world. Same jump from water. Photo Weston
From A to B radical. Photo Gordinho
Mike could ride a door, but having Jimmy shape for him got him here. Photo Weston.