Monday, April 23, 2012

Hatteras Trip Part 1

It's 1:30 in the morning and I'm standing waste deep in the middle of the Palmico Sound, fully clothed, getting ready to pull myself back onto the SUP board I just fell off of.
Everyone else was wearing wetsuites except for me, I argued that it was unnceccasry. Of course, this argument was made before Ken made it clear that I would be towing behind the Catamaran on a surf board and not actually sitting on the boat. That information may have influence my decision to stay clothed, but non the less the water was very warm and so was the air, so it didn't seem like such a bad idea to leave my jeans on.
Managing to keep my shirt dry as I climb back onto the board I become aware that the other Cat is heading straight for me. Yelling at them to stop is useless. The pontoon hits the board and directs upward into my ribs, pushing me back into the water with some force. I am now completely wet from head to toe.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Spring Time in Hatteras Just got Better!!!

The last week or so around here has been a bust! I can't remember the last time we've had a lull like this but we're in a big one and nothing looks good until the weekend.
Luckily, I just received and AWESOME email from the guys at Makani  to get my mind on Hatteras! Check out http://blog.makanifins.com/ for details... They got Pro Sailors giving free clinics, Racing, Freestyle Jams, Give Aways, and more!!! I can't wait!!! Thank you Makani and all the other event sponsors for bringing so much windsurfing excitement to the east coast! See you there!!!



As if April in Hatteras wasn't good enough!!!!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Recap

What a month! Last year at this time us Long Island sailors were struggling to find bodies of water that weren't frozen over and testing our tolerances for cold water sailing. This January was so warm I logged a day sailed with out gloves! And with 9 solid sessions this month I'm very much looking forward to February!
Here are some highlights:

Makani Testing- Because of Long Islands reputation for some most notoriously weedy windsurfing conditions in North America, Mike Burns and I were asked to assist in the development of Makani Fin's next generation of Freestyle Weed fin. We received two rockin' prototypes and got to work spinning, flipping, and shedding weeds over the span of several windy days right here on Long Island. That' Right! Available this spring, the new Makani fins received their final stamp of approval right here!
The most exciting day of testing was the final day which went down at West Meadow, where the shallow water challenged our ability to navigate the narrow puddles that formed between the sand bars. The water was glass flat, but we were barely clearing the fins at times, to the point where a if the board sunk even a half inch, we'd be run aground.
After a few runs tighter than flying an X-wing through the Death Star trenches we had our lines dialed, and the fins were put to the test. To be honest, I didn't even realize I had a weed fin on. The new fins are so close to a standard high performance freestyle fin in every way that I will never hesitate to put on a weed fin again. Combined with the new, more durable construction, Makani's new weed fin is everything we could have hoped for and more. Hell, Mike even hit his first double spock while testing. How about that!

Tanner Perfection- I don't know why I don't spend more time at Tanner. Maybe it's because I only sail there in the winter on fluky southerlies when Joe's Beach is closed. The chop bounces off the bulk heads and makes for mogul sailing on either side of the launch, and when you're struggling to stay on a plane to begin with it's very hard to justify sailing there. To avoid this you need to cross over the the island upwind of the launch, which takes a lot of work when the wind isn't consistent and the island itself has some elevation so the wind can be very gusty by the time you're in the flat water to it's lee.
Saturday was a different story. I was well powered and took off for the islands east of the launch in the middle of the bay, where I had never sailed before. There had to be a mile of flat, waist deep water and micro chop over there, and the wind was steady! My sail never felt a gust of a lull, just steady power on long reaches back and forth as I watched the sunset behind the Jones Beach Amphitheater.
As it turns out, Tanner is about a half hour closer to my new job than Joe's, which means I will be spending quite a bit more time exploring the potential freestyle spots tucked away between the islands.

Helmet Cam Madness!- I finally used the Contour helmet cam that's been sitting next to my bed for close to a year (turns out I crash and curse a lot)!!! The quality of the images is incredible. I got so excited that I picked up a Go Pro as well. All I need now is to invest in some editing software and a clew-view!

What a great month! The forecast seems to be keeping this same pattern of warmth and wind, which means if thing's stay this way, we'll be sailing in board shorts by April!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Mysto Thursday

Sailing head high down the line waves with a Freestyle board is like taking home a smoking hot girl and realzing that you don't have any protection. Damn right, you do it anyway and worry about the consequences later.


This is me mid consequence.Too bad you can't pick up a wave board at the local convience store...

The reason I'm on a freestyle board is because of the forecast, there was nothing suggesting a wave session, but when I woke up Thursday at Amy's house the meters reading east and in the mid 30's. My "Mysto" alarm immidiately and I bolted out the door to C.I.B.
The sustained winds were around 40 mph and waves were pushing over head, which isn't bad considering this in not an ocean break, but a wind swell that takes form from a perfectly place point.
Sailing rediculously over powered I managed a few top turns and aerials on the smaller sections, but it took alot of energy to hold on and after a few runs my fore arms were burning.
The peaks up in the corner had some size, and after a few conservative turns I decided to try to tuck in for some real lick smackers, which of course is where the freestyle board met its limit. Wrapping around the nose dug into the wave and I got ejected. Actually, several times this happened as I was not willing to accept the rejection, but in the end the wind and waves were winning.
Feeling fatigued, and in need of some documented proof, I ran to the car grabbed my helmet cam to film the last couple of runs. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

2012 Fanatic Skate: Better than Sex!

And if you disagree then clearly you haven't ridden one. A technical review for this board is not necessary, it's the best freestyle board on the market.
Oh yea, the new Norths are pretty rad too.
Carry on.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

That Escalated Quickly!

My phrase of the week: "that escalated quickly." Every time I set foot on the water I had to come back in for a sail two sizes smaller than what I started with, which is a good problem to have. The 4.2 was used 4 out of the 5 days I sailed last week and that includes two wave sessions! Things have been very interesting on Long Island lately, but the session at Gilgo last Wednesday was  by far the stand out.
Usually Wednesday is a work day, but a switch with a co-worker landed me one dark and soggy, but windy day off. Right off the bat, the Long Island sound was exceeding predictions, with Bayville, thanks to it's unique geographical features that funnel the easterly winds through the sound, reporting upper twenties early in the morning and predicted to build. Waiting for closer sites to pick up, I quickly caved and began my pilgrimage to CIB, a launch in Bayville famous for it's "Mysto Wave" that some times forms during strong easterlies much like the one we were experiencing.
After an hour drive I arrived, no Mysto, just some waist high peaks that looked fun for jumping. While deciding on what to rig, I double checked the meters to see that the ocean had picked up. There were still no waves, though a swell was due to arrive that afternoon. I reasoned that since the tide in the sound was incoming, the chances of the mysto wave forming were next to zero, so I packed it up drove another 45 minutes from Bayville to Gilgo.
At Gilgo, waves were knee to waist high and breaking no more than 30 yards from the shore with slightly side off winds blowing about 5.0. The game plan was to rig, play around in the tiny surf for a bit, and if the waves didn't pick up, I would head into the back bay behind the parking lot for some glassy flat freestyle.
So I rigged and sailed for about twenty mintues before I started to get over powered on my 5.0. No sooner did I unravel the 4.7 than winds began to howl. The street sign next to my van began twisting and shaking violently while tightly packed white caps with spray wisking off their tops formed instantly on the protected, shallow bay behind me. For ten minutes this gale went, easily breaking the 40 knot barrier before leveling off, and with a 4.2 rigged I began walking towards to dunes to cross back to the ocean, which I could now hear from the edge of the parking lot, and as I came over the top of the dune it was no longer knee to waist, but  over head.
It's hard to remember the last time I witnessed a change so dramatic in such a short period of time. No more than fifteen minutes could have been spent at the van, yet the ocean some how completely transformed. I can't imagine the power it must take to accomplish such a feat, to stir up the seas in the blink of an eye, but with a sail and a board, I was able to harness it to my advantage and enjoyed a wet and soggy Wednesday, Windsurfing.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Who Killed the Wind?!

Here on Long Island, August is not a very windy time of year. If windsurfing was a traditional sport, I'd say that our August off season is followed up directly with the Playoffs of the Fall windy season. It's a feast after famine transition how we go from weeks of 9.0 wouldn't go to "where'd I leave my 3.7, is that going to be too big?" From an athlete's perspective, it's like showing up to the rink after weeks of golfing and being told that you'll be playing for the Stanley Cup tomorrow night.
This August was started out quite typical and actually ended a with a bit more windy days than usual. Then September hit and BAM! It was windy almost everyday for the first two weeks and things were great! So what happened? It's been over ten days since I've rigged a sail. I even made binding plans last saturday, my day off, in advance, and even that didn't stir up a tempting gust.
So here we are, starving through the middle of September. Hopefully the feast of frontal sailing is on it's way, because I need a fix and soon.