Monday, June 28, 2010

Windsurfing Movie II

The mainland US premier of the Windsurfing Movie II is tomorrow night and within a 6 hour drive of my current location. I'm not going.
I want to see this thing with every fiber of my being. I watched many days as they filmed in the Gorge last season and have long anticipated it's release.
It's not the the distance is too far, nor that any obligations exist which would restrain me.
No, the reason is that tomorrow and wensday are going to blow here, and not so much there.
Sorry guys, I'll catch it on DVD some other time, but right now I need to go windsurfing.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Here's a video of some freestyle happening at Sherman. Not bad for only 30minutes of shooting.

Untitled from jon sassone on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Camanche Yesterday; Plus East Coast Windfest Update

We made it up to the Camanche Reservoir yesterday to take advantage of the unseasonable northerly winds. The last time Amy and I were there was during a rain storm in April, with almost no visibility and muddy waters, so the blue skies, clear water, and snow capped Sierras looming over head was a real contrast. Even better, we launched from the South Shore of lake this time and found not only flat water, but the mellow chop perfect for freestyle which I've only experience once before, at Lac Bay. 

Windsurfing is a very special sport, in that it inspires you to go out and find places that you would normally over look. I can't think of a reason to have ever gone there besides to windsurf, and upon arrival, I was content in just being there, in admiration of the landscape. Being able to sail was just a bonus.  

In other news the East Coast Windsurfing Festival is under was and they've broken the 20mph barrier on the first day! It was much to my regret that I couldn't be there this year, but the fact that they're having a blast is enough to get me stoked. Word on the street is there is a massive judging dilemma on how to call the moves in the Pro Division. Which is should win; a Shaka, a switch Chacho, or a Donkey Jibe? Inside sources say the old school grabbed some unanticipated support, but we will have to wait until tomorrow to find out the verdict. Good luck to all who are participating!
Right: Chris Eldridge throws a switch chacho between heats at the 2010 ECWF.
Photo by Bill Doutney.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Streak

It's seems like the season is finally under way here in the Delta. Memorial day and everyday since I've gone out on 5.4 of smaller, bringing me up to 9 days in a row so far. My personal record is 13 days in a row, which was set last June in the Gorge. So will Rio Vista claim the record, or will my Gorge summer forever be my windiest? 
It's hard to tell, and so far it looks like Friday, the all important and pivotal 12th day, is not looking good, but anything can happen. As it is, yesterday, day number 8, and today should not have happened due to Sundays mishap. (It's amazing what a fist full of pain killers can do.) 

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Jump, Jibe, and Bail: I might have Michael Alex beat!

Sherman absolutely fired this afternoon! After a brief stop at the shop Amy, Lisa, and myself shot over to Powerlines around 3:30 to find a handful of sailors getting off the water to rig down. Alex was still out on his 5.0 but looking very powered, so  I rigged a 4.2 and decided to try out my new 75ltr F2 Rebel, with the Rodeo in my back pocket if it wasn't enough(it was plenty). Amy and Lisa rigged three somethings and we hit the water.
I've never been so on fire before, I was hitting full on planning Ponches one right after the other, Looping and so on. The girls we excited to see some ramps and got to working on their jumps. Both Amy and Lisa looked very good for two girls in their 2nd and 3rd seasons of windsurfing and they held on tight as the wind steadily built into the 30's. (Most of the guys had already called it quits) I really give them both credit for charging it today, and this is only the beginning of the season!
I ended up on the D.L. after a Ponch gone wrong. A bit over powered I botched my take off and swung out of the straps, landing with all my weight on my right thigh on top of the board. Micheal Alex, the bruise is coming on and I might have you beat! Then again I don't bruise too easily so we'll have to wait 'til it shows up tomorrow. At any rate I may be off the water for a few days as I can't bend my leg too much.
Today was day number 7 in a row, and it nuked. Tomorrow and all the days in the extended forecast look good, so if you're thinking about visiting the Delta get on it! The season is on!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tested: Duke, Rodeo, and Local Honey

Well the ABK guys are in town, which means fun times on the water. In fact, I probably would have missed the best part of the wind on Thursday if I hadn't stayed out doing light wind stuff with Andy, Brendon, and Derek for a half hour or so. It's amazing how quickly those guys can shift gears from fully planing loops to sailing back winded inside the boom and back again. You really don't need too much wind to have fun windsurfing and ABK reminds me of that every time.
 We had just enough wind to get out Wensday and Thursday with the flood tides keeping everything nice and flat. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday totally tanked only to be redeemed by Monday and Tuesdays all day blows.  I landed a sort of Vulcan-Bob thing, which makes me confident that I might land the actual Bob soon, though the sail throw is still inconsistent.

Anyway, I've sailed my 2010 North Duke 5.4 on my 76, 84, and 98 ltr now and feel safe enough to give it a review. First, as with every North, it's very easy to rig correctly, and required very little tweaking. It planes super quick and can be rigged on a 400 with the right extension. The power delivery is very steady, to the point where I can barely feel the gusts and lulls.  The pocket is deeper than my beloved Ice but it still goes neutral during moves like flakas and spocks and doesn't hinder top end speed. My only gripe is the boom is a bit long for the size of sail, but I think that's the feature that gives the 5.4 the power of a 6.0 so I'll deal.
Over all impression: Worth It! for everyone into bump n jump, freestyle and waves; especially those who like power.

The F2 Rodeo Air 98ltr was used with a 4.7, 5.0, and 5.4m sail. In all cases it planed really quick, in fact for each sail I used I would have needed the next size up on any other board. The board moves so fast I passed a 6.5 slalom sailor 3 separate times while on my 4.7 yesterday, Yikes! The rocker is really flat, which not only makes the board plane quick(get the point?) but also spin very fast. Because the board is so flat carving can feel a bit lethargic. *(who carves on a freestyle board anyway? I don't know, but some people care about that)* The rails are a bit sharp from nose to tail, which can sometimes bite the chop during moves, but they help in getting up with and keeping the board from spinning out with that tiny little fin. The grippy rails also make up for the lack of rocker on moves like Konos and Shakas, which do have a quick snap turn to them. Most of the volume is in the tail, so you'll find it easier to stay in the foot straps and you won't loose speed switching stance, though my only real gripe besides the sharp rails under the nose is a little more nose volume would help during under powered slides.
Overall impression: Totally Worth It for freestylers of all abilities. Bump and jump guys would like the early planing and fantastic pop, but may have issues with carving.

Dakine Contour Straps: (currently on the rodeo) It was my first time using these bad boys and damn are they a pain in the neck to dial in, but once you've got 'em you're set. It'd say worth it if you really care about every performance advantage you can get, otherwise a good set of stock straps work. Personally, I'm Contouring it for now on.

Local Honey: Have Allergies? I never did until living out here in the Central Valley. Five Stars! beat the crap out of the OTC stuff I was taking and saved the last two sessions.