Monday, January 18, 2010

Gear Guide- Wetsuites

For Amy's Birthday I got her a brand new 4/3 wetsuite, today was her first day wearing it. As with most new gear, she had several questions concerning the specs and proper use, especially since it was her first 4/3. Lucky for her, I was there with my expert knowledge ready for guidance.
The conversation went as follows:

Amy: (After sailing) Since the 4/3 is a semi-dry, is it still OK to pee in it?
Me: Yea, I pee in mine.
Amy: Ok, good.

For those of you who need thicker suites than a 4/3 this winter, use the following for guidance: it's ok to pee in up to, but no more than 5mm of neopreme. Peeing in drysuites is obserd and should be punished, but no more severly than not peeing in a peeable thickness of neopreme when need be, especially if one should ever break from sailing to remove their wetsuite to pee and then put it back on to resume sailing afterwards.
I hope that sets some minds at ease, and keeps some bodies warm in these coldest months of sailing.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

2009 recapped, 2010 anticipations

For 2009 I sailed 134 days from January 1'st through December 31'st which is almost double anything I've recorded; even my best years, and not to mention that I got to travel all over to do it. I learned 8 new tricks and had one injury which required 7 stitches.
The year started at West Meadow, New York in epic 4.2 storm conditions, head high surf, and wind chills into the low 20's. Ice developed in most of the water ways and the wind chills dipped into the teens so I made the decision to take the rest of the month off after only 2 sailing days.
Three weeks later I was in Bonaire, sailing the warm winds in the flat shallow water of Lac Bay, a total contrast to the conditions at home. The trip was incredible, I landed my first Shaka, Funnel, and even came home with the nick name "Chachi." Not to mention I got to witnessTonky, Taty, Kiri, and a whole entourage of locals in person doing things I'd only seen in videos.
I got home and two weeks later Amy landed a 6 month contract studying fish in the Gorge, so we stuffed as much gear, clothes, and other belongings into the car and drove cross country, from Lond Island, New York to Hood River, Oregon where we spend the next 6 months.
In June I visited east for the ECWF and placed third below the worlds top light wind freestyler, a Bonaire local name Caesar Finnes, and Long Islands local hero/East Coast top freestyle sailer, Mike Burns.
I returned to the Gorge to sail just over 100 days from March to September, at least 90 of which were on my 4.1 or smaller. I learned another 5 or so tricks, and had a really worked on aerials and power sailing moves. I was fortunate to meet the mainlands top pro's, amongst some of windsurfings legends and super stars like Robby Naish, Dave Kalama, Levi Siver, and Kai Lenny.
In September Amy found a new contract down in California's Delta region, so we packed up our gear and headed down to the small town of Lodi, about 20 miles east of Rio Vista.
After another trip home in early October, and a sweet 4.7 session at West Meadow, I returned to the Delta and immediately began a caravan down to Baja as part of Windsport Magazines gear test team.
San Carlos was my first down the line wave sailing experience, which was long over due. On this trip I was injured from a fin and recieved 7 stitches in my wrist after I bailed on a back loop. I missed most of November while I waited for my wrist to heal and missed the Corpus Cristi board test as a result.
I ended up scoring another 3 or 4 sessions on the Delta with my new North Sails before the year ended.

I have not windsurfed yet this year, but then again I only sailed two days last January back on Long Island before the ice set in so I don't feel too far behind. This is one of the longest periods of time that I've had to endure without windsurfing, nearly three weeks, but I've noticed that the symptoms of withdrawl have moderated quite substancailly.
However, the wind season is upon us, and my goals are ambitious for this year: The Culo, Bob, Air Bob, Burner, and Toad are top priorities, in addition to wave moves like the goiter and taka.
Happy 2010, I hope 2009 was a great year but let's make this one the best so far!