Friday, December 28, 2007

Pro Windsurfing at Sebonac

I've taken some downtime this week to edit some video of the Pros doing their thing at Sebonac back in October. Jace Panebianco, Fabrice Beaux, and Jon Ford put on a great show at Sebonac Inlet in Southampton, NY, grabbing big air, shredding water and throwing loops on October 12, 2007. Check it out in my .Mac Gallery, or follow the link here:

Update: YouTube version available too.

Also, you can find still shots in this Flickr set: Pro Session at Sebonac.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

ABK Windsurfing Clinic at Napeague - Sept 2007

The ABK clinic this past weekend was a success, despite the mostly light winds. We all pulled off one new move (the sloppy but useful Gecko Loop), and got tons of instruction on many other freestyle moves. I'm on a hunt for a small fin to shave down, so I can start skipping into Vulcans and Flakas. I greatly enjoyed meeting and learning alongside such a cool and enthusiastic group.

I'm starting to upload pictures to Flickr: ABK freestyle clinic at Napeague - Sept 2007

Andy shouting freestyle instruction

On a side tangent, some fellow campers saw me trying out the orange waterproof Olympus 790SW. The camera is very sturdy and easy to use. Some of the pictures came out great (see the Flickr set), and some came out unfocused. But I was mostly disappointed with the video mode as it had terrible sound, and a 10-second limitation for the high quality mode (640x480 30fps). Read my more detailed rant if you are considering this camera.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sebonac Bump-n-Jump Video (high quality)

Don't bother watching the Sebonac video on YouTube... it looks much better on the .Mac Web Gallery:

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sebonac Bump-n-Jump Windsurfing video

Sebonac Bump n Jump, Saturday, September 15th, 2007 (direct youtube link)

For some reason, the video stops playing 40 seconds before the end, right where the credits roll over some great still photos. You can joggle the slider a bit to see most of the end, but here are the credits. Apologies to those who I didn't list (need more names!):

Sebonac Bump n Jump - Winds NNW 15 to 30 mph, Sails: 4.7 - 5.2, Sailors: Scott, John "The Wolf" V, Jeff, Bruce, John H, Joe, John, Bill B, Jan, Video: Chiaying.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Windsurfing Labor Day 2007 (with video)

Red Cedar Point Flatwater - Labor Day '07 Session (direct youtube link)

Labor Day 2007 - SW wind in the upper teens at the Red Cedar Point sandbar on Peconic Bay. Jeff, Guillermo & Carlos work on jibes, planing jibes, duck jibes, and backwind jibes, while Flying Felipe gets mega air with his kite. The video stops 15 seconds before the end just as the credits come up (this seems to be a iMovie '08 / Youtube bug), but they simply list the Windsurfers & Kiter, and Videographer (Chiaying).

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Ponquogue Video Stills

After a jam-packed week of visiting cousins, aunts, nephew and various dogs, birthday parties, windsurfing lessons at Tiana Bay for the kids, forecasting Hurricane Dean (my day job), scoring a killer evening sesh at RCP and Jamesport (pulled off 6 planing jibes thanks to an anonymous tip), and a short and sweet 4.7 early, early fall session at Sebonac today, I finally have a chance to upload some stills from video shot by my girlfriend Chiaying. She taped some wild and crazy wave sailing with a cool new widescreen camcorder. I hope to plunge in with iMovie tomorrow and eventually upload something to youtube. If I can keep it under 20mb, I might be able to e-mail out a better quality copy.

For now, however, I have video stills in this Flickr photoset: Ponquogue August 10th, 2007

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Friendly Flatwater at Red Cedar Point

I had a great time at Red Cedar Point July 5th, working on steps 9-11 of Dasher's jibe in waist-high flatwater. SW winds reaching upper teens and low 20s drew out two other windsurfers, Glenn and Daniel, who sailed 7.0 and 6.6. I was solidly powered on my 6.2, and often overpowered in meaty, sustained gusts, which were perfect for carving full-force jibes. I blew all duck jibe attempts - the sail kept blowing away from me! I also goofed around with bodydrags, but mostly concentrated on jibes:

Later I sailed across Flanders Bay (good chop for jumps, which would have been sweet with the Naish) to the beach bar just west of the Jamesport Landing. There I saw 70-something Ironman Lou Anderson, who was riding his old-school gear. His sail had at least 2 dozen strips of stickers and tape, but when we sailed back across Flanders Bay, he impressively ripped right along. After 3 hours I came in for lunch, and then entertained guests through evening. It blew pretty hard all day. Around 6pm I went down to the bay with my friend Jon, and we found Guillermo coming back from a sesh. He had to run to the train station to get his girlfriend ("Dude, call a taxi!"), but said it was still great and that I should be out there. Unfortunately, social activities called and I never got back out (probably too tired for it too!).

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Windsurfing Shinnecock Bay on a Southerly

The end of Shinnecock Road on the west side of Shinnecock Bay in Hampton Bays offers convenient access for catching South wind. Similar to East and West Landing Roads on Peconic Bay, the water is just 20 yards across a short beach from the parking area. I had sailed here previously when Ponquogue was too onshore for my taste, and when south winds blew again on July 4th, I headed over for another session. The summer brings boat traffic and a couple weeds, but I managed these obstacles and had a good time for about an hour on the 7.2. My friend Chiaying, out visiting for the holiday, shot some video as I worked on jibes, tacks and bodydrags.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sebonac in June

A low pressure (basically a weak nor'easter) spun over the Canadian Maritimes and gave us our bonus high wind session for the month of June. Last year's June Surprise blew WNW, but today we got NNW, which gave us more roaming space to the west toward Shinnecock Canal. Winds started fluky 12-20 (ie, too much schlogging), then later pushed well into the 20's. I rode my 89L Naish and 5.2 Ezzy, while other East End sailors rigged 4.7 to 5.8. I had some monster jumps, including a new personal highest. For the first time I noticed the sudden silence of hang time. Very sweet.

Sailors in attendance included John V, Jon Ford, Jimi Sobek, Michael, Bill B., Diane, Curtis & Robert, while Scott, temporarily off the water from injury, watched the action from shore. More pictures from the day: June Bonus: Sebonac

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Learning to Jibe with Dasher

While perusing youtube's latest windsurfing offerings, I came across a 1.5 minute summary of Dasher's 12 Step Jibe. Dasher breaks down that frustrating move to simple, mechanical steps that can be worked on one at a time. I credit Dasher's DVD for helping me hit my first planing jibe last September. Over a week in Hatteras that Spring I watched it a handful of times, and over the Summer, the 12 steps slowly took root. Unfortunately, I think my brain and physical memory can juggle only 9 or 10 of those steps at once (even fewer on a smaller board in chop). As a result, my jibes still need work. In my last session with the heavy 7.2, the sail (and myself) kept falling in the water on the inside of the turn during the sail flip. The video revealed the missing link:

Step 9: "The hips roll to the inside as the mast crosses the centerline to the outside". The alarm went off in my head, and I now have something to work on next time in the water (thanks Dasher!). The sooner I can nail down 80% jibing, the sooner I can concentrate on wave sailing in the Fall, and keeping warm in the Winter. Jibe Ho!

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Windy Summer Nights

I'm just about to turn in for the night, and the wind comes up. Chimes are swinging, branches are swaying, and flagpole lanyards flapping. When the house starts whistling, I have to step outside to take a reading. It's hitting 15 mph from the SW, which after the recent windless weekends, is enough to draw me out into the 65° hazy yellow moonlit night. I really can't complain about the lack of wind, though. I caught the last 45 minutes before sunset today up at the Point. I could hear the hoots coming from Carlos, Guillermo and a third kiter as they ripped around, so I rigged the 7.2 and headed west towards the setting sun. It was 50/50 planing (as Michael also reported from Mecox), but the gusts were fun for a couple near-planing jibes. I completed my first duck jibe (on first attempt, unoit). But better than that, the Peconic waters have become wetsuit-optional. After the bite of cold water sailing earlier this year, the bay today was practically caressing when falling in. OK, I'm waxing poetic - it must be Summer.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Learning Windsurfing and Loving It

Windsurfing the East End has been great this Spring, with plenty of high wind days at Sebonac, Jamesport, the Bowl and Mecox (April Nor'easter Flickr Photoset), and Cupsogue (Wave Sailing at Cupsogue Flickr Photoset). I've given my 89L Naish 8'7" and 5.2 Ezzy a real workout, and have gained valuable shortboard experience on chop and waves. I have been making 30-50% of my jibes, and having fun with jumps. The Naish is sooo light and maneuverable; I love digging the inside rail into a steep ramp and popping the board up. I had one jump at Jamesport where I got the board completely above me. Unfortunately, I can only do this reliably on a starboard tack (probably because I'm right-handed) - I hesitate on port, and don't always feel confident and in control.

But the calendar is about to tip into June, and high wind days will be more rare (except for the occasional Tropical Storm; last year, Beryl and Ernesto brought strong easterlies to Long Island). My attention will turn more to flat water fun behind Red Cedar Point. The plan is to work on planing duck jibes and other freestyle moves. Best of all, I have two windsurfing neighbors renting a house next door! Carlos and Guillermo would sometimes make the long trip to the Point in previous summers, but now I know where to hunt them down when the SW wind gets crankin!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Chinook Boom: Busted!

It's a good thing that I hit the water Sunday March 18th, because it looks like my boom-breaking session at Sebonac will be my one and only windblog entry for the month. While I was able to extend my Consecutive Monthly Windsurfing Streak to 13, one good day in 31 is clearly not enough. Sure, I've got my copies of Windsurfing Magazine and Windsport for bathroom reading, and several windsurfing blogs on the computer to get me by. And monitoring forecasts and weather systems, and swinging by the local shop to pick up a new boom and chatting with whoever walks in on a windless day can be fun too. But when I read about all the Peconic Puffins having fun on the water today from my office computer (with flags flapping outside!), and viewed an uneven wind forecast for this coming weekend, well... that can drive a weekend windsurfer crazy.

Windsurfing at Sebonac the other Sunday was a lot of fun. NW winds blowing 20-25 meant rigging my 89L Naish 8'7" and 5.2 Ezzy. I've only sailed in these conditions 5 or 6 times before, and only once at Sebonac. In that Christmas Eve session, I struggled with harness line positions on my boom, and ended up in the water more than on the board. This time I managed greater than 50% board time, and felt dialed in on my fast and slashy Naish - at least on a port tack. Returning to shore on a starboard tack was a different story. Harness lines were wrong, and arms got somewhat tired, esp. as they wrestled the 5.2 against 30 mph gusts. And you know what comes next: catapult! I did the head-over-heels body slam twice on the second run, but the third run provided the final blow as I flipped hard, and broke my 4 year-old aluminum Chinook boom on each side. Luckily, nothing else broke (rig and bone included), and I was able to wade in from neck high water. The Puffin reported on the spectacle as viewed from shore, including my swim across the channel. It wasn't so bad of a haul, as the sail was still manageable despite the boom, but I still had to turn on the afterburners halfway across - that tidal current was pretty swift!

The Peconic Puffin pointed out the many reasons to love Sebonac. One is the vantage for taking windsurfing action shots (as seen in this Flickr set: Sebonac - March 18, '07). The other part I'm lovin so far is the challenge to quickly improve shortboarding skills, so that I can join in the fun ASAP. Jon suggested positioning lines closer to the mast (lines back to far could explain the tendency for catapulting), and to waterstart in the straps. I've also got to work on bending the knees when jibing through chop. Now hopefully I won't have to wait too long for the wind to cooperate!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Icesurfing in Southampton

This weekend I was lucky to try ice sailing, aka ice windsurfing, aka.. icesurfing for the first time. Jon Ford e-mailed Michael and I to meet up on Saturday at Cold Spring Pond in Southampton, NY, promising some of the best ice he'd ever seen. I wasn't sure what to expect, picturing large sit-down ice boats like you'd find at the Lake Ronkonkoma Ice Boat and Yacht Club or the South Bay Scooter Club (some of those boats look beautiful). While I'm sure that would have been fun, I was stoked to see that we'd basically be windsurfing on ice.

The first difference between icesurfing and windsurfing is that ice is stable. Gliding along slick ice requires much less balance and concentration when compared to the rocking and rolling swells of the ocean or Napeague Bay on NE winds. Most of my attention was able to go to the rig -- a light and easy 5.2. With only a 10 mph breeze, we were able to coast through tacks and scream though jibes.

Too much speed on hard ice was, of course, a concern. Generally, I could sense when a fall was coming, and simply placed a foot on the ice and lowered my center of gravity to regain balance, and sometimes even hopped back on. I had a couple slips and none-too-pretty crashes, but no bruises or anything afterwards (helmut always on, regardless). The trick for controlling speed and slowing down, I learned, was to backwind the sail. Following Michael's lead, I was soon backwinding through tacks, and doing helitacks. With the stable ice and small sail, it was inviting to freestyle and experiment.

Unfortunately I managed to break the bolt on the rear truck of Jon's Icesurfing board on my very first run, which put his board out for repairs for at least an hour (sorry Jon!!). I probably should have started with the Go board of the fleet, John's Icesurfer. This broad and stable beauty had no moving parts for me to break, and provided a good platform to build up confidence... and speed. I probably hit at least 30 mph on a couple downwinders.

My favorite of the three was John's custom iceboard, pictured right with C.D. on it (notice his big icesurfing grin). It's basically a skateboard on steel blades, and as long as the blades were sharp, you could carve some pretty good turns. I'm going to try and make one of these for myself even though the next chance for good ice may not be till next winter (unless we get real cold again for a stretch in March). I may have to get a skateboard from Flying Point Surf and Sport (who were cool to offer a spare truck for Jon's board), to hold me over till then.

Sunday was also a beautiful day, and when the breeze picked up in the early afternoon, instead of updating the blog I threw my sailing gear and old ice skates in the van and headed back to Cold Spring Pond. I thought I'd try to some wind skating at the very least. My brother Keith joined me, and in no time the breezes also brought John, Scott and C.D. for another round. Keith and I practiced with John's training kite, which on gusts would pull me along on my skates. I snapped some more action photos and video over the two days, which you'll find on this Flickr Icesurfing Set and YouTube channel. You'll find big icesurfing grins in many of those shots. Many thanks to Jon and John for making those grins possible!

* Icesurfing in Maine
* Icesurfing lunchbreak on Winnecunnet Pond in MA - helmutcam
* Icesurfing Superbowl Sunday on Snipatuit Pond in MA - helmutcam
* Lake Ronkonkoma Icesurfer - mastcam (listen to why it's called the 'shopping cart')

* Flickr Snow and Ice Sailing Group
* An Icesurfer at Lake Ronkonkoma
* Another at Lake Ronkonkoma
* Klicker's modern Icesurfer

Snow and Ice Sailing Resources:
* World Ice and Snow Sailing Association :: Winter Sailing is Cool!
* Windsurfing Magazine Snow/Ice Sailing Links
* Ice Awls

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