Monday, December 29, 2008

Windsurfing Session Seen From Space?

How wild is this? Zoom into Meschutt Beach in Hampton Bays on Google Maps, and you'll see a windsurfing session in progress. Boards and sails in the parking lot (is that the Puffin Mobile?), two rigs at the shoreline, and breaking waves, whitecaps and swell all captured in Google Maps Satellite mode (it is likely aerial photography).

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Foggy day at Cupsogue, aka Cupfog*

Big time fog at the Cup today, it was crazy, but fun and safe for the most part. Scott, the Wolf, Fisherman, Bill Barber and I found 3-5' glassy clean waves on the inside, and 6'+ waves jacking up on the outer sandbar on the outside. I was on 5.2 and 93L the whole time, but often painfully underpowered -- twice in front of monster crumblers. One took me for a 10-15 second ride in raging whitewater while I held both breath and boom. (This led to one of two walks of shame through the fog). The visibility in the fog was a couple hundred feet most of the day, so you could make out the waves and other sailors no problem, but not seeing the beach most of the time was a bit eerie. There were some heavy construction machines (there for dredging Moriches Inlet) with lights on that helped with finding the launch spot, though the diesel fumes were not appreciated. I did have a few moments of glee, including jumping off the front of small, tightly packed waves and landing their backs, launching off a couple 6-footers, and best of all, riding a couple of those big ones, esp. early on when they were glassy and clean.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find my camera this morning, so no boom cam footage -- frustrating since today was so rare and eerie. On the fortunate side, we've got a windy week ahead!

* Cupfog title credit goes to the Wolf!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Meschutt Session on Christmas Day

Merry Christmas!

A sunny & windy day is just what I wanted for Christmas! Thanks to my girlfriend Chiaying for the photos and to my family for holding off Christmas activities until the afternoon!

Carve Jibe

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gorillapod Boom Mount / trial run

I was able to make the most of the less than stellar conditions this past Sunday thanks to an early Christmas present from a good friend who supports my windsurfing addiction: a Joby Gorillapod. The Gorillapod SLR-ZOOM (heavy-duty tripod) easily wrapped around the narrow 30mm diameter Maui Sails carbon boom, and supported my light-weight waterproof point-n-shoot Olympus Stylus 790 SW camera. Conditions during these runs were mostly underpowered 4.7, but the mount held surprisingly well through gusts, jibes and small jumps. Next will be to test this setup in the waves - stay tuned!

also available: high-quality Quicktime format

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Ponquogue Wave Sailing - Nov. 30th, 2008

Jon Ford's jump

What a day - those few peak moments carving a bottom turn into a cutback, or anticipating a massive port jump off of head-high waves, made all the suffering (ie, fluky up/down winds, constricting drysuit, cold east wind, pelting rain, sweeping current and mid-tide shore break) totally WORTH IT!!

Nice to see a dozen sailors getting in the action, including (I had to stop and rub my eyes): Mike Burns! The flatwater freestyler "King of the East" was hungry for waves. Juiced after a recent Hatteras Cove session, he wanted MORE! Ponquogue was less than ideal, but Mike managed to several top/bottom turns on several wave rides, and one MASSIVE forward loop that he almost over-rotated. We need more stoke like this at our eastern beaches!

Full photoset (8 photos, 1 video): Ponquogue - Nov. 30th, 2008 - a set on Flickr (or see it as a slideshow)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Bowl Wave Sailing video - Nov 2008

High-quality youtube (direct link) [note: you can add &fmt=18 to any youtube link to see high quality]

Low-quality youtube:

Slow-loading, high-quality Quicktime format:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Windsurfing the Bowl with a Camera

Usually, windsurfing at the Bowl in Hampton Bays means clouds, rain and generally subpar video and photo opportunities due to the cold, easterly winds. On September 25th, however, our bowl session actually started with some sun, thanks to getting stuck between a Carolina coastal low / Canadian high pressure combo that delivered NE side-off wind in the 20's. Before racing off to the water myself, I filmed a few minutes of the early action:

also available: youtube version

After donning the wetsuit, the waterproof Olympus 970 got a workout:
The Mighty Bowl Wave

I also attempted some more on-the-water shooting, including this hand-held footage (back hand on camera, front hand on boom) while on starboard tack, heading back to shore (you can see beach and jetty in the background):

Friday, September 26, 2008

With No Wind, You Must SUP

In an attempt to slow the descent into windsanity due to this summer's lack of winds, I bit the bullet and bought a Standup Paddle board (SUP). My first surfboard, a custom Hatteras 8-footer, provided some relief, but still strained neck and shoulder muscles, and was more work than fun for this beginner surfer. Surfing while standing provides all sorts of advantages: you stay out of the water, dry and warm; you can see the sets and best waves coming from afar; the power generated while paddling is much greater than paddling with your arms in the prone position, which makes catching waves much easier; SUP works your core muscles (abs, butt, hips, thighs), making my physical therapist very happy; SUP can be done on flat water, in the waves with a paddle, or best yet, in the waves with a windsurf sail!!

For my goodbye to the Windless Summer of 2008, I'm posting a photoset in Flickr, and a short movie, which capture time on the water in early September in waves generated by Tropical Storm Hanna from far off-shore:

Standup Paddle Boarding at Flying Point Beach

Monday, September 22, 2008

Napeague Freestyle with ABK

Andy Brandt and the ABK Boardsports crew blew into town for their fall visit to the East End (see also the colorful report by The Peconic Puffin). Because of the unreliable wind this summer, and even less trustworthy forecasts, I swung by for extra water time on the beautiful Napeague Harbor. On Thursday afternoon, I ran into fellow ABK freestyle campers George Marr and Pete Roesch, and we snuck in some extra water time as easterlies hit mid to upper teens. I was impressed with Pete's progress with the Vulcan - he was getting good rhythm on the pop and getting the board around. My Vulcan pops are an explosion of body, board and sail that result in spectacular crashes, but I made some progress getting the nose planted thanks to tips from Andy, ie. less board, more sail, slower pops.

Andy Brandt ducking
Larry plunges into a Gecko Flaka

When I first came to an ABK clinic last year, I was mostly self-taught, studying Peter Hart videos and Dasher's 12-point jibe (I'm also a bigbig fan of Guy Cribb's Intuition). But nothing can replace on the water instruction and video analysis that comes with each ABK clinic. Besides the group of freestylers going for aerials and gecko tricks, a number of beginners ranging from young to finely aged, big to small, and male to (thankfully) female made excellent progress as well. ABK is not only an instructional clinic, but also a welcoming, supportive social club of sorts, with members from all walks of life (architects, students, engineers, retirees, cabinetmakers, media types and so on).

ABK Group Photo - Napeague Long Island, Sept 2008

On Sunday we were rewarded with light warm winds and abundant sunshine, which was perfect for light wind freestyle tricks (anklebiters galore) and a workout for my waterproof camera. Check out the results in this Flickr photoset: ABK freestyle clinic at Napeague - Sept 2008

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Wave Sailing TS Hanna at the Bowl - Sept 2008

Finally back on the water after a long, long wind drought, thanks to Tropical Storm Hanna. About 10 of us snagged a long overdue wave sailing session as Hanna finally arrived with only 2 hours of daylight remaining. Check out the photos here:

.Mac Gallery (I refuse to call it "Mobile Me")


Flickr Photoset

TS Hanna wave sailing at the bowl

Added: Peconic Puffin's Hannah recap

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Bowl Wave Sailing video - May 2008

Side-shore wave sailing at Ponquogue Beach and the Bowl at Shinnecock Inlet in Hampton Bays, Long Island, NY. Conditions started with low tide and small, sloppy waves on 5.8 - 6.2 and big boards, and grew 6 hours later to 4.7 on small boards, dodging (or not) the shore break at high tide. Personally I've been attacking the waves more aggressively, and saw several others out there pushing themselves as well (George Pav). Special thanks to my girlfriend Chiaying, who bundled up against 20-30+ mph easterly (read "cold") wind and blowing sand, for shooting the video. For a much more colorful and complete description of the day, check out the post on the Peconic Puffin.

Watch on Youtube or downloadable Quicktime file (better resolution and larger size).

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Windsurfing West Meadow (with video)

It's the Windy Season on Long Island! A departing storm and approaching high pressure formed a tight gradient and powered W to NW winds in the 25-35 mph range, with the requisite gusts and lulls. Long Island Windsurfer group members were talking West Meadow Beach in Stony Brook on the Long Island Sound, and so were the Wolf and much of the East End crew. I'd heard much about this place, and was finally about to get a taste for myself.

A blow-out tide meant lower water levels, with loads of flatwater (for Mike Burns & other freestylers to play in) between sandbars and 2-4' waves on the outside. Big rollers up to 5-6' were found in the Northeast corner for big backside port tack riding and giant starboard air.

On Thursday I was handling huge power on my 4.7, riding all three of my boards (77, 93, 109) at various points. I hit one cresting ramp on port and caught huge air when I found myself hooked in to the harness! To me it seemed like 10+ ft. I felt the twinge of imminent doom with that much power, that high up, but luckily a soft wave face broke my landing, and somehow I planed away. I rode til sunset, and got home at 8:30 (long days are back)! Friday was 6 hours of more of the same, though this time on 4.2! The above Youtube video should give a sense of the scene. Quicktime versions with better resolution and size are also available.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Ponquogue Wave Sailing - March 2008

The Wolf and I scored a side-on wave sailing session at Ponquogue today ahead of this weekend's big coastal storm. The East wind built into the 20's, and by the end of it we were both launching off big ramps and riding shoulder-high waves on the way in. Scott swung by and caught some it on camera, but for now, I've got some on-the-water video I managed to take with the hand held Olympus 790sw:

also available: youtube version

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wind Dogs

This post is one for the "dogs of the wind", or Wind Dogs. The dogs I've grown up with and owned all loved car rides, and especially sticking their heads out the window. For me, thanks to my Grandma Sattler, the breed of choice was always the long-haired miniature dachshund, whose long, floppy ears would always get caught by the wind and spread out like little wings. My current dog Spanky got the nickname "Die Fledermaus" during the hey day of The Tick back in the 1990's. See if you can guess which character he is:

The lucky dogs of windsurfers, though, not only enjoy car rides to and from the beach. They also get steady winds, with all sorts of salts and smells in the air, right at the beach. This situation provides great moments for the roving windsurfing photographer, full of funny arrangements of ears and fur. You can find some of these photos in this Flickr photoset of Wind Dogs, which I will add to as I find and meet more "dogs of the wind".

This post is dedicated to Diane's sweet and gentle Tio, who recently passed away, and will be fondly missed.

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