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
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