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

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