Monday, June 22, 2009

Making Teaching Easy

I've been lucky enough to have some really positive experiences lately teaching windsurfing to new comers. Steve, Oscar & Neil came out to Belews last Thursday for some promising SW wind. The wind was pretty good when we started out- the guys did a great job learning the sail handling and got their sea legs quickly. Positive attitude and enthusiasm will take you far in this sport.

Oscar already on the Maui

Neil knocking out those tacks

Oscar, Neil & Steve- Daydreaming about 20 knots...

My sister Jennifer was up for the weekend so Saturday and Sunday we sailed. She is really getting it now- even had some passers by inquire about learning to windsurf. Tacks, down wind turns and even pumping the sail. She really got to settle in Sunday and get comfortable on longer reaches. Tony, his brother, father in law and Andy sailed Sunday as well. It wasn't planning conditions but it certainly was nice to see all the sails on the water! Moses taught Jennifer kayaking Saturday and was back on Sunday for a run to Humphries Ridge. If you have thought try to kayak you gotta talk to Moses.

Jennifer about to chop hop the wake

Finally some sunshine.

Moses surfing the boat wakes

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Outer Banks Magic

My old friend Jasper and I got a wild hair so we headed to Avon last Friday. We left before the butt crack of dawn and rolled into Avon just before lunch with the SW already turning on. He's heard me going on and on about windsurfing the past few years but has never tried it. Well he got to jump in with both feet since the wind was 15-20 mph by the time we rigged. We covered the basic uphauling/tacking and set out. The little chop made for a tough go of it but he put his time in. Couldn't quite totally finish the tacks but Jasper was starting to get his sea legs. I rigged the 6.5 on the 106L when the wind continued to build a little more- probably thermals kicking in. I was killing my jibes and almost did a few on the plane! Hopefully by fall I'll have the planning jibes down. Don & Debbie Wrenn from Kvegas came out so we sailed until a t-storm killed the wind towards evening. Don is polishing up some tricks for the next tropical storm. After a shower we dined on pizza with Don, Debbie, Anne and Donny Bowers at the Gingerbread House in Frisco.

Saturday the SW backed down to 5-10. Right in the zone for beginners. With the experience from Friday Jasper jumped on the board and proceeded to execute his first tack right off the bat. Excellent form and snapping the board through the eye of the wind like a champ! He got so comfortable sailing out and back I figured why not try a beach start. Dang if he didn't pick that right up too! The sound is such a great place to learn. Even flat water SUP was easy to this guy.

Sunday the wind switched NE and started light. We carried the super light & mega HiFly beginner board across HWY12 for some SUP on Ego beach. You may have seen Andy's or Drew's blog about how clear and blue the beach is. We are talking snorkeling in the Caribbean clear! The NE picked up enough that there was a weird chop 90 degrees to the swell so SUP turned into SDP(sit down). That's OK because it was still lots of fun.

After Ego we rigged for windsurfing at the hole. The wind was a little puffy close to the island but Jasper was able to further dial in those tacks and execute with more speed. I rigged a 7.5 on the 106L and pointed NW past the sand bar. I was using my 32cm wave fin so the balance was a little off- you certainly need a larger weed fin if you want to really get comfortable in those conditions. Here is a video recap of the fun! Another awesome trip. Can't wait for the next one.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Gearing Up for Summer and Fall

Well it has been an extremely busy Spring for everyone. I've been fortunate to actually sail with 3 new people at the clubs launch at Belews- Dave, Tom and Tony. Dave and Tony are returning members and are hopefully getting back in to sailing. I know Susan and I have been missing each other but she has had a couple nice sessions- at least once she got to inspect the integrity of the dam on the north end with a friend!

That leads me to mention how great some the people are on Belews. I know many times myself and others have been helped by boaters and sailors when equipment has failed or conditions got a little above our skill level. Steve McSpadden (a former member) actually helped Leah get back to the launch twice on separate occasions! Lots of people will be cruising by and kill the engine just to watch people windsurfing- it is relaxing to the casual observer.

Then you've got our hard core kayakers. Some of the best people you'll ever meet. I can say in general I've made more friends and met people of the best type everywhere windsurfing than any other thing I've done. And trust me I've got lots of hobbies.

Weekends are tough with vacations and commitments. Would there be any interest in a club sail, SUP & paddle evening during the week? We've got light until 9pm now so we could pick an evening that works for most. Please leave comments on this blog or email ralph(dot)moore(at) if interested **note insert . for (dot) & @ for (at) In the interest of keeping it simple I was thinking we could meet at the site for some time on the water and then go to a restaurant- Stokesdale or Oakridge. Eating after would be optional for people with kids or turn into a pumpkin after sunset :]

Finally there are a few people gearing up for windsurfing. As I have said I'll help all I can in getting you on the water and grinning. I've got lots of tips for local equipment and even some that may help out. Just contact me I'm happy to help.

Mistral Super Light 12’, $200
This is a smooth cruiser with a dagger fin. One of my favorites. I’ve got a base for it that I’ll toss in. Great for SUP too. Name says it all.
NP reach boom 185-240cm, $75
great shape, just redundant in my quiver
NP carbon wave boom 142-190cm, $50
Solid as a rock but the boom grip is taped. I’m still using this one all the time.
Powerex 2 pc 460cm mast, $25
This has a permanent bend at the joint but doesn’t effect rigging or draft
Equipe boom (similar range to NP) $25,
great shape
Mistral screamer 93L, $25,
board is in excellent shape but needs foot straps, which I think I have. (Tony wants this board)
Mistral diamond head 110L, $25,
board is in excellent shape but needs foot straps eventually
Rocket 99, free
K2 short board, free
Gaastra 5.8 wave sail, $25,
fair shape but heavily taped. This is an older sail but still has life if you want to get on the water. It is redundant for me.
Gaastra 5.2 wave sail, $25,
good shape but some tape. This is an older sail that I still use.
New Dakine 20” harness lines, $15
New Dakine 24” mono harness lines $15
New NP 24” harness lines $15
New never used Dakine impact vest $90
Aluminum 40cm extension(s) $5
Great shape

Misc much older Mistral sails, probably from the 80’s. free if you can use them.
Misc bases for older mistral stuff

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

OBX trip with Leah. The words escape me!

This was one of the best long weekends I've had in my life. Leah and I decided to get away for a relaxing weekend in Buxton and had a blast! We were tired from the early morning drive but the SW wind woke us up Friday afternoon. Leah was on the 4.2 with her 166L GO and I chose the 5.8 with my 106. Stuart from Ocean Air came out to the hole and I got to sail with him as long as I could stay with him! He's a ton of fun to watch and offered me some pointers to get my form dialed in. I was having trouble staying up wind with a small fin- between previous advice from Andy and Friday sailing with Stuart I now have no trouble at all! I understand it well enough I think I could even pass it along.
Andy came out around 6:30 for my scheduled jibe lesson. I've been hacking away at pivot jibes on the lake with the >150L boards but jibbing the 106L board was beyond me. I tried his patients but he proved to have plenty. By the end of the lesson I was coming out of the pivot and sailing clew first. By the end of the day I had most of my sail flips nailed! Anne and Drew came out too so towards sunset we finished the lesson and ended the day with some relaxing runs.
Saturday the wind took a rest and so did we. Leah and I hit the beaches in Buxton and visited the lighthouse. Late in the evening we hit the beach north of Avon for some SUPing and socializing. That was a true pleasure and my first time actually in the ocean at the obx!
Sunday sunday sunday. This was just one of those days that was right on and I knew it as soon as I went out for my morning run in North Buxton. I have no idea how many miles I actually ran because I wasn't counting. After lunch we headed to canadian hole- the SW breeze was steady and building nicely. Leah rigged and we spent the first half hour working on her beach starts. Once she got the sail handling the rest was butter. Here is Leah on her first day beach starting. She did great and had no problem staying upwind- even though it was blowing into the 20's!

Leah beach starting! from r d moore on Vimeo.

As for me, well those lessons from Andy helped me spend more time in the straps and blasting! I just can't believe how windsurfing can be this much more fun but it is. Here is a vid if you would like see some of my day from the first person shooter point of view.