Saturday, October 30, 2010
Here is the new link
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Saturday Leah spent a few hours on the 106L/5.8 in some pretty good stuff- likely around 13mph gusting to 16 up the main channel. The tacks are getting faster and she is certainly loving the maneuverability of the smaller gear. The 13-16 dropped off in the early afternoon down to the forecasted 5-10 so I rigged up to the 9.5/formula for a good pump workout. There wasn't much planing later in the day but we schlogged until dark since it was so nice.
Sunday. Wow. After the service Sunday morning while we were walking home the wind was blowing and messing up my hair that I had spent so much time on. Excitement was building but in check at that point. We had to handle some commitments and didn't make it to Belews until around 2:30 but dang. When we got there it was white capping and filled in nicely! I rigged the 9.5/formula figuring the wind would drop while Leah rigged the 5.8/ahd. In the straps and off I was. It was some of the best quality I've been in at Belews since I was planing and in the straps non-stop. Get this- it steadily built until evening. I got blown off the formula, immediately went to the 9.5/ahd, got blown off that, 5.8/ahd was working with plenty of power so I grabbed the 106L/5.8! I had no idea I had been sailing so over powered with the 9.5/formula until I was planing on the 106L/5.8 since the wind built in so slow and steady!
There were lots of sailboats about and it seemed like more party barges & bass boats than normal. This becomes relative I think. When you are well powered you are one of the fastest vessels on the lake and when you are crossing the channel almost 90 degrees to the flow of traffic it seems like there are boats in the way fairly frequently. This isn't a bad thing though since it is a great opportunity to represent the best sport on Earth while there are plenty of folks on the lake to witness it and maybe even drum up some interest in trying it. Warm, sunny Fall weather is the best time of the year to be sailing and gaining interest in windsurfing and SUP. Where are all the Triad Club locals?
Friday, October 22, 2010
The Raleigh crew has their own forecaster so maybe their wind predictions and wind meters are solid. The wind meters in the vicinity of Belews are not matching the lake much nowadays. I know the leaves are still on the trees and that may be most of the issue but the low readings may be keeping folks away and missing some fun sailing. The following are from Summerfield, Walnut Cove, Reidsville and the gso airport, resp. It seems the airport matched the best yesterday. Bottom line is DON'T MISS OUT!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
The Naish Mana is bamboo with epoxy and a 3/4 length pad. It’s dead sexy. At 9' you can cram it inside your minivan or suv. Here are our initial thoughts on the board.
First, to establish a frame of reference. I am 70kg, my wife is less. We have owned only 2 prior true SUP boards. Starboard Drive 10'5, RRD Wassup 10'. Prior to that I SUPed on old windsurf boards like the Mistral Superlight and Bic Bamba. The following is a collection of thoughts on jumping from a well regarded first SUP board (Starboard Drive) to a completely new class of SUP board. This is about going to a high performance SUP and does not compare the Mana 9' to other similar boards in this class since we have no experience there.
The summary for folks in a hurry:
• 140L, 29.5” wide and 9' but still surprisingly stable. really.
• LIGHT. Easy to handle out of the water and in the impact zone after you get trashed
• funboard surf board shape- surfs like a much smaller board
- lightweights can engage the rail standing more in the middle rather than having to be on the tail
• pivots on a dime
• tracks well while paddling if forward of the carry handle
• anti-pearl nose?
What could be better
• need non-slip on the nose.
• have to remove fins to zip board bag
• where is the mast track?
I first tried the 9' Mana at Carolina Beach surfing with Dwight and Jacky. Thanks again guys. Jacky traded with me so I jumped off the 10'5 Drive after a few hours of great long period hurricane Igor waves. I immediately noticed that I lost 16 Liters and 1.5 feet. You have to find the right standing position on the Mana but this comes quickly. I also noticed I was better off with a narrower stance. The board is only 1/2 inches less but certainly easier to dip a thinner rail. The waves were at least shoulder high, easy and conditions were glassy. I've been in strong off shore wind before and there you need to jump on the nose to get the drop. In the Igor conditions you had to paddle like mad and run to the nose to stay on the swell even with no wind. Luckily DW added non slip to their Mana so I was able to catch the waves early on the nose, throw a few turns and nose ride. After 2 waves on the Mana I felt like I had been on it much longer so comfort comes quickly.
More recently at Hatteras I took the Mana out first at Frisco in glassy left handers on the outer bar. I was blown away by how well the board punched through or jumps up and over incoming surf. I jumped into the surf stance putting down some deep strokes and kept right on trucking. Once on the back side of the wave you can jump back to normal stance to paddle the rest of the way. This offered a new fun factor for me- it is actually a blast taking on the white water.
Riding the 10’5 Drive taught me to run nose to tail while catching and riding waves. I immediately missed being able to pounce on the nose to get the late drop on some fast forming sneaky Hatteras waves. Second nature took over a few times and I ran to the nose only to slip like I was on ice. My non slip product has shipped and should arrive by the end of the week!
I hit Old Lighthouse beach with the Mana for a much more stringent set of conditions. The waves were big, somewhat inconsistent and there was a psycho-chop component that really forced me to concentrate on balance. Again I missed the nose traction but aside from that I was very impressed how well the board handled late big drops. Quite a few times I ended up on the tail with back foot on the kick pad following the falls and coming out standing. Another huge plus is that when in the impact zone eating a huge wall of white water while off the board I don’t get towed by the leash all the way to shore. The Mana has much less surface area so I assume that offers much less for the wave to hold on to. The result is that even if I get knocked down or bail in front of a top to bottom closeout I don’t lose much ground while trying to get out. I’ll call this a much lower tow factor since I’m into *nameology.
Leah first tried the board on a weekend at the lake. That means plenty of boat wakes producing psycho chop and a few good swells to ride. She never fell in the course of the afternoon. Not once. I was blown away. Moreover the Mana has more glide than the Drive. I certainly had a tough time matching Leah’s speed. The deck pad isn’t as cushy as other boards but the Mana is just as fun in flat water as the 10’5.
About that Missing Mast Track
We are not content to surf the early morning sesh and bail for the day. Instead we tend to stay morning to dark and in the course of a typical day you can get wind. Putting a sail on the Drive is a blast since you can catch sooo many more waves. I wonder why Naish doesn’t add a receiver for the 8mm Chinook base? Is it simply that there is no market or does it have more to do with construction? Sure I realize the board will schlog but you would be doing that anyway on a windsurf board.
I think this board suits anyone looking for more maneuverability and excitement.
Initial quality is impressive. I hope the construction holds up well since I plan to keep this one for a while. Any thoughts, concerns, or outright disagreements?
For more expert opinions and advice check out NC Paddle Surfer.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Since the wind was so light I hit Ramp 49 again for some more time on the Mana. Have I told you lately that I love the Mana? The tide was low and rising again so the bars were similar to Sunday but better. Beautiful peeling lefts on the outside with tubes! Add in the first completely sunny day of the trip and zang, wave sailing blues gone. A fellow NC surfer posted some good pics at Frisco too.
The higher tide wasn't working at 49 or bath houses so I headed up to old lighthouse. The waves were huge compared to the southside and good grief what power. Certainly more challenging paddling but still easy to get out. It isn't often you have waves that big and it isn't hard to get out. Yesterday it was a great high tide spot and I SUP surfed on the Mana until sunset. Best of all my last ride of the day was the best of the day- long left on a head high with enough steam to keep me going until it reformed on the inner bar. Stoke was plentiful.
Oct 4th was another flat water day at the hole on 5.2/85L. It was NW and I was well powered to marginal. Stu and Ken came out after 5pm but the wind was falling off quickly by then. What a sunset!
Monday, October 4, 2010
Wave Sailing at Old Lighthouse Beach-
Hit Lighthouse beach again in the evening. Not as easy as yesterday and enough west to make it really weird on the inside. Fun though! Lots of locals came out. Usually they make it look easy. They did not make lighthouse beach look easy yesterday. My experience is best described as prolonged panicky scrambling interrupted by brief periods of sheer bliss.
I did not keep my cool trying to water start in the huge holes. My heart rate and breathing were not properly controlled and the sesh totally zapped me after the first 1.5 hours. I was a little bummed that I missed sailing with all the local experts that arrived a few hours after Keith and I but was glad to come out none the worse for losing my focus. The few waves I did ride made it no doubt worth the effort!
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I got the message too late but Keith M and Olaf scored a fun sesh at the lighthouse. I stopped by to wach for about 45 min and it looked big and fairly easy. I was zapped and cramping already so I didn't rig. Maybe today! Keith has the blue sail. Wish I had a better camera.
Last night Andy at Wind NC put on a sail clinic for the Raleigh crew. They have over 20 new members this year and tons of stoke! It is awesome to see all the excitement from new and senior members. Great group. Andy does a great job with these clinics and there's great info for new and experienced sailors. Good times.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
The last time I was on my 85L exo wave was the end of July at the Basin. That was 2 straight days of SW with the 5.2/85L combo. Yesterday evening I sailed the same kit on the 85L stick with Dale Bendula. Dale was on a 95L slalom board with 5.5 and passing me on each run. We worked it out so that when he jibed I would too from a distance behind, he would catch up midway, pass then repeat jibe so it was great sailing with a buddy for a change! He covered more ground but I could out jump him, at least yesterday :]
The Raleigh crew (Triangle Windsurfing Club) is sailing up at Salvo this weekend too. I'm looking forward to putting faces to names! Sounds like a lot of excitement for the sport with those folks.
The wind forecast has changed for the next few days. Looks a little lighter with NE switching to NW towards Monday. The surf has been massive but should be dropping to a more manageable level starting today. Hopefully we'll be wave sailing and SUP surfing soon too. More updates to come.
The 9' Mana is at Wind NC. Wow.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Windsurfer's delight. Off side off on 3D playground.
First thing at high tide the waves were tubing and breaking hard near shore. Unfortunately it was a harsh closeout so certainly not geared for longboard turns. The OIB inlet was much like the CB north end. We used the 4th street beach access and I was able to get out first try on the 10'5 no problem. It has been a long time since having off shore wind while paddling- it was pouring out of the inlet so strong I had to paddle my ass off and jump on the nose to get the drop but the return trip after each wave was such a relief! I don't know if it was a combination of the tide dropping or the swell size growing but it got to the point I couldn't get out through the shore pound. Every ripple was breaking hard and the 10'5 beast was too much. Jennifer and I gave up and hit the water tower for some body surfing. Donald Obst and crew happend to be there too. We found the current much stronger than the inlet but the set lulls were much longer. Again though the surf was beautiful but closing out... there were lots of short boarders getting really short rides. 9/10 were like drop, zip zip, oof, eat shit. Much respect for them.
CB North End Saturday
There were a number of firsts for this sesh. Coolest was meeting Dwight, Jacky, Brian M., Surf Machine, Z, Brad and others. Great crew with lots of energy, bow hunting skills, nunchuck skills and surfing skills. I'm so used to shore break it took a while to get used to catching this big long period swell. You think it will break on you but no- it just holds a clean face forever! It was the most fun you can have standing up. I collected Mark and Jennifer then drove out on the beach for the first time in my first 4x4 too. Meet the pimp wagon.
Inshore warm up
Jennifer (A #1 photographer) sailing the Drive on a light NE at the Basin at Fort Fisher
Sunset Beach, the West End Thursday, Friday
Sunset next to Bird Island
Monday, September 13, 2010
Solo mountain biking on the 8th. Rounding a sandy bend. Loose rock, smack-down, slide, ooomph. Metacarpal of index busted at the knuckle.
It could be way worse. With this puppy I should be able to surf, paddle and windsurf. I'll just have to adjust- lucky my form is already ugly so it won't be that noticeable.
I'm thinking back to Earl and ahead to Igor- can I adjust in time if the conditions come the end of the week at OIB?Early morning Earl swell.
Earl puffs at Lake Waccamaw Sail Club
Sept 6 at the Cove