Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dusted off the 130L

Greensboro was blessed with a little more snow Friday evening/night. In a perfect example of NC weather the day before it was a sunny 60F so I was out skate sailing and land surfing. There is probably 8 inches on my lawn so there is more powder than the one we got in December.

Leah and I live at the top of a long steep hill so we ended up hosting the party. It is pretty cool- when we get a snow storm that shuts down the roads the city turns into an island. Everybody just chills and it feels a bit like the outer banks. We had a fun relaxing day so I'm glad I caught a little of the action. For friends and family to the south & east that got ice and no snow- you're still lucky since the beach is so close the other 99% of the time.

Check out the video of some action.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Shorepound at Belews

They just can't forecast this kind of day. I got to Belews a little after 3 and the SW had the place rolling. There was actually shore pound with a little spray coming into the grass! I rigged the 5.8 and the 106L since I didn't think the wind would stay. I used the 5.8 (or rather it used me) until about 4:30pm. All I could do was go upwind most of the time... To get back down wind I actually had to use a wave sailing upwind technique backwards- I sheeted out and rode the swell. I just stuck with the 5.8 because I thought the wind would drop off any minute. Finally I rigged the 5.2 so I could relax a little to end the day. I wish I would have started with it but I'll certainly not complain about being over powered on the lake.
The wind was at the perfect angle coming right off the power plant. When I missed my first jibe I held my breath for the ice cream headache but it never happened. Belews is awesome. The warm temps and plant have kept it balmy enough I didn't even use gloves! The last time I windsurfed was January 1st 2010. The last time I was on anything smaller than my formula board was November 13th 2009. Man I needed this so bad. You can cross train, paddle, skate and lift until you are blue in the face but nothing prepares you for windsurfing like windsurfing.

2 of My Favorite Street Sailing Vids

In addition to Andy ripping it up on a short trick board you have the option of using a longboard where the wheels are at the ends of the board. This keeps you from a mis-step, possibly popping the board up and out from under you. Most any generic longboard will due but a board targeted toward carving is the best. It's great for practicing wave technique. This is a great feel good vid. Just two guys having fun on a longboard. (not me, so it is cool)

This an example of what you can do in higher wind. This looks to be a mountain board set up for the pavement. The board is heavier but carvy as anything! You can really try some stuff on a longer wider deck.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Perfect Local Break

This winter has been especially harsh. I've not been wet since new years day but we did have some strong wind to go with the bitter cold and of course it was time to skate sail. Andy inspired me to try land sailing last winter with this.

I started with a worn out trick board and then got a used pintail longboard. You already know the story- just drill a hole in the deck for the Chinook base and you have a land kit. For your viewing pleasure- this is my first attempt at a turf board. (Mud flaps hadn't come in yet)

If you have access to a little breeze skate sailing is way more fun than you think. I love working on jibes with the longboard. Having that sail in hand is like a pacifier. We had enough cold wind that I got really used to skate sailing for a while and when it died it was a huge let down. I thought about stand up paddle surfing being the sanity saver for windsurfers on calm days. I put 2 and 2 together, though I'm no rocket surgeon, and decided if the wind power wasn't there I could just paddle the skate board. 1 broom handle + 1 tennis ball later I had my first land paddle cruiser. When I used to get on a skate board without a paddle I would vapor lock. Put a stick in my hands and I got the warm fuzzies. Feels a heck of a lot like SUPing folks.

After I had so much fun with this I started poking around on the web and found out lots of SUPers have already decided this was cool.

I know what you are thinking and YES it is as sweet as it looks. Pictured below are my current pavement machines with a land paddle idea I got here. I made this board with my dad last winter to use for street sailing and it works well carving little hills. Mountain board trucks can carve like a champ.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy Start to 2010!

The forecast dropped back to 13mph today but I had a blast with the formula board and the 9.5 just the same. Lunch time to dark I had enough NW to plane and even had some of the longest planing reaches ever. Sid came out to try his new 6mm suit. Looks like he'll be getting gloves and booties soon too. It was awesome getting in this first sesh of the new year before the mega cold snap hits.

The Monday after Christmas Rob, Mac and I got a great paddle surf sesh at Carolina Beach. We stayed for more Tuesday but it was way too cold to get wet. Nice sunrise though.