Thursday, May 27, 2010

Can you plane in this? No, Seriously? Really!?

Have I told you lately that I love my formula board? I headed to the lake for an after work sesh planning to paddle and catch what boat wakes I could surf. I tossed the old Exocet L99 on the trailer just for the comfort of having it around and letting it get some fresh air. I paddled out towards the dam- low and behold there was a slight NE wind cutting across that I didn't see from the launch... So I tossed the idea of rigging the 9.5 back and forth for a while. I rigged. Then I decided it wasn't enough to plane. I paddle back out as before having no trouble paddling into the wind, but changed my mind yet again.

I uphauled in the glass of the cove caught the wrap around and sailed into weather. Oh Boy! I forgot what that kit can do. It was in the straps planing for over 2 hours. I'll just go ahead and say that N is absolutely the best direction once the leaves are on the trees. It wasn't gusty, the direction was between NW - NE and not a hint of a whitecap anywhere. Ahh, the sweet flat water jibes. Even in wind so light paddling the SUP wasn't a problem the formula kit shined. Sure the Summerfield wind meter may not represent what exactly was happening at Belews but it typically isn't far off. I sure needed that- some surprise stoke after a long wait.

So after couple hours in the straps when I fell of the plane I got back on the SUP and started playing in the boat wakes. Lots of folks out since the weather turned so perfect- for anything. When the boats where in their slips I fished a bit on the SUP. Caught one nice white perch and missed a few hits. Yep I'm loving formula windsurfing and SUPing.
How about some comments or thoughts on formula boards? I'd like to hear some opinions on why you have or will never have one. There is only so much long distance flat water paddling you can do before you're ready for something else. By the way, check out this vid of FW in really light stuff when I first got my exocet L99.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Waterman's (or Waterperson's?) Delight

Summer is certainly coming on fast. Of course with it goes the inland wind. Apart from some fun formula windsurfing on glassy water it has been lots of SUPing lately. When all the party barges, jet skis & bASSmasters clear out during the week things settle down and get quiet so I love throwing the good old fashioned poppin bug from my SUP board. It is the simplicity that is so attractive. I can get out during the week, put in a few miles paddling hard for a good workout and then fish from sunset till dark. For those who have not had a proper dose of southern culture the poppin bug is a little floating lure that you can fish kinda like a fly. The bass and bream love it- as do I!

Leah and I paddled for one of the longest seshes ever Saturday. It was sunny and hot so it was perfect for playing in the water and surfing boat wakes along the way. We put in at the club launch and paddled to our friends place at Humpheys Ridge following the lake shore. Leah is doing so well I'm completely amazed! I jumped on the Bic Bamba and she took the Starboard Drive with the cushy deck and wave rocker. On the way back we traded off to give my feet a rest and she paddled that narrow longboard all the way back through the boat traffic without a fall! I caught a few good wakes and got some good down-wind type rides in the swell. Me thinks another SUP is in our future...

I have to admit I'm jealous of Mac, Mark & Rob at the Coastal Urge SUP Cup. I think all of the lake Norman crowd did well. Mac raced with his daughter and Mark raced his new flat water rocket. This could be the perfect thing for a couple- Leah won't get in the waves but I bet she would love the SUP Cup action. Anyone selling a SUP with a mast track that will work for Leah...?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Bermuda High Wind- 4 days in Hatteras

I took no video, no pictures and few breaks. I arrived Friday afternoon and sailed the 106L/5.2 until dark. Saturday & Sunday the wind was light early and filled in as the day went on. However Sunday and Monday the higher wind came earlier in the day each day and was stronger by sunset. I spent the majority of my sailing Saturday - Monday on the 85L with the 4.2 & 3.5 I sailed with Don Wrenn and Lou Sunday- by sailed with I mean tried to keep up. The dominant SSW turned more SW Monday making for much cleaner swell in the hole.

It turns out the insanity at lake Waccamaw prior to Hatteras was an excellent warm up for sailing overpowered in psycho chop at the Hole 4 straight days. I felt really good about my overpowered short board jibes despite coming to Hatteras with a bum right arm. It was a wonderful time. 4 straight days of SW and the biggest thing I rigged was a 5.2 You gotta love Hatteras.