I have it on excellent authority that there's lots of room in the freestyle group of this week's ABK clinic.
If you did not win the freestyle competition in Cape Cod last week, you should be here.
If you did win, you should be here.
If you didn't go (like me...previous commitments) you should go so you can compete at Joe's Beach in 2014.
If you don't know any freestyle, you should DEFINITELY go! One of my all-time favorite ABK clinics (and I've done 17) was Freestyle #1. Had to drive to Delaware to do it. Now it's at Tiana...shallow, breezy, shark free, easy parking, closer than Napeague Tiana.
If you know anyone who has ever done an ABK windsurfing clinic, you've already had your ear talked off about how great they are. If you yourself have engaged Andy Brandt and crew in an ABK clinic, you know you should get back there ASAP to work on The Next Steps of your windsurfing. If you are not in either of the above groups, OR if you are stuck wondering if right now, this is the time for you to ABK it, see if you're on this list (which is only partial) of People Who Should Do The Next ABK Clinic:
-people who have never windsurfed,
-people who tried windsurfing a long time ago and found it incredibly hard,
-people who windsurfed a long time ago and want to get back into it,
-people who enjoyed sailing around but never learned to use the harness or footstraps,
-people who managed the harness and footstraps but never got comfortable going fast,
-people who never learned to waterstart easily,
-people who want to sail smaller boards,
-people who want to learn the planing jibe,
-people who want to perfect their jibes and duck jibes,
-people who want to learn to jump (or jump higher),
-people who want to plane in less wind,
-people who want to be able to sail in strong winds,
-people who want to learn freestyle,
-people who want to learn radical freestyle,
-people who want to learn cool things to do on a windsurfer in light wind,
-people who want to meet and hang out with other windsurfers.
ABK Windsurfing Clinics come to Long Island on September 20-22, at Tiana! Shallow water, good for all wind directions, plenty of waterside parking, easy peasy (whatever that means). Sign up before it fills up.
The windsurfer in the photo is on a sinker board. It does not have enough volume to float him. If he was to sheet in in sufficiently strong wind, the forward motion of the board would bring it to the surface, and he could have a lot of fun. In this case it looks like the wind does not have enough strength for the sailor to use a sinker. He should have chosen a larger board, with enough volume to keep his calves dry.
(That's Andy Brandt, who knows darn well how much volume and wind he needs to sail. And how much you need too. And how to teach you to need less! ABK Windsurfing Clinics come to Long Island on September 20-22, at Tiana!)
Andy Brandt and his merry crew of instructors are coming to Tiana next week (May 17-19) for three days of magnificent windsurfing instruction and fun. It's coming down to crunch time, meaning if you sign up now (and wait until the last minute) you may get shut out. ABK is strict about the ratio of students to instructors, and at some point in the next few days Andy will put a cap on the overall clinic size. So sign up ASAP!
Mistakes you don't want to make include:
*Waiting for the wind forecast to decide if you want to go. I've made this mistake, and regretted it. It goes wrong three ways: The forecast is wrong (the clinic gets better conditions than forecast,) the clinic is fantastic even on light wind days (and you have to listen to your friends rave about this, and see them sailing better all summer) and you miss the fun (and have to listen to the same friends go on about it.
*Assume that Andy will let you join at the last minute, even if the clinic is full. I haven't made this mistake, but I've watched people's faces fall in disappointment as they stood there (Napeague) cash in hand, gear on cars, and be told they can't join.
*Trust the ABK web site when it says there are plenty of spaces available. I love ABK, but the web site is not always running at the same speed as the clinics.
So sign up for the ABK clinic. It's going to be a great clinic at Tiana (which doesn't have the name cache of Napeague, but in opinion is better for more wind directions, easier in terms of parking and managing your gear, more convenient for Saturday night dinner, etc etc etc. As Scott says (or sings): "Oh, Tiana!"
(Photo: Don't get stuck inside your boom...ABK will help you prevent this. Unless you're a freestyler and want to do tricks...ABK will help you do this. Photo borrowed from ABK Boardsports.
"Oh, Tiana!" Scott sings, though he's usually waxing lyrical about the ocean launch. But the user friendly and convenient Tiana Bay launch will be the site of ABK Boardsports windsurfing clinics this year, May 17-19. Tiana has many advantages for a Long Island windsurfing clinic:
-Lots of shallow water,
-Sailable in every wind direction,
-Loads of parking,
-15 minute drive to the windsurfing shop if you need something,
-40 minutes closer (if you're coming from west) than Napeague. Napeague was (and is) an excellent spot to windsurf, but I'm excited for ABK's triumphant return to their old Long Island clinic spot.
If you've never windsurfed before, this is the place for you. Want to learn to sail in the footstraps? Waterstart? Plane through a jibe? Vulcan? Loop? Et Set Er Ah?!?!? This is the place.
So sign up ASAP (don't get shut out...it's happened, as long time ABKers know). Here's a link for more info. ear, May 17-19. Just make sure you're there. Andy Brandt and his mighty crew are coming...
(Top: Andy throws a shuv it. I need to learn those. Bottom: You missed the Bonaire clinics? No worries...they're bringing their simulators to Tiana. Work out your technique dry on the beach, test it and get coached on the water. Photos borrowed from Andy's Facebook page.)
1. The September 21-13 clinic at Napeague has been cancelled, except for those people who have been directly contacted by Andy Brandt (in other words, you know who you are.)
2. The September 28-30 clinic at Napeague (including the famous Freestyle Group) is going to be moved to Tiana (the bay launch.) More details will be coming on ABK Boardsports website soon.
Until 2005 Tiana Bay was the regular venue for ABK. It's a great shallow flatwater spot that works on pretty much all wind directions. It's where the Town of Southampton holds their youth windsurfing camp every year. I've done two clinics there myself, and personally prefer it to Napeague (though it does not get the extra 5mph wind on northeasterlies that Napeague does). There's plenty of parking! What there isn't is nearby camping. There are a lot of small motels on the road approaching the Ponquogue Bridge on Lynn Avenue, Foster Ave etc. To get to Tiana cross the Ponquogue Bridge in Hampton Bays, turn right, and drive two miles. You'll see the enormous beach parking lot (and beach house) for Tiana Beach on the left...you'll want to enter the smaller lot to the right, which is right on the bay.
The Peconic Puffin will have updates as we get them.
Who: Andy Brandt and his merry band of windsurfing instructors.
Where: Lazy Point @ Napeague, on the water and on the beach
When: May 18th-20th, 2012.
Of course you have questions, and there's nobody better than Andy, Brendan, Tom and friends to answer them and get you sailing better on the water! So sign up already!
Remember last year when a dozen people who planned to come didn't sign up in advance, and ABK cancelled the clinic because they thought they were going to have a poor turnout? You don't want that. AND you don't want what happened to some people in September of 2010, when a few people who planned to come didn't sign up in advance, arrived at the clinic only to find out that the clinic was FULL and so they couldn't join! Avoid these disappointments and sign up. Every day sailing is a great day sailing as it is...every day sailing in an ABK clinic takes it to a whole new level. You want to be in a photo like the one here, believe me. And you DON'T want to be like the guy in the top photo, standing on the wrong side of the sail and facing the wrong direction. ABK can fix that. Seriously though, if you've never windsurfed before, if you're a competitive freestyler, or if you're anywhere on the windsurfing learning spectrum, if you want to learn more, this is the place.
Knees bent, hips in, head outside the turn, carving rail engaged...Dasher would be proud (Andy B too). My last session (before the current hiatus to heal a torn tendon) featured some lit-to-overpowered jibing on the flat waters of Noyack Bay, and a camera to play to. I like that the top of the fin is visible. At the session before this (in the even flatter waters of the New Suffolk jibatorium) I was not getting my knees sufficiently into the turn, and had the water not been so flat I would have been bouncing out and off the plane.
To the windsurfer who would be a better windsurfer:
If you're assuming that you're going to take one of the upcoming ABK Boardsports windsurfing clinics at Napeague 9/23-25 and 9/30-10/2, you'd best be registered already, as they're currently showing only 3 slots left in the first clinic and 5 in the second. There are even ABK veterans who believe that if they show up on clinic day with cash on hand that they'll be able to participate, but I'm here to tell you I've seen Andy Brandt turn people away on several occasions.
Here's the good news: When ABK gets a bunch of people registering a week before a clinic, they bring in extra instructors and add a bunch of new slots.
Earlier this year the spring ABK clinic was cancelled due to lack of registrations. Afterwards it turned out there were plenty of Long Islanders who had been planning on taking the clinic but just hadn't gotten around to signing up. There were disappointed people then, and there could be disappointed people in the coming weeks if they don't sign up.
So sign up!!! You know you want to. The first clinic will include a group just for people who want to focus on racing (look for notice here about upcoming Long Island fall windsurfing races) and the second will include a similar freestyle group.
ABK's May windsurfing clinic at Napeague has been cancelled due to weak pre-registration numbers. Once the cancellation was announced, ABK masterblaster Andy Brandt says he heard from lots of people saying "Hey wait...I was planning on coming...if my friends and I sign up now will you have the clinic?" I asked Andy this myself, knowing several people who had planned to attend but hadn't yet registered.
"I know from experience that a certain number of people sign up in the last week or so before a clinic, but if I don't have a sufficiently large pre-registration it doesn't make sense for me to make all the reservations necessary to come to Long Island."
Here's a thought for those of us who will want to attend the fall clinics: Last year's September clinics sold out in advance...Andy had to turn people away. But preregistration plays a role here as well. "If I have enough people signed up weeks and months in advance, I can arrange to bring extra instructors so we still have a good ratio of teachers to students in a larger clinic," Andy told the Peconic Puffin.
So if you want to be a better windsurfer, if you want to learn how to windsurf, if you want to have a fantastic time with other windsurfers and learn new skills, sign up for ABK Boardsports' windsurfing clinics at Napeague 9/23-25 and 9/30-10/2. If you can jibe and are interested in racing, the 9/23 clinic will feature a special racing group. The 9/30 clinic will have a special freestyle group.
T'was ten years ago in Aruba when I was out snapping photos of my wife windsurfing when Andy Brandt sailed by. Even back before freestyle windsurfing became the cool new thing, Andy simply could not sail in a straightforward manner on his own time. Here he is carving an inside-the-boom, back-to-sail planing tack, on a Bic Techno. These days when teaching freestyle Andy focuses on Vulcans and Spocks and Flakas and double Leapard loops and all things aerial, but if you ask nice he'll work with you on carving moves too. As well as jibing and tacking and waterstarting and everything else. Andy Brandt and ABK Boardsports come to Long Island for their Spring clinic on May 20-22.
"Reveals"...sounds like we took a course in marketeering. Okay how about Andy Brandt just "told" the editors when he was planning to stop by with his merry crew of ABK windsurfing instructors, whip out the fairy dust and make us all better windsurfers? 'Cause that's what he's gonna do May 21-23 at the beautiful Lazy Point launch at Napeague. What better way is there to prepare for the summer 2010 windsurfing season? And for the advanced windsurfers out there, how else should you get ready for June's 2010 East Coast Windsurfing Festival?
Mark your calendars.
(Make new windsurfing friends and see your old ones at ABK. Photo by Peconic Jeff.)
If you don’t windsurf but would like to learn how, this is the place to be.
If you used to windsurf, stopped, and would like to join the resurgence of windsurfing on Long Island, this is the place to do it.
If you currently windsurf but would like to sail better, this is the fastest way to get there.
If you like how you windsurf just fine, but would like to work on racing skills or some of the newfangled freestyle thingamabobs, you’d best get your ass (in harness) to Napeague!
Andy Brandt and his merry band of ABK Boardsports all-stars return for two clinics. Both will feature extensive comprehensive and inoffensive instruction for every level of windsurfer from never-before-windsurfed to advanced. Additionally there will be two special programs available for windsurfing gods (or those people with a solid jibe):
In the Friday Sept 25-Sunday Sept 27th clinic, ABK brings its legendary freestyle windsurfing clinic.
And in the Friday Sept. 18-Sunday Sept 20th clinic, Andy's offering a brand new ABK special: a racing clinic. Come learn everything you need to know to beat George Marr, Pete Roesch, and most of the rest of Long Island's racers (ya ain't gonna beat Jimi Sobeck, sorry) at the East Coast Windsurfing Fall Regatta October 10th -11th.
What else can we say? One thing: If you've never been to an ABK windsurfing clinic, they are a lot of fun, and you'll make new friends. So be there! Sign up for the 9/18-20 clinic and/or the 9/25-27 clinic by clicking on the links.
(Photo: Andy Brandt demonstrates a shove it thingamabob.)
At my first ABK clinic I was wrestling with tacking and jibing. A few clinics later (if sixteen is a few) I’m now pulling off clew first fin first piledrivers, anklebiters, and the whatchamacallit jibe. But I still remember when a planing duck jibe seemed the unattainable fantasy.
Nobody learns windsurfing slower than I. I am no longer (well, rarely) the worst windsurfer in the world, but one thing I’ve figured out is that lesson help, great lessons help a lot, and ABK clinics are the best thing going out there. (I am not sponsored by ABK, though yesterday they let me have a second sandwich with lunch.)
This past weekend’s windsurfing clinic at Napeague was a blast to watch, much less be in. From the adults and kids (we hate the kids…they learn so frickin’ fast) working on the basics all the way up to the freestylers, there was a whole lot of learnin’ going on. Friday (and Saturday AM) had the good wind, but as the photos show we were all working on the water Sunday as well. The worst things that happened were a broken down car and a stubbed toe, but these were more than offset by all the tacking, jibing, chacho anklebiting etc.
I can’t wait to do it all again. ABK returns to Long Island in May 2009, but more drastic measures may need to be taken.
(Photos by Jeff…
Top: Happy Campers.
Second: The Mighty Larry Hoff goes Gecko.
Third: Una. Una learning to windsurf spells nothing but trouble. It’s bad enough that her mom aspires to be the fastest windsurfer on the island, but the little one has world domination on the brain. When she gets into the footstraps I’m taking up golf.
Fourth: Alex (can’t go home) Hering, The Mighty Larry Hoff, and a windsurfer to be knicknamed later sharing too little water during Sunday’s expression session.