I was tricked into SUP surfing. Peconic Jeff put me on a board with a paddle three years, when the ocean was serving up day after day of clean, well-defined sets, color by numbers waves...all of a sudden there was a wonderful alternative to windsurfing for days without whitecaps. I bought a board, had a great year and a half, and then conditions went away. We still got waves, but they've been messy, peaky, hard (I'm not very good at this) and anyone near me has heard me bitch mightily about the shortcomings of waves these days, and my hankering for Conditions of Olde.
Sunday I got 'em.
Glorious sets, 4-6 feet (then 5-7 feet) at Flying Point. Myself, the Wolf, Joe Natalie, Jonathan, Scott cackling a chimply soundtrack in his kayak, Bill Barber (fresh back from Barcelona, on vaig gaudir molt dels museus) and the trickster Jeff went, went right, went steeply down the faces in a moderate off-shore breeze. Glorious. Jeff had his paddle-mounted GoPro fired up, and a great time was had by all. Between Saturday's windsurfing and Sunday's SUPfest, it was a perfect weekend. M-F would be so much nicer if all S-S went like this.
Thank you wind and water gods!
(video by Jeff...we'll both swear that we were on this wave for half a minute.)
John Kerry took a beating in his presidential bid over being a windsurfer. Of course the leader of the opposing campaign allowed himself to be called "turd blossom" in public, so hopes for dignity...what were we thinking would be said about windsurfing?
A few days ago a television commentator opined that dressage was almost as "hoity toity" as windsurfing. The horror. Turns out one of the presidential candidates like dressage a lot, for which he's taken to task by MSNBC's commentator Lawrence O'Donnell.
The best highlight is towards the end, talking about Jim Drake.
With only two weeks left to the winter, medoubts that the iceboards will be seen out east this season. Bellport and Mecox are not going to freeze over...
("SCREECH!!!" I hear varied disembodied friends and poltergeists shreiking. "What the heck are you doing...trying to JINX it? Are you a goshdarn evil GROUNDHOG? Dude...shut up!")
Ahem. As I was saying, we are not likely to get sufficient ice in what's left of this Very Warm Winter. A blizzard in April perhaps (my dentist predicts thus) but no ice sailing. The Wolf's Shopping Cart, Jeff Slecta's collection of ice rides...they shall not carve.
To fill the void, Shelter Island windsurfer Chris sent me a link to this video, shot in New Hampshire. These guys are going fast. As I always think when I'm on the ice, where are the brakes?
With the bulk of the Puffin/Wind Chimp community up north snowboarding at CD's place (wish I coulda made it!) I have no tales of derring-do (or doofus do) of my own to share. So thank you Bill Nightingale for sending this peach...Alaska wakeboarding (featuring a special appearance by a puffin 56 seconds into the video.) Enjoy!
The flowstyle genius Caesar Finies was not putting on his daily magic shows last week in Bonaire. When I asked around I heard he’d hurt himself recently and so was on the mend. Our loss, but okay. Then on Friday while hanging out in the Hang Out bar, I heard someone loudly ask “WHAT IS THAT? WHAT IS HE DOING”. I turned and saw Caesar back on the water, just 25 feet away, and he’d lost nothing during his break.
I’ve seen him a dozen times before, and while it was still jaw-droppingly amazing, it was almost as much fun to stand next to someone who had never seen Caesar ever:
“Look at that!”
“He’s dancing with the sail!”
“What is that?”
“How does the sail know where to go?”
“I’ve never seen anything like that!”
“Oh my god, look!”
“What? What? Oh!”
“This is unbelievable! They’re dancing!”
It was great fun. And good to have Caesar back!
(The video above is not from last Friday...I shot it a few years ago, but if you’re not familiar with Caesar it will give you the general idea. He's actually much better now! And hey...if you like this, please like us on Facebook.)
I've recently learned about the Legend of the Reef Warriors, a small but mighty tribe who can conjure such magic as wavesailing on a Great Lake. I am still studying the legend, greatly stoked by the following video that a Warrior has revealed in an iWindsurf post. It's great stuff...enjoy!
One of my favorite windsurfing bloggers (and the Peconic Puffin's #1 commenter from Malta) Bunty calls this a "really good Neil Pryde video" and I agree. Philip Koester is in it, which means you're going to see monster jumps (and then some neat tricks thrown in the upper atmosphere).
(the following is a guest report by Peconic Jeff filed last week:)
"Scott, Jon & I showed up at Tiana around noon to perfectly side-shore 25-35 mph winds and sand a-blowin'. With plenty of wind on the beach, we figured we could dodge the shore break and blast around on small gear (4.2 for me and Scott, 4.7 for the mighty Ford). Bruce arrived a half hour later, questioning our sanity of launching at high tide on an exposed beach with a ripping current (see photo with the current running against Scott's legs), but soon joined us on 4.2. While there wasn't much in the wave department, the wind didn't disappoint, and we were happy to be sailing on the ocean in December."
(Top: Jonathan and Scott happily outbound. Middle: Scott in dubious launch zone. Bottom: Air Bruce. Photos and video by Jeff Schultz.)