I've seen a lot of angles of monster jumps, but this one really gets me. The guy is a spec in the sky! Posted by "Guavajelly" on Facebook, it is almost certainly from the insane Red Bull Storm Chase session in Cornwall. Thanks to Andy in the OBX for calling attention to it!
I had a one hour window to sail. It wasn't windy enough when I got to K Road, so I had to bag it, even though the forecast was for building winds, and the waves looked so nice. As is my habit I asked Jeff to fill me in later on what I missed, so as to increase my jealousy. Here's the report:
4.7 frontside DTL 2-3 bottom/top-turn rides on 4-6' waves, that's all you missed :) Full powered at first, rode the 77L, then lulls (and a swim in the rinse zone) had me grabbing the 100L. At first, Scott & Frank were dragging their heels ("it's only 36F, I was expecting 40!" ... "aw man, the sun just disappeared behind those clouds!" ... "brrr, it's really cold!"), but once suited up and wave sailing, everyone was all smiles and plenty warm. Only thing holding us back from sailing another hour was our maxed out forearms.
The flu kept Christian out of the ocean, but not from a bayside session. You'll have to get the report from him, though I do hope he's asleep and healing his weary self at this point.
What else can I say but "oh man!" Great for them though!
Scott said we should have got on it earlier. The wind meter suggests we missed an hour. Frustration was mighty.
Frank, P-Jeff, Fisherman, the Wolf, your editor, and Chimply Lord Scotworth hit it at K Road as the bells tolled noon. 5.2-5.5 sails lightly powered in 3-4 foot waves...pleasant. Except the wind died after 30 minutes. Argh.
Between the limping wind and the current there were many Walks back up the beach. Me on the 93 FSW and an old 5.5 Naish Amp that I haven't rigged in five years...on run #4 I found myself waterstarting on the outside, when my mast hand felt through the luff sleeve that the mast pieces were not fully together...a fat gap just waiting to break could be felt under thumb. Kooked again! By the time I limped to shore, rerigged in the sand, and walked it all back up to the launch, the wind had died. Switched to the Skate to see if more volume would help, but what I needed was a Hobie Cat.
(P.S. Argh yes, but I did have three backside rides...much better than sweeping out the garage! Jeff enjoyed surfing his gear back on a solid wave when the wind quit completely. Every day sailing is a good day sailing. If we had just caught that one hour before...)
...at Shacks in Puerto Rico! Received this from John Hulse a few days ago (I was out of town visiting relatives). "PR proof" the email was titled. Look at that wave...the mother of all lefts (in my book anyway.) John reports "conditions have been pretty good, anywhere from knee high to way overhead. Lots of wind also but the trades generally dont settle in 'til after Christmas."
Wow does that look good. Thanks for the photo John!
George Pav was on the water
first. The winds weren’t fully on yet,
and George had to trade a long walk back (“it was worth it”) for the “head high
bombers on the outside” and downwind, but he was rolling up his 5.3 to move on
to other business while most of us were still rigging. “I got two full sessions!” he said, and
indeed he did.
Ponquogue Jeff (we’re field
testing the name) was seen carving a radical jibe off of a wave face. Also he had a good day with the rest of the
Bruce waxed poetic after
putting on a lovely display of fancypants wave carvage. “A watery face rose above me…translucent
green as I recall…”
Jan didn’t tell me her story
(I think because Bruce swiped her sail.)
Jeremy launched on the
sinkiest board at the sesh (“is he standing on the bottom?” more than one
onlooked asked) and drifted well downwind, but came back to shore all smiles.
Jonathan tried kiting, but
the chop on the water proved irritating to the major ding his ribs took a few
weeks ago while mountain biking. So
instead he made himself comfortable in the Wolfmobile and took pictures. (At press time, the Peconic Puffin is waiting. Will update ASAP.)
Scott told Bill it was one of
the best days at Ponquogue in SW ever.
Bill told Scott he was crazy.
Scott was not crazy about the best plan to get out through the impact
zone (walk slightly upwind, bear off and shoot out parallel to the sand
bar…worked for me.) Someone who didn’t
try it was
The Wolf, who nevertheless
did get out and into the downwind area pioneered earlier by Mr. Pav. The winds there were flukey, the current no help, and a Walk did
John “he only sails when it’s
perfect” Natalie’s presence lent some credence to Lord Scotworth’s appraisal,
though he said “I’m nuked on the outside but am light on the inside.”
Bill went kiting way on the
outside (it looked like he was at the buoy, but Bill says twasn’t so). Contrary to Scott, Bill thought the
conditions were “a mess”. I countered (seeking
the peaceful middle) that it was “busy”.
How’d I do? Well, Bill predicted disaster in the parking
lot, eyeing my trusty 5.3 as the tape that held it together was flapping in the
wind. “One hit by any beach break and that
thing is done,” Bill averred. Truth is
I knew the sail wouldn’t be in my quiver in 2014, but hoped to eek out the rest
of the season on it. I took five or six
runs of modest but enjoyable performance before fulfilling Bill’s
prophecy. It went like this:
the wave I wanted to come in to shore behind.
to put on some steam to catch it, as I picked a wave too close to the beach.
in towards the sand I had to sheet out and sink the tail so I wouldn’t go
hurtling face first into the sand.
off the board when the wave behind me hit.
the mast well under water, I had several long seconds to watch a two-foot
dumper rise as the water sucked back.
“Oh well” I thought.
So I took in the scene from shore for
an hour, until the wind swung offshore and really started honking. Time to pack it in/toss it in the
dumpster. I shed no tears…it was a good
(Photos by Jonathan Ford, except for the wrecked sail, courtesy the editor in chief.)
Indecision. Peconic Jeff to go to Ponquogue "for side-off SUPsailing". Scott was eyeing the whitecaps at Sebonac Inlet, declaring 4.7 conditions and "you're crazy if you think you can sail the ocean in NW!" I was torn. I knew from my one micro wave sesh in Hatteras several years ago that side-off made for sweet wave play, but my very limited side-off experience on Long Island warned me of gustiness and a fickle inside. What to do?
Scott: "You think I wouldn't be on the ocean if it was doable?" he asked with righteous indignation.
Jeff: "We're SUPPOSED to be wavesailing in side off," Jeff responded.
I called Jon Ford. Jon thought the Peconic was the way to go.
In the end I said to Jeff "you sail Ponquogue, I'll sail Sebonac, we'll compare notes later. Hopefully Ponquogue works.
It did! Jeff reports "Ponquogue was a blast. Easy-peazy 2nd grade wave sailing, with knee/thigh waves and the side-off direction we all crave. Caught my first off-the-lip aerial! It was baby-sized air, but it felt great."
This is great news. I'm sure Jonathan will be able to add some analysis that refines the "Ponquogue works in NW" working theory (maybe there was a teense more W in it than pure NW) , but for now, it's on!
And we may need to change Peconic Jeff's name to Ponquogue Jeff.
Oh no...wait...they absolutely tear it up! The Canadian Windsurfing page on Facebook recently posted a bunch of photos from Sandbanks Beach in Ontario, where it was gusting to 50 knots. Go there (Sandbanks, or if that's not feasible, the Facebook page) to check out the action.) Or check out this post by Fish, who sailed the sesh.
Down the line lake wave sailing...oh yeah! (All photos borrowed from Canadian Windsurfing where they are credited to John Vu. I particularly like the top photo...mast tips barely visible above the waves. Rock on up there!)
I had a most excellent session at Napeague on Saturday. But there was another session we must tell you about, featuring the usual suspects plus waves, at Cupsogue. If only I had been there too! But I wasn't, so here is Peconic Jeff's report:
"Nearly everyone got stuck in the soft sand and had to let out air, but once there we found nukin' 4.2/4.7. Christian & I had first checked out Ponquogue, which looked muuuch better: cleaner, more organized waves, but the Cup offered zero shorebreak.
Scott got some major air on a few jumps, and Jon Sassone was throwing bottom turns and cutbacks in the thick of the breaking waves. Christian had a 'breakthrough day', popping up and over breaking whitewater with ease. First day sailing with gloves & booties!
Sailor roll call: Scott, Wolf, Bruce, Jan, myself (Jeff), Christian, Jon Ford, Anders,
Jon Sassone, Sasha & Christina, & John Natalie."
An editor's note: John "he only sails when conditions are perfect" Natalie is an excellent indicator of the day's quality. If I could have only been in two sessions at once!
(From the top: Scott and Bruce line them up. Air Scott. Air Wolf. Jonathan. There's no picture of Jeff Schultz because this is Jeff Schultz photography...thanks Jeff!)
You can watch the whole thing, of course. I'm saying first go to about 6 minutes and let it play for 20 seconds. The top turn at 6:14...takes about .75 seconds...that's the whole game right there.
I was sent this clip in an email titled "King of Humans". It was sent by the mighty Mark Skelton of Cape Hatteras and the nascent Windsurfing Museum (Like it on FB). I saw Robby sail in Hatteras back in 1997. Video utterly fails to convey how (need a word that means awesome but isn't tired like awesome) it is to behold. Though the fraction of a second at 6:14 isn't bad.
The language that describes what we do with stand up paddle boards has been in beta for a few years now. Yeah we all know SUP, but then what? I've called SUPing in the waves SUPsurfing. Not too hard. But how do you say, for example: stand up paddle board windsurfing on waves? No less than Dasher (He Who Taught Me To Jibe) weighed in, with Wave WindSUPing, and who am I to argue?*
I finally did it (wave windSUPing). Took the AllWave with a 6.2 out at Ponquogue to join Jeff, George Pav, and Jonathan Ford in light crossshore winds for some well-spaced chest-high waves. I got about half a dozen rides before smashing my right wrist in the impact zone (a little two foot wave threw board into me)...ensuing numbness plus bleeding plus broken uni seemed like an excellent threesome of reasons to Stop. But before that it was so good! Here is how George Pav described it in the Yahoo LI Windsurfing group: "Four to six turns on very clean waves. Could be one of my top wave riding days ever. Conditions were perfect."
My first wave windSUP sesh. May my second come soon!
*I never argue with Dasher when it comes to windsurfing. Well, I did once. The moment I stopped arguing and did what he said (in a jibe lesson, against my will) I had my first controlled planing jibe. That was in 1999. To this day whenever I find myself having jibing problems I flash back to my lessons in Aruba, and Do What Dasher Said.
(Top: Footstraps were very much wanted as I went off that wave. Middle: George Pav lines up his next turn. Bottom: Even I had a good day! Photos by Jeff Schultz.)
It's like this: The best wavesailing day in years comes along, and I had to go to (say it with me):
The horror. Reading the text messages (4.7 going off! Head High Sets!) on the way to the church. Bill Barber's comment on the Puffin the next day ("nukin' wind fun head high waves and some shorebreak rejections at ponquogue saturday......why all the whining-where were you sir? ") Just awful. I actually like the couple that got married very much, and any other day would have been happy to be there, but...argh! As Peconic Jeff noted, I was the wind sacrifice. I weep bitter tears.
On the water: Pete Roesch, Jon Ford, Scott, Peconic Jeff, Bill Barber, Jon Sassone, more lucky people.