I wasn't able to attend the ABK clinic at Tiana last weekend (various personal obligations) but I stopped by Friday morning to say Hi and to sail the eastern breeze. Just being near the clinic pushed me to think about my technique, and as I sailed I thought about all the things I was doing in that 90 minute session that I'd either learned or improved in ABK clinics (I've done at least 17 of them over the years, and I ain't done yet.) On this fine morning the list included:
Carrying the gear to, into and out of the water.
Uphauling, beach starts, waterstarts, clew first waterstarts.
Hooking in, getting into the footstraps, and sailing fast.
Planing through lulls, planing upwind underpowered.
Fast tacks, helitacks, push tacks, nose spin hoss tack (good for clearing weeds from the fin!)
Attention freestylee sailors and admirers: Word is that Caesar mighty Caesar will be on the water (and at the simulator) at next week's ABK clinic at Tiana. For anyone aspiring to learn flowstyle (or mad freestyle): FYI! And regardless...if you're not signed up time is running out. As ABK's website says, "less than 6 spots remain.)
(filed by our special correspondent Chimply Lord Scotworth:) Got the call early to go to Ditch,supposedly it was epic so jamming out there some guy in a box truck in front of me turns his left blinker on so I start to pass him on the right..right? wrong ! he makes a right! I cant explain how close (doing 60) I came to getting smashed into the guard rail. Got to Ditch with blood pressure at 200x200 and after half an hour finally calmed down. Waves were pretty good, but you had to pay some dues to get out. Too much offshore, but Jimi Jam, Fisherman and Jonathan got out and shredded (Jonathan underpowered on a 6.2! The Wolf and I decided to go back west to the Bowl. Got to the Bowl and it was honkin 5.3! After many jumps I was way outside and landed one flat...SNAP!! The only thing holding the two halves together was a footstrap...took me a long time to get back body dragging with two halves acting like anchors! Hope I never go through that again. had my GoPro on but when I got back to the beach it said "card full", didn't get any video. The Wolf broke his mast in the shorebreak before he even got out! Thanks to Jonathan for replacing his mast right away and replacing my board! Oh almost forgot..C.D. showed up and sailed!!!
I caught the best part...an hour powered 6.2 on my 99 liter Skate. Jibes, upwind 360's and even a couple backwinded jibes. Woo Ha! (ABK is coming soon...I am preparing.) Then it began to die as Sally arrived, followed by Xantos 7.5 guy (must learn his name...) Sally planed a teeny bit on the 5.5 but soon enough was out on my big 109 with the 6.2 again, followed by the 93 FSW. I love that she's able to manage the 6.2 in light conditions! (Top: Sally on the big stuff. Bottom: She likes her 93 better.)
It is dat time mon (and womon). The water is still warm, the winds are picking up, and you want/need/deserve new gear! (Also you may want to pass on some stuff you want to upgrade or no longer use.) Windsurfing swap meet, kiteboarding swap meet, stand up paddle swap meet, surfing swap meet...it's all of that! Saturday 9/13 at Hampton Watersports. Starts at 9AM, ends at 3. The good stuff goes fast! Also this word in from the store: 2014 boards on sale.
If you've never been (or need reminding):
1. People will be there to help you (if you want help) with evaluating used gear (and its suitability for your needs.)
2. Swaps are fun places to meet other water people!
3. If you're selling gear, you get 100% store credit or 80% cash. I always ask "what windsurfer (etc) isn't going to be spending money at the store in the next year?" I never understand why anyone would want cash.
Hampton Watersports is at 1688 County Road 39 Southampton, NY 11968. 631-283-9463 (WIND)
Photo from the 80's? 90's? Oughts (terrible word...have no idea how to spell it nor do I want to)? No No No! It's the great Pierre Coupal keeping it real in a time machine, as seen on his Facebook page today. Go Pierre
Our Labor Day guest Catherine wanted to try windsurfing. Usually we try to put people on a board for the first time in Davis Creek, which is flat as a pool table. But the southerlies dictated Mecox (Yacht Club) so Ms C toughed out the bumps and managed a first reach of 20 yards (17 more than mine back in 1990.) As per the usual experience, she thinks she did badly because she found uphauling a challenge, and fell a few times. I think if we can get her on the creek for her next sesh we'll have her tacking!
(photos by Sally, taken off of Instagram. Sally was out again with a 6.2...huge for her...and the 109 Freestyle.)
-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 race,
-people who want to learn freestyle,
-people who want to relax,
-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.
Fall is often the best time to windsurf on the east coast and ABK Boardsports is the people to hook up with to hone your skills and take it to the next level. Have FUN!
P.S. Don't wait until the last minute to sign up. ABK regulars know that the clinics sometimes sell out. The only thing worse than missing a clinic is missing a clinic because you assumed you could show up on clinic day and there'd be no problem. Sometimes yes, but often NO!
Sally and I went to Mecox Saturday, to eek out a session from the barely-there southerlies. It was:
First time shortboard Mike
"Last century equipment guy" (yeah but he had a 7.5 so he was fully planing on a Xantos)
I was marginal on my 6.2 (why did I leave the 7.5 home) and Sally decided to just watch. Until she wanted to sail the 6.2. There's no way she can handle the 6.2 (she's petite) but prove me wrong why don't you, out she went, back she came, out she went, back she came to board down, etc. Nice work, and a first for her!
Sunday in Davis Creek my gal Sal was popping off pivot jibes like they were nothing. Getting tighter, too. So now with her stoke up we made reservations for Bonaire 2015. Oh yeah.
For a number of us, those Puffins and Wind Chimps and assorted Fools On The Water under the age of 60 or 50...the Wolf is our beacon. He turned 70 this week. 70! And he's still out there. Every time Jan vanderWolf catches a wave or launches off a ramp, we're hopeful for ourselves, that we can be out there decades from now. Also we're having a good time, because let's face it: The Wolf is fun to sail and paddle with. "The Stoke of the Wolf" Jeff calls it.
So Happy Birthday Jan! May we get some conditions soon!
(Above: Air Wolf. Below: The Stoke of the Wolf. From Jeff Schultz's collection.
How often do you find yourself beginning to hook in at the beginning of a session when you realize you have no hook? I've done this my last two sessions in a row. They've both been at Mecox, and happily Sally has been on the shore both times (using me as a wind dummy) so she's also been available to throw me my harness (after laughing at me.) C'est la life.
Another Sunday, another southerly. Not quite as strong as iWindsurf cracked it up to be (6.2 with a lot of holes) but still warm and planey and a good day to work on tricks (upwind 360's, backwinded jibes, hoss tacks...hit most all of them.) Also on the water: Sally, Eileen, Eileen's dog's vet (must learn his name). Visiting: Regular Peconic Puffin reader Sam, who needs more time on the water (enough vicariousity sir Sam...we're looking for you to be rigging next weekend! Sam's been tres busy, we know...)
Eileen and I confirmed what I have long suspected: In southerly winds there is an extra MPH or two of wind in the northeast-most corner of the bay. There's a bit of a wind tunnel as the wind blows into Hayground Cove, so if conditions are marginal (or you simply want some predictable extra speed before jibing or throwing a move) this is the place. FYI
Not on the water: Various pansies watching TV, going to lectures (don't ask) entertaining guests. I don't understand. When I began windsurfing in 1992 at the original Puffin House I was given a short list of rules and guidelines. The very first one was: When it's windy, you sail.
Meanwhile for the true men and women of wind and water: keep these summer shortboarding days coming!
I don't care that it's the World Cup. DVR it. You'd rather watch sports than play sports? We can be acquaintances. When you speak of windsurfing, be sure to note that for you it's a hobby. We addicts need to know who our fellow shredheads are.
I am making a list. You know who you are. It's not too late to choose to participate rather than spectate.
Drowning does not look like drowning. I didn't know that. We who play in the water need to know what it does look like, so we can take effective action. Read this article on drowning and check out its accompanying video (or watch it below.) And check out my2fish's story about how easily one can find themselves in trouble.
This isn't the first time The Peconic Puffin has lifted water safety information from Bonnie Queen of the Kayak Bloggers, and her blog Frogma. Thanks again Bonnie!