Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bonaire boys cleaning up in Sylt

It could actually happen. The 1st double elimination round is over and Tati, Kiri and Tonky stand 1,2,3 respectively. If they finish the event off this way and keep Gollito down far enough in the rankings, the next PWA Champion could come from my favorite winter get-away, Boniare. Here's more info on the final freestyle event of the year:

Back to Back

Gotta love Heckscher and all it has to offer. Yesterday, the 28th, was a funky day at Heckscher. It was probably the worst day of the year there that had strong wind. The chop was coming from every angle, and the wind would go from 15 to 30 almost every single run. But it was still a blast. Any day we can get to do what we love is a blessing. Even though the conditions on Monday were far from optimal I would have sailed those conditions dozens of times to get a day like we had today. The sun was out, the wind was up, and I mean way up. 4.2 was the call all around and I was even forced down to the 3.7 at one point. The funky chop from yesterday got itself together to make beautiful ramps on the outside for port or starboard jumping. The inside just begged me to throw down some sick tricks. Chrissy made it to the beach and managed to get a lot of really nice shots from the window of the car. Plenty for me to throw together a quick little video from today. And George, (no, not Starfish George, vulcan George) screw the vulcan and go for some spocks! That Mistral Joker you've got is already doing the full 360, you just don't realize it. Flip the sail baby!!!!!

Heckscher 29, 2009 from Mike Burns on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

PWA Sylt

The final freestyle event of the PWA Tour is going on right now. So far the wind has been too light for competition. Gollito is currently in first place on the tour with Tonky and Kiri tied for second. It's the final event of the year so everything will be decided this week. You can follow the event live by clicking on the new PWA Ticker.

Friday, September 25, 2009

ABK, and the First day with the new stick

So I've got my new Nolimits masts and Andy Brandt is in town for the weekend giving a freestyle ABK camp. The clinic is held at Napeague about a 2 hour drive from our house. The wind had been cranking out there all morning, and i was finally able to make it out there around 2pm. Just in time for the wind to die. When I pulled up Andy was giving a looping clinic. It was awesome to see 12 or 15 guys sitting in a semi-circle not just listening to a great instructor, but all willing to listen about the lesson Andy was giving. To learn to loop! They were all also keen on learning vulcans. The number of locals willing to push themselves to the next level is growing every year, and I'm so happy to see these guys willing to push themselves. Freestyle is what's going to save this sport and pass it on to the next generation.
As the class went back out to try some light wind trickery from the "sail chi" master I couldn't help but rig up and go for a sail. My 5.3 was the biggest sail I had with me so it would be that with the 99 ltr Mistral joker (my favorite board ever)

I went with the Sumo masts from NoLimitz this year for my whole quiver. It's a little stiffer than the original skinny and I've been sailing more powered up than I used to, so I was thinking it was the right call. After an hour or so of playing around in the light wind, the wind finally started filling back in close to sunset. I saw the first burst of wind coming across the water and as soon as it hit me, I was off. I was fully powered on the 5.3 and the mast was definitely stiffer. I'm glad I got a chance to try it on the same sail I've been using all year so I could really get a feel for the mast. It seemed to give a more direct feel to the sail. The feeling of full power in the sail came much quicker. Overall, I really liked the new Sumo and would recommend it to those who want the best from their sails. I should also mention that the NoLimitz masts are much cheaper than many sail company manufacturers masts and in some cases perform even better than the masts made by your sail company. So if your in the market for a new skinny mast, check'm out. I know a couple of guys that have switched to NoLimitz even though they had good masts from their sails manufacturer.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday Sept. 18th at Heckscher

Heckscher would be the call again for Friday. When we pulled into the parking lot there was already a pretty good crowd. I rigged the 4.7 and was good to go. I was VERY powered when I first went out. I had a couple of really nice ponches, shakas and air flakas. I'm loving heckscher for all the power moves when it's blowing from the west. You get a nice little section between the chop to carve for the moves. Speaking of carving, I saw John Markwalter on fire yesterday. He hit the cleanest, fully planing sail body 360 I've ever seen. Seth learned how to jump, and yesterday I think he was trying to jump off every little ripple in the water he could find. So of course he's already looking to go for the next level and try some shuvit's. I gave him a few quick little hints to get him started, and when I saw him later on he said he actually tried one. Way to take it to the next level Seth! Ryan was coming sooooo close to so many vulcans. I thought I sw him get at least one, but he doesn't claim it if it's not perfect. I even saw one he could have easily turned into a spock if he would have just tried for it.

The word is also out that my 2010 gear should be here any day now, so people are calling dibs on it for next year already. If you might want something from my 2010 collection, let me know before someone beats you to it. As for my 2009 gear, I still have a 4.2, 3.7 and 85 ltr left unclaimed. My new sails should be coming in any day now, but no word on when the boards will be here yet.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Another Great Easterly at Heckscher

My hopes weren't too high when I was heading off to the beach. The forecast was for yet another East/NE wind to blow on LI. I had hoped to give Demo a try but the wind was looking a little flukey and I had heard the waves were only about waist high. Then, Ethan posted up that he's sailing at Heckscher on the LI windsurfing group. So Heckscher would be the call once again. When I pulled in Joe Rocco was rigging his 4.2. It looked a little light on the inside even though the outside was surely 4.2. So I rigged up the 4.7 because I wanted to try some tricks close to shore on starboard (my weaker tack.) Joe and I launched together, and then we were off. He was blasting along fine on his 4.2 and I was well powered to say the least on my 4.7. The wind was steady, strong and the ramps weren't too big but were straight up, so getting some good air was pretty easy.

On one tack out I saw a ferry coming way out of the usual route that the ferries take. I noticed it had a blue hull with a white top. That's Billy T's boat!!! I figured he was coming close to check out how we were doing. I jibed outside as the rather large boat passed between me and the beach. Billy had planned it out perfectly. He was going to throw up a huge wake for me to go big on. As I approached Billy popped out of the cabin and made a windmill motion with his arms signaling me to throw a big forward. What Billy didn't realize is that my starboard tack (the tack I was on) is my retarded side. I couldn't complete a forward on starboard tack if someone started me off already upside down. Then suddenly that perfect ramp for a backloop made it's appearance. It was amazing and was there for my taking. I can bang out backloops on starboard and I would surely give the guys on the ferry a great show. As I approached I could picture myself rotating cleanly through the loop. I could already spot my landing before I'm even in the air. Then as quickly as the ramp appeared, Billy's big ass wake knocked the ramp down and I just ended up sailing by. I did manage to jibe and head back out to catch a little forward action off his wake, but I figured he wasn't watching and trying to explain to the guy next to him "I don't know what went wrong. Normally that guy's pretty good." Well Billy, I truly thank you for bringing your ferry all the way over just so I could throw a loop, but next time remember I'm retarded on starboard tack. So if it's not too much trouble make sure I'm on port tack when I hit your wake and I promise I'll give you a show. Now if I had only gone to the ABK clinic last year, maybe my starboard loops would be just fine.

Check out some pics from today thanks to Bill Doutney:

Billy T's ferry. I must be behind the boat in the picture setting up for that perfect back loop.

Easterlies at heckscher set up great ramps for learning shuvits and shakas. I managed to pick a nice one for this shot.

Big Rich catches some air next to Seth

Nice switch chacho

and a nice one handed funnel

Some of the Heckscher regulars

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

ABK Clinics coming up!!!

Just a reminder that Andy Brandt is in town spewing infinite windsurfing wisdom for the next 2 weekends. There are some spaces left, so grab them while you can get them. Go to http://www.abkboardsports.com to sign up.

Wipeouts at the Reunion Wave Classic

Well, we're all looking forward to the wind on Wed. here on LI. Here's a great wipeout video I came across from Open Ocean Media at the Reunion Wave Classic. It's pretty amusing. Now only if they had taken an ABK clinic........

Reunion Wave Classic 09_Worst Wipe Out - Powered by So├Âruz from Open Ocean Media on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Noreaster Day 2

I woke up this morning to a cool breeze making a whistling noise through the open bedroom window. It was time to get another great session out this strong Easterly breeze. I waited until about noon to head to the beach. Heckscher would be the call today as the meters were reading due east and gusting to 30. (which means it's well into the 30s for the average) I downed a couple of bottles of water before getting into the car. I was still dehydrated from yesterday's session at Napeague.

When I got to the beach, Joe was thinking about rigging down to his 3.1 and Ethan was lit on his 3.5. Well all's I got is my 3.7 so that's going to have to do. When I hit the water with the 3.7 and brand new 85 ltr Mistral Style it was soooo perfect. Big ramps and the the strong wind made for some big airs for everyone. That Style rocks! It jumps so easily and you can really dig in the rail and crank the turns very hard without even worrying about the rail catching.

The wind dropped off a bit a couple hours into it and some guys rigged up to their 4.2s. I was still just fine on my 3.7. At least now I could do some freestyle stuff too. On one run I ended up chasing Ryan way out into the middle of the bay, maybe 2 miles out and we were just having a blast taking turns cutting in front of each other on the chest high rollers. Luckily we only did a run or two of that and decided to stay a bit closer to shore. About 3 runs later i was following Ryan in on a run, we were both fully planing then suddenly it was like he ran into something and his board just stopped dead. Just as I was catching up to him the same thing happened to me. The wind had gone from 25 - 30 to about 6 in the matter of 2 seconds. I was still behind him and I found it hysterical to watch a 195 pounder try to sail a 4.2 and 85 ltr board while up to his waist in water. I was still able to stay knee to ankle deep with my 3.7. Finally when we were about 100 yards from shore Ryan went down. The wind just totally shut off. I could barely make out which way the wind was coming from. I was schlogging past Ryan who was still convinced that a puff would come through to get him to waterstart but there was just nothing. I made sure I laughed loud enough for him to here me as he replied ,"Shut up you light little bastard!" I made it about 10 feet past Ryan then I went in. We were both laughing our asses off, as we were swimming it in. It was a great day with great people. Can't wait until next time.

Bill Doughtney was at the beach snapping away photos for a while. Here are a few of the highlights:

Ethan catching air on his 3.5

Big Rich gets some

Ryan going big

Joe Rocco mid backloop

The usual suspects

A couple of yours truly

Look it's me again. Sharing some laughs with Ryan and Seth after the swim in.

Noreaster Day 1

I was questioning whether or not I would even be able to sail. I had the cable guy coming around 2:00 to fix the channels that magically disappeared. There was no wind on the meters anywhere except Napeague which is a good 1 1/2 - 2 hour ride for me to get to. Just as I was losing hope and starting to think about where I would sail the following day, the phone rang. It was 10:30 in the morning and it was the cable guy. The voice on the other end said, "Hi, this is Jason from Cablevision, do you mind if I stop by earlier to see what's going on with the cable?" Yes!!!! the stars have aligned and he would be here in 10 minutes. I quickly checked the wind again while waiting for my now favorite cable guy named Jason.
Still no wind in-island but Napeague remained 24 to 29 mph. The plan has been set into motion. Jason showed up around 11:00 and was gone by 11:15. A new cable was in place and a great session was about to begin. I made the long drive without any trouble. When I pulled up, Kurt was rigging his 5.4. The wind had backed a little but was supposed to get stronger as the day went on. I decided to just go ahead and rig my 5.3 and 4.7 so they would both be ready to go. While I was rigging, John Ford pulled in and mentioned something about Graham Ezzy being on his way to our little beach.
I headed out on the 5.3. It was perfect! right off the bat I was hitting great shakas and even a super smooth air funnel. Then the wind stared to pick up and it was time to grab a drink and the 4.7. As I was making the walk to the car I saw someone walking towards me sporting a "Princeton." T-shirt. There's only 1 guy I know that goes to Princeton and is also a windsurfer so it's got to be Graham. I introduced myself and he was very pleasant and eager to get on the water. he had forgotten his harness but we scrounged one up form John Markwalter. But first Graham had promised his buddy some windsurfing lessons. I could see his frustration as his eyes were just glued to the other sailors on the water while he was trying to keep his attention focussed on his buddy. Eventually his buddy got a run on the beginner gear. I guess that was Grahams signal that his buddy was good to go on his own and started rigging his own gear. (I would have been giving my buddy lessons as I was sailing past him.)
On the next run in Graham shouted from the beach, "Mike, my boards too small can I borrow this one" (pointing to my 85 ltr sitting on the beach) "Sure," I replied. He hooked his Ezzy sail up and was off. We we're having a blast and he was throwing some flakas and super clean forwards. I was glad to help him get some action.

We ended up sailing into the sunset and packed it in as the sun went down. It was solid 4.7 for most of the day. Today looks like it's got more East in it so I'll most likely be off to Heckscher. I can't wait to get on the water again today.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Great reading for no wind days

Well, checking the www.beachtelegraph.com is one of the first things I do every morning, right after the www.peconicpuffin.com of course, to find the latest news about the windsurfing world. You know they do their homework because they actually made a mention of my newly started ramblings of windsurfing thoughts called a blog. The Beach Telegraph is a great blog all by itself, however the editor, Brian McDowell has taken it to the next level with the launch of a paperless internet only magazine called Windsurfer International. It's a great read with great photos and definitely worth a look. Here's the link www.windsurferinternational.com Happy reading.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Awaiting the arrival of the 2010 gear

Well, tis the season. It's the time of year when the air starts to cool off, the winds start shifting to the north, and it's time to hit up my favorite beach not only on long island, but that I've ever been to. West Meadow of course. And what makes getting to sail my favorite spot better? Well getting to sail new gear at my favorite spot of course.

I anticipate the arrival of the 2010 Mistral line the most. The entire range has been reworked and not only do they have one shaper but 2 just to make sure everything is up to par. And this year the boards are being made somewhere other than the infamous Cobra factory and promises have been made that the durability will be greatly improved. The only fly in the ointment will be to see what they done with my beloved 2009 Joker. Could they have actually made THE perfect board better? Could the earliest planing board I've ever sailed plane earlier? Could the most fun to ride board I've ever sailed be made more fun to ride? My only hope was to not have the 2010 joker be a let down from the 2009 model.

Then I got my first peek at the 2010 mistral line: http://windsurfing.mistral.com and my faith was restored. Not only are the dimensions pretty much the same as the 2009 model with the 98 and 108 ltr, but they've also added another board to the lineup. The Joker Wave. it comes in an 85 and 95 ltr. I'll take the 85 ltr please! It will compliment the 98 ltr I'll be using as the bread and butter board. I'm so psyched for the 2010s!!! I haven't heard about an arrival date but I know it will be some time this fall. For now we'll keep waiting for wind.