Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Day full of Good Intentions

We had our first dry spell of the spring in the wind department on Long Island. This past weekend was packed full of beautiful weather and a forecast for some possible wind on Sunday. My friends from ABK were on Long Island for a clinic out east on the island and I really wanted to get out there to see them. It would be a 2 hour drive to see them, but it's always a great time hanging out and shooting the freestyle sh!t with them. So it was my intention to go say hi to those guys and hopefully sail with them. Then I saw the forecast for Sunday. It had a possibility of blowing ok from the East. Nothing epic, but a sailing day none the less.

I had intentionally gotten up early Sunday morning in time to make the 2 hour drive East. I started packing the cooler for the trip out to Napeague where the ABK clinic was while I watched the leaves on the trees start to blow in a fickle breeze in my backyard. I figured, I could head out there, sail with those guys for a few hours and still make it home in time for a BBQ with the family. Christina, my wife woke up as I was ready to leave and I told her my intentions.

"You sure you'll make it back for dinner?" she asked.

"Yeah, it's not going to be so great out there. I'll sail for a couple hours and say hi to the gang and come home."

As I walked past my laptop, I figured I'd check and see what the wind was doing. Much to my surprise, there was absolutely no wind at Napeague. Then I saw the meter for the Great South bay. A steady 20! This was an incedibly complex dilemma that lasted about 3 seconds. I didn't take long for my deprived windsurfing brain to calculate the planing probability for this situation. I could drive 2 hours for 3 knots, or drive 25 minutes for 20 knots at a place I'd rather sail anyway. Due to the fact that my intentions were to be home for dinner, I would also be able to get a few more hours of sailing time in by going to Heckscher. With the extra time I had now, I hung out at the house and fed the kids breakfast and gave the wind a bit of a chance to come up before officially canceling the trip eastward.

The whole drive to Heckscher I felt bad about blowing off the trip out East. That ended quickly when I pulled into the parking lot and saw whitecaps. I wasn't as strong as I had thought, but having not sailed in a while, I was excited to rig the 5.9 for the first time in months. This spring has been so windy, that I haven't sailed anything over the 4.7 very often. I was on the water by 11 AM and man that 5.9 felt HUGE!!!! after an hour or so of sailing by myself some other guys finally hit the water. Then Ryan showed up and rigged his 6.2. We had plenty of wind, but it just wasn't enough for my 5.3. One run Ryan was heading away from the beach and was on the hunt for a flat spot to try a spock. I was on his tail to witness this incredible event, but he just kept going and going. I caught up to him and yelled, "why don't we just go to the flats, we're already half way there!" He gave the nod and we were on our way. For those who don't know, an East wind like we had on Sunday is a sideshore wind at Heckscher. It lets you sail the 3 1/2 miles across the Great South Bay to a super flat, 3/4 mile section of the bay that's knee to waist deep. It's one of the best spots on LI for freestyle.

We hung out over in the flats for a long time. Billy T. showed up a few minutes later blasting around, hooting and hollering. It was a great time and we stayed there for a good while. I even let Ryan try the precious F2 Rodeo. He instantly loved it. When we started getting tired, we figured we'd head back. After making the 3 1/2 mile trek back across the bay, it was already late in the afternoon and I had to head in and check the time. It was just about time for dinner so I figured I'd call Christina and let her know I was packing up and on my way. As the phone was ringing, I saw Ryan get totally lit up on his 6.2. Then Chrissy picked up and said, "so are you leaving yet?"

"Ummmm, you mind if I go sail my 5.3 for a little while?"

"Sure, but just make sure you make it home for dinner." She said.

"Sure thing."

Now, letting a freestyler who had been struggling all day with moves on a big ass 5.9 go out on a 5.3 was her first mistake. Not giving me a specific time for dinner sealed the deal. I'm perfectly fine eating dinner at midnight. So, my little while on the 5.3 turned into another hour and 1/2 session. It was so nice being back on the 5.3 funneling, shakaing and looping up a storm. For the record, I did pack it in earlier than I had wanted to so I could make it home for dinner. The only problem is that everyone else was packing it in too. Seth and Big Rich had seen us over in the flats while they were kiting and Seth had stopped by the beach to say hi. So we chatted for a bit, and started talking about Bonaire. As his wife pulled up with their new baby girl, he told me I had to sell her on the Bonaire trip so he could go this time too. So that turned into another 1/2 hour sales pitch, which I'm pretty sure was worth while. You're welcome Seth!

I ended up getting home a bit after 8 o'clock, which was still well within my dinner time range, but apparently not the the dinner time everyone else was expecting. So my intentions for getting home for a nice BBQ dinner were scraped too. So every good intention I had for the day was ruined from this darn windsurfing thing and I can't wait to do it again.

Today I will work, play with the kids, and have dinner with the family......or will I.

See you at the beach while you're too sick to go to work!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Need Wind? Come to Long Island!

Here on Long Island the wind has been cranking on a near daily basis. We've been getting at least 4 days a week of sailable conditions on the Great South Bay for the past few weeks. Last week, if you wanted, you could have sailed 6 days in a row. One day I would have needed a 6.9, so I passed and took the 5 days of 5.3 or less. This week we've already had 3 days in a row of 5.3 or better conditions and it looks like today and tomorrow I'll be breaking out the 4.2 and 3.7 yet again.

This spring really has been incredible, and not only for wind. With all the wind we've been having the local freestyle crew has really been stepping it up a notch. John Marwalter is in the air spinning the board around on almost every single run, not to mention I think he's got more carving type maneuvers under his belt than I do. George Pav is no spockable! He made his first spock a few sessions ago on an Easterly at heckscher and he's really coming close on almost every one he tries. Joe Natalie made a breakthrough yesterday in the perfect SW 5.3/4.7 breeze at Heckscher. His rotations are now looking like a loop rather than a cartwheel. I saw him make the closest attempt to date and he said the next one was even closer. I'm sure this is Joe's season for getting it. On Wed. I sailed at Tanner with Kevin O'shea. He proclaimed as he rigged his 6.0 while I was rigging my 4.7 that he was taking a big sail becasue he doesn't do any flippy-dippy stuff. Then I see him sailing backwinded, thn with both hands behind his head fully planing, the duck jibe then do an arm drag through a jibe. No flippy-dippy my ass! Kev, your most basic of animal instincts are telling you to start spinning and flipping! Just let yourself go and follow your true path.

I'm finally getting some good days on the Rodeo. I've been using the JP simply because it's been blowing 3.7 almost every time I go sail and the 98 ltr Rodeo gets a little big for a 3.7. The 89 ltr JP however stays in control nicely in those conditions. But on the Rodeo is where I want to be and the last few days sailing it has been like a drug. It's getting me closer to new moves faster than anything I've ever sailed. I need to sail it again, and if you're in the market for a freestyle board, grab one while you can! You can only get them at Ocean Air Sports. Brian was smart enough to grab every single one that was available in the country to sell at the shop, and I know that most of them are already gone, so grab yours before it's too late.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tati Frans Wins 1st PWA Freestyle Event

After winning the final E vent of 2009 at Sylt, Tati Just won the first PWA freestyle event of the year in Podersdorf, Austria. Second Place went to Steven Van Broekhoven and in third place on a Judges 3:2 decision was Gollito just beating out Kiri. Things should be interesting on the tour this year as there is a new rule in effect. All the freestyle pros must compete on stock boards. Gollito, who has won the title and almost every event the past few years has been pretty much the only guy on the tour using a custom instead of his stock board, the Fanatic Skate. All the other top guys have been on stock gear. So with Gollito off of his magic stick and onto a stock board, it should be interesting to see how this years standings will play out. Good luck to the Bonaire guys!!! On another note, Steven Van Broekhoven who placed second is using my beloved F2 Rodeo, so we'll see what that board really do!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

And the competitors are rolling in

We announced only 2 days ago that the East Coast windsurfing Festival was a go and we already have 24 competitors signed up and ready for action. If you want in, now is the time to sign up. Go to to get your name in. This just could be the year for a windy event! The water is getting warm really early which means good things for the wind in June.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

East Coast Windsurfing Festival is a go!

The 3rd Annual East Coast Windsurfing Festival is officially on! The long awaited permits have finally been approved and the event is slated for June 12th and 13th, 2010. With the water already warming up and SW winds already starting, this just might be the year for an epic event. There will be a freestyle competition, racing, raffles, and a board toss. For more information and to sign up go to