Sunday, February 17, 2008

The New Classic Cove

It seems like every time a southeast wind blows, the Cove becomes a madhouse of watersports enthusiasts. Odd, since the angles are kind of wrong now as the point has morphed over time. If you can find a copy of Kooks of Hazzard II, you'll see some of the Old Classic Cove footage, with mast high bombs peeling down the line for 100s of yards, side offshore wind holding up the faces, windsurf kits skittering across the faces. The New Classic Cove is somewhat, umm, different:

Mushy windswell, side on to onshore wind to swell angles, and a mess of fishing lines, kite lines, and downhaul lines all ready to tangle at a moments notice. Don't get me wrong, it's still really fun to play around in there, and usually the atmosphere is cheerful. When it's actually windy the jumps can be massive, and the wave rides, although mostly backside, can be long and fun. But it's a long way from those video clips I've seen! In defense of the Old Classic Cove, all the old timers claim that it only happens that way once every 6 years, if you're lucky. I've been here for 7, and I've seen the waves, and I've seen the wind, but never at the same time... Luckily, patience is a character trait deeply rooted in the windsurfing and surfing learning curves, and I've learned it well...

Stu (white/blue) and Emmanuel (red) pick off a nice set
So, today, Stuart, Emmanuel, 10-12 kiters, and I enjoyed the New Classic Cove setup in light SSE winds. Mushy knee to head high waves were pushing their way down the point. We sailed 5.4 - 5.8 and new school longboards/sups. Never going fast, unless there was a wave pushing us. 'Twas a "soul-surfing" session! Not too many radical cutbacks on a 12'2" board, that's for sure, but it's still an awful lot of fun, and a great tune-up for highwind conditions!

Emmanuel and Stuart


EC said...

I counted at one point 20 kitekooks on the water and half dozen or more string monkeys socializing on the beach!

BTW, i got some pics to email you but need to go home as i don't have Canon software to updload from laptop and 100MB download over wifi aren't my idea of spending a wknd in Hatteras....

Freakin' rain stop, let it blow so we can sail some big waves today!

Mac said...

Guys, tell more about your SUP/sailing set up and that experience. What boards were you using? What was the wind speed? This SUP light wind sailing thing is interesting. Thanks, Mac

stuart proctor said...

Hi Mac,
Andy was using a 12'2" starboard from a couple of years ago; Emanuel was using the new kona 11'5", and I was using the amundson 11'3". The wind was, at its lightest, 5-12mph and 15-18 at its strongest. While it's tough to beat kiting in 15-18/side-on winds, SUP wavesailing rules when it's blowing less than 13mph or when it is side-off and there are long glassy wave faces. I got some rides that put me about 1/2 mi. downwind from where I took off, riding the nose, gybing on "cutbacks", and pumping the board down the faces of the bumps (1-foot waves). IMO If you're going to paddle it is important to get a board with width (apx. 29"+-), whereas if you're just windsurfing width is not an issue (although andy paddles his narrow board very well). No daggerboard necessary, just bury the upwind rail to go upwind. Also, if you are planning on SUP surfing or wavesailing it is important to spend some time in the ocean on a funboard/longboard and to use a skinny mast: wave knowledge/wave ettiquette are extremely important and a SUP board puts a lot of stress on a pogo-sticking mast. Sorry for the long reply - hope it helps. -stp

Andy said...

Stuart covered most of it! Big boards, small sails no matter what the wind. Usually 4.5 - 6.0 seems reasonable, light enough to whip around and uphaul quickly, but enough juice to move you (albeit slowly). Leave the cambered 8.5 on the beach! Maneuverability tops power on the priority scale!

Big boards feel really stable and safe, so it's easy to go for a cruise in the ocean in moderate conditions. However, even a knee high wave can snap your mast like a twig when there's a 12 foot 30 pound board getting thrown in the mix... So don't let your guard down, and if you fall just climb back up and reach for the uphaul immediately! Get that sail out of the water and you'll be just fine!

SUP sailing (and paddling) make you absolutely skunk proof, and also allow for challenging and fun sessions even when it's only knee high and blowing 4 knots! Or flat water for that matter! Most of these boards double as great lightwind lake cruisers, and perfect follow up boards (to the meter wide behemoths) for the second timer!

Next time you're in Hatteras, look me up for some other real world pointers on how to manage a huge stick in the ocean!

Mac said...

will do....thanks guys!