Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hitting Up The Slick (video)

Phew, sorry for the lack of updates, but Hatteras has been firing, and between work and sailing and surfing, I just haven't had the time or energy... So here's the update:

Following the crazy day in the Cove, the wind went light north, with a remaining South swell, lining up an unbelievable day of surf on the south side. Dan and I ended up catching a sunset session in the Cove, as the swell was fading out. Caught one ok right, and a great left, and called it a day. This is what the lineup looked like:

Warbly and weird, but a whole lot of fun!

Monday offered up some great surf on the East facing beaches when the wind all but disappeared. Glassy and fun! It was still mostly a South swell, lining up long, slow rights, and fast, heavy lefts. Stuart, Anne and I caught a great sunset session.

And the last two days, Tuesday and Wednesday, have just been cranking Westerly! It's the first big West event of the Fall, and to be honest, it feels a bit like winter out there. I put on my boots and mitts for the first time this year to fend off the chill. Stuart and I have been charging the Buxton Slick every free moment we get! Dawn and Dusk sessions, 5.0, for two days straight. Man, it's so much fun sailing back there! The water is just SO flat, it's perfect for cranking high speed jibes and working on those freestyle moves. I brought the camera with me Wednesday morning, and this is what we came up with:



Stuart is a nut! I mean, who jumps an island on windsurfing gear? Gimme a break! In all fairness, there was water there. It was all of 4 centimeters deep. When we went back last night, it was completely dry with the lower water levels...

Mike B, we're kidnapping you and your crew and taking you to the slick if it blows West while you're here.

Anyway, it's still windy!! Looks like a recovery day tomorrow and Saturday, but all of next week is lining up with another batch of insane NE wind! Gotta love it! And YOU have gotta get here! COME JOIN US!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cove Video!

Alright, here's a quick video from The Cove, taken on Saturday 10/25/2008, by Ace. Winds were in the 20 to 35 mph range, and seas in the chest to logo high range! Gooood stuff! This was my initial reaction to the sesh.

Enjoy!




There's more to come, too, with footage from the Lighthouse and the Reef currently being processed, and more action happening every day!! Non stop fun, here on Hatteras Island! Come join us!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Floating on a High...

Uugh! I'm so amped up right now... It's ridiculous!! Just got out of the water at the Cove. Stuart, Ace and I nabbed a morning session down there, lit up on 5.0. The waves were starting to roll in at least logo high, if not mast high down in the section we were sailing... Tough to tell when you're on them, all you know is that it's big... *update*- just checked the buoy: it's been reading between 12 and 17 feet since 6 this morning... so yeah, it's pretty big out there : ) **Update**- Here's the video of the day!

Home Base for the Cove session

The Cove is such a cool place. I got completely worked on this one bomb, and all I was thinking underwater was to conserve energy for the inevitable long swim to my gear. As I was coming up to the surface, however, my hand brushed up against the mast tip and made an easy grab... Everything's in one piece, waterstart and go! Unbelievable to get worked so hard, and have your gear in perfect waterstart position right next to you when you surface.... All I can think is that maybe I went for the same ride that my gear did, when usually you get spit out the back while your gear gets dragged 50 yards before it gets released from the mayhem...

The Cove is also a great place to work on those backloops. Every single run out saw a perfectly pitching head high (+) wall to chuck yourself off of... So many insane jumps this morning... Uuugh... Loving it down here!!

Staurt, Bill, Jay and I also snagged a great sunset session at the Lighthouse on Thursday evening. Side on, litsky 5.0 conditions kicked up mostly chest high swell with the occasional logoish high set rolling through. The session mostly provided backside hits, and some big jumps... Very fun out there! I think a lot of people got out there earlier, too, so there were smiles all around! Ace took a bunch of video footage, after his epic 7 hour kite session. I'm surprised he could even hold up the camera!

Bill takes to the air, Lighthouse, 10/23

It'll take a while to sort through all the video, so be sure to check back in to watch the action after I get it all edited!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Never ending wind, spectacular sunsets, and a rant or two...

Hatteras has been CRANKIN' lately! This is what Fall is all about!! All of my customers are limping around with various overuse injuries and raw hands. Some people took Sunday off, because it was TOO windy... Other than that, we've been on the water EVERY day!! Awesome!

I snagged two sessions yesterday! The morning sesh was at Ramp 34, just north of Avon. The waves were super fun, a bit overhead in the biggest sets and really crumbly. Most lined up for 2 or 3 good turns. The wind was a bit light, but I got lucky and lined up one good puff on the way out, with an incoming set, and launched into a pretty solid backloop attempt. I completely botched the landing (overrotated and the sail ripped out of my hands), but it still felt great to get some hang time. Other sailors out included my bud Ace, Stuart, and eventually Charlie and a whole brigade of kiters and windsurfers right when I had to leave for work... I'm sure they all caught it great!

Then Ace and I grabbed a sunset session after I closed up the shop for the day. We sailed the sound, just North of Avon. The sunset was *spectacular*. The sailing was *spectacular*. I can't complain about anything, ever, it seems... Oh wait, it was a bit chilly, so I had on a 4/3 with a hood... but no boots or gloves yet... so I guess I still can't complain : )

Oh, I was on 5.0/85 liter RRD combo, and Ace was litsky on his 9m kite.

Here's the progression of the sunset, in all it's glory (all pics by Anne):


That was about an hours worth of timeline, probably, from top to bottom... And no photoshopping, I promise!

Yup, Cape Hatteras has been alive, in all of its normal Fall time glory. Check out this video of a surf contest held the other day up in Rodanthe (thanks for the link, Keith). It was between VA and NC. VA won in points total, but NC surfer Jesse Hines snagged the wave of the day with a heaving double barrel. What's worth more? A bunch of pretty OK rides? Or, the single best ride of the day? I'm sure Jesse will agree, quality outweighs quantity : )

Also, check out this Island Free Press slideshow of carnage from our last batch of NE wind (thanks for the link, Drew, and thanks for the slideshow, Donny!). The aerial photos really show how fragile this place is, especially North of Rodanthe. I really can't believe the long bridge option isn't at the forefront. How long will we keep rebuilding Pea Island and S-Turns? Especially with rising sea levels? Gimme a break. The north end of Buxton isn't in any better of a position, either... I vote for the long bridge, with access ramps to Pea Island parking areas and limited 4WD access. Leave it to the birds and surfers, not the bulldozers and endless "rejuvenation" projects...

Alright, sorry for the rants... More wind in the forecast, basically never ending!! See ya out there!! Oh, I think ABK Boardsports still has a few slots available for their upcoming weekend clinic... Sign up and enjoy the wind!! Time to learn those loops!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lit up soundside action!

Canadian Hole, 4.0 Madness (Anne Pic)

Crazy couple of days! Sunday brought massive amounts of N/NNW winds to the Island. Most people sailed 3.5-4.0 over the course of the entire day! Good stuff!

Ace Lays Into a Jibe (Anne Pic)

Ace, Stuart and I took a Reef Run early in the AM, before work. It was super fun out there, with waves in the waist to chest high range, lining up some huge starboard jumps. We shot a bit of helmet cam footage, some of which came out pretty sweet. It'll take a little while before I get a chance to edit it, but it'll be worth the wait.

"Promised Land" (or... body of water)(Anne Pic)

We were also lucky enough to nab a sunset session at the Canadian Hole, still super lit up on 3.5 to 4.0s. We had a mini Loop Fest out there, chucking 'em left and right! There were quite a few people out, and it was great to share the water with some ripping sailors. All of the attached pictures were from this session, and here is a short video clip to give you a feel for the action! (Thanks, Anne!)

video

There's more video to come, and what looks to be an action packed week, so check back for more reports!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Ace-man shoots a video!

The wind is back!! As I write this, the house is shaking in 40+ mph gusts... Dawn can't come soon enough : )

It's been a great few days out here in Hatteras! The wind started to fill in Friday afternoon, so I took a short after work sesh up at Island Creek. There was basically only about 20 minutes of daylight left, but with all the houses rented out the lights were burning bright and I sailed well past sunset. 5.7, 85 liter RRD. Perfect freestyle conditions!

My buddy Ace showed up Saturday morning, all the way from Vermont. Anne, Ace and I took a dawn session just north of Avon. 5.0, pretty gusty, and a lot of fun! Ace took a few minutes of video when we were first getting warmed up, and added some commentary for your viewing pleasure....

Consider yourself warned: this video contains explicit language!! It is not family friendly!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Andy Brandt Makes an Appearance!


Andy Brandt, of ABK Boardsports, gave an in-shop clinic at Sailworld Hatteras last night! We had a killer turnout, with more people than I could easily count (I've only got 20 fingers and toes). One major source of attendees was BABA, a huge windsurfing organization based in Baltimore. I think everyone got some great advice from Andy, and some great beer from Sailworld, so there wasn't a frowning face in the house!


If you haven't windsurfed with Andy, check out some videos of him here.

If you are interested in taking a clinic with ABK Boardsports, check out their schedule here.

Other than that, we've had some great surfing conditions the last few days, with light offshore breeze and waist to chest high, very fun waves. If I head back out this afternoon, I'll try to snap a few pictures off.

Keep an eye on the forecast!! This weekend is looking pretty darned good!!!!! See ya out there!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Comp's complete, and some cool videos to check out!!

***UPDATE: The Polls are up and running, at obxbeachlife.blogspot.com. Check out the slideshows here, and cast your vote for the Wave Sailing Champion!!


Many apologies for the lack of posting!! I assure you, all is well on the Hatteras Front...

We just finished up a windy weekend, with a few days of decent NE wind. I snuck out of work Sunday afternoon, attended a wedding (Congrats to Alice and Art!!!)(had a few Coronas and some cake), and then shot straight down to the Ferry Docks, where we were holding the Hatteras Wave Fest competition. I was a bit late, and everyone was getting off the water just as I showed up. The tide was definitely getting a bit high, and the wind a bit fluky, but I was able to sneak out past the shorebreak and catch a few waves, so all's good.

Dale came out and snapped off about a million pics of the action, and I guess we're going to leave the competition judging in your hands! Keep an eye on Bill's Site, as I think he's compiling slideshows of each of the attending contestants, and then y'all can vote on who you think should win, based on the pictures! If you vote for me, I'll split my winnings of the cash purse with you. I promise : ) Hmm, kind of like tax cuts?

In the meantime, check out these two short videos I came across. The production levels are getting WAY stepped up. Pretty cool stuff, if you ask me or the Peconic Puffin. Enjoy! By the way, if you click the rectangular button to the left of the "HQ" it'll play full screen....




Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Spocks and Lip Smacks

Ahh killer day on the water! The forecast was for strong NE in the morning, fading as the day progressed. So I woke up early and snagged a moderately powered freestyle session at the Hole, with a bunch of visiting sailors. Smiles all around out there! Good stuff! My personal choice of skipping breakfast bit me in the butt as my energy level quickly faded, but it was still a great session, and I was (eventually) able to get back into the freestyle groove after taking a few nasty spills.

Halfway through my work day, I started to hear the shop's ceiling creak. That's a sure sign of wind well over the 20 knot mark. Moments later, Keith called from the Lighthouse, reporting solid 5.0 conditions and a chest high wave. I, uhhhh, well, I didn't stay at work. Turns out we had a good crew of kids out there, with Keith leading the charge, and Stuart, Bill, Jim K, and myself chasing his tail. Eventually Jay Crawford joined us on his kite, too (BTW, nice cover shot Jay/Lane!!)

My buddy Dan, who had been kiting all morning, gathered enough leftover energy to lift up his camera and snap off a few pictures. Thanks for the shots, Dan!!

Keith generating some serious speed
Keith dropping in
It was tough to keep speed up in the impact zone, due to a pretty strong littoral current and a side/side-on wind direction. Every now and then, though, a nice one would wall up for you and you'd be able to get a turn or two.

I'm heading up
There's a nice section about 50 yards south of the Jetty
Keith up top!
So I'm stoked for a killer day on the water, that supplied multiple venues, disciplines, and challenges. This weekend is the scheduled re-run of the Hatteras Wave Challenge. I'm definitely glad that I got some time in the straps to tune up for the event. Watch out, friends, cause I'm comin ta git cha!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Upcoming Hatteras Fall Fun!!

Not too much action to report from the last few days, except for the constant barrage of rental customers breaking down the doors for the Starboard Serenitys and demo SUPs... We should start highest bidder auctions, instead of the first-come, first-served policy...

Anyway, we've got a few little tidbits of excitement coming up, first and foremost being wind this afternoon and the next few days! Be sure to check back for reports! Otherwise, I'd like to announce a totally FREE informal In-Shop Clinic hosted by Sailworld Hatteras and ABK Boardsports, featuring Andy Brandt and a few of his right hand men, on Wednesday, October 15th at 7 PM!! Be here, or count it as a "missed-it." Your choice, but I know which column I'd like to reside in!

Actually, ABK Boardsports' travelling crew of well trained windsurfing instructors will be here in Cape Hatteras for the next 2 weeks! They'll be providing 2 seperate multi-day clinics, one from 10/13th - 10/17th, and the next from 10/24th - 10/26th. As much as I like selling gear, in all honesty, most of those people would be better off investing in a clinic with ABK to help cure their windsurfing woes.....

But don't take my word for it! Here's what Anne had to say about the May 2008 weekend she spent with ABK:

May 11, 2008
Huge thanks to Andy Brant, Matt Case, and Tom for an awesome weekend of sailing on Cape Hatteras! For anyone who has not yet taken an ABK clinic, stop being content making one out of every 30-300 attempts of whatever you’re trying to do (water start through back loop). Save yourself a few years and let these guys show you how to do the move right in one weekend! Like most windsurfers, I have spent the past year or two getting tips here and there as my friends sail by me. That’s nice and all but the typical advice of “go like this…” or “just go into it faster” usually lead to me improving my stellar dismount technique, making a bigger splash, or having a longer swim to my stuff that flew away mid jibe.

The guys at ABK are not only amazing sailors; they actually know how to teach! First, they will literally break down any move step by step without ever saying “just move a bit like this” or “move your foot more that way.” I actually think they’re not even aloud to use the words “this, that, or there” and a few other nondescript terms. Then, they stand waist deep in the water for several hours (now that’s commitment to teaching) while you sail by them trying whatever move you’re working on. They help with the fine tweaking and keep you stoked with a hoot or holler when you finally nail a move.

I went into the clinic wanting to learn how to jibe. In addition to the jibe, I also picked up lots of other skills I didn’t even realize I was lacking. I learned how to stay up wind while going fast (very important when you are trying a jibe on every tack), get up onto a plane earlier when you are just a bit underpowered, how to sail clew first, and how to appreciate light wind sailing. Yes Andy, I now admit that light wind sailing is really important to learning new skills! One of the coolest things was that everyone at the clinic was super psyched to be out on the water all day and learning new things. While I was working on pretty basic stuff, there were other people learning duck jibes, sailing fin first, helitacks, and other freestyle moves (something to look forward to next year). There was even a never-ever guy who was literally in the foot straps, harness, and fully planning a 140liter board on day two! Rad! Can’t wait to see you on Cape Hatteras in the fall!

Thanks again! Anne


So, there you have it! You can read other testimonials here. And, once you reallize what an incredible few days a clinic provides, you can sign up here. See ya there!!!! (I wish, I will undoubtedly be stuck in the shop discussing fin screw length and universal joint durometer)........

Again- that's

10/13th - 10/17th
10/24th - 10/26th
10/15th FREE In-Shop Clinic

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wave schlog!! and the September Wrap-Up

Well, the wind did fill in last night! It was enough to comfortably schlog my 5.7 and 85 liter RRD out at Ego Beach. Keith was out there, too, on a 5.0 and bigger board combo. That same swell was still there, hitting the outer bar and ending up at over head-high faces. There was a substantial difference in the wave power, though. The side/side on winds, although pretty light, pushed up a good amount of cross chop. That secondary wind chop sucked a lot of the power out of those heaving barrels that I had encountered earlier in the day, when it was lightly blowing straight offshore. And I'll tell you the truth, I wasn't complaining about it being a little weaker!!

Anyway, I was lucky enough to snag two good waves before a thunderstorm pushed across the sound and scared me out of the water. Two is a heck of a lot better than none, so I'm not complaining!

This is a sequence of Keith. It's a bit fuzzy because the outer bar is, well, out there. My little point and shoot camera can only do so much, you know? But hey, it's better than nothing, so, enjoy!




Here's the September Wrap-Up, by the numbers:

17 sessions windsurfing (5.7 x4, 5.0 x9, 4.2 x4)
15 sessions surfing (only 1 on a SUP)
18 in trunks, 12 in a shorty, 2 in a 3/2
7 rest/travel days
2 huge windsurfing "missed its"!!

So, September was basically insane for watersports!! We had killer surf, pretty much for the whole month, and a whole lot of wind to boot! Gotta love the beginning of Fall down here, with unreal conditions and warm temperatures...

See ya in October?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

3.6 feet at 13 seconds...

...measured on the Diamond Shoals Buoy looks like this:


This big closeout in front of the Avon Pier illustrates what makes Hatteras so rad for ocean lovers. A small 3.6 foot wave can turn into a well overhead heaving barrel, due to the proximity of deep ocean water and shallow concrete-like sandbars.


Light offshore breeze combined with this small but powerful swell this morning, creating unreal surf conditions. It was sizable, and very fast. I was super picky in my wave selection, after getting severely thrashed on the first wave I tried to take off on. I haven't been pushed around like that in a pretty long time... Good Stuff!!

We've got some wind forecasted this afternoon, and it looks like it's trying to fill in. There's some serious wavesailing potential, however, there are a few slight issues to contend with:

1) The swell is mostly breaking as lefts ripping south down the beach (think: Pipeline orientation).
2) The wind is coming from the south, which is side to side offshore and sets up starboard tack wavesailing (think: Ho'okipa orientation).
3) Now, mentally combine a big fat Ho'okipa bottom turn right into a heaving left-hand Pipeline wave.... If you time it right, you might be able to get one big hit. If you don't time it right, you get completely thrashed!!

Maybe I'll do some recconnaisance to try to find a random right hander breaking on some rogue sandbar somewhere... Something tells me I'm not gonna find it, though...