Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

(Picture salvaged from July 4th, 2008, but it fits the bill)

Happy New Year, Folks!! 2008 was pretty insane (in a good way).

Cheers, to more, bigger, and better in 2009!!

Y'all are the best, keep up the good work, keep pushing your limits, and I'll see ya in the water!
-Andy

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Travellin'

Contrast abounds in NYC. For example, here is an old condemned building on the river, neighbor to a multi-billion dollar (failing) industry residing in a multi-million dollar skyscraper.


Here is the Brooklyn Bridge, looking from Manhattan to the East:

Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge was completed in 1883, 125 years ago. According to wikipedia, over 150,000 people crossed the bridge on opening day. Nobody was windsurfing under it on December 26th, but there were tons of people walking and driving on it : ) Maybe a new stop for your Urban Sailing Tour, Geoff?!



Meanwhile, back in Hatteras:

Dale sent me this picture from X-mas Eve at the Canadian Hole. Looks like Dave C. powered up on his 6.5. Not a bad way to spend the Holidays! Glad you guys got out there!

Dave C. at the Hole (Photo: Dale B)

And, per reader Paul's request, the greeting card picture sans text. Paste away, with credit to Anne for snapping a sweet Hatteras shot! If you look closely, the Frisco Pier is in the background.

Photo: Anne

It's great to see family and friends, but I'm getting a little stir crazy from the lack of action... I just read "Ultramarathon Man" by Dean Karnazes. Dude's a major inspiration, maybe I'll start running to burn off some of this extra energy... Figures that I'm about to turn 30... Read the book to get the reference : )

Have fun out there, Folks!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays!!

To my family, friends, and anyone else who happens to click on a link to this page:

Have a wonderful Holiday Season, may the wind be at your back, yada yada yada... You get the point : )

Much Love and Gratitude,
Hope to see you soon,
Andy

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Momma Nature Is Handing Out Holiday Gifts

Anybody here on Hatteras has gotten some great Holiday Gifts from good ol' Momma Nature over the last couple of days! I know the Northeast is getting slammed with ice and snow right now... but I gotta tell ya, it's been 60 degrees, sunny and windy down here! Not to rub it in or anything... : )

Drew, Gary and I surfed the other day, head-ish high groundswell, and nice and clean with light offshore wind. It was lining up for some long, workable rights, and quick, steep lefts on the bar that we found. Bonus points if you can find Gary in the picture below:

Sunset surf, click to enlarge!!

Friday afternoon, the wind showed up! SW, warm, and slowly building throughout the afternoon. There was still a bit of swell left out there, but I really wanted to get some more time on my new freestyle board... So I did it all! Cape Hatteras is rad. I was able to sail 5.0 on the Tabou 100, flat water at the Hole, and then when the wind really cranked up, I just switched boards and walked across the street to Ego Beach! Gotta love the ease of variety! There were lots of people out enjoying the warm winds at the Hole, and smiles and hootin' and hollerin' all around! Sailors included (but aren't limited to, sorry if I missed ya): Anne, Martine, Dave, George, Dale, Norm, Charlie, Dan, and just one visiting sailor!

Ego beach as the wind was filling in

Caleb, Norm, and Dan also went out at Ego, and just one kiter by the time we got on it. There was plenty of space out there, that's for sure! Fun sesh, hitting up sketchy shorebreak waves in the chest to head high range, and some nice jumps lining up on the outer bar. As the sun started to set, I crossed back over to the Hole, and did some flat water blasting under one of the most incredible sunsets I've ever seen!

I mean really... Come on!!(Photo: Anne)

Dale and I stayed out until it was virtually pitch black. I just couldn't give it up, lit up 5.0, warm, unreal sky...Are you kidding?!(Photo: Anne)

I woke up bright and early this morning to try to catch the clearing winds, but it faded pretty fast. I scored a few passes in the straps, but it was pretty light out there... I'll tell you what, the sunrise made up for the lack of breeze!

Dawn at the Avon Pier

Looks like some more weather will be pushing through over the next few days, but I'm outta here! We're headed up North to play in the snow and visit with Family and Friends! Can't wait to see y'all! In the meantime, keep an eye on Bill's blog to see what you're missing!

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tabou Love Song

After an extra long day and a half of waiting for even a trace of wind (but happily surfing head high groundswell in the meantime), I finally got a chance to try out my new Tabou Freestyle 100! I'll tell ya, that was a long 44 hours, staring at that beautiful beast, waiting to get some breeze...

The wind was super light, so it wasn't the most appropriate testing conditions, but I just had to get out there and see what it was capable of. The meter was reading avg 13, lull 11, and short lived gusts to 17 or 18 mph. I was definitely milking it with a 5.7... But here are my initial reactions anyway:

Once out of my living room and onto the beach, the board looked a lot smaller than I initially thought it was. That held true for feel under foot once in the water. Don't get me wrong, it was exceptionally stable, but underway it had the twitchyness and responsiveness of a much smaller board. The step rail really made the tail feel narrow and responsive underfoot, especially when comparing it to other flat decked freestyle boards.

Even though the board felt small underfoot, it still "planed up on a fart" (to borrow a phrase from Andy Brandt). With virtually zero sail power, the board still just wants to get up and moving. So that's a pretty rad combination of characteristics- ultra maneuverable, responsive, and light, but planes up as early as boards that feel much bigger and relatively "dead" underfoot.

How does it slide? Well, my first attempts were a bit ugly, but once I got used to how little energy it takes to pop the board, I slid through a perfect 540, one handed spock, and even attempted a halfway decent grubby. This is all under super light sail power, mind you.

I can't wait to get this board out in some real wind!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Oh, Yeah...





This Spring,
swing on by

Sailworld Cape Hatteras

to try out
the new

2009 Tabou Board Lineup.



Let the radness commence.



Take a look at the lineup, and if there are any boards in particular that catch your eye, shoot me a note, and we'll get you hooked up.

Oh Yeah!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Catching Up...

Wow, the whole Holiday thing has been keeping me busy... No time to write!! By the way, there's still time to send out Gift Certificates and/or product, in time for the Holidays, so give the shop a call or send me an email and place your orders!

Last week was pretty fun, although I must have angered the wind gods with something I said... For two days straight, every time I rigged up and got in the water, the wind died. It got to the point where Dave and Ralph were chasing me out of the parking lot, before I had a chance to mess it up for everyone...

Here they are, ripping around, well juiced, 15 minutes before I hit the water and ruined it for everyone:
Dave, mid flat-water jibe

Ralph, in the straps and ripping

George, entertaining the "crowds"

Retribution came on Friday, when it blew 30-45 for a few hours in the AM. I think I'm getting old, because as I was loading up the truck, I hesitated as I walked by Anne's 3.7... and I decided to take it! Did I rig it? Well, no, I just hung on to my 4.2, but the action of simply putting the thing in the truck was a pretty major admission of truth for me. I am getting dangerously close to the dirty 30s...

Ghost town, 60 degrees and blowing 30! Where is everyone?!

Ego Beach, looking seductive

Ralph shot a few minutes of video and sent me this short clip: (Thanks, Ralph)

video

Speaking of video, I've put some of my previous ones up on Vimeo.com. The original files that I uploaded are exactly the same as the ones on youtube, but the quality is much better on vimeo! Check them out, here!

Other than that, Stuart and I snagged a killer Saturday, sailing in the AM and SUPping in the PM... Which had the effect of knocking me out before I could get to D's Holiday Party, and I missed the Parade, too... Man... slacking!!


Blog special of the day: Starboard Flare 104 Wood (The link is to a review of a smaller 99 liter version, the 104 planes up even better)!! Freestyle boards are super fun and easy to sail, and I think everyone should own one! It's hard to not plane out of a jibe on these things... Plus, you can rig small, light sails, and still outplane everyone on their 8.5 race sails! What's not to like?! So here's the deal- this board is brand new, although a previous model year, so we're going to hook you up for $949!! Pick it up in the Spring, or I'll ship it to ya, doesn't matter, but get your name on this board!! Call the shop or send me an email!

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Brutally Honest Review of ABK Boardsports

Anne attended a ABK Boardsports clinic this past October, here in Hatteras. This is what she has to say about the whole affair:

The fall 2008 Hatteras ABK camp ROCKED! Thanks to the ABK crew for a fun weekend full of sailing (even on the day when there wasn’t that much wind). It’s just crazy how much you can learn from these guys in only a few days. Planing jibes, fin first sailing… whatever you can think of, they’ll teach it. This was my second clinic and I was amazed at how much I learned. I can’t wait for them to come back and help me with forwards (ha!). Let’s face it windsurfing is hard. After all, if it were easy… you know what they would call it. See you in the spring!

So there you have it. Thanks, Anne! A week or two after the clinic, we had some HUGE winds. I mean, lit out of my gourd on my 4.2. The cool thing is, Anne, who weighs about 50 pounds less than me, was tearing it up on her 3.7, trying chop hops and blazing through planing jibes! Before taking the clinic, she probably would have just stayed in the car (sorry sweetheart, but you know it's true), but after the clinic, she was full of confidence, and her sailing showed it!! 'Nuff said, take a ABK clinic and reap the benefits!

Anne and I attended the wedding of my friends Tom and Pearl over the weekend. They're both windsurfers, so it was, by default, a rad wedding. We had an unspeakable amount of fun hanging out with some old windsurfing friends. Congratulations, guys, it was great night, and a lot of fun to see everyone!! If any pictures surface, I'll post 'em up, but they might need censoring...

Of course, the whole East Coast was going off while we were driving home, but that's a given when that many windsurfers are pre-engaged in a non-windsurfing event...

Chesapeake Bay, Going Off!

This was tonight's sunset. You could be here!! In fact, you probably should be here, looking at our forecast! Temps up to 70, winds up to the mid 20s for the next 4 days straight! Suh-weet!! Get here!
Sailworld Cape Hatteras steal of the day: Brand Spankin' New 2007 Starboard Carve 111 Technora, $949!! Only one left! This board is sweet with freeride/freerace sails in the 5.0 to 7.5 range, and offers smooth handling, early planing, and accessible speed. It likes a locked and loaded stance, yet remains smooth and easy in the jibes. Shoot me an email or call the shop to snag this one time blog based deal!! By the way, the Revolution 5.8 is still available!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Meeting the 2008 goals!

Alright, so a week or two ago I claimed my first grubby. I even had video of (half of) it. I was pretty stoked on it, to be honest! But yesterday, I nailed one so clean that I planed out of it! WAY better than the first one I claimed... So now, I'm really gonna claim it : ) That's good news, because it was one of my 2008 windsurfing goals. Anyone else have any luck with theirs, now that 2009 is looming on the horizon?

Billy D, Mach 10

Billy D, Dave C and I had it all to ourselves

We had perfect freestyle conditions yesterday, 5.7 and 100ish liter board. It was pretty punchy wind, and the gusts were pushing through in these nice, visible long lines. It made it really easy to pick out the right spot, timing wise, to chuck a move. I really don't mind gusty conditions, it opens up the world to such a huge range of possibilities: Hass or helitack in a lull, loop and jibe in the huge gusts, spock from a gust into a lull... If you open your eyes and work on appropriate moves at appropriate times your success rates can really skyrocket!

Closing time at the Hole, Thursday evening.

10 minutes later...

Zach and Sean passed through

Anyway, a bunch of you took advantage of the DaKine Handwear Sale, so it's time to move on to the next item on crazy blog-only closeout from Sailworld Cape Hatteras:

Sailworks Revolution 5.8

This Sailworks Revolution 5.8 is a previous year's new closeout. The sail matches up well with bump and jump/freestyle wave type boards really well. It's built durable enough for surf conditions, with solid rod epoxy battens and tons of x-ply. It'll rig on either a 460 or a 430, standard or reduced diameter mast. Bigger, power hungry folks tend to like the longer, stiffer mast option, while smaller, more finesse oriented sailors usually like the shorter, softer 430. Regular price is $605, crazy one time only blog based blowout on the last one: $399!! That's over 30% off! Holy $&@*!! There's only one left, so the first person to email me (at the address in the Welcome section of this blog) gets dibs. If this is an item you would like someone to buy for you, simply click the envelope button below to email them a link to this page!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Surprised Stoke-age!

Stoked on a surprise session yesterday! Cape Hatteras is such a rad place... All of the forecasts were calling for 5-10 all day long, but we got a surprise mid-day 20-25 two hour burst of wind! Good stuff, straight West, so Stuart and I sailed the Slick down in Buxton. My good ol' VT sailing buddy Don showed up on his kite for a little while, too. Our differing geographic home bases were readily apparent: Stuart and I were wearing 6 and 4 mil suits, respectively, with hoods, boots, and mittens, while Don was ripping around wearing nothing but trunks...

2nd topic of stokage: We just got the December issue of the New England Windsurfing Journal in the mail! I wrote a piece about a speed sailing session from about a month ago, and both Keith and I got some great Lane DuPont photos published! Stoked! Here's an excerpt from the article:

Out into the gnar we went! Visions of reeling, mast-high lefts led me down to Isabel's, where, not surprisingly, I met up with a handful of other windseekers searching for the perfect setup. Running over the dunes, our eyes met with...

Wanna know what happens next? Get a subscription (or order a copy through the shop)!

Speaking of the shop, we've got some killer deals kicking right now! Over the next few weeks, I'll be highlighting some specials, blog based insane deals, for a limited time only!! Starting with:

DaKine handwear! We've got a limited stock of Full Finger Gloves, Half Finger Gloves, Cold Water Gloves, and Cold Water Mittens. If you email me an order within the next two days (by Friday, December 5th, at 1 PM), I'll give you 40% off the regular price of $27-$30!! Please note the model, size (xs, s, m, l, xl), shipping address, and a daytime phone number that I can reach you at to finallize billing. Please do not email credit card info (for your own protection)!! My email address can be found in the "Welcome" section of the blog, top right.

DaKine Full Finger Sailing Gloves (Reg $30, SALE $18)

DaKine Half Finger Sailing Gloves (Reg $27, SALE $16.20)

DaKine Cold Water Gloves (Reg $30, SALE $18)

DaKine Cold Water Mitts (Reg $30, SALE $18)

These are great stocking stuffers for the sailors in your family!! Act now, as this is a limited time frame sale on a limited stock of handwear! If you would like to subtly hint to someone that this is a gift you would like to receive, simply click the little envelope button below to email them this blog post! Happy Shopping!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The End of November Wrap-Up!

Where to begin? Chronologically, I suppose...

Happy Thanksgiving! Has your buzz worn off yet? Mine hasn't! Anne and I drove up to NY, cannonball run style, to hang out with my family. My parents hosted 26 family members this year, slightly down from an all time high of 32. Our house isn't huge, but it's a heck of a lot bigger than my Grandparent's old apartment in the Bronx... Still, every bed, couch, and even some carpeted floors were occupied as sleeping space for the night, once we all wound down. It was great to see everyone!

A few of us decided to take a nature walk on Friday, to burn off some of those extra calories. I really enjoyed getting out into the woods for some exercise, in the cool, crisp NE air. Living the endless summer is really fun, but I definitely miss the mountains on occasion.

I dare you to jump!

Looks like the stream erodes the banks during floods, the tree trunks collapse in, and then over time bend and regrow vertically.


Most of the underlying rock formations were slate. Slate is basically moderately compressed clay beds. Clay has a flat hexagonal molecular structure, and when it gets lightly compressed, all of the particles become aligned and form sheets of rock. It's pretty easy to make thin, rectangular pieces out of a bed of slate, which is why it's historically been used as a roofing material.



The Crew, L-R me, Anne, Dad, Jim, Pauline

Steep Stream Banks

Waterfall through the trees

There was ice building up at the base of the waterfalls

We raided the closets to make sure everyone was appropriately geared up. Jim's 20 year old boots didn't handle their release from captivity too well...


On the epically long drive back to NC, Anne and I stopped at a highway rest area. This guy was walking his horse in the dog walking area.

Make sure you scoop the poop, dude!

We returned to Hatteras to find sun, wind, and temps in the 60s! Very nice welcome home gift! Stuart and I sailed Ego Beach for awhile, juiced up on 4.2s. The waves were really disorganized on the outer bar, and sometimes about head high and barreling in the shorebreak section. It was a sketchy session, with insanely shifty and gusty winds. The only truly ride-able wave sections were breaking in thigh deep water 20 feet from the beach... I came away unscathed, but Stuart snapped his mast in half and tore his sail : ( Some other guys did some road surfing, ended up at Ramp 34 for awhile, with a 50% success rate at getting out. Then they headed down towards the point, and apparently scored some fun chest high waves.

After getting worked pretty hard a few times, I joined everyone else at the Hole. Billy D, Dave C, Keith, Jeffro, Jim K, Dotty, Petra, and a few others were out there, tearing it up. Petra went windsurfing for the first time in 4 months, now that her hands are all healed up!! She looked to me like she hadn't missed a day, she was killing it out there!

Keith, holding it all together in a gust!

Petra, back on it!

Jim K, heading out.


On to the November Wrap-Up:

13 windsurfing sessions (5.7 x1, 5.0 x8, 4.2 x4)
7 surf sessions
2 skatesailing sessions
6 rest days (4 of which were missed-its!!)
2 sessions in a 3/2 wetsuit, 14 sessions in a 4/3, 4 sessions in a 6/5/4

So, when it was windy, it cranked (almost every sesh was 5.0 or smaller)!! And when it wasn't windy, there were great waves to surf! There were a few really cold days, but most were a reasonable temp (I tend to overdress, a lot of my 4/3 days would have been fine in the 3/2).

The water's still warm (enough) and the wind is cranking, so come on down and join us for some fun! We've got just a little bit of stock left in the shop, too, and everything's on a killer sale, so if you need anything, now is the time to buy!!