Friday, January 30, 2009

Lane DuPont is "The Man" behind the lens!! (and a well rounded waterman, to boot)

Lane DuPont just sent a few pics my way, from the Marathon Ego Beach sesh on Wednesday! Owing to the fact that Lane is "The Man" behind the lens, he's become a main supplier of local Hatteras action shots for all of the Windsurfing and Kiteboarding print publications. His latest appearance is a full page picture of Keith M, in the "Hot Shots" section of the April 2009 Windsurfing mag! Awesome stuff! Congrats, Lane and Keith!

Lane nabbed these particular shots shortly after taking a grueling 2 hour kiteboarding sesh. He had to stand thigh deep in blowing sand and ocean mist, just to grab a pic or two. Everyone else I know would've just gone home exhuasted and grabbed a shower and a beer. Thanks, Lane, for fueling the stoke!

Keep an eye out for backwash! Yikes!

Off The Lip!

Brian stirring up some spray

Brian, getting deep!

Looks like some good, warm winds might be pushing through again on Sunday, and most of next week is looking SUPER windy (but cold again)! Come on down and join us, folks!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ego Beach/Canadian Hole Marathon Sesh

Oh man, I am feeling rocked today! We had a marathon Ego Beach session yesterday, lit up 5.0 all afternoon! Conditions weren't the easiest in the world with a ripping (over 5 knots?) littoral current right in the impact zone, but every now and then a nice wave face would open up for a few down the line turns. Good stuff, overall, definitely left me with a smile on my face!

Anne, after work jibe at the Hole!

I like the picture above- it shows the sparse feeling of Hatteras. This is one of the most famous windsurfing sites on the East Coast, yet all it consists of are a few outhouses and a parking lot (with 3 cars in it). Just over the dunes, you can find Ego Beach, wide open to the thrashings of the Atlantic Ocean. One could hit a baseball clear across the island, from water's edge to water's edge! (but I wouldn't recommend it, you might clock a unsuspecting sunbather in the caboose)

Here's a quick clip of Loopee and Anne bombing around at the Canadian Hole, enjoying the strong winds and 60+ degree air temps!

It was great to see everyone out and about yesterday, as it seems like I've been sailing alone all winter! Cheers, to a warm windy SW day in January!!

On a purely shop related note, now's the time to get in touch if you're looking for anything specific this spring! Shoot me an email and I'll help you pick through the hundreds of rig choices out there to get you on the correct piece of equipment! There are a handful of closeouts available, too, so there are some sweet deals to be found. In any case, if we get the ball rolling now, we can be certain to have your new board or sail ready and waiting come Spring Time (which will be here sooner than you think)!

Hope to hear from you/See you soon!

Monday, January 26, 2009


I've always wondered how much exercise we get when we go windsurfing. So I stole (err- borrowed) Anne's heart rate monitor while she wasn't looking, and went for a skate sailing session!

First things first, here's an explanation of basic heart rate guidelines. This stuff is all over the web, but I'm using an article by Sally Edwards on as a basis for the following:

Everyone has a generic maximum heart rate (HR) based on their age and weight. I'm sure there are fancier ways of figuring out a more personal max HR, but the generic equation for a male is:

210 - half of your age - 5% of your body weight + 4. That equals 191 for me at 29 yrs old and 165 pounds.

From there, you can look into different "HR zones" for efficient training.

Zone 1 = 50 to 60% of your max (96-115 for me). Minimal effort, warm up/cool down type stuff. It's good for your health, but not very strenuous.

Zone 2 = 60 to 70% of your max (115-134). Moderate effort. Your body will use fat for up to 85% of it's caloric needs if you exercise here!

Zone 3 = 70 to 80% of your max (134-153). Aerobic effort. Your body will burn about 50% fat and 50% carbs in this zone. This is the zone where you actually get fit and your body will see the most health benefits.

Zone 4 = 80 to 90% of your max (153-172). Anaerobic effort. Your heart cannot supply enough blood and oxygen to your muscles, so they start to "burn." You still see healthy benefits here, in the form of getting stronger and faster, but it hurts.

Zone 5 = 90 to 100% of your max (172-191). All out insanity. Don't go there for long, or you may just end up hurting yourself.

So, here are the (much anticipated, I'm sure) results from the skate sesh:

Heart Rate, Recorded While Windsurfing

Looks like the act of rigging up bumped me into Zone 1. Rigging is good for your heart!

I started by just cruising around, playing with duck jibes, heli tacks, etc etc. It wasn't all that strenuous, and I stayed in the upper end of Zone 1 for most of the warmup.

As I started throwing the occassional vulcan, spock and grubby, the HR started to elevate a bit and I crept up into a solid zone 2 workout! Goodbye, fat!

Then, I really got in the groove, and didn't sail further than 10 yards in a straight line, choosing instead to carve turns, throw spocks, slide the wheels out, pump the sail maniacally, etc etc. I was into it, man! And that pushed me up into Zone 3, a true aerobic workout, which lasted... all of 15 minutes!

All in all, I put almost 3 miles on the ol' skateboard, nailed a few port tack vulcans and spocks, and figured out the sail handling for a funnell. All in a small parking lot sized 40 x 20 yards, and with 9-13 mph north winds.

Just think, I could have been on a treadmill breathing recycled air and watching MTV.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Update

Man it's been fun the last few days! Frisco George, Mark S, Loopee and I got in some fun (but gusty) 5.0 on Friday afternoon. The air was warm, but the water was cold so we were all dressed like it was -20... haha... FG called the water "refreshing." I was certainly getting my fair share of dunks, as I was working pretty hard on the grubbys in the semi choppy water. Loopee gave me a great tip that helped with the initiation- keep the sail back a bit when you pop. It seemed to help me get around the first half of the rotation without getting off balance from too much sail power. Thanks, Loopee!!

Beyond the odd hour or two of sailing, there have been some super fun waves!! Yesterday morning, I had this peak all to myself, even though I had called a bunch of friends and said "Let's Go!!" Winter time in Hatteras... Where else in the world are you looking for more people to surf with?!?! Anne came out to the beach and snapped a few pictures off (Thanks, Anne!!!)

Easy drops

Workable shoulders

The lefts were walling up nicely

That board I'm riding is a 5'8" Magic Fish by Walden. It's honestly like cheating, it's so easy, forgiving, and fun to ride. I love it, especially when the water's cold and I'm wearing a lot of neoprene because it's got tons of float and catches waves super easily. Good stuff! Check out HIB if you want one of your own!

And, since I've been letting you down on the local windsurf media lately, check out Andre Paskowski's sick new movie "Road Trip"

And, take another look at "2 for 10," which Andre made earlier this year. If these movies don't make you want to go windsurfing, I don't know what will (except maybe some Cabo Verde footage)

Hey- I just realized that I've been at this whole blogging thing for over a year now! Time flies... Anyway, I encourage you to browse through some of the past posts using the archives in the lower right hand column- there are some real gems in there. And, if you're thinking of coming to Hatteras, I encourage you to check out the month's postings for a look at the kind of conditions you might get while here. Could be useful information, and you might be pleasantly surprised with the "off peak" months' offerings : ) Hope to see you soon!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Winter surf

We've had some great surf down here the last few days! It's been chilly, but the waves have been fun enough to warrant dealing with the cold.


I grabbed a quick sesh Wednesday evening. It was about chest to head high, and super clean in the light offshore winds. Very fun stuff! Anne and Banana came out to the beach to provide moral support. Anne snapped off a few pics, but her fingers went numb so she gave up on the camera pretty quickly. She did, however, snag a sequence of me chumping out on a dredging right hander. Thanks a lot, sweetheart... : )

Oh well...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

NC Snow Emergency

Anne and I were out and about yesterday, all the way over in Greenville, when the "Snow Emergency" hit. What a joke. Zero snow was sticking to the roadways, there was about a 1/2 a centimeter in the grass and bushes, and everyone was freaking out and the radio announcers were telling people not to leave their homes. Gimme a break.

Over the course of the drive home, there were some squalls, and the snow totals amounted to about 1" on the roadway. There were cars scattered all over the place, deep in the ditches, having slid across three lanes of traffic. Gimme a break.

Hwy 12

Pea Island

Luckily, the plow drivers don't have to do any work on Pea Island, because Mother Nature takes care of it. A good gale out of the North was blowing sand all over the highway, providing some natural traction. Winter storms in NC... Gimme a break.

Serendipity in the snow and blow

What did I do when we finally got home? Well, I went windsurfing, of course! It was full on lit up 4.2 weather in the gusts (27-40 mph). I can say with certainty: blowing snow and sleet hurts your face just as much as rain does. It was a bit challenging to deal with the cold weather, stinging snow flakes, gusty winds, and fading light, so I ditched my usual repartee and just went for some speed runs in the semi choppy water. Got the wave kit up to 31.4 mph (27 knots) during a 22 minute, 6.5 mile outing. Gimme a break : )

Canadian Hole, 1/20/09

Speed sailing seemed like an appropriate way to spend Inauguration Day, since that was exactly the same way we had spent Election Day. Speaking of speed sailing, there's a guy from the Netherlands, Erik Loots drumming up some interest on the iWindsurf forums. As the Spring edition of the Hatteras Windsurfing Festival series is entering the planning stages, I thought it would be good to poll you on potential topics. Please let your voice be heard by answering the poll in the top right hand corner of the blog! Also, please note that this poll is completely unofficial, and may or may not affect the topic of the Festival Series come Springtime. Gimme a break. : )

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I love salt water...

...because it won't freeze until it gets really cold outside...

While the guys in Maui are stepping up to the plate, and facing over mast high waves in punchy Kona winds, the least I can do is go for a sail at the Canadian Hole in arctic temps... My sesh had it's own challenges, albeit nowhere near as daunting as what the Maui pros were dealing with! Those guys are frickin' rock stars!! (if you haven't seen the recent conditions in Maui, each of the above links are worth a click)

Yesterday, before heading out, I wrote a short guide to windsurfing in cold weather. I followed every one of my own suggestions, except for numbers 2, 3, and 5. It ended up being a great session, a bit over an hour long before the wind faded out. No problems with the cold at all, my hands, feet, head and body were warm the whole time! Medium power 5.7 on the Tabou 100. The air was 26F (-3C), and the water was less than or equal to 41F (5C), which adds up to a maximum combined 67 if you're using the formula for the 100 degree rule. Perfect freestyle windsurfing weather!

Still smiling

I forgot the vaseline, but chapstick works equally well in a pinch. It is unbelievable how much it helps in the ice cream headache department!

Here's my kit after the sesh. That sail window isn't dirty, it's frozen over with ice! An interesting side note is the condition of the sail- it has close to 100 days of use, and still looks virtually new! Anyone who's ever sailed with me knows that I don't baby my gear, either... Way to go, World Sails!

Here's a closeup of the ice:

It's a good thing it was a solo sesh, because I couldn't see a darned thing to leeward!

Not still smiling

I did bring the portable hot tub, which was one of very few good decisions I made yesterday. My hands were fine while sailing, but rolling up the iced over sail immediately froze my fingers and palms. Another interesting side note- apparently an hour of below-freezing sailing, a tightly cinched wetsuit hood, and chapstick all over your face makes you appear 20 years older than you actually are.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Welcome to Freezing Cold-Ville...

Hmmm... Well, I'm procrastinating this morning... It's full on 5.0 conditions out there, but a bit chilly, as the thermometers are registering 26 degrees Fahrenheit (-3C for all you non-American readers). I am planning on heading out in a bit, but first I've gotta let the coffee seep in and do it's trick, so that I'm thinking clearly. Otherwise, I might actually go... : )

So, here are my tools for dealing with frigid temps:

Billabong Solution Gold 6/5/4: It's a fully sealed in neoprene surf suit with a built in hood. No water gets into this thing, my hair is literally dry after a sesh. The neoprene construction means that it still insulates, even if I somehow manage to rip a hole in it or blow out the zipper or something.

Billabong 5 mil winter booties (Aaron, take note)

Dakine Cold Water Mittens: They're pre-curved, nice thick neoprene over the back of your hand, and a super thin palm so you can still feel the boom and there's no forearm fatigue. They aren't totally dry, but a pair of latex surgeon's gloves or dishwashing gloves underneath and you're good to go.

So, the only thing exposed is my face. On days like this, that means instant ice cream headache if you get dunked. One method to ward off the headache is to smear vaseline all over your face before you go out (hey, it's not a fashion contest, right?). That thin layer of, well, grease, keeps the frigid water from making contact with your skin, and deflects that frigid wind from crushing your temples (that's quite literally what the headache feels like).

Have a plan:

1) Bring a cooler full of the hottest water you can pull out of your tap. It works wonders if your fingers or toes go numb. I also recommend dipping your boots and mitts in it before putting them on, especially if you left them outside the night before...

2) Sail with a buddy. And actually sail with them, right next to them. They jibe, you jibe. Don't go wandering off on your own mission somewhere without him, because then what's the point of having a buddy? Last year Stuart was my bro, but he's mostly out of town this winter. Anyone feel like stepping up?

3) Wear all the normal protective gear: helmet, life jacket, etc...

4) Don't go whale watching! Keep it close to shore, and in a spot and conditions you are very familiar with!

5) Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you should be back.

And of course, make sure all of your windsurfing gear is spot on, in great condition. No one wants to swim in due to a universal joint failure, even on a summer day... So check your stuff, and replace what needs replacing! That includes downhaul, inhaul, and outhaul line, too... Why risk ruining a good session for $5 worth of line, right?

So is there anything else I missed? Leave a note in the comments if you can think of anything!

** Disclaimer: Cold weather windsurfing is dumb and unsafe. You should not do it. Following these guidelines does not necessarily mean that you will be safe windsurfing in cold weather. Do so at your own risk, which happens to be quite high.

Oh, and by the way, it's been wicked fun the last few days! With the exception of Tuesday, that is... But I've gotten in a few sweet 5.7 and 5.0 freestyle sessions, even though it's been a bit chilly (40s). Even caught a double sesh yesterday! Buxton Slick in the am westerly, and then it switched north and cranked in the afternoon, lit up 5.0! Loving it!! (sorry, no pics or anything, they've been solo missions)

No need to be scared that today's cold is shutting down the winter season, either... The ocean is still about 50 degrees, and the sound follows the air temps very closely, so it'll warm back up if we get a few days in the 50s or 60s... Which should happen on Sunday!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

December, and the 2008 Wrap-Up... (Super-boring post)

The whole point of the wrap-up is to serve as a reference for people thinking about coming to Hatteras. Hopefully, it'll give you an idea of what to expect, on a month by month basis! Unfortunately, it's pretty boring to write and read about... but then, I've never read a reference book that wasn't boring, so I guess I'm just keeping up with the rest of them...

December, by the numbers:

16 windsurf sessions (5.7 x8, 5.0 x6, 4.2 x2)
4 surf session
Suits: one session in a 6/5/4, eighteen in a 4/3, one in a 3/2
10 days off island for the holidays!

So, December was super windy, and not all that cold if I made it in a 4/3 for most of it (I tend to overdress). I missed a third of the month, too, so I'm sure the numbers would have been much higher had I been around...

And now, the 2008 Hatteras Wrap-Up:

My 2008 days on the water

The chart above shows the number of days per month I was able to hit the water for a good windsurf (5.7 and smaller sails) or surf (reasonably clean, surfable waves) session. I also included the number of rest or out of town days I had, because it's possible that those days offered up some decent conditions that I may have missed. I was out of town a lot this past summer, usually there are more windy days than I've recorded here!

So, August pretty much sucked for wind, but that's normal. Every other month offered up a ton of wind, especially when taking into account my rest days.

I haven't included temperatures, because the suits are so freaking good these days that there's no reason not to go out. But in general, my most used suits are probably:

January/February: 6/5/4
March/April: 4/3
May: 3/2, Shorty
June/July/August: Trunks
September: Shorty
October/November: 3/2
December: 4/3

So, come on down and join us this winter!! Don't wait until April, keep an eye on that forecast, and ditch the skis one of these weekends! Shoot me a note if you're coming down, I'll keep you in the loop!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Board Swap Afterthoughts

Never ending perfect days down here, I tell you. Wind for a portion of the day, surf for the rest. Over and over again.... Lots of people out on the water, and obviously, everyone's in a good mood! Remind me, again, why the rest of you only come here during the third week of April?!

Popin' and Slidin' at the Hole (Anne pic)

I would describe the wind on Saturday as "lulley." It wasn't gusty, as the gusts were more sustained than the occasional bottom dropping out lull that would leave you flat on your back wondering what the heck just happened. In order to help Anne deal with the lulls, I offered a board swap. She gladly jumped on my 100l Freestyle, and I hopped on her 85 fsw (my old one). I can't believe how far the boards have come in just a few years... I hadn't ridden that 2006 since May, so I kind of forgot how it felt. It's probably only a cm or two longer than my '08 same model, but man it felt all long and skinny... I can't believe I learned how to spock on that thing!!

Anne's only question, asked while reluctantly giving back the Tabou 20 minutes later, was "Is this thing hollow?!" Apparently, even at 100 liters, it felt lighter and more responsive than the '06 85 liter...... I would agree with her... In fact, I haven't even been putting my '08 85 in the truck, even when it was blowing 4.2 the other day.... (Sorry, baby, I still love ya in the waves, but I think it's time to say "sayonara" to the flat water)

My only afterthought on the decision to board swap? "Doh!" Now we're gonna be fighting over the 100 everytime we go to the beach... Maybe I'll just have to get a second one....

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Multi-Sport Days

Had a few sick-o multisport days on Thursday and Friday! My friend Dan and I have been on different schedules lately, but we were able to sync up and get out there. He's super fun to hit the water with, mostly because he charges it on his kites and paddles circles around you when surfing. It's pretty hard to keep up with him, which keeps it interesting!

We hit up the Buxton Slicks on Thursday, with MikL and some other dude. I was making my 4.2 work on my Tabou 100 liter Freestyle (which RIPS!!!) while they were on 12m and 9m kites, respectively. The wind kept fading, fading, fading.... So I got a chance to really see how well the board planes up and performs when ridiculously underpowered. Lets just say that I was VERY impressed. I also got the chance to figure out just how shallow the water needs to be for me to catapult with my freestyle fin. It needs to be exactly top-of-the-ankle deep... Got a faceful of nasty mucky silty sand on that one... Yuck!

When the wind Really died, we decided to just walk across the street and surf. We found perfectly peeling rights, about head high in the sets, nicely groomed in the light offshore wind. Literally less than 100 yards away from where we had been tearing up the slicks on our wind gear. I Love Hatteras. I don't even know why I own a vehicle. I could get away with a bicycle and a trailer for all my gear. And my quads would be HUGE!

Look at that right-hander! Yow!!

Same thing yesterday, but different spots. Windsurfed 5.0 in the AM up at Island Creek, until I got kicked out by the maintenance guys. They said some of the houses got broken into, so now the owner of the land won't allow anyone to hang out there. I'm 99.999999999% sure it wasn't a windsurfer who broke into the houses, but I respect the guy's decision. It's really a shame, though, how one person's lame actions can ruin access for everyone.

Last night's moon-rise

Anyway, looks like the wind's coming back up. Should be a killer weekend! See ya out there!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

And so it begins...

...2009... The year of chumping out... For on this first windy day, I have forsaken my 3 sail quiver, and rigged a fourth. Yes yes, it's true. I rigged... down (gasp). Today I sailed with Anne's 3.7, instead of just hanging on to my 4.2. LAME!! It wasn't even that windy, 30 mph gusting to 40... Easily 4.2 weather.

Today's Frisco Woods Graph

For those who don't know, my usual reply to "Whatcha riggin'?" when everyone is coming in defeated on their mid 3s has historically been a quick "Eh, 4.2". Was it worth sacrificing my manly-hood today? Well, the 3.7 actually worked great. The only issue I had was hand chafe from holding on to generally unused, and still very grippy, portions of the boom. Other than that, the thing sailed sweet, and allowed the gusts to feel a little more playful than usual. So yeah, it was worth it! Will I do it again? Probably not : )

Keith, guinea pig on his 4.2

**update**- Bill's got a nicely detailed report of the day's action here!

After a few hours of bashing around at the Hole with Frisco George, Loopee (who was killin' it), Mark, Jim K, Keith, and Bill, a huge squall pushed through, virtually unannounced. Luckily, every one was de-rigged (well, Bill and I were still in the process, but it was fine). Torrential downpours and gusts into the 50s smacked us down for a few minutes, but they left as fast as they arrived, so Bill and I decided to head to Old Lifeguard Beach to see how the waves looked.

I'm in there somewhere, click to enlarge (Photo: Keith) (Thanks for the pic, Keith!!! Why the heck didn't you rig up and join us?!?!?)

I'm so glad we went down there! We arrived to find clean, peeling rights, in the chest to overhead range, and much lighter wind than earlier. I rigged my 5.0 (familiar territory again). There was ZERO wind on the inside, but I caught a few little puffs and squeeked out. Lined myself up for a nice looking wave, it jacked up on the bar, ended up well overhead and long enough for two solid turns! Stoked!! Kicked out and rode the conveyor belt for another 2 hours! Unbelievable first good day of 2009!!

Oh, and I forgot to mention, it was 65 degrees F all day! Winter? Huh? What's that?

The forecast is for never ending radness, so come on down and join us for some fun!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sunset Session Video!

Well, I was cleaning up the ol' computer and came across a bunch of video footage that I had totally forgotten about! VT Don was nice enough to film a sunset session at the Canadian Hole. It's from the same day that we had all headed out to the Reef for the dawn sesh. Needless to say, we were all pretty pooched by this point, but we went out and had some fun anyway. If I remember correctly, I was pretty well juiced on a 4.2.

So, lucky you, you get a new video to watch : ) Enjoy!

Sunset Bump and Jump from Andy McKinney on Vimeo.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to reality : )

Just got back to NC! The first thing I heard, upon exiting the car, was a wave breaking. Gotta love being across the street from the beach! And the first thing I did was take off all the layers I was wearing- it's downright balmy down here compared to the 2 degrees F we left up in VT! Here are a few more pics from my last days traveling up North:

Me, Dale, Anne, Erin (and Banana). Cold sunset atop Mt Philo

That's Lake Champlain in the valley and the Adirondacks across the way

You know it's cold when there isn't a cloud in the sky...

Meg's idyllic Vermont country home

Anne and I joined Keith, Martine, Donny, and Anne at Wendy and Roland's house the other night. We all started trading stories of our first windsurfing experiences, remembering tie-on booms, gusty lakes, and 50 pound longboards! Donny recalled learning to uphaul at the lighthouse in big nor'easters! Unbelievable, ha!! Man, this sport has come a long way in a few short years...

If you've still got some vacation time leftover after the holidays, now's a good time to use it! Tuesday afternoon through Sunday has some serious potential! Can't wait to get wet again... Hope to see you out there!