Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sanity Savers, AKA...

...SUPs. They turn mediocre conditions into really fun days on the water!!

That Starboard Drive 10'5" has been treating me REALLY well the last few days! We've had beautiful days with light winds and about waist high surf, and that board has kept a huge smile on my face! Stuart and I went sailing on the SUPs the other night in a sideshore wind, about 5 gusting to 12 or 14. We each caught about a thousand waves, and got crushed a few times, too! Those things keep you honest, for sure! Still, there's no other style of board that would have worked better for the conditions, so I'm stoked that I've got it at my disposal... Swing on by the shop and try it out some time, I guarantee you'll have fun!

Friday saw some good Southwest wind. There were a whole bunch of people out at the Hole on anything from 4.2 up to 6.0, as it was pretty gusty. I split the difference and had a good time on 5.0 and the 100. No complaints!

Last night was really fun. The swell dropped out to pretty much nothing, and the wind was super light, so we loaded up the truck with SUPs, some charcoal, a grill (thanks Tim!!), and a cooler full of beer meat and veggies and headed out to the beach. It ended up being a beautiful night for a paddle, with crystal clear bluish green water and a nice clear sky. Drew, Ralph and I had some fun paddling around and watching the schools of spanish mackeral swim under the boards. Wish I had brought a fishing pole to go trolling! Oh well, maybe next time...

Drew, Laura, Banana, Anne, Moi, Leah, Ralph (L-R)

It's SW at about 20 right now... and the forecast actually looks halfway decent for the next week or so... So come on out and join us for some fun!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Anne's B-Day Toast!

It was Anne's birthday on Wednesday! Woohoo!! Happy Birthday Anne! Not too much wind to celebrate with, but lots of fun surf! Drew put together a little post on The Pursuit of Paradise that I got a chuckle out of... We had a party, and I decided to give a toast- Check it out!

Anne's Birthday Toast from Andy McKinney on Vimeo.

: ) Oh yeah, it's true!! Wooohoooo!! : )

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Summer's Here!

What a beautiful weekend we just had here on Hatteras Island! I traded in the windsurfing gear for surfboards and SUPs as the wind lightened up quite a bit, although there were some brief moments of plane-able breeze if you knew where to look. It's been so freaking windy lately, though, that I was happy to just go surf it up in the knee to chest high waves. We've got a magic little bar here in Avon that seems to be picking up just about any little bit of swell... But I'm not giving up any secrets so don't bother asking! hahaha, just kidding... The more the merrier, as far as I'm concerned :)

I decided to put the Starboard Drive 10'5" SUP into demo for a some of the W.E.T. group who wanted to try it out... And boy am I glad I did (because that means that I get to ride it now, too)! Man that board is sweet! It's nice and surfy, fast, and very well balanced, which makes it super easy to ride. I definitely surfed out of a few completely ridiculous situations/positions that I never would've pulled off on any other board I've ever ridden... Period. 'Nuff said. Come try it out for yourself!

Starboard Drive 10'5" SUP

The Dims and Responsible Parties


I can't wait for a tiny bit of breeze so that I can toss a sail on the thing and see how she does... I can only imagine that it'll rip, based on it's paddle performance!! Anyway, it was fun sharing a few waves with everyone (Anne, Tim, Stuart, Kevin, Dan, Wendy, Mac, Wendy and Roland, Drew, the guy from Montreal with the Imagine Eco-Surfboards, among others)... Hopefully that little swell will keep doing it's thing...

Looks like potential for a little SW build Thursday and Friday... Keep your eyes on it!

Friday, May 22, 2009


First: Happy Birthday to my Mom!!!

Second: Anne took the ABK Clinic a few weekends ago. She's always been fun to watch sail, but now she's officially REALLY fun to watch because she blows up on almost every reach trying something new! Suddenly, though, I've reallized that she's more bad-ass than I am, and that she's showing me up out on the water. Thanks a lot, ABK. Sheeesh. I was filming with the GoPro helmet cam the other day when it was blowing 30 plus out of the North. Anne's out there killin' it on her 3.7 and 75, and all of a sudden, she busts this out of her bag of tricks:

Anne Shuvs-It!!

"????????? Where the heck did that come from ????????"

Dangit! Time to play catch-up.... Just goes to show how valuable an ABK Clinic is though, doesn't it?

Here are a few more image grabs:

Any guesses?

Any guesses?

Third: Drew is awesome! Check this out!!

Fourth: Looks like light wind over the weekend, and plenty of fun sized surf to play in. Surfing, light wind freestyle, SUPs, and cruising on the Serenity will be the name of the game. Colin knows how much fun the Serenity is. Do you?

Have a GREAT weekend, everyone! Get out there and get wet, even if the wind doesn't blow!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cold Snap!

Sheeesh, you know you're getting spoiled when 55 degrees feels absolutely frigid! All of the Canadians have been walking around in shorts and T-Shirts, meanwhile I busted out my big puffy down jacket last night! Anyway, this cold air is rushing down in the form of heaps of North wind... So we've been hitting the Lighthouse...

I took a solo mission on Monday morning. It was freezing cold, spitting rain, gusting up to over 40 mph, with waves about logo high on the inner bar, if not bigger... It was a "full concentration" session, one of those days where you couldn't let your guard down for one second, as there were rogue waves breaking just about anywhere and everywhere, without much rhyme or reason. Pretty much classic Lighthouse! Anyway, I put the helmet cam on my noggin so that you guys could come along for the ride. Bear in the mind, the waves look tiny, but I assure you, they were not! Enjoy:

Solo Survival Sesh from Andy McKinney on Vimeo.

One of the interesting things that comes out of wearing the cam- I know for a fact that I only windsurfed for 5 minutes and 20 seconds yesterday morning! And I'll tell ya, that was plenty to satiate me for the rest of the day! Here are a few freeze frames from that movie:

"don't fall don't fall don't fall don't fall....."

"don't fall don't fall don't fall don't fall......"

Anyway, Stuart and I grabbed a sunset sesh at the Hole last night, freestylin' it up on the 4.2 and 100 combo. It was just about the complete opposite of my morning sesh- all fun, little fear! I tried a few clew first vulcans, but to little effect... gotta work on those, for sure! Here's the sunset:

How does that saying go? "Red sky at night, ..."

Olaf, Stuart, Brad and I sailed again this morning, at the Lighthouse. 4.2 again, lit up pretty well in the gusts, and comfortably planing most of the time. It was another "concentration" session... dodging heaps of whitewater... Kinda fun after the fact, kinda scary during!

Word is the Southside got really good late this morning as the tide started to push back in, with side off wind and nice clean faces... I happened to check the Frisco Cam on and noticed someone out sailing! That's gotta be the first time that's ever happened?! I don't even know where the cam is...

I think I'll go try to find it after work!! : )

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Clinics, Wind, and Waves!

Busy busy busy... Where to start?? Chronologically, I guess.

Andy Brandt of ABK Boardsports came to Sailworld and gave a free windsurfing clinic on Tuesday night! Yeehaw! These things are fun, and everyone always walks away with a ton of new knowledge. Imagine how much you could learn from him on the water?!

Lots of questions, lots of answers!

Bits of wind here and there, with some fun SW most every day it seems. Here's Stuart packing up at the Canadian Hole the other night after a 5.0 freestyle sesh:

I gave another forward loop clinic on Friday night! It was sponsored by Sailworld Cape Hatteras, and part of the Hatteras Wave Jam 2009. Attendance wasn't epic, but neither was the forecast... A lot of times those two things go hand in hand. We did, however, have two of the crucial elements for a Forward Loop clinic:

Willing participants, and cheap beer!

As I said, the forecast wasn't great, but Saturday afternoon ended up being awesome! George, Bill, Andres, Olaf, Keith and I caught it up at Ramp 27. Half and half schlogging/powered on 5.5 and my Pocket 80, with waves in the thigh to overhead range! The big ones were pretty heavy, with some solidly barreling lips breaking in knee to thigh deep water... I was amazed that I didn't break anything, as I definitely took some nasty spills... until I started derigging and noticed that my extension was cocked over 30 degrees! Oh well, better a $60 extension than a $300 mast half!!

Bill on a nice one!

Olaf in the pocket!

Fun sequence of me kooking out:

We followed the sesh with a fun sunset Barbeque on the Beach. Good Stuff!!

Anne and me (check out the rad Wave Jam T-Shirt!)


Janice on grilling duty!

This morning we've had some fun SW in the 20 mph range, but we're expecting a big front to push through pretty soon here... I've been watching it on as it pushes south- it's blowing North at 35-45 up in Norfolk right now, and just switched North at Elizabeth City... And now Pea Island... Still warm and SW here, but not for long : )
Outer Banks wind meter map from

Time to tie down the porch furniture and secure the loose windsurf rigs lying around all those soundfront homes! Something tells me Olaf is gonna be busy repairing 7.5s tonight...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

ABK at the Hole, Survival Sesh at the Lighthouse!

More great days here on Hatteras....

Monday was insane-o windy! And you know you're getting spoiled when 60 degrees feels cold... It was certainly a stormy day, with periods of heavy downpours, but the winds were cranking, so I don't think anyone really cared. You're getting wet anyway, right? I took an extended lunch break and caught a pretty sweet freestyle sesh at the Canadian Hole with a bunch of people out, including ABK Boardsports staff members Brendan, Tom, and Andy Brandt! It's fun sailing with people who actually know what they're doing! I'm gonna have to schedule a clinic one of these days, so that Andy can straighten up my Grubbys... Check out the vid to catch some of the action:

ABK at the Canadian Hole from Andy McKinney on Vimeo.

After work, I decided to run down to the Lighthouse to grab an ocean session. Stuart, Bill, Keith, Olaf, and Graham Ezzy had sailed there earlier and said it was pretty fun (read Bill's report here). So I pulled into the Lot and there was no-one there anymore. Solo sesh... I knew it was pretty windy so rigged up my 4.2 and put on my nasty, wet, cold wetsuit (hardest part of the whole sport). First tack out I made it through the impact zone, no problem. The waves on the inner bar didn't seem all that meaty, probably about head high. As I got away from shore, I could feel some insane power in my sail, so I was kind of on damage control, just trying to keep everything in one piece. Approaching the outer bar, I could see that things were a little different out there... Monster rolling swell was starting to jack up and break out in the middle of the ocean... I decided to jibe on the first one, just to keep it close to shore in case anything were to happen. This did not seem like the type of day to go whale watching, if you catch my drift...

So I'm halfway through my jibe, surfing down the face of this outer bar wave, completely in the lee. I go to jibe the sail, drop my back hand, and the sail just goes nuts on me as a gust comes ripping over and down the wave that I'm coasting along on. It's completely flagged out and the thing is violently shaking the way my old rusted out Toyota used to do when I would push it up to 70 mph!! Everything solidified as soon as I sheeted in on the opposite tack... I picked up one of the nuggets that sucks up right off the jetty and got one good bottom and top turn, and headed right back to the beach.

After a few seconds of a breather, I tried my luck again and had a pretty similar experience, so I decided to call it a day, happily, as everything (gear and body) was still in one piece! I know for a fact that I was in survival mode out there, as evidenced by my hair, which stayed completely dry. It was a "No-Fall-Zone" kind of day out there... Check out the Avon Pier iWindsurf graph- I was out from about 5:30-6 PM... Avon Pier, Monday May 11th

Yikes! I love this place. : )

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hatteras has a few visitors!

Happy Mother's Day!! I was in charge of mailing out the cards for Anne's mom and mine... and totally messed up... Sorrrrryyyyy!! You'll get your cards really soon, I promise! (What a jerk! it must've been windy the day I was supposed to send them out...haha) Here's some of the fam around Christmastime a few years ago:

Clockwise: Mom, me, Jim, Pauline

I got bombarded with so many phone calls and text messages yesterday that I just couldn't take it anymore and closed the shop to take a lunch break session. Well, my allotted hour quickly turned into 3!! Whoops! It was simply too beautiful outside to go back to the shop and sit around inside all afternoon... Sunshine, warm air and water (I sailed in trunks!!), 4.2 wind, and fun little waves made for a great afternoon on the water.

Lots of people out on the water, including (among others) Keith, Olaf, Rick, Chad, Charlie, Stuart (eventually), and...... PWA sailor Graham Ezzy!! The stress of studying for his upcoming final exams got to him, so he bolted to Hatteras for the weekend to get some sailing in and decompress a little bit. Nothing like a little windsurfing to set your mind straight; I'm sure he'll do much better on his tests now!

Anyway, everyone was sailing great out there, but Graham was KILLIN' it! He was fun to watch. Where someone would get a 3 or 4 foot jump, Graham would chuck a 10 foot stalled forward loop or perfect push loop. And where someone would straighten out and head for the beach, Graham would take one more turn and throw a taka off the lip. It was pretty inspiring, and he definitely made me want to up my game a bit!

I would've loved to get some pictures...

but Anne had my camera........

...... at the ABK Clinic she's taking this weekend!! I'm so jealous, it's ridiculous. She and about 15 other attendees scored a day of serious wind (3.7) and sunshine! Anne claims to have dialed in her planing jibes, duck jibes, chop hops, and learned to jump jibe!! And apparently, Andy taught her something else really cool, too, but she won't tell me what. I think she wants to wait for the perfect moment to chuck it in my face and surprise me! She must've been trying something cool out there because she came home with skinned knees and a smile on her face! Can't wait to see it!

I feel bad for you guys, with no pics or anything, so here's a little video from some footage I shot a few weeks ago. It's Stuart and I, sailing up at Ramp 34, in some pretty strong SW winds. It's pretty indicative of the type of conditions we've had for the last few weeks- Lots of SW wind, and small, weird waves. Anyway, Enjoy!

Ramp 34 "wave" sailing from Andy McKinney on Vimeo.

Friday, May 8, 2009

In-Store ABK Clinic with Andy Brandt!

If you're missing this weekend's ABK Clinic, don't worry, because you can still get a taste of the ABK experience by coming to a Free In-Shop Clinic with Andy Brandt! Clear up some time (in your busy Hatteras nightlife social schedule) Tuesday night (May 12th, 2009), starting at about 7PM, and come to Sailworld Hatteras with the windsurfing related question of your choice!

See ya then!

In the meantime... Looks like it's gonna crank all day tomorrow! Warm, sunny, SW... Weekend warriors, Load Up!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Record Profits from Windsurfing Sales!!

This morning, Sailworld was worth 9 million dollars! Unfortunately, the nice woman at the bank decided to correct the mistake she had made with my deposit, so we were only a multi-million dollar company for about 2 minutes. (dang-it!)

Once again, I got scammed by mid day winds that faded at 5, and a long day stuck at work... But, all my customers have been stoked (and limping, with blistered hands, broken ribs, stitches, etc), so it's fine because I know they're having a killer time out there!! In any case, all this wind has kicked up a nice sized swell, so Stuart, Drew and I caught a few lumpy bombs this evening. It felt great to get in the water on a surfboard... Man it's been a long time... its been soooo windy!! The bod feels great, just from an hour's worth of paddling around. It evens you right up after windsurfing so much!

More wind tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday! Good time to GET HERE!! Don't forget to sign up for the ABK Clinic!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wave schlogging when it's blowing 30

Business first, then pleasure!

Tons of new stuff for you guys to check out at the shop! New Gaastra, New Starboard, New RRD, and more.... Come check it out!

Gaastra Plasma 8.3, Technora, rigs on a 460!! $928

Gaastra Manic HD, bombproof with a light feel in the hands $640

Gaastra Poison, powerful wave sail $661

Truckload of new Starboards!!

Moving on, to the Pleasure:

It has been unbelievably windy down here in Hatteras! I've been grabbing dawn and dusk sessions, which timing wise has been a bit of a bummer because the wind has been light, while mid day, all day, it's been blowing 30+..... but, whatever, it's still fun to get out there and catch some waves or work on the freestyle! Here are a bunch of pics from the weekend (taken by either Anne or me)

Dawn Sesh! Small Waves, Medium wind

Sunset Sesh, Super light wind wave schlog. I'm getting a great feel for that Tabou Pocket 80! (It Rips)

Keith schlogged around, too

And was killin' it with all of his normal style

Ken K, rigged and ready, dawn sesh

I'm loving this new board! Even at 80 liters it's uphaul-able and schlogs like a champ!


Birthday Boy Stuart!!

Sunset wave schlog. Check out Rick on the right hand side of the pic!

Olaf on the face!

Even though the wind was light and the waves were small, I'm still adept at making big splashes!


That's better!

Rick has been all over the place, emailing me about all his exploits in the wind!

Small, mushy, and surprisingly fun!

Coming up-

More SW!!

ABK Boardsports is holding a clinic this weekend, Friday through Sunday. Sign up and reap the benefits of instruction from the best coaches in the Americas! We may have a free in store evening clinic as well, but we're not sure on the timing of that yet... Will keep you informed!

Lots of other's Hatteras experiences are showing up on the net... Check out this thread for some cool pics and stories. And don't forget to read through this thread for a pretty candid look at Mike's Hatteras vacation (and a review of the Jibe lesson he and Gary took from me). And don't forget to check out the great pics and Loop success story written by Ken on Live2Sail!! Good stuff, I'm glad you guys are all having such a great time down here!

Hope to see the rest of you soon!