Gusty and Fun

We’ve had some Really gusty and shifty winds the last few days. Some people might complain, but I kind of like the variations! I think gusty winds open up a session to way more opportunities. Helitack in a lull, then loop in a gust… Next time around, try the helitack in a gust, and a loop in the lulls, just to see what happens! If anything, shifty conditions will help you determine when to try what, and you can store it away for future reference.

Tuesday’s forecasted cranking southerlies never really materialized, in a safely sailable manner, anyway… Billy, Jim K, George, Visiting Neil, and I windsurfed the Hole (5.0), while Pam and Lane joined us on their kites. Everyone caught a fun, but short, session before a nasty front pushed through. Lane snapped a few amazing pictures of the front (Thanks, Lane!):

Tough not to see that one coming…It extended across the entire horizon!It was easy to tell that all heck was about to break loose, so we frantically derigged and stashed our gear (and bodies) just as the wind clocked around 90 degrees and boosted into the mid 40s! Lightning, thunder, rain, fog, and gnarly winds persuaded me to hunker down with the keys in the ignition, just in case a quick escape became necessary… Luckily, it blew over quickly and harmlessly, and Neil re-rigged, re-suited, and re-entered the water for another bout of blasting!

Billy, before the frontHunkered down in the thick of it
Neil, post-gnarliness
Wednesday brought the clearing winds, sunny skies, and cooler air temps. Stuart, Neil and I hit up the Secret Spot for some morning freestyling. The wind faded quickly, so it was a short but fun sesh (5.0 again). In the afternoon, the wind returned with a vengeance, and a slightly different angle, so Billy, Neil and I hit the flats down in Buxton for some wicked freestyle action (and 5.0 yet again)! I’m stoked to claim the fastest, most powerful, cleanest, totally planing spock I’ve ever thrown! Chalk it up to the butter flat water, but if you had blinked, you would have totally missed it and thought nothing had ever happened! Unreal!

Stuart in the Secret SpotBilly Ain’t Afraid to Throw Himself Around!Sunset Over the Shallows
Stuart and I braved the cold this morning, sailing short tacks back behind Island Creek (you guessed it, 5.0). Very gusty winds, again, and ice cream headaches if you got dunked. The water wasn’t bad, but the 28 degree air put quite a chill on any exposed, wet skin. Luckily, I brought my portable hot tub to thaw out the hands and feet during our frequent breaks! Sailing in shallow water, taking short tacks, with a buddy, really thick suits (6/5/4), hot water waiting on the beach, buildings right on shore for shelter, and hot showers a stones throw away are what made our morning relatively safe and comfortably sailable in the frigid air temps!

I suppose that’s just a testament to how much fun windsurfing really is!! We (the general windsurfing populace) often get excited, and brave some very harsh weather, just for some time on the water… Why wouldn’t we, really?

Stand Up Surf Extravaganza!

Lots of great waves this afternoon, light breeze, crystal clear water, and blue skies! What a beautiful day! Drew, Stuart and I hit up ramp 34 for an afternoon of board swapping, although the SUP was the tool of choice on the weaker waves.

Stuart on a nice rightDrew drops in late
There were lots of curious dolphin in the water today, too! The vantage point from a SUP is amazing, especially when the water is so clear. Pods of dolphin were swimming up to, surfacing next to, and diving under us all afternoon. I almost got mowed over by a few set waves because I was too busy looking down at all the action underwater, rather than the horizon!

Drew bails on a closeoutMe, attempting to hit a lip and redirect to the right… miserable failure 1 second later!!
Drew lining himself up
All in all a great afternoon on the beach! Looks like we’re in store for a few days of cranking winds, so come on down, or at least keep an eye open for a report in the next day or two!

Fine Coastal Weather (Wind, Rain, Fog, and Sunshine)

We’ve had a good few days here in Hatteras, with some fine coastal weather…

Caught up with Chad surfing in Buxton Friday afternoon, after the rain passed. Fog was drifting in and out, with moderate offshore winds. Lots of current was ripping up the beach in the south swell. Kind of spooky looking out there.

Chad’s somewhere deep within this wave:
Unknown surfer with a late backside drop:
I ended up rigging a 5.0 in the first parking area I found that wasn’t foggy, with an hour of “daylight” left. Planing was effortless on my 108 liter freestyle board, especially in the butter flat water I ended up finding! It certainly wasn’t an extreme session, but I got some great reconnaissance in for a sicko new freestyle spot, or maybe even a speed run in the right wind direction!

The foggy view while rigging:
Saturday brought light west winds and sunshine, so I surfed the leftover chest high swell from Friday morning’s storm. Weird waves, with lots of invisible currents and small cross swells coming from virtually every direction. It got so bad that I felt a vertigo-like sensation from the random rocking. Nonetheless, some of the waves were really good, though few and far between. Sorry, no pics.

Now today, Sunday, was UNREAL at the lighthouse. A huge, macking swell kicked up in no time while I was out schlogging around on a 5.7. Dan snapped this pic of me dropping into a monster:

Fooled ya! Photo manipulation is just too easy these days! I did schlog around on a 5.7 today, got planing once, and the waves were less than epic, but it was a fun session anyway. I had the place to myself, although one kiter came out for about 10 minutes. Here are the unmodified pictures that Dan took (thanks Dan!)

The Original Pic:

Wish I had been on this one!
Setting up for a knee high wave:

Warm Sunset, Disappearing Moon, Freezing Dawn

Wednesday brought warm(ish) South winds, and Ego beach was crowded with 5 sailors out!! Amazing, considering there were no waves in the super high tide… Anyway, killer sunset session, bump and jump (4.7-5.5) at Ego then a quick freestyle sesh in the hole to rinse the sand off the gear! Billy, Stuart, Jim K, Jeffro, Visiting Neil and I caught the warm afternoon breeze! There was tons of energy out there, with Stuart going for some loops, Billy throwing backloop attempts off nothing, Jim going huge as always, and Neil in the Graveyard of the Atlantic for the first time ever! Personally, I got a few great forwards off, some 360s in the “soup,” and tried to toss some spocks in the ocean chop (unsuccessfully)!
Sunset BlastingBilly behind the one set of the day!Jeffro Mach 5 Jibe

Turns out there was a lunar eclipse Wednesday evening! Here in Avon, we were able to catch the first half before it clouded over. I snapped a few pics and tossed ’em together for y’all:
Eclipse Montage

Thursday morning brought MUCH colder temps (35F) and North/NNE winds. Stuart and I hit the Lighthouse for some big jumps and some variable but fun wave rides. The waves were mostly waist to shoulder high, and peeling down the beach! A few lined up for 4 or even 5 bottom turns, and both backside and down the line hits! Really fun session, but I’m sure glad I brought that cooler full of hot water to thaw out the hands afterwards! Dale grabbed a few pics while walking his dogs (Thanks Dale!!):
Backside Lip Hit!Stu in the Bowl
Onshore Bottom Turn (switch stance/clew first)
I took a turn behind the lens as well:
Stu on a Wall
Stuart in the SoupLifegaurd BeachThe Only Witnesses

34 and The South Sigh-eeed

Ocean sailing in Hatteras comes with it’s perils. It’s all sandbars here, so there aren’t any well defined channels or safety zones to help you get out. Here’s what Stuart and Billy had to face when schlogging their gear out for Monday’s Point session:

Thanks to Dan for the pics! And again, major props to these guys for simply stepping off the beach!

On to Tuesday! Ramp 34 had the PERFECT swell height, direction, and tide setup for SUP surfing today. The bigger sets were barely peeling over waaay outside (like 50-75 yards off the beach), then rolling in all the way to the inside bar where they would finally jack up and throw. The moon’s pretty full right now, so low tide was a bit lower than usual, allowing the waves to roll all the way in between the bars without petering out. The biggest sets were about shoulder or head high. My SUP gave me enough juice to catch them and work the sections back and forth for what seemed to be about 30 second rides before I would kick out on the inside section. The wind turned on a bit too strong, albeit straight offshore, which kept today off my list of Top 10 SUPing days. Had it been glassy, today would have absolutely been in the #1 spot!!! Here’s a chest high set of 4 rolling in from outside:

Luckily, a little wind never stopped me from having some fun! Stuart and I decided to roll on down to Isabel’s for an afternoon wavesailing session. 5.7 and 95 liter waveboard, planing 60% of the time. Isabel’s was waist to a little overhead in the biggest of sets. A good bit of current. Virtually dead sideshore wind, just a touch off. This session was really surprising, and way more fun than I thought it would be! Among the top of the distractions list: The nearly full moon rose just behind the Hatteras Lighthouse and over the Frisco Pier! It was pretty much right in my face when looking down the line at the wave I was trying to sail… very distracting… Anyway, the pics tell most of the story. I took the pics of Stuart (white/blue sail), he took the pics of me (green Worldsail):

Stu on a long oneI’m diggin’ in!A fraction late on the camera duties… Sorry!Making the dropFull Moon’s a RisingStu trying to slow downI’m a little late (but I made it, I think?)Stuart noticed a balloon floating by and nabbed it! Adding that to Anne’s stash of recent trash pickups makes 12 balloons in 4 days!!! Hooray for valentine’s day! Well, maybe they saved the lives of 12 turtles and fishes? Who knows?

Letdowns and Surprises!

What a day. Highs, lows, rain and sunshine…. I started off the day waiting for the rain (and lightning) to pass, playing phone tag with everyone while looking for a window of opportunity. Eventually, we settled on waiting out the storm at the point. The waves looked reasonable there (head high and organized as opposed to a mast high washing machine), with side offshore wind filled in all the way to the beach.

Boy were we wrong. The waves were way bigger than they looked, and the wind was most certainly not filled in… I simply didn’t feel “right” about the session, but Stuart and Billy E charged it as soon as the rain cleared!

Stuart’s big bomb!
Billy on a solid one!
Major props to these guys for schlogging out through the logo high sets! They definitely took a few major bombs to the head, but it was all worth it for the few rides they got! Just look at Billy’s mug shot once he made it back to the beach! Says it all, really!

As the afternoon faded on, I stopped by the Jetties and saw Dan and Chad out surfing the head and a half, warbly, choppy, current riddled mess of an ocean. Man, these guys deserve major props, too, for dealing with all that garbage for the few rides they got!

Dan Bottom Turn
Dan’s 75 yard righthander!
By this point I was really feeling like a chump for sitting out the wave sailing, then skipping the surf sesh too… But with an hour of daylight left, I checked the Hole on the way home. There was wind! And lots of it! The forecasted 20s to 30s finally filled in for an amazing sound side sunset session! It’s pretty awe inspiring to watch such a huge front pass overhead, with a distinct line between low and high pressure cutting the sky, revealing the sun on the western horizon. To top it all off, the almost full moon showed it’s face through the clouds for the final 15 minutes of fun, easing the transition from daylight to dusk…….

Thanks to Stuart for snapping some pics:
Jim K mid jibe
Yours truly, feeling the slide
Visiting sailor Neal laying one down
You can always find an “if only” to use as an excuse in this world, and I really hate to use that phrase, but, man… if only that wind was there earlier to hit the ocean on a well powered 5.0……

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

A solid few days!

Friday: Moderate West winds pretty much all day… so Freestylin’ in the morning on a 5.7, then surfing in the afternoon! Stuart and I sailed the hole, it was gusty, and looked exceptionally windy but wasn’t… Just standing in the lot, I would’ve rigged a 5.0, but as it was, I could have used a 7.5 once in the water (this is a classic morning West wind situation in Hatteras). Anyway I got a couple of one handed spocks in so I’m happy!

Friday’s Waves
The swell is still kicking, for 3 days now solid head(+/-) sets! With a fading sun, Anne and I took a quick surf session at Witches Hat in the afternoon. It was a little spooky, as the light was fading, and it got choppy as the wind veered South. It’d be waist high, and out of nowhere these bombs were coming in, really hard to read in the fading light and chop… We both definitely got worked a few times, but caught some fun ones too!

Saturday: Crankin’ NNE winds all day! Stuart and I started the day off at Isabel’s, sailing very gusty and shifty nearly straight offshore wind… It was mostly frustrating, with a few brilliant moments mixed in, which made it all worthwhile! The sets were still pumping solidly chest to head high, with great shape in the offshore breeze. The hard part was lining yourself up to be in the right spot… But when you hit it right, man it was sweet!

After a few hours beating ourselves up, Bill B called from the Cove, so off we went! The rest of the afternoon was spent in a playground of waist high waves in straight offshore, but clean 5.0 wind. We were all throwing ourselves around, and everyone took some mighty spills! Anne came out and snapped some pictures of us:

Riding the elevator, straight upwind!
Shorebreak Bottom Turn
Bill, mid loop!
Stu, about to eat it!
Me, eating it!Looks like more for the next few days! So, I find myself saying it again: “no rest for the weary!”

Perfect Surf?

My friend Dan has been talking about the “Valentine’s Swell” of ’07 for, well, a year now… Thank heavens he’ll have something else to talk about now. Something tells me I’ll be hearing him reminisce about today for, well, the next year or so…

On the way down the beach, Stuart and I stopped at Isabel’s and found Chad out, solo:

Click to see a larger version, Chad’s in there somewhere!
It was a little heavier than I was really looking for, so on we went, further south… We found just a touch smaller, but way softer, longer, crumblier A Framing peaks where Dan was hiding. Way more inviting to my eyes! Sorry, no pics, so the spot shall remain nameless. All you need to know is that it was just about perfect!

The idea of “perfect surf” will certainly conjure up different images in each and every surfer’s individual mind. Well, today was pretty darned close to my version. Big enough to throw you around a little, but not so big to be really scary. Super clean faces with light offshore breeze. A-frame peaks with 50 yard long peeling shoulders. Ahhhhhhh…. It doesn’t get much better than that around here. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that it was just me and 4 other guys splitting the never ending supply of peaks!

Gotta love Hatteras in February! Thanks for the Valentine’s gift!

Wendesday Low Pressure!!

8:30 AM: Socked in with rain. Avon Pier meter is reading 32 gusting 47, due South, and 60 degrees air temp. Diamond Shoals buoy is reading 43 gusting to 56 mph, and 19 feet at 10 seconds… Stormy!! Time to go check it out!

Here’s this morning’s radar,

and a short video of the scene.

It reminded me of a tropical storm! Basically, the wind was cranking but variable, the rain was pelting, and the ocean was huge (the buoy maxed out at 20.7 feet!!). Stuart and I sailed the Hole in the morning, through the rain squalls, and gusts over 60 according to the iwindsurf Avon Ocean meter! I held down my 4.2 through most of it, and hid in the water during some of the major gusts. Basically survival sailing, with a few crazy fast spin loops thrown in for good measure. Later, when the sun came out, the wind backed down a bit and Mark, Jim K, Jeff, George, and Brian came out to join the fun!

Ego Beach breaking to the horizon
Jim K boosting
Current windsurfing gear is remarkable: I stayed on my 4.2 the whole day, in winds ranging from 32 gusting 48, to avg 49 gusting to 61 (I hid for a lot of that half hour), to 19 gusting 27, and never changed a thing beyond an inch of outhaul and a fin! I even did some speed runs (34.3 mph max in the semi bumpy water), and some freestyling during the lulls… Other sails ranged from 3.7 up to 5.2 in the gusty, shifty conditions! Here’s some more pics:

Head high waves of sand were blowing through
Da Hole
I’ve been out of the water for 6 hours, I’ve taken a nice long shower, and I’ve still got sand caked in my hair and ears…….. Yup, ’twas windy this morning!!

The Point, and a Summer Video!

What started as a pretty slow, lame sesh this afternoon, quickly became really fun as the wind and waves built! Billy E and I rigged for a schlog, he on a 5.2, I rigged my 5.7, and after about an hour of puttering around and catching a few decent waves, the wind finally started to boost up a bit. As soon as the wind built, the waves built as well, and we ended up having a great time! My big board turns like a Mack Truck, but it planes up super early and jumps like a 6 year old kid on Red Bull… So I only had a few fun waves, but a lot of big jumps, considering how marginal the conditions were!

Billy on a wall!
Billy Cutback

The dolphin were out in serious numbers this afternoon! They weren’t skittish, either, as they were surfacing, blowing smoke, and even jumping the same waves we were riding, as close as just a few feet away! Sometimes it’s very difficult to tell if they are just curious and playful, or if they are being territorial… More than ever, this afternoon seemed a little sketchy… But all’s well that ends well, and nobody got thwacked by a tail or anything crazy like that!

I also had some time to throw together some video clips I had laying around from last summer! I had tried a mast mount while cruising around at the hole, it’s a little bouncy, but I think there’s some cool clips! I linked the same video from you tube at the bottom of the blog… So, Enjoy!

Isabel’s Mirror Image

Usually, if I’m heading down to the south side of the island to windsurf, it’s blowing northeast, or, side-offshore. Today, for some reason, Bill, Billy, and I sailed Isabel’s in a SW, 180 degrees from the normal direction! What the heck were we thinking? Well, luckily, I didn’t think too much about it, because it was REALLY fun!!!

Just one pic today, because I couldn’t be bothered to stop sailing… when I pulled up a lone kiter was riding by, so here’s the scene:

We ended up getting side on conditions with ridiculous starboard ramps, and port backside waverides, mostly well powered on a 5.0. I saw Billy toss a huge tabletop on the outside, and watched Bill pop a bunch of backside aerials off the lip (no aerial loops yet, though, Bill!!) Personally, I had an insane jumping day, throwing a bunch of huge loops, and some of my most successful starboard back loop attempts ever! I’ve been visualizing push loops lately, and a few backloops sort of morphed into potential pushies, and felt pretty reasonable, really… I also smacked the biggest backside aerial off the lip I’ve ever thrown, off a head high wall just barely starting to throw over! Cleared the section, landed in the flats, still planing and ready to rock another! Unreal sensation, tons of power!

Today was one of those days when everything flows, and one big move rolls into another… I’m still buzzing off it, 4 hours later, ready for more as soon as possible!! Rad… The Hatt has been seriously providing this winter, and I have A LOT to be thankful for!

Secret Spot, and Some Culture

Any aspiring or accomplished freestylers NEED to come find me next time they’re in Hatteras, and the wind is West-ish. Tiny, stubby fins Only! Any fins longer than 20 cm, and the rider will kill themselves. If you meet the criteria, the Secret Spot awaits, and this is what you’ll find:

The Starboard Entrance
Port side approach
I…can’t believe… it’s not butter!
This place is so perfect, Stuart nabbed his very first spock here on Friday, and he didn’t even mean to… It just kind of happened, and luckily, I just kind of happened to be shooting some pics! So here it is, Stuart’s de-virginizing spock, in all it’s glory:

Click to see a bigger version!
His life will never be the same! Congrats, bruddah!

Today, Saturday, instead of playing in the sea, I ate some food from the sea! Anne, the Kramers and I took a trip across the Pamlico Sound this afternoon for the 23rd Annual Stumpy Point Oyster Feast! And a feast it was… all you could eat, with a whole building dedicated to fried oysters, and whole separate building dedicated to steamed oysters…. Culture, indeed! Not only was the food amazing, the people watching was, well, off the charts! And the hospitality was second to none; these people really know how to have a good time! Here’s the scene:

The Evidence (all empty)
Family Style Feeding Trough
Overalls and Nuthin’ Else…
As much as I love Hatteras, it’s good to get off the island every now and again. Even if you just go visit another fishing village that looks exactly like the one you just left…

Big winds in the forecast for tomorrow! Can’t wait to burn off some of the butter and fried greasiness I ingested today!

Double Teamed (first wind, then waves)

First things first, if you haven’t checked out Bill’s blog yet, go ahead and have a peek! He’s posted a sweet video of yesterday’s Ego Beach action. It’s really great to see everyone throwing themselves around and trying to go bigger, faster, snappier… even when the waves are terrible! There are some awesome crashes on this vid, and a few bright moments as well! Big thanks to Tony for sitting on the beach and taping, and Bill for editing!

It was worth getting out of bed today for quite a few reasons. First and foremost, the sand was… warm… between my toes. What a sensation after wearing shoes in the cold for a few weeks! Let ’em breathe! That alone made my day. Beyond that, however, a mediocre forecast ended up being a full on day, with a lit up dawn sesh at the Hole, and then a great surf sesh at sunset. It’s amazing how worn out you can feel from too much windsurfing, and then an hour’s worth of paddling a surfboard and everything’s back in balance and ready to roll! It works vice versa, too, with windsurfing being rehab for an oversurfed body…

Anyway, the dawn session broke all the longstanding rules of Hatteras morning Westerlies. Usually, it’s not as windy as it looks because the sun accents the whitecaps. Today, it was windier than it looked, and I was WAY overpowered on a 5.7. Also, the wind usually fades as the morning rolls in, so you usually rig one size bigger than you think you need. Today, the wind just kept gusting higher as I put off downrigging longer and longer, expecting it to die… Long story short, I went sailing, but was too lit to do anything but mow the lawn, except during the weakest of lulls… Stuart and Mark were also on the water, here’s Mark ripping around on a 4.2 and 66 liter board:

This could be a postcard!
Banana scopes out the action
Mark throwing some spray!
Later in the afternoon, the wind did finally fade, and left a nice sized swell ripping up the beach. Avon kindly returned some of it’s sand to Salvo today, after Salvo so nicely deposited their “extras” during the last North blow… Give and take, it’s very healthy, really… So offshore winds cleaned up the South swell and provided really fast barreling lefts, and really long, crumbly rights. Here’s Brian and Stuart making the most of it:

Brian on a nice peak
Stuart drops in late
Brian tucking in
No rest for the weary, it looks like the next few days have some serious potential! Could be time for all you out of towners to pack up the vans and head to the beach for a weekend romp in the water! Check the forum for updates! See you out there!

It’s Official!!!

Henceforth, the 2008 Hatteras windsurf season will be known as the Year of the Huck. The energy level is off the charts right now. If this is any indication of what’s to come, then we’ll be supplying some major action to the windsurfing scene this year!

I witnessed, and personally helped create, more major splats and splashes today than I’ve seen in a long time! The setup was: Litsky 5.0-4.5 SW wind, an occasional good stomach high set wave (but mostly crap windswell), and multiple huckable ramps per every outgoing tack. Everyone was going huge today! It was actually ridiculous. Bill was chucking loop after loop, Stuart was throwing himself through forwards with reckless abandon, Caleb and Billy E were tearing the tops off of whatever wave came their way, and I saw Jim K bailout of a huge jump on the outside, his kit cartwheeling 20 yards before it even hit the water!! Insanity, I tell you. I’ve never seen so much huckage from so many people in one afternoon. It was awesome!

Major moments of note:

  1. Stuart claims a “lollypop” backloop, witnessed by one beach spectator! Rad!
  2. I landed a few endo forwards really solidly on my feet, not planing, but close!

Not many pics, because I was sailing all afternoon, but here’s a few:

Billy E lines up a hit
Stuart drives down the line
Billy E throws some spray
Bill B had a friend on the beach videotaping this afternoon, so I’m sure he’ll have some great action to share on his blog sometime soon! Be sure to check it out!!

Tuesday Warm-Up

So much for taking a rest day… Conditions looked way too good to pass up today! It was warm, with a moderate Southwest breeze, and a fun waist to chest high groundswell hitting at Ego Beach. I warmed up in the hole with a few freestyle passes, then carried over the dunes when the rest of the crew showed up. The conditions were perfect to warm up, stretch out and get dialed in for Wednesday’s (hopefully) super windy, bigger waves! Caleb, Stuart and I dusted off the mental cobwebs from our last cold water sesh by playing all afternoon, moderate power on 5.7s and bigger boards. Here are some pics of the action:

Caleb punts one off the lip! (click for a better view)
Stuart and I “share” one
Caleb lines up a nice top turn
The Fog rolls in
After a great couple of hours, the fog rolled in and it got really spooky… Low visibility is creepy, especially in fluky, shifty winds, when you can’t make out the shoreline!

Well I can’t sleep because the sound of wind is driving me crazy… Hopefully I’ll be rested enough to charge it when the sun finally shows!

Summer Surf, in February!

The last few days have reminded me of summer, with a few vital differences:

1) There’s no-one here…
2) The water is 45 degrees, not 75…

The swell, however, has been glassy and fun, just like most summer mornings! Three days straight of virtually no wind, and waist to shoulder high crumbly swell, has made me a very tired person. To limit muscle fatigue, I’ve been changing boards like a ski town girl swaps boyfriends! 2 hours on the SUP, an hour on the fish, then grab a longboard for an hour, then back to the SUP…

Here’s the sunset Sunday evening:

Makes me feel calm and, well… reflective…

I have a confession to make:

I LOVE buying surfboards. It’s an addiction, kind of like cocaine. It’s just as expensive, but much healthier. I have more surfboards than most people have socks. I only ride a handful of them all the time, but I love every one of them just the same. Last summer I got a 12’2″ behemoth to learn how to stand up paddle. I also got a 5’9″ fish, the shortest board I’ve ever owned. The funny thing is that they both work great on exactly the same days…. So why’d I buy both? Beats me, but I love ’em!

Speaking of consumption, James sent me this link about the history of plastic, and the science of dealing with all of the leftovers. It’s a really good read, but budget yourself a solid 10 or 20 minutes to digest it all! Thanks, James!

Sunday was really fun, but I had trouble catching waves. I wasn’t tired, it was Anne! She kept on snatching ’em all up! She was on fire! I guess when you become a weekend warrior, you’ve got a lot of steam to burn off in only two days… She was nabbing (and completely shredding) every single wave that came her way! Eventually I had to paddle down the beach to my own peak, just to get some waves to myself! Dan and Family, and Chad and Family joined us on the beach for a great afternoon of board swapping and sunny fun!

Here’s Dan, taking off on a nice A-frame, courtesy Foust Photography, Inc.

Dan and I almost hopped a last minute flight to Puerto Rico last week. Here‘s what we missed. In Dan’s own words: “shoulda, woulda, coulda- didn’t” Ahhhh well, I still had plenty of fun here, wearing a 6/5/4…

Today, Stuart and I had the place to ourselves, and caught a ton of great waves! Started off on the SUP, then grabbed the fish when I needed a rest/change of muscles. It felt great to throw some spray after cruising and nose riding all morning! Here’s Stuart going toeside no matter right or left (I honestly don’t remember what his natural stance is anymore… any 3rd party guesses based solely on the pics?!)

Backdooring a right:

Lining up a looooong left:

A can of PBR to the first person to correctly guess Stuart’s natural stance! (it’s 50/50, so it shouldn’t be that long till someone gets it)

I drastically need a rest day, maybe I’ll take one tomorrow, since Wednesday is supposed to howl Southwest!!! 65 degrees and a 6 – 10 foot swell!! Yow!

The South Beach Diet, and A Request To All

My version of the South Beach Diet is comprised of a heaping helping of surf, sun and fun down in Frisco! Anne, Banana, and I headed down to the airport ramp for the afternoon, seeking some waves and sunshine. Leftover windswell from yesterday’s Southerlies, with light offshore breeze made for some fun waist-ish high surf, bigger earlier, but I slept in… Unfortunately, yesterday’s wind did not push in any warm water, so temps remain in the 40s. Caught a bunch of fun waves, but I got tired quickly… so we started having some good ol’ fashioned fun and games on the beach!

I had my GPS in the truck, so we had a sprinting contest. Anne didn’t think I could break 10 mph in the sand, so we made a small wager, and off I went:

Suffice to say, she’s the one cooking dinner tonight! 16.3 mph was my max! I couldn’t celebrate my victory for long, however, because she started making fun of my form. Apparently I stick my ass out. So, a few hints about running posture and I was right back at it:
My good form the second time around slowed me down 3 mph, to 13.4! Thanks for the help! Now it’s Anne’s chance to prove herself:

Yeah, so, she’s cooking dinner tomorrow night, too! Ha! In her defense, she did already run 3 miles while I was out surfing… but she hit a very respectable 11.2 mph!!!

After catching our breath, I started walking around and picking up trash strewn on the beach. I collected all this in about 3 minutes, all within a 20 yard radius of my truck:

So much for the unspoiled beauty of Hatteras, eh? It’s possible that yesterday’s swell washed a bunch of this crap up, I guess. It really could’ve come from anywhere, but most likely it got tossed out someone’s window… Kind of bums me out. It also could’ve washed in from one of the trash vortexes out in the ocean. If you haven’t heard about them, check this out (greenpeace site). I first learned of it from here (usually happier news, the maui surf report). There’s one vortex in the North Pacific the size of Texas! Literally, a floating raft of junk with the acreage of our second biggest state, or, for you Northerners out there, all of New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and North Carolina combined! WTF?! A healthy portion of the waste is plastic shopping bags.

Fun facts and numbers:

The worldwide consumption rate of plastic bags is at least 500 billion per year. That’s about 1 million per minute!!!!

It is estimated that billions of those bags end up as litter every year. Simple math: If 1% ends up unaccounted for, that’s 5 billion missing bags, every year…

Plastic bags don’t biodegrade. They break down into tiny little fragments, which then end up in the food chain when fish and birds unknowingly ingest them. This adds toxins and carcinogens to what WE eat.

Read more here (

What can you do? The easiest thing is to bring reusable bags to the store. Many stores sell sturdy bags, and some even give $ credit for using your own bag (usually about $.05 per bag). That means a $5 reusable bag will fiscally pay for itself in 100 uses. It will conscientiously pay for itself the first time you use it.

Also, consider packaging when purchasing items. Glass is easier and safer to reuse, or make sure you purchase products in easily recyclable plastics (#’s 1 and 2, and sometimes 5).

Sorry if this is bumming you out, but I think it’s important. Nothing kills a sesh for me more than seeing junk floating around in the water or strewn on the beach. Also, the old wive’s tale states that “you are what you eat,” and I don’t want to eat plastic. Therefore, I don’t want my food sources to be eating plastic, either…

Ice Cream!!! (Headaches)

Playtime with Anne’s dog, whose name is Banana, is part of my daily routine. Usually, we take long walks on the beach. Sometimes, we also take skateboard rides! Today, I’m happy to report, Banana broke a world record! She (41 lbs) towed me (4 times her) on my skateboard at a magnificent top speed of 13.9 mph! Here, the record breaker catches her breath while checking the surf:

On to the day’s watersports extravaganza:

South winds ushered in warm air today, approaching 60 degrees, and some brief moments of sunshine made for a pleasant afternoon. The morning surf check revealed lumpy, disorganized, washing machine conditions on the East facing beaches. I decided to check the cove, on the off chance there would be enough angle to the wind to get a side-on sesh. As I arrived, one kiter was leaving, saying the waves were really good, but the water was cold, and, … he saw a huge shark… Tommy was still out there, and for sure, the waves were looking pretty good, however the angle of the wind to the swell was directly onshore. Not so hot for windsurfing, especially in waves that large (they block the wind). Tommy’s kite shows, but he doesn’t:

So, off to the north I went, to meet up with Caleb, Bill, and Stuart at the Boiler! The beach bends just enough up there to make a South wind just a tiny tad bit offshore, cleaning up the faces and organizing the swell enough to make it ridable. As I arrived, Caleb was heading out to test the waters:

Shorebreak? Nah…

Lining up on a meaty one!

Hucking his meat!

Shortly thereafter, everyone else arrived, rigged, and hit the water. I was surprised at the size of the sets, some reaching about logo high at the peaks! I was playing it pretty cautiously, because I really didn’t want to take a long swim in the 40 some odd degree water. A spinout in the trough put me down in the impact zone, and I immediately felt out of my comfort range. I made it out unscathed, but my wave riding confidence was shot. Luckily, there were some great ramps on the outside, past the breaking waves…. So free from the fear of getting worked, I was able to chuck a few lit forwards, and ended up skying one of, if not the, biggest air I’ve ever caught (kiteboarding included)!

Safety Time:

Please don’t ever ride alone in water this cold.

Please make sure you’re dressed appropriately for the air or water, whichever is colder.

Never sail out further than you can swim.

We got lucky today, and everyone made it safely back to shore… but it was a little too close for comfort…

Alright, that’s enough of that! Be safe, and everyone wish Caleb a happy birthday if you see him tomorrow!! He got an early gift this afternoon!

Sweet vid, worth a look!

Check out this new video on Continent Seven:

In the movie, Andre Paskowski turns waist high mush into a freestyle playground, morphing classic wave sailing with modern freestyle. Sick aerial acrobatics, both in the water, and on land (you’ll see what I mean)! I wonder if he still remembers how to jibe? I really wonder if he was using the same fin for the whole movie… Is that possible?

If he was, I really, really want it!