Speed Sailing at Kite Point!

Crrrrrrankin’! There’s a big ol’ coastal low sitting just a bit south of us. It sent us intensely gusty East-ish winds and tropical like rain squalls all day long. Both the Frisco Pier and Oregon Inlet iWindsurf meters registered gusts up to 60 mph, but the majority of the day saw 30 to 45ish mph winds. When I pulled in to the Hole this morning, the wind literally whipped 2 of my masts right out of the back of my truck and sent them careening down the beach. Luckily, no one was standing out there! Crankin’!

All day long, we’ve been about 100 yards away from clear skies

The recconaissance mission this morning left me empty handed. All of the South facing beaches looked sailable, but kind of pointless. There was a visible 2 foot windchop rolling across all the wave faces (which were probably a bit overhead in the sets). The fun factor just wasn’t there… I did hear a report from Rick, who sailed near the Billy Mitchell Airstrip. I think he said he was on a 3.2 (?), and was getting bounced all over the place, but it sounds like every now and then a nice shoulder high wave lined up for a down the line ride.

**Update** A visiting sailor said he watched about 5 guys sail the Cove in the afternoon, powered up on 3.5 and down, in about logo high sets, and peeling down the line rides! Suhweet!!

So instead of chasing it all day, most of us just sailed at the Hole (the only soundside launch with any water left). It was blowing straight offshore, just howling across the highway and over the super flat water. Keith cruised down to Kite Point and came back with reports of a perfect slick, angled about 15 degrees off the wind and deep water 8 inches from shore! Time to go speed sailing!! Unfortunately, I don’t have access to any (small enough) speed gear at the moment, so I rigged up my trusty 4.2 world sail surge and 85 liter RRD FSW, with an 8.25″ wave fin. According to my GPS, I got up to a max 35.4 mph. Not too bad for a wave kit! And I wasn’t afraid to chuck a few loops off the chop at the end of the run, either. Try that on a speed needle! Ha!

It looks like the next few days are going to be unbelievable!! Probably a sharp veer to the NW sometime tonight or tomorrow morning, so keep an eye out for soundside flooding, and don’t leave those rigged sails lying around!! The swell is going to be out of hand, too, so we’ll have to see what we get….

See ya out there!

Lighthouse Video, and the October Wrap-Up!

Alright, we finally had a little break in the action over the last day or two. I took advantage of the time off and put together a video of the Lighthouse session from a week ago (see the bottom half of this post for a recap). Thanks for filming, Ace! Enjoy, everyone!!

Even though the waves are basically flat and the wind hasn’t puffed over 8 mph in 2 days, I think everyone’s glad to have a bit of a break… I know I was just about worn out after the last 2 weeks of insanity… It’s good to get a break! Which leads me into the October Wrap-Up:

18 sessions windsurfing (5.7 x5, 5.0 x11, 4.2 x2)
10 sessions surfing (3 SUP, the rest prone)
9 sessions in a 4/3 wetsuit, 12 in a 3/2, 7 in a shorty, 0 in trunks…
10 rest days…. 7 of which I could have sailed or surfed, but got scammed by a hectic work schedule and short days 🙁

So October pretty much ruled for satiating the ‘ol surfing and sailing habits. It did, however, get cold quickly when we basically went from end of summer temps to full on winter for the last few days of Westerlies… Luckily it warmed up again, and is sunny and 68 Fahrenheit at the moment! Can’t wait to sneak out for a sunset SUP after work!

Looks like plenty of action on the way this week, with some forecasts calling for multiple days of 30+ mph winds again!! See ya out there!

Hitting Up The Slick (video)

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

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

Warbly and weird, but a whole lot of fun!

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

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

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

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

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

Cove Video!

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

Enjoy!

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

Floating on a High…

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

Home Base for the Cove session

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

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

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

Bill takes to the air, Lighthouse, 10/23

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Lit up soundside action!

Canadian Hole, 4.0 Madness (Anne Pic)

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

Ace Lays Into a Jibe (Anne Pic)

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

“Promised Land” (or… body of water)(Anne Pic)

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

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

The Ace-man shoots a video!

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

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

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

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

Andy Brandt Makes an Appearance!


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spocks and Lip Smacks

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Hatteras Fall Fun!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks again! Anne

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

Again- that’s

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

Wave schlog!! and the September Wrap-Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

See ya in October?

3.6 feet at 13 seconds…

…measured on the Diamond Shoals Buoy looks like this:


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


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

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

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

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

Finally, some clean, windless surf!!

Well, the wind finally died. The final count was 16 sessions in 12 straight days! What a solid batch of NE wind! The last session took place in the Cove, as the wind backed off and started to veer more East. It was super light out there. I had to throw my gear over the shore break and swim out past the inside section. A sketchy uphaul feet from the impact zone got me moving and out past the break. Once out there it was pretty easy to position myself for the sets. Stuart was the only other guy to make it out. We both caught a few waves and called it a day as the tide filled in.

All that wind left us with one heck of a swell! It finally started to clean up after two days of light wind. Drew, Kevin, George and I surfed down in Frisco Saturday evening. There were some macking sets rolling through, doubling up and exploding on the bar. It was tricky, to say the least, and my confidence wasn’t very high after a seemingly endless 20 minute paddle out. But the sunset was awesome, the water was glassy, and the waves were firing so it was a great session.

All photos by Anne:

Old Lighthouse Beach Overwash

The 20 minute, 30 yard paddle out…

Perfect Sunset

And last night, Sunday, we all went and surfed up north in Rodanthe with the light SW wind being offshore up there. It was one heck of a session, with these huge sneaker sets rolling through. One set in particular, we were all grouped up, saw it on the horizon and started scratching for the outside. The first one wasn’t excessively huge, so we all made it under just fine. The next one, though, was just this huge macker! The lip started to fire off just to the left of me, and as I duck dove, the whole thing just exploded on my heel. I was far enough under to get pulled through to the outside just fine, though. Drew, on the other hand, had the lip land basically square on his back. He lost hold of his board while getting thrashed around under water, and there was so much tension that it ripped his leash right off his ankle! I’ve never seen that happen before… To say the least, his eyes were HUGE when he finally surfaced! All’s well that ends well, though…

Feeling Worked!

15 windsurfing sessions in 11 straight days has me just about worn out!! We’ve seen everything from 5.7m wave schlogs to holding on for dear life on a 4.2m at the Hole. Cloudless sunshine, to dumping rain with lightning and thunder. We’ve seen clear roads turn to rivers of saltwater and sand gushing across the Route 12 lifeline. At the moment, we’re stranded by overwash at Pea Island, and high winds have shut the ferries down. The only way off the island is to windsurf across the Pamlico Sound to Stumpy Point : )

Here’s a few pictures from the other day, down on the South side. George took a few minutes out of the action to snap ’em off! Thanks, George! For more complete, day by day reports of the Hatteras Wave Fest action, check out George’s blog, live2sail.

I’m driving down the line

Under the lip

Stuart smacking one

and sneaking out past a meaty one!

Ken on a nice one!

Gouge!

Stuart lining up on a nice one!

More action to come, I’m sure! There’s more wind in the forecast (although it’s not the most trustworthy direction). If we can get to the Cove, and if the East wind materializes, we’ll have unreal conditions to run the Wave Fest contest!! But that’s a lot of “ifs”……..

Hatteras Wave Fest Perfection!

The whole idea of the Hatteras Wave Fest is to get newbies out into the Atlantic Ocean, pushing their windsurfing limits. The last few days have provided perfect conditions for these guys and gals. We’ve been sailing down on the south side, in moderate side-offshore winds, and clean, crumbly, long wrap around swell. The better waves have been about shoulder or head high, and peeling left down the beach, providing two or three good sections for a few turns. They’ve been really crumbly off the top, making for a good confidence boosting experience.

Long, Crumbly Lines (Anne Photo)

Wave Fest participants Anne, Bill, George, Keith, and Ken have been taking advantage of the prime conditions the last few days. We’ve all been sailing our butts off, so I don’t have too many pictures to share. Anne snapped off a few photos yesterday morning. Enjoy!

Ken lining one up!

I’m dropping in…

and cutting back!

Bill on a nice one!

Some of them linked up all the way in to the shorebreak. Don’t forget to kick out!

George has a great report, with more pics and some video here.

I’m also happy to report that the Wave Fest Clinic, hosted by Sailworld Cape Hatteras went very well on Saturday night. We had a decent turnout, with over 20 attendees. I’m very grateful to Bill, Keith, and Donny for all their input during the clinic! You guys made my life a lot easier! And everyone was stoked for the swag from our sponsors: Dakine, Maui Sails, Quatro, and Go-Pro! Gooood stuff!!

Looking ahead, our forecast is OFF THE CHARTS!! It’ll either be insanely epic conditions, or completely un-sailable. Take your pick, based on your own sense of rational thought… I will say that if you want to be here, you better come now, because the road will probably get washed out in a few days!! Good thing I don’t have to go anywhere : )

Solid Northerlies are Barraging the Beach!!!

Wave Fest is HERE!!! And we are scoring some awesome conditions! Today is the 4th day in a row of solid Northerlies. 5.0 every day, maybe 4.2 for this evening’s session!

The wind direction makes a huge difference around here. The first three days of the blow were basically due North, which is side/side off on the East facing beaches, and straight offshore on the South beaches. With no tropical swell affecting us at the moment, the ocean remained relatively flat. Which is great for the beginner wave sailors that Wave Fest was designed for!

The East Point Scene (photo Anne)

We all sailed at East Point on Thursday afternoon. It was solid 4.5 to 5.0 conditions, with about a waist high windswell to contend with. For as much wind as there was, this was about as easy as it gets around here! Perfect for the Newbies! There was a bit of current to contend with, but nothing terrible. Keith did a great job making sure everyone knew what to look out for, and we all worked together to get everyone in the water ripping. It was a great session that produced a lot of very happy windsurfers!! Good confidence booster for everyone.

George put up a bunch of great pictures of this session here!!

Keith gives a few pointers to Dale and Ken

Straight from 1st Grade to the Beach!! Anne gets ready to rig up!

The East Point session was Anne‘s first real ocean sailing experience, which is the whole point of Wave Fest. She did great out there, sailed with confidence, and got completely worked by the one big set of the whole day! But she came up smiling, didn’t break anything, and made it back to the beach in one piece! Nice job!! Other Wave Fest sailors included Keith, Bill, George, Ken, Dale, Donny, Martine, Dave, and me. You can learn who all these people are here.

Today, on the other hand, has switched just touch more NE. Suddenly, the East beaches are huge and out of control, which means that it’s time for the South side! Aww yeah! NE is about off-side-offshore down at Isabel’s. The waves were wrapping around from the East beaches, with a very defined swell, about chest to head high on the good ones. Very fun swell size! It was classic Isabel’s, with virtually no wind on the inside, a bit of current to contend with, and the reward being 3, 4, 5 bottom turn reeling left handers. Frisco George, Live2Sail George, and Ken K met me down there and rigged up for a fairly challenging session. I’m happy to report that everyone made it out (eventually) and back in to the beach in one piece and without breaking anything, which is just about all you can ask for in those conditions! Great stuff, and smiles all around, again!!

Regular Hatteras visitor John Reid came out to the beach this morning and shot off a few pictures of me sailing Isabel’s. Thanks so much John!!

It wasn’t all peaches and cream…

But sometimes it was : )

Fun fun fun!

Throwing some spray, only a little bit out of control!!

Right now, most everyone headed down to Ocracoke for the afternoon to catch the mellower wave rides the North end provides. I’m sure they’re having the time of their lives, in what could be considered some halfway epic conditions!! Suuhweeet!

There’s still time to sign up for Wave Fest, if you’ve been procrastinating. The forecast looks unreal, with 20 to 30+ mph NE winds forecasted for the next 7 days!!! Unreal!! The clinic is tomorrow night (Saturday), 7PM, at Sailworld Hatteras. Come on down and join us!!

Finally…

The wind has returned! Apparently, the whole East Coast was hit with a few days worth of breeze. Nice, it’s finally starting to feel a bit like Fall!

I got out for a dawn session Monday morning. Perfect freestyle conditions, on a lightly powered 5.7 and 108 liter board. Those are very fun, mellow conditions to throw your rig around in. The crashes aren’t too nasty (usually), as opposed to trying stuff when it’s blowing 4.2… That was lucky for me, too, because I was feeling RUSTY! It’s been awhile!!

Anyway, I propped a video camera up on my tailgate and hit “record.” This is what I came up with:

Enjoy!

As I wait for this video to upload, I’m noticing that the wind meters are boosting! Solid Northerlies are starting to blow, gusting up to about 30…. We’re forecasted to have a very windy week, so come on down!! If you can’t make it, then tune in for the reports in a few days!

Alright, this thing is taking forever to upload… so here are some pictures that I took last night, down at the Canadian Hole:




Pier Walk, and the August Wrap-Up

Anne and I spent some time on the Avon Pier last night. There were lots of fishermen out there, pulling in bluefish and spanish mackerel. I was pretty mesmerized by the (almost) full moon rising, and the little swell lines coming across the ocean. It was a great place to catch the sunset and chill out for an hour. I took a few pictures, so enjoy!

Full(ish) Moon

Yes, I can levitate.

For my Patriotic Readers

Flashlight Wars

Looks like I haven’t done a August Wrap-Up yet. So here it is, by the numbers:

5 windsurfing sessions (5.7 x4, 5.0 x1)
32 surf sessions!! (2 SUP, the rest prone)
4 rest days
0 days in a wetsuit!

So, August sucked for wind (but it always does, so that’s no surprise). More importantly, we had waves! And LOTS of them!!! Gooood stuff!! Now that September’s rolling by, I’m really looking forward to Fall. The water stays warm, the waves only get better, and we should start seeing some fronts pushing through any day now, signaling the return of the wind!!

I wonder if I’ll remember how to windsurf by the time WaveFest rolls around?