Bermuda High, Day 2!

Not much to say, except my body is exhausted and my hands hurt. The wind was a bit more variable yesterday, on and off planing on my 5.0. The waves were still there, waist to head high sets. I ended up schlogging for well over an hour (out of a 3 hour session), because the waves were just too much fun to stop! Just enough power to stay upwind and get into position to catch any wave I wanted! Love those conditions!

This is what I ate for dinner last night. All of it. Go ahead and do the math, if you want to be very, very frightened.

I stole the next picture from George’s blog, I believe his wife Janice took it! There’s a ton of great pictures on his site, check it out!

Peely waves, light sail power

When I first checked the conditions, there were a few kites up, including (but not limited to) Lane Dupont and Jay Crawford. Lane told me this was his first ever side-off kiting experience. Looked pretty comfortable and confident to me! Lane’s always sitting on the beach taking pictures of everyone else, so it’s about time I snapped a few shots of him!! Check out this sequence:

Lane throwin’ some spray!And popping an aerial!!
Today is the LoopOff, and we’ve got some killer conditions! The SW is already cranking, and I just got the report that the waves have bumped up a notch in size! Awwwwwww yeah!

Classic June Wavesailing!

We finally had some classic June conditions set in! Cranking SW winds, a fun waist to head high swell, warm air, and warm water all combined to create super fun conditions at Ego Beach last night. Should be just like this or better for the next four days!! If you can sneak down here, this weekend is the time to do it!

Drew came out to the beach and took a bunch of great pictures! Here’s a sneak peak of some of the offerings! (Thanks Drew!!!)

Bill heading up!I’m getting some practice for the Loopoff!Keith makes a hit!Throwing chunks!

Swell’s starting to hit!

Finally, after what seems like years, we’ve got a little bit of swell starting to hit our beaches! In reality, it’s only been about a week of truly flat conditions… But everyone knows what that’ll do to your psyche… And a wise man once told me: “7 days without surf makes one weak.”

It started to build last night, so Anne, Drew, Kevin and I grabbed a sunset sesh. The waves were bumped up and gutless, but it was still plenty of fun!

Drew setting some railWho needs a TV when this is your playground?!
Sunset surf is super fun, but can be really distracting. The view while dropping in will often make you forget why you were out there to begin with…

This morning’s dawn(ish) surf was substantially better than last night’s! The swell is definitely on the rise. Some SW wind was already on it, bumping it up a bit, but it was still plenty of fun!

Drew on a wallKevin hiding from the sun
The wind is starting to boost into the sailable range, and the swell’s going to stick around for a few days here, so we should have some killer conditions for the Loopoff! Woooooha!

Patience pays off!

Our normal SW afternoon winds have been less than reliable lately. I think the wildfire across the sound is messing with our “thermal” component, hindering the vertical mixing that usually ushers in evening SW breeze. I’ve been hesitant to give up hope, though, and last night it payed off!

Waiting for the breeze to pick upGeorge, Anne and I caught a short but sweet sunset session at the Hole, literally 5 minutes after everyone else called it a day and went home. Lit up 5.7, albeit gusty, conditions as storm clouds rolled across the sound. Beautiful sunset light, and butter flat water made for some fun cruising and freestyling. George had a helmet cam on and shot this video, which I lifted from his blog:

George also snapped a bunch of photos before and after joining us on the water! Thanks for the shots!

Sliding throughAnne at Mach 3I like this shot

Windsurfing- you’ve just gotta love it!

The excitement level is very high right now here on Hatteras! We had lots of “firsts” the other day, including George‘s well documented first loops, and Anne’s not so well documented first windsurfing foray into the ocean! My sincerest congratulations go out to both of them for pushing their limits, and living to tell about it!! Nice job guys!

You can’t fake those smiles!
As fun as it is to push yourself, I find it just as enjoyable to push others. Then, to witness their accomplishments and see their joy is simply “icing on the cake (sorry, it’s too early to think of anything original)!” George and Anne’s enthusiasm have been addictive, and it passes on to everyone around them.

Of course, now that they’ve gotten a taste of “the next step” in their windsurfing careers, they’ve both become insatiable, drooling at the slightest hint of wind and waves. It’s amazing how addictive this sport is, and that the feeling never goes away, especially if you’re constantly trying to improve! I mean, George has been sailing for 20(+) years, and he’s never been more excited to hit the water! You’ve got to admit, that’s pretty incredible.

Another picture from the other dayBut hey, as Mac once said (I think), “Yes, it’s addictive, but it’s a lot cheaper and a whole heck of a lot healthier than a drug habit!”

There’s more wind in the forecast, just in time for the LoopOff!! Awwww yeah!

Right back into it!

Got back on the water again last night, this time powered up 5.7 conditions! After staring at my new stick (‘08 RRD FSW 85) for a month, I finally got to try it out (along with a new boom, lines, harness, fin, etc etc etc- all of my stuff showed up 2 days after I broke my hand…)! I’m really psyched with the new volume flow on the board, it seems a bit more freestyle biased than my previous one, but I’m sure it’ll still carve up a wave face just fine. Can’t wait for some waves to try it out!

My original plan was to ease myself back into it. That plan lasted about 1/2 a tack, or 45 seconds, before I just had to throw a vulcan… Ended up sailing for about 3 hours straight, right through the sunset, nailed a bunch of 540s, one handed spocks, and got off one decent loop (and a few terrible ones). There were a bunch of other sailors out, including some Loopfest participants. I witnessed some serious wrecks, but everyone came up smiling, looking for more! More power to the guys who tried, because the conditions were just about as marginal as it gets for looping.

It’s too much fun not to do it! (Photo stolen from, I think Stuart took it?)
Check out George’s blog, live2sail, for a bunch of pictures and videos of the afternoon’s action!

Serenity at Sunset

Ahhhhh last night I finally got back in the water and went windsurfing. I’d been dry for a very long 30 days. And I’ll tell you what- it’s never felt better to get wet again!

Cruising on the Serenity (pic: Anne)
The experience was not epic, but it was most certainly perfect. The meters were reading 8-13 out of the SW, the water and air were warm, and the sunset was amazing. Anne and I sailed the Starboard Serenity demos we have at the shop, with a 5.2 and 5.7 respectively. Left the harnesses on the beach, and went for a cruise. Those boards are amazing! We sailed upwind to Kite Point in 2 tacks, and then cruised back down to the Hole. The glide and speed one experiences is nothing short of extraordinary in such light winds on the Serenity. Great experience, and perfect for easing my body back into windsports after a month long hiatus!

But don’t take my word for it: Here’s a direct quote, taken from a note left on the shop door on 6/8/08:

Andy- Thanks. Had a good time on Formula gear until Kristen showed up with a Serenity and kicked my ass. -Ted

Loopfest Gets Serious(ly fun)

**Update 6/16/08- New Pics added!

Initial side note: I’m cast free! I’m almost totally healed up, but my hand’s a little sore from lack of use. The bone feels pretty solid, but I think I’m going to give it a few more days before really charging. In any case, I can’t wait to get back in the water!

About to wash my hand for the first time in weeks!
Moving on, to Loopfest:

Tonight, I gave an informal forward loop clinic, hosted by Sailworld Cape Hatteras. It was easy to see the intensity in everyone’s eyes as I explained some of the intricacies of surviving your first loop! We’ve got a great crew of people interested in chucking them, from 16 years old to 46 years young in attendance this evening. There’s a possibility of a dawn session tomorrow morning, down at Isabel’s, and everyone is super amped up to take their sailing to the next level!

Clinic AttendeesGeorge and his New Dakine T3 Harness!! (Photo: Janice Markoupolis)As an added bonus to the free clinic, Bill and I gave out a bunch of swag tonight! Dakine, Quatro, and Avon Sail House hooked up the Loopfest participants with a bunch of T-shirts and rashguards, and we also gave out a Dakine T3 Harness to lucky winner George! And GoPro sent us a bunch of Helmet Hero waterproof video cameras and helmet mounts to help catch the action! We’ve still got quite a few rad prizes left for the registered Loopfest participants, including a Dakine Impact Harness, Simmer wave sail, and a KA wave sail, along with a bunch of other swag! So if you didn’t get anything tonight, don’t worry, because there’s more to come!

Awwwww yeah!

24 Hours ‘Til Freedom!

At this time tomorrow, Friday the 13th, I will be cast-less, and free!! With any luck, I’ll remain cast free, although that’s up to the doctor. I’m expecting to at least have a splint or taped up fingers, but that’s no big deal. The best part will be my first dunk into the ocean. I’ve been salt water free for 4 weeks straight, and I think the chemistry of my skin is changing. All of my calluses are falling off…

I can’t wait until this is me!
The last few days have seen more fun sized surf, and a few afternoons of decent SW winds. I’ve seen lots of sails and kites out on the water, but the transition to summer is very evident right now. Lots of people on the beaches, more traffic on the road, and lots of beginner windsurf and surf lessons booking up at the shop.

I’m starting to get pretty pumped up for Loopfest! I’m holding a free clinic on Saturday, at the shop, for anyone interested in getting over that hurdle of chucking one! Swing on by and get yourself amped up!

Torture, I tell you!

Sitting on the beach, taking pictures, is fun. Up to a certain point. With just 6 days until freedom, I’m about to explode. Or implode. Fun sized, ultra clean surf over the last few days has not made it any easier… Add to that equation record high air temperatures, and crystal clear, refreshing 70 degree water (that I can’t get into). It’s torture, I tell you. Enjoy the pics, and if you’d like to read more of the story, check out Drew’s blog!

Coverage! and Summer (Wind) Is Here!

We just received the latest issue of Windsport Magazine here at the Shop, the Early Summer 2008 edition. While flipping through the pages, I was stoked to see a few pictures and articles from right here on the Hatteras homefront! I came across Stuart’s article first, on page 34, which is very inspirational, and includes a sweet photo of him in front of a big meaty overhead Hatteras lip! Lane Dupont took the shot over this winter on an epic day down at Isabelle’s. The pic doesn’t show that Stuart’s actually bombing down that face on an 11 foot Stand Up Paddleboard! Yowzers! Then, on page 59, I came across another picture by Lane, of that same day down at Isabelle’s, but the subject this time is me! Sweet! Is it worth mentioning that Robby Naish is also highlighted in the same article? I think so! 🙂 And finally, on page 100, Windsport ran a short shop story that I wrote, and published another picture, this time including our shop dog Banana! Now, that took the stoke level up to rad new heights!

Ask for this magazine at your local newsstand!
Beautiful summer weather seems to be setting in down here! We’re in a great little run of SW wind right now. Yesterday it was gusting up to just about 30, and this morning it’s already cranking again! The wetsuits are stashed, probably until October, as the water is in the 70s and the air has been in the mid eighties.

I’ve been out of the water for almost three weeks now… and I’m starting to go a little stir crazy! I’m 11 pounds heavier than I was pre-injury… and my cast is really starting to get stinky! The good news is that the cast has been scheduled to be removed in just one more week. So, on Friday the 13th, I’m voluntarily allowing another human being to take a circular saw to my arm… and if he wears a hockey mask into the room…

Anne dropping in
Those lucky enough not to be on the injured list have been having plenty of fun- there’s been a bit of surf, and as I mentioned before, the SW has been cranking for a few days now. We’re less than a week into loopfest, and we’ve already had 3 very suitable days of 5.5 or smaller conditions and fun size bump and jump ocean waves… perfect, really! I’ve never really understood why everyone only comes here in April. Come on back in the summer, ditch the wetsuits, and score some of the most consistent wind in the East!

Keith (airborne) and Dan enjoying Ramp 34

Shorepound, and Loopfest Day 1!

Good action the last few days! It’s been tearing me up inside to be sitting on the beach watching, but taking photos has acted as a great distraction/new challenge! Friday evening we had some light winds and small shore break waves, so Anne, Drew, Miranda, Sam, and Kevin dropped into some waves while Deb, Colin, Banana, and I hung out on the beach. The pics say it all, except one thing: This was Kevin’s 3rd day ever on a paddleboard, and he was killing it! Its one of those things where you want to be happy for him, but you wanna smack him too for picking it up so darned easily!!

Kevin, looking like he’s been at it for years!The CommuteStandoffDrew on the Bonga 10’2″Miranda, walking on water!Sam dropping inColin, the cutest darned kid everDrew, walking on waterKevin, dropping in with styleDrew on a nice wallSymmetry!Local Boy
Drew and his Cheering Squad
Moving on, to Loopfest, Day One!!!

Saturday afternoon marked the official start of Hatteras Loopfest 2008! SW winds were cranking down here in Avon, with sunny skies and 85 degree air temps! I got super amped up watching Bill, Charles, Jim K, Jim M, and Keith destroying Ego beach. The waves were averaging waist high, and the ramps were just about perfect for chucking starboard loops! Keith and Bill were on fire, but unfortunately none of the other attending registered participants were up to the challenge today… I took a bunch of pictures, but messed up the camera settings on a lot of them… so only a few came out. Sorry if I missed ya! Enjoy the pics!

Keith Chucking One!Bill Makes a Hit!
Keith gets some air, but stays upright…Keith throws some spray as Charles looks onBill Bottom TurnsKeith gets stylieOne of these guys is not like the other! But which one is cooler?