Warning- Gruesome Pics Herein!!

So Danny, packing nowhere near the punch of his predecessor Bill, seems to have managed to take a few prisoners… Perhaps we were all caught off guard, for after Bill’s full brunt of brutish bullying, Danny’s demeanor seemed so… diluted…

I know of at least two boards broken clear in half.

I know of more than a handful of minor dings.

I know of at least three counts of bloodshed.

I guess that after focusing so hard, and expending so much energy to deal with Bill, we just couldn’t be bothered to pay attention to Danny, and just wanted to have some fun. Turns out, Bill was the gentle giant, while Danny was the scrappy little punk who took a swing when you weren’t looking…

The scene at S-Turns. I was most decidedly NOT there.

Here are a few of Danny’s waves (Most pics by Drew or Laura):

Moi, southside shorebreak

Stuart, goofing around

Stuart, serious

Moi, goofing around

Goofing around, again

Warning- If the sight of blood makes you queasy, stop scrolling down and visit some other page.

So here’s what happens when you stop paying attention, even for just one second:

Moi, no longer goofing around

Dan, not goofing around

And here’s how you fix the ding that your face left in your surfboard:


Rough it up with sandpaper

Buy this stuff

Set up a piece of plastic to cover the repair area

Squirt said stuff into repair area

Cover with plastic

Smooth it out

Put it in the sun for 5 minutes

Remove plastic and sand the repaired area flush

Squirt in some more stuff to fill any divits

Try a tongue depressor to smooth it out

Put it in the sun again

Sand it down again

Viola! Good as new, if not a bit stronger!

An interesting aside- The board being fixed here was my polyester resin board that Stuart put his knee through. Dan dinged up his polyester resin board pretty well with his nose. My forehead cut?? Well, the recycled foam core bamboo mat epoxy resin constructed Imagine surfboard looked brand new after it bashed a hole in my head. The question then becomes- Would my forehead cut have been milder or worse if I were on a polyester board? Busted boards end up with exposed edges that can really tear you up… my guess is that it would have been worse, like Dan’s (who needed multiple stitches).

All’s well that ends well- Everyone has been surfing everyday since said accidents, and the waves have been really really fun!!

Looks like our first batch of Fall NE winds might be hitting this week! Keep your eyes on it!!

Cove Sesh!

Nice! First Cove session of the Fall! ‘Twas far from epic, but it was also much more fun than it looked from the beach… The winds were light ESE with a few puffs of about 20 rolling through, and holes in the single digits. The waves were mostly waist high with the occasional shoulder or head high set rolling through. Keith, Stuart, and I sailed, and there were about 5 or 6 kites in the air. Etiquette was top notch in all directions. Cheers!

I schlogged the Pocket 80 with a 5.5. The wind was fickle enough that I was almost never able to use the harness, so the arms got a solid workout. The cardio system and legs caught up to the arms while trying to waterstart in the impact zone with 8 mph wind. But the one *good* wave made all the effort worthwhile! It was clean, walled up, and begging for me to hit the lip on 3 solid down the line turns… mmmmmmm…

We all know windsurfing is addictive. But there’s something special about a mostly lame session with 10 seconds of glory that just makes everything seem so sweet. It’s tough to explain, but the possibility of being in the right spot at the right time and scoring that one fleeting moment of perfection keeps the fire so definitely alive… First, the yearning hits when you spot the perfect set wave breaking just out of reach. Then, eventually, the realization that it might actually come together for you, as you schlog yourself into position and see the horizon bump up as a set approaches. Finally, the excitement of following through and taking full advantage of the opportunity provided… It’s such a simple thing, but so completely satisfying… Maybe because it doesn’t happen that often, so it just seems that much sweeter when it does. Maybe because it took so much effort, that the simple reward seems so satisfying… Whatever it is, I love it!!

No pics, due to the far offshore action and lack of sunshine. Sorry!

The more time I spend on that Tabou Pocket, the more I love it… That nose shape just pops up and over whitewater like nothing happened, and the tail is so loose on the wave face… It’s just so easy to sail… With these new shapes, performance wavesailing is so freaking accessible! Gimme a shout the next time you’re around, and demo the 80 or the 85- Sailing in the ocean is already hard enough… There’s no need to make it harder… Come try out the Pocket!!

Danny’s surf, Day 1

So I had a little accident last night… I took a hit from the rail of my surfboard, right on the forehead… It was just enough force to pop open a little gash, about 1″ long, very shallow, but kinda wide… And if any of you have ever gotten a cut on the forehead, you’ll know just how dramatic it can look… Well, I felt fine, but the faces of Drew, Stuart, and Daniel proved that I looked pretty dang far from fine! hahaha! Drew took a picture or two, maybe I’ll post ’em up, maybe I won’t… They’re kinda gruesome looking… Luckily, no signs of brain damage yet… Good thing I’ve got a big thick Irish skull!

So anyway, I’m on dry dock for a few days while it starts to heal… Which is very challenging, because the surf is just gorgeous right now… I stopped by the beach while running a few errands this morning to shoot a few pictures of Drew and Laura. Pure torture to sit on the beach… But hey, being the designated photographer is fine by me, I like getting the pics just as much as riding the waves! Enjoy!

Drew, lining it up…

…and tucking in (yup, he made it)

Nice bottom turn, Drew!

Glassy, walled up, peeling… What more could you ask for??

That’s one way to get out the back!

There were a few lefts coming through

Awwww, man!!

he he he he…

Better look where you wanna go, Dewski!

Laura, kicking out

You know it’s good when no-one even bothers to paddle for a peak like this!

So, yeah, I’m a bit jealous, but it’s all good. I needed a rest anyway, as it’s been non-stop for a week or two now! And you should have seen how fast Kevin took off when I told him I’d watch the shop if he wanted to go surf! Haha, I think his shoes were on fire!

All eyes are on Danny now… Looks like he’ll stay offshore and shoot the gap between Bermuda and here, just like Bill, but some of the models have him coming a little close…


Man the swell has just been super fun! We’ve been catching the dawn and dusk sessions for the last few days. The beauty of a glassy, windless ocean with nice clean waves is pretty tough to describe, especially when you add in epic sunsets, birds flying, and fish jumping… You’ve gotta experience it to know it I think…

I took a bunch of pictures this morning. Check ’em out, I left a lot of them as pretty big files if you’re looking for a new desktop image… Enjoy!

Sea Oats in the morning light

Stu and Drew, looking like twins

The view from inside





I finally got my hands on one of the Imagine Surfboards– the 6’1″ Pocket Rocket thruster- the thing has such a nice feel on the wave, it’s really responsive and super fast! It’s a bit smaller than I’m used to surfing, so I’m training myself to sit a bit deeper to make the drops, but on the face the board is just unreal… Loving it! Give Drew or Kev a call if you want to get your hands on one of these things, you won’t be disappointed!

Schlogging Bill’s Leftovers

So, the meters bumped up a bit yesterday afternoon! It was just barely windy enough for Keith and me to catch a schlog sesh out at Ego Beach. The shorebreak was ferocious, and the wind was super light, but the outer bar was working pretty well- it still had some size, and the big ones were crumbling top to bottom. Since the wind was so light, positioning was tough and it was a lot of work to make anything happen, but when it all lined up it was definitely worth the effort!

I only caught two really good waves, definitely overhead, and lined up for 2 or 3 really good down the line lip smacks. They were both “turn and burn” style- schlogging out, see it starting to stand up, jibe, and take off super steep and late… So none of the good waves were caught on film, because Anne had put the camera down and didn’t expect the late drop in 🙂 But she did catch a few pictures of some of the mediocre waves 🙂 Thanks for shooting a few, Anne!!

Keith, lining it up




So, I’ve gotta tell you how impressed I am with the Tabou Pocket waveboards… I snagged the 85 for the sesh, instead of the 80, because I knew there would be some serious holes in the wind. I got clipped on the way out through the break just one time- by a very sizable set wave that broke about 10 yards out past me. I was literally just standing on the board with virtually zero sail power, and figured “what the heck, lets see what happens.” So I stood strong, and gave a tiny little pump and “bunny hop” as the whitewater hit, and I kid you not, I bounced right up and over this overhead high wall of water! As light as the wind was in front of the wave, there was zero wind behind it (plus a little swirl), so I fell on the backside of the wave, but with sheer amazement that I even made it that far! There’s something magic about the volume flow and nose shape of those boards… They handle anything you can throw at them, with ease!! Love ’em! (Not to mention the turns you can pull off……)

A Few Pics

Here’s a sequence of Drew, Killin’ It, Friday morning before it bumped up:

And here are a few pictures taken on Saturday at the Avon Pier. No picture can truly do justice to the size and power of this swell…

Outer Bar Bombs

Whitewater, as far as the eye can see

This was a quick swell, and it’s already on the way out… Drew and I surfed this morning in some overhead peaks. It was fun, but really bumped up. I took a late drop and went over the falls on a decently sized one, and was literally giggling the whole way down… After Friday’s experience, it just seemed, well… laughable!

Paddling out to meet Bill, face to face

Hurricane Swell… Sheesh. I actually bowed, in thanks, to the ocean last night after Stu and I were back on dry land. Not that we were ever truly in danger, but we did come out completely unscathed, which is pretty cool.

Stuart and I paddled out after work at about 6:45 PM on Friday. It was an endless battle, constant paddling and duck diving, for over 35 minutes (I was wearing my watch) and 1/2 a mile of lateral drift, before we finally managed to poke through to the outside. And by outside, I mean OUTSIDE. We were easily 1/4 mile offshore, well past the outer bar, well well well past the end of the pier. And there were still macking cloudbreak sets breaking on the horizon and fizzling all the way in to the bar we were *trying* to sit on…

One’s mentality can change many times over when you’re constantly barraged by endless piles of whitewater. And by the time you think you’ve finally made it, well, you most certainly haven’t. That’s tough to swallow. I nearly gave up, two particular times, but Stuart was persevering and I wasn’t going to let him go at it alone…

There’s a very distinct line between the aerated water and constant struggle of the inside, and the solid water and powerful strokes one can achieve once you finally break through to the safety of the outside… The moment you cross that line, you realize that there is actually a chance that you might make it. The bummer about crossing that line is that you are now smack dab in the crosshairs of the true impact zone for the bigger sets. Right where the majority of wave energy is expended… There was no relaxing.

The majority of the time I spent in the water, I focused on inhalation, exhalation, and heart rate control. Staying calm in big surf is paramount.

How big was it? It’s impossible to put a number on it. I’ve windsurfed in over mast high waves (~15 foot faces), and this seemed to be regularly at least that height, with occasionally much bigger sets. My 6’3″ squash tail board seemed impossibly small for the speed and height of these waves.

The more time we spent out there, the more used to the rhythms we got. And we got comfortable just looking at that size of wave, watching it stand up, learning when and where to scratch towards to make it through. If it had already broken, we’d paddle to the spot that had broken first, as that had already expended the most energy. If it looked like the shoulder was in reach, we’d paddle like mad to get there before it broke. Confidence built, a balance was reached.

I paddled for a few, but couldn’t move nearly fast enough to get into them. Stuart got worked, taking off just a yard too far inside, but he got spit out with minimal harm and made it back out without much issue. Then…

…We’re already out in the middle of the ocean. The pier looks like it’s made of matchsticks, the water tower is a speck on the horizon. And a wave starts to stand up, impossibly far on the outside. Cloudbreak, when you’re already in the clouds… The white water is fizzling towards us, 15 feet high, just to the right, while the wall that didn’t break on the outside starts to jack up, tall and steep, to the left. It looks like we can make it, we start scratching, fast, out and to the left. We’re gonna make it. We’re gonna make it. We’re gonna make it.

Stuart, 10 yards to my left, made it.

I didn’t.

With one last, *calm*, breath, I watched the lip start to crest, many many many feet above me and 5 yards outside. I pushed the nose under with all my strength, then followed suit with my foot on the tail. I didn’t get nearly deep enough, and knew it right away. First, the impact. Then, as I got pulled back over the falls, I bear hugged my board with all the strength my hands, arms, and legs could muster. Yes, I had my ankles locked around each other on the board, hanging on like one would hug a violently swaying tree from 30 feet in the air. There was no way that I was going to lose that board.

Eventually, I was spit out of the mayhem.

I caught a glimpse of Stuart as we both crested a wave at the same time, and gave him a wave. All’s good! I had been pushed impossibly far to the inside, Stuart later estimated 50 yards. My sesh was over, there was no way I was making it back to the “outside” again. So I sat in the relative calm of the trough and waited to see what Stu had in him.

I pondered: Had I ditched my board, I probably would have been able to get under that wave, but certainly would have snapped my leash or broken my board in two. By holding on, I also limited the chances of random impact with the board or fins while getting tumbled. Yes, I spent a long time underwater, getting pulled along inside the wave, but it wasn’t so long that holding my breath was challenging, and it deposited me well inside of the impact zone, meaning consecutive hold downs were pretty much out of the question. I’m happy with my decision, and will probably do the same thing if a similar situation presents itself in the future.

Stuart eventually paddled for another macker, and I watched the lip envelop him, and then saw him get pulled back over the falls. He came up with big eyes and a big smile, got back on his board, and got immediately worked by the next pile of whitewater. Again, big eyes and a big smile as he regrouped and made his way to the trough.

The shore break was HUGE, so getting out was a bit of a waiting game, and then a sprint to the beach. But, we both made it, unscathed, and joined the masses of people watching the ocean from the stronghold of dry beach. With zero waves ridden, but massive experience gained, and renewed joy of the beauty that life can bring, I gave a humble bow of thanks to the ocean, for she had shown her power to me with the authority, yet gentle grace, reserved for the uncontrollable forces of nature.

Swell’s starting to show…

The surf is starting to build… Drew snagged a picture of me this morning (Thanks Drew!!):

A rare left, most everything else was peeling right

Stuart, Drew and I went out again this evening. It was fun but chunky. It definitely seems like there’s some water pushing in and it doesn’t all quite know where to go. Careful of rip currents over the next few days, folks! It’s probably best not to even put your big toe in the water, if you aren’t comfortable swimming in heavy seas…

Looks like tomorrow morning will still be in the fun range. By the afternoon it’ll probably be starting to get out of hand. And Saturday looks to be off the charts… We’ll see what happens… There might be some breeze, too, so we’ll see if it’s sailable…

The Mosquito Fleet

My jaw just hit the floor. I try not to get too excited about forecasts… but we’ve got the potential for some seriously epic conditions… The latest update has Saturday blowing straight west at 5 to 10, with a southeast groundswell at 10 to 12 feet at 14 seconds. This is certainly subject to change- Heck, it could be blowing 130mph out of the Northeast if the system just tracks a tiny bit west of it’s current path… But sheesh! That is going to end up being absolutely huge, clean, heavy surf. Methinks the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” will be collecting quite a few freshly broken surfboards this weekend…

Honestly, 12 feet at 14 seconds will probably be just plain old too big for the beach. The sandbars can only handle so much. Might be interesting to see what the tow kids get into, way out on that outer bar…

Sunday looks like the day for the rest of us, with light North winds and a fading swell. Well, fading to 6 feet at 12 seconds, which is still insanely huge for this beach.

As I mentioned yesterday, I think I’m going to bust out the Mosquito Fleet. At 7’3″ and just a touch over 20″ wide, the thing glides effortlessly. I usually surf my 6’2″ up to a few feet overhead at 9 or 10 seconds, but when it’s 12, 13, 14 seconds, the waves are just moving so much faster that they’re very hard to catch on a shortboard. The Mosquito Fleet was my first board, and I’m super happy that I kept it around, especially when I see forecasts like this one!

Her hiding place, right where a TV would sit in a normal household…

Buzz buzz

Long, trim, parallel rails, and very little rocker=fast fast fast!

The responsible party and dims. I will never get rid of this board.

Redman is a local shaping legend, and I feel lucky to have one of his boards.

The “Mosquito Fleet” board is named after a Civil War conflict that took place on Hatteras Island in 1861. The Mosquito Fleet was a Confederate offensive fleet who left Roanoke on ships in the middle of the night to retake Chicamacomico from the Federals. Long story short, the Federals saw them coming and retreated to the more solid fort at Hatteras Inlet, and the Confederates had trouble with the shallows of the Pamlico Sound and most of the offensive couldn’t get to land anyway, so no-one really got hurt and the Chicamacomico Fort was abandoned by both sides for the better strongholds of Hatteras Inlet (Federals) and Roanoke Island (Confederates).

I like the story of the Mosquito Fleet, because the Roanoke guys manned up and decided to take an offensive against rumors of an outpost of 2000 Federals. Translating this to surf culture, it relates to going against all odds and charging, whether you think you’ll make the wave or not.

Whether I’ll charge 12 feet at 14 seconds remains to be seen 🙂 It’s entirely possible that it’ll be way bigger than that anyway, since Bill is now a category 4 Hurricane with 135 mph winds gusting to over 160… And some of the buoys have already recorded seas over 20 feet…

Definitely gonna keep the gas tank full for this one… “Retreat!!!”

Just in time…

… to pick up my slack, the Beach Telegraph introduces:

Windsurfer International, an ezine, totally free, totally dedicated to spreading the stoke of windsurfing! Check it out, you won’t be disappointed!

Also: Maybe you’ve surfed over to Dana Miller’s little slice of the web already, but if you haven’t, you should go check it out! It’s just so dang Dana, it’s ridiculous! Rumor has it, Dana may be sliding back over to the East Coast for a little while this Fall… I can’t wait to see him back at the beach, and hopefully get a sesh or 30 with the man!

On a more local note- We’re all anticipating the year’s first real burst of Tropical action! Hurricane Bill looks poised to send us some solid swell… At the moment the forecast track has the storm running directly up the Eastern seaboard, shooting the gap between Bermuda and Hatteras Island sometime Saturday night or Sunday. All of the forecasts are keeping it out to sea a little ways, so hopefully it’ll stay offshore and we’ll just get some waves out of the deal…

I’m thinking of slapping the fins back in my 7’3″ Mosquito Fleet… Its been a few years since she’s seen salt water…

Your local launch?

I love Hatteras in the summer! We’ve been getting hooked up with afternoon SW almost every day!! It’s really perfect- we can all get a full day’s work in, and right at quiting time the wind ramps up to perfect freestyling conditions- 5.5 on the 100 liter Tabou. Considering how often it happens, I should really be a much better windsurfer!! haha!

Every day has been just like this… Come join us!!

Sailing the Canadian Hole at sunset is really fun, and the sport of windsurfing gets a bit of a shot in the arm. The shoreline fills up with camera toting tourists just checking out the sunset, and the more windsurfers out there the better! Lately there have been zero waves, so lots of the local crew have been sailing the Hole. I love it, the level of sailing is high, the social scene is great, and invariably lots of people are seeing and asking about how to get into windsurfing.

How about your local spot? Is it tucked up in a small, barely accessible cove in the middle of the woods? Or is there a restaurant perched on stilts overlooking the action all day every day? As sweet as your private little secret spot might be, maybe hitting up the ol’ downtown launch (overlooked by the masses) every now and again could help bring some more visibility to the sport!

(Please answer the poll in the top right corner of the page)

Killian Mansfield’s “Somewhere Else”

Hey Folks! I’m happy to be back in NC, refreshed and ready to rock and roll!

About a year ago, I met a 15 year old guy named Killian Mansfield at my buddy Chad’s wedding. Killian brought down the house with a ukulele based rendition of Prince’s song “Kiss.” It was, simply put, awesome, and something I’ll probably never forget. Killian (now 16) has put together an album entitled Somewhere Else, which is available on Amazon as a pre-order, due for release in just a few days! I can’t wait to get my copy, as I’m sure it’ll be chock full of some great music! The best part of the story- Killian has chosen a charity (Hope and Heroes) to receive proceeds from the sale of the album!

Unfortunately, there is some bad news associated with this story- Killian himself is having a rough time battling a rare form of cancer. I’d like to ask you all to help him realize the benefit he is providing his charity by purchasing a copy of the album, joining his facebook page, or even sending him an origami crane! (There’s some more info about Killian on the origami page)

Thanks for any support you can give!!

Seven days with no posts…

…makes for one weak blog…

I’m ditching my computer/cell phone/electricity/all things related to human convenience for the next week!! Woohoo!!

In the meantime, call Drew and Kevin at the shop and pester them with questions about mast compatibility issues.


See y’all around the bend…

Mo’ 5.0!!

Anne and I had a great session this morning, super lit on 5.0. I put the boom cam on to shoot some video, but I didn’t strap the camera on tight enough, so the video is kind of shaky and hard to watch. Here are a few image grabs, though, to tide you over:

Look where you want to go!


…and slide

Dang-it, time to go to work 🙁

Sweeeeet, it’s still cranking out there!! Gotta go get some more before the sun goes down. See y’all out there!

Oh wait- gotta claim it- last night I nailed a clew first spock 540 and had a few really good slides on my bad side (port)! Stoked!