Saturday, April 19, 2014

Glass half full

The forecast was't technically wrong today. It just was four hours delayed. We got to Waverly expecting 15 to 20 at 2 PM, and it was dead. Greg got out on his long board, later I found out he made out to Sail Sandpoint, and was ably to come back when the wind picked up. We waited, and waited, and waited some more. Then we left. On my way home I stopped at Alki and there it was, 20 mph out of the SSW, steady as a fan. It was late, I was on my way home, but I still went for a quick sesh. Sweet.
So yeah, it wasn't a long sesh, it wasn't what I expected, but it never is, and I scored a sesh when I thought I was coming home empty handed... Glass half full man...
In other news, I saw somebody upwind from me. He was going way out, and ripping back. West Seattle is not the most friendly place for storm riding, and it was getting late, but this dude knew what he was doing. I need to befriend this character!

Nailing that jibe, finally powering through the turn like it's supposed to be

Find Waldo. I've got to find out who the lone rider is!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Coulon Park

The warm days are back in Seattle, and that means no more winter storms. It's time to pack the small gear and and get the big stuff out. Today we hit Coulon Park, in South Lake Washington. The wind was in the single digits, gusting up to low teens, at best, ideal for long boarding. I'm always surprised at the planing capability of the F2. The thing gets on a plane with such little wind! I'm talking about 12 mph stuff, incredible. So all in all it was a great session: sunny, warm, beautiful.
The Chicago crowd is on its way to Corpus. They are driving all the way with loads of gear. I'll post pictures soon.

Coulon Park, with beautiful Mount Rainier in the background*
* I downloaded this pic from the internet, there is no author so I can't give props to anybody

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Skunk proofing your gear

Want to skunk proof your gear? Get a long board. You may say: weren't those boards hot when the movie "Back to the future" had just come out? You are right, the pinnacle of long boarding was back in the day. As an example, the board I rode today was made when I was 13 years old, the graphics show a picture of a guy riding, with no harness! (the harness was actually invented in 1974, so I don't know why this dude on my board is riding with no harness, he looks ripped though)
Nevertheless, those boards had a huge advantage in light winds, getting on a plane easy and piercing through chop like nothing. These boards are like torpedoes, meant to shoot on a straight line. But don't expect them to be snappy or lively, they have a turning radius bigger than the USS Theodore Roosevelt. I
n a any case, they will save you from a skunk, they will get you out on the water, and put a smile on your face as you drive back home, watching other drivers get out of your way, afraid that the thing on your roof will fly off and destroy their vehicles. 

Imagine this with a mast track

Friday, March 21, 2014

Almost made is across!

There are roughly 4 miles between Lowman in West Seattle and Blake Island, across the Puget Sound. I've been wanting to sail across since I moved here, so today I gave it a shot. The wind was in the low teens out of the North, perfect for the longboard. I launched late, around 5:45, and 30 minutes later I had still not reached the other coast. I knew that sunset was at 7:25, so I headed back. There is a constant traffic of freighters going up and down the sound, and I didn't want to get in their way with low visibility and no wind. The rig felt OK, as good as a long board can feel I guess.
So I didn't make it, but I'll be back! In other news, the new suit (O'Neil Pyrotech) feels fine, but you need to Houdini your way out of that thing, so hard! Anyway, I hope there'll be more of these sessions during the spring...
The Chicago band is gearing up to the annual Texas trip, more to come about that soon, I wish I could join them!

Getting ready to launch

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Missed it

Worse thing about missing a session? This terrible circumstance could have been avoided with some minimal planning. So many variables have to fall in place in order for guys like me and you to score a friggin session. If you're like me, you have a job, a family, there's the wind (usually there needs to be some wind to go windsurfing), etc, etc. And I don't count temperature and rain as variables, we can't afford to have them ruin our only windy day of the month. So as long as the water is not solid and there is no lightning, rain and temperature don't count for me. So today  I could have scored a beautiful sesh if I would have been super efficient at work, had my gear ready in the car, and checked more than one forecast, but I didn't. THE FORECAST SAID IT WAS GOING TO DIE BY NOON!!! What's all this wind doing at 4 PM? Oh well, live and learn... The forecast looks flat for the next week... Nice...

Who was at work from 8 to 4?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Alki's South shore

Spring is definitely here in the Northwest. The days are getting longer, it's sunnier and warmer. That's why we are trying to score as many storms as we can before we put our small gear away. We had been tracking today's forecast for a week (useless endeavor, but I digress). It looked like wind in the morning, or in the afternoon, or no wind at all, or windy all day. Yeah you've been there... So I planned to hit Alki South of the point early in the morning, and scored a 6.5 sesh in bump and jump terrain, with the sun shining through the clouds, terrific. The sesh was cut short though by a 5 inch tear in my trusty Bare dry suit. After all these years I am lucky the think didn't just desintegrate. Luckily the surfers have a shack packed with gear in North Lake Union, so I got a new suit, and rushed back to the beach. As I was driving I could see the whitecaps, even bigger than the morning, 5.2 at most! I rigged in 30 seconds, but the wind literally shut off the minute I was done rigging. What??? Where is the wind? Gone. Gone for good. So yeah it was weird, but the morning was superb, and this spot that I found kicks butt, so I'm pretty stoked about trying it again.   

Monday, February 17, 2014

First double of the year

Two in a row! We had southerlies yesterday and today! I've been wanting to hit this place on the South side of Alki Beach point that I thought could work, but never had the guts to try it. On a S day, the wind is pretty much side on, and steady as a fan. There are a few "concerning" things though: if you pass the point and break something you're out in Elliott Bay, at the mercy of freighter traffic, barges, and all sorts of local critters, including several pods of orcas who like to hang out there (yeah I know, they don't eat people, 98% of the time, but I dare you to having one of them 6 feet from you while water starting and not crap your wetsuit). 
Despite all those things, today I decided to give it a shot. The wind was in the 20s from the South, and the place worked perfectly! Until I broke my fin that is. Yeah it seems like rocks are less forgiving than sand, and I broke my fin coming into shore, so I had to cut the session short. Still, I'm pretty pumped that I found this awesome spot on the sound for S winds, can't wait to try it again!
The spot is by the Charles Richey Sr Viewpoint
The beach on low tide