Sunday, December 12, 2010

Windsurfing on the Blacktop. How to and why.

Tis the season again for epic wind in an otherwise windless inland location.  This winter is starting off much like the last with bitter cold and windy days.  Windy but too cold to safely solo sail the warmer water of Belews Lake.  I've got a nice 6mm wetsuit but I still haven't figured out how to prevent face freeze while windsurfing. 

I've been windsurfing on a stateboard a few seasons now and love it.  I'm not going to try to put together an eloquently stated case to sell skate sailing.  If you love having a sail in your hand and hate to see perfectly good wind go to waste it is for you.

A few freestyle tricks and me just carving, backwinding and jibing.
Street Windsurfing Tricks. Year 'Round Stoke from r d moore on Vimeo.

What do you need to start out?
All you need is an old longboard skateboard.  There are lots of types but what you want is a flat board and you want the wheels close to the nose and tail. 
This lets you stand anywhere on the board without it popping up.  My first skate board did not have this setup so I moved the wheels closer to the nose and tail- a short to longboard conversion.  Pretty darn functional too. 
I also prefer bigger wheels > 70mm.  The bigger wheels let you role over any little rocks or debris easily.  I got this 47" pintail for $20 and it is awesome for skate sailing.

How do you make one?
If you have a 1 bolt Chinook base then you need to drill 1 hole big enough for the bolt to fit through right behind the front wheels.  Done.  If you have the 2 bolt Chinook quick connect then you drill 2 holes.  Screw the brass t-nut on the bottom nice & tight and you have your first kit.  You can see where I drilled the hole in the pic above.  If you have some other connection your life gets a little tougher.

Where to get a board and safety gear?
Tons of cheap gear on Craigslist & Play it again sports.  There is lots of field hockey protective gear at my local playit again so I got dirt cheap stuff for my wife and myself.  If you are just jibing figure 8s you won't need the stuff but why risk it.  You only need a small area and you don't want to be setting speed records blasting downwind.  Trust me you can go really fast really quick so keep carving.

For freestyle windsurfing.
Just grab a shortboard which is the most popular type of skateboard so most available.  These boards have the wheels mounted closer to center so you can easily pop up the board.  Again just drill your hole behind one of the wheels and you're set. 

About your sail and boom.
The boom should be one you don't mind scratching.  The sail should be fine.  If you have outdated stuff lying around this is a good use for it.

Where can you windsurf on pavement?
Mostly I street sail in the winter.  I've had good luck at most parks, some schools and a few churches.  You will be amazed how little wind you need but as always pick your spot based on clean access to the direction of the wind.  Here is an example of the park that I used for W wind.  This and a high school is where I took some video at the top of this post.  Note the long parking lot running NNE-SSW.

Andy introduced me to street windsurfing and one of the tips he gave was carry a broom to clear the area of debris.  Also when the land owner sees you are acting responsibly and cleaning up he is less likely to toss you for being there.  Being respectful gets you pretty far.  If this post is helpful to you and you get into skate sailing please let me know!

Friday, December 3, 2010

A little more stoke for a cold weekend. Dolphin surf vid.

I finally got around to editing some video Sam and I shot at Surf City in early November.  Mac posted a great video of some Fall flat water paddling to keep folks charged up the the Winter.  I hope this one will keep spirits up until the next weekend surf happens.

Atlantic Playground- Surfing with Dolphins from r d moore on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

You Never Know Who's Watching

Sam headed in to trade the longboard for the SUP and I was busy trying to be at the right place at the right time for some beauties rolling in on the sand bar.  He came back and noticed someone with some dogs taking shots of the action and struck up a conversation with her.  When he paddled out he told me about it and said he wrote the email address in the sand.  She returned Sam's email with some pics and turns out she is a professional photographer from Raleigh.  Here are some pics sent to us from Petra Glorie and her website  Thanks again Petra, these are beautiful photos.

Note this particular sequence is a right I took to make up some ground against the current.  Lefts were the long fun rides while rights were consistently a test of character...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Could you walk away from these sets?

Sometimes it must be done. Like when you want to keep your wife.  Sunday the wind was slight but on shore then went completely away.  Here is a quick shot I took before heading home Sunday afternoon around 3pm.

But there's always the memories.

New River Inlet SUP Surfing with Sambo from r d moore on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Surf City Serves It Up Again

Sam and I hit Surf City again for some tasty waves and much lighter wind than last weekend.  The water temps are down from a week ago and dropped additionally each day.  With sunny skies and warm air the 5/3 is all you need though.

Surf City Party Wave from r d moore on Vimeo.

Saturday was the epic day at the inlet surfing with the dolphins for hours.  The rascals are real acrobats!  Check out Sam's posts- he has lots of HD video of dolphin antics and a few more of our waves.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

SUP surfing limits. Know when to say when.

We had some pretty cool air last week into this past weekend.  Last Friday I paddled Belews with Barry and had to keep dipping my bare feet to warm them but man what a spectacular evening.  Lots of fog showing the warmth getting sucked out the lake in the evening sunset in the midst of all those colorful leaves.  This was my little warm up for Saturday when I met Sambo at Surf City for SUP surfing.  I rolled up about noon and he had been at it since 10am- I walked across the dunes and my heart fluttered as I saw the clean waist to shoulder (somethime head high) rights AND lefts.  A chilly NW wind had the waves walling up and I knew it was on!

We surfed just those conditions all day long in wind that was straight offshore and sometimes cranking into the high 20's.  This was the most consistent surf I've ever experience through the course of a full day- most likely thanks to all that offshore wind.  Anyone who has SUP surfed in that kind of wind knows what an incredible workout is it dropping in ahead of the waves.  Also the lighter your board the better it is at turning into a kite and soaring projectile.  We both had to keep draining our water supply and incredibly both had tricep cramps for the first time ever.  Nothing else just tris.  As the sun got lower and the temps started to head back down we discussed maybe heading in and saving some for the next day.  That idea came up a few times.  Then we got to the point of one more wave then we go in, we were actually catching lots of one more waves as the sun set.  Did we learn when to say when?  I think not, but are bound to keep trying. 

 Sam drops in
 Sam on cruise control
Smoke on the water Sunday morning

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fall colors are in, cold air is here, south wind is out

Hatteras was pretty epic this week but due to work schedules we missed out.  Ramp 30 was apparently the place to be and so everyone was.  Belews has been great the past couple weeks too.  Wednesday we had strong south so Leah, Don & I had a ball.  Best of all Leah planed on the 4.7/106L while I was right behind her !  Don was out on the 6.2/105L and I was on a 7.5/155L white knuckling ride.  Leah took a little break so I played with the 4.7/106 a little planing in the puffs which were pretty frequent.  In the evening I rigged the 5.8 to drop some speed since the 155L was wanting to take off and fly.  Good times.

 Leah's first voyage with small sail and small board

Don is here.  It must be pretty good!

I think she likes the small kit

Lit with a 4.7  Windy for Belews

  After the formula sesh Friday- The last warm evening for a while