Monday, May 30, 2011

Boat Date

The kids had to go to school on Memorial Day as a snow make up day. That could only mean one thing - Boat Date! As soon as the kids were on the bus, my bride and I hightailed it to the boat with books/magazines and cooler in hand. By 8am, we had anchored in a nice quiet cove by Lake Norman State Park. Out of the way of the holiday boat traffic circus in the main channel, we relaxed, took some dips to cool off, and even went for a short paddle exploration into some other coves. We ended it with a nice waterfront view lunch at the Midway Boathouse Grill. It was great except that the time went by so fast and we had to be back to meet the kids off the school bus way too soon.

On this Memorial Day, we remember those who gave their lives for our great country.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Observations on new issue of Windsurfing Magazine

I just got the new June issue of Windsurfing Magazine. I've only gone through some of it so far but it looks like a great issue with lots of good content.

I'm absolutely cracking up at the photo on page 11. It follows up nicely to my last post about our great week in Hatteras minus the run in with the disrespectful kiteboarders. That photo was taken right in front of the house we stayed in and was just a few weeks earlier. What is it about that spot and windsurfers/kiteboarders? It's good to know I'm not the only one who vented.

Josh also writes a piece titled "Is SUP Hurting Sailing?". He raises some interesting points. As a windsurfer/SUP'er, I recently bought the Starboard Element 9'8". I was specifically looking for a SUP board that had a mast insert so it could act as my SUP surfboard and also as my light wind wavesailing board. There are several options out there - Naish, Starboard, Fanatic, RRD, and Bic come to mind....these are all windsurfing companies. It still boggles my mind that Naish doesn't have mast inserts in some of their medium size (9' range) boards....which is one of the reasons I opted for the Starboard. Except for one, all my windsurfing friends who also SUP have all purchased a SUP surfboard with mast insert. In some of those cases, it might have taken the place of a true windsurf board purchase but these windsurfing companies still benefitted. Maybe we're in the minority?

What do you think?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Final Thoughts and Pics From Hatteras Trip

Rob bump & jump

Final thoughts and pictures from our awesome spring break week on Hatteras Island last month...

I purposely didn't take any video or use the GoPro. I just wanted to focus my time on the water. When I've got the video camera or GoPro out, I tend to lose focus with how I'm actually performing on the water. I was making it a point to spend quality time with the family, so I had to really pick and choose my limited time on the water, thus no time for messing with video. Fortunately, my wife took some great pictures and I snapped a few too. I'll probably make a photo album video set to some cool tunes.

Ken, Mac, Rob

Taking the long ferry ride from Cedar Island to Ocracoke. Awesome. Cedar Island and Core Banks is a place I want to explore some more with SUP and windsurfing.

Dawn and Rob

Our youngest (7 yrs old) climbing the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse for the first time. Last time he was here (2 years ago) he was too small, so he was looking forward to this.

Beaufort sunset

Kinnakeet Shores Beach (the big colorful soundfront homes directly behind the Food Lion) - these homes are nicer then the Island Creek homes. Our house had an 18 person theater. You haven't experienced The Windsurfing Movie 2 until you've seen it on the big screen with a real theater sound! We shared that beach with about 50 kiteboarders that week (not a problem, except for what happened to us.....see below). It seems to be a kiteboarding beach for the most part, although I've stayed and windsurfed there before (Windsurfing Magazine board tests were there this year). The Island Creek houses (behind Ocean Air) still seemed to be the soundfront windsurfing spot of choice...when I drove by there, there appeared to be more windsurfers than kiters. Those houses are nice but older and without all the new amenities (which were great for the family/kids) at Kinnakeet Shores.


Only one bummer during the week - our kiteboarding neighbors with foreign accents (French Canadian?) who insisted on kiteboarding as close as possible to my family and friends by kiting all the way to the beach and then turn around to go back out (and only going out 100 yards before turning around to come back...seriously every one of them did that). They can't turn around 20 yards short of the beach or kite 20 yards upwind or downwind from my family and friends? There's the entire Pamlico Sound out there...use it. You could clearly tell they weren't happy sharing with windsurfers what they must have thought was their beach. All week, I let it go and didn't say anything because I didn't want to let it get to me and ruin our week. If you're a skilled kiter and are clearly in control, you can kite close to me...that's fine, I'm cool with it. I'm all about the aloha spirit and everyone getting along on the water no matter what kind of board or wind power you're using. I'm fine sharing the water with kiteboarders and there's room for everyone out there, but don't kite near the kids. The last straw came on our second to last day there when one of them decided to kiteboard in between 2 of the kids coming within 5 ft of my daughter's legs. I just about lost it and yelled at the offender who never looked back and never came close to us the rest of the day. What a complete lack of respect and regard for others. I also let every kiteboarder on the beach know how I felt...not one of my proudest moments but things had to be said because they weren't stopping their friends' nonsense. If I saw another windsurfer doing something like that, I'd be in his face telling him to stop ruining it for everyone else. I've never had problems with kiteboarders before and I know there are always bad apples in every bunch, but these folks were very uncool. Next time, I won't let it go on as long as I did.

Hanging out on the beach in front of our house waiting for the sunset

Watching Ken Kellar going for loops and getting really good rotation in a lesson with Andy. Awesome.

Cocktail Hour

Sailing in 30mph+ two days in a row. That never happens to me and it showed (and the reason my smallest sail has been a 4.6...maybe that should change). Big thanks to Ken for rigging his 3.8 and letting Rob and I use it.


Windsurfing every day...7 days in a row. Used sails 3.8 to 8.0. SUP surfing the last 2 afternoons there.

Dawn and Kris

Ralph is the Energizer Bunny. He was always the last one off the water. Those kooky crazy kids.


Gabe (13 yrs old), Ralph's wife Leah, and Sam were all learning and improving their windsurfing. Gabe was a true beginner...his first time windsurfing and had a blast. Leah and Sam were out in the 30mph+ wind loving it and you could see real improvement in their sailing. Stoked!

Gabe first time windsurfing

On our last full day, we went to the south side beach at Frisco and found mellower waist high (some chest high) SUP waves with a nice easy channel for paddling out. It was a conveyor belt of waves....over and over again. We caught a lot of waves that day. And we don't have any pictures of it. The day before it was tougher to get in position to catch the bigger waves at Old Lifeguard Beach.

Mac & Rob

Making the case for supporting your local shop - I'm slalom sailing late the second to our last day and my boom head breaks. I know I'll need the boom early the next morning based on the fading NW wind forecast, so I rush in to call Andy at Wind-NC after he had supposedly already closed. He hadn't left the shop yet and stuck around so I could rush over. He replaced my cracked boom head with an old replacement so I can hit the water early the next morning (which I did). I'm buying a new boom head from him and will return the older replacement part so he can do it all over again for someone else. Now that's customer service!

When it wasn't windy, the girls and kids loved paddling out in the sound. When the wind wasn't blowing, the water was crystal clear and it looked like the Caribbean.

Oh yeah...the sunsets. They were spectacular.

Sharing the house, the water, and the aloha with our friends and family - great memories.

View from the lighthouse. Can you pick out Ken, Ralph, and Sam? Why isn't anyone on that wave?!?

Sorry to have missed the free clinics at Wind-NC and watching the visiting pros, Wyatt Miller and Tyson Poor, windsurf. When I wasn't on the water, I was focused on spending quality time with the family.

Rob and I had a nice light wind wavesailing sesh at Ramp 30 on our SUP boards. I've got to work more on wave selection and positioning.

We took a couple of magazine quality shots (SUP & Windsurfing). If they don't get published (hey, its worth a shot), I'll post them here later.

Rob jibing