Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Windsurfing Movie

I'm a big fan of outdoor adventure movie documentaries. Movies such as "Step into Liquid", "Riding Giants", the "Endless Summer" series, "Dogtown & Z Boys", Warren Miller ski films, Robby Naish's "R.I.P.", and Brian Caserio's windsurfing movies are ones I could watch over and over. There is a new one coming later this spring that will put a new spotlight on windsurfing. It will simply be called "The Windsurfing Movie".

Johnny DeCesare is known for being the guy who helped bring snow skiing back from the dead after it had taken a backseat to snowboarding. He produced several ski films that resulted in a new resurgence in the sport. DeCesare is now turning his focus to windsurfing. He is pairing up with Jace Panebianco, a pro windsurfer, to film and produce an epic 16mm film about the stories of four windsurfers (including legendary world champion Robby Naish and twelve year old phenom Kai Lenny). Check out the web site for the trailer and other info about the movie:

Monday, February 12, 2007

Former Ruggers take on Vermont

Yes, it's true. I used to play rugby. And yes, what you've heard about rugby players is also true. I happen to be a part of something special that is the UNC-Greensboro Rugby Alumni...a rag tag bunch of crazy loons. There is a core group of the guys I played with that have stuck together as great friends for the past 20 years...approximately 12 of us. To steal a line from Mike Waltze in the surfing movie "Step Into Liquid", we've got "every personality defect" there is (this includes me of course). But that's a good thing and probably the reason we still get together a couple of times a year. That, plus every one of them have hearts the size of Texas.

So recently, we've started to get together on ski trips. One of us has a house just outside of Ludlow, VT and has been courageous enough to host the shenanigans. We got together for a long weekend in the Green Mountains of Vermont and, of course, had a great time. The skiing was good but the company was even better.

We skiied Killington for 2 days and Okemo the morning of our departure. Friday at Killington was brutal with high winds and seriously cold temps.....wind chill was well below zero. It was fairly icy in spots, some thin cover due to a late start to the winter, and we had to look hard to find the good snow on the trails. Saturday was much better as it snowed a couple of inches, the wind went away (this isn't windsurfing you know), and not as cold, so it was a much better day and we skied longer. Sunday morning at Okemo was my first time there and I was pleasantly surprised. We had first tracks and it was great. Not as crowded, had well groomed trails, and high speed quad lifts (a lack of these at Killington) made this a place I'd like to return to. This also looked like a great place to take the kids. We only skied an hour before having to get back to the house, clean the place up ( was kind of messy...we are former rugby players after all), and get to the airport. So, I hope to ski more of this mountain in my future.

Nightly poker, hot tubbing, foosball, grilled steaks & quesadillas, Vermont's Otter Creek beer, fighting over whose iPod would be playing over the home audio speakers, and sitting around telling a bunch of lies made up the rest of the trip...memories to last us until September, when we gather in Greensboro to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the UNC-G Rugby team. Hide the women and children.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

It's been a big week on Maui with rare strong Kona winds. Particular storm systems make the Kona wind blow side offshore (very offshore) from the left on the north shore of Maui. That changes the waves by making them hold up a lot longer and it also means the windsurfers sail the waves in the opposite direction than they normally do.

Check out fellow blogger and Maui resident Giampaolo's web site for a recap of the week with great pics and video: