Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Another fine day in October

Yesterday West Meadow beach drew a small crowd of windsurfers and kitesurfers. Even Long Island's finest (Mike Burns and John Sassone) were seen spinning around there. There are now new fancy signs pointing to the beach in case one needs directions. The town has also replaced the booth at the parking lot entrance with a shiny new construction. Apparently, this wasn't a necessary makeover. I learnt someone ran into the old one with a car this summer...! Luckily no one was injured.

The day got better and better since I arrived in the early afternoon. No water sport fanatic was on sight and the wind seemed kind of light (for my bigger sail, 6.3) so I spent 5 good minutes pondering whether to rig or not. Then a strong gust convinced me the 6.3 would do. Eventually, the wind progressively went up and by 5 pm the freestylers were on 5.5-5.0 I guess. I don't have a lot of footage because the GOPRO mount on the boom tail got detached after the tail hit hard the sandy bottom (the tide was ultra low). The camera was saved by the safety line I added as a precautionary measure (the new gopro doesn't come with one). Too bad because the antifog was working like a charm. But I haven't missed much beside a couple of badly-closed duck jibes and perhaps the chance of capturing a few tricks Mike threw in front of me when I was sailing by. I'll just post a couple of still pics.

Yesterday it became apparent to me the importance of taking a break during a session -- a luxury I can rarely take--. Usually, I have such a limited time before it rains or it gets dark or the wind dies on me or I have to run back to work or somewhere else, I only think of rigging, getting in the water and sailing until I collapse. Admittedly, this isn't the best approach for improving my (limited) skills. On the contrary, yesterday I had the time to take a break, switch fin, and return to sail reinvigorated and with a clearer mind. This is crucial in order to be in control and to avoid repeating over and over the same stupid mistakes. One of mines is not doing a boom shaka with my front hand before flipping the sail. This encourages me to grab the mast with the other hand thereby slowing the flip to the point it takes me too long to sheet in. After the pause I focused on this issue and I was pleased to perform a couple of clean boom-to-boom transitions. I know it doesn't sound as exciting as landing a forward loop (which I'll perhaps attempt one day as my jumping skills improve) by in my mind closing the perfect jibe still marks the transition from an average windsurfer to a good one. And that's all occasional windsurfers aspire to, namely to become good occasional windsurfers (being occasionally good doesn't really help).

(boom-shaka and...)

(no boom-shaka. The difference seems small due to the perspective but sliding the front hand about a foot towards the mast greatly facilitates the flip allowing one to grab directly the other side of the boom with the back hand)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Back in action

The past "Suck-tember" I spent no time on the water due to a combination of shitty weather, work chores, various projects to carry on, and having to swap car with a friend (Lexus IS250's are cool to drive but don't carry windsurfing equipment). The beginning of October has been pretty much the same until last Saturday. I thought West Meadow would be "da spot" for the conditions: WSW 30+ MPH.
But when I arrived at the beach, about 2PM, I was surprised to see only 2 windsurfers in the water. As usual the kiter population was predominant. I rigged a 5.0 but the wind was really holey and starting to fade. The tide was going out which made for some kind of wave riding and nice port-side jumps. I'm trying to get more air out of these. After 2 months of windsurfing and weight-lifting inactivity my upper body strength is down to nothing but I managed to have fun. I put together a few jumps in a video which shows little technical skills and it has the sole purpose (as this blog) to remind me of this great day in October. The true highlight was meeting a great windsurfer called Jeff. I really had a nice chat with him and he was kind enough to share a glass of Montepulciano with me after the action! See you soon at West Meadow, Jeff!

West Meadow in October from tonywind on Vimeo.