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Viewing posts created during August of 2010

First Swell!

"The aura on the beach was insane, everyone was tripping out over the swell..."

Yesterday I got the report early that there was over head waves at Hookipa. I was sure that this was the first swell of the wave season! And calling the first swell is like spotting land after being at sea for what seems like an eternity! First, I felt sheer excitement, I packed my gear at the speed of light and jumped in the truck for the beach! Then, I as I got closer, I started to get anxious! Not scared, but restless to get into action! After being in a flat summer for months all I want to do is get out onto the water!

Finally, my Dad and I arrived at the beach! The waves were over head and the wind was an easy thirty knots! The aura on the beach was insane, everyone was tripping out over the swell and I felt so pumped up to just be there!  But I wasn’t there just to watch! I rigged up, headed out, and caught a wave! It was a nuts shoulder and I almost fell off with excitement! I went into my first bottom turn and smacked under the lip! Then I turned back up sharply, went into a 360, and came within inches of landing it! It was a good way to start the day that would be full of sick rides! Oh, and the second thing to know about the first swell is that you have to stay out until you drop!

Posted: August 30, 2010 at 11:49 AM
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Day of Paddling

Today there was a small south swell so we went stand-up paddling at Thousand Peaks. We took this opportunity to test out a new Go Pro HD camera we bought for the trip to Baja, which is like 13 days away! The footage came out great and we have figured out what kind of camera angles work for what! So when we get down to Mexico we’ll be ready to make the greatest movie of all time... Ok., how about a pretty good movie.

Posted: August 19, 2010 at 09:53 AM
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Trying New Moves...

This summer I’ve been spending a lot of time trying new moves! That way when winter time comes around I’ll have a good amount of moves to perfect! After going over some video of a move and also watching some pros live I’m ready to try this new trick.

     Trying new moves is really a big mental thing, if you go into trying a move mentally unprepared you’re probably not going to have much succes. Before going out I always try to clear my head and focus on the task at hand. Even if the move I’m going for isn’t a scary move I still need to have a clear head so that I can figure out how I can tweek it to land the move. If it is one of those mind over matter moves then I go into a whole new realm of getting pumped up and, sometimes, even a little pissed off!  

     Now that I’m on the water with determination and focus I have to start trying the move. The easiest way to succeed is to try the move non-stop! I see people that want to learn how to jibe but then sail out for miles at a time so that they only try a jibe once every fifteen minutes! This is important because once you try a move, you often have an idea of what you did wrong!  So if you can try the move again while the correction you need to make is fresh in your head you can test it out and get that much closer to landing it!  And that prosess is a lot like Scientific Investigation! 

     So I’m heading out through the break with gusto and I hit a vertical ramp to go for a back loop!  And then I land flat on my back.  That’s my first attempt or my Control.  My control is basically what I did wrong, now its time to tweek the move so I can land it!

     That tweek is going to be my Independent Variable.  So I figured out that I wasn’t spotting my landing on my backloop and now I need to sheet in and look at where I want to land in order to make it around!

     But did it work?  What was my Dependent Variable or my data?  My data says I’m happily backlooping because I’m looking right where I want to stick my nose!

     So after watching video and figuring out how to do a move I head down to the beach and mentally prepare myself for greatness!  Then I launch and go for broke on my first attempt!  Of course I crash and burn but I have an idea why so the next time I try the move, which should be soon, I will try something different!  That “something different” will either help me land the move or it won’t work at all but that’s just testing, sometimes you’ll get good results and sometimes you’ll get bad results.  Either way, I’ll be that much closer to landing this new move!

Posted: August 12, 2010 at 10:39 AM
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On-shore Hookipa

"...which is why I’m so glad I sail Hookipa in the summer."

Everyone thinks of Hookipa as an off-shore, down-the-line, wave sailing spot. And it is, but in the summertime the waves come at more of a side-shore direction. This often makes Hookipa a great place for jumping, when its windy. When its not you enter an entirely new Hookipa. A Hookipa where the wind and waves come to shore at the same angle making it slightly on-shore and the waves become much like a beach break. This new wave requires totally different sailing which is why I’m so glad I sail Hookipa in the summer.  

     Many windsurfers hardly sail during the summertime because they only enjoy sailing during wave season but its perfect training for someone like me who is trying to go pro in a time where the windsurfing tour is filled with many, disorganized, beach breaks! Its hard to imagine getting real-world-wave experience at Hookipa but I’ve been getting it for the last five years!  Its a perfect setup because I sail perfect waves in the Winter and then sail imperfect waves in Summer.  The perfect waves help me perfect my technique and fine tune the moves I’m doing, and the imperfect waves allow me to work on new moves and also play around with different styles of riding and new techniques! Many people overlook Hookipa in the summer, but its really the best training ground you could ask for.

Posted: August 6, 2010 at 10:40 AM
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Kristen and Nique first time at Hookipa!

"Nique turned, fell and got worked straight in front of the rocks!"

Today there was some fun wind swell at Hookipa. Kristen Orth, who’s from Maui but now goes to college in Oregon, and Nique Vetromile, who has spent her summers here for years, came down to sail with us! Both of them don’t really sail at Hookipa much so it was classic watching them shift around nervously on the beach. Finally, I helped Kristen through the shore break, which was pretty gnarly today, and she launched and made it out like a pro!  Then it was time to help Nique, I helped lift her spirits by telling her she had a tough launch to beat and that she would probably pale in comparison to Kristen! She gave me a look and then headed down to the waterline. “Should I launch after this wave?” she asked, “No way, if you did you’d probably die!” I joked helpfully.  “How about this one?” “Mmmm, right now the shore break is at it’s worst so just be careful.” That’s when she started freaking out on me so I decided to stop heckling her and let her launch.  She did so with ease and headed out with Kristen.

My Dad and I, between bursts of laughter, launched and followed them out! After sailing in and out through the waves a little we all sailed way out and after Kristen and my Dad turned around I dragged Nique out a little farther. When we got into the deep blue I turned around and sailed right up next to Nique. I think she knew what I was going to say before I said it but I did it anyways, “I dare you to look down!”  “No way,” she said all too quickly but I was persistent, “Come on, I’ll go with you.” She agreed and I had the devious idea to leave so she would totally freak out, but she would probably end up killing me and that’s not a good Monday! So I looked down too and all I could see was blue, no bottom...  After a lot of hooting and hollering we went back in and caught a set wave! Nique turned, fell and got worked straight in front of the rocks!  I sailed up next to her and tried to calm her down but she was already freaking out. I jumped into the water and grabbed her gear but I was more worried about her. She was talking a mile a minute about going in the rocks and finally I had to kinda raise my voice to get her attention and snap her out of it! Finally we got out of danger, we sailed back to the beach, and laughed about it! Sometimes the most exciting windsurfing isn’t going for the biggest moves and constantly testing the newest gear, sailing with a couple of friends is where windsurfing started and it’s the key element to fun!

Posted: August 4, 2010 at 10:13 AM
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