Saturday, October 3, 2009

No Wind, No Problem

I scored my second cover shot in the October issue of the New England Windsurfing Journal. Thanks Peter!

The shot was taken on day two of Hurricane Bill. Day one was powered up wavesailing. Day two was a different story.

My first cover was after an Assateague session back in May of 2008. Both cover shots where taken by my wife Janis Markopoulos

I also wrote a story for the October issue on the attributes of light wind wavesailong. Here is the complete text of that story.

If you’re a regular follower of my blog, you might be able to discern that I do a lot of light wind wave sailing. I don’t live in Maui, so I have to make due with the conditions at my local patch. More times than not, the wind is marginal. For the record, my light wind kit is a 109 liter RRD freestyle wave and 5.8 Ezzy.

I love this combo, and I have the confidence to take it out into some pretty good size waves in less than 10 knots.

The bottom line here is that on the Labor Day Session at the Secret Spot, there was some conversation on the beach, and we over heard another sailor say, “I don’t know why anyone would want to sail in the ocean in light winds”. Well I thought to myself, I can come up with lots of reasons why you should.

15. First the most obvious: it's a lot of fun!

14. It helps you learn how to get the most power and speed from a wave since you can't rely on the wind.

13. The calmer surface lets you see more ocean wildlife (not always a pleasant experience!).

12. The contrast between slogging off the wave and planing on the wave is pretty cool.

11. Drastically improves the scorability quotient, and extends the surf sailing season.

10. Increases the magic and joy of those fully powered ocean sessions.

9. It’s a great workout, especially from a cardiovascular standpoint.

8. Up-hauling toughens up the calluses on your hands positioning you sail longer on those big days.

7. The waves are often cleaner and more likely than not groomed to perfection.

6. Some of the waves you catch will be hands down the best rides of your life.

5. Playing in the crumbling white water is so much fun.

4. You’re more likely to get hurt in shallow water than in the ocean.

3. The more time you spend in ocean, the more comfortable you’ll get. This will help you keep your heart rate down, and allow you to perfrom better on the water when it gets gnarly.

2. Will allow you to maximize your time on the water when primo conditions hit, and you can milk every wave, smack every lip, and boost those orbital jumps.

And finally, what I consider to be the single most beneficial reason to wave sail in light wind:

1. Drives you to analyze the waves and sets more carefully since you are less mobile, you thereby increase your wave knowledge and position yourself to rip when the better conditions present themselves.

Let me close by saying that perhaps the all time best experience I ever had on a sailboard was at Assateague during Hurricane Bill, in less than 10knots. So believe me when I say that when the forecast is calling for 10-15 knots and surf above 3 foot, I’m super stoked. I prefer power in my sail, but I’m just as happy to slog out to the sandbar, and while out of the straps have to negotiate the head high white water, then complete a pivot gybe in front of a macking swell, get scooped up that face, slip my feet into the straps, and head down the line.

Is there anything I've left out here? I'd love to here from you so please leave a comment.

Cya in the waves.


Since writing this story for Peter, my experience has been such that I can add to the list:

PS. Light wind wavesailing rocks because it prepares you for the Beast Of The East
Wave Jam contest
, helping you achieve a second place!

PSS. Light wind wavesailing sessions just my score you a cover shot!

psss-props to Ken Kellar who helped me document this list.

1 comment:

Bill said...

Awesome post George, and congrats on the NEWJ cover shot! I agree, light air wavesailing is great, and I too had my best sesh this year light air during Hurricane Bill at Coquina Beach in Nags Head! What a light wind wave generator!