The past few times we’ve sailed the ocean, the surf has been pretty big, and the wind very holey on the inside. So getting thru the break is a very dicey proposition. The white water on the last wave seems to always take me down. Because of the light wind, I’m usually out of the straps going thru the break, and that only makes it more difficult. In Maui, the waves were as big, bigger in some cases, but I had plenty of power in the sail, and you can weave your way thru, and pick the shoulders to skirt over. It’s a piece a cake to get out in Maui. But like I said before, Maui has nothing on the east coast in terms of getting out clean.
So that being said, I’m finding that in order to get out clean in bigger east coast surf on light wind days, I’m going to have to modify my slogging stance. Keeping the front foot wedged up tight against the mast base goes without saying, but equally as important is keeping the back foot in the rear strap. There is simply no way to get over the bigger stuff out of BOTH straps. I’ve been reluctant to try it because it just seemed that the stance would be too wide, too spread out. At this point though, there is no way around it. So I practiced this stance on a recent session at Tower road, and while awkward, it wasn’t impossible. Its funny, on first attempts, I literally had to reach and extra 6-10 inches further back than where I first tried to go with the back foot. Again, its quite a stretch, but do-able. Can’t wait for the next chance to try it in big surf.
So here is some more footage from 3/19/08 filmed by Daniel Kellar. I know that most the video I’ve been posting of my ocean sessions just show me getting worked and/or denied, but all I can say is even that is a blast. Sooner or later, I’ll post quality video that will hopefully inspire others to go out with us.