Thursday, December 10, 2009

Storm warning

We had a blizzard this week, and while we got 17 inches of snow, the snow was not the problem. 50 knots out of the north east pushed a ton of water into the bay and raised the water up a few feet, bringing the waterline 30+ feet closer to everyone's boat houses, boat lifts, docks and assorted water toys.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Gales of November

No, I didn't forget. I just am a little late.

34 years ago today, November 10, the Edmund Fitzgerald sank with all hands.

My backyard is still. Only the call of the gulls and the lines of migrating geese interrupted the somber silence that had settled over the water this evening. In a replay of last week, the winds will clock back to the south and increase Thursday into Friday where they'll peak with gusts to 40mph.

While the voice in your head tells you that this is just a lake, the voices of the dead remind you that caution is an attribute of the living. I've learned to never turn your back or rest your eyes when dealing with her. She'll strike fast, hard and without remorse.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Video test

I've been working on some configuration changes to the video encoder and playback, so I could use some feedback on the viewing of this video in terms of smoothness, speed of download, etc.

This is just some random video from the board test that I pulled off of a larger video that I'll be uploading once I get these encoder issues worked out.

Enjoy and gimme some feedback!

Quick Sheboygan video

Great day yesterday at Sheboygan. Super powered, lots of sunshine. The Elbow was firing and the surfers were putting in at the outside ladder since the waves were breaking way outside.

I must have had old batteries in the GoPro's, since after 3 hours of sailing, I only had a few minutes of video. No matter - that day is seared into my brain. ;-)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Real quick

Nice GoPro HD review here.

Mine are en-route. Hope to have them before tomorrow when the lake goes 8-12 feet, but I doubt it.

Next post will be FULL of GoPro video goodness. (Carl - this ones for you!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Flying... (home)

Ah, another annual high wind board test finished, my final thoughts on the boards committed to paper, the final de-rig and packing of wet rash guards, harness and proto booms.

Today was a casual day, blasting on an overpowered 4.7 at uppers going big and sometimes paying the price. Jake was spot on nailing everything and anything he went for. Russ must have been feeling better with a few forwards on the bad ankle. Francisco hung out for a while - always good to see his smile! Keith brought by a freestyle wave proto for 2010 that looked great, but he is making a few more tweaks before it goes to Cobra. Testers were making their final runs on the boards, and some were plotting how to smuggle their fave home.

Ray crashed big - video to come soon - and messed his knee up for the rest of his trip. Kinda like last year on the Red Rhino, eh?

Anyway, I'm committing this post to the blog, and then its off to the airport for my flight to the mainland.


Ps - and yes, I can fly. Not for very long, but I can really soar! ;-)

Monday, October 19, 2009


Sunday was awesome. Spectacular. Epic. Pick your word for it, it killed. Everyone was on fire and the winds were jacked.

Hats off to Carl for getting around his first four forward loops! He's totally stoked to be 44 and learning to go over the bars - he can claim it as Ray saw one and the GoPro's caught them all (video forthcoming).

Sorry for the lack of video - there's just too much to go through as I've been running 3-4 GoPro's on the gear generating a lot of video and too little time to go through it.

Today's my last day on the island. I'm stoked to sail, and very ready to head home back to the family. Its been another good test trip, one for the books.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Great day!

Wow, what a day. The wind was looking great, and the light was perfect for photos. The crew was a bit slow from the night before, having enjoyed sake and sushi at Jacques followed by marathon sessions on the dance floor until the lights came on (gasp!). Some piled on the Advil, one jumped in the ocean and the remedies seemed to work and we hit the water to warm up before Erik and the helicopter arrived.

I gotta say, having a helicopter 15 horizontal feet off of your mast tip while you're blasting across the water is way cool. I sure hope the photo turns out. The pilot had the chopper right on top of me to the point that I could read the make and model of Erik's camera gear. Yeah, it was that close. If I would have bore off, I'm sure my mast tip would have hit the skids. (I hope there wasn't a huge booger hanging off my nose! LOL)

An hour later Erik was back to take some more photos of the team from the water with his fisheye lens. This is always a blast as you have to literally sail on top of him to get the shot. As last year, I stuck a GoPro on his helmet and got some good video that I'm still going through. Everyone was tearing it up and I know there's a pile of great shots in there.

I spent the bulk of my day on the 2010 5.3 Goya Guru, and I was super pleased with it. The new model has way more low end power (which I need) and handles like a dream on a wave and in the air. My only complaint is that I noticed that the 2010 Goya's don't have the pocket in the mast pad for your downhaul line like last year. That's it. That's my only gripe. ;-)

I'd bet that I end up on the 4.7 Eclipse today. It was already crankin at 7am - always a good sign. I've got a super busy schedule planned that includes running the entire fleet to uppers for some head to head wave testing. If I get that done before the wind quits, I'm gonna grab my favorite board and have a little personal fun time in the waves. Carl is planning to learn to loop today - which has Josh a little apprehensive. Not sure why, since Carl will be wearing his helmet. ;-)


Friday, October 16, 2009

Wind? Really?

Today there's a stirring in the trees as the trade winds return to the north shore. Everyone's pretty stoked to get back on the boards and get our testing mojo on.

We've been spending our last few windless days surfing, SUP'ing and recovering from the flu that's been having its way with a few members of the test team. Josh is back to 100% and Aaron is almost there as well. I think I've successfully fought off the yuck with the medicine bombing of my system and fingers are crossed that the rest of the crew doesn't succumb this weekend. ;-)

The coming weekend looks great for some solid back-to-back sailing days with some really decent winds that should get everyone onto small sails and give these high wind boards a real run through.

See you next post with some meat!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Get a grip!

In addition to new boards being tested, I've been sailing some prototype booms this trip. Now I'm kinda particular about my booms. Specifically in diameter, stiffness and overall user friendliness with the front end, rear pulley and cleat, and easy to use size markings.

And most of all, they need to be strong. I'm a big guy and I sail hard on my gear. One summer I taco'd so many aluminum booms the manufacturer stopped replacing them and strongly recommended to rider their carbon model. (I liked the aluminum one for its reduced diameter). I have to admit that I was a bit sceptic about the survivability of these booms when I was asked to test them. But hey, thats part of the deal, right?

That said, I like these booms. So much that I forget I'm sailing aluminum. But alas, they're stiff and crisp when sailing. What's so special about them? The grip. There's a pronounced "V" on the inside of the boom that makes it super easy to grip the boom, especially when wave sailing. Take a close look at the photos, but keep in mind that we used a wide angle lens to accentuate the view of the "V".

In normal sailing, the grip was less taxing on my forearms. When doing tricks, it was easier to snag the boom with a few fingers and on some near misses, I pulled it out because of the "V". I really noticed the "V when wavesailing - it was super comfy when working hard on the rig going down the line.

Items to note - the diameter was large for some of the women or people with smaller hands, but the production version of them will be about 15% smaller and with a less pronounced "V".

The locking pins for the adjustments were user friendly and beefy, but I wish they'd mark the extension with overall length cm and not just cm of adjustment. The head was nice, though I think there's a more refined version in the works.

The best thing about these booms - the price. I'm not going to disclose MSRP, but in today's economy, these booms are priced right, perhaps even below what I think the value is for them.

And if you've never heard of the brand, rest assured, while they may not be a household name in the North American windsurfing market, these guys have been around the block and then some in Europe. No worries there at all.

Check 'em out, give them a try and get a better grip on your sailing.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


The trades have backed down today and while the team is scattered around the island, here's a little video for the home audience to enjoy.

This is from last February 15 at Hookipa. Low clouds, rain squalls and a dirty lens make this video less than stellar but Robby, Roberto and the rest of the Hoo crew make it worth watching.

Sit back, go widescreen and pass the popcorn.

UPDATE - Kihei is windy (15-27) - rounding up the crew to head over and get wet!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Kihei crash

Of special note - after the gear settles, you can see me swimming back to my gear. ;-)


One thing that has everyone's attention in this year's test fleet are the number of fins on the boards.

We have a tri fin board, a quad fin board, twinzers, twinzers with thrusters, and of course, a few single fin boards thrown in for good measure. One board can be set up as a quad, thruster or single fin depending on your conditions or emotional state of sailing zen. Imagine the fin quivers you will have owning one of these sticks!

A common confusion by passers by is that one of these two boards isn't a quad. But they are - just two radically different takes on the quad concept.
The Quatro in the foreground is more of a twin with thrusters and the Starboard in the background is almost the exact reverse with the main power fins up front and outboard of the rear directional fins. The boards actually have a similar tail and volume distribution shape, but the drive delivered by the fin position makes the boards handle very differently. Of course I can't go into detail about how they sail, you'll have to wait for the board test issue of Windsurfing Magazine for that, but its safe to say that this year's fleet offers sailors a diverse set of boards unlike any in past years. Check out the latest issue of WindSurfing for a great interview with Keith on the Quatro Quad!

Oh, and BTW - Pascal is the shizzle!!

Day two

Yeah, we've got a bit of gear to test. (and this is only one of two vans)

Damn. Maui, even when it sucks, its good.

The morning dawned with the promise (or lies - take your pick) of wind with a nice NW swell. We had laundry lists of crap to do before 11a, and I gotta tell ya... we were motivated. Big time.

As the clock ticked over from 10:59 to 11a, I launched to lowers to score some of the sweet waves we were drooling over for the previous hour. While I can't tell you what board I was on, my 5.7 2010 Goya Eclipse was treating me fine as I dug into my first wave of the sesh.

A board switch and 2 hours later, I was back on the beach after two amazing sessions in chest to head high waves at lowers. After the rain squall passed, the wind puked and I lucked out and got a puff to waterstart my ass back to the beach as everyone else swam for life with the thoughts of the 10ft tiger shark that was hanging out in the break yesterday.

Back on shore the consensus was to bail and head to Kihei and get some sailing, albeit without waves. But hey - sailing is better than sitting on the beach TALKING about sailing, right? ;-)

A quick refuel and a drive across the island and we're in Kihei where I've not sailed since my first trip to Maui back in 1987. Yeah, I'm an old fart. ;-)

Now I got to experience the 2010 4.7 Eclipse. I had a front row seat to Jake on his Eclipse prototypes this summer in the Gorge, and now I had one of the final items all to myself and I was tickled pink with it. Yeah, I know, regardless of what sail it is .. being on a 4.7 rules. Period. (more about those sails later)

Back in the day, I hated Kihei. Today, a bit past 41 years on this planet, I was loving it. Overpowered, rocking it with some friends, letting the boards run as hard as we'd push 'em and going for broke on some of the worst voodoo chop known to man. Yeah, it was a gas.

Full of Advil and knee brace tightened almost to the point of pain, I was no longer 41 years old, father of three, now CEO. I was a young sailor, stupid in all respects, going for broke with no regard to the outcome of my behavior.

I think I'll call the move the "TNT" .. after all, it was a bit of an explosion. Ask Ray, it was kinda spectacular since my gear almost hit him.

All in all, a great day. In the grand scheme of things I've had better days on Maui, but this day stands out for the unique events that made the day epic.

A quick survey of the crew proved smiles across the board, and what more can you ask for?

We have a bit of video to go through, look for most detailed posts soon. ;-)

Josh is on the mend - He's got the H1N1 at bay. Can't you tell??

Oh yeah, Sam had fresh brownies. Yum yum!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Day one

We had a super nice day surfing and SUP on the southside. Waves galore and smiles all around. Many thanks to Dave and the Naish crew for hooking us up. (and to the Odwalla guys for the drinks and energy bars)

There's a big NW swell coming in overnight and wind the next two days to get some testing in before the doldrums set in mid week.

We've got quads, twins with thrusters and tri fins. These boards are just begging to be ridden. The vans are full of '010 sails, prototype booms and all sort of fun water toys.

Hopefully we'll have video, etc. for tomorrow. The HD's and GoPros' are chrged and the crew is very ready.

Stay tuned!

UPATE - Its 7a sunday morning and there's wind in the trees, and all spots are showing normalized trade wind direction and speeds. The stoke is high for some testing today. ;-)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Should I stay or should I go?

Ug. The Maui forecast looks terrible. Don't get me wrong, the SWELL forecast looks great, but the wind forecast... bleh.

So, I'm debating about holding off leaving for the island until things firm up. Then again, the Gorge forecast looked even worse this summer and I ended up sailing 3.7 three days in a row in truly epic conditions.

I'm not worried about sitting around doing nothing. That's impossible on Maui. There's world class surfing, stand up paddle surfing, longboard windsurfing, snorkeling, SCUBA, deep ocean fishing, hiking, and on and on and on.

Still, I'm there to sail. Specifically sail the collection of 2010 high wind boards 80-90 liters. Catapult is thinking he'll work on his schlogging - I think he weighs like 160lbs wet, and I can't imagine what I'll be doing. Perhaps a U-Boat captain impersonation?

So, should I stay or should I go?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Maui on my mind

I'm a week away from returning to Maui for a week of high wind board tests with Windsurfing Magazine and I'm already starting to get the Maui twitch. They've been enjoying a lot of great swell the past month, and I just hope that this is a sign of what we might get for this year's test.

I'll be blogging daily about the goings on, antics, injuries, etc., so check back often. There will be plenty of video and photos, and perhaps...just perhaps, some live streaming action if conditions warrant it. ;-)

If you missed last year, you can find most of the posts here, just scroll down to the bottom to catch all the entries.

Ok - time to get back to work and stop thinking about Maui. Really.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

GoPro HD footage

GoPro is finalizing its much anticipated HD version of its popular wide angle action sports cameras and has released a video and some info about the HD Wide camera system.

A few notes :

- 30fps at the full 1080p
- 60fps mode at 720p
- 720p footage is recorded at 170 degrees wide
- 1080p footage is recorded at 127 degrees wide
- much (!) improved audio

Check out the HD action here.

Sure would be nice to have one for the upcoming Maui board tests in two weeks... ;-)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lake cam

We're socked in with rain here, but here's a quick grab from a cam on Lake Michigan. Note the spray over the pier from the previous wave.

UPDATE - I did get out for about an hour on a 4.7 OP in my backyard around 3p. Now you'd need a 2.7. Its insane out there!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nice day on the lake

Today was an amazing day for the end of September. In advance of the ballistic winds tomorrow, we had nice southerly winds 20-25 and killer warm temps. I wasn't prepared for the warmth and only had my 3/2 convertible - when I could have easily sailed in a shorty. The sun was out, the winds were nice - what more could you ask for?? Ok, I would have liked some bigger waves. Though by the end they were head high, I still can't complain. (tomorrow they'll be 15 foot - so I'll get what I ask for)

I was taking it easy on account of my knee (see photo below), and I'd like to go to Maui in two weeks ready to sail, albeit with that knee brace. Still, the sesh was awesome ... ok, it was epic. Its been a dry summer for good lake action, and everyone scored big time.

Make a bet with your life

We've had a rather windless fall season thus far, but thats about to come to an abrupt end.

Today (Sunday) South winds ahead of the front will bring us mild temps and winds 20-25 knots in the afternoon. Monday winds will switch to the Northwest and blow at storm force strength of 55 knots with higher gusts. Lake Michigan will be pumping waves 14-18 feet.

Winds subside on Tuesday and clock northerly at 30 knots.

Fall sailing on Lake Michigan is some of the most technical and challenging of places I've ever sailed. While the waves are big, they're close together and when you go down, its not like the ocean where you have time to recover. I've gotten mauled by 24+ foot waves on Maui, and while it was a challenging 45 minutes of swimming with trashed gear, it doesn't compare do getting pinned down on the Lake in the fall with its cold water. I've gown down on the outside break with my gear ripped out of my hands and being forced to swim 200 yards to the beach where my gear was waiting for me at the high water mark. There's no lifeguards with jetski's to pull you to safety. There's just you, the Lake and perhaps lady luck.

Its true survival sailing. Heading out and picking your way through the Greyhound bus sized waves I can't help but hearing The Gambler by Kenny Rogers in my head. "You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em. Know when to walk away, know when to run."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Skate + BMX + urban jumper

I've seen some impressive riders, but this guy kills it.

I'd like to post about my Epic Sessions...

But its been flat. Dead flat. No wind whatsoever in the past 10 days. I'd like to be optimistic about the upcoming 10 day forecast, but there's nothing in it to give the slightest inclination of a worthy breeze. Its actually been negatively windy. Its been so dead that the spiders have built spider webs on my wind meter. (sigh)

On the plus side, I'm gonna lock in my October Maui board test plane ticket today. ;-)

UPATE - Maui is booked. Stoked.

Friday, September 4, 2009

New issue

The new issue of the Mag is out. Emmy's favorite article was Aaron's. Actually, she liked the pictures the best. Go figure.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


As they say, good things come to those who wait. We drove an hour through the rain up north to Ephraim in Door County and after a big of checking, we headed to Eagle Bluff point in the state park. A place I've not sailed since I was 16 or so.

The point was taking some amazing waves, but early in the sesh, you didn't wanna get caught inside as the wind was picking off the water to get over the bluff onshore. 30 minutes into the sesh, the wind jacked, and so did the waves. Mike and I sailed over to the island to add some downhaul since there was no way to make it back to the rocky beach where we had launched from. We had other options for when we had to make it back, but for now, we were gonna stay out and tear it up.

We'd been sailing for 2 hours now, and the waves were head to logo high with the occasional mast high set. Our 5.3's were WAAAY too big, but since returning to rig down wasn't an option, we stayed out. Its about this time that some friends of ours finally made it out to us on their small kites having launched from another protected cove.

The waves were super meaty - lots of pitching and pounding with very little room for error as if you went down, you'd be on the rocks in no time at all. I got hammered by a medium sized one and barely, BARELY made it out of there. Way sketchy, but worth it.

We packed it out just before sunset and I enjoyed a little post sailing carnivore delight. 24oz of local prime rib (photo above) to feed my body for a job well done. ;-)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Anyone for a road trip?

Anyone up for a little road trip? Looks like newly formed Danny is gonna make a visit to the outer banks.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

To the victor go the spoils!

Last spring when Catapult and I were visiting our good friends Chris and Heather in the UK, a little wager was put between Chris and Catapult as to who would do a forward loop first. They each put 20 quid on the bet, and I tossed in an additional 20 to bring the pot to a healthy 60 quid.

Now Chris had been trying a few on the previous Maui trip in October '08, and tried a few more on that UK trip when we had a nice day of sailing on the NE coast of England. (gotta tell ya - sailing with castles in the background is pretty damn cool!) I was thinking that Chris had the upper hand, but Catapult just posted this video.

Well, that settles it. Catapult gets the 60 quid. Congrats Aaron!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Quit yer bitchin!

Earlier this summer I was sailing on the west side of Green Bay with a few friends of mine who were kiting. It was super flat and the wave angle really sucked for jumping, but it was warm and windy and I was happy to be sailing. As much as I was frustrated with the wave angles, I was still smiling, but kinda grumpy. I just couldn't shake my frustration with the lack of waves...

While I was in for a break, an old sailing friend Paul shows up at the beach. Mind you, this is a guy I've not sailed with in 25+ years. Really. He lives nearby (I'd not known that) and was stoked to see someone sailing as he usually sails alone.

"Should I get my gear and come sail with ya?" he asked.

"Hell yeah! That would be awesome!" I replied with enthusiasm.

He got a worried look on his face, "Uh ... my gear is kinda old."

"Who cares? It worked then, it will work now, right?"

"Ok!" he smiled. "I'll be right back!"

In 15 minutes, he showed up. I could NOT believe my eyes. He rolls in with his Windsurfer Rocket 103, circa 1985!!

Duuuude! I was in amazement. Minutes later, we were on the water, all smiles just as we were 25+ years ago. And just like back then, he was blazing on his '103 having a blast.

Next time you're bitchin' about your gear or the conditions, think about this story. Suck it up and get out there and smile!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Classic Hatchery Action

I love the Gorge. I love sailing big swell at the Wall and rocket ramps at Arlington. But gimme a killer day at the Hatchery, and I'm in Heaven. On this day (July 11), I had some downtime with my elbow so I parked on the rocks for a bit and caught some of the action. I was getting killed on a 4.0 that I borrowed from Casey - and most guys my size were on 3.7's.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ride with Jake!

Take a ride with Jake Miller on a wicked 3.7 day at Arlington. Yup - the same day as the video from two posts ago.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

HD on board?

This is something I've been waiting for - GoPro is FINALLY going to sell an HD capable GoPro WIDE camera. Not only does this baby do 1080p at 30fps, but also will do 720p at 60fps. Anyone who's used the GoPro's will tell you that they eat batteries like candy - and in this new HD version they'll finally ship it with a rechargeable battery for 2-3 hours of recording time.

Me. Want. Now.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Gorge delivers!

I have to admit - when I arrived on Friday, the forecast didn't look all that good. They were calling for Easterlies on Saturday, and light westerlies Sunday, etc. But early Saturday morning, Temira called and exclaimed "Its 25 at Hatch!". I didn't believe her. Not one bit. A quick check of the HatchCam and I was shaken back to reality as it was a solid 25-27 and building. That was four days ago - the past 3 days I've been overpowered on a 3.7 every day.

Shot a lot of video, but we've been sailing too much to get through it all. This is from Monday (yesterday) at Arlington. Enjoy!


Friday, July 10, 2009

In Da Hood!

Just arrived in the Gorge and all sorts of interesting thing going on. First off - hard to not notice the barge stuck on the sand bar right out front of town! Seems an errant barge driver managed to get 1/2 mile out of the channel last night a 3:30am and plowed his barge full of GASOLINE onto the sand bar. They've raised the water level (via the damn) up 3+ feet, but alas, she's still stuck like glue to the sand bar.

Ran into Francisco Goya over at Windance where they're doing some GOYA product demos this weekend when the wind returns. And of course, we don't need wind for the BBQ Saturday night!

That's all for now - I'm off to do a quick SUP sesh on the river. Catch ya'll tomorrow with more reports, photos, videos, and possibly.... possibly.... live action! ;-)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Really warming up!

Nothing like a week of 90 degree temps and sunshine to crank up the water temperature here in the bay. Overall, the Great Lakes are really warm for this time of year. (except for Superior - which never really gets warm ... those surfers and sailors up there use their drysuits year-round!)

Its supposed to crank for the next few days, and I hope my freestyle board survives enough so I get my fill.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Yes, I'm ALIVE!

Yes, despite the rumors to the contrary, I am alive. And yes, I'll be blogging again.


New shape in town

Check out the hourglass design on this longboard. Way cool.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fins fins fins!

At the photo shoots last week on Maui, there were lots of fins in the water - and I'm not talking Tiger sharks! RRD was fielding a really nice looking tri fin - from what I could see, the fins were all the same size, but don't take that to the bank.

Here we have Kauli's quad finned JP. Sure it might not be for most riders out there, but it sure works for him.

You could tell by the cutbacks which riders were on twin or quad finned boards by the way the board rotated on the lip - single finned boards just don't snap around like these mutants do. It requires a different stance not only how you handle the board, but also in rig control as the board comes around quickly to point back to windward. Personally I really like the handling, but when it gets big, I prefer a single fin board with more rail drive and control.

What say you?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hookipa Tuesday highlights

Big and beautiful. Lots of swimming - lots of carnage on the rocks. Enjoy! ;-)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Monday webcast highlights

Here are the highlights from Monday's webcast. This is directly off of the webcast camera and I've kept it in chronological order. We had some visitors who stopped by to say hello, many of whom you'll be seeing in future webcasts and in other EpicSesh videos. Also of note - Jake spent a lot of time swimming .... not sure if thats part of training, but still, he swims like a fish! ;-)


ps - I've still got a TON of HD video from Monday that I'll post shortly. Of sad note - I crushed one of my GoPro's mounted to my booms yesterday. ;-(

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday, bloody sunday

The good news - the WNW swell arrived. The bad news? Rain showers squelched the wind at Hookipa, but that didn't keep the crew off the water.

Enjoy some dark Hookipa sessions!

Friday's Hookipa video

I shot this prior to the webcast on Friday. Of note - Josh Stone on the red Goya sail. Seriously, Josh rips. I've had a few sesh's with Josh on the Cali coast and one things for certain - no matter where Josh is - he rips. Period. And even if the day totally sucks, he's smiling. After all, even when you think things suck, its still an amazing life we lead.

Today (Saturday) was kinda funny. I was late to the webcast due to the fact that I didn't wanna come in as I was having way too much fun sailing with Jake and Pascal.... Anyway, I did go in, and get the webcast set up - and the wind backed off (as you all saw on the webcast) but while I was dealing with technical issues with the webcast, I noticed GP on the webcast chat. "Damn," I thought ... "Why the hell isn't he here?" 10 minutes later GP shows up and says, "I wasn't sure about going to Hookipa, then I saw the webcast and so-and-so was ripping and I bailed and drove here ASAP" ... or something like that. Anyway - it was cool that the webcast got GP to come out and rip it up. ;-)

Enjoy Friday's video. The next few days are gonna be amazing.

Friday's webcast archive is here.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Friday recap

Yup. Friday rocked. The weather was perfect, and the crew was on fire. The forecast is looking interesting, very interesting. GP had some nice shots - check 'em out!

The pros were out 'en force as their all on the island for their respective team photo shoots, and the action on the webcast was awesome. We'll be webcasting again today and I'll also put some GoPro's on some riders to get some extra action for everyone.

I'll be posting HD video and also the archived webcast video from Friday later today.... I'm off to Hookipa now to get some sailing in before the webcast. Catch ya'll online around 2pm HST!

Click here to watch the webcast at 2pm HST.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Perfect score

Since my first Maui trip in 1987, I've been scoring amazing conditions on the island without fail. At the risk of jinxing my current trip, here's the current forecast.

East winds 20 kt. Wind waves 8 ft. Mixed swell northwest 3 ft and east 4 ft. Scattered showers.

East winds 20 kt. Wind waves 8 ft. Swell east 4 ft. Scattered showers.

East winds to 25 kt. Wind waves 8 ft. Mixed swell north 3 ft and east 4 ft. Scattered showers.

East winds 20 kt. Wind waves 7 to 8 ft. Northwest swell 5 to 6 ft and north 5 ft. Scattered showers.

East winds 20 kt. Wind waves 6 to 7 ft. Northwest swell 7 ft and north 5 ft. Scattered showers.

I'm supposed to head home Sunday, but I have to admit that the swell for Monday/Tuesday is really making those plans difficult.


Anyway, I don't want to get too far ahead of myself. We have our webcast tomorrow (Friday) and I know the crew is stoked to tear it up at Hookipa. Hopefully I'll get someone to run the cam while I take in a sesh or two in front of the lens.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I'm back, and gone!

Sorry for the lack of posts. I've been busting ass at work, and traveling (for work) is ramping back up again. I did manage to get a quick afternoon sesh at Chrissy Field with Catapult and Kevin (who has a new blog - check it out!) one day while I was in San Francisco last week. It wasn't anything spectacular, but I'd never sailed Chrissy and it was cool.

Nothing going on around here - though the ice is FINALLY breaking up and I awoke this morning to open water past the 100m or so of ice still locked into our shoreline. Spring is winning! ;-) I hope to be sailing in a week or two, but first...

...I'm off to Maui tomorrow! Late notice, and its a quick trip. I'll be webcasting again this trip, so stay tuned for more details. Webcast days will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The wind forecast looks good, waves - eh, so-so, and I just hope we get more sun than the forecast predicts.

So, the next post will be from Maui.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wasted resource

You know its funny how sailors look at the weather, even though its impossible to sail. You'd think we would know better and just ignore it, but there's something in my mind that can't leave well enough alone.

I awoke to the little voice in the back of my head saying, "Hey, its gonna be windy today. REALLY windy..." Checking the weather and whoa! We do have wind today ... 25-35 with gusts to 50.

Now I just need to find some water thats not frozen over!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Asymetrical fins

I had a good conversation with Keith Teboul and Jake Miller about twin fins, and both Keith and Jake pointed out that they're not only fond of twins (Fins! We're talking about fins!), but they're running different sized fins on each side to maximize turning or grip performance for wavesailing. For more turns (at Hookipa), they are running a smaller fin on the starboard side.

This stemmed out of a conversation about Keith's latest board that he was sailing at Hookipa, and if you watch the Hookipa video down the page on this blog, you'll notice its short length and how super snappy it is when Keith gets in (and out) of tight wave situations. The board for its length has a fair amount of rocker, but Keith feels that because its short he can ease the rocker a bit without sacrificing turning ability and still amplify planing,top end speed and control during bottom turns. Of course, the board still needs a capable driver, and Keith rips. Being a shaper with sailing skills such as his, its no wonder his boards rock. ;-)

At any rate, I'm looking forward to trying out some asym fin configurations on my boards this sailing season. My boards are plenty loose, but I'm interested to see just how further they can be pushed.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Economic Stimulus Sale!

I'm selling my entire quiver of KA Kult sails. Its a great quiver of powerful sails that's been used very little - some of the sails used hardly at all!

7.0, 6.4, 5.8, 5.3, 4.7

All are orange and black, all with original bags, etc. $200 each, or you can take the whole quiver - yes, all five sails for $900 and I'll pay for ground shipping anywhere in the U.S.!

Want to sweeten the deal? How about a matching RRD FreestyleWave 86 with straps and fin for $650??!

OMG - can it get better? Heck yeah! How about a Nolimitz 430 mast for $100 and V10 carbon boom for $150 in on the package?

Lets review -

Full quiver - $900. 86liter RRD - $650. Toss in the mast for an additional $100 and add a carbon boom for $150 (heck, it even has harness lines on it!) ... That's $1800 for a complete setup.

Buy the whole thing and I'll throw in a chinook mast base and universal for FREE and drop the package price to $1650. DUUUDDEEEE!

Hurry up before I change my mind!! ;-)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kanaha lost footage

Its amazing what goodies you can find on missing SD cards in the bottom of my bag.

Note - look for the background action and the surprise I had way out on the outside at Kanaha. ;-)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Color commentary

Today we're gonna up the webcast experience with color commentary from Giampaolo. This should be interesting to say the least. We're gonna get things started around 2:30pm HST - after all, GP and I need to get some sailing in before we camp out on the bluff. ;-)

So, if you have time, pop on over to and check out the action at Hookipa.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Damn good day

Nothing like it. First, sailed uppers/lowers lit on a 5.0 and an 82 liter JP Real World Wave from the great crew at Neil Pryde Maui. (Kevin, you ROCK!)

Then I packed up, and headed to Hookipa to do what GP thinks is the first ever webcast from Hookipa (yesterday's test doesn't count). Seriously, it was a Goyafest with Lalo, Pascale, etc. out on their Guru and Wave3D sails tearing it up. I camped out in GP's Maui Cruiser because of the rain squalls, but in the end, did over 2 hours of webcasting from the bluff with a pretty satisfied audience - sans Josh, who must have upset the streaming video gods somewhere along his path and was unable to participate.

My only regret is spending too much time behind the camera and not enough time in the surf. Yeah, rough life, eh? ;-)

Anyho - here's a quick video from my booms from my morning sesh.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Hookipa/Maui Webcasting!

Ok - streaming tests from Hookipa were ironed out today. Tomorrow we're gonna do a morning surfing webcast, and then an afternoon windsurfing livecast. Each video webcast will be for about two hours. We'll probably sneak in a kite stream on Sunday, but we'll see.

Everyone can join in on the live chat during the webcast, and anyone can message the camera operator (me!) and ask me to follow a particular rider, or inquire as to who's out there, etc. (hell, ask me to zoom in on some bikini hottie on the beach - I'm game!)

You can watch the streams at www.EpicSessions.TV

This is all still very beta - and we're working on the stream quality on the fly, so have some patience.

SATURDAY WEBCAST : 2:30PM HST from Hookipa. Forecast is for 25-30 knot NE winds, 11 foot windswell and 3 foot NW swell.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Gone in a flash

I arrived home to low clouds, impending rain, and no hope for a sunset. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed some pink in the clouds. Grabbing the camera, I dashed out onto the ice and snagged this shot. By the time I walked back inside, it was gone.

Roll the dice

After 20+ years of travel for sports that are almost 100% environmentally dependent on the outcome, the past 10 or so years I've adopted a new approach to taking these trips.

I decide "go/no go" at the last minute.

Really, I do. Sure it (can) cost more, but the reward is worth the added expense. Here's the rationale and how it works.

First, fix on a destination. Preferably multiple destinations. In this case, we'll go with Maui. Then, pick a "window" for travel. Typically this will be 2-3 weeks. Now, I'm not going for the entire time, but its a window of travel that I keep open and available. If you have accumulated any frequent flier miles, but are short on needed miles to get a full fare, check for "cash+miles" promotions - you'll be amazed at what you find. You can also set alerts for fare reductions on most travel websites - very handy.

Then start working ticket prices to find the "sweet spots" in the travel times. On the airline websites, select the "flexible date" options - typically +/- 3 days around a departure/arrival date. Map out the 2-3 week window and get a feel for when flights are cheap(est), from there, its all about watching the weather to catch epic conditions.

A few things you need to be flexible on. 1) crappy flight times. Cheap flights have bad departure/arrival times, sometime long layovers and weird routing. 2) sketchy lodging. 3) limited gear rental/availability depending on season and 4) crap airline seats next to an overweight, annoying tourist. Sure I usually get upgrades, but I've spent a ton of time on flights is crappy seats - who cares! I'm just happy to be there headed towards funville. ;-)

Oh, but the reward! Winter trips with days of powder, sailing trips with killer swell and more wind than you need. Sweet opportunities to get somewhere off the beaten path with a crew that makes the whole journey worthwhile.

The last time you were on a trip and got skunked - what if I said you could score epic conditions for an additional $200 for the entire trip?

Cheaper than a lift ticket and oh, so much better.

Go ahead, roll the dice and take your chances next time you schedule your trip months in advance. You might score, you might not. Use my method and score every time. ;-)

Here's the forecast for my trip tomorrow. It works for me!





East winds to 25 kt. Wind waves 14 ft. Northwest swell 4 ft. Scattered showers.

East winds to 25 kt. Wind waves 15 ft. Northwest swell 3 ft. Isolated showers.

East winds to 25 kt. Wind waves 13 to 14 ft. Northwest swell 4 to 5 ft. Isolated showers.

East winds to 25 kt. Wind waves 12 to 13 ft. Northwest swell 4 to 5 ft. Scattered showers.