Monday, November 17, 2008

Military style

RMC is short for Royal Military College. Its located in Kingston, bounded between the Cataraqui River outlet to the west and Navy Bay to the east. They've got a really cool little windsurfing club - lots of enthusiasm, lots of keen participants and a sweet as club house: The RMC Windsurf Club.

Picture this: It's cold and rainy, but frickin' windy. Not exactly inviting. But RMC is totally THE place. The club house is part of a maintenance building: heated, sliding garage doors on the back (to get gear in) and on the front by the water (to get out), showers, rigging space... It's blissful. Not to mention the floating dock which makes it dead-easy to get in and out - your feet never have to touch bottom! And in Kingston, that is a big deal.

Anyway, long story short, sailed there last thursday on an extended lunch break with my friend Greg (RMC club VP) - about 10°C, pissing rain and 25-30kt southerlies. A totally fun spot. The reach across the little bay can't be more than 200m, so its a bit tough to find ramps coming into the bay on such 'short notice'. But it was certainly working well on Thursday and I finally got the chance to rejuvinate my shove-its in strong winds. It is SO much easier in strong winds than on big gear. I also claim my first waterstart-out (feet-in) Wymaroo!! Stoked on that.

I love that place! Kudos to RMC for having such a neat club and lots of energy to go with it. Thanks to Greg for the photos.

This could be the last session of the year. Nothing but -ve temps in the forecast until next weekend. Sunday has some promise, but highs of 3-4C. Fingers crossed for southerlies!!! Otherwise, done. :(

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Better late than never.

I've been back and forth to Sandbanks a number of times this fall hoping to score one of them gem sessions that the place CAN deliver. Unfortunately, amongst the bad calls on my part, bad forecasts and ultimately the lack of strong winds this fall, I've never managed to get it... until yesterday.

My cold weather tolerance is definitely on the decline. It was 5C and 25-30knots and had blown reasonably strong from the SW since a day before. Was it good? It was awesome!! Bummer about the cold and finger that seems to have frost damage...

It was a great time sharing waves with some mates from Montreal. Those guys have a ton of passion, will to drive for conditions and resilience to cold. We started at Outlet Beach and sailed in some side-on conditions for a while. The cold and gloves quickly sap the strength though... A couple hours later, we packed it up and went to MacDonald's farm.

Let me tell you about MacDonald's farm: We should have gone there right from the start. When its working, that place rocks - and it WAS working. Down-the-line bliss.

Geek Coastal Engineering talk:
Simply based on the size of the Great Lakes alone, it is actually impossible to find true side-shore conditions, since we actually don't get true 'swell', as it is often called by many. In engineering terms, 'swell' is a term to describe waves that result from distant storms that travel large distances to hit shore. The Lakes, while big, are not big enough to get swell, but we get 'locally generated seas', which are waves that result from storms/winds on the spot. Because 'seas' are created that way, the wind and waves go in the same direction, contrary to say Maui, where swell comes straight in from the north and winds come from the east = sideshore. The only way we can get sideshore conditions in Lake Ontario is with the added effect of wave diffraction (or wrapping), based on shoreline features and effect. This is what happens at MacD's.

So, yup, we arrive, rig and feast like pigs on probably one of the only front-side days any of us will get all year. It is a true shame it is such a rarity. Give me once a week on 4.7 at Mac's and shit - I'm picking up and moving right there.

OK, yeah I admit, it ain't Maui and not even close, but for a bunch of kooks from Ontario and Quebec, it feels pretty damn incredible.

Did I mention it was cold?

Props to the Montreal crew - Amine, Hugues, Ilan, Jean-Francois and Christian - for a great time.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Kingston Freestyle Jam

Oh yeah, I forgot to report on the Freestyle Jam held back in late September...

First things first! We magically got wind on that weekend! Brilliant - a legit comp could be run. It was a breezy SSW wind, just enough south in it to know it would die before noon. Getting a bunch of childless 18-20yr olds up and going before 9am seems to be a big challenge, but it happened. Heats were starting by 9am!

The chosen location was Emily St, just for that added bit of exposure to be had there, over last years site - RMC. It was blowing about 20kts, enough for everyone to be on 5.0, give or take. In the end, there were about 12 competitors, most under 20, with Zeni and myself capping off the older crew, me taking the lead as the most geriatric.

Well, it went off great! Everyone was busting moves left right and centre. Emily is a bit challenging with large, closely spaced chop coming in on the SSW - very difficult to find a flat patch for anything. Regardless, Phil Soltysiak was out there busting his top-of-the-line pro-level moves when us mere mortals were just trying to stick a damn spock already...

What can I say but to congratulate Phil and his buddies for putting on this event and to come complete with more energy and enthusiasm than this City has seen at Emily St since the 1983 Worlds. Choice!

In the end, Phil took the victory with this old kook in second. The official report can be seen here. Mikael Breuvart took first place honours in the pro-kids division. Congrats to Mikael for taking home a nice Sailworks Revo 5.6 and winning the highly-versatile 45L waveboard. ;)

Fun times for sure.

Oh, and thanks to the various photographers from which I have pinched photos.

Monday, November 03, 2008

2008 - The year that Wasn't.

Man, 2008 has been a tough one around here. Usually the fall has the uncanny ability to remind us that you CAN actually get strong winds around here. It's been really wierd - Kingston - often the place that gets those strong winds the most has barely been the recipient of a single gale lashing yet, and it is now November. Quebec/Vermont have been getting the goods, and shit, even Erie and Huron. For some reason, there have been some big fat systems that just seem to pass us by, or, crank during the night.

Oh well, just gotta move on. Winter is coming, as is my family's trip to Costa Rica. Stoked on that and looking forward to my token week in Arenal. Fingers are crossed for crankage. Aside from that, who knows where 2009 will lead us.

Just to make sure this post isn't completely baron of footage, here are a couple shots of my boys ripping it up on Halloween.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Black Shot...

A new move by Boujmaa - it's being called a crazy-pete into switch forward. Pretty neat stuff, but I'm not sure that he sticks any of these in the video (the attempt(s) start around 1:10) - rotation appears to be way out of control. It would be neat to see one landed!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fall is here, and with it the winds!

Finally we are getting some sailing!! YEAH!

Last friday was decent 4.7 at Everitt on strong but gusty southerlies. Monday was solid 4.7 WSW at Ellerbeck. Fun stuff. I love the 4.7/105L Goya X1 combo - everything just seems easier when powered up on that sail & board. No luck on flakas, but the forwards were meaty and the spocks were flowing...

Good winds in the forecast too for Friday and Sunday. The Kingston Freestyle Jam is probably going to go this weekend, so that should be a fun time getting whooped by Phil Soltysiak and watching his switch and double wizardry.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Timing is everything...

With the spotty conditions we've had all summer, we've all been busting at the seams to jump on any spike of wind that comes our way. I am no different, and I reckon I am one of the ones experiencing the most seizures and convulsions from the disappearance of el viento.

It blew all night something fierce at Sandbanks. Upwards of 35kts. I think by buddy Max was there with his son - I hope they were well tucked in the dunes with their tent last night, since it is liable to have been ripped out from underneath them.

The wind came out of no where, I don't think anyone really knew it was coming - we've all abandoned our regular checks of the forecast.

Sure enough, the keener could have been out here in Kingston first thing in the a.m. to score a bit of a session out at Everitt Pt.

But alas, the timing was not right, and the chronicles of being a Dad continue. Jalen has been under the weather and sleeping horribly, putting untold sleep deprivation on his mother. So, when Bradley woke up at 6:45 this morning, I spent a bit of time with him so Mommy could catch a few more zzz's with Jalen.

I must say, spending some quality time one on one time with Bradley... the trees ruffling outside... didn't even phase me. I wonder if I would say the same thing if it was Saturday afternoon on a mid-summer day. Well... that might be a stretch.

What an awesome little family I've got. I feel extremely lucky.

On a less fortunate note, we had to cancel our cottage trip this long weekend cuz the boys aren't feeling to hot. Well, there's always next weekend! We'll be hitting the canoe for 2 nights at Big Gull Lake. Stoked for that!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Can you say hilarious?!

Oh my god this is absolutely piss-your-pants funny... and dare I say pertinent to this blog?!

Thanks to the Vancouver Island nuts for digging up this gem.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Wish I could say there was some news from Kingston, but this summer has been absolutely brutal in terms of wind. Barely had anything at all. Fingers crossed for a good fall!

In the meantime, here's a great new flick from Paskowski:

Saturday, August 09, 2008

540's 100% hit rate!

Today's was a brilliant session. Rigged the 5.3 in 15kts, got planing twice and shlogged the rest. The brilliant part about having such little opportunity to try tricks is that when you actually nail one, it certainly makes the completion rate stats go through the roof! One attempt today, one hit.

Maybe we'll get some wind in September.

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Gorge

Great little video from early July 2008 at the Gorge, by Trudy Lary. Incredible aerial and freestyle action from the Gorge regulars - the Poors, Ascanio, Warwick & Miller, and Quatro/Goya Rider - Jake Miller.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

So, you like big air?

So does this young lad: Philip Koester - 14yr old stand out at the recent Pozo event. Tight for time? Advance to 1:05 in this video of the expression session.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


A huge thanks to Scott MacDonald for taking a great sunset shot of me sailing in Avon, North Carolina, just off Big Island. Windsport picked up the photo and put it in their Forecast section of the lastest edition - a sweet two page spread. Hopefully Scott and I will be able to do a bit more collaboration in the future.

Photo credit: Scott MacDonald. Photo of the photo credit: Scott MacDonald....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Da boys...

This blog ain't only about windsurfing... but also the transition to dad-hood. Well, obviously that transition was more of an instantaneous occurence, but now comes the transition of getting Bradley and Jalen into surfing, windsurfing, or heck... even kiting...

They are closing in on 1.5yrs old now, so I reckon the time to talk in months is over. We spent the Canada Day long weekend with some good friends in Quebec, at their cottage on Blue Sea Lake near Maniwaki. Great times, less than ideal weather, lots of beer... FUN!

On Canada Day, the sun finally came out and we spent the day on the back dock with the kiddies. Stoked at the opportunity, out came the ol' Bic Dufour Wing and a paddle. Here's a couple fun shots!

The boys definitely like the water! So that is a step in the right direction. I have to be extra sensitive not to promote these sports too much, otherwise next thing you know, they'll want to play baseball or some other dumb-as kookery like that. Must be very careful...

Love it...

Now I certainly ain't anti-kite or anything like that... but I do find it entertaining how kite-converts find the need to spew about it religiously like Jehovah's Witnesses at your front door, trying to buy over the remaining hold-outs. Saying that, I will probably even try it some day and like it.

In my view, kiting is to windsurfing as snowboarding is to skiing. I like skiing and I like snowboarding, but snowboarding is no doubt far easier to learn and to improve rapidly. Skiing takes a while.

I reckon kiting is similar in that regard. Certainly in this area, it has drawn several individuals from windsurfing who had plateau-ed so to speak... and those who prefer the ability to learn moves quicker than working at them for a (long) while. I hypothosize and generalize for sure... and its not meant as an insult in anyway. In a place like Kingston where sessions are far and few, it takes bloody ages... At least kiters get more time on the water than us windsurfers and that is definitely going to help their learning curve too!

Well, it took a while, but finally, probably due to a pretty heated rivalry between some prominent Hatteras locals, a rebuttal to those lame 'Windsurfing has been cancelled' stickers:

Source: The Peconic Puffin

Thursday, June 26, 2008

PWA Live Ticker

The PWA freestyle event in Lanzarote is going off at the moment. Lots of wind with the top freestylers in the world going head to head. I guess for someone who loves windsurfing, the PWA live ticker and video clips are as good as it gets for live coverage... a real shame that is all we get.

Definitely biased, but I just don't see how watching a lame-as baseball game can even compare to the action one can witness in the strong wind and waves. Sheesh! Get this stuff on prime time! And whatever happened to coverage by High.TV!

I am definitely a techy and love to figure out the tricks these pros are pulling. Probably the most insane thing has got to be Kiri Thode's Air Funnel. The trend seems to be to take some frickin' hard slidey freestyle moves and complete them in the air. I like it!!

Amongst those competing is Canada's own Phil Soltysiak. Tune in and cheer for Phil from the comfort of your office desk! Go Phil!!

Photos nabbed from PWA/John Carter

Friday, June 06, 2008

Damn those summer doldrums

Yup, it is starting early. The summer doldrums. The endless weeks that go by without a decent session. This weekend is also the first of many hazy, smoggy, and humid periods to come. Synonymous with thermal killing.

Hate to publish negative posts... but sheesh! Give me a good session already! ARGH!!!

Time to brush up the geckos.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Costa Rica

It's booked. We are going. Seven weeks - Dec6 to Jan24. Stoked.

I've got a week-pass to get to Arenal and sail my ass off for 7 days straight. Cheers to honking conditions.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wymaroo for Yoo!

Man, learning these freestyle tricks seems to take ages! Sure, I can admit I am aging and not quite as aggressive and maleable as I may have once been, but sheesh! Wymaroo's for example. To be honest, this is one trick I have never invested too much into, but one of my good mates in New Zealand was awesome at them - the one and only Gary McCorry - frequent darkhorse to the Wellington Freewave series (actually, dark horse is not the right terminology - there is no question Gary has the goods to win those events, its whether or not he will show up!).

This past monday, I gave a couple more a shot with some decent winds for 5.3 and freestyle board. The problem? Well, take a look at the neat photo sequence that Thomas Dagg put together. I'd say, making a generalization to that sequence - it just looks like I am not investing in the trick, not throwing hard enough. I have compared my position to other pro sailors wymaroo videos care of Continent Seven, take Diony Guadagnino for example. He looks 100% committed through the whole move. In comparison, I look like a 9-5'er stuck at work on a Monday morning - lifeless and half asleep. Brutal. Summary: Kick in the ass: Wake up and give'r 100%, lots of speed and total committment. Next time I will own that trick!! ;)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Grand Finale at Ego Beach

There was a fitting end to our stay in Hatteras.

Thursday was a cruisy 25kts all morning and into early afternoon. Sailed my 4.7 and X1 in the sound, working on flakas and switch stance sailing. Damn those flakas are hard! Seems like as hard as I try, I cannot make any progress. Weird thing is, I even seem to think I know what I am doing wrong - I am just incapable of telling my body what to do differently. DAMN! Sailed with Amine for a while and definitely enjoy the comraderie out there on the water when trying to progress tricks!

Friday was the icing on the cake. Started off ripping winds in the sound. I drove by Jonathan Newmans and Scott MacDonald's house down in the south end of Avon and roused the crew. We were off to Ego Beach, all eager for some wave sailing. First hop over the dunes revealed conditions far far less windy that what was happening on the sound - which was definitely 35kts+, but, a lot more fun! Rigged 4.7 & Wave 76 and sailed some of my first down the line conditions in a long time. I was SO tired from the day before, and it seems Jon and Scott were also getting their strength sapped from donning our rubber suits. The sound is considerably warmer and only on a couple occassions did I wear a shorty. A full suit was definitely the call on the ocean-side - water was reportedly sub 60°F.

What can I say other than an awesome session! Scored some of my best wave rides there ever! Had a few where I managed to connect 4-5turns and even pop the odd aerial! It was excellent. The wind later would notch up 5kts and also turn side-off. I feasted for a while on that with my 4.1 but was ultimately out of gas. Where is a Red Bull when you need it?!

Photos all courtesy of Steve Slaby. Thanks Steve!

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Definitely having a great time in Cape Hatteras. Winds have been good from my point of view. Lots of 5.3 freestyle on the sound, many times well into the dark. Cheryl has been awesome in letting me get my fill. Saying that, I've also had some equally awesome times on the beach with the family. Bradley is totally into the water and waves running up the beach. Jalen is still a wee bit freaked by it all. They love playing in the sand which makes me a proud daddy. Nothing better than getting the lads hooked on the beach!

Today is damn windy. Well, damn windy in that it is to blow all day. I've already sailed my 4.7 for 3hrs straight this morning, now taking a rest for the late arvo session. Scott has lined up a photoshoot with the Windsurfing Mag guys, so I am hoping to join in for that later on today. Scott and I did a couple of photoshoots over our two weeks here. One at the Canadian Hole and one off the Big Island near our place here in Avon. Check out Scott's Blog for some samples.

Tomorrow, our last day, is also looking primo with near gale force winds forecasted for the day. Should be good. Unfortunately, no swell is forecast along with it, but still might be worth one go on the ocean-side. We're heading back on Saturday, and it will be back to work. ARGH!

Friday, April 25, 2008

First big car trip with the lads.

This is going to be interesting. 14 hour drive down to the Cape, 1 fully overloaded car, 2 x 15month old boys. I reckon we'll be doing a lot of stopping to let the boys vent their frustration from being strapped down. They don't handle restraint very well.

As long as I can remember, arrival in Hatteras was immediately followed by a good session, regardless of the wind. This will be the first time a grocery trip takes precedence. ARGH!

Sounds like some Ottawa sailing buddies will be down at the sametime, including up'n'coming action photographer Scott MacDonald. Hopefully we have some time to collaborate on some projects together. Strong SW is forecast for later next week (how do they forecast that far ahead? i.e. how on earth do they expect to get that right when they can't get tomorrow right). Looking forward to getting thrashed at Ego Beach.

I hope I don't forget to pickup my gear on the way past Watertown. That would suck. ;)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I like it. I like it alot...

The '08 Quatro 76. Looking forward to stepping on this one in some Hatteras waves.

'08 Goya W3D's, 6.2, 5.3, 4.7, 4.1. Can't wait.

All of it stuck in a storage lock-up in Watertown til Hatteras. So, if it blows in Kingston before April 26, it better blow 3.7 since that is all I have left in Kingston.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Costa Rica next winter... SHWEET!!

Well, this can't quite compare to the CrankyWindsurfer's recent revelation and movements towards personal fulfilment, but I'm working on it. Having just signed on a permanent basis at work, which was a difficult thing to do, with that 4wk vacation limitation - Ericks comments definitely ring home.

Life is short and you gotta enjoy it. That was certainly a factor contributing to our 2 years in New Zealand. Anyway, a request upon contract signing was the go ahead to take two months off next winter to explore Costa Rica with my family. And the go ahead I did indeed receive. It's on!! Let the planning begin...

No doubt it will not be a pure windsurfing trip, but more of a family immersion into Costa Rican culture, lifestyle and language. The boys will just be turning two after our return home, so no better time to capitalize on their cheap airfare than to escape the onset of winter in Canada. We will hit Lago Arenal for a couple weeks in December, but aside from that, we'll be immersed in various places, learning spanish, exploring the lush forests and lounging on the beaches, exposing our wee lads to a new amazing place, not to mention catching the odd wave on a surf board.


Friday, February 29, 2008

New kit on the way!

Yeah! A big fat Fedex shipment is on its way with a new Quatro wave stick and a few new '08 Goya W3D's, plus a new make boom to test. Stoked!

Here's a photo of Mr. Goya himself showing how these sails are meant to be ridden.


Check out this new video from Canadian windsurfer Phil Soltysiak training in El Yaque. Best of luck to Phil on the 2008 PWA Freestyle tour!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

For Sale...

I've got a few bits and pieces for sale. Here's the start of the list:

2007 Quatro Wave 76 - $1075. This stick is a sweet ride and in near mint condition. Buy me!

2007 Goya Wave 5.3 - $450. A nice grunty wave sail with full X-ply. Rigs on a 400 (rec'd) or 430 (with some turban). Red/Black. Good condition.

What else...
Hm, might have a couple nice Streamlined standard diameter extensions for sale, maybe a smaller MFC USbox wave fin... small junk North Comp boom. I have accumulated a few bits and pieces. If you are looking for something in particular, just ask.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Goals for 2008.

It's winter, there is nothing to do but dream of tricks. What are your goals for the year?

For me, the goals are the same as they have been for the last 3 years. I failed miserably to learn these in NZ, so I have no idea how I will find the time here in North America.

Flakas. Shakas. Pushloops. Big forwards.

That's all. I'm not asking much eh?

Flaka attempts messed up my shoulder in the fall and it is still in bad shape. Amazing how switching to an underhand grip with the front hand would have prevented it all. Wierd anatomics.

Shakas - I don't think they are as hard as they look. I made one in NZ, but haven't had much luck since. They are SO cool looking. I'm all over them this year, in fact, I'll take them happily over flakas...

Pushloops. Just needs some conditions to try them, which seem to alude us here in Canada all the time.

BIG forwards. Yes, I became a wimp after dinging my MCL in the Gorge on a flat landing. Stalled big forwards. Yup.

What are your goals? Have a great 2008 where ever you are with lots of wind and waves!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Grubby in the Gorge

My buddy Greg got this short Grubby clip from a trip to the Gorge in 2004. I just started nailing them that year and utter bewilderment usually set-in after realizing I finally landed another one.

Monday, February 04, 2008

MFC Fins!

Looks like Pio will be hooking me up with MFC! Thanks Pio!
Now all I need is for all this damn snow and ice to melt...

Friday, February 01, 2008

Off-Topic: Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is some neat stuff. While in NZ, I spent five weeks 'interning' at EcoInnovation in Taranaki. It was very interesting and has stoked my fire to get into the industry in the long run. Not sure how it will be done, but it will be done.

Anyway, just trying to keep abreast of developments. My good buddy Craig emailed me a few links. As someone who likes to be well informed, Craig does a lot of reading and is probably my best portal to neat projects like these.

Take a look at them if you are interested.
- NanoSolar - Huge potential in the field of photovoltaics.
- Magenn - A pretty innovative wind turbine idea.
- ThermoEnergy - Clean coal burning?!?! OK, it's not renewable, but very pertinent!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ahh winter...

For sure, winter is a period of adjustment, and a period of relaxation.

The transition into winter is definitely a challenging time - hanging up the water toys for the ice tools and skates. For a few months, its a challenge to get into the different forms of substandard activities. On the other hand, the stress levels drop massively.

And why? All of a sudden, the anxiety of chasing the sporadic wind forcasts, rescheduling this and that, and racing home to rack up has all of a sudden vanished. The water is rock hard, the snow has fallen and one must give into the white stuff, and re-focus on the more important things.

No doubt it's a time design by mother nature to rack up the brownie points with the wife for stockpiling next summers day passes.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Hatteras trip planned

Stoked that the family and I are heading down to the Outer Banks in late April for a couple of weeks! I've got my fingers crossed that we score a solid combo of nice weather with lighter winds for puttering with the boys, and some nasty fronts pushing in the heavy winds and swell. We shall see!