Session 1: Everitt Park Dawn Patrol.
With the forecast so dang variable and with lots of rain to boot, I never felt confident that an afternoon blast would actually happen, or happen before dark. Add into the mix the fact that the LOOFS website I rely on is only updating once a day (due to the USA being closed for business or whatever absurdity is going on down there ;), I was doubtful, and felt the prudent thing to do would be to sneak in an hour sesh before my morning meeting.
It was decent! Really warm (for October), just 2mm suit required. Sailed full-on 4.2 Goya Guru in winds shifting from SE (no waves!) to ESE and improving waves. Just made the most out of the little time I had, enjoyed about 10 minutes of the orange morning sky when the sun poked through, packed up, and off to work!
A couple of my best moments here were getting a few one-off front-side hits. Why is this a big deal for me? Because I'm solid regular foot, that's why. I skateboarded regular foot, I snowboarded regular-foot. Regular-foot stance is so entrenched in my mechanics that getting hits on the starboard tack is monumental for me - it all feels so foreign, so I was pleased with getting a few hits that way.
Note to self: Dawn patrol in early October means 7 a.m., not 6 a.m., ya damn fool.
Annoying Interlude: Work
Yes, I work to make a living and when talking about windsurfing, 'annoying interlude' is a quite accurate description of work, or anything for that matter. I'll take it my boss will understand if he reads this.
My meeting wrapped up at 11:30 and I checked the web: LOOFS had updated (was looking epic - even some black arrows in the middle of the lake yeah!), and the Weather Network radar was showing rain clearing out of Picton area by 2pm. YES! Hit the road!
Session 2: Sandbanks Epic-ness.
We are fortunate enough to have Sandbanks Provincial Park dish out epic-ness a few times a year - sometimes more, sometimes less. This year, it's looking to be less than normal, but thankfully, at least we've now got one under the belt before the temperatures start to drop. Water is still nice and warm and the air temperature was solid at around 13C or so. The rain dissipated around 2p.m. and then it absolutely went off.
|Slash on a small-one.|
|Peter getting some airtime on 3.2!|
|Ilan on a small one near-shore.|
|Medium size long peeler. About 100m out was the place to hop aboard.|
By the time 4p.m. rolled around, the overpowering conditions started to take their toll. After my first real rest break, heading back out I totally floundered on the launch and found my arms cramping immediately once I finally made it out. I just kept at it since I felt was no where near ready to call it quits, and luckily that cramping vanished and I ripped as many waves as I could before needing another break about an hour later. Quite frankly, I thought I was done, but I went out again for round three, fought through the cramps that hit right away, and lasted probably another hour in blissful conditions.
|Local Joe holding down a 4.5 and charging those waves full-speed. Awesome!|
|Local Andrew getting dialed on the new RRD Quad|
The AfterGlow & AfterMath:
The afterglow from sessions like these is incredible. For me, it usually lasts a few days as reports, photos and tales of epic-ness begin to show up on the internet, to help relive the glory. Still completely sore, but a 'good' sore that only other windsurfers can understand. Only regret? Rushing off for the long tired drive. Definitely, we should have collected the gang, shared some burgers and beers! Next time...
|Didn't do much in the air (its all about the riding!), but hard to resist the odd loop.|
But the aftermath.... I wonder how John is doing, after crunching his foot? I wonder how many bandaids were used in patching up zebra mussel foot slices? Volume of Advil consumed? For me, I should consider myself fortunate that despite going full-on for 3-4 hrs on the water, my shoulders have come through just fine. I'm sore all over, my feet are sliced & diced, my hands are raw meat, I've definitely bruised a rib because merely living hurts, but the shoulders are fine! Bring out the champagne!! Maybe the worst is over for my 2-3yr adventures in shoulder tendonitis! Fingers crossed, knocked on wood, all that.
|Head-high peeler. These were ridable for 5-10 turns into the bay.|
A couple great videos! Thanks for capturing guys!
Photos on this page courtesy of Craig Butler and moi.