Sunday, November 01, 2015

SBX finally delivers.

It has not been a great year around these parts, but Thursday delivered some strong winds finally to get one notch on the Mac's belt for 2015.  Nic Chapleau came to do some photo and video and here is the fruit of his labour. Thank you Nic!

Direct Link:

A Windy SBX Windsurf Session from Nicolas Chapleau on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Can you?

How would you describe the feeling you get from a good top-turn?

A Deep-Thoughts moment, by Jack Handy...

I read a few comments today on where there is a bit of a debate between why people would choose to sail at Outlet Beach (yesterday) when they could have been sailing at Mac's (and vice versa).  Obviously, the usual logic applies and answers the question, sortof - everyone is different, personal choice etc... - but fundamentally I think the comparison is between the beach (bigger waves = bigger air (debatable), cleaner(?), but generally backside riding or one-hit wonders) and Upper Mac's (smaller waves = less air, cleaner(?), and wrapping waves that produce conditions that approach sideshore DTL).  Trying to pin point the differences isn't really the objective here, but there are clearly differences, and I'd sum it up by saying;  beach = backside, Mac's = frontside.  But, I am biased.

For me, since first sailing Mac's nearly 10 years ago, I don't think I've ever gone back to the beach.  It has always been about the frontside.  Nothing comes even close in windsurfing to the feeling I get from a good top-turn, except multiple good top-turns on the same wave.  Nothing comes even close in any other sport for me.  Backside cuts aren't even on the same map. Jumps, not even close. I could care less if the wave is 1/4 the size, a nice full-power aggro frontside hit beats a backside hack any day of the week, and that is why I've never gone back to the beach.  I know a lot of you other Mac's regulars feel the same way, maybe not to the same extent, but probably.

So, how would you describe to a friend, sailor or not, that feeling you get from it?  I challenge you, because I don't think I can put the right words to it.  Maybe I need a thesaurus, or an education involving bigger words & fewer numbers.  Can you?

Monday, August 24, 2015


They were forecasting good wind for today, like, a week ago or so.  But for the last few days, not a whole lot.  Well, lo and behold, it was one of them good old Kingston thermal days that seem more and more rare all the time!  Took a few hours of vacation time and sailed 4.7 with the 105 for about 3 hours.

Experimented quite a bit with shakas today.  Numerous attempts, some decent, some terrible, but slowly starting to figure them out.  Seems like I am perhaps going back on the word to try pushies, but while there were some fun waves out there, it was not a pushy day.  The big ramps were just not there.

On the shakas, I am having trouble with rotation.  I'm not exactly having any success turning into the wind at all.  I think this could be one of two problems or both.  Either I am not committing and throwing my body over the sail enough to get it flat, or, perhaps more importantly, I am not keeping my backhand sheeted in enough. ???

Any shaka-doers out there have any advice to help promote rotation into the wind.

I think its going to be something like this:
Solid 4.7 or 5.3 day - work on shakas
Solid 4.2 or smaller - get some pushloop tries in.

Giddy up!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

OMS Update

Two posts in three days OMG!  What has gotten into me?  I guess I can attribute that to a great session just a couple days ago which brings the stoke level up!

I notice that my post on Old Man Syndrome from a few years ago probably got the most comments of any of my posts.  Thank you for reading and thank you for commenting!

I thought I'd give an update.  Anyone who knows me or has faithfully read this highly-intermittent blog will be aware that I have been suffering from chronic shoulder tendonitis in both sides for almost 5 years now.  Well, it certainly is not gone, but it has improved quite a bit.  How?  I'll tell you.

In my 20's, pre-family, pre-maturity, my life was essentially focused on living for two sports - climbing and windsurfing.  I think they complimented each other quite well.  I was injured from time to time, from one or the other, but while I cannot say I was in great shape on the whole, my shoulders & arms were generally in great shape, for me.  I could happily sail 4-5hrs nearly straight before cramping, which I thought was pretty decent at the time as I outlasted most people on the water and was constantly trying tricks the whole time.

In my 30's, life changed.  I met a great gal, traveled a bit and came home with a couple additions to the family.  Around this time, several things happened.  I stopped climbing, as it just didn't fit life very well.  I got a desk job that is 99%+ desk work.  I was a parent, so time to fulfill my active needs decreased a lot.  The only thing I hoarded was time for myself to windsurf.  During this time, through bad posture, reduced physical activity and much less arm/shoulder use, combined with windsurf-only shoulder activity, things went off the rails.

Part of me had a wee sneaking suspicion that if I could just get to the gym and start working out (without having the tendonitis flare up), I should see some improvement.  But, two things:  1) I don't like gyms (never have, never will) and 2) I could not get the pain to subside.  That took a long, long time.

This winter, things got much better.  Towards the end of last fall's windsurf season, I was a mess.  But through massage, stretching & rubber-band exercises from my physio, plus daily icing, attention to posture, etc... etc.. I made it through into this past winter pain free with most normal unloaded or minimally loaded arm movements.  Some good friends of mine were planning to start a weekly guys-night-out to the local climbing gym, so I started to tag along.  I took it super easy at first, iced/stretched like crazy afterwards, but soon enough, I was starting to make it through each week without having to endure a week, or a few days of pain.  I could climb, and be pain free.  I could ice-climb, and be pain free.  To this day, I can still climb, and be (almost) pain free.  If I take the time to warm up, stretch a bit afterwards, and ice, I am usually good to go, and climbing at a happy-for-me level (just 5.9-5.10 max, for you climbers out there).

I think despite all the advice I got, diagnoses I received, treatments done, I didn't listen to my own brain, which kinda had that suspicion that all that shoulder mess was simply due to a massive muscle imbalance that evolved due to a number of factors.  Thankfully, through those treatments, diagnoses, etc... I managed to get pain free long enough to get back to climbing, and the multi-directional strengthening it offers which presumably has regained better muscle balance and support for the joint.  Windsurfing, I think, is just too uni-directional when it comes to forces on the shoulders.

So, that is the update.  OMS?  Well sure, I still feel it, I'm still not sailing 4-5 hours straight any more, but managing 3-4 hours anyway and improving all the time.  I think this blissful state of emerging from a long bout with shoulder issues has got me AMPED and has lead me to my Quest for Pushies!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Quest for Pushies

I haven't written anything on this blog for a long time!  I guess I've been getting frustrated with the ever reducing amount of good wind we get here in Kingston, as well as getting a bit bored with it.

I think I have the cure - I need to learn a new trick!

There are a number of tricks I've been pining over for some time, the threesome of flakas, shakas and push loops.  We'll, I am hellbent on ticking one of those this year, and its going to be pushloops.  I think the flakas and shakas need a lot more time, effort and fine tuning of movements, etc... and I just don't get the time on the water anymore.  Pushloops?  Well, I know how to do them (or at least I think I do), it's just HOLDING ON part that I need to work on.  I've gotten too use to bailing.

So, I will reinvigorate this blog with my quest for pushloops!

Had a great session today by the way.  Nice waves at Everitt and solid 4.2 for 4 hours did the trick.

If you read this, then thank you very very much for following my blog and forgiving my 16 month absence.

I have also decided to get myself a 6.0 again.  I've stubbornly refused for years after living in NZ to get a 6.0, but I think the time has come.  6.0 Banzai!  Spring 2016.