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Who wants some swell surfing lessons in the Gorge?
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biffmalibu



Joined: 30 May 2008
Posts: 445

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:41 pm    Post subject: Who wants some swell surfing lessons in the Gorge? Reply with quote

I don't know if anybody is teaching anything like this in the Gorge. So it has occurred to me to see if anybody wants to learn some extra relatively low-impact windsurfing skills in order to increase enjoyment of the sport. Specifically, going at 90 degree angles to most windsurfers' ("lawn-mowing") pathways.

Topics I will cover:
Safety considerations and recommendations.
Weather considerations and location of ridable swell.
Rigging for riding swell.
Techniques for surfing swell (includes harness lines, feet position, footstrap usage, walking the board, sweet spot location, etc.).
Stuff I can't think of right now.

This would be for intermediate to advanced windsurfers.
Send me a private message if you are interested. Thank you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCgahgIoOjs
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19369

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't that a blast? I was sailing north and south at the Hatchery one fine but very crowded day when a guy crossed my bow heading straight upriver just feet in front of me. My first split-second reaction was alarm, but before it even registered I realized he knew what he was doing. He went right through the best -- and thus totally packed -- swell with his head swiveling, tweaking his path right and left just enough to put a few feet between hulls as boards shot across his bow or stern ... or he shot across theirs ... it's semantics in a zoo like that. I've got to believe he triggered some crashes or even collisions, alarmed countless WSing tourists, possibly even hit someone sooner or later, but it all just goes to illustrate the golden rule of a world-class venue: if ya can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

It's also a great self-rescue or recovery skill. I got caught miles upwind one day when the wind ramped WAY up and stayed there. That skill made the return trip so much fun -- very powered even planing dead downwind -- that I went back upwind to do it again. Now a large percentage of my WSing is in that mode. It gives any of us much more confidence and competence in big waters and can be learned in one session, unlike most tricks.

I notice you're not hooked in. It sounds riskier, but I haven't crashed yet doing it hooked in so it must not be that risky and it sure keeps the arms fresher.
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windoggie



Joined: 22 Feb 2002
Posts: 2721

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow Mr Bars! Tell us some more stories about YOU!
_________________
/w\
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surfersteve



Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 183

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't there some rule that says you have to have at least 5% of your post relevant to the previous ones in the subject matter?
It might be time for Mitch Gingrich to write another piece on our local Michener.
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willysurf



Joined: 08 Sep 2003
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Who wants some swell surfing lessons in the Gorge? Reply with quote

biffmalibu wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCgahgIoOjs


Ummm...you might want to post of a video of yourself sailing in the Gorge rather than someone else sailing in the Bay area when advertising your "services." That video is Kevin Kan from San Fran.

Also, Isobars, please give it a rest. No one is interested in your "tips" or delusions of your sailing prowess.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19369

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Prowess"? Sailing downwind? Isn't that like calling the head dip "prowess"? And isn't motivating people to learn to do it directly responsive to the OP's offer to teach it?

You guys are trying too hard to bash me, with nothing to go on. It looks just plain silly.

I can't believe people will devote a whole season or three to learning another useless Stupid Pet Trick, but imply that running before the wind is some showy magical stunt beyond their reach. It's like saying that wave boards won't go upwind or won't carve 90 degrees with just foot pressure. OF COURSE they won't ... unless, of course, one actually TRIES IT.
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biffmalibu



Joined: 30 May 2008
Posts: 445

PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Willysurf,
I never claimed that was me. And it's obviously not the Gorge either. However, it is a very good example of a swell surfer. And I hope it gets somebody excited to do it. I hope Keven gets famous; I never want to be famous.

If anybody else wants to be and feel snarky and morally-superior, man up and send me a private message. Thanks.
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Bond1



Joined: 25 Apr 2000
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been practicing this technique in the Gorge since 1990. I rememeber the day I discovered it. You're right, it can really add to the enjoyment of sailing. In fact I doubt I'd still be sailing if it weren't for this type of turn. If I can't link turns like this I get bored.

It's also a great way to hide from the wind on big days and extend your sailing session. While it looks like it requires energy because you're out of the harness, and in my case out of the back strap, the load on the sail virtually disappears and everything just kinda slows down.

I posted a video a few years ago showing this technique from a GoPro but it's not so easy to understand what you're looking at.

I've always wished to see more sailors doing this. Good luck finding interested students.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19369

PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done it on a strapless board (a windSUP), but only out of desperation. When powered to the max, which is often necessary if planing straight downwind, the only thing between me and a high-speed hooked-in faceplant (and potentially a crushed front foot arch) when hit by big gusts is having that back foot nailed to the board. I also use that foot for instantaneous heel'n'toe steering as the gusts double or halve the power within one second. I.E., when a big square-edged gust hits, I must instantly bear off to dead downwind if I'm to control that power and protect my pretty face (if hooked in) or my shoulder integrity (if unhooked). Then when that gust gets replaced by a lull three seconds later, I need to come back up 5 or 45 degrees to either side to regain apparent wind. It's all a dance between too much throttle (pointing too far up from dead downwind) and not enough throttle (trying to run straight downwind when the wind is better suited to a beam reach). On gusty days, reaction time often needs to be too quick to be moving that back foot around on the deck. Plantarflexing and dorsiflexing are much quicker, I don't have Wyatt's skill, and a crushed arch can end one's sailing permanently.

Again, that's on narrow boards. On my much wider windSUP, I had to walk all over the deck, greatly impairing the experience and producing frequent tumbles. I wouldn't dare hook in in gusty winds when running downwind on that strapless board.
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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 2282
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Biff,

Here's an old piece of my video (posted before). Use this video
(if you like) to help explain (this is in the Gorge ;*) ) .

I warn you though, once people find out how fun this is, virgin swells
may be hard to come by!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HafXfAs-00w

-Craig


Last edited by cgoudie1 on Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:56 am; edited 2 times in total
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