Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday ...Monday...

As long as I've been in the outdoor industry I've always seemed to have no work on Monday. Yesterday there was a very anticipated swell coming and all the crews from everywhere showed up.. I wasn't able to surf yesterday so I just chilled and didn't worry about it.
Monday for me.... whether at a ski area ... or on a river... or in the surf... always equals NO CROWDS!
I surfed the 11'0 SUP board from 8ish this morning till 2ish this afternoon with just a couple friends. Some old ..some new.
The feeling of surfing glassy head high surf with just a couple of friends, is something I wish I could bottle and give for birthday or holiday gifts!
I hope everyone had an awesome Monday,Stay tuned for the Next Monday Update.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Standup Boards

Went out on the New Demo Pearson Arrow 14' Coast Runner (Laird Model) for a bit today.
First impression was Fast and Stable! My up wind run had great glide and seemed effortless. I was using a quicker stoke and it felt like I was able to gain speed even up wind.
It felt very stable on edge and I was able to really dig in the rail to keep my direction.
With the wind at my back was where the magic happened! With one paddle stroke I was up on plane gliding faster than I have in the past. With each additional paddle stroke,Faster and Faster!
The efficiency and speed is for real.I've been on a few boards now and this thing is way different! I can't wait to get out on the open ocean. Stay Tuned.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Running Cool

Current tugs at the fin. My weight frees the nose from the shore and the board gathers speed down the river.

I must be a sight to see. Black and yellow legs stick out from under a bright orange cag with reflective tape. The hood is pulled tight and rain drips off the brim of my hat.

My paddle dips into the water. I am off. Water lapping up and under the front of the board has me fascinated for a while. Entranced, I have to push myself to look up.

Grasses bend in the wind. Held by the sight, I could stop and watch for the rest of existence. It would be joyful to provide witness for this place.

Sam joins me on the river. She is also bundled but nowhere near as garishly. We head towards Hix. The browns, reds, yellows and greens make this my favorite time of year.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How can I decide?

While instructing at OSKA, I find it important to test paddle every boat we carry. Fortunately, we sell Watertech! The first time I saw these Portuguese Surf Kayaks I could barely contain myself. Unwrapping the packaging, seeing the bright colors and smelling the cured fiberglass was almost to much to take!
Well, several months have past and with many hours of test surfing under my butt, I can say these boats are sweet. First of all, the Lucifer or "Lucy" for short is a dream girl. The fit is comfortable and once on a wave is ready to shred anything in her path. I've never surfed a boat that gets barreled so easily, this boat wants to be covered up. Truly a boat that makes my heart pump. Speedy is a little bigger in every dimension and boy, really fast down the line. Dropping in on a peak and accelerating down the face of a wave has never felt this way before. Now I know where they got the name, it gives you a chance to work on your cutbacks!
The 666 first and foremost, is an IC boat. But once you surf this boat the word soul comes to mind. The smooth take-offs, long drawn out graceful turns and predictability at speed lets my soul come to the surface. Once again, after a long tiring surf session, I feel whole again.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

8 seconds

The boat underneath me twitched. I left the beach and it felt like they had opened the chute. The brahma I was on exploding in every direction. All I could do was sit tight and wait for the buzzer.

Looking around, I wondered where the clowns were. Who was going to help me when it was time to get off? The bull started twisting left and I was forced to concentrate.

The world spun and suddenly I was on the arena floor or more accurately, under it. The bull had rolled and I was pinned. There hadn't been a buzzer.

I punched out and began collecting my things, swimming back to shore head lowered in shame.

I asked for a re-ride and was tossed again. It’s just not your day kid.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Northern Alliance

Where do I start????

Going to a contest with my surfing brethren has never been far from my mind. I've walked away from the thought of contest surfing because my bro's are simply some of the best "free surfers" I know. Perhaps the judges wouldn't see it the same way,and my guys would be deflated...... Well we did it.

I spoke to Carl and Sam to make sure we could even make the contest in Topsail,NC. With a bit of logistics managing the trip was a go. With little less than 5 days to pull off a team we got after it.Sure did make it easy when the pool of surfers is already World Class. Will Rich and Robbie Fisher are the free surfing guru's . I felt if we went to the contest , no doubt there would be some Podium action.

Thursday 9/24 Robbie and I left Little Compton at 3:37 pm . We still had some loading to do in Fall River and meet up with the Gus Outdoors marketing Guru. With that all done and our new Team hats provided by Gus Outdoors dot com , off to East Providence to pick up team guy Will.

No more than 11.5 minutes later we were on 95 south for aprox. 14 hours. Like a well oiled machine we drove all night. Serious weather conditions en route couldn't stop our team driver set up. One of us slept in back while a first officer and pilot kept the van and trailer moving. All night we had seamless, almost telepathic transitions till we made it to North Carolina's,Topsail Beach.

Early AM I awoke in the back of the van with Will in the the #1 seat and Robbie in #2 seat. Robbie greeted me as if we hadn't even been on the road for 850 miles. He filled me in on where we were and what had been going on since I climbed in back. About 15 minutes later we were staring out at a nice waist to head high well groomed swell!

After Breakfast and a trip to the visitor center we made our way to the comp. site. It was about 9:45 am at this point. North Carolina has great access points to the sea. We had made our way to Broadway Street access Surf City NC. Perfect waves no one out, we didn't waste much time. Friday was a practice day and we better get to know the spot.

North Carolina is very tide dependant. Low tide can be 4 foot and perfect and 3.5 hours later when the tide fills in the waves go FLAT! It is all sand bottom so sand bars have a lot to do with it. Team Osprey shared waves and smiled at each other. For those hours in time,no one on the planet was having more fun...FACT!!!

It wasn't all fun and games. Robbie,Will and I discussed strategy and the rules of competition. Surfed till about 5:00 ,practicing all four categories. The categories for this contest were: under 9ft(HP) over 9ft(IC,International Class) Waveski, SUP . We were entering every category. After practice , we found a nice condo and some ribs!

Early Saturday 9/26 woke at 5:00 and went to go get breakfast fixins. Of course I left some loud music on the IPOD when I left so the Boys new it was time to rise. Biscuits,Eggs,Potatoes,Coffee,and of course Protein Smoothies. We arrived at the comp. site registered and prepared for our heats.

So many proud moments as I watched and participated in advancing into semi final after semi final. This was suppose to be a one day comp but because of safety concerns the organizers opted to take a vote on continuing. Team Osprey voted to do "what ever" . The whole group decided to finish on Sunday.

Saturday's surf was fun. 3 foot with bigger sets and poor shape. We really had to surf well to make our Team stand out. I think we all did so well because we were having fun. It didn't seem like our Team felt any pressure. We just went out, heat after heat,smiling and assisting each other on the beach. After a long day of competing ,we made our way back to the condo and dinner.Sunday 9/27 more heats at 8:00 am. The well oiled machine Continued to post awesome heats and all advanced to the finals.

I haven't really spoke much about what was going on during the heats. Let me tell you , We were no doubt the hardest charging guys out there! No, none of us got a first in the finals. What we did do though was show the East Coast that the talent from the North is awesome. For myself it was nice to bring my friends to a comp 850 miles from our small town of Little Compton and show the guys who go to ALL the contest who we are.

We all stayed around for the awards and recieved really nice prizes. Shook the hands of our fellow competitors and began our 850 mile drive north. All night mile after mile I was so proud of Robbie and Will. Arriving back in The City of Compton early am on Monday 9/28. Will woke me with my favorite phrase..."Hey!!!The suns up and there are waves,lets go surfing!"

Monday, October 5, 2009

4000 miles short of a full trip

Dew sparkles in the morning light on both the lawn and the spider’s web hung from the drying line. A light fog gives way to the sun. The smell of fresh brewed coffee rises from the cup in my hand.

By contrast, the shop is dark. A troll sits at the end of the table, unmoving. He has been sick a few days and radiates unhappiness with the imperfect world he has to live in.

Carl, Sam and Rob arrive and we swing into action organizing boats and gear.

I cadge a few moments for fishing…the troll has piscine company after a bit.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

There's a mouse in your bucket dear Huffy, dear Huffy

I wake to a noise in the house. The sound happens again. I can’t identify it. It is 4am when I get out of bed and turn the lights on to see what’s what.

My gaze is torn from my Kindle to the view out the train window. The horizon starts maroon then shifts up into gold stopped only by deep, dark, blue clouds. Water is a very deep purple and houses are flat black cutouts.

As the train pull into North Station the wedge of sky beneath the clouds is solid gold, the water has turned an inky black and the clouds are now purple with orange wisps beneath.

I wake to a noise in the house. The sound continues for a while this time. It is 4am when I get out of bed and turn the lights on to see what’s what. A little mouse has fallen into my mop bucket and can’t get back out. Its bulging, pupil-less eyes seem to follow me as I move around. I go back to bed.

My gaze lifts from the Kindle. The horizon is gold, water is again black and the clouds a dark blue. I am one day closer to the weekend and a kayak.