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1
General Discussion / Re: GPS Follow Me Drones
« on: Today at 12:49:04 AM »
I ended up buying the DJI Mavic Air 2 a few months back.  After a morning Wing session and some lunch, I was completely roached.  Droning seemed like a great afternoon, and it was.  I headed down to the beach and it was blowing 30 with top gusts over 40.  It was a great day for a high wind test.

This drone is a technological masterpiece.  It is unbelievable to me that this even exists.  Sitting on my shaded park bench (under a tree that was going nuts in the wind) I flew this through 3 batteries.  A lot of the time the drone was almost a mile away.  I was getting about 20 minutes per battery and I wasn't pushing it on any of them.  I shot video of a winger, a windfoiler and a few SUP's.  The drone fly's predictably and is downright stunning in high wind.  I watched the video on my computer and the quality is outrageous.

The only downside (and its a big one) is that the active track system is useless for our sports (at least in this wind).  It will not recognize a winger or a sailbaord at all.  It gives and error when you try (cannot identify subject).  It will pick up and follow a SUP but it won't hold it for long.  Bummer.  That left me manually following riders.  This is possible but it seriously limits what I had hoped this might do. 

I will need to try it in lighter winds and see what it can do but so far it seems like active track is more geared at cars, bikes, people, boats, etc. 


2
If I jybe to toeside and go downwind with both hands on the wing, the power from the wing stays forward.  That holds the nose down and it works great.  But...when I have been going for the leading edge handle my back hand goes to the handle and I have been bringing the handle back to my hip.  It just feels comfortable there, but that lets the node ride up and it doesn't stay together for long. 

.... Maybe transitioning back to the power handles well before you need them would be a good way to develop the muscle memory for when you need them "right now" ....

This is exactly what my rational brain tells me but it is so much fun to try and get one more pump in.

I like that idea, Thatspec.  I am going to try it.

That video is so chill because when he goes to the handle he is mostly cruising and doing little maintenance pumps.  It makes me recognize that in an effort to pick up this skill I am forcing pumps where they don't belong.  I need to commit more and start trying the handle in better swell. 


3
There is a video on FB of Brandon Scheid at the Hatchery posted a couple of days ago which I found very helpful and inspiring.  I have no clue how to post it here.

You can paste the url from any video source into our text field.  No tags are required.

5
Phils,

I am working on that same thing exactly and in the same way...and I have been getting stuck at that spot exactly.  I think I figured out (a part of) my problem today.  If I jybe to toeside and go downwind with both hands on the wing, the power from the wing stays forward.  That holds the nose down and it works great.  But...when I have been going for the leading edge handle my back hand goes to the handle and I have been bringing the handle back to my hip.  It just feels comfortable there, but that lets the node ride up and it doesn't stay together for long.  Today I made a conscious effort to get my weight forward.  My thought was, "stop sailing, start surfing".  I only had one success today and it was brief but it was definitely an improvement.  I am not sure what the exact sequence will be but I feel like the answer is right there.  Watch for a lot of explosions this week :).  By months end we will be on the handle!

6
That looks neat! Would work well if you ride with both feet in the straps but agree a wider insert would be better for those like me who have a wondering back foot...

Yup.  The deck plate could also be wider than the base plate and overlap the inflatable deck.  That would help move rigidity out past the portion that would be possible from insert only.  They could also employ a keystone shaped insert (or an hourglass keystone) to add more width up front where the board allows and where it is needed.  Anyhow, I am stoked to see them pursuing this.  Douche comment alert: I do wish that they had started with my retrofit rigid strut handles though :).

7
This is cool.  She is the first person that I know of that has truly started from scratch (no watersport, wind, wing or foiling background) and she is learning in the Gorge.  Oooh, I almost broke into Kipling there :).

PS:  It was great winging with you yesterday Phil.  That was sweet wind.

8
New board looks great Robert.  What are the details on that one? 

9
My thought was that you could do a full rigid insert which would contain the mast track, handles , deck pad, plugs and footstrap inserts.  Any construction would work.  It would probably need to be 30 inches long or so.  It could have concave sides to accept the inflatable donut by a simple pressure fit.  That would allow for the same insert to be used on multiple donuts, so you could have a variety of sizes for conditions or even sports and the donuts would be simple and inexpensive.

Something like this should do :)  The basic concept is there but it would be much better with a wider insert so that you could stand entirely on the rigid portion. 













11
Mel did a DW from Jensen to the sandbar and did some surface riding which is a break through for her.

That is a big deal.  Firsts are always a big deal, but that was no cushy condition to learn in.  20 to 30 is tough conditions for learning the kneestart (especially when there are holes).  I consider these last  few days "normal" Gorge wind but that is still very windy.  Last week was packed with "big" days but we also get a lot of really beautiful 5 and 6 meter days which are sweet because they usually have very little range (variances of a few MPH).  She is putting together these skills now but when she gets some of those cruiser days, watch out.  It will feel super easy in comparison and she will catch fire.  Really nice to meet you!


12
Fantastic shots and skills!  Digging that meter long mast. 

The water in the first 3 shots can be accessed from a newly remodeled ramp style launch on the Oregon side (Arlington) or from an amazing grassy park on the Washington side (Roosevelt).  The water there is dreamy.  The river is super wide and it gets this long slopey swell that only gets nicer when the wind picks up. 

The last shot is Cheap beach.  That sits between Swell City and the Hatchery.  It is really all one stretch of amazing water.  It is very different the the first spot.  The channel is right off shore and the current moves through there.  It builds a great swell as well but it is not as easygoing.

Thanks for posting those.

13
Random / Re: Students in Alabama threw COVID contest parties
« on: July 04, 2020, 09:00:46 AM »
"The University of Alabama issued a statement saying they have heard rumors of such parties and are working to educate students."  Which calls to question what the university's usual role is.

14
Hi Phils,

The Hook can be very frustrating depending on the wind direction because the flat water is all blocked by Wells island so the wind is very patchy and swirly.  As soon as you are outside of the island into cleaner wind you are in the current which will definitely be a big challenge for her.  The current is 310 CFS right now and that is quite fast.  There are no easy outs on the Oregon side downriver of the Hook.  It does get better as you go downwind but the first part will not likely be a feelgood experience.  The sandbar upriver of the Event Site completely blocks the current and you have clean wind because the island is 1 mile upriver.  That is the best spot in the Gorge to learn.  If she starts at the west side and drifts to the sandbar it is a grassy walk back upwind.  Everyone does that when they are learning and this is the area where people go to learn so no one will even bat an eye at a walk back upwind (or five :) ).  Outside of the 3/4 mile long sandbar you have the channel, current and swell so there is something for everyone.  You have access to the Hatchery, Cheap, and Swell City water from there as well and you can downwind back home.  Even if you park outside the park (free this weekend) and walk in it is very convenient.  When it is uncrowded you can usually drive through, drop gear, and then park outside.  PM if you  would like to meet up. 

15
Phils, that launch is generally known as Luhr Jensen after the fishing lure company that used to own the building and parking lot next to it. That was our goto launch last year. While people were staying away for COVID we gravitated to the Event Center since that was the first site that opened. The Hook opened even earlier for residents, but it suck as a launch site--too much wind shading from Wells Island, and lots of river grass later in the year. I'll probably switch back to Luhr Jensen now that the EC is getting packed.

This weekend the Port is doing weird things with parking. The event center will be open to annual pass holders only--which probably means they'll sell a ton of annual passes. An annual pass for a hundred bucks compares nicely to one week of parking in Portland, or perhaps a day in San Francisco. The street parking will be free over the weekend, and bizarrely, so will Luhr Jensen, which is usually paid parking and the EC annual pass covers LJ as well. That should confuse the hell out of everyone and will pack LJ to the rafters.

The waterfront was empty from 9:00 to 11:30 and amazing conditions.  I went back for a second session (bad idea - I was beyond spent) at 5:00 and it was mobbed.  Let's go mid morning today and do some laps to Swell and back.

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