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Messages - Blue crab

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Downwind and Racing / Re: Capetown downwinders
« on: November 01, 2018, 12:27:31 PM »
A couple of options (and you should try both).

On the False Bay side (Millers Point to Fish hoek), there is a Taxi (called the Millers tax run by Vinnie - he takes surfski's and SUP's). He's on facebook and will get you on whattsapp. He run's regulary over summer (3-4 times per day I reackon in Dec). Good option and a great run.

On the Milnerton side (Milnerton to Big Bay in Blouberg), also will be regular runs with Sup Fanatics (Adrian Van Varik run's it) over this period and you can get added to the whattsapp group when you are there.

Re: Downwind board hire- speak to Gary or Ty or Tarryn from Xpressions on the Beach. They will have a lot options on Downwind boards and can also help you on helping you organising.

PM me if you want emails - you'll have fun and a good time to be in Cape Town for downwinds

Many thanks. I'll PM you. Can't wait to hit both of those runs! The videos from Capetown were what first got me stoked about the sport.

Downwind and Racing / Capetown downwinders
« on: October 31, 2018, 09:16:00 PM »
Hi, I'll be heading to Capetown for a conference in December and am hoping to get in a run or two. I was wondering if anyone on the zone has contact info for shops which rent boards and run shuttles.  I'll be staying near the convention center.  Thanks!

Downwind and Racing / Re: Clarification on Bullet V2 for heavier rider
« on: January 29, 2018, 03:07:47 PM »
Hi CI, For Hood River & legit downwind days on the sound (like this Saturday  :)), you'll want a downwind specific board for sure.  This is particularly true if you can hold onto your X14 for flats and down breeze conditions.  The V1 & V2 Bullet will not let you down. Both will require a bit of time at your size (I am 6'0" & 190) but will ultimately be a joy.  Even better if you can get your hands on one, is an F16.   The SIC boards are so great because they work for all level of paddler.  For downwind beginners, they are quick to get on plane and stable.  For those with more experience, they surf left and right and link glides beautifully. If you want some time on a V1 carbon bullet or V3 F16, drop me a line. I am in West Seattle and happy to let you take it out.

Downwind and Racing / Re: Great Jeremy Riggs video
« on: July 23, 2017, 09:48:52 PM »
My lesson with Jeremy a couple of years ago was a turning point in my downwind progression. He had some really useful suggestions for footwork, but the major theme was to paddle less, and only in pursuit of a catchable bump.  It is such a simple concept but it took me a couple of years to master.

Because stroke parsimony is so central to my approach downwind, this thread got me curious in regards to my own paddle rate on our various DW runs.   I counted my strokes over  5 minute period during the raw footage of several runs which I have posted on this site in the past.  The results highlight the heterogeneity of the runs. As a reference, Jeremy is taking a stroke on average every 2.2 seconds in the first posted video (27 strokes / minute):

On a Viento run last July in 30-40 mph winds, my average stroke interval was 1.7 seconds (35 / minute) on a Viento run. Those on this site are likely familiar with this run which can be mixed up in sections but is generally a magic carpet ride  Getting into the swells does require more work due to the opposing river current, which may explain my higher paddle rate. Of note, I did not include the Wells express section of the run in this analysis.  My paddle rate in this section is likely to be far lower.

On my local run off of West Seattle on a day with 30-45 mph winds, my rate was the same as Jeremy's (interval 2.2 seconds, 27 / minute).  This run is in Puget Sound, a large estuary with ~30 miles of fetch and no ground swell.  Nevertheless, the conditions can have open ocean characteristics. It is usually a much more challenging run than the Viento due to lots of reverberation off the sea wall, particularly during high tide, as well as frequently shifting, gusty on shore winds.  However, there is no counter current which probably explains my lower overall paddle rate.

Finally, on Lake Washington in 35-50 mph winds, my stroke rate was really low (interval = 2.7 seconds or 22 strokes / minute).  This run requires huge wind to get going as there is 0-5 miles of fetch. However, it often has the easiest downwind conditions possible: pure corduroy head high swells with no seawall or current.  My analysis did confirm my suspicion that the lake run requires considerably less paddling than the other runs, at least on a bonkers day.

Overall, I was surprised that JR is paddling every 2.2 seconds.  Watching his videos, I would have guessed every 3-4 seconds.  There are occasional claims on this site about minute long glides without paddling.  If Jeremy has to stroke 27 times per minute than this type of event is probably pretty uncommon: minute long glides supported by occasional maintenance strokes seem more plausible.  Downwinding still does require a lot of paddling.

I also wonder if another key measure is the variance of the stroke interval.  I bet that the best in the sport have the highest variance due to occasional bursts of high interval poodles as well as a higher frequency of long 5-20 second glides with no strokes whatsoever.

Downwind and Racing / Re: Great Jeremy Riggs video
« on: July 21, 2017, 01:22:27 PM »
Gorgeous video. The last thing I do before my next run will to be watch this video.

His love of the rudder is highlighted by the fact that he needed no strokes on the left.  I've noticed that recently as well, but try to paddle 25% on the left so I don't develop asymmetric musculature.

It is also interesting that he gets in a stroke every 2.2 seconds.  I would have suspected a lower frequency. 

You'll continue to love this board and learn new things about it each time you head out.  The beauty of the F16 is it is the ideal DW board for all levels.  I have had beginners have a great intro run on the board because it is so easy to get into glides and also quite stable: far easier to ride than my 14' V1 carbon Bullet (which is also a great board). 

For advanced paddlers, the board also has a ton of tricks.  I have spent the last year working on snowboarding type carving in larger swells.  It is possible to get 3-5 decent carves before the momentum dies out. This can be done with the rudder or way back on the tail, depending on the morphology of the swell.  The 14' Bullet can also do this but is far more likely to lose momentum in all but the biggest swells. 

Downwind and Racing / Re: Nuking in the gorge
« on: July 14, 2017, 02:18:16 PM »
I just do a typical Go Pro mount but face the camera sideways. 

Hey Blue - where is the camera mounted?  Didn't see your paddle at all but you seem to be moving along just fine

I put the mount a few inches from the nose, slightly ahead of where I bury the paddle. I was definitely paddling every now and then to keep up.  A few rests aside, we had a pretty fast run that day.

Downwind and Racing / Re: Strange Magic
« on: July 13, 2017, 08:03:16 PM »
Does anyone have experience to share comparing: the production F16 v2, a custom ultralight F16 v2, and a custom ultralight F16 v3 (narrower).

Hi Nalu-sup, I've had a custom V3 for several years and rode a V2 non-custom a while back.  It is a bit of an apples and oranges comparison because my skill level was a bit lower when I rode the V2.  That being said, I think the V3 is essentially a better version of the same board.  It will feel the same in many ways but is just a bit better in every way.  I weigh 185-195 depending on the time of year and find it to be very, very stable. Perhaps it is slightly less forgiving than the V2 but barely so. It is a bit more slippery on the water and requires less work to get into swells.  It also carves left and right with  more ease. 

The one major shortcoming of the V3 is that it is perfectly designed to fly away.  Even in mild winds, relative to other boards, it is unsafe to leave the board unattended even for a second.  Putting it on the car in high winds is typically sketchy.  It is a miracle that I haven't destroyed mine yet.

Downwind and Racing / Re: Nuking in the gorge
« on: July 13, 2017, 07:50:23 PM »
Some footage from the first half of the run on 7/3. It was pretty big out there & a lot harder to stay in the same swell on this section of the run relative to the Wells.  Hence, my son tends to go zipping by a lot.

The side view undersells the size of the swell but captures the on / off cadence of the sport nicely I think. I've always loved the side view video of Dave Kalama doing an M to M channel crossing with Jeremy. This is not that but still captures the feel at least a bit:

Great vid.  Thanks.  What did you use for a cam mount?  I enjoy side view the most as well, for the depth of the swell.  The kid had a very good approach.  He was 'in the groove.'  And you did a remarkable job keeping him in the frame.  I like the transition fades in the vid.  A little bouncy at moments but totally enjoyable.

Thanks HM.  I just do a typical Go Pro mount but face the camera sideways.  I add a few Go Pro tower components to add height which helps make the swells look a bit bigger but also probably accounts for the bounciness. Generally to get good footage requires being quite close: most of these shots are from <10 feet away.

I have some general misgivings about GoPros and selfies and the like.  However, the Gro Pro really is nice for down winding. At my skill level, I find it almost impossible to tell how well my partner on the water is doing, even if I am gliding immediately next to them the whole time as in the video. From my perspective, it actually kind of looked like Kenzo was having a tough run.  He had about 8 consecutive falls at Mitchell's: that 23 inch board flips almost immediately in >40 knot wind and he almost got bonked twice.  He seemed a bit spooked at times.  However, the video really shows that he never gave up and was connecting glides more or less the whole time.

Downwind and Racing / Re: Days of wind
« on: July 11, 2017, 12:25:40 PM »
great vid. I need to Greece at some point.

Downwind and Racing / Re: Nuking in the gorge
« on: July 11, 2017, 12:24:50 PM »
Some footage from the first half of the run on 7/3. It was pretty big out there & a lot harder to stay in the same swell on this section of the run relative to the Wells.  Hence, my son tends to go zipping by a lot.

The side view undersells the size of the swell but captures the on / off cadence of the sport nicely I think. I've always loved the side view video of Dave Kalama doing an M to M channel crossing with Jeremy. This is not that but still captures the feel at least a bit:

Downwind and Racing / Re: Nuking in the gorge
« on: July 10, 2017, 02:44:37 PM »
Laszlo, you are getting annoyed at something that I don't really even think about.  Because I am generally slammed at work and in life, I get down to HR for 5 days each summer if I am lucky. I try to cram as many runs in as possible.  If I go with a friend or a kid, then I take my time and have a ball.  If I go alone, it is usually because my wife kindly dropped me off at Viento. I tend to gun it when I am alone out there because it feels good to get in a rhythm.  Plus we usually set a time to eat at Solstice or the Sandbar and I don't want to miss my family.  I rarely time myself but have started to do so a bit out of curiosity and because I recognized last summer that I have gotten a lot faster .

Everyone should feel free to have their own relationship with the sport.  For me, I could give a crap about racing and am just happy to be out there gliding.

Downwind and Racing / Re: Nuking in the gorge
« on: July 09, 2017, 06:44:24 PM »
Here is some footage from 7/3 from what I now know to be Ruthton point to Wells Island. The video totally undersells how fierce the wind was at this point but does give a good feel for how long glides can be sustained in these mini swells. Kenzo and I had a blast sharing the same waves repeatedly:

Downwind and Racing / Re: Nuking in the gorge
« on: July 07, 2017, 11:06:21 PM »
Today rocked, I hope you got some of it. I was on the 11:00 shuttle, expecting 29-32 and it was much more than that. For most of the run the spindrift off the wavetops was hitting my legs like a garden hose. I spotted Nels Bergstrom on his prone board around the spit rock, and he got blown off the thing. I went by to check on him, while he was laying prone it looked like he was drowning--water blowing over the top of him.

The Wells Express was insane. I paddled hard at first, but finally just stood on the tail and dragged my blade to steer. Checked my speed about two minutes into not paddling and I was doing 9.7 mph. Finished the run with a 1:20 despite 200K flow. The only place I felt current was at Mitchell, and I went through so fast it was just a twitch on the rudder. I would have had a little better time, but I feel four times and stopped to check on Lars. I could tell it was a prone board once I got close, but at first, I thought it might have been a SUP rider who lost a paddle. Lars was grinning ear-to-ear.

All these HR guys are getting way too fast. That was a pretty good time and I got solidly beaten by two guys on 14's--an Allstar and the inevitable black and white Bullet 14. Those things are like belly buttons here. There were four of them on the 11 and I saw five on the 1:00 that I couldn't take--grandkid duty, and it was packed full anyway with a full trailer and two boards on the roof. Summer.

Yeah. Today confirmed that the Viento is really one of the world's elite outdoor experiences.  I got out of a conference call late and so hit the water at 1250. Had a blissful run with really high winds from start to finish.  Mitchell's was all mixed up and a bit less giving in terms of ginormous, even swells than on 7/2 & 7/3. However, between Mitchell's & split rock was otherworldly.  I got in a 78 minute run with a fall 100 feet from the sandbar because I was admiring some fancy kiting.  I finally bought a real paddle (V drive 91): it didn't help my times much but it made the whole thing feel like even less work.  I really only paddled hard 2 or 3 times.

The only downer was that my sons backed out at the last minute. It is interesting that as they age a bit they have developed much more fear of the sport. I suppose I should embrace this but it is such a pleasure being out there with them when it clicks.

Downwind and Racing / Re: Nuking in the gorge
« on: July 06, 2017, 10:21:47 PM »
We finish a week in HR tomorrow.  Some ups and downs.  I had 2 fantastic runs on 7/2 and got some of the longest extended glides I can remember.  On 7/3, the conditions were even better as Bill mentioned with gusts exceeding 40. My son and I had a really fun run at 1045 AM or so and the footage is outstanding: hopefully, a video to come in the next 6 months or so when I have time to edit.

After that run, I felt strangely cold and found myself needing a flannel shirt despite 85 degree weather. By dinner I felt like I had been hit by a truck.  Typically in our brief visits here, I can do 6-7 runs in a 3 day period and I am in reasonably better shape than last year... so I was a bit confused.  Long story short... strep throat.  I spent the next ~48 hours semi-asleep, somewhat confused, febrile and truly miserable. The thought of doing anything near that river gave me chills.  Today was the first day that I felt ok to venture out and we goofed off a bit in Nichols Basin. 

Hoping for one more run tomorrow before heading home to end on a good note. 

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