Author Topic: Sucko Downwinder  (Read 1904 times)

PonoBill

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Sucko Downwinder
« on: June 14, 2019, 06:07:06 PM »
How can a blue sky downwinder in the gorge with winds gusting above 40mph and textbooks drops right and left just totally suck? Well if your paddle breaks one mile into the run, that would probably do it.

I dropped into a nice fat river divot that was a little crossed up, so I braced hard and my handle snapped off in my hand. Not good. It was a crusty old extended ergo-T handle I had kicking around, and I installed it to gain seven inches with a shaft I'd cut short for surfing. Long stupid story. I thought at the time I should sleeve the handle with a piece of shaft trim. Probably wouldn't have helped--it broke right at the edge of the shaft. So not only did I have no handle, I had a short paddle.

I tried to soldier on with the short shaft in a position halfway between a chicken scratching for bugs and Conner Baxter doing a choke hold sprint--biased strongly towards the chicken. But I couldn't brace and the swells were too fast for the weak paddling. So I did six of the remaining 7.5 miles on my knees. sort of a kneeling surfski with a crap paddle and no steering kind of thing. I could catch bumps, and get going pretty fast, but the direction was kind of up to random chance.

In the last mile the bumps got flatter though the wind was stronger, so I stood and basically sailed to the event center, dragging my paddle stump for stability. In the EC the waves were huge--dredging the bottom. I got about halfway through and was amazed at my catlike grace, but a kitesurfer decided he needed to launch right then while I was smoking along in a waist high wave. I dropped off the board and grabbed it to keep from mowing him down--which was just as well since I needed to manage the landing, though I did comment rather loudly on the guys relationship with his mom. I got rolled around in the surf to the amusement of everyone on shore. My board kept blowing off the water as I tried to crawl on to it. Ugly.

Just getting the board out of the water was interesting. I left it plastered to the chain link fence at the edge of the EC and Gregg Leion shuttled me back to my truck. The Big Winds shuttle is now running, which means a lot more downwinders on the menu. Tomorrow I have to go to PDX to pick up Diane's old Tesla--she got a new extended range one. I talked her into it so she'd stop freaking about about range--and because I want to play with all the autodrive stuff. But Sunday is supposed to be nuking as well. Official start of summer.

So yeah, great conditions, beautiful day, awesome wind and bumps, and it sucked.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 06:11:53 PM by PonoBill »
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burchas

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Re: Sucko Downwinder
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2019, 03:34:45 AM »
Welcome to the club of “don’t try stupid shit in critical conditions”
I thought you get cured at a certain age but I guess I have years to go.

Had the same situation 2 summers ago, 1 mile or so into Viento
Broke a prototype shaft right in the middle.

The rest of it you pretty much know, ugly. 3 hours later with bruised
Knees and carbon splintered palms I stumbled into the EC.

2 weeks ago made a new fin template out of an old fin sanded the base
A little too much... beautiful conditions, 30+ knots consistent and I lost
The fin 3 miles to go...

50 board flips later I showed up paddling sideways
While my buddies looking and me strangely from the heated comfortable car.

Good Times ::)
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 03:38:08 AM by burchas »
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PonoBill

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Re: Sucko Downwinder
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2019, 08:11:31 AM »
Next time you lose a fin tie something draggy onto the back. A camelback will do it, but almost anything, even a couple of wraps of leash will help. It even works on windsurfers. I got back in from so far out into the cold pacific off Manzanita that I could only see the hills behind the town. I say next time because in my experience there WILL be a next time. For example, I "fixed" my paddle and it's already nuking this morning. Turns out I don't have to go to PDX.

Onward.
Ponohouse is for sale: http://www.ponohouse.com
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

eastbound

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Re: Sucko Downwinder
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2019, 01:29:15 PM »
good tip that i will remember, pb---could be a big help in a bad situation
Portal Barra 8'4"
Sunova Creek 8'7"
Starboard Pro Blue Carbon  8'10"
KeNalu Mana 82, xTuf, ergoT

burchas

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Re: Sucko Downwinder
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2019, 04:55:11 PM »
My go to solution is wrapping the PFD around the tail but I decided a worthy
Punishment for the stupidity is practicing the saving brace till the end.
I say stupidity because I usually carry a backup fin when testing.

I’ll have to say that catching and riding bumps without a fin was an
Interesting experience, not necessarily to be repeated.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 04:58:16 PM by burchas »
- M15 15x27x4.5 https://bit.ly/2WmuEpt
- Ocean Ripple 16x25 @ 251L
- SIC Standamaran (S-16) - https://goo.gl/7myGAo
- Wide Tail 10x31x4 @ 149L
- SIC FX 12.6 2X - https://goo.gl/GOkSHT
- Red 2017 Elite 14x25
- ZRE Lightning 75
- Kenalu Mana 82
- Kialoa Hulu 87
- QuickBlade Trifecta 86

covesurfer

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Re: Sucko Downwinder
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2019, 09:44:33 PM »
It was that kind of day, and by that I mean it was a day where bracing was necessary frequently, and you had to do with authority sometimes. My handle made a couple of clicking noises that made me suspect that the KeNalu hot glue system could be at the end of it's life. Usually, I renew the glue on the blade and the handle periodically, like at least once a year, but I know I haven't gotten around to it in quite a while.

Anyway, it was weird because the paddle felt like the glue could let go and I thought about how difficult it would be to do anything without a handle on the shaft. So, when PB came in with nothing but a broken shaft at the handle-end of his paddle, it was sort of strange since I'd already been thinking about almost the same scenario.

It was a much improved downwind run for me, my third in the Gorge this season and the second on my needle of a board. I started off solid, didn't fall for the first two miles, then fell about 10 times over the next couple of miles. I got really frustrated after struggling to remount, stand back up and get moving again, especially after about six or seven get-offs. So much cross current chop, it was nearly impossible to get going. I started thinking, maybe if I move forward on the board more between surfs, I can take advantage of the volume in the nose and get more board surface in contact with the water, plus I'll then be standing at the widest point. That should help with stability. Not rocket science but the theory worked. You have to move quickly to get back on a drop and keep that big boofy nose up. But then, you need to be more forward than you'd think in order to keep the board stable. It worked well and my falls decreased substantially. It is still a difficult board for me to ride in rough conditions.

Finished the run over 30 minutes faster than the previous two debacles. If I can stick with this, it will make me a better paddler and the speed will be a major reward. I am going to give it at least three more runs and see how it goes.

I'm afraid I was a pretty poor paddle partner for PB. Not only did I not realize he'd broken his paddle, after I drove him up to get his truck, I selfishly took off, leaving him to deal with getting his board on his truck in the raging wind alone. At this rate, I won't have any pals to paddle with. Not only do I need to figure out my board, I need to figure out how to be less of a tool.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 09:46:11 PM by covesurfer »

eastbound

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Re: Sucko Downwinder
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2019, 04:33:19 AM »
sw, what is this difficult pin of a board? for us curious types...

i pack two mana 84's when i surf---they both always remain solid with hot glue, but inevitably end up with audible water inside--reglued mine yesterday--i guess the glue degrades over time and leaks--surprises me, given the taut 3m electrical tape i wrap with

an pb, diesel flow or not, you a playa---just keep on playin'
Portal Barra 8'4"
Sunova Creek 8'7"
Starboard Pro Blue Carbon  8'10"
KeNalu Mana 82, xTuf, ergoT

burchas

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Re: Sucko Downwinder
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2019, 04:47:14 AM »
I'm afraid I was a pretty poor paddle partner for PB. Not only did I not realize he'd broken his paddle, after I drove him up to get his truck, I selfishly took off, leaving him to deal with getting his board on his truck in the raging wind alone. At this rate, I won't have any pals to paddle with. Not only do I need to figure out my board, I need to figure out how to be less of a tool.

After years in Maui where who’s first to the harbor, board on the roof
And into dry clothes is the norm, I doubt Bill lost sleep over it. But skipping
The war stories exchanges in the parking lot, this could cost you a friend ;D

The upside of sticking with your needle is you’ll end up with an upper body
Strength of Machista  from constant remounting and the legs of a wildebeest
From the extensive balancing.
- M15 15x27x4.5 https://bit.ly/2WmuEpt
- Ocean Ripple 16x25 @ 251L
- SIC Standamaran (S-16) - https://goo.gl/7myGAo
- Wide Tail 10x31x4 @ 149L
- SIC FX 12.6 2X - https://goo.gl/GOkSHT
- Red 2017 Elite 14x25
- ZRE Lightning 75
- Kenalu Mana 82
- Kialoa Hulu 87
- QuickBlade Trifecta 86

burchas

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Re: Sucko Downwinder
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2019, 04:55:25 AM »
sw, what is this difficult pin of a board? for us curious types...

i pack two mana 84's when i surf---they both always remain solid with hot glue, but inevitably end up with audible water inside--reglued mine yesterday--i guess the glue degrades over time and leaks--surprises me, given the taut 3m electrical tape i wrap with

an pb, diesel flow or not, you a playa---just keep on playin'

I add heat shrink tape on top of the electrical tape. Seem to work well
And not too much of a hassle given the long periods in between maintenance.
- M15 15x27x4.5 https://bit.ly/2WmuEpt
- Ocean Ripple 16x25 @ 251L
- SIC Standamaran (S-16) - https://goo.gl/7myGAo
- Wide Tail 10x31x4 @ 149L
- SIC FX 12.6 2X - https://goo.gl/GOkSHT
- Red 2017 Elite 14x25
- ZRE Lightning 75
- Kenalu Mana 82
- Kialoa Hulu 87
- QuickBlade Trifecta 86

PonoBill

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Re: Sucko Downwinder
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2019, 07:11:44 AM »
I'm afraid I was a pretty poor paddle partner for PB. Not only did I not realize he'd broken his paddle, after I drove him up to get his truck, I selfishly took off, leaving him to deal with getting his board on his truck in the raging wind alone. At this rate, I won't have any pals to paddle with. Not only do I need to figure out my board, I need to figure out how to be less of a tool.

I routinely turn down offers to help get my ungainly and ridiculously heavy board on the rack. Even though it looks like I'm struggling or trying to have sex with it, I have a system and it works best with one person. With two, given my ridiculous high truck and rack there is a good chance of an airborne 45 pound 17 foot board in a crowded parking lot, which would never end well. I always get a kick out of you trying to reach the board. Menehune.

We're all alone on the water, whether we think so or not. We all need to be able to self-rescue. If I had to, I'd prone the thing before I'd look for help (wow, that would suck). You're the best kind of paddle partner--the person who shows up when it's nuking and spooky-looking and says "let's go".

Yesterday was a lot better, and the shuttle is running. I plan to double down today.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2019, 07:20:50 AM by PonoBill »
Ponohouse is for sale: http://www.ponohouse.com
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

covesurfer

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Re: Sucko Downwinder
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2019, 04:17:45 PM »
sw, what is this difficult pin of a board? for us curious types...


It's an NSP Puma Pro, 23.5 wide. Super round, like a canoe or surfski shaped into a SUP. I've got a lot of time in on boards but maybe I'm not as skilled as I like to think (highly likely  ;D). I know others have the skills to ride this board in rough conditions but it remains to be seen if I do. If I can figure out how to get through the sections where I get bucked off, it will be a very fast and fun board to ride. At this point, I'm still struggling when the chop starts to get crossed up but figuring it out. Kind of.


I add heat shrink tape on top of the electrical tape. Seem to work well
And not too much of a hassle given the long periods in between maintenance.

Great idea Burchas, I am going to try it!

Menehune.

We're all alone on the water, whether we think so or not. We all need to be able to self-rescue. If I had to, I'd prone the thing before I'd look for help (wow, that would suck). You're the best kind of paddle partner--the person who shows up when it's nuking and spooky-looking and says "let's go".

Yesterday was a lot better, and the shuttle is running. I plan to double down today.

Hahaha! TRUTH. From the 'menehune' comment on. Taking the run, you take responsibility for self rescue. What would suck is if you couldn't self rescue and your pals weren't around to assist. We all hope that doesn't happen. As for the rest of it, the harder it's blowin', you know we goin'!  ;D ;D ;D

1tuberider

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Re: Sucko Downwinder
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2019, 09:54:59 AM »
Has down winding replaced wind surfing for gorge activities?

What would you rather do, if you could do both?


PonoBill

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Re: Sucko Downwinder
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2019, 10:49:58 AM »
Downwinding is very popular in the gorge. Windsurfing still is as well, though there are probably more kites than either. For me, I haven't windsurfed for at least two years. I started in the 80's, got fairly good after about ten years, got hurt (doing other stuff) and didn't get back to it for about ten years. When I finally did I sucked at it, and I've never spent enough time to get back to where I was. I was a little bored with it anyway, especially with all the gear and the inevitable sail and board changes.

Downwinding is me, a board and a paddle. The simplicity is a big feature and I feel like I'm going someplace (even if it's only ten miles usually covering the same territory) instead of just going back and forth across the river.

When I first got serious about Windsurfing the Gorge was where I went whenever I had a chance. Then I sailed at Manzanita and liked it a lot better. You can sail out until there's nothing but ocean on the horizon, and there's waves. Bought a beach house there and owned it for 35 years.

To answer the question, I'd rather downwind than windsurf. I still have all my gear, I might swing back to windsurfing some day. But almost everyone I knew who windsurfed no longer does it.
Ponohouse is for sale: http://www.ponohouse.com
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

yugi

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Re: Sucko Downwinder
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2019, 06:04:29 AM »
Downwinding is very popular in the gorge. Windsurfing still is as well, though there are probably more kites than either. For me, I haven't windsurfed for at least two years. I started in the 80's, got fairly good after about ten years, got hurt (doing other stuff) and didn't get back to it for about ten years. When I finally did I sucked at it, and I've never spent enough time to get back to where I was. I was a little bored with it anyway, especially with all the gear and the inevitable sail and board changes.

Downwinding is me, a board and a paddle. The simplicity is a big feature and I feel like I'm going someplace (even if it's only ten miles usually covering the same territory) instead of just going back and forth across the river.

When I first got serious about Windsurfing the Gorge was where I went whenever I had a chance. Then I sailed at Manzanita and liked it a lot better. You can sail out until there's nothing but ocean on the horizon, and there's waves. Bought a beach house there and owned it for 35 years.

To answer the question, I'd rather downwind than windsurf. I still have all my gear, I might swing back to windsurfing some day. But almost everyone I knew who windsurfed no longer does it.

Same same. Exactly.

'sept I still know some crusty ol' windsurfer diehards. Most lost me at "kite". Skiing keeps us in touch.

Area 10

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Re: Sucko Downwinder
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2019, 11:30:21 PM »
sw, what is this difficult pin of a board? for us curious types...

i pack two mana 84's when i surf---they both always remain solid with hot glue, but inevitably end up with audible water inside--reglued mine yesterday--i guess the glue degrades over time and leaks--surprises me, given the taut 3m electrical tape i wrap with

an pb, diesel flow or not, you a playa---just keep on playin'

I add heat shrink tape on top of the electrical tape. Seem to work well
And not too much of a hassle given the long periods in between maintenance.
I use plumber’s self-amalgamating tape, with a layer of electrical tape on top. Ugly, but boy does it work. You could pretty much get away with no glue at all.