Author Topic: Flailing on the F one 5m  (Read 6154 times)

toejammer2

  • Malibu Status
  • **
  • Posts: 70
    • View Profile
Flailing on the F one 5m
« on: November 01, 2019, 09:15:47 PM »
Scored a 5m a week ago from Murray’s sports in So Cal . I’ve got the Gong 7m and got one good sesh at Floras Lake Oregon. I surf switch foot Sup surfing on sectiony righthanders and was feeling feel pretty confident pointing back to my launch spot in that stance.  After all, I’ve been surfing since 1972, windsurfing since ‘97  achieving the ability to wave sail the medium sized days at Pistol River, Oregon and have been sup surfing since 2006, foiling since the Gofoil Kai was offered as a pre order by Starboard (remember the video with the Twentyone pilots song?). The problem is I stupidly ignored the fact  that over confidence in the water is one’s worst enemy-really? After all these years? A late season high pressure hit Northern California(wildfire weather) and Big Lagoon in Humboldt County was forecasted to have gusts over 30. Since I have windsurfed overpowered there quite a few times (and was proud of it) I thought winging it would be fine-I’ll just go out half way into the very large lagoon-hence the name “Big Lagoon” on my clunky super heavy  8’ 130l hypernut with a Kai foil and just practice Gybes. After about 3 hours of doing the walk of shame I walked my gear as high up into the wind line as possible and took off pointing way higher than any of  the windsurfers getting brutalized on their 3.5s. My friend John Miller later told me people on the beach were saying “look at him go!”. About half way across the lagoon I thought-wow I did it! I’m just going to keep going all the way past where the windsurfers Gybe. But by the time I was ready to attempt a Gybe my upper thighs were literally burning. I had just rode the “endless wave”That was the moment I realized that winging it is not like windsurfing. You are not hooked in. You can’t just lean back hard and take the monster gusts when you are totally gassed. The moment I attempted to make it back to the launch the wind really kicked in and was nuking and spitting gusts well past 30 mph. I tried to get up from my knees and was launched every time. Eventually I attempted to get on my knees and use my wing like a spinnaker like Julie S. mentioned for light winds. That at least got me going (thanks Julie). The problem was that every time a monster gust hit the wing would get ripped from my hands and  at times pulled pretty hard on my wrist. The wind waves (really? In a fricken lagoon?!) kept knocking me off my board from the  windward side. I was so glad that I  just bought a new wetsuit and 7m booties with my failed 5m Duotone preorder deposit from Big Winds cuz I was starting to get fatigued pretty bad and starting to get a little cold. Finally, I drifted about a mile downwind from my original launch into a really cool spot at the end of the lagoon where the wind was onshore, the water shoulder deep, and warmer. It reminded of storm sailing in the Crescent City harbor. In the distance I  saw my buddy John  pushing through the blackberry brambles to “rescue” me. I could have swam and walked back myself but was glad to see him. I’ m sure everyone will remember the time that “guy on the wing” got washed all of the way down to the highway 101 bridge at Big Lagoon! Can’t wait for the storm sailing season to begin. Lots of dues to pay, but “that feeling” is worth it
Cheers
Cheers

obxDave

  • Waikiki Status
  • *
  • Posts: 31
    • View Profile
Re: Flailing on the F one 5m
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2019, 12:05:09 AM »
Glad it worked out!  We all have our come-uppance (or shall we say character building) stories. 1985 windsurfing at the Fish Hatchery in the Gorge, going too long without water/rest, legs fully cramped up after a big spill, and just holding onto the board for dear life. The ever so fun 1 hour swim after a failed main bladder valve  turned my kite into a sea anchor on the New Jersey coast around 2004. Zero flotation with me. Had to think happy thoughts to stay calm for parts that particular swim. We won’t mention the commercial fishing mishap as a crew member on a scalloping boat stuck on Hankerchief Shoals off Cape Cod on a pitch black rainy night in 1978.....Funny how you don’t forget those “events”.

I’m older and much more wimpy now.......I’ll wear my flotation vest even in chest deep water if anything feels the least bit sketchy, and the potential “swim/paddle back” is always dancing in the brain during any session. Entering cold weather season so my wimpy meter will increase!  The only females I need to impress (wife and daughters) wouldn’t have it any other way😀
« Last Edit: November 02, 2019, 12:09:49 AM by obxDave »

Admin

  • Administrator
  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 4841
    • View Profile
    • StandUpZone
    • Email
Re: Flailing on the F one 5m
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2019, 02:42:50 AM »
You can’t just lean back hard and take the monster gusts when you are totally gassed. The moment I attempted to make it back to the launch the wind really kicked in and was nuking and spitting gusts well past 30 mph. I tried to get up from my knees and was launched every time.

It sounds like you are doing great TJ.  It takes a while to adjust your mind to the sizing of these wings.  A 5.0 Swing in 30 MPH is going to throw you around a lot.  At 30 MPH gusting into the low 30's I am lit on my 3.5.  I spent over a month this summer in the Gorge with only a 5 and it was pretty humbling.  When you finally do get on the right size, though, it seems so mellow and relaxed.  If you are finding it hard to center your body when you are reaching or if the wing feels like it wants to pull straight up then you are over.  How heavy are you and what is your smallest wing?  What foil? 
« Last Edit: November 02, 2019, 03:02:43 AM by Admin »

toejammer2

  • Malibu Status
  • **
  • Posts: 70
    • View Profile
Re: Flailing on the F one 5m
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2019, 07:46:59 AM »
Thanks guys,
I’m 190. I just got my 4.2 from windance a few days ago. I’ve been using my Kai Gofoil with my clunky 8’ hypernut that I installed a deepTuttle on but also have the Iwa and the M200. I tried using my 7’4”” carbon hypernut and my 6’6” kalama that fateful day but they seemed to unstable at the time- maybe later. I’m looking into the Axis foils you guys have been posting about too.
Cheers!

Admin

  • Administrator
  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 4841
    • View Profile
    • StandUpZone
    • Email
Re: Flailing on the F one 5m
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2019, 04:56:30 AM »
That 4.2 would have made a big difference on that 30 MPH day.  It probably would have still been a handful for you but possibly still fun.  A 5 meter wing in winds over 30 MPH has a certain violence to it.  It isn't going to launch you and kill you like a kite gone bad but it will rip at your arm and fight you in every possible way.  The problems that you were having knee starting in high winds are normal for being really overpowered.  Past a certain point and everything becomes really challenging.  To add to that, the M-200 really jumps when it starts to go.  It is an all at once kind of deal.  There are other foils that are much more neutral in the way they take off and that makes higher, blasty wind a lot easier.  Also, a big stable board in that condition is helpful when you are dialing in your knee starts but it is also tricky in that it get batted around a lot by chop and gusts have a big effect on it when you are flying. 

I am sure that you actually learned a ton that day.  We had dozens of days like that getting started and I think in the long term they were really helpful.  There were those "stay down Rocky, stay down" looks on the beach.  But we get those conditions a lot here and nothing can prepare you for them other that just getting thrashed.  Like you, it made us evaluate what was working for gear and what had to change. 
« Last Edit: November 04, 2019, 05:02:08 AM by Admin »