Author Topic: Upwind/Downwind  (Read 867 times)

PonoBill

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Upwind/Downwind
« on: August 05, 2020, 08:40:46 PM »
My friend Shep Nelson was in Hood River yesterday afternoon and today. Yesterday was some mellow wingfoiling at Swell City. Today was supposed to be medium-light and we planned to do some upwind/downwind runs starting from the Event Center. It was NOT mellow. 20 gusting to 40+ is not mellow. But we had fun.

I did the first session on my Axis 1000 with a 4.2--lent my 3.5 to Shep. We were both overpowered but not terribly so. I tried the new Duotone harness line that DW recommended. Perfect! I love them, no more getting whacked in the face when I pump, and getting into and out of the hook is easy. From the Event Center to the middle of the river the wind was steady, clean and the swells were small and regular. When I hit the channel the world changed. Big, chunky, irregular swells from several directions, and the gusts hit like a punch. It was surprisingly easy to go upwind though, and I went well past the White Salmon bridge on my first reach. I did a little back and forth to warm up and didn't see Shep. I went in briefly to see if he was in the water. Yup, no Shep. So I jumped back in, ran up to the hatchery on just three reaches (a little south in the wind always helps), and found him doing a downwind run with the wing trailing. The swells were more than chest high and the wind was ripping at me whenever I came out of a trough. I turned downwind and had a delightful run back to about Luhr Jensen. We did quite a few runs and finally came in for a breather.

I swapped out the 1000 for my new 900 just for the heck of it. The Verdict: I like it a lot once I get up on it, but it's a lot of work to get there. I've never pumped so hard and long to get up, especially in nuking wind. Usually, one or two quick pumps and I'm there. I probably need to lose a few more pounds to make this a goto wing. It looks like a toy to me. It's about 1200 cm^2, so I'm not surprised it took so much to get up, but I love the speed and it turns beautifully. One more reason to get down to 200#

I made a high speed, slightly downwind angle across the river to max out the speed, and about 2/3 of the way across I hit a huge floating mat of river weed flat out, pedal to the metal. Immediate ejection. When I got back on the board my bad knee hurt like hell. I don't know if it was the crash or all the frantic pumping that caused it, but I'm limping around a bit tonight.

We did a few more passes and then done. Downwinded to the event center and bailed.

Fun to see Shep. He outlined the requirements for going back home after this business trip. Maui has quarantine requirements, but his charming wife has even more stringent rules. I told Diane about them since her rules are pretty stringent too. Diane, of course, was delighted. One of her golf buddies is equally careful and the two of them decided that Elena could definitely join their pod.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 08:56:24 PM by PonoBill »
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.

Phils

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Re: Upwind/Downwind
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2020, 07:03:32 AM »
Did a bunch of up and down wind runs at Swell yesterday. Mostly overpowered on my 3.5 (2.8 finally arrives today) and biggest swells of my nascent winging career.  Longest DW runs I have experienced and trying to sort out how to link swells.  It is a blind move for me right now as sometimes when I carve another swell is there to extend my glide and other times there is nothing and I am scrambling to repower before stalling.  When I watch experienced riders do this (especially the DW paddlers), they seem to know exactly when to carve to pick up the next swell.  There is definitely some magical “reading the river” going on.  The other things they do better is taking the correct angle on a swell (I am learning that it is not always straight down hill) and knowing exactly when and how hard to pump to conserve energy but keep the glide going.  I was so high after my session that I mostly sat and stared till bedtime.  My asked me several times if I was ok and why was I just sitting there.

PonoBill

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Re: Upwind/Downwind
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2020, 07:25:22 AM »
Yeah, it has that effect, like experiencing something that seems magical, both in how it looks and how it feels. Especially on a foil, though downwinding on a SUP delivers similar amazement. After 10+ years of SUP downwinding I still can hardly believe it's possible to do this.

It's rarely a good idea to go straight downhill, the first thing you do when you find a good bump is look for the low spot and then turn across the face. I violated that in one of the big chunksters hear the White Salmon bridge and ran right out of water--fell out of the sky like I'd been shot.
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.

Phils

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Re: Upwind/Downwind
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2020, 08:09:58 PM »
A pretty good day at Swell today.  3.5 and Armstrong 1850 with 232 tail.

https://www.facebook.com/phil.seu.58/videos/777071299731653

PonoBill

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Re: Upwind/Downwind
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2020, 09:09:18 PM »
I didn't go all the way to Swell today, just ran up to upper hatchery and bak to the EC. I started out on my 1150 with a 5.0. Over winged both for foil and wingding. But still fun. Then I swtiched to the 1000 Axis wing and kept the 5.0 for some zooming around. the 1000 is so much fun.
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.

Admin

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Re: Upwind/Downwind
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2020, 01:39:27 AM »
A pretty good day at Swell today.  3.5 and Armstrong 1850 with 232 tail.

Looking good, Phils!  Man, has this been a sweet stretch of conditions.  We did almost 4 hours of up/downwind on Friday.  Launched at the Event Site did a few short up and downwinders and then headed for the tunnels.  We stopped and played at every good swell line on the way up.  We made it past Swell but got turned around by some gusts that were way out of our wing size ranges.  Good thing because I was damn cold by the time I got back.  I have no idea how many miles that was.  I do know that when I got home I ate a huge bowl of pasta, turned on the news, laid down for a stretch on my entryway carpet and woke up there 3 hours later.

Thatspec

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Re: Upwind/Downwind
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2020, 08:36:25 AM »

Looking good, Phils!  Man, has this been a sweet stretch of conditions.

Hasn't it though? With even some nicely spaced days off (like today maybe). Tuesday's got potential!

Still saying to myself "that was the best downwinder yet". These two fronts recently have produced some epic wind and swells in the Maryhill stretch over the last week as well. Yesterday opted to do two Maryhill to Rufus runs instead of a single Celilo to Rufus. It's only 5.5 miles but no dead water, just swells the whole way. Did several sections twice on the first run as it measured 13 miles, Was so wooped from that though I did the second run in about 7 miles :o

The best waves in that stretch have consistently been East of Rufus, the last mile from where everybody sails on down to the boat ramp, better than "the wall".  If I go out there to upwind / downwind, that will be the place to be.

 


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