I just finished 10 days on the amazing Oregon Coast, although I only scored 4 of them while I was there. Great people and the 2016 Pistol River Wave Bash, a great contest made the trip! You can check my b\buddies’ and PWA pro, Phil Soltysiak’s write up on the event.
I didn’t finish as well as I hoped, but am I already looking forward to next year. The highlight of the trip was a great day at the Gold Beach South Jetty. Time to train and work on wave selection and timing on the wave for next year.
Heading out at the Gold Beach South Jetty
Down The Line at the Gold Beach South Jetty – a ride like this can make all the miles and waiting worth it
Contest time – trying to make the most of all my waves
I had been dreaming about sailing Ho’okipa since I started windsurfing around 12 years old. I remember watching the video “Ho’okipa Chronicles” and scoring those sweet waves! Well after about 20 years of dreaming I scored my session!
A photo posted by Lawrence Stewart (@gnarlyinc) on
It’s time to work on some freestyle. I picked a great board, a 105L 2011 Goya X1 up from windsurfcanada.com classifieds, only shipped all the way from Ontario. Should be a great board for the summer conditions around Victoria and at Nitnat lake.
Storm season has rolled into Vancouver Island in full effect, cancelled ferries, power outages, rain and lots wind. All good news for us wind boarders. It might be in part due to my change in work status, but I’ve scored more amazing sessions this fall and winter then I did over the summer.
Columbia beach north of Parksville has delivered many days over the few weeks, and I even missed a few of them. And it’s been delivering some of the best and most challenging conditions I’ve seen, with nice waves, but 25-50 knot winds, making it difficult to nail jibes on the outside.
A local sailor know as “Dunkinguy” throws a port forward coming over the wave and lands on the lip in 40-45 knots.
There have also been the odd day here and there at a secret point break that can deliver world class down the line wavesailing a couple times a year. The best looking day was last Sunday, a forecast of 30 knots winds and 27 foot swell. Sadly the winds missed the south Island and only swell rolled in which made for some amazing double to triple overhead swell. Also on this day winds and swell hit Tofino in Full effect and two windsurfer from Vancouver, Ryan and Jen, scored big time. View the full gallery of the epic Tofino storm sailing here.
Lets hope this stormy trend continues, I could go for a weekly session at least!
Towards the end of July, Leah, Kaia (Our Dog) and I headed down to Oregon for a little over a week of windsurfing in Hood River and the Oregon Coast. We hit a massive heat wave of 40c, and some awesome winds gusting to 40knots while we where in Hood River. By the time we headed to the coast the heat had killed the wind and I only managed one marginal day in Florence.
A little update before heading to the Oregon Coast and Hood river in a just under a week. This summer and spring have only seen a few trips to Nitnat, 1 quick trip to Hood River, which was pretty much a skunk, and a couple Gordon’s Beach sessions, so already a better start then last year. The most exciting thing is the girlfriend has just started to learn!
Here’s to hoping the 40c+ 105f temps in the next week in Hood River bring some wind followed by some wind and waves on the coast.
Board damage happens, it’s part of windsurfing, someone once told me “if you aren’t pushing yourself far enough to fall you aren’t pushing yourself far enough to improve”, unless you’ve seen a shark! This particular crack on my AHD concept wave happened while getting crunched by a wave set on the mast.
I’ve become quite handy at repairs. Years of teaching windsurfing at resorts and schools, plus my own gear which I would often find damaged from travel and abuse have given me lots of experience. However I feel most windsurfers can do a basic repair on there own, if you’re not comfortable oo looking for perfection take it to a pro!
Here a brief over view of the repair steps.
Sand and prep the area
Sand the area along the cracks, be sure to sand to the end of the cracks
Find soft spots and drill holes just through the damaged foam
this is done to prevent delamination by allowing filler compound into the board
sand holes again
clean all epoxy and loose material from area and holes
Cover area with filler coat
Mix Epoxy and add micro ballons until the epoxy has a stiff texture
Apply mixed epoxy to board with rubber squeegee, be sure to fill all the holes
be sure the filler is above the curve of the board
Sand Filler coat
Once the filler coat has dried sand it smooth, 80 grit sandpaper should do the trick quickly
Sanding is important here, as any defects will be visible through the glass and paint
Glass the area
Glass the area with 8oz fiberglass cloth
I find it best to gently pull the epoxy out from the center of the glass towards the edge
Allow epoxy to dry
sand and feather the edge of the repair to blend
Hot Coat – mix a small amount of epoxy, use a foam brush to apply a coat of epoxy over the repair
Sand the hot coat
Clean the area with a bit of denatured alcohol (this removes any wax and grease)
Use automotive spray paint matching the color as closely as possible
I sanded the gray to take a bit of the gloss off
a bit of touch of graphics for the black and white, plus some re-deck and the job is done!
Lawrence ‘Wind Dude’ Stewart rode and claimed a massive 30 foot face on December 20th, 2013 near Victoria, BC. Possibly the first person to ever ride this break at this size.
It had been a long few weeks with little wind on Vancouver Island, finally the forecast was looking good for December 20th, strong Westerly winds in the Afternoon and building swell. Unfortunately conditions didn’t materialize as expected, but when a door closes a window opens. That window for Lawrence was a rare opportunity to ride this elusive break, check out the resulting video.
The above is clearly satire. But do to a lack of conditions and being unable to get the the beach in the morning I grabbed some old gear and made this little video. Enjoy!
Check out this clip as a couple PWA freestylers hit up Vancouver Island.
Max Matissek joined Philip Soltysiak on a Windsurfing Into the Unknown adventure on Vancouver Island, Canada. Joined by Phil’s younger brother Tom, they camped and searched for windsurfing spots few have ever heard of in the summer of 2013.
The two professional windsurfers and seasoned travelers have been to some of the best windsurfing destinations around the world, and it was now a chance for Canada’s West Coast to prove it’s worthiness as a destination for adventure windsurfers. The trip took the riders from Jordan River and Gordon’s Beach, across to Port Renfrew, into Lake Cowichan and Nitinat Lake, to Port Alberni and finishing off on the Pacific coast in Tofino. All the while the team camped in the island’s Pacific Temperate Rain Forest, cooking and keeping warm with a campfire, and trying to keep wildlife away from their food.
Travel and tourism greatly impact developing countries. I’ve seen quite a bit with relatively little travel. Hotels in Mexico left abandoned half way through development to towns built around windsurfing and kiteboarding in Brazil. Problems included packed with tourist on and off the water, and garbage littering the beach, surprisingly a lot of garbage was from local tourists. I’ve also experienced bad sewage run off and pollution in first World locations.
This video “Surfing for Change: Travel Guide To Nicaragua” by Kyle Thiermann takes a look at sustainable surf tourism in Nicaragua, and a brief look at some of the issues that plagued other spots. What I found really interesting with the theory of the evolution of a tourism spot. From the trailblazers, to backpackers, followed mainstream travel and then followed at some point by a decline.