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May 16, 2010 at 12:14 PM
By: Pete
How to Test Windsurfing Gear

"Not that I’m a science wizard, but here are four elements of a scientific investigation that are very useful in testing."

Today I had an awesome session at Hookipa while testing some fins. Testing is sometimes made out to be a drag but it can be very fun! I think the number one reason why people don’t like testing is because they go through hours of testing without any results. Not that I’m a science wizard or anything but there are four elements of a scientific investigation that I find can be very useful in a test. After all, testing is a science experiment.

     The first is the Independent Variable. This will be the thing that changes in your test. For example, it would be the change in fins from a single to a quad. Lots of people make too minor changes and don’t get results. Be dramatic in order to get an idea of what works for you, then fine tune it.

     Next, is the Dependent Variable. This is whether or not your independent variable did anything. So if you change from a single fin to a quad the dependent variable would be that the board became more skatey and loose, its basically the result of your experiment. If you don’t get a result, try making bigger adjustments. If this doesn’t work go back to your original set-up and get an idea of what you had before compared to what you have now.

     Third, is the Control. This is your set-up before you began testing. So if you were switching from a single to a quad, the single would be the control. It's always a good idea to go out and have a short session before you start testing in order to see what your set-up feels like in the conditions you are sailing. You don’t want to have sailed in on-shore winds the day before and now start testing your new stuff in off-shore winds because it will throw your results off completely.

     Finally, there is the Constant. This is the element of your test that cannot change in order to get perfect results. Say you are sailing in the morning with your single fin and then in the afternoon you decide to sail your quad but the wind and waves have changed completely. Well, you can’t do that because you’ll never know if the new set-up is making a difference or if its just the fact the the wind has died to an awesome 15 mph and you are catching glassy shoulders that weren’t there this morning.

     Well hopefully this isn’t just a bunch of jibberish and it can actually help someone out there who wants to test but doesn’t know the right steps. Thanks!

Posted: May 24, 2010 at 09:09 AM
By: Windsport Magazine
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A Walk in the Park

"...there’s a whole other side to SUP that's fun and relaxing!"—Bernd Roediger

Today my Dad and I went for our first paddle since the Olukai. We were going to “take a walk in the park” as my Dad said at the beginning of the run. At first I wanted to sprint as fast as I could, but then I looked at the landscape and decided to hang back and have some fun. And it was! My Dad and I were paddling past each-other, always trying to do the goofiest pose we could come up with!

A lot of the entries I’ve put in my blog have been about hardcore training and epic sessions, but there’s a whole other side to the sport that is fun and relaxing. Some days you can focus on the ten feet of water in front of you and burn through 8 miles of coast-line and other times you can look at the entire coast-line and cruise! For example, today I was watching a puffy cloud blow off the top of our eastern mountain when a turtle breached the surface and looked at me in surprise! After hesitating for a second he dove back down into the water and disappeared into the shimmering blue water until he was just a small grey speck in the seemingly never-ending expanse of the deep.

I was really happy that I decided to hang with my Dad and have some quality time to unwind from the high-strung contest mode. Besides who wants to go alone when you can go with your best friend?

Posted: May 20, 2010 at 08:58 AM
By: Windsport Magazine
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The Olukai

"...there was a 10 ft tiger shark in the water and they wanted everyone to get out of there!"—Bernd Roediger

Today was the day I had been waiting for for months... the Olukai stand-up race.

As we rolled up (all pumped up on Metallica and Eminem) to Maliko we signed in and got ready to go. We looked out onto the water; it was going to be a very light, hard, downwinder. After a nice group prayer we looked at an over-look of the course. There was a standard run to Kanaha with an extra 300 yard sprint, I had a feeling it would be very interesting. We took our boards and went out!

It was an erie feeling having so many people around you but feeling so alone. As we waded out onto the pebble bay everyone was stoney-faced and serious. It felt like a war movie where the soldiers are wading through a swamp waiting for an ambush. Except for we were waiting for a serious grind! We paddled about a half-mile out to the start line where we were going to wait for everyone to catch up and race. But then all of the sudden they started the race! We later found out that there was a 10 ft tiger shark in the water and they wanted everyone to get out of there!

So the race was on and I was paddling to get in front of as many people as I could! But the wind was light and it was really hard to get any glides. The race went on for a long while and then one of the photography helicopters flew over me! The wind wash blew me onto a mega-glide! I rode that to pass a few people and then come neck and neck to Mark Raaphorst, the owner of SIC deigns. Before I knew it we were at Camp One which is about 3/4 of a mile from the finish! We raced each other as fast as possible, neither one of us were going to slow down! But Mark was pulling away and I didn’t have anymore gas left! I was the little train that wished he could! As I came to the beach the Olukai crew grabbed my board and I sprinted along the beach trying desperately to catch Mark, I was running like the Terminator trying to catch him! And I gained about a hundred yards on him but still he crossed the finish before me! As I crossed the finish I collapsed onto the sand and someone handed me some water that I then inhailed!

I was still bummed that I couldn’t beat Mark but I tried my best and was exhausted! Later on I found out that I won my age group, 18 and under, and I got 4th over-all in the 14 ft and under class which consisted of 75 people! Needless to say I felt way better! Then my Dad came through! He got 11th over-all in the 14 ft and under and he also got third in his age group.  My Mom also got third in her age group! I was so happy that I won, and that my family won too! It was a good feeling to have all of that hard work pay off.

I wandered over to the beach front and I thought of all those hardcore training runs with Mickey Eskimo and my Dad. I thought about all of those days practicing my stroke and keeping up my cardio when my hand was broken, it was all very hard and yet all worth it.

Posted: May 16, 2010 at 11:54 AM
By: Windsport Magazine
(1) Comment/s
The Edge of Control!

Yesterday the wind was really light and I was having a tough time keeping speed up. I had to find a way to build more speed when the wind was mellow like this. So today my Dad and I brought a bigger fin with! I went from a 24 cm fin to a 28. A bigger fin should produce more lift, quicker planning, and more speed in light wind. On my first run I noticed a big difference! The speed coming out of my jibes was faster, I could get planning faster, and my over-all speed was above and beyond what I had with my old fin.

There was only one problem, I was tail walking like a madman! At one point I was coming in over a small wave preparing to gain downhill speed but instead my nose went straight up into the air and my tail went slamming into the water! Trying to play it off and keep up my cool factor I leaned hard on my front foot in midair and ended up putting myself in an even worse, and more awkward, position! My board blew downwind and my outside rail came this close to catching! The whole thing looking a bit like trying to balance on a seesaw while some one is jerking it up and down... trust me I’ve been there too! After that I told my Dad it was perfect! I guess that when you’re racing, the edge of control is a good place to be!

Posted: May 13, 2010 at 08:34 AM
By: Windsport Magazine
(0) Comment/s
Keeping up with Eskimo

We were at Maliko getting ready for a down-winder when Mickey Eskimo rolled up in his pick-up. We stepped out into the road to meet him and maybe go for a paddle with him. He told us that it was his second run and that it was super windy and super fun. We headed out and took off as soon as we hit the howling wind line, there was no need to burn way outside because it was so windy, we could have caught glides two feet from the shore-break! I took off in the lead at first but soon Mickey was on my tail and then all of a sudden he was in front of me! Right away we started trading blows like it was the UFC! I would blow by on a huge glide and then Mickey would come powering past me again... after about 10 minutes I was sweating like a pig! Between short, uncontrollable gasps we shout things like: “Jeeeeez you’re fast!” Or “Man I can barely keep up!” (Most of those were from me!) It was a great time and I was stoked to be able to compete with such an experienced racer! Finally, we reached a reef where some waves were breaking. Mickey caught a set wave and would have made it but a jagged rock popped up out of the water and he had to make evasive maneuvers. Evasive maneuvers that included hooting and turning slightly to the left while falling off his board like he slipped on a banana peel! I paddled through a lull in the set and grabbed his board, when he swam to it we started laughing hysterically! After we had our gasps and giggles we agreed that it was an epic run. He said that I inspired him to go faster but it was me that was inspired. Walking away from today both humbled and stoked. I feel like I’m ready to race!

Posted: May 10, 2010 at 08:01 AM
By: Windsport Magazine
(0) Comment/s

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