Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Prognosis: Negative

So it looks like I damaged my costochondral ligament in that fall at Sherman Island. Basically this is the cartilage that attaches the rib to the sternum. It normally heals by itself, but if it got detached, they'll have to sew it all back together. My doc told me that it looks like I hurt my shoulder pretty good too and wants to send me to physical therapy. I asked him how long it would take to be back on the water and he looked at me like I was an idiot.

"Do you compete in windsurfing or something?"

"Um... no."

It was cool, he used to windsurf back in the day, so he could appreciate what a catapult actually is. Anyway he wants me off the water for 30 days. I'm starting to feel a lot better, so I'm kinda doubting I'll make it that long...

So that was the bad news. The good news? I'M GOING TO MAUI IN OCTOBER!!! WOO!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

His "ouch" is worse

I'm sure by now, most of my fellow windsurfing internet geeks have seen this video. I hope this guy is ok, it seems like this could have been a pretty devastating accident.

I can identify with this individual's desire to push himself in hairy conditions. We've all done it. We're all trying to push ourselves, we're all trying to find our limits. But the nice thing about windsurfing is that the consequences are rarely this bad. From my experience, the more wind you're dealing with, the more up and down it will be. When it blows 30, it's usually blowing 20-40+. These conditions are far more ideal for windsurfing. If a huge gust comes along and begins to sustain you can hang out in the water until the tough stuff is over. Kiting doesn't come with that luxury, unfortunately.

I hope this guy makes a full recovery, and I hope that everyone who watches the video, kiter or not, learns something from the video. Think with your head, not your balls, kids.


I'm going to be off the water for a few days. Saturday morning I drove out to Rio Vista where it was sustaining around 25. I rigged my 4.4 and went out to play for a couple hours in a choppy ebb at around 9 am. I earned my namesake once again with a vicious catapult, but this was probably the most painful of all time. I held on to the boom, compressed my wrist backward and my knuckles implacted my upper chest with an odd "crunch" sound. It was the first time I ever had a feeling that I was not going to be able to make it back to shore unassisted.

I sat there in the water for a minute, testing my appendages. Hands seemed to still have grip, forearm wasn't flopping around, I was still breathing ok. I waterstarted and headed back to the launch, still overpowered. I went back to my car, cracked a beer and took a nap. More of my buddies showed up in the afternoon, so I ignored the pain and went for a sail. Oh, it was blowing 30 too, which helped me with the "mind-over-matter" bit. I sailed my 3.8 comfortably powered for a couple hours. This was the first time I think I've ever felt "comfortable" with this sail... it was probably because the water was flooding which kept it pretty flat.

I sailed a 3rd time that day, doing a downwinder on my 4.4 from a launch called "the access" to another launch known as "powerlines". It was probably only a couple miles, but it was definitely worth doing. I started to get cold as the sun set, and if it wasn't for the beers I drank that day, I probably would have been in a lot of pain.

The next morning, I woke up in my car to the wind blowing 25 again, with a really nice ebb going. I was hurting, but decided to go for a sail anyway. Once the adrenaline kicked in I was fine, and I completed one of my best planing jibes yet. I carved down onto a wave face and the wave pushed me along on a plane all the way through. Such a cool feeling.

When it was time to pack up and the windsurfing high was over, I realized that I was in some serious pain. I drove home wincing and when I got home, I had fully assessed that I had injured my upper rib cage pretty badly on Saturday. It hurts to cough and laugh and even take deep breaths. I took yesterday off work and considered driving to the hospital, but wasn't really feeling up for it. I think most rib injuries basically require rest either way, so I think I'm just going to wait and see what happens.

I guess that's what I get for teasing Dave and Josh with my last post. Maybe I should reconsider next time I'm going to make fun of another sailor?

Nah. :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

A quick how-to-windsurf refresher for Josh and Dave

Josh and Dave, just in case there was any confusion...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Non-Windsurfing Post

Something has gone terribly wrong with my PC, so I'm going to have some trouble posting these next couple weeks. Over the weekend, I backpacked in the Desolation Wilderness near Lake Tahoe. We reached the summit of Mount Tallac at 9735 feet. That's not very high in comparison to most mountaineering being done in the world, but it was a bear of a climb for my perpetually-sea-level-living self. The hike was over 20 miles and I was carrying about 45lbs. It was a hell of a work out. There were definitely moments where I didn't think I was going to make it.

This area is really beautiful, with lots of mountain lakes with extremely clear water. I would recommend anyone make a trip if they have they opportunity.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thanks Mo!!!

Mo of was nice enough to make the banner for my blog. I've always loved her work with charactures and comics, so I'm totally stoked about the new look.

I'm trying out a new template to see if I can get the banner to work. The old template was screwy because it was very dependant on your monitor size/resolution, so hopefully this will make the blog more readable in the long run (even though it's going to make all my old posts have even worse formatting).

Random Pictures before a weekend off...

I haven't had any real significant sessions lately. I've been sailing Coyote Point quite a bit trying to cash in to how close it is to my office. It's a neat spot, the slightest change in wind direction changes the experience quite a bit. Today was 18-21 or so on a light flood. I mistakenly rigged my 5.0 and fought and fought the whole time to stay upwind. Yesterday was solid 5.0 on my 85L board and my ankles were taking a beating. Sometimes you go straight into the chop there, sometimes it comes from the side, it's so variable and dynamic... but it's usually pretty exciting while not feeling dangerous. It's really growing on me.

I'm off to Tahoe this weekend for some camping and hiking with my uncle. I know I'm going to be missing windsurfing and dreading the altitude headaches... but it will be nice to have a little break. I hope everybody gets some (wind) this weekend.

This is a photograph taken from near my house in the Presidio of an event called "Sail Fest". It was a huge regatta with hundreds of sailboats, and they got perfect serene sailing conditions with beautiful sunny skies that day.

This was the day I walked at Crissy. I think once I pony up for a marine radio, I'll start sailing here a lot more. The scenery is flat out amazing.

Another shot from that day at Crissy. It was pretty cold. Low 60s in the middle of the afternoon.

This is a picture taken from inside my apartment. It's a foggier and chillier part of town, but the view on a clear day like this can't be beat. They are old military style apartments, but the rent is low and the places are really nice on the inside. I fall to sleep every night to the sound of crashing waves... it rocks.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Weekend at Coyote

I sailed Coyote Point on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Each day was great, but I think Sunday took the cake. The wind was steady NW 20-25 with lots of port ramps, which I FINALLY have figured out how to jump. (Previously, I had been trying to use my starboard programming to do port jumps, ha!) I'm glad I got that rewired. Now I just need to figure out how to go higher.

It was really crowded, I couldn't even find a parking spot. There were CalCup formula races going on as well as a couple non-windsurfing related parties. A lot of windsurfers avoid crowded places and keep spots they like secret. I completely disagree with this philosophy. I'm all about windsurfing around lots of windsurfers in places where windsurfing can be exposed. It's an individual sport, but everyone brings a different perspective and passion... I really dig that.

Here's a few pics:

The marine layer has a lot to do with how the wind works out here. Essentially it's a big mass of fog that develops over the Pacific and the west side of the peninsula. It's a chilly, low flying system that gets pretty cold when there's high pressure. The hot eastern land mass warms up throughout the day and the layer gets sucked across the peninsula and the bay. I know I've said about 20 things wrong in this paragraph, but I'm still working on my west coast meteorology merit badge.

Holy crap, it's Matt Pritchard! He was there doing some clinics and helping with a Tabou board demo. He's definitely one of those guys who defines class and good attitude, it was cool getting to chat with him for just a few minutes. Oh, I followed him out once to the middle of the bay and he was lofting HUGE air. There's a difference between pros and mortals.

Sorry, I just couldn't resist making an LOLmatt!

If you think I'm stoked...

Check this dude out!

This weekend was awesome... sailed sunny Coyote Point all weekend... Plus a celebrity sighting!

Friday, August 1, 2008

The First Rule of Windsurfing Club

You do not talk about Windsurfing Club!

Fight Club is probably one of my top 10 favorite movies of all time. When I come come back to work the morning after an awesome session and I feel like I've beat up and bruised but at the same time completely stoked, I'm often reminded of the scene in this movie where he's at work, his coworkers are yelling in his face but it only comes through as a silent hum in the background. Even if you tried to explain how you achieved this state of temporary nirvana, they probably wouldn't understand.

I had another awesome session at Point Isabel/Marina Bay. 86L and 5.0, fully powered 20-25 goodness for about 2 hours. Starboard and port jumping ramps along with super flat water behind Brooks' Island. Big rolling swell about a half mile upwind. Right now this is my favorite spot, and it's not even close.

July Wrap-Up

days of sailing, with planing on 5.7 or below
2 days using the 5.7 "big sail"
14 days on my trusty 5.0 Boxer
13 different spots

The days I missed were mostly due to things like going to the DMV, getting boards repaired, traveling or being sick. Truly, there were probably only 3-4 days that were unsailable (and by unsailable, I mean unplanable, with my gear). If you were willing to drive, had a 7.5, and a little bit of local knowledge I'm confident you could plane every day.

I know my buddies on the east coast are having a rough go-of-it this summer. I'll say a prayer for you all!