Monday, April 20, 2009

WINDY downwinder tonight

It was so windy tonight, I almost turned chicken and walked back to the truck. I could not hold onto the board in the strong wind. It almost knocked me flat on the beach.

But, I did go for it. Catching runners was easy.

I'm beginning to figure out the best way to catch runners is to wait until you get that "feeling" you're about to catch one, without doing anything, then add some paddle power and you're in. Trying to force yourself into a runner is a waste of time. You can't force it. The "feel" is something you only develop with time doing downwinders.


Bob said...

Watching Jeremy R. on the south side runs made me realize I was paddling too much too hard. Finally started to get the feel for just maintaining speed and then a couple of quick strokes to get onto a swell when you felt it start to pick up the tail.

So how are you feeling about downwind now that you've got some under your belt. Do you agree with the stoke level (mine included)?

NC Paddle Surfer said...

I enjoy it, but the excitement I feel being off shore in ragging seas, is probably less than others might feel. I think this comes from years of windsurfing in sea conditions most have never seen in person.

The most intense part of last nights session was just getting out, then back to shore at the end.

That said, it still is fun and I'll keep doing it.

A northeaster may be different! But, NE winds usually top out near 30, while SW winds often hit 40 around here.

Evan said...

Is your wind going side shore or on/off? The dw on Oahu are really fun when the wind is East or NE and it blows down the coast from Hawaii Kai to Waikiki. When the wind blows North, it pushes offshore making it difficult to stay on target. If you're getting on/off shore wind, I can't imagine it's that much fun.

Catching a DW swell is an opposite feeling from catching a normal breaking wave. To catch the DW swell you need to catch it in the trough and stay there, not the peak. What I do is watch the peak go under my board until it almost reaches the nose. At that point the nose will start to drop and the wave behind gives a slight push. That's when I paddle one or two good strokes to get on the wave and stay in the swell.

The real fun comes once you can start connecting the swells and go from one to the other. The expert guys that have the 'connecting' wired can pull away from the crowd and in a few minutes you can't see them anymore.

NC Paddle Surfer said...

Thanks Evan. Your explanation helps
me understand what I'm experiencing out there.

Our wind is side shore.