Saturday, December 26, 2009


After the last week's experience in the ice, I've been searching the net for new and innovative ways to dislocate my shoulders. To be honest, the ice is fun but is a little bit two dimensional. The ever changing terrain is what hypnotizes me about windsurfing, 50 feet from you there is nothing, and all of the sudden there is a hill, or a mountain, or a wall, ya' know what I'm talking about.
But then I found this guy in Canada named Guy Trudeau, and he changed everything... His thing is a sled made with skis, powered by a windsurf sail. You may say "Oh! I've seen that before" to which I will reply: "Check what this guy Guy does with his windski"...
I already made mine, and I'll be waiting for you out there in the snow, or in the ice...

PS: Check Guy's website and enjoy...
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Saturday, December 12, 2009


Winter finally arrived to Chicago! It was 1 degree Fahrenheit last Wednesday, and the small lakes are all frozen now. This was never a problem in New England, the ocean never froze, so I'm a little inexperienced in this matter. Luckily, our friends in the Nordic countries have been dealing with details such as frozen water and extreme cold temperatures for years. So surfing the net I found this new and exiting sport, which I will call "Spoon windsurf" a.k.a SPW (the thing at the bottom of the mast is actually a ladle). SPW is the hottest sport in Latvia, and the number SPW enthusiasts is growing exponentially (now there is three of us). Big companies are fighting to sponsor the young hot shots: Gollito Estredo just signed a contract with IKEA, and it is rumored that the Pritchards are between Bed, Bath and Beyond and Kitchen Aid. In Siberia, Antoine Albeau just hit 160 knots with a 7,5 m sail and a spoon made with titanium, he is still coming back upwind. Anyway, don't let the cold days go by and get a spoon; soon it will be spring again.
The rig, and my beach chair

Starboard just released the 2011 SPW board: 2300 dollars. Or you can steal your girlfriend's ladle: 2,25 dollars

How fast? Scary fast!!!

12 mph wind, a perfect day for your 5.2

The ice ain't smooth, so helmets are a must (elbows and knees pads are also recommended). HAVE FUN!!!
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Sunday, December 6, 2009

A humbling experience

St. Joseph is a ENE fetching beach in Michigan. The place has a reputation for going big in N wind, with big swell wrapping arround the channel's breakwall. This was not my forst time at St Joe, but it will be one that I will remember. Today the wind was SW 18-20 mph, or at least that was what the buoy at Sowth Haven (30 minutes north of St. Joe) read. I rigged my 6.5 and sailed upwind from the wall, trying to stay in the area between the wall and the beach. The side-on shore wind felt prety safe, but I ran out of power on my way back. What followed was the inevitable wipe out, and a swim to shore. Not being able to waterstart or uphaul, I ended being pushed against the wall and had to climb one of its ladders. In doing this I lost grip of my rig, which floated astray for 20 minutes until it was pushed back to the wall when I was able to grab it.
Overall, nothing serious happened, but I learned my lesson: no room for mistakes in the Big Lakes. Things that went right: from my launch the wind was side-on, and that is what generated the waves that pushed me back to shore. My dry suit, gloves and booties were appropriate for the conditions, I never felt cold. Things that went wrong: I knew that the wind on the inside was not enough, and I still went out. I was alone, bad idea. I launched too close to the wall, worse idea.
Today Lake Michigan showed me its true power, and I am grateful that I got out of the water in one piece.
Fortunately the ladder I climbed was not covered with ice.
Lake Michigan
... and some room for artistic expression :)
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Thursday, November 26, 2009


Today was a clowdy day. There was also the fine rain and the chilly temperature. I used to love days like this in New England, days made to rip...
I paked the Goya, a 6,5 and a 5,2 sails, and headed to Wolf Lake. To my surprise, the entrance to the lke was closed, and I had to use the accesory entrance, which I don't even think is legal... but hey, it was only me and the crazy old man in overall adn rollerblades in the parking lot, and he didn't seem to care.
6,5 seemed appropriate, and it was for about two hours until the wind piked up, but it was all right, for me it was time to go anyway, Thanksgiving diner was waiting.

I felt kind of rusty doing my jibes today, that's what happens when you work too much. December here I come, until Papa Midwest winter lets me play.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wolf Lake 10/24/09

I can't believe Rocktober is almost gone, and I scored only one session the whole month!!! To be fair, I was in Argentina for two weeks, so I guess I can't complain... Anyway, today I had a fun afternoon sesh at Wolf. I sailed from 4 until sunset, and it was great to be on the water again. The wind was marginal, but perfect for my light wind gear (Satarboard F-type 145 and 9.8 Sailworks).
The temperature was fine today, but it's definitely getting colder. In New England I used to sail all year round, we'll see how bad the weather gets hare in the Midwest; I have my eyes on a kitewing though, those things look fun!!!
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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wolf Lake

Good day at Wolf. I woke up early this morning, with the intention to go to Michigan, but by the time I had breakfast, checked several windsurfing sites, talked to my brother on the phone, and a few other things it was almost noon... After all it's Sunday, and it's my chilling day of the week...
So I went to Wolf, 20 minutes from home. Wolf Lake is a small lake in Indiana, with a grassy rigging area, and friendly flat water. It's pretty popular among windsurfers for its accessibility. 6.5 and 105 L worked just fine, enough to get me through the lulls (being an inland lake, the wind at Wolf is notoriously gusty)...
So it was a pretty cool sesh, going back and forth and hitting the occasional mini ramp. The wind died at about 5 PM, I was home by 7.
Tomorrow the forecast is showing colors that I've never seen in my life. The guys from are going out, I don't know where, chak out the site by the end of the week for pictures of the massacre!!!
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Sunday, September 20, 2009

First time at Montrose! 9/20/09

Today I hit Montrose Beach, on the north side of Chicago! This is a popular spot simply because it's close to the city. It was blowing 12-14 knots, time for my light wind speed machine to shine...
I really like that rig, it gets me going, it's perfect for soul sessions, long reaches back and forth... But the Starboard F-type sometimes feels stiff, well, I guess I should expect that from any board carrying a 50 cm fin... Anyway, great session, I will definitely go back to Montrose when it's going off, looks like the swell gets nice over there...
(No pictures today... sorry!)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Weekend road trip: Michigan City and St Joseph

Last weekend there was some wind forecasted for both days... time for a road trip. Our first stop was Michigan City, in Indiana. The beach faces WNW, and the forecasted wind direction was NNW,so we were expecting some nice side-on push... Nothing happened until 6 PM, when all of the sudden it sarted blowing in the 18-20s. It was pretty on-shore, so I rigged my 6.5 to have extra power to make it upwind, and get out of the impact zone that was getting pretty big. The ride out felt great, I went through the white water with no problem. My ride back was a memorable one: I was running parallel to the beach riding walls of fresh water. In one of those waves I wiped out, and just made it in time to grab my rig before the next wave hit. This second wave fell with all its force on my sail, and snapped my mast in half, the sail made it in one piece though, GO EZZY!!! Anyway, that was the end of another great short sesh... time for a beer.
Sunday we went ot St Joseph, in Michigan. This is a surf spot, pretty cool, and famous in the area for getting scary big... Well, it didn't get stary big, but it definitely showed up its potential. The waves looked so nice in the morning that we decided to try SUP. My first time on a SUP, and I must tell it's a great woukout!

Me SUPing in St Joseph

Time for some sailing
Crazy SUPer in shorts

 Surfin' Michigan

In the afternoon the wind picked up, so we rigged and went out, but we needed a little bit more wind to make things work... Later that day, two SUPers showed up at the beach and went out to Tiscornia (the other side of the beach) where the waves were pretty heavy. One of the guys was in shorts, I really thought that we were going to have to rescue him, but he made it back in one piece...
Anyway, another great weekend in the mid-west,  I can't wait to get another SUP sesh... maybe tomorrow...
Thanks again to Reid Fillman, the guy behind the camera! If you want to see more pics, check out

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The shortest session

Does one run constitute a session? Who knows... North winds, somewhere between 12 and 18 mph, were forecasted for today. Whihala beach, in Indiana, was the call. The beach fetches NE, so N provides side on conditions, great...
When I got there I was the only windsurfer (there was one kiter, way up wind from me) which was not a good thing... But the waves looked so nice! Organized sets, clean, perfect chest high swell. I rigged my 6.5 and wet out, only to corroborate what I already knew: that there was not enough wind... getting out was tricky but I made it through the white water, and once I got past the barrels, the wind filled in and I got in the straps, heading upwind as much as I could.
This launch is an interesting spot, in the middle of an industrial area, not a typical "paradise" one would say.
Long story short, I didn't nail my jibe, and had to waterstart in front of the natsy chimneys of some refinery... not great... but the swell was so good! So on the way in, I grabbed a few super nice waves that pushed me downwind.
For the second run, I was already downwind, and when I got up, I noticed that the wind had really come down... I wiped out in the impact zone, and got washed ashore, luckily...
There was no third attempt, the cold water, the fact that I was there alone, and the lack of wind were too many factors against me...
But the swell was so great... I'll go back some day!

Wolf Lake late afternoon session

Last Thursday I saw the trees moving as I was walking back from work. I thought about staying at home, I was tired... At the end I decided that if I was going to spend the rest of the afternoon checking the wind, I may as well give it a try, so I drove to Wolf Lake. I got there by 6 PM, right in time for a late afternoon session that put a smile on my face...
Tomorrow may be a Formula day, we'll see...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Oval Beach take two

Great weekend at Oval Beach! I got there Saturday morning, and the weather was less than perfect, with lots of rain and occasional thunder... But after a couple of hours the weather cleared... time to rig the 5,2... I sailed for two hours with Mark and Wendell, and when the wind dropped, was pretty exhausted... The word at the beach was that Sunday was going to be even better, so we stayed at a Hotel for the night.
We got back to the beach on Sunday morning and it was already cranking, 5,2 again, perfect on the inside, but a little bit small for the outside. Nevertheless, I stayed with the 5,2, trying to land some airs (I'm still afraid of these ramps!).
In summary, awesome weekend... Check out the pictures!

Air time, trust me it looks higher from the board :)

Eric's jibe

Reid's duck jibe
Oval Beach, gotta love it...
Mark is as happy as a sailor can be...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Oval Beach, Michigan

Finally I have some time to update the blog! Since I moved to Chicago I've been working pretty hard, but this weekend I was rewarded with a killer session at Oval Beach, Michigan.
I got in touch with the local crowd, through a website called (check it out!)... These guys have been exploring and sailing in the area for a while, and are full of stoke!!!
Anyway, it was a 5.2 day, and the swell kept getting bigger, unbelievable... I know, you may think "there are no waves in Lake Michigan"... well my friend, I invite you to come here and see it by yourself...

Some of the images belong to
Photograper: Reid Fillman. For more, visit the website!

Oval Beach, Michigan
Eric, local ripper...
My face says it all...
Getting some air...
Scott, facing the swell, he made it though ;)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Three-day weekend

Beautiful Kalmus!!!

Windsurfers ripping at Kalmus
Great weekend here in New England! Finally I got my stitches out last Friday, and the forecast was promising for Sunday, but Saturday also looked good for some Formula BAFing. I went to Fogland on Saturday morning a Igor was there with his 10.8, typical summer weekend. We had to wait for the wind, but it finally happened at around 4. It was enough to make the big stuff work, and it was kind of fun to see how you can get overpowered on 16 mph winds... Note: the formula gear, even if it will make you fly in virtually no wind, has its limitations when it comes to maneuverability. Oh well, we got wet and that's what mattered.
Sunday was a different story. Kalmus went off at 4, and I was pretty powered on my 6.5, again, could I have rigged 5,2? May be...
And then, the bonus, an unexpected afternoon session on Monday. This time I rigged small, and it was total fun, even if I was shlogging some of the time (Fogland is gusty, as we all know...).

Loop update: On Saturday I practiced throwing myself over the rig in no wind. I did that about fifteen times, and I thought "now I'm ready"... Well, I was not. When the wind picked up at Kalmus I could not find the courage to throw myself in the air and forward. When they say that looping is 90% balls, they are right... On Monday at Fogland I spotted a piece of chop and I just went for it. When I got my head out of the water, I was in front of the rig, I had been thrown forward... FORWARD!!!! That means that I started to make my way into this tricky and beautiful maneuver... Now I need to keep trying, and trying, and trying...

See you out there!
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Monday, May 25, 2009

It's summer again!!!

Windsurfing was suspended for me this weekend (doctor's orders...) But he didn't say anything about showing up at the beach! Yesterday it was suny and there was some wind, so I decided to go to Fogland and take some pictures...
You can tell summer is here when you see Igor on his 10.8 on a suny day!

One more comment: I declare 2009 the year of the loop. It is my goal to land a forward before Christmas... There it is, I said it, now I just need to GET TO WORK!!!! (I'll be posting here how things are going)

See you out there!
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Kalmus beach

Great week so far here in New England! On Tuesday I crossed Narragansett bay on the Ezzy Zephyr 7.5 and the Goya 105. It was late afternoon (around 6 PM), so I made it to the other side and back as fast as I could. Kind of scary in the middle where the channel is, but fortunately the wind kept me on a plane all the way out and almost all the way back...
Today I had the afternoon off and the forecast read SW 20 mph, so I headed to Kalmus, in Cape Cod. By the time I arrived there were a bunch of windsurfers and kiters on the water, and my buddy Davide was tearing it apart with his freestile extravaganza (in the picture, throwing a vulcan). I rigged the Ezzy wave 5.2 and again, my beloved Goya (all terrain at this pont)... Five hours later I was still smiling as I got out of the water

Monday, May 11, 2009

What a session last Sunday!!! A low pressure system in northern New England generated 20-25 mph WNW wind all day. Larry and Don were heading to Horseneck, so I decided to check it out, if it was too tough, I would just head to the Cape, Chapin looked like a good alternative. When I arrived there the wind looked pretty strong, and after a few changes (and after I broke a boom half a mile from shore) I ended up sailing on an 85 L JP and a 5,2 Ezzy. The rest of the day was just great side-of wind, borderline scary waves and sun... what a day!!!
Special thanks go to my buddy Larry, who let me use his board, his sail and his boom... you can see him ripping in the last pic; and to Steve for the pictures, pure New England windsurfing spirit...

I know I said it before, but I'm going to miss this place...

See you out there!!!
No words...

Guess what happens when you wipe out in this section...

Larry going through the white water...

... and throwing some spray outside the breakwater
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mayflower, Cape Cod - 04/19/09

Surprise session today at Mayflower! The forecast was not promising, but you know how forecast are... Yesterday in the afternoon, it went from 10-15 mph to upper teens - low twenties!!! By the evening I dropped a line on iwindsurf to check if other boardheads were tracking the weather... of course they were, they always are ;)
Outcast and I, showed up early, and launched from Mayflower, a couple of miles east from Chapin. I had a blast with the ramps going out, and the friendly surf on the way in, the signature of the Chapin-Mayflower area.
I know that I said it in previous post, but what a place Cape Cod is... I'm really going to miss it... Kiters and winsurfers adding color to the beach
These guys were cruising around all day!!!

Outcast after a run in the rollers

... and taking advantage of the flat water jibatorium :)
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