Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial day and the beginning of summer

Memorial day is a date to commemorate the heroes who gave their lives for this country. It also marks, for 98% of people, the beginning of summer. For the weekend warrior, who has been wearing neoprene and going to the beach since the lakes melted, these are some not-so-awesome news (what do you mean parking fee?).
So let's say hi to the dog days of summer my friends, and as every year, everywhere from May to September, let's pray for thermals.

PS: I lost my GoPro Hero today. It went down the way it should, smashed against a buoy on a hero jibe. Don't worry, I'll try to replace it, because I know that I'm not Hemingway and this blog without pictures will get a little dull...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

El Lobo and some other weird stuff

For the weekend warrior, buried in daily obligations, there is one place to go when the winds come from the SSE, or SE: El Lobo.
So today everybody was there: windsurfers, kitesurfers, fishermen, policemen yelling at children, and me. I got there in the afternoon, and a complicated weather pattern already was forming in the sky. One dude pulled out his phone and showed me what was coming, it looked like... There is a tornado warning? Nahhh...
So I went out, planed, and then the wind died. I barely came back to the launch when hail started falling from the sky. That and the thunder were a clear sign, the sign said: DE-RIG. But some waited, and the storm passed, but the wind never made it back. So I left, and on my way back I could see Lake Michigan full of white caps, and I kept thinking, did I make the right decision by derigging? Well, there is always next weekend, right?
Who cares about going back? Going downwind is always fun...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A hell of a session

Crazy power session today at Waukegan. We had some rough North wind pretty much all day. The Northern wall was stopping all the waves, creating some flat water buffeted by 25 mph winds. I rigged a 6.5 with max downhaul  and had some pretty fast runs. Outside, close to the end of the wall, you could see the waves in that chaotic Lake Michigan pattern that we love and fear so much. All and all, Waukegan is becoming my new favorite spot for North wind.
The North wall, with some pretty self-explanatory warnings
Jibe or die
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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Waukegan, where you don't want to miss a jibe

Zen and the art of launching in wind swell
Spring is all over the Midwest, and the wind gods are being benevolent with those who endured the winter, and didn't fly away to Bonaire to never come back. By Tuesday the charts started predicting some wind for the weekend, but in a typical windsurfing tradition, the blogs, websites and forums were silent. No one in this area would dare to say anything prematurely, piss off the gods, and screw it up or everyone else. But by Wednesday the tension was too much, the charts looked strong, and a got my first text: get ready for Saturday. Just that.
This time the charts were right, the wind was plenty, and smiles were everywhere. We tried Waukegan, and new spot for me, with almost on shore wind and that typical Lake Michigan wind swell with a period of 5 seconds that destroys your will and your gear. The place where if you miss a jibe, you get washed ashore like a sock in a laundry machine. But you know what's waiting past the white water, awesome shoulder high swell that invites you to jump, ride, surf, whatever you like. Good times. 
No gloves on Lake Michigan: spring is here!