Saturday, July 19, 2014

The verdict is here

Insane day at well City today! Zane and I spent all day testing different quivers, and the verdict is finally here (at least regarding the boards). We had a Goya Custom wave quad 78, a 2013 Goya One mono 72, and an Exocet 86 L Wave. For sails we had Goya Eclipse (5 batten), Banzai (4 batten power wave), and Ezzy Elite (4 batten). We rigged 3.4s for the Goyas, and 3.7 for the Elite, the wind was super gusty and there was a decent swell.
I was excited to finally get on the Quad, so I jumped on it first. That was a struggle. The board grips to the swell incredibly, you feel every bump, every chop. I now get why wave riders love these things. I's not like you can't jump the thing, but when riding, the board stays on the swell at all times. I wasn't feeling the love, but I still gave it a good shot. Then I jumped on the Goya One 72, and all of the sudden the river, the skies, the mountains, all my surroundings lit up. I could see everything, hear everything... In a stupor of joy, I heard the board's voice, and she said: you don't have to ride a quad if you don't like it, now let's grab that piece of chop in front of you and shred it into pieces... Seriously that's what happened.
When I came to shore (maybe an hour or two later), Zane was waiting and he knew I had seen something out there... I swapped the Eclipse for the Banzai to give the 4 batten sail a shot, but didn't love it. The sail is too on/off, whereas the Ezzys carry you through lulls with grace and bravado.
So in conclusion: I'm a monofin/thruster kinda guy, and I embrace my nature. Regarding the sails, I need to do some more testing, but again, the Ezzys will be hard to beat.
So what did I like about the One 72? The board TALKED to me bro!

Zane coming in after executing a perfect forward 20 yards from shore

Goya Custom Quad/Goya Banzai 3.4

Goya One mono 72/Goya Eclipse 3.4... This is the RIG!

Dude shredding...

Sunday, July 13, 2014

That's what she said

Just came back from the Event Site... What was that??? Nobody called this one. Temira (Gorge forecaster extraordinaire) called low teens, so I was just about to go on a bike ride when I got an email from Greg, who was at Hood River, saying there white caps all over... Checked iWindsurf, 19 at Swell City, so dropped the bike, packed my stuff and off I went. It turned out to be a solid 5.2 session, completely powered up from 5 to 7. The river swell was maybe hip high so nothing nuclear but nice ramps.
I guess the Gorge is as hard to predict as any other place!

Heading back home... I wasn't expecting to ride this weekend!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

No testing today, just blasting

Sweet session yesterday! Mid to upper teens, sunny, warm, great. I rode upwind (down current) from Hood River to approximately half way to Swell City, and found perfect blasting conditions. Spent all afternoon BAFing like a maniac, in the middle of what seems to be kite territory (those guys knew where the wind was because they were all there!). Regardless, there was plenty of space for us all. The swell was decent, but granted this was 6.5 conditions, this spot is supposed to go off when it's 4.7. The river exploration continues...

Gear notes: talked to one of the Windance dudes, those guys have sold all brands of sails over the years, and he's pretty stoked about the Ezzy Elite, so I guess that'll be the next sail I test out.

I was by the island East of Hood River

Friday, July 4, 2014

Gorge gear review, part 1

I just came back from my first Gorge session since the move. I've been trying to get some intel about what gear to get for the conditions here, and I was able to narrow the sail and volume range to 3ish-5ish, and 70is to 80ish. Now that's rather broad, so let the testing begin.
First stop: old friend David Ezzy (actually he has no idea of who I am) and his Tigers, paired with an 85 L / 25 cm fin Mistral Joker (what? is Mistral making new boards? Turns out they are). Got to the Event Site by 10 or so, assessed the wind an determined that it was solid 5.5. Rigged, launched, and got my ass handed to me 200 yards from shore... Got back, rigged a 4.7, and that was the ticket.
So how do the Tigers handle in Gorge conditions? First of all, I do not believe in reviews, I think you could copy the description of a 1970 F2 Lightning and paste it on a 2014 Quattro Shpere thruster and people would not notice. They all say the same thing! Tight turns, supersonic acceleration, no top end speed, will put you in orbit... You get the point. So you have to go and try shit if you can, and if not, just buy stuff and adapt to your gear. AYWAY, the Tiger has the trade mark Ezzy feeling, grunt, power, stability, no fuss and no muss. I know that feeling oh so well, I've been riding Ezzys for 6 years. When well rigged the sail feels like a feather, seriously, weightless in your hands. It actually depowers pretty well for an Ezzy, and in the air it feels super stable. So, verdict: more of the same awesomeness, worth considering them.
The Joker 85: I don't know about this board. It didn't have the crisp turning that an 85 L board should have. It does accelerate pretty well, and it jibes nicely, but it did not blow my mind. Sorry Mistral, it's not you, it's me. I may not be good enough to unleash the power of the Joker.

So all and all it was a pretty awesome session. By the end of the day I could not move my arms. I need to start working out.

So what's next? I need to compare this rig with others, and try a lower volume board (78 L or so). The Joker felt a little bouncy in the gusts, so I may need something smaller. In the end is a matter of what do you like the least: slogging in the lulls, or bouncing in the gusts.

OK, more to come soon.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


We all know the wind hates me, but it hates Windfest more. For three years the Hood River event has run on 0 wind days. It is still lots of fun, a full weekend of demos, clinics, and beer. I thought this year was going to be no exception as I pulled over to the Event Site parking lot. I hung out, learned a few freestyle tricks, introduced myself to Bruce Peterson (great guy btw), and drank some Full Sail lager. I called it quits at 4 on Saturday, and as I was getting on I-84, I saw the trees moving. All of a sudden the river was full of whitecaps, I could see them from my rear view mirror. So I stand corrected, the wind hates me more than it hates Windfest.
All these people hit the water right after I left