Saturday, January 14, 2017

Quintana December session

Happy New Year!! Totally forgot about this clip. Fun action from Quintana last year. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Sunrise Session

September passed by with barely a hint of wind. Squeezed out a dawn session at Port Aransas on Saturday. This is a cool pic:

Look close and you can see the fisherman casting his net
Hit some solid knee high lips like in this clip:


But we really need some proper wind and waves soon.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Learning to Push Loop

Sailing out fully powered I hit a nice steep head high bowl. Imagining I was Boujmaa I projected as high as possible. Here goes! I threw my head back, ready for the fast backwards push loop rotation. Waking from my reverie, for a split second time slowed down, I found myself peering down at the water. I focused on the water surface in fine detail, a long way down. I was hanging there, lets say 20 feet up, over my sail. A sinking feeling welled in my chest. "Mike, what have you done". I'm not quite sure what happened after that moment of timeless clarity. Time sped up and I hit the water, not my equipment, surfacing with a sense of relief and a smile.

I guess that's just the reality of pushing your limits and not living in complacency. You flirt with the edges and often cross them.

So, the first couple of days in Moulay I was trying backloops but kept over-rotating. Jem called them push-backs. Kind of half back loop, half push loop. Here are some examples:


Coach encouraged me to choose one. After watching the video I decided I might as well start trying push loops! Here is an ugly attempt:


I didn't get any others on film unfortunately. Then day 3, sailing up by Lawamas I hit a nice ramp and busted out a decent one right in front of the coach landing bum first. My first ever push loop. Boom! The next day, the crash...a mental step backwards but a technical step forwards in the learning process. Going into the wind slightly speeds up the rotation and appears to be the secret to making it round all the way. It also feels safer as you aren't really right over the top of your equipment.

My take on how to push loop:
  • Jump off a nice steep ramp with hands pretty close together
  • Aim to go straight up but also steer the nose somewhat into the wind (to speed up the rotation and go a little more horizontal)
  • Look straight back and pull in hard on the front hand only
  • Let the magic happen, at this point I'm just along for the ride
  • Apparently you slow down the rotation and finish the move by pushing out on the back hand and opening up the body. Personally I'm still working on this part. 
PS - Check out the push loop diaries on for more tips and motivation
PPS - Last Friday, Packery was working great, a rare gift. Side-on, nicely powered 5.2 and head high waves. First attempt I whipped it round and landed on my back. Ooh stinger - that hurts without a wetsuit! Second attempt didn't go so well and I got stuck again mid rotation on top of the kit. I guess I went too vertical again. Came down hard on the sail...

Got some bruising on my tricep
AND put my head through the sail - first time out on my new (but used) 2016 Severne S1-PRO. Noooooooo!!!!
PPPS - Next time!? Oh and I am loving the S1-PROs. They feel pretty special.