Sunday, September 7, 2014

What's going on

Thanks to Brook for this one.
I apologize for the Ad in the beginning.  I don't usually use ClapwayTV...
But the Video is well worth it.

Next up: 2nd Annual ECWF Cape Cod 2014. This weekend is the East Coast Windfest's Cape Cod competition.  Kalmus Beach in Hyannis on the weekend of September 13-14, 2014.
Sorry folks, I was just up there last week. You will just have to find someone else to come in last place.

If you can't make it to the Cape, then maybe you need some new gear, or want to trade up to some new stuff? Hampton Watersports  is having a Swap Meet on the 13th. See Michael's Peconic Puffin for details.

And remember:  LIBAG.ORG needs your help for the Gilgo beach Clean Up Saturday September 20th, 9 AM

Saturday, September 20th, at 9AM, LIBAG, the Long Island Beach Access Group, along with the American Littoral Society, is sponsoring a Beach Clean UP at Gilgo Beach Long Island.

Details at

Sunday, July 27, 2014


So yesterday I sat at Gilgo State Park, [Old Coast Guard Beach] from 2 - 6:30 yesterday waiting for the wind to pick up. 

Nice to watch the surf contest. I was impressed with what they could do in that small on shore slop. 

We left at 6:30 because the wind was showing signs of life. Checked Cedar; [thank god no one was charging, [because they could have hit me up for $40.00 for 6:30 to 8 PM!] . At Cedar  I would have the privilege of carrying my gear a half mile each way, then sailing another 1/2 mile in the open ocean, across the inlet to windsurf the outer jetty. All this while LL sits at Cedar a mile away.  This is still better than walking 1 & 1/2 miles each way from RM2 to the jetty.
I also checked  Overlook: [who would not let me it, because I am a non resident] but no one was there. The beach was empty.

We could have continued on to Demo by truck with Lauralee; even though you still CAN’T Windsurf from your truck. 

I can drive right there; I can pull a surfboard from my truck and surf; but not a Windsurfer. What if the wind or wave state changes? What if I had to switch boards, sails, or fins?

What if fishermen had to walk 1 & 1/2 miles each way every time the had to switch a lure?
Essentially, that is what NYS is asking me to do. Only Windsurfing gear weighs a hell of a lot more.

So we aired our tires back up for the ride home.
The meters looked like it was a short lived sailable burst.

Did anyone catch it?  Did you? I didn’t.

I could have been motivated to take the 120 ltr. and the 6.9 back out in the ocean if I had some company, like I did Wednesday night at RM 2.

 Or if I could have rigged and sailed from my truck at the State Park. I could have caught a nice, safe, wave session. And I would not have to be a mile or more away from my wife.

I suppose I could have rigged at Cedar; dragged my gear a half mile in the sand, then sailed another 1/2 mile to Demo. Then Lauralee could have driven the three miles to Demo alone. This way she could still be at the same beach I was sailing from…

But when the day was over I could either de-rig at Demo and risk a ticket or the revocation of my permit by tossing my gear into my truck. Or we could do the whole operation in reverse… Lauralee drives 3 miles back to Cedar; I sail the 1/2 mile in fading light; then hump my gear another 1/2 mile back to the lot at Cedar.

One and one half miles, each way, in sand. Most people can't make that walk. What about people with families? How are we expected to do the thing that we love, with the people we love?

Have you ever noticed that the beaches with parking close to the water are filled with people, sitting in their vehicles, watching the water. Those people are not lazy. And don't dare call them disabled. That is not how they view themselves. They are just not capable of walking a hundred yards across sand to the water. Don't they have a right to the ocean? I know the lifeguards could wheel them to the water in one of those PVC giant tire contraptions. These people don't want that. It's about dignity. If they could legally use one of the 4X4 accessible beaches, they would. Until two years ago you had to be fishing to access one of those beaches.
Now the State of NY allows surfers access at just two beaches. Not the general public.

In 1987 the United States Coast Guard classified windsurfers as surfboards; not vessels. In 1991 The US Coast Guard reiterated that position.  Windsurfers ARE Surfboards.

I am allowed to Drive to Democrat Point, and Gilgo State Park with my surfing gear.
I am allowed to surf at Democrat Point, and Gilgo State Park. From my truck, with my family.

I am allowed to Drive to Democrat Point, and Gilgo State Park with my windsurfing gear.
I am allowed to windsurf at Democrat Point.
Just NOT from my truck.
Let’s just connect the dots.

Is this making any sense to you? Because it sure isn’t making any sense to me.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

These are waves.

THESE ARE WAVES by Graham Ezzy from Graham Ezzy on Vimeo.
Let's just say watching Graham sail is humbling in the best possible way.

2013 WindsurfingHighlights from jon sassone on Vimeo.
Jon  turns it on again.

Cape Hatteras 2014 - Mike Burns from Mike Burns on Vimeo.

Mike would continue to sail when the rest of us were just too spent to keep going.

Pete on a great West Meadow day. Love Brooks happy dance.

George does Gilgo.

Link to TOBAY footage by Steve.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sunday, November 3, 2013

From Nat Geo

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Jet Lag.

Ponquogue, Oct 12, 2013
My Dad was a “Road Warrior”. I don’t know how he did it. 
I had to be in LA for a two day meeting last week. That meant I spent Tuesday flying, with theoretical sleep on the plane. I arrived, I had 1 hour to shower, then meetings till 10 PM, or 1:00 in the morning my time.  At least I spent that night [Tuesday] in a hotel bed. I was up at 6:00 on Wednesday, with more all day meetings. I caught the “Red Eye” Wednesday night, arrived home at 6AM thursday, showered, and went right back to work. Two 10 hour days in a row. Last night, I slept in my own bed with Lauralee, my ridiculously understanding wife. 

So what’s your point Frank?...”Don’t worry, I’ll get there.”

All week my phone [in between calls from panicked customers] was blowing up with reports of Mast high waves, and 30 knot side shore winds. 

Yesterday I was desperate for some wind and waves. Perhaps a little impatient as well.
I knew the surf was huge. Bunger was holding their contest, and the web cam’s were showing classic Nor-Easter conditions. Saturday morning the winds did not seem to be touching down on the west end of the island. However reports from the east end were quite the opposite. “ponquogue... sand blowing, truck shaking, wind cranking sideshore 4.7 maybe 4.2, shorebreak very manageable. I'm heading over.” I had been reading Jeff S’s reports since 5AM, I was wired. Jeff would be my sherpa guide for today.

I could not contain myself; I was out the door for the two hour ride. I thought “I would rather have too much wind and waves, then miss this altogether”. Once I arrived, Jon F. of Windsurfing Hamptons gave me the much appreciated lay of the land, [launch over here, stay away from there, etc.]. Thank god he did, because I was very much the novice ski bunny on this double black diamond yesterday. Pete was sailing well, as was Jon S. Jon F’s bottom turns looked so relaxed and effortless, of course Jeff S made it look easy. “Yea...I can do this”

What I did get, was a beat down. Eight attempts to breach the shorebreak...on the two times I did make it, I was rewarded with sweet DTL logo high waves. But of course I rode them too long and was treated to multiple hold-downs. One jump on the way out, I realized I was too high to land well. So I pushed the boom away from me to bail. I didn’t un-hook and launched into an unintentional forward. At work tomorrow, people will ask me about my black eye. [The first rule about forwards; is we don’t talk at work about forwards.] no one would believe me anyway.

That’s the thing about the ocean. She is strong and it is only natural for her to inflict damage. But she also gives you great pleasure, if you’ll let her. You can’t panic when you are going through the rinse, you have to accept that you're going to get banged up every once in a while  But that is why I love it. Because it is hard, difficult, beautiful. Because you never stop learning, it’s why I keep coming back. I would not trade those two DTL rides for anything. It’s always worth it.

Thanks to Jeff Schultz for inviting me, and for the two photo’s here.

Photo by Jeff Schultz

Photo by Jeff Schultz

It was truly one of those days I will play over and over again in my mind.

Well I just cleaned all the sand out of my wetsuit. Let's try again.

See more of jeff's photos here.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fall Beach Access.

Fall Beach Access. This is the latest information we have, courtesy of LIBAG.ORG 

Always see LIBAG.ORG for updates

The Fall Surf Parking Permit is available at the Robert Moses State Park office. This allows you to park in RM Fields 2,3,4,& 5, daytime, when they are closed.

The permit must be displayed on your dashboard. [not your visor]. I am personally going to attach it with some velcro, or a ziplock bag full of sand.
As always; Surfers to the West; Fishermen to the East, of each field.

The good news is that if you already have a State 4X4 Surfing Permit for Democrat Point, The State will honor that as a Fall parking permit. You do NOT need to buy an additional Fall Parking permit. [If you already did, I’m sorry, there are no refunds, ever with the state.]

This season; more than ever, you are going to need a Fall Surf Parking Permit for closed fields at Robert Moses State Park. Tim Byrne, The Park Director; has promised to try and keep Field 5 open all year. He will also try to keep field 2 open as long as funding allows. With everything going on in Government right now...we have no accurate timetable as to when they will close. {Remember, if the lot is open then you don’t need the Fall Parking Pass.} The Pass is for closed Lots. This way if your car is still in the lot at dusk, the State knows; who you are , what you were doing, and how to search for you. So yes, that’s why it is another $25 bucks.

The dredging of Fire Island Inlet has begun again. This time they are expected to increase the hight, length, and depth of both the dune and beach. The plan is to do this from Overlook, within Gilgo State Park, to Jones Beach Field 6. That means sometime soon your favorite town beach is about to be buried. There will be all kinds of heavy machinery to stay clear of; both in and out of the water.

Robert Moses field 2,3,4,& 5 may be your only access at times this Fall.And RM 2 seems to be breaking the best, for now.  So stay safe and clear of the workers.

The State 4X4 Surfing Pass and the Fall Surf parking Pass allow you to Surf, SUP, or Windsurf from all RM parking fields. So remember, regular surfers have the right of way. Period. End of story.

In addition, While the Parks director has made it clear that Windsurfing and SUP’ing are allowed at Ocean beaches, not everyone remembers the memo. So we suggest you keep a copy of the State parks letter dated June 1, 2012 [below] with you, or on your dashboard.

Your other option is to go to the Robert Moses Office at the Boat Basin, [Bay side of Field three] and ask for a free Day Pass. The problem with this option in my opinion, is that you must park in the boat basin lot.

So to recap:
If you have the State 4X4 Fishing Pass you can only use that for fishing; not surfing.
It is only the State 4X4 Surfing Permit For Demo, that doubles as a Fall Parking permit. 
Don’t have one? Buy your Fall Pass or risk a ticket and a tow.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

All of yourself

I haven't actually taken a “vacation” since 2011. That was for Windsurfing Magazines “Board Test”. Prior to that I took a week off for my cousin Kriss’s wedding back in 05. That is unfortunately, the nature of my work in this economy.

Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t take my share of days off here and there... And I certainly duck out early for a sail, or surf. But I have not pulled the cord, and  disconnected from my work for more than a few days since 1990.

How do I know that? Well I got married to my wife in 1990. We went windsurfing in a time and place where you weren’t connected to the office via cell or smart phone. We took two weeks. By the second week, I actually felt the change that is supposed to occur during a vacation, I relaxed. I took an actual vacation from my life, my day to day stress. I may have even stopped worrying for a short while.

But that was then...and this is now. In order to survive, I take mini vacations. I try to engage in activities where I don’t have time to think. 

On the water: thinking is bad. You just do. You just react. 

When I go to the water it has to be just her and me. I owe her my full attention. She deserves it. She has earned it,[even if I haven't]. I must give all of myself.

The smartphone is locked away. That problem can; should; must wait. It’s only an hour or two. These moments are for us. I need them; to remember; to learn from; to recall, and relive. Soon my vacation will be over. I will be bombarded once again with the endless noise and static that is modern life.

First up: Arroyo Laguna,  Kevin Pritchard, Graham Ezzy bring us Tourists of The Sea - Episode One.">Tourists of The Sea - Episode One - Arroyo Laguna - Kevin Pritchard + Graham Ezzy
from">Johannes Neumann on">Vimeo.

Then Holly Beck Obermeyer teaches us there is no down time, and we can always surf something.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lots of events this Fall. Which one's will you be at?

ECWF ‘The East Coast Wind Fest’ Cape Cod: 9/14-9/15/2013 

Find your information at and as always at The Puffin

I would like to thank our northern Brothers and Sisters for hosting the East Coast Wind West this year. It will be good to see “Team Abide”, “The Dude”, and the tribe of “Great White One”, sharing the water with Long Island’s “Puffins”, "Wind Chimps", “The Crew”, and "Heckscher’s Freestyle crew".">The 2012 OBX Challenge
from">Mike Burns on">Vimeo.
The first East Coast Windsurfing Festival - Cape Cod will take place at Kalmus Beach in Hyannis on September 14 and 15, 2013. Modeled after the ECWF in Long Island, we will have fun races and a freestyle competition. This event is about having fun windsurfing with friends - all windsurfers, regardless of skills, is welcome to participate. The registration fee will be $20 per person, regardless of whether you compete in racing, freestyle or both events.

John Ford’s Hampton Watersports  will hold their annual SWAP MEET 9/14.

688 County Road 39, Southampton NY 11968.  If you're selling gear it's best to arrive before 9:00 AM or to bring it days before, though you can still show up during if that's your only option.
Windsurfing, SUP’ing, Kiteboarding, Surfing...  Find great used stuff, sell your stuff, pick amongst the closeout gear for deals.   If you need more info call Jonathan at 631-283-9463.

LIBAG.ORG  Will be holding two Beach Clean Ups on 9/21.

As they have done every year; LIBAG will be having two beach clean up’s in September. Working in cooperation with the American Littoral Society. ...Saturday, September 21, 2013, at 10:00 AM, LIBAG will be cleaning Gilgo Town Beach and Robert Moses State Park field 5. 
LIBAG can really use your help at RM 5. I hope to see some members of the Long Island windsurfing group lending a hand.

9/16 -9/21 is the AWT; American Windsurfing Tour’s North Carolina Hatteras Wave Jam.

AWT Tour Director, Sam Bittner, has built this into a world class contest.


Thanks for making a difference

Saturday, August 3, 2013

RIP Andre Paskowski

OK first things first.  Thanks to Jon Sasson for sharing this Video.

Magic Moments from Andre Paskowski on Vimeo.

Now. Go to Mike’s Blog, of hopefully I have embedded the video from his Gorge trip down below.

See you all Tuesday at the "Children of the Wind" showing
Tuesday, August 06 7:30pm - 9:20pm
in Huntington, NY at Cinema Arts Centre,

I will have the last of the Long Island Windsurfing group T-Shirts. So bring your money and pick up your shirts. If you didn’t order one; we do have some extras. Thanks again to Jon for setting this up. and Thandi for setting up the Hudson River showing.

Lastly, because of all the rain thursday night, I sailed Segue last night. I would rather have been windsurfing in the 20+ winds we had...But I am all to aware of the sad state of our water. 

I still enjoyed taking the old girl for a spin around City Island. I always love sailing around City Island. There is just more to look at,; plus I have been cruising it's mooring areas for over 40 years. When I was a kid, I used to work the bow on an Ensign out of the Morris Yacht Club. To this day I can still taste the post sail, burger and frys the owner would treat me to for crewing on his boat. I drank a Coke, [I was only eight], but remember that “Frat House” smell of beer and post race stories.

My bay; [Manhasset Bay], has turned into a cesspool of floating real estate. Giant floating clorox bottles, or tennis sneakers, with ridiculously high freeboard litter the Bay. Gone are the “glory days” of sailing I fell in love with. Atlantics, Solings, Etchells, MBOs, Knickerbockers, Hershoffs, Rhodes, Pearsons, S&Ss, Bullseys, Ensegns, and Cape Dorys. It’s sad really. All the class racers are on Sonars, the PRHF guys J boats, are  all in an arms race for the latest cellophane sails made from “unobtainium”.

I don’t know if it’s money or tradition...but there is a lot more “Classic Plastic” and wooden boats in the City Island mooring fields than my home port. Last night I must have seen at least 15 Cape Dorys. From Typhoons, to 30-somethings. It warms my heart to see actual sailboats. And last night was a perfect night for a Cape Dory... West wind; single reef in the Main, with about 110% Genni. Segue was practically sailing herself.  

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Remember to laugh when you fall.

2013 Gorge Freestyle Frenzy & Big Air from American Windsurfing Tour on Vimeo.

Link: in case this is not embedding...

Freestyle does not even closely resemble whatever it is I do on a board. But I sure am glad that there are guys and girls doing it. I have friends that do. And I am thankful that they do.
Because when they do...we ALL benefit.

This is how the sport grows.
This is why the sport grows.
This is why we make leaps and bounds in gear construction, and usability.
This is fun. [Yea...remember, fun?]

Remember back 20 or 30 years ago when Windsurfing had no rules? I do. It was great.
Just go out; in anything; on anything; in any conditions.
Sail is too what? Too what? How about your board; your what?
just go out and have fun.

I remember theses days of waiting around for it to be windy enough.
Waiting around so we could use our small board; our small sail...guess what?
They sucked.
There are boards that can get you an a plane in 8 knots.
There are boards that get you on the water in sub-planing conditions.
There are 90 ltr boards and 5.0 sails with 4 inch finds that will plane earlier than your old 120 Ltr beast, with the 7.0 sail, and the two foot pointer.

So just get out there guys.
Have Fun.
All great moves started out as mistakes.
Don't be afraid to try anything.
And remember to laugh when you fall.

See you all next week at the "Children of the Wind" showing

Tuesday, August 06 7:30pm - 9:20pm
in Huntington, NY at Cinema Arts Centre $10.00 per ticket.
We need your help. We have to sell 9 more tickets  by July 30th to ensure the showing. If you can't make it, maybe you can just buy a ticket any way? Any proceeds are going to the Island of Bonaire. 
Link is here

Oh and I almost forgot to brag...2 surfs, 2 sails, 1 windsurf in the last week. Mmmmm summer.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I just don't get it

 I know I have been whining about the water quality since well before Sandy. But I believe this is symptomatic of a much larger problem.

Saturday I bragged that I was able to windsurf in nothing more than a bathing suit. Something I have not done in over 15 years. Sunday, I was treated to chest high to overhead surf. Again; no wetsuit needed; just a rash guard.

Saturday night we had down pours and thunderstorms on the North Shore. The updrafts on the T-Storms were apparently vertical. A phenomenon I have never witnessed before.

It meant that the storms did not travel from north to south as usual. Instead the rain was isolated to the North Shore. The storms essentially extinguished themselves.

I figured I could surf Sunday because the South Shore didn’t have any run off from the storms. But there was another problem…Brown Tide. As my fiend Dima pointed out to me, “is that Heckscher  at 156,000?” In fact while “Stony Brook University has revealed that during the week of July 15th, cell densities had declined from millions to tens of thousands of cells per milliliter compared to the start of the month”; the spot I windsurfed, was still the most polluted spot on the Great South Bay.  

People just don’t seem to care. As I was walking from my truck to the beach on Sunday I witnessed two guys in their 20’s halfheartedly toss trash at a waste bin. They missed; so I said “ your gonna’ pick that up right?”. One of them replied “Why the fuck should I?; and what are you gonna’ do about it old man?”  So yes I almost had to get into a fight with two kids in order to have them walk 10 steps, and put their trash in the garbage. Why? I just don’t get it.

Fast forward to today. The temperature has dropped 35 degrees, it’s blowing 20 out of the North East, but instead of windsurfing in these glorious conditions…I’m nursing some gastrointestinal mess that I probably picked up from being in the water this weekend.

I just don't get it.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hot and windless.

winter.sail.segue from Frank Messina on Vimeo.

I did manage to catch a nicely powered ocean session at Gilgo on Thursday. I didn't have the good sense to wait for the wind to fill in. Some of the guys just gave up and left. But I tried...and managed to do the walk of shame three times. [BTW thank you again Pete for helping me carry my gear a half mile back upwind.] I just wanted to get a session in before the rain. Before the run-off; before the inevitable sewage spills, and beach closings.

Finally, at about 5:30 Kevin, Florian and I sailed our 5.5 to 6.0's fully powered in waist to overhead swell. We had about an hour and a half before the down pours.

Yesterday, and today; I find myself inside, dreaming of those cold, crisp Winter sails on Segue. All alone, [Segue practically sails herself.] without the Summer crowds.

Segue is a Cape Dory 26. They were built in the mid 80’s as a less expensive version of the well known Cape Dory 25.

One thing they did is raise the freeboard by about six inches. This allows for standing headroom down bellow for a six foot tall person, but adds considerable windage to her.

 Next they added another foot to her by stretching out the aft lazarete. This allows for an outboard engine to be hidden just aft of the rudder. While outboards are cheaper than say an Atomic Four inboard, you do lose the ballast of having an engine down low in the CE. As a result, you really need to sail with a full water tank under the forward V berth if you want to sail to windward with any success. Plus the placement of the outboard leaves it in the water all the time and this prone to growth. The great this though; is if you do have a problem it is easily replaced.

Built in 1985, Segue has been in my family since 1986. She is all Cape Dory: Plenty of teak, and bronze; everything is oversized. Thick hull, thick gell coat [can lead to crazing, and a minor blisters ] . Her hull is over-built to the standards of a classic full keel attached ruder sailboat. My only complaint is the balsa sandwiched deck, to save weight. I have seen plenty of balsa decks soak up water, but not mine.

She is not fast, with a hull speed of 6 ½ knots, but she is very well behaved when compared to today’s floating Clorox bottles. The above video was shot with a GO Pro last winter. I often sail her alone. Just set her sails, tie off the tiller, and let her go. You’ll notice at about 1:00 in that I go forward to shake out a reef in the main sail. While I will heave to when shortening sail, you can see it is not necessary, the olde girl just holds her heading. I do wear a climbing harness, and use a jack line in the winter. Going overboard alone is not an option in 30 degree water.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

This is some crazy “wind porn”.

This was the title of an e-mail from Ted; who always seems to send me the best videos.
See, when my friends and I search for “porn” on the web, it’s this kind we spend hours drooling over.

Jason Polakow and Robby Swift at Backyards from NeilPryde Windsurfing on Vimeo.


Ted was supposed to come back from Maui last night. He instead decided to delay his trip by another week because of last night’s weather.

I on the other hand, could not concentrate at work yesterday. I had, I believed, a sailable window from 3:00 to 6:00, where the tide would be moving in the opposite direction of the wind. Last week I was inpatient; tried to sail too early from the wrong beach, and paid for it in broken gear, and a bruised body. I am well past the bruised ego part; but I am acutely aware that if the conditions are not ‘just right’ in the ocean, then don’t go. You risk losing our fragile access for everyone, or worse yet, risk injury, or death.

Which is why trying to sail at RM3 in a dead onshore breeze last weekend was a dumb idea. I wanted to get on the water early, because I knew T-Storms would likely kill the wind by 5. So I didn’t wait till 6:oo PM, when the wind and tide were right. Those that did, had a nice session.

I had fun. I sailed with two guys who are much better sailors than I. But none of us made it past the outer bar. We just played in the shore break sailing parallel to the beach, unable to work to windward. And we had the good sense to stop short of the swimming area, even if that meant getting pummeled in the impact zone for a while.

Yesterday we had our first named tropical storm of the season. I watched it come up the coast with a mix of anticipation and dread. [Worry...dread; that's something that never happened before Sandy].

This time my only concern was not just when the best wind and swell would hit us and where. But did I have enough gas in the generator?: Would there be flooding?: Will everyone be safe?

As it turns out, I had a situation at I missed my window. And today; while the swell is expected to be perfect; [8 1/2 feet with a 10 second period]...I have been to enough lectures on “run off” to understand the consequences of the 2+ inches of rainfall we had last night.

I hope you and your families are safe and sheltered.

I will just have to wait several tide cycles before I enter the water again.
Last weekend; post RM3 session.