Memorial Weekend and the SeaLion Scores Again!!

OBX summer kicked off with perfect weather for the traditional honor to our vets with Memorial Day weekend. Hot sunny skies, SSE sea breezes, and a fun 10 to 11 second E swell produced fun small/moderate surf for longboarders, SUPs, and the SeaLion! The water was cool hovering in the low 60s north of Oregon Inlet; however, riding the SeaLion, I only needed trunks and a 1 mil top.

Every day of the long weekend provided very fun conditions for riding the SeaLion. I caught sessions both Saturday and Sunday with light SSE (side shore) sea breezes around 10 mph in Nags Head south of the Nags Head Fishing Pier (launched at the beach access across from BrewThru Jr near Jockeys Ridge state park.). Actually, with the new LIVE Cam feed in the left sidebar of this blog, you may have seen me sailing out there when the camera shows the south view of the beach from the pier. The ocean swell was a TON of FUN, and though small, the long period provided solid surf which broke nicely on the outer sandbars, averaging waist with a rare chest high+ set wave. Luckily, with the SeaLion, if a larger set was coming in, I could pick it up for a ride with ease!

The SeaLion is simply a "must have" for Hatteras summer light air wavesailing! Its perfect for catching waves in side to side off light air conditions. Plus the bonus being that it can get to the lip with no problem and is very maneuverable on the wave. I had a smile with every wave I caught out there over the weekend!

All I can say, is that if you are interested in getting into the ocean to catch waves during the summer (beginner or expert), this is a very attractive option to join in on the FUN!  Check out the top left sidebar SeaLion box for details to arrange a demo, rental, or purchase!

Here are a few pics from the weekend!


At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great pics, Bill! As someone getting started with light-wind SUP wavesailing, I'm going to have a few questions for you over the coming months. First one: what are your thoughts regarding wind speed and sail size? Is your wind threshold anything that can get you out past the shorebreak? We often get very fluky 10-13mph seabreezes and a pretty rough shorebreak where i live, so i usually end up wishing i had more sail size when heading out, and less sail size when coming in on a wave. would love to hear your thoughts on this. --James

At 10:33 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Hey James! thx for the pic kudos, my wife was out to shoot a few with her "nice" camera...another bonus to light air wavesailing, the family can be out on the beach without getting sandblasted as is found with traditionally wavesailing! :)

Sweet you are getting into the light wind SUP wavesailing, its a ton of FUN, and great to be out there holding a rig in hand...plus no need for prone or standing paddle!

As for wind speed and sail size, I recommend nothing much bigger than a 5.0m sail in the surf regardless of wind speed. The goal is to have a sail that is easy to get out of the water, and its much easier to uphaul a 5.0m when in the surf zone, compared to a 7.0m! Additionally, wind power in the sail is not a big necessity with light air wavesailing. Most of the drive when heading out though the zone is in the board, as compared to the sail. Therefore, even in 8 knots, a 5.0 will work great to get out, as you simply drive the board and use its size/volume to tackle whitewater. With my planned "Light Air Wavesailing 101 Series" I will submit a number of posts which focus on specific areas tied to the discipline and break each topic down as individual blog posts. Hopefully with some good pics too.

Handling shorebreak will also be an upcoming 101 post, and a quick key for shorebreak combines reading the sets, timing when to launch, and picking a launch spot where beach conditions minimize the shore pound. Technique is also key, and is similar to regular wavesailing with the cardinal rule..."get out quickly" past the small area where the beach break is happening.

All in all, have fun out there and start small working your way into bigger stuff. Great thing with light air wavesailing is that the water conditions are usually quite placid with no raging currents, wind chop, or other factors which we experience with regular windy wavesailing. Its simplifies the experience and makes it quite attractive for beginners!

Plus, as mentioned earlier, the family can be out there too and not get sandblasted! :)

At 2:10 PM, Blogger George Markopoulos said...

good stuff guys. definately use as small a sail as possible james, A 7.0 aint gonna do any more for you than a 5.0 in 10 knots. you're just trying to get into position for the ride. I love light air wavesailing, and frankly consider it my specialty, if only because, like you said James, thats predominantly the conditions we often have here in Delaware and Jersey. Your RRD Wassup, like Bill's sea lion, are ideal boards for that

At 2:14 PM, Blogger George Markopoulos said...

....and its like that expression, when life gives you lemons, make lemonde. Well we don't have Maui trades, so we need to work with the hand we've been dealt. Anyone without one of these boards is sadly missing out on all the fun.

At 2:27 PM, Blogger Bill said...

Yea George, how true! Amazing I spent nearly 10 yrs carrying only a 76 ltr wave stick in the back of the van/truck! I made it work, but also missed a lot of potentially FUN light air wave sessions back then!!

Now, at age 41 with today's light air wavesailing offerings, I have more renewed fire to head out into the surf with a sail rig in hand! I cannot wait until the first decent sized tropical swell with a long period forming those outside crumblers which I used to ride on a longbooard! Gonna be a TON of FUN catching that surf on the SeaLion!! : )

At 2:37 PM, Blogger George Markopoulos said...

Yup. Remember wave jam1? The beast of the east finals? Back then you had nothing other than your little potato chip hi wind stick, and you didn’t even bother taking it out of the board bag, and I loaned you my 109 (James-that’s now your board!) and I rode that board Charlie loaned me. Talk about swapping boards for a competition!

Thats probably when the light began to go off in your head right? good times. Bring on tropical season!!!!

At 4:12 AM, Blogger Burns said...

Hi Bill,

really cool news


At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you guys inspired me to try a light-wind sesh yesterday. (loving the 109 fsw, by the way george. funny that we have all sailed her!)

My beach faces SSE, and it was blowing ENE @15-20mph (side-shore) so i thought i would give the 8.5 rrd a try with a 5.2m sail. unfortunately, by the time i had rigged, the winds had turned more onshore and lightened, so i was stuck with ESE around 10-12 mph. i managed to get out a few times, and even rode one wave backside, but it became tough to get out past the shorebreak with the low onshore wind. i ended up having a great SUP sesh instead though. gotta love the unskunkable small SUPs!

my question: if the wind is 10-13ish, do you have to have at least side-shore, and preferably side-off? --james

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Hey James,

Yea, any light onshore wind is not very friendly for light air SUP wavesailing. Basically, you have both the motion of the ocean as well as the wind running in parallel which does not bode well for the light air wave ride. Often, the board is swept out from under your feet since there is no resistance in the sail, and everything is traveling the same direction...towards the beach.

If the wind is stronger, then side-on can work, but for light air at our around 10 knots, its usually best to wait until it goes side shore or side-off.

Actually, for light air wavesailing, definitely side or side off is best to ensure that the wind and water have "opposing" effects on each other which produce better power on the ride though apparent wind which forms as as the wave rises. This is most prevalent in larger waves.

At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That makes me feel better, Bill...! At least I got some more practice in the waves. thursday looks like 15 knots side-off, so as long as i don't end up in england it should be fun! --james

At 11:20 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Yea, side-off is not much risk of "getting blown out to sea," especially in light air conditions. The tack in is near straight into the beach, and going out is nearly the same.

If you have any reservations, simply turn around and pick up a swell just outside the surf zone.


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