November / December - Still surfing, more Go Pro
November + December 2011 and 2012 I did not really went to the water. Last year my last session was in September and I had 1 session in December. But this year I continue to make my sessions. First I just have the need, and second the temperatures are allright. Third, I have a new wetsuit (Neil Pryde) which keeps me warm. Not cheap bu needed!
In totall I made 61 sessions with a totall distance of 2583 km. Not so very much, but every minutes and kilometer counts!
In october I used the big sails again, 8.6 / 7.9 / 11.0. I had 1 full 7.9m2 power session with the Falcon 113 with 66.6 km/hr max speed. It took all year long, but finally in December I had my first good speedsession. I went to Strand Horst (2 hour drive) and had a nice session with the JP45 speed and 5.7m2 Vapor. Max speed 74.54 km/hr.
October - Medium winds, missed speedsessions and testing other sails / GO PRO
In 2012 I stopped my surfsession after the summer holiday, biggest reason beiing I did not feel like going on the water. This time is different. This year the virus is back and now temperatures are dropping I still want to go on the water.
Most used sails this month are the 7.9m2 and the 8.6m2. There also has been a lot of wind this month, but I missed all speedsessions because of work or other things to do. Highest speed this month was 66 km/hr with the 7.9m2 on the Falcon113.
Some other news is that this weblog is going to be coloured more Loft Sails red than the Gaastra blue. I made the choiche to change sails from now on. Since 2009 I have been using the Gaastra sails but some developments made me look for other sails. After testing the 7.0 and 8.6 2013 Loft racing Blade on my homespot I was convinced : Loft makes great sails! The sails feel very controlable and comfortable in the chop. They feel softer but still powerfull.
I do not have pictures yet, but I made a nice video with the Racing Blade 8.6m2 on my Tabou Manta79 with a new powerful fin from BUSCA. You can look in 1080 HD.
September - Holiday mode ON
It is allready October 14th while I write this update, but I was on holiday for a while and did not find the time for an update.
This summerholiday (which was 6 weeks for me in totall) we went to Spain again for 4 weeks and we had a very nice time ON and OF the water.
Some highlights of this holiday :
We did some very nice hiking. Used the GoPro for the first time under water. Again had very good diners, barbeques and cocktails. Had some nice sessions on the sea and used a new fin for the first time of Busca made by Pieter Bartlema which felt good. And again, I made my beer-into-the-chicken-bbq-style :
August - TOW & TOW / Go Pro action cam / Gaastra Vapor 2014
Say TOW and every windsurfer can tell you what is meant : TOW = Time On Water. The time you spent ON the water instead ON land. We all know the feeling. Having the possibility to have a lot of TOW is like a chauffeur who has the possibility to test different cars as much as he wants to. But there is TOW and TOW.
I also spent a lot of extra hours on work. So Time On Work. In terms of windsurfing that is the wrong kind of TOW. But without that TOW, I would not have the money to spent the other TOW.
Personal highlight for me is the gybing which improved big time this year. This month I even could do a 43.5 km/hr on the alpha with the Manta79 and 7.9m2 in the chop near Herkingen beach. And it went so easy!
Also this month there was a surffestival called "the mission" near the Brouwersdam. There also was a Vapor 2014 proto 7.9m2. Yes it is a proto so things could change untill production starts but I allready could see some changes. Biggest change I could see is the amount of curve in the bottom (belly) which is bigger and also slighty more to the mast. I assume this gives more pull in the sail and better low wind. And the tackstrap even was not fully loaded! Also the mastcurve was slightly more straight, but difficult to see. I made some pictures. I showed them to my wife and see said the sail suits me well. So, I guess I sell some of my sails by the end of this season and order some new 2014's. I cannot resist, it is stronger than me.
I have bought an action cam, the Go Pro 3 Black edition with some extra's like a battery back pack and a flymount. I am playing with it almost every surfsession since I have it. So you can see some footage of me in future. I allready made 3 clips. 2 with the formula, and 1 with the Manta79 + 7.9m2. Use the youtube link to watch in HD!
Due to holiday I will not be able to make an update in September. See you back in October. Hang loose!
July sessions - Summer is in town / back is getting better / great sessions / good hour and alpha on Formula
The month July started with a weekend from home, going to Zeeland (Veerse Meer). I had a very short session with Manta79 and the 7.9m2 Vapor. Wind was minimal but it was fun to have surfed here.
Low wind with 7.9m2 and Manta79 Our new combination
July 8 + 9, 10 and 11 I had 4 sessions in a row. Especially 9, 10 and 11 July were great. I used the Formula gear with distance upto 90 km, an hour of 34.5 km and alpha almost 35 km/hr. The sun was shining, the wind was stabil and I had all the time in the world (2 weeks vacation). What a great sport this is! I went to island Hompelvoet a couple of times. First I started at Ouddorp Haven and went downwind to the island and went back to Ouddorp haven at the other side of the island. The next day I started at Kabbelaarsbank and again rounded an island in the Grevelingenmeer. It was fun!
The second week of my vacation we went to a camping site in Germany, the Eiffel region. No windsurf but other nice things. Hiking an almost 20 km track, cycling and off course nice food and drink. I like!
July 28th and 30th I had nice session on spot Oostvoornse meer. I begin to like this spot more and more. Especially slalom in the chop is fun. Speedteam mate Rob R has made a short video. Raw material. I'm the guy that is beiing filmed with the blue Gaastra Vapor 7.9m2.
Some years ago I would go on the water, alone, do 100 km distance and than return back to shore. Only with my GPS, and maybe a backpack with water in it. But now, some years and crashes later I am beginning to get more confident when I have some things with me to feel myself more safe. I have seen some people this spring that were on the water and went too far on the water while they cannot even waterstart or go upwind. And they only were 1 km away from shore. But I maybe go around the whole lake, so it is wise to have something with you so you are not totally have to rely on others. What I have:
- enough water (especially when it is warm, I drink about 2 litres every 2 hours)
- extra rope
The rope and telephone I have at the back of the harness, so it is not in the way. Next step a helmet? Hell yeah, because I have plans to buy a Go Pro and make cool movies!!! (ps the mini BBQ on the picture does not goes on the water ;-) )
June sessions - A 7.9m2 season / back problems / harnesses
June I have had 9 sessions on the water, and still the 7.9m2 is the most used sail. Beginning of the month temperatures were going up, but still overall it is a very cold and wet summer with temps between 14 en 17 degrees during the day. My back still was killing me. Since 2 months I have lower backpain. June's last session finally the pain was less.
May/June I had an 1 month vacation, in June my wife was to France for 1 week so I had all the time for myself. And what do you do in a case like that? Right, going to the water!!!
June 5th I had a 105 km session with (guess what) .. 7.9m2 + Manta79 and F-hot fins 46cm. Nice session with almost a 40 km/hr on the Alpha, so my gibes are getting more consistent.
June 6th. Same spot. Same sail/board/fin and a bit more wind. My hands were very sore from yesterdays session, so the distance only was 83.6 km. Later in the month I would know why my hands and arms are so stiff after each session...
June 7th again same spot and set. Like the other 2 days it was sunny and surfing today went better than yesterdays session. The gybes went very nice, but after each gybe I went too much downwind to make a good Alpha. But that's not important. Numbers are just numbers. The nice time on the water and the feeling you cannot put in numbers.
June 8th same spot, same sail but now with the Fanatic Falcon 113. It was windy, very choppy and crowded. I even used the 7.1m2 on the Fanatic (very nice sail with excellent camber rotation) but speeds with the 7.9m2 were better. There was a very relaxed atmosphere on the beach, while some friends were there to, so I did not made so much TOW today. Also because my back was too stiff. Did 62 km/hr max in the chop, very happy with that. Also the gybes again went very nice.
June 9th a session on Ouddorp haven with the 7.9m2 on the Falcon 113. I did 108 km but at the end I had to stop because my back did not wanted anymore. Also my arms and hands were a bit stiff of all the sessions. But normally I do now have any problems with that.
June 13th I did try spot "Oostvoornse meer" again, but this is really NOT my spot when it comes to speedsurfing. I used the 7.1m2 on the Manta54 but did not have good controll. Back, arms and hands again were the problem together with the gusty wind.
June 15th I tried a speedsession on "Zonnemaire". I had to stop quit early so I missed the best wind, but speeds were OK. Today I used the 6.4m2 2012 (which I bought end of 2012's season) for the first time. What a very nice sail. 2011's 6.4m2 was a very powerfull sail, and very good in high end. But the 6.4m2 feels better in a bigger range. I used it on the JP Speed49 with the mXr UFO Wide 24% fin. The fin is very safe, could not get it in a spinout.
June 16th I used my Formula kit, since a long time. The day's after I really felt that bloody back again so I took some rest.
After June 16th I went more often to the gym and started running again. My back felt better during the week to come. On 1 side I took rest (no windsurfing) and at the other side did my excercises. And most important thing : I bought a new harness! A Mistyc, and I could use it directly on the day i bought it :
June 27th did another Formula session with 11 mtr. I put on my new harness and directly felt this harness distributes the pressure much better over a larger area. I went on the water, hooked in and I was really suprised! I really could hang on the boom with 100% body weight without feeling it somewhere in my back. Also my hands were just touching the boom without using them really. I even could pressure the fin much easier. During the day it still went good and I did a 82 km distance with the 11.0mtr which is nice with the big stuff. The wind increased for a short period and I was 200% powered up. I did a couple of runs on a square course and tried some Alpha's with the big stuff. 1 gybe just went good, almost fell into the water. But the gybe turned out to be very good, resulting in a new Alpha set PR with the Formula. But it was crazy shit.
So afterwards I see it more clear : my body tried to spare my back by using my arms and hands more. Last month my hook broke and I used an older pro limit harness, which even gives less support in my back than my normall (Neil Pryde) harness. This did not helped. I still feel my back and it is far from 100%, but with this new harness, my excercises, going to the gym and take my rest from the water I believe everything is going to be fine.
May 2013 - A lot of 7.9m2 days
Untill now, this year I had the most TOW with the 7.9m2 Vapor 2013. And I am happy with that, because the 7.9m2 is soooo nice. Probably the best sail I have ever had. Somewhere it reminds me of the Neil Pryde RS5 I had years ago, but the Vapor feels a bit softer and has more comfort and controll with the shorter boom. I found the perfect trim the last couple of sessions. And it is funny, but the recommended downhaul is spot on! (4.60 mast + 25cm extension). I put the extension on 26cm and leave about 1 cm for "normall" use. On flat water I have used the sail up to 27 knots. For choppy water I put 0.5 cm extra downhaul but it is better to take the 7.1m2, because if you give the sail more downhaul than recommended you loose some power and probably it is so windy by than, you need a smaller sail.
Last monday (13th) I had a very nice session with the 7.9m2 on the Fanatic Falcon 113 and 38cm F-hot fin. The speed was good, distance was nice and I made a new Personal Best on the Alpha @ 500. The gybes went so nice. But the alpha can go faster because I was to tight on the beginning/end point. Next time I will make the Alpha a bit wider so I can remain a higher speed after the gybe during the last 250 metres. Now I went a bit upwind after the gybe, which costs speed.
April 2013 - Finally the snow and cold is gone
Winter was late this year. Even in April we still are having nights with temperatures around ZERO. But last weeks it is getting better and I am having a bit of TOW. Not so much because of work. We are going to have a "turnaround" which means the refinery is going to be shutdown and different kind of activities are taking place. Cleaning equipment, inspected, tested and so on. I am part of the Turnaround team, so I am very very busy. Also the last weeks my back is killing me. I have a overloaded a verteba in my lower back so I must be carefull.
April 3th I had a short session on Ouddorp Haven, getting familiar with my new Fanatic Falcon 113 + 7.9 2013 Vapor + 38 cm F-hot fins. The wind allready was dropping and the only thing I could do were 3 runs in small chop. I had 1 short gust and speed went up easily to 64 km/hr! Nice, maybe some day I can manage 70 km/hr with the 7.9m2, would be great!
April 4th I used a new combination : Tabou Manta79 + 7.9 Vapor + 46 F-Hot fin. Conditions were minimal with sometimes a gust. I put the downhaul of the 7.9 m2 on 4.90 + 24.5 cm, which was perfect for today. The fin felt good, but cannot day much about it. This day it was very cold witch 5 degrees celsius and wind from the East!
April 6th I used the 9.2m2 Phantom with Tabou Manta79 + 51 cm Select V-max. First session I did not used my cap! Speeds were around 50 km/hr. The Phantom feels light and gybes quit easily regarding it's size.
April 11th I was back on my homespot Herkingen. I started with Formula and 11.0 m2. The wind increased and took the Manta79 with 7.9m2 and 38 cm F-hot. I did a 62 km/hr max speed with this set! After this I took the Fanatic Falcon 113 with the 7.9 and 38 cm F-hot fin. It was a nice day with finally some distance. Here you can find the session :
April 24th (today) Finally sunny and windy! Gusty, but hey : sand between my toes, sun on my head and wind in my face! Tabou Manta79 + 7.9 and 46 cm F-hot. The fin works very good on the sea between the waves.
First go with the 2013 Vapor 7.1m2
Friday March 22, I had the possibility to do a surfsession. It was freaking cold with airtemps around the 4 degrees C and a eastern wind that made it felt like -10. I did a very short session with the 2013 Vapor 7.1m2 on the Tabou Manta54 and a mXr UFO Wide 26cm fin. The fin felt great, and kept the board very much in it's comfortzone. During gusts the nose does not lift but just stays in position. The sail felt very powerfull, more powerfull than my previous 2011. Downhaul was set on 4.57 mtr, next time maybe 0.5 cm more. Max speed was around 70 km/hr, but higher is very good possible. But my feet were freezing of, and my whole body was dropping in temperature. So I went out the water as fast as possible and rigged of. It took 1 hour before I got the feeling back in my feet. I think it is time for a new winter wetsuit. My O'neil Psycho has done a good job for the last 3 seasons.
La Franqui trip 12-03-2013 - 17-03-2013
I always wanted to go to speedsurf paradise La Franqui in South of France. Winter is very long this time in Holland and I really wanted to go somewhere else. Surfbuddie Raymond Wortel had the same idea. So we took some days of and we went.
First hurdle we have to take was a big traffic jam in Belgium/France. We stood still for 13 hours. After 27 hours we arrived in La Franqui instead of the usual 12 hours. Wind was blowing around 50-60 knots.
A lot of snow on A1 Lille-Paris
The view for 13 hours
Cooking in the van
The first day the wind was really too strong for La Franqui. We drove to spot Gruissan and rigged up our small sails. I was on Vapor 5.7m2 and my JP Speed49. Wind was square and gusty. We did not had a lot of energy so we made it short.
Next day we went to La Franqui. The beach was still not recovered from the big onshore winds from last week and it was difficult to find a piece of water were we could do our runs. I rigged the 5.7Vapor again, and during my first run I got a big spinout probably because I dod not felt safe and had too much tension in my body. I crashed and went through my sail, the extender broke and 1 piece was stuck in the mast. Game over for today for me.
The third and last day we went to La Franqui again. This time I was on the 5.2 Vapor and JP Speed49 togheter with a mXr fin, UFO Wide 30 24cm. This set felt safe. Sail was a bit too small and the waves were bumpy but it was a nice day. I could manage almost 70 km/hr maximum speed. This trip felt like more, I will be back in La Franqui with better conditions. In the meantime I want to check all the dutch speedspots and not go to Herkingen everytime.
Access to the beach, water on the sand
The shore, still not recovered of 8 metres high waves the week before
March - New gear. Pictures Gaastra Phantom 2013 9.2 m2 and Gaastra Vapor 7.9m
March - New gear. Pictures Gaastra Phantom 2013 9.2 m2 and Gaastra Vapor 7.9m
Today there was a very nice person on my doorstep : it was the carrier of my new equipment. I received my sails and masts. I rigged the Phantom first, especially this is my first freerace since ..... let me think .... I believe it was 2003 or 2004.
Dimensions written on the foot Dimensions also in the mastsleeve/boom opening Access is very easy
Upper 2 cambers are big like the Vapor Lower camber is freerace style Lower part mastsleeve, very strong
Battens on tension. Downhaul - 3cm to stretch the sail Smaller sleeve compared to Vapor, nice belly in the bottom
Extra tape on batten-pocket for protection I always put extra tape on monofilm for protection
Vapor 7.9m2. I noticed, rigging is easier than 2012's Vapor. More room for the boomhead and no inset clew anymore.
March - Trip to La Franqui @ France
I am planning to do a speedsurf trip to La franqui in France. It has always been 1 of my dreams to go on a speedsurf trip. I allready have been to Gruissan during the Belgian Speedweek, but never surfed La Franqui. This year I have some extra days I can spent on doing these things. So, if I find the time, I want to go! The expectations are looking promising. From Saturday on, the wind will shift to the WNW-NW, the direction we need. And it will continue to blow for whole next week.
Only temperatures are looking a bit low, well we will see. This is how the spot looks like, from above.
March - Changing gear for the new season
No new gear yet, but I just sold everything I had for sale. Only the Tabou Manta54 is still for sale. I sold the sails 2011 Vapor 6.4, 7.1, 7.9 and 8.6m2. I have bought a 2012 6.4m2 (new) and ordered 7.1 and 7.9 2013 Vapor. Also a 9.3m2 Phantom, Gaastra's freeracesail. I have sold the Tabou Manta65 and bought a 2012 Fanatic Falcon 113. Also I sold a lot of my C3 fins. I only keep the 21cm Slingshot and a 40cm Sting II. I now have some mXr G10 speedfins (symmetrical and assymmetrical) and have also ordered mXr fins for the Manta54 : G10 for speedsurfing, and carbon high aspect ratio for chop conditions. From F-hot finz I ordered a 38 and a 46 cm carbon slalomfins. Later on I also will have some mXr carbon beauties which are now beiing tested by PWA riders. Some new masts will empty the last little bit of my budget.
February - Hey, there is a new board in my van!
Yes, a new board. Well not "new" new, but "used" new. But it is only used a couple of times, so who cares? I wanted a new medium slalomboard. For a couple of years I have used the Manta64 / Manta65 and it was time for something completly different! So I sold the Manta and bought a 2012 Fanatic Falcon 113. A little bit bigger (69 wide) with more volumn. I mostly used the Manta65 with the Vapor 7.9m2, but often had the idea I missed some area under my feet. Also I could not get the Manta65 faster than 67 / 68 km/hr. I tried different fins, different settings ... but it was a NO. That was not the most important thing (speed) but it was time for a change anyhow. Now I have a new challenge : getting familiar with the completly different shaped Falcon!
New Gaastra boom 2013
Gaastra is coming with new carbon wave and race booms. Here you can find the (dutch) prizes.
What I like to see, is how motivated people can be, in achieving their goals. Especially in sports. By looking at those people, I get motivated to.
The sport itself is not so important for me, but OK I have got my preferences in sports and people. Especially when people are spiritual and really busy with their own goals and not with their environment, I like that.
I wanted to show you want I mean. Like, Kai Greene. Kai Greene is a bodybuilder. I want to give this example, not because of the sport bodybuilding itself, or the muscles. I do not want you to like this massive people with so much muscles, and thinking to yourself if they take other things than only food and extra vitamins. I only want you to show this and see I far someone can go to achieve his goals. How much effort, pain, persistance it takes.
I also workout nowadays, and take care of a good diet, but not with the idea to become a very muscular guy but only because I like to do it : I like to pull that weight up and feel my body pumping, it's just a nice feeling. So, if you have 1:12 hours free time, look at this :
Bye bye Tabou
Since 2009 I have been using the Tabou Manta's. 54, 59, 64, 65, 74, 79 have been the boards I had or still have. Last week I let my sponsor know that I will stop with Tabou. I am not gonna have a new sponsor for my boards, I am going to buy myself. This is a choice I made my own. I want more freedom to use multiple brands, and I want to use different kind of models to give myself a new boost. It is always interesting to try new stuff. I allready sold my medium slalomboard, the Manta65. I will keep the Manta79 TE which in my opinion is a great board. Instead of the Manta65, I will buy a 2012 Fanatic Falcon 113 litres (69 wide). A little bit wider so the combi with the 7.9m2 is better in balance. The Manta54 is also for sale. I want to buy a 58/59 board back with aprrox 80 litres volumn. Which brand, I do not know yet. Also busy with fins. Regarding the smaller sizes I will use the new dutch brand mXr fins. Medium sizes I will have some mXr Katana's (G10) and Carbon fins. Also mXr, but also hot-fins from the UK and maybe also another brand (maybe the Select V-max). The bigger sizes I am not sure, but allready have a Vmax2 and maybe going for another hot-fins. So, enough to do regarding spending money! No race calender for me, since I am a "free" surfer. But who knows.
Februari 2013 High temperatures
Have you seen the temperatures and the wind for next week? Men, 15 degrees C and +30 knots, later on +20 knots. I'm stuck on work this week and the weekend is allready booked full of nice other things, but hopefully next week, while working the nightshift I can have some time on the water in the afternoons! Hopefully my new fins and sails are in soon because I want to do something else than going to the gym every day!
Items for Sale : Deboichet 68 cut to 66. Medium. Superfast fin.
Nowadays there are a lot ofins out there in the world wide waters. Z-fins, F4 Fins, Kashy, Deboichet, C3, Select, Tectonics, and so on. Since this year/last year there is a new player on the market. A player who also has got his own board-line, with quit another approach of design and building. It is the brand of dutch speedsurfer and (I would say) entrepeneur Martin van Meurs. I will leave the boards out of consideration and focus on the fins. The fastest windsurfer on the planet used one of his fins, and he has the world speedrecord now in his pocket. Now, I do not have the idea to become the next world recordholder, but knowing Martin, if he makes something with so much passion and controll it must be good. And I do not want to miss this train, so I will have some mXr fins myself.
UFO Wide 30 mXr's flatwater speedfin. The fastest symmetrical fin in the world.
Gaastra Masts 2013 prizes
Gaastra Masts 2013 prizes
Since 2005 I am using the GPS and I used the website gps-speedsurfing.com for all my statistics. Lately I was thinking : if, for what reason, my statistics are gone from that website I have nothing as a backup. And I wanted to make my own stats anyway.
So now, I'm busy to put all my sessions manually in a spreadsheet. I'm not really a IT-guy (I use my keyboard with 2 fingers, so that said ...) so it takes some time. More than 500 sessions, with each session containing more than 13 parameters.
First sessions of the year
The year 2013 is just 3 days old, and allready I have some TOW. Not much, but better a short day on the water than a long day at the office!
02-01 I had a short Formula session with the 2012 Vapor 11.0m2. Wind was not so much (12 knots) but ti was nice to be on the water again.
03-01 Another Formula session. Because of working night shift this week I only sleep 5 hours from 0800 untill 1300 and than directly to the water. This session was nice with some speed (52 km/hr). At last the sun came .... spring is coming, yeah!!!
01-01-2013 HAPPY NEWYEAR!
01-01-2013 HAPPY NEWYEAR!
I would like to wish everybody the best year that you could imaging! 2012 was not my best surfyear, but personally I can say I had a very good year. I have activated this website again, and I will keep it up to date. I'm trying some new stuff like connecting it with my facebook. Hopefully everything turns out to work OK.
I don't really have goals for this year in regarding to "numbers". Nowadays so much people are using their GPS devices more and more, but you cannot catch everything in numbers I think. Cindy Lauper allready sang it in 1983 "girls just wanna have fun". Well, this boy just wanna have fun on the water. So that is my biggest "goal"!
2013 Week 1. Windfinder
Looking at the numbers for week number 1, I think I'm gonna have my first TOW pretty early in the year. It's not cold (8-10 degrees C), there is enough wind (more than 10 knots). Only thing: I'm working the nightshift and that's pretty shitty. Hopefully, at the end of this week, I can write something about my sessions.