Good Stuff


Ripping on the Dongshow board!

Learning how to windsurf in Alaska has been a challenge. Finding equipment, cold weather, isolation, and instruction are the main hurdles but this weekend I was very fortunate to meet up with Paul. My wife met Paul while setnetting in Kenai Last year, while I was just getting started windsurfing. Turns out Paul was a windsurf instructor in Oregon and was itching at the chance to hook up and windsurf in the cold Alaskan waters. Since the Kenai setnetting season has been a total bust thanks to a dismal king salmon return Paul called me up to see if we could meet up and go windsurfing. Sunday was my only day last week so we had planned on going to the Homer Spit but winds were unusually calm there and everywhere else along the pennisula except for Kenai Lake. We arrived at the Quartz Creek campground around noon to light spotty winds less than 10mph. I was itching to try the new gopro mast mount regardless of winds. Once we were all rigged and suited up the winds picked up a little more maybe 12mph. I was slogging around on the longboard with a 9.0 Severne sail and Paul was on the killing it on the donghshow board with an Ezzy 6.3 sail. 50lbs sure makes a difference! Paul was fully planning with his setup! We came back to the beach to drink a beer and put the big sail on the small board. The wind picked up and.. WOW! Paul was ripping across the lake about 25-30mph. He was stoked on my custom board and so was I seeing it in action! Some of the highlights of the day can be seen HERE but I ran out of card space as we were on the water for 6 hours. Also, while we only had one harness Paul made crafty use of a back pack waist strap and ratchet strap to come up with a sketchy hook in setup to save his arms!  Monday I was totally exhausted. I figured  we probably sailed close to 20 miles and my body is still recovering.

So, via the miracles or the internet I was able to discover that NHLPA 93 was actually popular outside of the New Basement.  This, despite the game’s brief mention in Swingers came as quite a surprise to me.  There are a decent amount of  93 content, check out the Bob Probert RIP videos at this link, or this complete team by team fighting analysis. Yet after wasting a whole day on this topic, from the evidence available I’m forced to conclude that elsewhere the game never reached the level of refinement achieved in the New Basement.  While the highlights above are slightly impressive and I understand that it’s impossible to write a heartfelt complaint about Basil McRae’s aggressiveness coefficient without taking one’s game play seriously, but there are just too many weak performances against the computer with a distinct lack of “the move” or basic technical refinements to be considered a threat.  Watching an 11-5 Chicago vs New Jersey game or a putrid 4-0 New Jersey defeat of Tampa Bay, this afternoon was a bit like thinking you’ve discovered life on a foreign planet only to then find out it’s only some uninteresting microbes or bacteria.  So sorry, this post was simply an excuse to quit thinking about the rain for a few minutes and a brief hope that some random may challenge me to a game up here.  Also check out the related Jamais je ne vendrai ma Super Nintendo” at LeMonde, or the epic “Al Iafrate likes motorcycles, heavy metal, and playing defense for the Capitals” piece at SI.com

homemade skisHaving watched Graham rip around on his homemade skis for the past two seasons, over the this past summer I became convinced I needed him make a pair for myself.  This evening, after the months long (we’re both rather lazy, me more so the him) process of shaping, pressing, finishing, and acquiring bindings, I finally got to take them for a quick run in the Front Range.  The snow was a random variation between wind crust and ice, so I didn’t get the best test run, but they handled they conditions flawlessly, and were a blast in the small pockets of powder on the lee side of the lower bushes.  I absolutely can’t wait for what’s to come with these two!  I also have bonus video of the ski press in action, which is actually kind of dull, but  while we were making these Graham told me that we had reached “his favorite part” so I rolled the camera for a few.  Enjoy.

Moonlight

A quick update from this weekends adventure in Valdez. Mike, Wilson, and myself took off to Valdez in hopes of getting in some skiing and sledding. When we woke up on Saturday it was bluebird. We met up with Jordan and his crew and slayed Python Peak, hit some big jumps with the sleds and did some sled exploring. Ptor is still gone so we will add more media when he returns! Pix of our turns and Picture of python peak under moonlight. Python is the biggest peak in the distance.

Jordan, Wilson and Maxs Tracks