Saturday, 30 May 2009

Gear for Sale

I have the following gear for sale:
Select SL7 - 27cm - 2008 - $120
Neil Pryde X3 UXT 28 - $45 each
North Sails base (offset~15mm) - $50
Will allow longer range than mast track!
Gun Sails Downhaul Winch - $30
Garmin GPS 72 - $150
Includes Data/Power cable

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Video Camera - GoPro Hero Wide

First impressions...
I can remember seeing some photos of this camera as a wrist mount a few years ago and thought it was a bit of a toy - a tiny little box that was not as stylish as others on the market but when I looked into it further I realised that it was so compact that it could not be any other shape!

The GoPro Hero Wide is powered by 2xAAA batteries which take up the whole rear of the camera, as with most cameras it is best to use Lithium(3hrs) or NiMH(2hrs). There is some onboard memory(16Mb) but it is definately best to put a 2Gb card in straight away. It can shoot TV resolution(512x384) video and 5Mp stills with a range of auto shoot options such as a burst of 3 shots or continuous shooting every 2 or 5 seconds.
Special attention has been paid to the point of sale presentation, the camera packaging is a fabricated clear acrylic box which provides a full view of the camera and its housing. It is rare that this attention to detail is shown in packaging design these days.

The camera is extremely easy to operate and navigate through each of the different shooting modes. I did however take my helmet of before a run just to make sure that it was recording(red flashing light). The camera beeps when you manually shoot stills and record which can be heard inside the helmet if there is not too much background noise. There is also an invert shooting option so that the camera can be mounted upside down. I have not tried this yet but imagine it would be good when mounted under the rear of the boom arm.

The housing is shock and waterproof and has a robust rear seal that is rated to 30m. Check out the AAA battery in the foreground! This thing is tiny and as a result you dont even realise you are using it.

What you get...
With the standard kit you get the camera and housing, a stick on flat mount and a USB/RCA combo cable. I chose this kit as I wanted to stick the camera to the helmet and did not need the helmet head strap mount. This would be suited to cycling or vented helmets that you didn't want to stick a mount on.

Roll Bar Mount Kit.
For the boom shots I mounted the housing directly to the bar clamp, this allowed the camera to shoot down the tube that it was mounted on. This worked well mounted on the boom grip adjacent to the head as the camera is pointed in the centre of the action around the sailors chest. I took some still photos after putting the camera on the tail of the boom and will try this the next time I sail. I think the other linkage pieces will be required so that the camera can sit beside the boom and centre closer to the mast base.

Grab Bag Mount Kit
You get 2 curved and 2 flat 3M stick on mounts. The curved mount is well suited to helmet mounting - make sure you get the position right as the 3M adhesive won't give you a second chance. You also get 2 Horizontal Surface Quick-Release Buckles, a Vertical Surface J-Hook Buckle and a spare Thumb Knob with Nut and Bolt.

Helmet Mount.
I chose to mount the camera slightly forward of centre so that it sat a little lower. The mass of the camera and the wind resistance was minor and didn't affect what I was doing whatsoever. Also, with it slightly forward you can duck your head when you flip the sail in the water and the back of the helmet takes any contact instead of the camera. With the camera off this also means that the mount will not damage the sail doing the same.

Boom Mount
Mounting on the front of the boom you don't even notice the camera. I am not sure if it would hamper the rig flip as I was speed sailing on the day I used it and didn't even gybe.

Rear Boom Mount
Mounting on the rear of the boom grip or the tail you can get another interesting perspective.
The wind was blowing in the back yard and I had to point the camera into the sun. The wide angle lens will still capture the full sailor even this close.

This camera is one of the best investments I have made! I can re-live the sessions and show others what I "get up to". I would even consider getting a second to shoot 2 views at once or the standard model to shoot others over greater distances.

I purchased the GoPro Hero Wide and the mounting accessories from Adventure Cams HQ.
They had the best prices I could find and also included a Windows Movie Maker tutorial DVD and a handy Spudz Lens Cleaning Kit. The delivery was promt and everything was well covered in bubble wrap. They are also Australian(WA) so you are supporting local business.

JP/Pryde 1st & 2nd - 2009 PWA Ulsan World Cup

JP/Pryde riders Antoine Albeau & Micah Buzianis have finished First and Second in the Slalom at the world cup event in Ulsan Korea. Both are still not 100% physically, so this is a true reflection of their talent and confirmation that the JP Slalom Gen V boards and the Pryde Racing Evo II's are damn fast & easily controlled.

See the event writeup here:[tt_news]=1487&tx_ttnews[backPid]=29&cHash=9723b18c65

Monday, 18 May 2009

Sandy Point 16 May 2009

Although I didn't have the session I had hoped for I was happy with the footage I captured on my new camera. I had a play with helmet and boom mounts and have a lot more ideas on interesting angles.

Here is a quick low resolution edit of some of the footage. I will do a full review of this fantastic camera shortly.

The GoPro Hero Wide is available from Adventure Cams HQ

P.S. my boom isn't really that squeaky, it is the sound of my hand moving on the boom grip!

Monday, 11 May 2009

Micah's foot injury

Micah's foot injury seems to be healing well and he has had several sessions putting it through its paces...

"Saturday 5-9-09 The foot felt great this morning, this is relative to how it was feeling this week, I think the sail was very good for it. The sorest spot was the ankle not the break site so this is a good thing. The wind was a bit lighter today so I think another session will help even more, I certainly need the water time with only three days till I leave for Korea. Once at the beach I went with the JP 68 and my RSRacing EVOII 7.0 again. It was more like 7.8 weather but this was exactly what I needed another day of mellow sailing. The water was a bit flatter as well so it was again much easier on my foot, if we can get this flat of water in Korea I could be ok."

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Micah Buzianis Interview

Hi Micah,
Thanks for taking time out to answer some questions.

What are your aspirations for 2009 (sailing & life)?
World title all the way, I was feeling very in tune and lined up for a good run this year but now with my broken foot I am not sure how soon I will be back. I was supposed to be in Austria right now for the first race of the season but I am not back on the water yet, hopefully this week and then I will be ready for Korea. In life I just want to be the best father and person I can be! I would of course love to win the lottery but since Hawaii doesn't have one I don't think that is going to be in the cards.

Do your family ever come with you on tour?
They have come with me a few times but now the kids are old enough to need their own airline tickets and with the price of flights now I can't really afford them to come all over with me. I really wish I could because it would be great to have them along, there seems to be a lot of down time on the road and it would be nice to spend it with them.

What is your most used gear combo(sail, board & fin) on maui?
I would say for racing my Neil Pryde 7.0 RSRacing EvoII, JP GenV 60 Slalom board and a 36cm JP production fin(yes production fin these fins rock and I do use them to race on!) For waves it is my JP Real World Wave 82, Neil Pryde Alpha 5.4 and a Maui Ultra Wave fin.

What is your most used gear combo on tour?
This is a hard one since we see so many different types of conditions, I get a lot of time on all my gear. I would say from 7.8 and up is the most used stuff.

What boards and sails will you be registering for the 2009 racing season?
Well since I am not going to Austria I have a little more time to keep this a secret.......Not really I have pretty much known for a while what I was going to register, JP GenV 60, 68 and 82, and Neil Pryde RSRacingEvoII 5.5, 6.2, 7.0, 7.8, 8.6, 9.5.

I know a large percentage of your time is spent on R & D, on what component would you spend the most time conducting on-the-water testing? It is pretty close to equal on all components, but since I live in Maui and Neil Pryde R & D is focused here I would say it is on the rig, sail and mast first then booms, battens, bases all that stuff. This is one thing I really like about Neil Pryde they spend a lot of time on R & D and not just the development of the sail designs but the progression of all the components as well as making sure the durability is there as well.

Are the JP slalom boards optimised for the RSR/RSS sails or are there some compromises made to make them work equally as well with other brands? Do you try to test other sails with the boards?
I haven't done any testing on the boards with different sails. I am focused on making the fastest and easiest to ride boards for all, I know there will be some differences when they are used with other boards but I think they are overall very easy to sail and get used to. They will first and foremost work best on the JP for sure but with small tweaks in fins and different mast and footstrap positions any one will be happy with them.

Some of the more common terms used to describe fin and board performance are slippery, directional, balanced etc., are there other terms you commonly use to describe performance when talking with Werner?
No regular ones that I can think of, slippery is for sure the most used as we are always looking for more speed.

How developed are your senses after having so much testing experience - can you tell when a board has 1mm more vee or a 5cm longer planing flat?
I think I have pretty good senses on how a board or sail should feel, whether or not I could tell this small of a difference I am not sure. If it were faster or slower I am sure I could tell this quite quickly but I am not sure I could always tell what the change was.

I always wonder how the way a board performs is communicated, do you use a benchmark, say last years board and say how the board you are testing differs in speed, acceleration & control or is it more of a case of you like the overall feel of a board better than another?
For racing it is always side by side testing, if we are trying to make a new generation of slalom boards then we will start testing against the current production boards or if there is another brand out there that is going really well we will get this board and do some testing against this as well. But we will always go against what we have and know currently.

Do you use GPS for testing, I remember the Slalom IV were quoted as being 2 knots faster overall than the Slalom III?
I do use a GPS while testing race gear. It is more for just a reference than to give any definitive answers.

Have you ever been interested in entering any speed comps or are you too busy with your current schedule of racing, R&D and family commitments?
I would like to do some speed but I am so focused on all of the above that I don't have the time or resources to do it properly, I would only do it to win and if I can't prepare properly then I would rather put that energy into my priorities.

Have you done any R&D on the JP speed boards that are in the pipeline or is that Antoine's department?
This is all AA's department, I got to see the boards at the photo shoot here on Maui last month but since I was on the couch the whole time I didn't get a chance to try them. They looked very good though, I am sure there are going to be some fast times on these, they are developed by the fastest windsurfer on the planet.

I noticed you do not have a fin manufacturer on your sponsor list, what are you using at the moment or is that top secret?
I am using whatever is going the fastest, I have some of everything right now.

Thanks again for your time Micah and best of luck with your recovery and the 09 season!


Saturday, 2 May 2009

DIY - Fins

There are many reasons why you may want to mould your own fins - you may want to save money, to make a shorter copy of a favourite fin or improve the performance of a fin in certain conditions.

I chose to make my own fins when I copied a Flow 66 back in 1998. It came with both an upright and swept fin and I wanted the same versatility so I copied them using a quick method that only took a few hours. I also wanted to use a Tuttle Box instead of the Power Box that was used on the mistral, so I also had to cast a new head. I also fabricated my own fin box which is still going strong today.

I will break down each of these steps into their own DIY articles as follows:

  • DIY – Fins – 1 Step Lay-up Process

  • DIY – Fins – 2 Step Lay-up Process

  • DIY – Fins – Making a fin Mould – Quick Mould

  • DIY – Fins – Making a fin Mould – Production Mould

  • DIY – Fins – Making a Fin Base Mould

  • DIY – Fins – Moulding a Fin Base

  • DIY – Fins – Making a Fin Box Mould

  • DIY – Fins – Making a Fin Box

  • DIY – Fins – Designing & Making a Fin Plug (original)

  • DIY – Fins – Making a G10 Fin

  • DIY – Fins – Making a Fin Copying Machine (pantograph)

I hope to do these articles in the coming weeks(& months!), watch this space.