t f v r

mission helgoland

It’s been a longtime goal of mine to go and check the conditions on the only german offshore island Helgoland. It’s location is right in the german bay, about 50kms offshore southwest of Sylt, so i thought it should offer some conditions and it’s worth a visit. Helgoland with it’s harbor was a major target by the british military in WW2 and was meant to be erased off the map after the war with the strongest non nuclear explosion the human being came up with. Fortunately Helgoland survived the detonation, so I was able to put my feet on these nice little islands, that host a great variety of birds and seals. The conditions were not epic and waves disappeared with the tide going down, but it was still a great trip and a cool experience to sail with plenty of seals checking you out… Thanks to my clothing sponsor Chiemsee for supporting this project! enjoy!



1 comment to “mission helgoland”

  • Frank, 27. December 2012 at 21:44

    , there is something amziang and liberating about bashing around in windy, treacherous conditions. Jumping is just as much a part of windsurfing as wave-riding, in my opinion, and side-on conditions can actually be very freeing as opposed to some side-off spots. In side-on conditions you can go backside, you can drive down the line, or you can sail switch. Because it focuses on jumping as well, it eliminates the handicap some riders have with a weak/strong side. Also, good onshore technique actually requires the rider to “surf” the wave more than side-off conditions do, as the rider will get backwinded if he/she fails to keep working the wave, transitioning quickly from rail to rail. In side-off conditions the sail whips you into the turn as it is laid down and the rider also uses the sail to project up the face and off the lip — in side-on conditions the rider must rely on boardspeed developed from the wave/board in order to get back up to the top of the wave, as the sail is actually working against the board and rider. In an onshore bottom turn the rider must aggressively carve and drive the rail with his hips and chest (like surfing), whereas in side-off conditions the bigger turns are initiated by driving the rail by laying down the sail (unless you are keith taboul, who is currently reinventing the way we perceive the ideal bottom turn!).Ultimately, I wish the tour would do more contests to determine the wave title. It is a shame there is only one dtl spot – strong goofy footers like victor fernandez would have a better chance at the title if there was a left on the tour that complements the huge right we currently have; Likewise, there is no spot on tour (except for scotland, which was cancelled) that features solid break setups with side-on or side-shore wind. I love sylt for the extreme factor and I think the pozo jumping is incredible, but I would like to see sailors challenged to the max on the largest variety of conditions. And as much as I love seeing windsurfers sailing teahupoo, sometimes the whole “side-off” thing gets taken so far that sailors lose the ability to land an arial back on the wave face (so what’s the point, then? why not just grab a stick and go surfing instead of wasting the perfectly good barrel with a sail that limits you to a particular part of the wave if it’s 60* offshore and the sail just pulls you off the wave if you go for an arial?). My home spot takes the whole “I only do side-off” thing to the extreme: I’ve seen my crew stick their noses up to logo-high side-on mast crunchers only to go down and sail 55* side-off conditions where the waves are only waist high. This b.s. attitude is reinforced by the mauicentric attitude that praises side-off as the “only real wavesailing.” I learned to open the clew and drive the rail with my hips and the other 80% of the ocean became my playground.I apologize for my longwindedness, but this is a topic I am passionate about. I love your blog, by the way, and the fact you cover all aspects of the ocean, not just windsurfing. Keep up the good work, GP!-Stuart ProctorCape Hatteras, NC, USA