Monday, November 3, 2014

Drop Hopping


Small world. It appears that I am in this video (at 30 seconds, look for orange sail on the left). I maintain that my version of "drop hopping" is more fun! (And it's just one of the many things you can do on a windsurfing downwinder)
Drop hopping defined : after riding straight down the steep swell (dropping in) , using a burst of applied energy (if needed) to climb up the back of the next swell and drop in on that one and the next and the next,,,,each drop is a huge rush, very addictive!
I would have to say I got hooked on this doing downwinders off the north shore of Maui, such as from Ho'okipa to Kanaha. Swells the size of houses that roll on for miles and miles...

Stand Up Paddleboarders are catching on to drop hopping in a big way. As seen in the video above. Not only do they get the repeated "surfing" thrills, but drop hopping for them means they can use the power of these swells to dramatically reduce their own energy expended to get from start to finish.

I got my first taste of it over 3 decades ago when I was a young and crazy surfer. I loved going out in giant surf and riding the whitewater. If you can catch the right wave: faster and larger than the others, it will overtake the waves in front and you can "go down the stairs" as we called it back then. I'll never forget the 9-12 foot swell (~20 foot face) that I caught way out at "The Point" and rode half of a mile all the way to the beach, dropping down a dozen or so "stairs" in the process!

When drop hopping windsurfing in the gorge, the perfect situation exists when the wind is NOT perfectly aligned with the river and the power of your sail is just enough to climb over the next swell back without a pump. Then you can head straight upriver going fast and furious on a wild ride that does not even seem possible. There's nothing like it!

I'll try to pick out a short video clip later. Meanwhile, I've got to pack for a month long overseas adventure! - Peter

1 comment:

  1. The observant viewer of the video referenced above will note that the gal is not actually drop hopping at all, but instead is being propelled by (and scared of) occasional swells that catch up to her. Here is a video that I thought would be a better example:
    (copy and paste URL to view)
    but he seems only to be riding the same swell train without powering ahead. Guess you have to Kai Lenny!