The Year of the “WWF & TopGun”. 2019 Session recap

Caseys Blog:

2019 was one crazy year again.  It was even worse than last year for surfing & wind (and last year was soo bad). If you’re a high wind junky you have to be losing your mind, but on the flip side if you have a TopGun/GoFoil kit, you are having the time of your life.  You’re having soo much fun in 5-15kt that its makes you not even give a shit about 15-25kt.   It truly is a game changer. As a result, 2019 was a huge year in The Board Room.  I spent a lot of time pumping out as many of these TopGun boards as I could. I am not going to lie, I am exhausted, but seeing soo many riders throughout the country and locally now having the time of their life riding these boards truly makes it all worth it. Spreading the stoke never gets old. Hopefully I can expand on that in 2020. Looks like another busy year ahead so lets get this party started Reef Warriors!

2019
95-Total play days! (10 months)
95-days – Total wave surfing! (windsurf/kite//WWF/SURFFoil)
19-days Windsurfing (5.7 & smaller)
5-days Kitesurfing (9m & 7m)
15-days Foil surfing
56-days WWF (Windsurf Wave Foiling); Foil in waves
0-days Snowkiteing (Busy Building TopGun foil boards)
2-Days skiing (Busy Building TopGun Foil Boards)
9-days Scoring waves in Hatteras
Best day on the reef– Oct 27th Just Perfect!
Best month-July & Aug (17 days, Non stop WWF)
Best ride- 5 mile WWF Down winding. Crazy awesome.
Best new toy- 2020 93L Quatro Cube Wave board (Wave sailing).

Past years

2019-95 total play days, 95 total wave days (windsurfing,kite,WWF,Foil Surf)
2018-95 total play days, 95 total wave days (windsurfing,kite,WWF,Surf,Foil Surf)
2017-108 total play days, 108 total wave days (windsurfing,kite,SUP,Surf,Foil Surf)
2016-109 total play days, 105 total wave days (windsurfing/kite/SUP/surfing)
2015-101 total play days, 93 total wave days (windsurfing/kite/SUP/surfing)
2014-83 total play days. 75 total wave days (windsurf/kite/SUP/surfing)
2013-95 total play days. 93 total wave days (windsurf/kite/SUP/surfing)
2012-124 total play days. 119 total wave days (windsurf/kite/SUP/surfing)
2011-129 total play days 93 total wave days (windsurf/kite/SUP/surfing)
2010-144 total play days 104 total wave days (windsurf/kite/SUP/surfing)
2009-102 total play days 42 total wave days (windsurf/kite/SUP/surfing)
2008-100 total play days 40 total wave days (windsurf/kite/SUP/surfing)
2007-83 total play days 36 total play days (windsurf/kite/SUP/surfing)
2018 Monthly break down

JAN) 1-WWF
FEB) None
MARCH) None
APRIL) 5-Windsurf, 4-WWF Foil
MAY) 2-Surf Foil, 3-WWF Foil
JUNE) 2-Windsurf, 6-WWF Foil, 1-Surf Foil
JULY) 14-WWF Foil, 3-Surf Foil
AUG) 3-Windsurf, 13-WWF Foil, 1-Kitrsurf
SEP) 2-Windsurf, 5-WWF Foil, 4-Surf Foil, 1-Kitesurf
OCT) 4-Windsurf, 7-WWF Foil, 2-Surf Foil, 1-Kitesurf
NOV) 4-Windsurf, 3-WWF Foil, 2-Surf Foil, 1-Kitesurf
DEC) 1-WWF Foil, 1-Surf Foil, 1-Kitesurf

That’s it! Time to do it all over again. HIT THE LIP!!

Wingy Dingy Thingy vs WWF Comparison

Casey’s Blog:
The Wingy Dingy Thingy or whatever the heck you call it is the newest kid on the block that the surf industry is promoting the hell out of. (I am sure it cost under $100 bucks to make one and selling them for $800 plus has something to do with it-chaaa ching! $$$$🤔). I have been asked about a zillion times this year what is my take on it? Everyone who knows me knows that I never sugarcoat nor B.S. anything.
After playing with a wing all summer I now have some experience doing the Wingy Dingy Thingy Thing or “Stringless Kiting” or whatever you want to call it. Let me first say that it’s fun! Anything that gets you on the water is fun in my opinion. The most asked question is “don’t your arms gets tired?”, and my answer is no, not really. I would go out for a 2-3 hr session and my arms never got tired. The wing mostly pulls on your arms lightly in a neutral kind of way. When I first started learning to use it, my back arm would get a little tired from sheeting in while trying to get going. As I got better with the wing, that arm stopped getting tired.
Within a couple of days, I learned to use it and I was flying and gybing on my TopGun Foil Board, which works amazingly for winging. 👍👌 I give the disclaimer that I am also a very experienced foiler and waterman so I would not expect that to be the norm for the average or beginner folk. In fact, If you don’t know how to Foil, windsurf or kitesurf it’s got to be very hard to learn to wing-foil because there is a lot going on. First off, you are tethered to the wing and you are tethered to the board. Many times I would wipe out and come up a tangled mess.😆 Also, foils and Wingys don’t like to come in contact with each other. The foil is basically 4 knives trying to cut the kite up. There is lots of tape holding my Wingy together let me tell you. 😆 Once you get past all that, the Wingy experience is very cool; flying all around back and forth was lots of fun.
One of the appealing things of Wingy to me of course was riding swell (oh and I rode lots of swell with it!).😉 One negative thing I found was the lack of stability in the whole process. It’s hard enough to foil surf alone and then you add a flapping wing throwing you off balance all the time, that sure doesn’t make it easy.😒 When catching swell heading up-wind or side-shore it’s cool to just let the Wingy go neutral and ride the swell up wind. That’s fun stuff! Now if you want to ride a swell downwind, that has the same problem as kite surf foiling. You are now going with the wind matching it’s speed, which means the wing loses it’s lift and falls out of the air. So you literally have to hold the wingy up over your head and try to foil surf at the same time.😣 Not any fun and a very frustrating experience. The only time I could downwind foil surf on the wing was in 25-35kts+ where you had lots of wind keeping that wing in the air. So my conclusion of Wing foiling in the surf is- if you want to leisurely ride some swell upwind it works great, otherwise you need lots of wind to ride downwind. Side off conditions, for the lucky few in this world, are the best for the Wingy. Side off conditions work much better to be able ride a wave any way you want and they are best for keeping the wing flying.👍
“How is ‘Wingy Dingy Thingy’ compared to ‘Windsurf Wave Foiling?’” is the second most frequently asked question I have been asked this year. Both sports actually share the some of the same traits such as using a way smaller power source which makes it so easy on the arms/body (as long as they are paired up with the big surfy glidey foils). I am a bit biased but my conclusion is that Windsurf Wave Foiling wins that debate by a large margin and here is why. WWF is way easier and way way more stable (at least on a TopGun/GoFoil combo). The sail/mast being attached to the board always gives you something to lean on. When flying with the Wing, you need very good balance and two brains because you have to fly two independent things at once (the wing and the foil board…that is a lot going on!). WWF is way more efficient with the sail. I will use .5m to 1m less in sail size compared to Wing size. The smaller the size the more fun it is… that goes with any sport. WWF is way safer because the rig is attached to the board you pretty much always know where the foil is when you wipe out. When you crash while winging, you sometimes have no idea where that board and foil is which can be a bit nerve-wracking. When it comes to Riding swell, WWF is the big winner because you can ride any wave in any direction you want just by flagging out the sail. Winging is limited to upwind riding unless its blowing 30 or is side off (and if it’s blowing 30, I really don’t want to be on a foil). Good clean side off conditions can be where Winging can be on par or maybe even more fun…again that’s if you’re lucky enough to live in such a rare place. Traveling on planes would be much easier with the Wingy dingy Thingy. It packs up in a big backpack (though RRD has made sail kits that do the same now).

Well that pretty much sums up my experience with the wingy dingy thingy so far. I am looking forward to see how this new sport evolves. I expect to see lots of innovation in the next few years. Wingy dingy thingy is in it’s puppy stages. I feel like it’s just like Kiting was in the beginning; it took kiting about 6-8 years for the gear to start to be any fun. Luckily everything evolves faster these days.👍🤙 Remember, this is just my opinion on the subject. As always, with anything in life, give it a try and come up with your own take on it. Some people will love it and some will think it’s stupid. Either way it’s always fun learning new sports and playing with new toys.

Board Room: ALGIE

Casey’s Blog:

This board is a pretty cool one.  A very high performance SUP Noserider!  that is named “ALGIE”.  It has been a dream of mine for 15yrs to have a SUP Nose rider.  I actually had one about 10yrs ago for about 40min, but then it broke in half in a 1ft wave. 😒  Ooops!  This board was very challenging to shape, because I just didn’t want it to nose ride, I also wanted to step back on the tail and carve some waves up.   The specs sum up to 10′ x 30″ x 3 5/8″ 136L 19LB.  The bottom shape has some concave up front in the nose for hanging ten, which flows into a double V in the mid-section for speed, then into a slight V in the tail for carvy carvy. The fins are a neat 4 +1 fin combination for max speed and grip.  I added a Lift sup Handle for easy carrying and finished off the hole deck with RSPro hexagon grip for maximum surfboard feel but without the wax.👌

So how did this board get named Algie.? nop it’s not named after seaweed. 😆  It got its name from one of my favorite music bands Pink Floyd. They have an iconic inflatable Pig that they use in their shows and was even on one of there album covers called “Animals”. Yes, and the name of that Inflatable pig is called “ALGIE”.   So that is where the theme of the artwork of this board came from. The nice piggy pink color to the Reef Warriors logo done up like “another brick in the wall”.  When I make a surfboard, not only do I want it to perform at the highest level, I also want it to tell a story. 😜🤙

 

me and the Algie creation.

 

Artwork turned out perfect.

 

Board Room: PICKLE SLICER & GUACAMOLE

Casey’s Blog:

I finally got around to building two Kite surf boards this year. I actually shaped them up 3 years ago and they have been sitting on my rack ever since.  I have never been happy with kite surf boards over the years they either feel like a wake board or a slow surfboard. It is challenging to make a kite surfboard that can handle the power and speed of a kite, yet still have that feel of a smooth surfy/carvy surfboard.  Good thing I am always up for a challenge. 😉

First up is the “Pickle Slicer”.  This board is designed to ride the biggest waves that the Great lakes can throw at us. The specs come in at 5’10” x 18 1/8″ x 2 1/8″ 23L Quad fin.  This board has the speed and ultimate control of a gun, but yet its sooo smooth to ride.  It likes to make big sweeping carves like butter all day long.   A perfect big wave board for all, plus a great all-around board for lighter weights.  This board even got some special artwork by the infamous “Big Z”.  Its a must see and ride.

“Big Z” next to his Legendary Pickle Slicer artwork.
Quad fin slicer and dicer

 

Next up is the “Guacamole” sizing comes in at 5’x20″x2 1/4″ 26L Quad fin.   This is targeted as a Lighter wind/wave board. It is Rocket fast, goes upwind even faster and is very lively on a wave. I designed this board to have a fast squrity style were you can run down a wave, step on the tail and Hit the Lip as many times as you want.  Everyone who has tried this board seems to really like it.  here’s a quote from one tester.  “Light on the feet, planes instantly, goes up wind like a rocket and rides the wave with no power needed from the kite and Top notch workmanship!”  Well after comments like that I think I am on to something. 🤔 hahahaha.

Board Room: New TopGun “GOOSE” Big guy foil board

 

Casey’s Blog:

I am proud to introduce to you the all new TopGun “GOOSE”. This is a High performance WWF/Sup surf Foilboard for the big guys.  I had a lot of passion for developing this board,  cause I didn’t want to leave the “big guy” behind like the general surf industry does time and time again. (they think everyone is 150Lbs and uber talented)😆 Arhhh.    Well now the 200lb+ can out shred those annoying little surfers all day long. 🤙  and man dose this board shred.   It took a lot of R&D and time but I couldn’t be happier with the results.👌  It must be another winner cause the orders are already coming in and riders who demoed it, keep saying “its perfect”. 😆 (anybody want to work for free and build boards) hahaha.

The final stats come in at 144L 7’x31″ but as I try to always remind everyone specs for foil boards don’t mean the same like they do for surfboards so don’t get stuck on them.

🤙😎👌

 

Joel scoring the first Goose out of the board room. congrads🤙😎👌

Lake Erie Watermen & Women

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