Monday, February 02, 2009

Another day, another mount.

Here's my favorite by far so far: right above the boom shooting towards the clue on the wave riding side.

Two are the reasons that make this the king of the mounts, both related to the fact that the mount can turn around the mast:
1) even if you're at the end of your ride right in front of the rocks and you HAVE to jibe and don't have time to stop the video, it's no problem because you can turn the camera towards you later, stop the video and turn it on the other side again.
2) you can shoot somebody else

Here's a short clip that shows an example of point 2.

ops! from giampaolo cammarota on Vimeo.

Oh yes, handling the camera with the front hand while hooked in the harness in gusty wind considerably increments the chances of catapults... Nico is still laughing.

I got a bunch of other clips, you can check'em out on my Vimeo page.
One of them shows particularly well the so called "accordian" effect of the Superfreaks. Here's what I was compelled to write after seeing it.

When a gust hits you, part of the initial gust's energy is absorbed by the sail to change its shape from flat to fat. That's why the transition from a lull to a gust on a Superfreak is smooth...

Similarly, the transition from gust to lull is also smooth, because the sail continues to deliver a little bit of power while changing its shape from fat to flat.

Now, imagine an ideal world in which the wind blows perfectly steady. No need for a Superfreak, you'd think.
Wrong. More precisely, partially wrong.
Sure, in light steady wind and flat water, no need for gust absorbing capabilities.
But in strong steady wind (is there really such a thing?) -let's say 20 knots and up- the water has chops. And chops change the course of your board with a continuous series of micro right-left up-down deviations that translate into the sail just like gusts. A continuous series of micro gusts, ALL of which smoothly absorbed by a Superfreak.

And let's go back to the light wind for a second. I'm not a big sails kind of guy, but a lot of people on the HSM forum swears that the SF excells also in super light wind conditions. Not too difficult to believe if you compare the weight of a SF ultralight 9.0 (for example) to the one of a Neil Pryde (kudos to them for being one of the very few sails company that publishes one of the most important characteristics of a sail: its weight!) V8 of the same size: 4.23 Kg vs 6.10 Kg. Almost 2 kilos lighter!!!
Do you guys understand the enormity of the difference? I'm afraid not.

This photo is from the first of the Kona days. Not too big, not too scary, not too windy. Perfect for my first time at Lanes with the Kona.

Oh well, it was a lot of fun at Hookipa today. Wind up and down with the squalls, mostly on the light side and waves on the rise with some head high plus sets. Bit sectioning and disorganized, since there's two swells overlapping. The big sets were the best.
On one of them I went down on a top turn and got worked over the falls with the back foot stuck in the footstrep. That terrible moment again... this time was even worse because I had the time to think to Jeff Henderson (broken foot) and John Skye latest footstrap injuries (good luck to both).
Fortunately (how long is the good luck going to last?), I didn't break anything, but my right knee (the good one) got a nice twist. I kept happily sailing but, as usual, tonight it hurts and I'm giving it Ibuprofen and frozen peas...
As usual, tomorrow morning is going to be worse. And that might mean a few days out of the water. As usual, that happens at the start of a week that should be really good for wave sailing.
Oh well, as usual it could have been sooooo much worse.
As usual, I'm stoked.

PS. Let's see who's the first one that guesses what happened in the "camera in hand" clip.


Lano said...

looked like a 'slow mo' catapult to me

Anonymous said...

Hey GP,

Love the "couple of turns" video. I think the wide angle and placement of the camera are perfect here. Have you tried mounting the camera at the top of the mast, looking down at you while sailing? It might be cool to intercut this perspective with a camera on the boom.

Really sorry to hear about your tweaked knee! Hope you're back on the water really soon! Certainly before I get there!

All the best,

Ely from NYC

David said...

Great post, but comparing a cambered sail to a non cambered sail when looking at weight doesn't really sound like a fair match up. Especially since the design requirements for each are lightyears apart. One is for speed/racing/blasting and the other is for light air sailing/wavesailing. Yes the sails are 2 kilos apart in weight, but if you looked at the Hot Sails Speed Demon which doesn't have cams, you'll find that the Neil Pryde V8 is the same weight WITH cams. The Hot Sails GPS is heavier than the Neil Pryde V8 for the same size.

Bill said...

Hey GP,

Have you tried mounting it at the mast tip between the sail sleeve and cap? It looks like your setup will work for that mount as well for a nice wide-angle view looking down from above.

I've used that angle a few times with my custom mounting rig, but your setup looks be much lighter and would likely work on any sail with a variable top.

David said...

I've posted a video from the Maui board tests this past October where I mounted the wide angle GoPro on the mast head. What's cool about it is that you can see the horizon thanks to the 170 degree field of view. I'd almost think that the standard angle GoPro might be better at this height, but I really liked the results from the wide angle.

cammar said...

if you're referring to "Ops", that was quite a 'fast mo' catapult! If you're referring to the "camera in hand" instead, nope, wrong guess...

Ely and Bill,
I haven't tried that mount on the top of the mast for two reasons:
1) all my sails are fixed top (they have a nice patch of leather that protects the tip of the mast from the teeth of the reef and yes, that mount would work just fine on a vario top sail)
2) I don't really like top of the mast footage. Well, at least I didn't like the old one. Wide angle will definitely be cooler, but the main limitation of the top of the mast mount will still be there: the water under the board is always at a fixed distance of 4 meters. You can go up and hit the lip of a double mast high wave, you won't see that at all.
So, they're not good for wave riding. They're good for cut shots, speed or loops (which I don't do).
Said this, I'll check at the shop if they have any vario top sails in the rental fleet and give it a try sooner or later...

David, fair enough. My point was going to be in general between SF UL and rest of the world...
How fair is this then: a 4 battens NP Fly 4.5 weights 3.6 Kg. A 5 battens SF UL weights 3.23! (A 5 battens Fire weights 3.8).
To be complete, the the Fly goes on a 370 mast and that's 30cm of mast weight less...
I have absolutely nothing against NP (I enjoyed a 4.0 Zone in my first years in Maui). I'm using their sails (and other HSM) sails as a comparison because they're the only ones that publish the weight.
Can anyone find another brand that publish the weight of their sails?
I'd like to be able to state that the SF UL are the lightest sails in the world...
Oh, who cares. They're the best in my book no matter what...

David said...

With regard to sail weight, you're dead on. A lot of sailors would be be amazed to sail around with a light rig. I've jumped on lot of rigs over the years upon request to tune them and even though I balanced out the rig/lines, I was shocked to feel how heavy the rig was. No surprise that they have a hard time planing, etc. with a rock heavy rig! Jeff's sails benefit from his sailing style by being light, yet responsive. I think its a tough balance for sail makers to get that right and NOT produce a one season sail. And Jeff does it while making some of the prettiest sails on the water. Gotta love it. ;-)

cammar said...

David, thanks for posting that link to your clip.
Wide angle looks much better than the old one (too lazy to go look for some old clips).

Rig weight is my trip right now. I'm using a light prototype mast and went back to an old fiberspar boom (the lightest boom I've found so far). Huge difference.
Very good point on the compromise between weight and durability. Considering that you CAN'T have both, it should be up to the end user to choose what he wants.
Hot has all kind of sails. A Smack 4.5 is 3.9 Kg. It's 700 grams heavier than a 4.5 SF UL, but it would survive better my numerous trips to the rocks at Hoo.
I still use the SF UL though... got to give Tom some work to do once in a while!

Ray said...

As usual, your videos is far more entertaining than anything at the UH library.


jeff E of the Great White North said...

the videos are great! i am wondering what the camera viw woyuld be like with an extension from the boom out in front of the luff of the sail. Now that angle might be good, but may suffer from certain types of falls.
or take a broken boom arm mount it on the backstrap curved up, put the camera on the end facing forward, that angle might be worth looking at.

Joe Agliozzo said...

Someday someone will figure out an alternative to footstraps! I blew out a ligament in my knee when one of my feet got caught in a strap during a wipeout and now pretty much only kite strapless - guess that would be hard to do on a windsurf rig though!

I have seen some straps that are open ended and look like hooks, hopefully they can make that design work one day!

jeff E of the Great White North said...

hurt myself twice , same foot same wipeout sequence.Back foot out front foot jammed in and getting thrown over the front of the board. Both while gybing. lucky not to have done this while jumping! Thing is i figured my knee would be pooched instead my foot took the brunt.Or so i thought 6 months latermy knee has started clicking when i run. WTF?