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Old Nov 15, 2012, 12:18 PM
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Lakewood, Colorado
Joined Aug 2002
30,717 Posts
For whatever it's worth, I started out DSing on an earthen dam, and I remember it
turned out to be one of the hardest places to DS. The faces were just
shallow enough that the shear layer was usually very low so always had to dig deep
(without hitting the flatter area below the dam). I remember it was extremely
sensitive to wind speed. Too little wind, and couldn't get enough energy to keep
the loops going. Too much wind and it just blew out completely flat and couldn't
get below the shear. It had a sweet spot around 15mph which produced the best
frontside lift, and the best groove and thermals would really pump it up, but they
were rare, since the upwind side was the lake. Because the shear was
so low and flat, rarely had to bother crossing the top of the dam to the front
(whole circuit was behind the top).

Like any other groove, if I stood on the back edge of the flat top, the
best indicator of whether the groove would work or not was where
the wind was hitting my body. If I could feel it on my legs, it was blown out.
Chest only, workable. Quiet, pumped up.

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