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Lets Talk Windsurfing

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Picked up windsurfing after a 10+y brake. I used to be on the speed pro tour for 10y but got married and got a few kids. End of story.... no, luckily not, bought a new board and sail and dusted off my 1994 gear. Its been a blast .

My new board is a JP 134 light wind slalom board and a 8,4 Neil Pryde Racing sail. Anybody else into windsurfing during summer here at epic?
post #2 of 27
I windsurf, but not even close to that level.

I had a Red Marlin back around 1985, had a son and bought a house, etc, etc. Got back into it when my son got old enough to consider teaching him. Bought a Starboard 170 Go, a kid's rig, and a 9.5 Retro for me. Later added a North 7.0 for the "reasonable wind" days.

My son has the basics, but really isn't all that much into it. (He also does not have the upper body strength to handle a sail that is big enough for him, given our usual light winds.)

I'm at that odd level where people that don't sail think I'm good but I know I'm not. I don't get enough practice to really progress.
post #3 of 27
I haven't windsurfed since the mid 90's, but I was into it bigtime for awhile. I had a Seatrend (around 90L - think it was an ATV) and really didn't go out unless it was blowing a solid 5.5 or stronger. I've been thinking lately of getting back into it - the gear sure has changed in the past 12 or so years.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
I windsurf, but not even close to that level.

I had a Red Marlin back around 1985, had a son and bought a house, etc, etc. Got back into it when my son got old enough to consider teaching him. Bought a Starboard 170 Go, a kid's rig, and a 9.5 Retro for me. Later added a North 7.0 for the "reasonable wind" days.

My son has the basics, but really isn't all that much into it. (He also does not have the upper body strength to handle a sail that is big enough for him, given our usual light winds.)

I'm at that odd level where people that don't sail think I'm good but I know I'm not. I don't get enough practice to really progress.
Hey, its like that in any sport. Ive been windsurfing as a por and in my case people look at me and say, gosh, that guy is not that good at all.....

How old is your son? How big is the kids sail? Which brand and model? My older son is 10 and I need something for him for next summer.
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post
I haven't windsurfed since the mid 90's, but I was into it bigtime for awhile. I had a Seatrend (around 90L - think it was an ATV) and really didn't go out unless it was blowing a solid 5.5 or stronger. I've been thinking lately of getting back into it - the gear sure has changed in the past 12 or so years.
Yeah, the gear has changed a lot but then again not that much. Apart from boards becomming shorter and wider its the same stuff just other color. Actually they have probably become better quality but so has price gone up. The new Neil Pryde race sail together with a mast and a boom and a mast foot lists at 3000USD. Thats only one sail. You need at least two or three.....
post #6 of 27
What was the fastest speed you ever recorded on the pro tour? who were your sponsors? What venues did you race at?
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
What was the fastest speed you ever recorded on the pro tour? who were your sponsors? What venues did you race at?
My fastest speed was 39,44 knots recorded at Tarifa Spain 1991 on a 500m cource. As I set the record I was sailing for Neil Pryde and Cool Boards but I had a bunch of commercial sponsors as well. The veues I raced at was Sotavento Fuerteventura, Tarifa Spain, St Mari de la Meer France (channel), Gruissan France, Husom Germany and Hvide Sande Denmark. And offcourse all the national events from 85 to 92.
post #8 of 27
Cool Tdk6!

Windsurfing here in America or at least around here has seen a couple booms and busts. In other words the popularity went crazy in the late 70's and early 80's then died down then surged and now has really tapered off. Kite boarding has taken most of the avid windsurfers though I don't believe it will ever reach the numbers windsurfing did as it is much more dangerous. My ski shop is/was a windsurfing shop in Summers but now we only special order for people as it is not worth stocking any boards or sails. I know I have totally lost interest over the past 5 or 6 years in windsurfing. Just don't have the leisure time to chase wind.

I think you will find the new sails pretty awesome and have a larger wind range per sail than the older ones. The equipment has definitely progressed. Enjoy your refound enthusiasm for sailing!
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks Bud.

I think kiteboarding has done much the same to windsurfing that snowboarding did to skiing. And wake boarding did to waterskiing. Took away some of the crowd but on the same time attracted a lot of new entusiasts to the sport. Everybody got a benefit out of the boom.
post #10 of 27
I live in Maui and have windsurfed for about 20 yrs. Kiteboarding is the new rage here and I have noticed that the average age of windsurfers has increased over the yrs. Of course, my age has too. I used to be totally addicted, but now tend to only go out if it's absolutely perfect. probably akin to people who live at ski areas only skiing on uncrowded powder days. Still doing it tho. I know plenty of people who haven't windsurfed in yrs. However, when I'm sailing back in towards beach w/ Haleakala in background, I'm always glad that I'm doing it.
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maui Steve View Post
I live in Maui and have windsurfed for about 20 yrs. Kiteboarding is the new rage here and I have noticed that the average age of windsurfers has increased over the yrs. Of course, my age has too. I used to be totally addicted, but now tend to only go out if it's absolutely perfect. probably akin to people who live at ski areas only skiing on uncrowded powder days. Still doing it tho. I know plenty of people who haven't windsurfed in yrs. However, when I'm sailing back in towards beach w/ Haleakala in background, I'm always glad that I'm doing it.
Wow, great stuff. What kind of windsurfing do you do? Do you know guys like Laird Hammilton, Roddy Lewis, Jimmy Lewis and Fred Heiwood?
post #12 of 27

kids sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
How old is your son? How big is the kids sail? Which brand and model? My older son is 10 and I need something for him for next summer.
He is 15 now, but he was about 10 when he started. It's a Sailworks Retro Ripper. It is not handy right now, but I seem to remember about 3.5 m. Sailworks sells the rig as a package - boom, mast, sail -- (in a couple of different sizes) and I think they did a good job on it. I seem to remember it was fairly inexpensive, too.

The key is that it is very, very, very light. I'd guess it might be less than half the weight of an adult sail of the same size (which, after all, would be a storm sail, so much stronger).

I've seen other kids brands in the magazines, but have no hands-on experience with them.

My son is too big for the rig, but too small for my smallest sail (the 7). He can't get it out of the water, usually. I guess he needs maybe a 5. But its a chicken and egg thing - if he is not more interested, I'm not going to buy equipment just for him. BUt without the right equipment, it's not interesting for him.

Actually, he did successfully use a old, smallish adult sail on vacation - I guess my gear is on the heavy side.
He has sailed (under beginner conditions) in Maui and St. Maarten, but never on the lake 30 minutes from our house!
post #13 of 27
I have met all of them in various ways, but wouldn't say I "know " them. My son is classmates with kids of a number old time well known windsurfers and sailmakers. Of course, when we see the parents, windsurfing isn't usually discussed. My kids have tried windsurfing, but haven't really gotten into it. I don't think tehy have the patience as there are too many other sports they like. A friend of my youngest just broke his hip and leg kiteboarding, so naturally he tells me this morning that he wants to kiteboard. I guess the fact that you can get hurt makes it sound exciting.
post #14 of 27

Breakthroughs all around

Last week my son successfully sailed the 7.0 for the first time. Not a long session, but real sailing.

Later in the day, the wind picked up and I had a great session. I think I went faster than I ever have before on a windsurfer. (Even though it was not the windiest I've been in, so I guess I am learning something.) Unfortunately, I didn;t have my GPS with me, so don't have any numerical values.

I also got both feet into the footstraps for the first time. (I've been using the back strap for years, but keeping the front foot out.)
post #15 of 27

Maui sailing

When I visited Maui (for work, not much sailing) I thought the it was really cool the way windsurfing is just a normal thing to do. If you go to Kanaha (the non-extreme beach near the airport) on a weekend afternoon there are families where Mom, Dad, and the kids all sail.

One Sunday afternoon I stopped by Kanaha and there was an informal set of races going on. It was similar to the way you might have a Sunday afternoon softball league on the mainland -- some people racing, some picnicing, some chatting.

I did see something that impressed me in one of the races -- the leader fell coming around the mark nearest the beach. I'd figured, well he's screwed, but he waterstarted so quickly that only one person passed him.

I did also go watch people at Hookipa once or twice, but sailing at that level doesn't seem real to me.
post #16 of 27
We were out on our sloop Monday. It was blowing 15-20k and there were 9 kite boards out and only 2 wind surfers. This is the Connecticut coast of Long Island Sound.
post #17 of 27
Back in the 80s I was into windsurfing. I managed a couple of catamaran and windsurfer rental places in Ocean City, MD and sailed every day the wind blew more than 12 knots for a few summers. Mostly bas side, but in the surf when the wind was right. I haven't been on my boards since the day after hurricane Fran in Hatteras, NC. I think that was about 5-7 years ago (maybe more). My boards are custom glass (before epoxy took over). They're more fragile, but better looking (think 80s day-glo: - I even have a PINK 3mm wet suit laying around :. I have a 9'0" soft rail Fox wave board with thrusters and a 9'4" Open Ocean (I think) triple concave SL board. Sails are Neil Pride (6.2 and 7.?) and ART (5.4). Ampro stiff wave mast (indestructable, but weighs a ton and makes water srats a beeotch).

My first board was a 12'6" floating living room, back in the late 70s or early 80s. I think it was a Tiga (?). It made a better paddle board than windsurfer. I sold that one decades ago.

If anybody wants any of my old gear, I'd be willing to part with it very, very cheap (plus any shipping). Booms need new covers, but other than that, everything works as it used to. Sails were always washed with fresh water after every use. (of course, they're just plain old and day-glo colors!!) I'm in the DC burbs in NoVA.
post #18 of 27
Same story. I sailed a ton in the 80's, Maui, Gorge, Aruba and South Padre. Got married, had kids, moved back to the mid west. I still have a ton of old equipment. Full quiver of Wind Wing sails and boards from a Mistral Equip down to a 8' custom.
I have a lake house and still go when it's blowing. But my place is set up more for water skiing and the Nautique is always ready!
post #19 of 27
I still have a tandem F2 epoxy board that is pristine if any body would like to buy it at half off wholesale $500. It is a blast with two people that can jibe well and with a relatively light person on the front. You can take this thing out in a gale and it works great and offers a really smooth ride in rough chop.

It is in Reno Nevada for easy pick up!! anyone.....
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Bud, that tandem sounds hilarious . I used to surf with one years ago and its like riding a train. Did you know they now have a new tandem class with tandem boards that look modern formulas! They are sailing the first WC in france this year.

Shredhead, where in stpadre did you windsurf? Is it any good for speedsurfing on the inside of the bay? I have a friend with an apartment there and it would be nice to combine family with surfing. As a matter of fact the Kanaha thing would be even better..... but that is probably only propaganda to get us to Hawaii and spend our money on cool drinks .... sounds too good to be true....

mdf, I too have a new gps and just joined gps-speedsurfing.com and got myselfe a ranking of 1194 I think. Not bad for a starter and with excellent chanses of klinging the ladder. My highest speed was around 25 knots and that was not bad for such little wind and big fin but you need to make at least 5 good runs in ordere to get close to what you were sailing as the quickest. Great fun that gps thing, beat me if you can lets have a highwaystar showdown surfing literally speaking, both here at epic and on our own H2O elements far far away.

reg

Tom da fastest (epic unofficial selfclaimed champ)
post #21 of 27
You guys are at a level I'll never reach, but what the heck, I'll bounce a question off you. I'm a novice windsurfer, maybe 15 days over the past 5 years on lakes and L.I. sound. My teenage kids have a lot more days on the water since they windsurf a lot at summer camp, but I keep up with them fine.

Anyway I'm starting to piece together some equipment - via craigslist and ebay -- and if I ever thought ski gear was complicated (and pricey), windsurfing takes the cake. Skiing is much simpler obviously - all boots fit all bindings. Amazing.

So my question is, are there any good online resources describing the equipment variables? (Akin to the stickies in epicski gear forum?) I understand the various styles of boards reasonably well and have two boards now - one too small for me (Bic veloce? around 110L) but oughta be fine for the kids, who are pretty skinny, and one a 164L fanatic bee (2000 vintage). Just scored it yesterday in fact. I need to purchase a fin for the fanatic, I have a bunch of fins for the Bic but the fanatic seems to have a different fin box. Looks like my sail and rigging will fit either board, as the mast track (is that the word) seems the same on both boards. But I'll be in the market for a second mast/book combo and a few more sails as well.

So -- if there's any online resource that sets out all the different style of finboxes, mast bases, etc. and could guide me toward the right size fin for the board, I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks.
post #22 of 27

windsurfing on the internet

ts01 -
I don't have a real answer for you, but here is what I know about internet resources:

rec.windsurfing is one of the (relatively) few usenet groups that is still active and useful. You can get to it through google groups if you don't have a news server.

Most of the equipment manufacturers have internet forums. The starboard site is particularly nice, with a separate "learning to windsurf" forum. IIRC their url has a dash in it -- without is a hotel or something.

www.gsport.com is a fin company with an excellent web site. If you click on "Technology" and then scroll down a ways you get to a description (and outlines) of the different fin boxes -- there are ten of them! (Fortunately, "only" two or three are common on modern equipment.)

I guess we should be glad we don't have to match our ski boots to our binding type. Oh, on second thought, I guess we do -- alpine, AT, tele, snowboard....
post #23 of 27
Thanks mdf. I've been lurking a little on rec.windsurfing, trying to piece it together. Will check out the gsport.com site, that sounds like just what I need.
post #24 of 27
After the great boom in the 80's, so many people dropped out of the sport, and so many shops quit carrying the gear, that I've been wondering if anyone still windsurfs. This thread caught my attention because some folks clearly do, while others would like to unload their old gear. My theory about it's decline was that it no longer attracted new sailors, as evidence by how few lessons were being sold, and those already in it got so good that they only went out if the winds were blowing 20-25 knots minimum, like a junkie who needs an ever bigger dose to get juiced.

A couple of years ago I decided it was time to get rid of all that old 80's/90's gear; I tried to sell but had no takers, all top quality gear but considered too old, so no one was willing to spend any scratch on it. When I moved last year, I decided I had to get rid of it rather than move it with me, so I posted it for free on a local message board, and it was instantly snagged by a nice guy from Argentina who had recently moved to the US. It was great for him because he could use it while here, and then pass it on when he had to go back home.
post #25 of 27
I still have all my gear from the early 90's (Fanatic 370 w/5.4m and 6.8m first generation mylar sails, older Bic poly board-the fat short one-w/soft rig, and 2 Hi-Fly beginner boards) and was windsurfing up until 2 years ago.

I now have a 16' Hobie Cat which is docked on the water. I can have her rigged and running faster than I even load my windsurfing gear in the van. Since maximizing water time after work is my goal, it's a brainless decision for me. There's still 2 other windsurfers I encounter on lake Cadillac when I'm out on the boat.....including the guy that lives on the corner (he also has a couple of boards and a 16' Hobie. How weird is that?).
post #26 of 27
After a whole bunch of years sailing competitively, I picked up windsurfing last year and have been having a blast. Coming from the 49er, it didn't take me too, too long to pick things up. Because where I sail rarely blows above 12 kts, I got Formula gear so that I could make the most of things. I ride an '05 Roberts Formula R with Sailworks 10.8 and 9.9 race sails. I love that you can really load the fin without worrying about spinout and the board just takes off.

Here in Vancouver, there are a bunch of guys on Formula gear, although kiting has really taken off in Squamish, where there is enough wind. I think people find it appealing to carry less gear around, although I'm told by many that windsurfing is just as fun. Kiting is next on my list of things to try, although I'd rather not end up loving it and having to buy a kit.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
My son is too big for the rig, but too small for my smallest sail (the 7). He can't get it out of the water, usually.
I use this on my 10.8 and 9.9 race sails and it works like a charm: http://www.easy-uphaul.com/index.html

Less energy on uphauling means more for sailing.
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