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Joe Windsurfer First Visit FINALLY to Cape Hatteras

Helmut and I left Montreal on Friday morning and slept at a cheap "value" hotel in town of Princess Anne.

Will do the presentation in photo and video format:

Most of the trip was sunny
Delaware Memorial Bridge I believe - in the fog Saturday morn:

Cape Hatteras !!

And between the houses - there is grass and conservation !!

Now I am preparing the video of the place where we are staying .. It is called North_wind of Hatteras Realty:

On this day I managed to get out twice... after purchasing a cheap mast 490 replacement for the broken mast in the video ...Both with the SailWorks Retro 8.0 and Mistral Equipe in light offshore winds. The water was warm enough that I wore NO wetsuit and NO booties ... On the 2nd session it was after a little rain storm and was with life jacket and harness. That session was a 9 outta 10 and FUN... Winds were closer to 12 knots on the 2nd session ...

It was another light wind day on Sunday with winds offshore SSE and gusts around 15 knots. Managed to take a looong video, but takes forever to load via wifi. So, here are a few pics to keep you amused :-)

here's a typical Cape Hatteras shot:

and there is a tropical storm to the south !!!

And YES there are jellyfish that sting
NOT touched yet ...
Jinxed myself - got hit on Wednesday !!

Now just waiting for the video to upload which i will add unedited.
That way one can see how well AND how poorly I did :-)

fyi there are also water snakes. I have seen snakes swim when forced to do so, but this snake seems to stay in water unless pressured to get out. Let's see if i can find an image on the web ...If I had to warrant a guess, I would say it is a Northern Water Snake and people get afraid because of its similarity to the copper head..

Here is the video - in it's entirety ...

On Monday we had a MUCH windier day. I spent most of my day trying to beach and water start with my HSM Fire 6.3 on my Fanatic BEE LTD 124. This may have been tropical storm ANA that was giving us a VERY small taste of here medicine. A local at the Food Lion, who has been here about forty(40) years says that this was NOTHING and she will gladly take the rain over what could have been. I will try to get a video of myself planing, but will have to go through some video first...

Just to get an idea of how it was , here is a small clip when there were few people left. The big fellow at the house, whom we call King Kong/KK, started the day in 23 mph winds with a 105 liter board and a 6-oh sail. When the wind went to 26/27 mph , he was out on the 105 with a 5.4. That is about the time I came OFF. Then the wind cranked to about 30 knots and KK tried the 105 with a 4.8. He found was a bit bouncy and so, borrowed an 86 liter board and used it with the 4.8 . He said that was perfect. He had to have been on the water about four(4) hours in those winds and stated that he was NOT tired. He has the technique... I have a long way to go :-) No issues on my part :-) Although I was discouraged at times today ... 
In his quiver KK has a JP SLW92 PRO, a Fanatic Hawk 135 and a Fanatic 105 FreeWave. 
After today he is thinking of getting an 86 liter board as well..
Seems he already has a 113 on order !!!
Sails go from 11-oh down to the 4.8 ...

Seems that Ocean Side they were having fun in the waves as per iwindsurf forum:

Tuesday morning there was a little less wind. So, went out for my morning run on the Mistral Equipe and HotSailsMaui SpeedFreak 8.5. Glad I did becuz after that the wind went back to same as yesterday and more. The girl in the house borrowed a 3.5 sail and KK was out on 4.8. Helmut did not go out this afternoon either ... Anyways here are my amateur clips of amateur joe windsurfer :-) These are mostly for me :-) This place makes me feel like a beginner all over again...The intermediates are all on the water ...
Tomorrow wind will be from the north instead, but again quite a bit in the afternoon...

and the same thing from the bottom of the boom ...

And here are some more typical Cape Hatteras shots:

Already Wednesday, hump day, and there is still wind, but it shifted from the north. As usual, the winds were  a little lighter in the morning and I did a trial run with the MEQ longboard and NorthSails/NS Duke 6.9. It seemed fine and went in to get the BEE LTD 124. Was flying, but the others said that 7-oh was too big. Eventually the 6.9 WAS too much and I came in. The weird thing here is the water levels and as such everyone runs weed fins and the shortest fins they can get away with ...  My session was a 9 outta 10 and I feel a little less discouraged now ...People in the house are agreeing with my concept of one sail per board i.e. the TRUE range of a board is really about within one meter and not two or four meters as advertised. We are talking about the perfect feeling. Example even if a SailWorks Retro 6-oh will go on a Fanatic Hawk 135, it is NOT ideal. In 6-oh weather the water is usually NOT flat. The same 6-oh does MUCH better on something like a FreeWave 106...

I stopped taking videos because some of the long runs are just that - long runs... I am sure there is enough here for me to remember :-) I offered Helmut to try the GoPro for himself, but he did NOT seem interested. I find it an excellent learning tool - for myself. They say one can learn a lot from watching a video of oneself.

In the afternoon winds dropped a little and came from the NE. I suggested my NS 6.9 with the BIG longboard, but KK said take the 124. After a quick test I came back and got the BIG monster. Minor adjustment putting mastbase forward to keep board flat and voilĂ  - purrfect. Had a BLAST. Pun intended. Both KK and Helmut did NOT do so well with 7-oh and Fanatic Hawk 135s. Was a 9 outta 10 day for me !!

Here are some pics of the day :

Andy Brandt was at Ocean Air Sports WED night, but I arrived during the intermission and got tired of waiting for the 2nd portion of the talks and left. KK and Jocelyne stayed ....

Thursday morning was a little colder. People walkin about in wind breakers and long sleeves... Kept contemplating about 7-oh or 6.3. Just when i convinced myself to rig down, KK came out and said it was 7-oh weather. Oh well, my gut feeling was correct. KK went from 6-oh to 7-oh to 8-oh on the same day. I re-rigged my 7-oh and stayed with it, but on the MEQ longboard.  It was a pretty good day, but the mistake i made was taking too long a break in the afternoon and i got cold. So, took a hot shower and put the stuff away... KK went out and did another 30 km on his Fanatic Hawk 135 and SW Retro 8-oh !! Max speed reached was 43 kph ...

Friday is supposed to be light to NO wind and SAT it's time to go home with an early start.

Watched this and found it to be an inspirational movie - "keep the stoke" !!

The bad news is : I did NOT get in the footstraps. However, I do know the Mistral Equipe will not help in that area. With the BEE it would just have been a matter of pushing myself a little more. My feet were there. Now know that for Hatteras fin weeds are used for weeds in the fall and for water levels in the spring. People are using SurfGrass and special BlackProject FreeDelta RE fins. 

FreeDelta RE 22 cm does 6.5 to 8-oh
When I go with my smallest 34 cm fin people are asking if I have anything smaller. People do NOT seem to appreciate the power and range of the Mistral Equipe. They feel it is just too big and no fun. I had a lot of fun on it here in Hatteras. The AHD 160 would have been fine here one day and Mistral Equipe many days more. Thus it WAS the right choice to bring here. Days when the BIG boys of 230 + pounds were struggling with their 7-oh sails on their Fanatic 130 Hawks , I was out blasting on the MEQ with the 7-oh. I am actually curious which modern board could do that?? Give enough flotation for a heavyweight and yet be good in 7-oh conditions ?? Maybe this is where those new FreeMove boards would excel ??

The good news is: I had FUN and TOW. Think I got out on the water every day except Friday and the last Saturday (that day should not count). That's six days out of seven. Many people come down and get to windsurf three out of the seven...Most was with the MEQ !!

Went out Friday morning with the MEQ longboard and HSM 8.5 SpeedFreak. Had a BLAST. There were only two of us on the water blasting and gaving fun That makes windsurfing seven days out of seven for me !!! ... Since Friday was NO wind in the afternoon, I took my father's comfortable touring bike for a ride from Avon to Frisco. It was a long run (about 50 km) and at one point I just decided it was enough and turned back. On the way there I was in 5th gear and on the way back 2nd. Stopped at the windsurf shops on the way - Wind-NC and chatted with Andy about planing with a 7-oh and being a heavyweight & FoxSports and asked about their repair man who seems to have been a shaper/ fixer since he was seventeen !! Forgot sunscreen and now look like a lobster. Plan is to have filet mignon tonight and leave early tomorrow. It was a special week, but somehow wish my wife and young son could be here with me. Ah well, will see them soon. Long weekend back home. Thank goodness !! Need a break from my holidays...

Car was packed by Friday afternoon and left Avon, NC early SAT morn around 4h45. We arrived on West Island, Montreal around 20h30. That's about 16 hours with two(2) half hour stops on the way back for food n gas. It is about 1400 km and every stop costs about one hour using the law of averages. This is good in terms of travel time then. Average of 100 kph or 60 mph.

We were stopped by the police after the big bridge-tunnel. Said we were going 74 mph in a 55 zone. There are displays on the bridge which showed us going 62 mph and the garmin GPS showed 102 kph & we were on cruise control. We were allowed to leave and were told we were lucky because we would have to go before the magistrate otherwise. I was curious WHY we were stopped, but kept my mouth shut during the entire discussion. Was it the overloaded car or my wild looks ? :-)

Regarding the LongBoard ---- Quote from iwindsurf forum: 
"Long/narrow will fast glide when not planing and the transition between glide and plane is long and sometimes hard to tell the difference between a fast glide and slow plane, nearly the same thing. "

Mistral Competition SST

Okay, so I purchased a Mistral Competition SST in March of 2015. The BIG question is WHY ?? I already have a BIC Dufour Wing , Fanatic Ultra CAT and a Mistral Equipe I LCS-XR. How can there be a need or desire for this additional 1980's longboard ?? 

Perhaps it is as Georges of the OKA jungle says, " Joe is a collector of old windsurf equipment and should start a museum!" Actually there is a little more logic than that :-) 

I am looking for the best performing longboard for my heavyweight carcass. All that I read suggests I go for the biggest and most volume longboard I can get my hands on. Ideally that would be a modern SB Phantom 380 or Exocet 380. However, those boards cost about $3000 new and NEVER show up on the used market...And so, I buy used - bought a used JP SLW92 in 2014 and now a used Mistral Comp SST in 2015.

The BIC Dufour is well, OLD, but historique. The CAT has seen better days and so the real comparison is Mistral Equipe I versus the COMP SST. 

Fortunately I have the 82 83 84 Mistral brochure with both boards listed / discussed 
inside. Here I present the COMP SST from the brochure: 

The main differences between the two(2) boards are:

different fins - race fin on Equipe ?
tri-concave bottom on COMP vs four on the Equipe
both are 372 cm long, but COMP is 70 cm wide and Equipe 65
Equipe has rubber gasket and centre board protrudes through deck slightly
COMP has NO gasket and does NOT protrude through deck - thicker board
COMP is 230 liters and Equipe I is 210

These differences seem almost insignificant, but the width and volume are supposed to help both newbies and heavyweights ...

As the brochure suggests: the COMP SST is the successor to the legendary SuperLight. I read an article where someone felt that this board was one of the reasons for the demise in popularity of windsurfing !! Everyone was out having fun on the One Design SuperLight and then this board showed up and just blew everyone away !!! Let me see if i can find it ...
Ah, took me a while, but here it is:
and here is the quote:
"I remember that board well. At the spot where I was sailing (inland, so no wave or custom boards), the Comp was the very start to the downward trend this wonderful sport has been in the last 20 years."
In summary what he is saying is this is when it became an "equipment race". Who had the latest n greatest as opposed to who could sail the OD/OneDesign the most efficiently. Now what KONA is doing is allowing sail size based on sailor weight to even out the playing field.

Back to the board... This one has a badly done nose repair that needs some touch-up, a crack in the centerboard housing and the fin seems difficult to remove.

So, I will leave the fin, touch up the casing and nose, remove the foot straps and give it a whirl. Once comfortable with the board, I will compare it to first the Equipe and then the CAT and Dufour. Since I like to use shortforms for the board names, what should I call this board ?? Either COMP or SST... Since SST is just the construction , like LCS and XR on the Equipe, I will call it the COMP ...

And so.. I left the fin , lubricated the centreboard, patched up the nose more and removed the footstraps. Just need to fix the crack in the centreboard casing. Will use MarineTex for that - believe i am out :-(

Am looking forward to trying the board  out...

OK, got some MarineTex and did the quick fix:

With last repairs done, ice going -- Now I am REALLY looking forward to trying the board  out...

Put some ReDek on, but needed some paint on slippery parts where final layer peeled off ?? Also put on the mast base that I made for my Mistral Equipe I ...

These guys may have centre board gasket IF needed:

25APR 2015 

NO gasket required ...
First outing on the water of the year and the first outing with the Mistral COMP SST. Used the SW Retro 8-oh in NW winds around 20kph. The board was fine, but at times felt fin alone allowed board to go upwind - when there was not enough wind. This seemed less of an issue when there was more wind. NO-ONE was on the water. NICE. Give session a 7.5 outta 10 and board the same. Excellent for first outing in light, light winds. Compared to MEQ, it felt more floaty. Almost like the CAT !!. Will be very difficult to say which one i like better - MEQ or COMP  !! Made a video that I am keeping private - just for me, since it is not too thrilling for others. Will wait until better speeds and more fun ...

Managed a 2nd outing on the local river with just a little more wind:
Before going to Cape Hatteras NEXT WEEK !!

The third outing was the best so far. Still on the local river with winds SW about 20-30 kph

The Ideal Winter Windsurf Quiver

As I live in the land of ice and snow, this is NOT your traditional windsurf quiver. Nor are the boards your traditional windsurf boards. Luckily windsurf bases, extensions, masts, booms and sails are the same windsurf sails.

It took me some time to realize it was practically impossible to have one sled do it all. Let's start with the ice... There are MANY levels of ice compatibility. Here in Montreal we rarely get smooth or black ice. The iceratz of the New England states have a rating system for ice conditions. Let me see if I can find it ....

It is from Jeff Brown, who is a speed maniac of the iceratz fame and i will post some of his videos here too...

Grade 1 = 2 to 4 inch drifts - sailable, but ...
Grade 2 = Corn Snow Surface requires big winds
Grade 3 = Mixed Bag of rough ice, deep snow, etc
Grade 4 = Hard Ice with snow patches which can be sailed through or around
Grade 5 = Hard Snow Ice with random lumps
Higher than this ... it is quick smooth !!!
Grade 6 =Smooth White Ice - snow slushed n froze
Grade 7 = Hard Grey of Black Ice with random roughness
Grade 8 = smooth White Ice - has many air bubbles and degrades quickly with melting
Grade 9 = downgraded Black Ice - may have hit melting and gone back down
Grade 10 = Black Ice and perfect conditions

here is a PDF with these details ...

So, for the ideal ice conditions, one do people use ??

There are many variations of what is called the Hiberna sled.

image from
It is basically a board on blades. People make many variations of this. Underneath is a mechanism or setup like the skateboard trucks. This allows the board to be tilted and the kit will turn. People practice laydown jibes, duck jibes, etc , etc...

The snowfer with the ice blades is supposed to be good on ice too, but since I will discuss it later on, I will just give it a mention here...

Also, how often does one have ice with NO snow ??
Or even smooth ice for that matter...

Here is it VERY rare...

Thus the next set of conditions seems to be the less than ideal. One has  the lake or river surface, but the ice is not perfect or there is packed snow no good for blades... Sounds like we never get better than a grade 3 here !!!

Long angled skis seem to work best for these kind of conditions.
These are the types of boards used.
Maneuverability seems to start to suffer, but I have seen and heard of people jibing their sleds...
George says he has NO issues duck jibing his WindSki which comes from around the 80's. His skis are also angled the other way ....
My homemade sled

George of Rhode Island has a WindSki

For a while I was trying this sled which is based on Claude Belanger's and Langis Caron's, but I took off the front snowboard - felt i did not need it and Claude was shortening his models too ...

Feodor of Scandinavia says there is a Russian influence for wider sleds:

So far we have seen ice can have many conditions and snow starts to complicate issue. Obviously there are many types of snow depending on temperature and depths depending on the winter.

George has recently purchased a Snowfer and feels it works great in deep snow !! I was somewhat surprised because I had heard this model was good on the ice and not so much on the deep snow ...
He has one board for each of the conditions mentioned... deep snow, ideal ice conditions and less than ideal ice with perhaps a little snow ...

Unfortunately there are NOT any videos on the NET with people windsurfing in DEEP snow. For me that means 6 inches and more snow...

Don't know what this photo op was all about ??
Wanted to post a snowfer video just the same ... butt found none #$%^&* that were acceptable !!!

No matter what people are doing - how successful, how fast/slow, it is FUN to be out and testing the conditions :-)

There is actually an organization that holds races annually. 
It is called WISSA and stands for Winter Ice and Snow Sailing. 
Okay, it is actually World Ice n Snow Sailing :-) 

Since the subject of racing has come up - speed is of the essence. Check out Jeff Brown doing some record breaking speed runs in 2015 !!!

Did not discuss the other windski which was one ski with a platform above - NOT seen nor heard about much here ...