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Preparing for the 2017 Summer Windsurf Season ...

My 2017 winter ice sailboard season is now most probably OVER.
I did manage to get out about ten(10) times with a satisfaction factor close to 80 %.
The biggest issue is still, as always, the deeper snow...

So, what worked in the summer of 2016, what did not and what are the plans for 2017 ??

Sails are covered and will stay as such , unless ... skills improve and smaller required ...
Have HSM  Fire 6.3, NS Duke 6.9, MS TR-6 8.4, HSM SPF 8.5 and MS TR-4 10.0 m² sails

The Mistral Equipe 2 XR carbon was asked about, but these boards are difficult to find and was my most used board in 2016. Replacement would have to be an Exocet RSD2 or a Starboard Phantom. Those boards are VERY expensive (even used often over $2000) and I would be lucky to get $800 for my MEQ2. Just bought a Makani 32 cm fin to replace the Fanatic Hawk 34 cm fin lost last year too ... Great board with sails 7 to 10 meters !!

The JP SLW92 was almost sold last year for $1200, but again, everyone warned me that I was selling it before I got to use it to full benefit. Took their advise and still have it. Good in 12-15 knots with 8.x and 10 meter sails ...

The category that is of the most interest, as always , is the mid-wind section. These for me are winds from 20-40 kph and perhaps even  30-50 kph ... My first shortboard in these winds was an AHD FF 160 litre\79 cm wide board. After I sold it, I tried a Starboard iSonic 117W. That board was WAY too much for me and I swapped it out for an AHD SL2 132. That board I can sail, but it is VERY challenging - with my lack of skills. You see, I have a foot strap phobia and never practised water starts cuz I could always uphaul. The board does NOT tack easily due to its short length of 232 cm. In terms of gybes, I typically did light wind gybes, while this board flies !! So, I put that board on the market for a fair price. If I sell it for that price, ok , otherwise I will practise with it when the spirit moves me.

To go back a step, people were suggesting the Fanatic Geckos, either 120 or 133 litres. None used and reasonable price since they are still fairly new ... So, found a 2006 Fanatic Shark 145 HRS. Paid a little more than I wanted to, but it is the board that will get me in the straps !! There are MANY strap positions, the board is longer and with 75 cm width will go in somewhat higher winds with chop. Unfortunately it did NOT come with the fin and I have 40 cm fins and a Makani weed fin that is supposed to be good for 7-8 meter sails ... Missed out on a decent 46 cm fin @ 2-rad. Was hoping to sell another fin first ... Bruno knew I was interested and did not let me have first dibbs.  Next time, just buy it !!

I also still have my Mistral SLE 303 which is also good for practise in the mid-winds and it is a board I can bash & not worry about since I got it for under $100... Just realised, looks like it had a sunken mast track way back then !!

Ah yes, and I do still have my Fanatic BEE 124 LTD to practise in the BIGGER winds...

I guess six(6) boards is a bit much !! Only two(2) are really worth anything in terms of $$$ and am trying to sell one of 'em ... Know people who have a two(2) board quiver and even some who have a one board quiver !!

Now just waitin' for wind and water !!


Popular Posts/Articles:
Foiling: hydrofoiling.html
GoPro Hero: GoPro-hero.html
BIC Techno Formula: bic-techno-formula.html 
BIC Dufour Wing & Starting Windsurfing: my-bic-dufour-wing-and-how-i-started.html 
Tabou Rocket 125: tabou-rocket.html 
History of Windsurfing: http://history-of-windsurfing.html
Heavyweights: heavyweights-and-windsurfing.html
Physics of Windsurfing: jim-drakes-windsurf-physics.html  
Fanatic Shark: fanatic-shark.html
Formula and Long Boards: formula-boards-and-longboards.html
Light Wind Section: light wind section.html
Early Planing: early-planing.html

Getting Started: 
How I started Winter Sailboarding: how-i-started-winter-windsurfing.html
How I Started Shortboarding how-i-started-shortboarding.html
How YOU can start windsurfing: how-you-can-start-windsurfing.html
Parts of a Sail/Windsurf board discussed:
Sailboards sailboards.htm                          windsurf-board-categories.html
Fins: fins.html  and how to repair them ...
Sails: sails.html                                         
Sail Materials: sail-materials.html                                 
Masts: masts.html
Mast Bases: mast-bases.html
BOOM: boom.html                                
Accessories: accessories.html

My Boards and Reviews:
AHD FF 160 liter: how-i-started-shortboarding.html  
AHD SL2 132 liter: http://ahd-sl2-132.html
BIC Dufour Wing: my-bic-dufour-wing-and-how-i-started.html
BIC Techno Formula: bic-techno-formula.html 
Fanatic BEE 124 LTD: fanatic-bee-124-ltd.html
Fanatic Ultra CAT: fanatic-ultra-cat.html
JP SuperLightWind/SLW92: JP SuperLightWind
Mistral Equipe I LCS-XR: mistral-equipe-i-lcs-xr.html
Mistral Competition SST: Mistral COMP SST
Mistral Equipe II / 2: mistral equipe 2 aka MEQ2

HotSailsMaui SpeedFreak 8.5: HSM SPF 8.5.html
MS-2 vs Pursuit: maui-sails-pursuit-vs-ms-2.html 

Health & Safety:
Safety First: safety-first.html
BEE stuff: bees.html

Windsurfing in Montrealwindsurfing-in-montreal.html
Original Journal Entries: original-journal-entries.html 
New journal entries: new-journal-entries.html
Newer journal entries: 2014/2015 journal entries.html
2016 journal entries: 2016-windsurf-journal.html
2017 journal entries: 2017-windsurf-journal.html


DIY selfie stick in a backpack

One of the things I love about windsurfing in  the winter is, it is all about the experimentation. Yes, people have developed the sleds that work on ideal ice, but ice n snow here are ALWAYS far from ideal. The ice is too rough for such sleds, there is too much snow, etc, etc

With the first ice sled that I made, I was NOT careful enough and busted my left shoulder during the first trial run. Since then I have learned to be more careful... The current ice sled I am using works quite well and I typically use a HotSailsMaui Fire 6.3 sail, which happens to be my smallest recent sail and is rarely used in the summer...

My first selfie stick was made with a wooden broom handle and was shaved to fit boom. It broke at that point and I lost a GoPro 4. Luckily there are now cheaper options like the Pictek used in this video. The angle was meant for me to see how the sled works with the hopes that the background shows up. It shows the ride VERY well, but with no background. Just the same, I am calling it a success - cost me about $20 ... and less than one hour to put together...


Since people DO seem interested  in HOW i made the selfie "pack", let me explain ...
First I started with a smaller backpack and ideally with 2 zippers in order to close the opening from both sides - NOT sure if all packs come like that now ...

Originally I had thought to make the back plate out of wood. Then the consideration  was - what if I want to try this in water ??? Need something out of plastic ... A cutting board that just fits in the bag would be IDEAL ...

In the above photo, the PVC pipe was already installed. The next consideration was - how big of a PVC pipe to put ?? Wanted the GoPro handlebar mount to fit and the PVC NOT to be too flexible ie NOT move around too much ... 3/4 inch pipe fit the bill and so only needed one ten foot length (cut at the store so as to fit in car) , one 45 degree angle, some PVC glue , U clamps to bolt to the board AND nuts n bolts ... Made the long bar four feet for now - can always shorten it - that's about 1.2 meters.

After everything has been carefully glued in a WELL ventilated area and dried in the house where it is warmer ... The entire contraption was put back in the backpack, tied all up nice n neat and the first trial run was done 😏 

Since the video above showed the rider and the area around him\me ... I decided to try and make something where one could see both rider and landscape - or angle the camera up more ...

This added some weight when I tried making a demo tape .. It showed me which angles might work. In order to reduce complexity, weight and do next experiment, I will cut the TEE from the bottom - allowing the possibility of putting it back with a coupling ...

So far this winter - all in 2017 for the 2016/2107 winter season, I have been out on the ice n snow ten (10) times with the following information: 

I presume with the last dump of 1.5 feet of snow (great for kiters) and temps going UP, my winter season is over ... Now I will have approximately one month off - most windsurfers from this area and from Toronto are planning their trips to Hatteras in this period !!! Great start to the 2017 season !!

"How fast were you going ??"

People often ask, "How fast were you going?" when they meet me ice sailboarding or see the videos on ice ... Believe I have done about 50-60 kph max. Buddy who kitesurfs on ice with GPS says he goes 80 kph. In order to give a REAL feel for the speed on my iceboard, I made this video in 2013:

To get a TRUE feel of what people do in terms of speed on the ice, one only has to check out Jeff Brown of the iceratz:

When I go out on ice n snow, my intention is NOT to reach some amazing speeds, but instead to have FUN n get out in the SUN ...

In the summer, it is pretty much the same idea for me. I want to be outside, on the water, having some fun and getting fresh air. In terms of windsurfing classification (if there is such a thing) I would consider myself a "freerider". No free-style, no slalom speed runs and no racing. Some of my favourite sessions have been out in light wind on a longboard when no-one else is around...

Then again, the same board with a little bit more wind can be a whole lotta FUN:

There are people like AA who seem to like speed on the water and try to beat records ...

BUT I am NOT one of them. Perhaps if and when my skills reach a level where I might be competitive,  it would be another story 😊 However, at this time in my life, I am in no hurry to get anywhere fast. For me windsurfing is all about the FUN and the TOW (time on water). For different people that means different things ... Some look for speed, others like tricks, some like to try the new things like foiling and some like the social aspect ...

For now when people ask me, "How fast were you going?" , I try to be nice n polite  ...
Much easier than giving the long story about no need for speed 😊