Translator from GOOGLE

How I started Winter Windsurfing

 The first attempt at windsurfing in the winter was with my F2 Comet 330 windsurf board on the snow up at the lake. It was a fun attempt, but went nowhere :-(

In 2008 I built my first winter sailboard. 




I started with a snowboard that I had laying around. People in the area kite with skis or snowboards in the winter.  (Actually saw one fellow with skates !!! ) However, I was not ready to go over to the dark side :-) 

One thing I found of interest, butt too $$$ for me was the kitewing.

Can you say FLY ??








No dough to go on the snow ...

SO, I built up the mount point on the snowboard so that the mast base could be firmly attached and the wood could be attached to the board. Since nothing was to come apart as I was sailing, aluminum plates were used under bolt heads and nuts. Anti-skid tape was placed on the board for obvious reasons...At this point in the game I was NOT sure whether the board could hold the stress of the mast base without major re-enforcement. Now I know better - it can !!



As seen below,  I did NOT want anything sticking in the snow and thus used what I call IKEA type nuts i.e. flat head with the hex tightening. 




One evening I was testing the snowboard with the sail attached in the street. My daughter was coming home from a babysitting gig and the father was driving her home. He asked her," What is that nut doing in the street?" To which my daughter replied, "Oh, that's just my dad." :-)

Preliminary tests in the snow were NOT good :-(

This does NOT mean a snowboard and sail will NOT work - just NOT for my purposes :-)
See here::


Lazy Snowsurfers from Māris Minkevics on Vimeo.

Had a discussion with a mechanical engineer at work. He felt that the snowboard was generating too much resistance and works best under gravity or kite pull from above. He suggested I put skis underneath the board. Another colleague at work was kind enough to donate an old pair of skis - needed to be "old style" i.e. NOT parabolic. Since I did NOT want to punch holes in the snowboard (now i wonder why), I attached the skis to the snowboard using metal strips and small wood blocks. Once again I stuck to the hex IKEA type nuts. By chance the skis were angled out about 10 degrees. This was not intentional, but did help later on the ice.



This time the tests were MUCH better... I developed a bad habit whereby I would disembark when it came time to stop. This would prove to be my downfall (no pun intended).

Based on my notes, the sled cost me only about $40 since I had the board, skis and mast base already - or were given to me !!!!

I gave it the full test on Easter weekend. Winds were strong - around 20 mph or so. The lake (actually part of the St. Lawrence) was completely iced up , but a little rough. I only had my 3 cam older NP 7.0 powerful sail in town. It started off quite well and I was pleasantly surprised. As I got out of the bay, winds picked up and I started to pull the sail in for more speed. It handled it very well and I was starting to go pretty quick. I thought, okay, let's see what this baby can do... At one point I realized just how fast I was going and got a little nervous. The speed was due to the fact the skis were angled and I was sailing on the metal edges ONLY. I did what I had always done up until that day ...I threw the sail to the ice and watched as the masthead of the boom broke - it was after all an old one and I stepped off the board trying to run. It felt like I was Fred Flintstone i.e. my feet just could not keep up. Needless to say, I fell to the ice with the my arms outstretched. My chin hit my arm luckily, but I realized something was wrong. I got up leaving my left arm up in the air and dragged my stuff back to shore. This was about a mile out now %^&* People did not help me because they did not realize that I was in pain. One fellow asked me if my contraption worked. I told him, " It works so well , I think I broke my f'n shoulder." He either did not like my language or did not want to help because he disappeared quickly.. As I was trying to load my stuff into the van another gentleman was kind enough to offer assistance and actually drove me to the hospital with his wife following in their car. He had popped his shoulder in the past and told me it was not too bad to pop it back in.

While i was at the "reception desk" at the hospital I did not feel well. I thought I was going to pass out. The nurse told me to go straight through door number 1. A doctor took me right away, but was quite rude and told me to get my dirty gloves off his paperwork. He also kept asking me why I thought I was going to pass out. In my usual manner , I informed him that it was not I , who was the doctor :-) A friend of the family , who is an emergency room  nurse, later informed me that pain is the culprit for making one feel that they are going to pass out ...Felt like I kept going room to room, nurse to nurse and doctor to doctor. Since I was able to move my arm - under duress - the doctor said it was impossible that the shoulder was dislocated. It was a break of some sort ...

I had let it rip so much that I actually broke my left shoulder :-( 
On the x-ray I saw two(2) floater bone fragments and had to sleep sitting up for about six(6) weeks and was NOT allowed to drive ... Only missed about three (3) days work ...
Missed about three (3) windsurf sessions as well :-( + physio-therapy from March to October !!
The shoulder looked something like this ... 


Skipped the winter of 2008 .. But by end of 2009, I was already looking about at other winter sailboarders. Feodor, who had just broken his collar bone, has adjustable hinges and uses a winter sled called a SAVO. It seems in Scandinavia it seems they have been doing similar activities since quite some time. One of them in the video is using a MauiSails Race Sail TR !!


Also discovered there is an organization called WISSA.org which is World Ice and Snow Sailing Association. They have even had Championships in Canada MANY times: 2004 Orillia, 2006 Trois-Rivières, 2008 Matapedia and 2010 La Baie. I actually wanted to meet my Finnish friend in La Baie this year, but I did not get out there :-(

My discussions encouraged me and I purchased a smaller older Simmer 6-oh. Here is a pic of what I now call  board #1 - with the sail... So, lesson learned regarding using smaller sails in winter ...



That winter I sailed up at the lake and also on a sod farm field. Still feel that the board still works best on ice or crusty snow. May need to go towards a board like local freestyler Guy Trudeau...

So, this year 2010 I built board #2. Feodor had suggested 30 to 45 degree for ice and 15 to 30 degrees for snow. So, first I tried 30 degree angle on the skis as suggested by my Finnish maniac :-)

This 30 degrees bit too much, and so I made them 20 degrees.

Here's another pic and then I will start the journal entries :-)

 This board is GREAT on ice, but still feel I have NOT got the best setup for snow. Once again, perhaps I need to go to Guy Trudeau's design - which can be found on YOUTUBE. Ooops - another one bites the dust - will put his newer video here then.... same video presented further down because I actually DID build one of these too ...



Just to make the discussion complete, there are "commercially" available winter sailboard toys. From Ontario there is the SNOWFER and from the NW States there is the WINDSKI. Once again I found these toys a bit expensive and the snowfer seems more inclined towards ice as well. I have seen the windski on the internet and on e-bay. The concept is an interesting one and I wonder if one could make something like a windsurfer, but for snow ??

Update: Elsewhere in the posts I tell about board # 3.14 which is version 3 re-using board #1. There is a third ski in the middle and the front of the skis are flat to the ground. The back of the two(2) skis that reach to the back are angled IN at about 10 degrees. Tests so far have shown this to be the best setup for up to 2 inches of snow. Board #2 with 20 degree angle cuts too much and too much drag in snow of 2 inches - even with crust underneath - butt is GREAT on ice !!!!
check my other discussions on the subject

Board # 3.14 for the snow is on the left - back of skis angled in at 10 degrees and a centre ski in the front against spin out. Board #2 is on the right with skis angled out at 20 degrees. 
This is a SPEED MACHINE. 
{mast bases have been taken off for summer storage and i need em for my summer windsurfing :-) }


Clique to enlarge

November 2011 - on local e-bay called kijiji there is a fellow near Québec CIty selling a 1990's "Wind Zone" winter windsurf sled. Here is a copy of those photos. He is selling this for $100 - not bad if someone has all the rest of the windsurf stuff. If he or she lived closer, I would seriously consider and at the very least go see it and measure !!! 



 

And another update !! It seems there is a fellow named Langis Caron who has built sleds like the following near Quebec City for the last 20 years !! NOT BAD !!


Turns out this Langis Caron was a race car driver in the 70's !! Apparently he has been working on winter sled models since the 80's - yes, last 20 years, as marked earlier. He was a racer and still is. He has won numerous places in the WISSA competitions and his wife races too. So, these sleds are worth analyzing !!!

AND some fellow is trying to sell this  "Hiberna Iceboard" on e-bay  for about $1800 !!


I have a feeling there may be a renewed interest in windsurfing on ice n snow. Now all we need is some snow !! Apparently the lake up north is frozen = cannot wait !!!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

and THEN just when you think you've seen it all, you find this !!!




and a bit more of the same !!


As usual , there is ALWAYS another version of the homemade sled. Here it is:
It is a very simple design that hides the secret in this photo. There are fins at the back in order to cut into the snow and drive the "sled" forward.
With the open space between mast base and standing platform, one may be able to go in deep snow as well. Not sure about placement of mast base nor strength of that brace. However, they say it goes !! Jibing ?? no idea... pics from WSC

and there is also the windskier 380cs that does not look homemade and is made out of aluminimum
pic also from WSC - comes without skis from what i read and see no angle on the skis - requires the fins from what i see here...

Found a really interesting business article on "The Case of Winter Windsurfing"
There is mention of Freeskates, Hiberna boards, Velliluge and Snowfers. Some obvious names are Jeff Brown of the USofA (maine or Vermont I believe) , Marcel Bradette of Quebec City, Quebec, Canada and Charles Chepregi  of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

"Experts say that winter windsurfers innovate mainly to fulfill their own and their 
fellow sportsmen needs. Most of them are enthusiasts of the sport and as there is not 
much of commercial product manufactured currently and also in the past, they take on 
the innovation process and try to solve problems associated with the equipment and 
make improvements themselves. The needs mainly concern reaching higher speeds and 
the control and manoeuvring of the board. They also do it for fun cause they enjoy the 
process. Also gaining reputation is important for those that take part in competitions and 
try to reach new speed records. "

In 2013 found another home grown winter sailboard - in KIJIJI for the Gatineau area - fellow wants $200. Skis are angled and has foot straps.



Addendum:
In 2014 i discovered there once was a firm called "SkiSailer". They made something very similiar to what Guy Trudeau in Montreal calls the windski. It seems they tried to become commercially available, but died within one year and as such actually became a 1998 business case study: Skisailer: Marketing a Young Investor's Dream by Dominique Turpin, Kamran Kashani. "A new product combining windsurfing and skiing runs into trouble during its first year of worldwide sales". 

(Here WAS a video from somewhere in Northern Europe I guess - i do not speak the dialect:
another one bites the dust - can see how we will alter history in the future. 1984 and Brave New World here we come. People who have died are still on facebook, but videos disappear)

Here a photographer explains how people saw the SkiSailer at first glimpse - at the Gorge no less:
http://www.picklehead.com/skisailing.html#report

In early 2014 - at the end of the 2013 winter session I met Claude Belanger, who has been WISSA, met Langis Carron , has two(2) winter sleds and windsurfs in the winter regularily. After more attempts at building a snow model, I decided to try and emulate theirs. Here is what i came up with:



The front portion acts like a plow and pushes the snow away. 
The back portion allows one to steer and kind of ski as opposed to slide.
Claude and Langis have a much neater setup which i may attempt to build in the 2014/2105 season.
The board above has to be about version # 5 - version four is where the side skis were brought in on the red sled. As yet I have NOT folded the front snowboard under to meet the skis - like Claude Belanger and Langis Carron... Guess that will be next year -- 2015/2106. This year i am having too much fun testing this version out and making videos on it...

-----------------------------------------
NO winter windsurf discussion would be complete without discussing or mentioning this site:
http://boardtests.com/ice-board/ice-board-1-0-summary/. Jeff Brown of iceratz is mentioned. He sails on black ice in NE USA whenever he can !! REAL ice windsurfing is CRAZEE. These dudes are doing over 40 - 50 knots with tiny 4.3 to 5.5 sails - some on wave sails and others on cambered race sails...



In 2015 I purchased what is called an ArcticSail board and have done a post on it:
http://joewindsurfer.blogspot.ca/2015/10/arcticsail-for-windsurfing-on-ice-and.html

Also found this pic on windsurfing quebec - called it a LangiSki - a term i am NOT accustomed to :
Nicole as per Windsurfing Quebec
The above board looks VERY similar to what I am doing with my light snow board...

On iwindsurf I also found this. An iceboard with with two sets of blades and set of skis



The CRAZY part of this board is the front blade/ski attachment. It seems to swivel AND slide !!




I just went over my post and realized there is NO clip of myself and some of my attempts. There should be @ least one !! This one is from about 2014 with light winds and an MS-2 8 m² sail. Winds are so light I did not bother going back to get the forgotten harness !!
You do NOT need to go fast to have fun ...

AND in case you are interested Guy aka GTJ did make a video about HOW to make a windski , which he uses for freestyle: I will be building one in 2016



Found this one on kijiji. Like the raised platform for deeper snow. Not so sure about the slippery metal:



8 comments :

  1. Try Guy's windski Average Joe. It's the only design that works in ALL conditions, is super safe and is light and easy to transport. Easy to make and dirt cheap. I gave up on ski boards long ago. It's less fuss to make a windski or find a cheapo kite.
    I find that the windski won't work with sails over 6.5. Too bulky. Big caveat. That's where the cheapo kite comes in.
    Ave fun.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for all the info! I'm just getting into this and appreciate your sharing experiences and designs.

    ReplyDelete
  3. maybe i can use my trailskates without cage to make a windski

    concern is steering

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i had to look them up ...\
      http://www.powerkiteshop.com/images/productimages/boards/gateskatetrailskates2.jpg
      think they would go GREAT with a kitewing
      you seem to already have adapted a sail to work like a kitewing

      Delete
    2. now with a kite any one can do it ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTxFZeerVk4&list=UU91ChD5HdLqySvLS4yFPK_w&index=6

      the frame https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsNdyxHfE9s

      Delete
  4. Ok. I put together a windsnow mounting my sailboard rig to the front of a 156cm snowboard thinking that it would be pretty simple to get a hang of. However, testing it out today the front tip of the board kept turning into the wind. Any ideas as to what's going on?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ironically I had the same issue on the weekend on my windksi ... I tried moving harness lines forward, trying to keep sail more upright, etc.
      You can also look at how some locals built their sleds here: [IMG]https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vXSlt_i6N7c/U03R_CbRsyI/AAAAAAAACf0/wMZVhkCu6p8/s1600/JOE_3774.JPG[/IMG]

      Delete
    2. today I put the blue extension snowboard with the snow\ice sled and had less going upwind. however, ice and wind were NOT ideal :-( still love to get out !!!
      https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ka2nnLZYgF8/VCYIniGxEYI/AAAAAAAAC5A/CL7hS1pNxZg/s1600/JOE_3763.JPG

      Delete

all comments are now moderated = sorry.
due to comment spam
MUST have google account ...