In 2008 I built my first winter sailboard.
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 :-)
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 :-(
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 :-)
|Clique to enlarge|
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:
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:
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:
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
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: