Translator from GOOGLE

2012 back on the ice and snow

I have been waiting to get back on the ice and as usual it is better to be patient !! The wind was not great at the chalet and the ice was good, but broke through the top layer at places. The 7-oh was not enough and when i rigged the 8-oh, the crinkles turned into a hole $%^&*( At least i did get to try my hand at videoing and making my first movie which i have enclosed here. The best part of the day was that it was not cold and kinda pleasant outside ... Will need better conditions and practice with the camera ... Find the editing with Windows Live Movie Maker NOT very intuitive and it takes long to load into boob tube... Next one will be higher speed !!!

This version has enhanced audio using RealPlayer Converter and Audacity...

For enhanced video quality - choose 720 HD - if your internet and PC support this !!!
NOTE: I have extended this into one LONG post - there are better videos from yours truly FURTHER DOWN :-)

Surprisingly the duct tape kept the sail from tearing more ...
I obviously do NOT like to have duck tape {miss spelled on poipose :-) } on my sail. Once back home, i purchased and applied monofilm sail repair tape. Got some from Bruno at 2-rad. I managed to almost use up the whole roll of tape - all 10 feet of it !!! No wonder Bruno asked me how many rolls !!! The sail looks like it may last the winter after all. Next year I already reserved a TR-6 8.4 to replace this sail. Had a BAD feeling and premonition. If necessary i will get any 8.0 to 9.0 for under $200 to sail through the winter ...

These guys are in Sweden and have MUCH better conditions.
They have slowed down the video for the music - you can be sure they are flying ...
The "sleds" also swivel to allow turns - wide as they may be ..

Ice windsurfing from Jonas Gåhlin on Vimeo.

The first attempt was last Sunday - 16DEC2012. My next attempt was Saturday 22DEC2012. This was after much snow and warmer temperatures. So, I had to try and use my snow sailboard... Again, not much wind when I went out, butt it picked up later. The bigger issue was the ice - or lack thereof.  I went in the water up to my knees. The good news of the day was: the monofilm tape repair on the 8-oh sail worked well and the video i made of the road to the chalet worked better... NOT sure i will post either one here - we will see ...{naw}

Last Sunday - 30DEC2012 - i attempted to windsurf in deep snow with less than ideal winds. It was a flop. I anticipated this, butt it was good exercise :-) I have been analyzing the design and looking at using three skis tighter together and the idea of a pointy front with body like a sled came to mind. Lo and behold, snowfer has changed their design and it looks just like that !!! Too bad they are so much money !! Will have to build one myself ...

Since the conditions SUCK, I took some time to look about and I found an old wooden ski. This is a water ski and fits almost perfectly between the outside skis on my 3.14. Since this is another modification, do i call this setup # 3.2 ?? The ski also has a slight fin that may help with spinout - only time and TOS/time on snow will tell. Remember, this sled is for deeper snow ... Now I am actually waiting for the weather to cool down. It has been raining and perhaps i will be able to use the ice sled instead :-) Anyhoo, here are some pix:

24JAN2013 - Everyone keeps askin' me,"So, when you goin' and make that movie?"
Well, this has NOT been a good year for me on ice n snow :-(
We have been in the deep freeze the last few days and there was some wind taday.
So, I go down to the local river to check the ice - looked OK from the train ...
There were some tracks with water in 'em...
Nah, can't be ...
So, I try and guess what !@#$%^&*(
I almost git a "soaker" ie wet boots
Try a little further down - away from the bridge...
Yeah right %^&*( same shite {never shoulda told the wife about this either :-( }
All i can hope now is: Vaudreuils better be okay for the weekend #$%^&*(

Close to home - these guys are called ICERATZ and have set world records on ice. Believe they are all from MASS, USA...

First day, Fast ice from Dean Withrow on Vimeo.

 This is NOT about windsurfing, but is SO good, I had to post it here !!!

31JAN2013 - This winter has been up n down in temps and full of surprises.. Today's winds  were spectacular in the words of "sailboarder" - also from Montreal. Dorval is usually marked with the highest winds and so here is a pic of the situation today in Montreal... Average winds of 30 mph and gusts of 40 to 50 mph !! At lunch I did NOT see any planes and birds were having issues !!!

For those of you unfamiliar with mph  --> almost the same as knots 1 mile = .9 knots and almost 2 time kph - 1mile = 1.61 kph.

02FEB2013 - Finally checked the river and the ice was good at Parc Charbaneau plus there was a breeze out of the East that was less than 10 mph. Put the HSM 6.3 on the RDM mast and used the ice sled. The downhaul can be 6 cm less on the sail and works fine on ice. 

None of these videos were modified in any fashion. The ice was ROUGH and the wind LITE and as such I did NOT use the harness nor let it RIP. Just the same I rate this session 8 outta 10 since it has been SO long and the temps were NOT too cold. Was doing about 15 to 16 knots in speed, which is about the same as mph. AND i DID manage to do a gybe/jibe, butt was NOT taping :-( Oh yeah - i did forget my sun goggles!! Good thing there were flurries and not too much sun ...

This video was loaded into the blog directly with the GoPro on my helmet:
{seems hi-quality and better audio, butt long to load}butt keeps "failing to load" - will put youtube version - seem to have this video in multiple posts :-)

This video was obviously loaded into youtube and has the GoPro on back of the boom. I can see why others say to put the camera on the bottom of the boom and put camera in upside down mode. This one can be put into 720HD and full screen:

Now the camera has been placed ON the ice board facing forwards. Once again on youtube and you can choose 720HD with full screen:

And the BEST for last. Here the GoPro is on the board facing back. It feels really FAST :-) Once again it is on youtube and you can choose 720HD with full screen:


SUN 3FEB2013 -- Today wanted to go out again. Was hoping to go to vaudreuils where winds were to be about 10 mph from the NE. People seemed buzy, wife ill and i was still on-call. A 1 hour session quickly becomes a 4 hour session if i go to Vaudreuils. SO, went on the local river again. Winds were lighter than yesterday . more northerly and more luffs. Even the 7-oh did not feel like enough on the ice. No harness, no gloves at times and no videos. Was about to give the session a 4 outta 10 when the winds picked up and as such can give it NO more than 6 or 6.5 outta 10 !!!

MON 4FEB2013 -  Winds were 40 to 60 kph from the West all day. So, thought i would check the Parc out in the evening. That location is better for winds from the East and as such i did NOT even rig up. Also, there is another hazard - snowmobiles running at night. Perhaps i need a lamp on my helmet?? Will need to check the other location to see if one can venture out on the ice without sinking in :-)

FRI 08FEB2013 - Got out of work early. It was windy from the NE at over 20 knots and snowing all day. Time to test the snow version. It was a FLOP !! The old ski bent up and as such the setup sank in snow. On ice there were no more fins and kept spinning out. The sail behaved well and was the best part of this test. The ice will do better with fins, but what about snow?? This board is supposed to be for snow - almost any depth we get here. Need to go back to the drawing board or modify ??
Next day - am trying to bend the water ski into shape and have put the metal fins back on - to stop spinout.

GoPro = HERO ??

(At time of writing ...)Seems there are four versions of the camera and NOT three(3). The first one had two(2) versions - one with three modes and another with 1080p and even 60fps at some lower resolutions. Obviously after that there were HERO2 and now HERO3. I bought a used version 1.1 for a very reasonable price. My goal is obviously to take videos out on the water - and not too much in the water :-)

One "defect" of the camera seems to be audio and is slightly corrected in HERO3 - from my readings. This is NOT an issue for me since I will be shooting on the water and adding music.

So, there are three(3) areas of concern:
i.e. require attention

1) attaching - i address this one and speak about various models
2) fog free filming - talk about this one a little bit
3) editing - far too many options and different requirements (could be separate post)

I have the  GoPro head-strap mount and it has been used successfully by Jame Douglass to attach to the end of the boom clew: {actually this seems to be called the vented bicycle helmet attachment}

Apparently he got this from Andy McKinney. This is the least expensive since I have the strap. The other least expensive method is to use the handle clamp that also came with the kit ... Actually do NOT have the bicycle strap - will start with the head mount on the helmet and try the clamp on the side of the clew.

image from a site selling "bike post"

There are plenty of home-made attachments as well. has all rights reserved and i have asked if i may post it here ... Got the OK :-)
And here are the instructions on how to make one with a better clamp:

Then there are the more expensive models ... some require GoPro tripod mount.
And some are expen$ive :-(

image from Sailworld
 2) flymount

image from oceansource

3) trick cam gopro mast mount

image from riggeek
4) gopro mast mount

5) If the sail has an open head - why not use the boom mount ?? Unfortunately the only sail I have like that is a North Sails Zeta 3.7 which i use for teaching :-(

6) Here is a new variation that I just came up with. It is a clamp also - plastic - not so hard on the mast as metal - with the boom mount. I hope to tie the safety rope to the top of the sail...

7) After I tested the above mast mount while out on the ice with my home-made sailboard, the video felt like a figure was gliding over a white sheet of paper. A respected colleague suggested I mount the camera somewhere and sail by. I told him I had seen people do this with a tripod mount and then sail by. And so I ran out and got myself one for $14:

People try all kinds of tricks to keep the lens from fogging. Silica gel, foam, etc Others put the dive housing on and swear it helps with the exaggerated fish eye effect as well.

In terms of default setting for windsurfing, it seems it depends on the person. On land 960 felt too fish eye and 720 less pronounced. This winter I will be doing various clips on ice sailboarding :-)
STAY TUNED. The ice just started up north - almost ready, butt not quite - already 2 dead :-(

In terms of editing, my old PC will be useless ^&*()_
My sons are into this and I hope they do help me.  

Some people are making homemade tripod plates rather than buying them. Also, as you may know, there is NO zoom and NO display on the back.

Well, I found the WingmanHD camera that does 1080p, comes with a tripod mount, display, ZOOM + + for ONLY $200 NEW !!! The BAD thing about the Wingman is the ON/OFF switch is INSIDE the waterproof case ie NO way to change power without opening case - the case opens from the bottom where it is mounted as well = PITA %^&*()_

Here a fellow compares the GoPro withe the Wingman

And here is one with many cameras compared ...

Here are some more Tips n Tricks on mounting the GoPro HERO on vibrating devices :


And found this video where a fellow shows us ALL the different points of view POVs with a GoPro. He does not tell us how - just shows the results.

Windsurfing POV on SF Bay from Ian Boyd on Vimeo.

I will summarize all the mounts and what to use .... from what i have seen ...

Since other people do NOT use the GoPro head strap on the helmet the same way I do, here are some pics:

and I hook it to the helmet with the white tie wrap/wire:

Head mount - use GoPro head strap mount $15
Helmet - GoPro Helmet Front mount $13
          -  GoPro head strap mount
          -  GoPro vented helmet strap mount $15
Chest - Chest strap harness $40
Wrist - required special casing  ?? Eye of Mine $40 auzzie
Hand held - hold it or on a stick with $20 GoPro handlebar clamp

and now for sail and board mounts ...
Foot strap - not sure how they do this ?
Board  - front and back - forget under - suction cup $30 - not sure i trust this either
           - surf board mounts $20 - kinda flat ?
           - curved and adhesive mounts $20 - some say no on my winter sailboard
Clew - handlebar mount $20
        - GoPro vented helmet strap mount $15
        - clewview $95
        - homemade spring clamp with tripod mount - clamp + $8 tripod mount
        - bar with tape and $20 handlebar mount
Clew/mast - flymount 69 Euro or $96 Auzzie - North America ??
        - GoPro mast mount $$ ??
        - homemade spring clamp with tripod mount - clamp + $8 tripod mount
        - masthero - Slovenia ? 50 Euros masthero.comor $48 at trickcam !!
Mount on sailor back ??? bar with clamp - K4 Harness Mount from K4 fins $110 auzzie

2015 --> there is this back mount now too

Here is a pic of the K4base and top:

and ... Here is a homemade version that is VERY flexible in camera positioning and i think Tim of Whitelion Windsurfing made his own as well ...

What do you have to go through to post a video from a GoPro on YouTube from a Windows PC??
1) The sound quality is NOT good on the GoPro - especially when in water proof casing. The version 3 is supposed to be better, butt ... I have been using Audacity to increase the GAIN ie boost the signal without adding equalization ... This takes a WAV out of the MP4.
2) Had a problem and thus had to locate/download in preferences/librairies ffmpeg
3) Windows Media Maker /WMM needs WMV and NOT MP4 !!!
4) Downloaded FormatFactory to convert - is a memory hog on my OLD PC.
5) Enhance the gain in the Audacity WAV
6) Put the WMV into WMM
7) Put the enhanced WAV in WMM
8) Tracks overlap, but that is no problem as they are the same ...
9) Long to save and again a CPU hog on my OLD PC.
10) Save from WMM - Thought i already said that !!
After all that work Georges of the OKA jungle did NOT like my video content and i left it as PRIVATE $%^&*()
Guess I should post my favourite angles here - not necessarily the greatest clips, butt shows the connections that I prefer. Since I started in the winter, here is the clip with the GoPro mounted on the snow sail board facing backwards:

Windsurf on Ice Sailboard with GoPro aimed to the back from joe windsurfer on Vimeo.

Since we are starting low, this clip was done with the camera mounted on the front of the water sail board , facing back towards sailor (me)...

Mounted on the boom was okay, butt prefer it mounted underneath with the image inverted. Here is an example:

Here is a sample from the helmet mount. It is NOT my favourite mount, but comes in very handy when doing videos describing boards and so, i will put two(2) videos here - one with a little bit of action and one with a discussion of the BIC Techno Formula:

Here is a better helmet mount which I just made - in March 2019 on the local river ...

The next mount to test is the home made mast mount. Since it is now December 2013, this will be tested on ice n snow :-)

So, here is a sample using the above DIY mast mount. In the winter there are few points of reference for that angle - the next one is probably MUCH better - from the end of the clew - we will see. Next summer will try this mast mount and put it a little lower on the mast as well... Also , my wife had a good idea - use the mast mount, but face it forward ...

Here is the same day out on the ice with the mast mount - a little faster in the harness and clipped to make it short n sweet - and added some music ...

I also did a video with the GoPro mounted on the clew where you can see both sides being sailed. It is only a sample and NOT a great video - will make better ones in the winter or next summer: In this video I was trying to get close to the loons and have them on film 
Well, for some reason, FLASH embedded videos are "no longer supported" - oh well then ...
here is one on ice - home mount on top of clew ...

Windsurf on ice at Vaudreuils / near Montreal from joe windsurfer on Vimeo.

Not sure if you get the "picture", but making GOOD videos is NOT easy. You must have footage, mix it up and add some good music. Ideally the music will have a beat similar to the footage, making it look like they went together.  This implies good software, lotsa footage and time on your hands.

For me so far, this GoPro has proven itself as an indispensable learning tool - more than anything. I was working on making a back pack to mount the camera, but i will stop here. I will make videos of myself FOR myself. May even take some of my videos off youtube ...In 2015 found another way to attach GoPro to the Bic Dufour Wing. Imagine hole was meant for attaching rope for tethering. Slid a bolt through and attached the tripod base onto the bolt. Just need to test it now ...

Without the GoPro mount the bolt is a severe danger to sails !!!

GoPro 3 keeps flashing blue light ?? 
With camera OFF depress button on side until blue light stops flashing.
This should take care of it, but if it doesn't, turn the camera on and off and s/b okay !!

Error while retrieving files from GoPro 3 ??
Unfortunately I did NOT document the error , but it was something like wrong disk in the device. I do not worry too much about THM or LRV files, but YES on the MP4 files. I managed to copy them over using DOS CMD prompt and xcopy command... Since I was concerned about the integrity of the SD card , thought it best to reformat. So, how to do ??

  1. Power ON your camera with the SD card inserted.
  2. Press the front (Power) button repeatedly until you see the wrench icon on the camera’s screen.
  3. Press the top (Shutter) button one time.
  4. Press the Power button repeatedly until you see a trashcan icon.
  5. Press the Shutter button one time to select the trashcan icon.
  6. Press the Power button until “ALL/Format” is highlighted.
  7. Press the Shutter button one time to select “ALL/Format”.
  8. Press the Power button until “Yes” is highlighted.
  9. Press the Shutter button one time to select “Yes”.  Your camera’s LED and the trashcan icon will blink to indicate that your SD card is being reformatted.
Once they stop blinking, power OFF/ON your camera, and your file counter should show 00.   
Important – Take a picture.  This confirms that your SD card is successfully reformatted.
Since the card is formatted, the first video starts at counter 1 - how to overcome this ?? Do NOT want videos with the same numbers. Cameras like Nikon allow one to change the prefix from DSC to JOE or whatever you wish. 
Make the next video at the number you wish ??
Make a very short video - this ensures your formatted card is working and prepares for next step. Find the highest number of your current videos on the GOPRO - let's say GOPR0037.MP4. Connect your GoPro to your PC and rename the new video you just made to GOPR0038.MP4. The next video will be sequential and NOT overwrite your existing videos !!! Once you get to 9999, you will have the infamous Y2K issue :-(

UPDATES: After the GoPro 3, there was the GoPro 3+ and now GoPro 4 & GoPro 4 Session. Somewhere around this time there was also discussion of black and silver GoPro versions. People are now starting to publish their videos on the internet with 1080p. In the past 720 seemed to be the standard and the concern was how many frames per second which became 120 fps in 720 for the 3 generation. It seems later versions support faster frame rates even in 1080p. Now there is also talk or newspeak about Video BitRate. Obviously higher bitrates give better quality, but personally feel, in my opinion, that that can be left for the professionals. Microphones and sound are supposed to be better with the 4 generation and we are talking over 10 Mpixels in these models. The GoPro4 Silver is the first to offer/include a built-in touchscreen viewing screen !! The WiFi and blue tooth capabilities are somewhere in these generations as well. Recommendations are the GoPro 4 Black is aimed at professionals and us mortals can save $100 and purchase the Silver model.  Since I already have a GoPro 3 Silver, I will NOT be running out to get a GoPro 4 - in order to take better "selfies" of my windsurf excursions. I will NOT even discuss 4K video resolution as it is beyond me and my PC/TV.

What about the GoPro 4 Session ??
People are saying that dollar for dollar the GoPro 4 Silver is the better option. The Session is a different size, but does attach to attachments one has purchased for previous GoPros. Some are saying NOT the but the session for the following reasons
1) NO screen practically
2) video quality seems lacking - compared to GoPro4 Silver
3) battery life is 2 hours max and spare batteries are not an option
4) there is NO lens cover NOR replacement
5) what i found annoying in the discussion was - power on means start filming

AntonPutman wrote back on iwindsurf:
1) The GoPro Hero3+ Silver is $275 on
     The GoPro Hero4 Session is $199 on

2) Info screen is not needed while windsurfing Smile
    All I want / need is a simple start-stop record button (6)
    I set all my settings off the water, with the GoPro App from my iPad or with the remote. With the       latest firmware update you can also set everything using the camera only.

3) The Hero3+ tops at 25Mbps data rate, same as the Session. It might be that the Hero3+ is better in      low light but I think it's the same looking at the Bitrates.
     What's more, the Hero3+ does not shoot in 1440p, nor does it feature the ProTune camera profile.

4) As for battery life, true, no replaceable batteries. Battery time is about an 1.45h at 1440p using            Wifi and the remote, which is not bad at all.
     Of course battery life decreases in colder temperatures.
     The nice thing about using the session with the remote is that you can turn the camera off from the      remote keeping only the WiFi connection active (very low consumption) that wakes the camera          back up. That way you hit the record button from the remote when you start sending your board          and save battery life.
     I have the old (non SMART) remote, works perfectly fine.

5) Replacement screen:

6) see 2)

The lack of a waterproof housing with the Session is a big plus to me. I tried it yesterday and no fogging (and annoying inserts) or whatsoever. The only thing you need to take care of are water drops. But since the Session has a flat GLASS port you could safely use Rain-X or even car wax. You better watch out with Rain-X on acrylic ports as it has chemicals in it that could ruin your port.

I'll post something later from the footage I shot yesterday. Shitty session but hey it was just to test the GoPro Session.
So far happy with the cam, for $199 a no brainer.

The 1440p setting is a bit of a bummer because it's 4:3 aspect ratio but for analyzing purposes you get a very nice view of yourself with the board.
If you want to publish in 16:9 you can either crop to 1080p or stretch (see link I posted previously)

As for my mount, I have to say that yesterday I sailed with my 7.8 so with my boom at about 200, maybe some extra arm for smaller sails is needed?

In early 2016 I decided to try a homemade boom extension on the windsurf boom. It is simply an old broom handle with some holes drilled in. The boom clamp is in the way and caused wobble. I am considering corrective options, but for now tried youtube stabilization - action starts around 3:10.

Even after I ground down the section with the boom clamp , pole still seemed to slide


The issue seems to be the tie wraps on the broom handle. Put some electrical tape and looked better.

Now ready for next test session 
here's one summer 2016 on OLD BIC Dufour WING
WARNING - stick broke and I lost my GoPro 3 Silver #$%^&*(

and now they have come out with a "smart camera" called the REVL ARC :

And there are other gimble and stabilizers for the GoPros - NOT cheap @ around $300 US

People do try ALL kinds of mounts - fellow says this one did NOT work out (yet?)

Since I lost my GoPro 3 Silver and the homemade wooden selfie stick in the water ... I started looking at what is out there - on the market. Now there are MANY cheaper options that look like they will do the job. GoPro will need to reduce their prices or greatly enhance their technology. Currently I am looking at the Pictek as a replacement option ... With taxes, shipping, SD card et al. it comes to about $112 Canadian !!

So far that camera has been just okay and is fine for what I am using it for ...

Here Cluffy is using some features of the GoPro 5 and is riding a JP SLW - a board I have in the larger version ...
Cluffy keeps taking his video down - NO MORE CLUFFY #$%^&*(
here is one with GPS embedded - at times .

so now I have a GoPro 1.0 and a PicTek Sports Camera. The PicTek first disappointed me because it seemed to have a hue in the winter outside video - believe this was due to slightly open camera case and going through the case at an angle ...

Also, am NOT sure this camera has an upside down mode - talks about image rotation, but not video rotation ... Found this site that makes that easy tho ...

Later video did NOT have the hue ...

Update in early 2017... There used to be few back mounts, but now they are becoming popular with names like WizMount and Axiom and are becoming available on Amazon too. People seem to like these views and obviously the drones are becoming popular too - since they are getting affordable !!

At the beginning of this discussion I mention mounts, fog free and editing as the major concerns in sport live action filming . The fog free turned out to NOT really be an issue and cameras + mounts were discussed  in fair detail here. I have been avoiding the edit discussion. I HATE Windows Movie Maker, youtube editor and am upset with companies like filmora who pretend to be free !! There are filmora cracks available on  the internet, but I will NOT go there !!

The next "free" one I wish to try is called Lightworks .... Will keep you informed ...

For back mounts you can always DIY/do-it-yourself, as I plan to do !!
This is VERY similar to my original plans ...

Made the backpack selfie stick with a plate in the bag and extended out the back. This was a first run with it on ice n snow ...

for details on this mount see another post:

In March 2018 they now have cameras like the Campark ACT74 Action Camera 4K WiFi Waterproof Sports Camera which sells for about $79 from with free shipping and offers 4K/30fps.

Also started looking at other analyses about GoPros ..
here is one from Windsurf Magazine

and in case it disappears, here is a pdf copy!Ajm-V_FfbaYkhA7n4wWdLQ4Tv02E

GoPros and their mounts are all about filming us in action.
What about filming us in the third person ?
Filming from land requires a person, a zoom camera and probably stabilization. Drones are becoming reasonably priced but may have issues with winds and kites ... There are tools available to "follow me", but they seem quite expensive ...
The coolest one seemed to be the Soloshot 3
here is a sample ..

Soloshot windsurf - 8 bft at Wijk aan Zee from WindsurfReview on Vimeo.

Some discussion here and I will put some summary ...

The cheapest option suggested was to have someone follow you ...

The coolest video I found while doing this analysis was with a Garmin VIRB 360.
BUT a quick search suggested that these cameras are about $1000 CDN :-(

and i tried a third person view while windskiing - forget the speed - wind had died ...

Going out in the cold

In 2009 I went out in such cold weather that ice formed on my sail - up at the chalet. Since it was a 7-oh, I was able to squeeze it into the chalet and let it thaw out. Last Monday I was at OKA and there was no place to thaw the sail out at La Crête. And so I rolled it up as best as i could with the ice breaking up as i rolled it up. Yvente of quebecwind confirmed to me via PM that is the thing to do ...

Before going out on Monday I read up on all the cold weather tricks. Since 2009 I had put my limit at about 5 degrees Celsius and I have read about others setting the same limit. On Monday it was colder and I went out in the afternoon anyway, butt was sunny. This alone is supposed to make a BIG difference. I poured warm water on my boots and that seemed to help. I was unable to wear socks inside my boots since they just became too tight. Since then I have read that has some boots that are like semi-dry and are not much more money than the regular 5 mm neoprene boots that i currently have.

My wetsuit is a good Niel Pryde and keeps me warm - there is already a post about that below. I keep my underwear on, but am unable to keep a T-shirt or undershirt on - too difficult to peel on the suit.

My gloves are Chinook and have thinner palms. I keep the tie-up fairly loose ie minimal and come in to warm the hands up after the first initial cold. This circulation trick seems to work for everyone.
A fellow has invented a system where you blow warm air over your hands: and another fellow liked the idea and made his own version:

Around my neck i wear the hoodie and a helmet on my head. I like to be able to hear and do not feel like cutting hearing holes into the hoodie.

For the face people suggest Vaseline, Nivea or any kind of fat to cut the wind and cold.

Even after all the hassles - I am already looking forward to a potential session on Saturday :)
The last one and next one are and will be with a FreeFormula of 94 cm width and a 10-oh race sail :)
I find sailing in the cold both exhilarating and invigorating :)

I almost forgot - one is NOT supposed to sail alone... and so I carry a cell phone inside a water proof pouch. Also, even though tempted - I do NOT go across the entire lake like usual. I try to stay within swimming distance of the shore. My problem is : I can swim quite far with equipment under my arm and so often am tempted to go further. The importance is SAFE FUN !!! and that is why i am doing this post. These are things NOT to be taken lightly !!!! The danger factor has increased exponentially :-(
I should probably even bring something to blaze a trail through the ice - since i could slip and fall otherwise !!!
I also kept my session much shorter than usual - about an hour or so ...

My friends at work want me to note that i urinated in my wetsuit. I usually avoid this, but this time there was no time, it was cold, attached in back, etc. In seems some people do this to warm up as well. Strange people [:)]

Anders, who is a speed windsurfer takes windsurfing in the cold really seriously - for me he overdoes it for 3 degree weather...

And local windsurfer Yvente ALWAYS takes it to the extreme - he windsurfs year round near Montreal on Lac Champlain.

Check it out !!! In those conditions - the kitewing makes more sense, non ??

Neil Pryde 5/3 Steamer Series 3000

Earlier this year (April 2012) I purchased this wetsuit to replace my old original BARE 5/4 steamer wetsuit. The BARE was beyond repair and was starting to look pretty bad with all the patches and rough gluing i had done in the past.

Since the original BARE, I had purchased a two (2) piece BARE with farmer pants from Yvan aka Yvente. I love this wetsuit cuz I can choose to wear only the pants on days when it is not too cold in the air... The NP steamer was purchased for those cold outings - i usually do 5 to 10 of those a year.

In terms of warmth I rate this wetsuit quite high. I put it on before going out and temperatures were approaching freezing in the air. Water was cold enough to make my feet in the booties a little cold, but the body was fine. During this outing my hands were fine as well - Chinook mittens...

My issue with the NP is the putting it on and taking it off. The 2 piece BARE zips in the front and that is a JOY. This one zips in the back with a short chord - which i will extend - and goes on like sticky rubber. For the first trial, i could NOT pull the zipper up myself. Luckily i did this at home cuz no-one was at the park beach that day ...

Once wet, getting it off was even worse. And i was in a hurry to go to the bathroom/can/toilet. TMI - i know, butt if you want to get it off in a hurry - foget about it ... :(

I hope with some more practice getting it on and off, i will like it more !!!

btw there are little flaps n stuff around the top of the zipper that seem to help keep the cold water OUT !!!

Skate Windsurfing? aka Skate Sailing

I have seen and discussed on this blog windsurfing on ice and snow, spoon windsurfing and other variations of winter fun with sails. However, I did NOT mention nor have i seen this form of winter fun before. They call it Skate Sailing. As usual this comes from the Scandinavian sector of the planet - believe it is Sweden in this case. For now I just wish to share this video, butt i will go out and collect more info, images and videos. ENJOY :-)

According to wikipedia:
"Skate sailing is not a new sport. Drawings of skaters holding sails in Europe go back to the 18th century or perhaps 17th century."

Here is a good link how to skate sail and has other links like how to build one :-)

Sometimes I read about sail types like Hopatcong and I assume it is Scandinavian and perhaps it is. Apparently it is also a lake in New Jersey :-)

Here is another fellow with sail plans :
And another:

As I read about this sport, it seems to have existed for quite some time and originated in Sweden around 1900.

What gets stranger is, one starts to find information on stilted skates and also skate wings. Oddly enough we NEVER seem to have heard about these things here. One would have thought that Canada with ice and snow would have tried all kinds of winter activities. It seems skiing was enough ??

Here is a skate wing video: it's ONLY 13 secs, butt that was all i could find on this one...

Here is a piece of history. This woman was apparently the champ in NJ in 1924 !!!
Skate Sailing, River Styx Cove, circa 1925.

The previous two(2) photos are apparently from the Lake Hopatcong Museum ...

Even the military was doin' it ...

Summary for 2012

It is now October and not many sessions left on the water. The year was supposed to start with a one week trip to Cape Hatteras in North Carolina. I ended up NOT going, butt my windsurf buddy, Helmut went and loved it. He went with Bruno of 2-rad. It seems some years there is NO room left in Bruno's rentals !!!

So, I started my year with the Fanatic CAT and my trusty MS-2 8-oh on the local river. I no longer use the CAT nor do i go on the local river. I liked the CAT, butt wanted to either fix it or upgrade it and the local river had low levels with rocks showing AGAIN. The CAT was still the MOST USED board of the year.

So, I ended up purchasing a BIC Techno Formula of 170 liters and 94 cm width. No fin came with it and so I purchased a True Ames SB/Santa Barbara 58 cm weed fin. This board means my TR-4 10-oh will NOT be sold. Am now considering trying a full slalom 66 cm fin on the board - in order to plane as early as possible and even MORE upwind capabilities. The year had plenty of light winds and as such this kit was the MOST used kit since JULY 2012.

The adjustable outhaul is a great addition to my kits - for both 10-oh and 8-oh. Replaced an uphaul with an EZ-uphaul. Still not using this to its full potential.

This was the first year i purchased season's pass and parking pass for OKA park. More than half my sessions this year were there. Without counting farting about on the lake in the country, I windsurfed about 60 times this year, which works out to just over two(2) times per week. The Fanatic BEE LTD 124 and HSM 6.3 combo were only used ONCE !! The AHD 160 was used about 25 % of the time and the MS-2 8-oh was used 66 % of the time !!!

I have become VERY comfortable in the harness and enjoy trying different placements. I am SO close to getting in the foot straps , it is frustrating %^&*( This is a PHOBIA that i MUST overcome.

The young fellow to whom i sold the F2 Comet 330 is selling it already. Seems he has purchased three(3) other boards in order to hook girlfriend and friends :) The Simmer WCR 6-oh sail is still his favourite. I am still kicking my ass for selling it since it cost me to replace it. The HSM Fire 6.3 better be good for ice sailing :)

In other words, i am already thinking about jogging in between summer and winter windsurfing and hoping to get out for another session or two(2) or three(3) :)

Hope y'all had as good a year or better than I.

Phil McGain kicked ass this year in slalom and Formula in the USA. Micah, Antoine and Bjorn are all going strong !! What's up with Kevin Pritchard ? Has he given up windsurfing for photography ?? Nah, he just cleaned up at the AWT :)

Yes, all this windsurfing makes me start to look at free-race and slalom. My buddy bought a new SB US 147. Cannot wait to see it in action !!!

This was the first year that i went out and had to break through the ice in order to windsurf. Naturally there was NO-ONE else on the water and thus had a cellular phone in a water proof bag. It also meant the session was not too long and it was a PITA putting the sail away. However, it was exhilarating ...

Windsurfing is still "cool" :-)

Last month my oldest daughter was going to OKA park, specifically the beach, with some friends of hers. I suggested she speak to me before parting, as i have a season's pass. I gave her the pass for parking the car and another for one adult admission to the park. Her friends included a couple of macho guys, whom she had not met before. The passes became a subject of conversation. "Why would your dad have a season's pass to OKA park?" My funny answer would be that i went to the nude beach regularly :-) This is a well known secret of the park - and i have as yet to stumble upon it :-)

So the dudes were informed that Mary's father regularly went to OKA park to do windsurfing. The dudes were like, " Your dad windsurfs?" So now my daughter's female friend in the car saw where this was going :-) "Yeah, and he doesn't just windsurf in the summer, butt he also windsurfs in the winter on the ice!" Apparently the jaws started to drop. The female friend knew she was on a roll and could not hold back. "And you know what they got him for Christmas? Tickets to see Rammstein !" That was just too much for the dudes. "Man, I gotta meet your father !!" "He's gotta show me some of this stuff."

All this is just to say - "Windsurfing is still cool !"

Now, that is obviously NOT the reason some of us, like myself do this sport. In the past I have used such old boards so as to get comments from fellow windsurfers, "Thought that was a whale on your car with that black fin :-) " Even that was not bothersome. What disturbs me is that there are fewer and fewer young local folks getting into the sport. Today's world is about quick thrills - windsurfing takes too much time to learn, space to store and move, etc, etc. Maybe the inflatable SUPs will help ?? At least kites are bringing them TO the water. Since this is SO dangerous, perhaps once hooked and then banned, these folk will come over to the windsurf world ?

and here is a video Denis Dagenais suggested to me that shows even old Windsurfer boards n sails are still coooool :-)


"Free" Shortboards 117 to 170 liters

This seems to cover MOST of the boards used by average joes like myself. How does one differeniate amongst the different types and choose a board for one's skills, area, etc ...

Formula boards are 100 cm wide and do up and down wind runs
FreeFormula are typically 85 to 95 cm wide and less up and down wind oriented.

Before we continue … what about Fanatic Viper 85 ?
Firstly it has a centreboard and is labeled a “Funboard”
This means for me a beginner FreeRide board, but may be classed as a longboard due to daggerboard.
OK, what about Tinho Dornellas’ Z2 custom board ?
Can call it a freeride since it is “only” 84 cm wide:-)
Freestyle, wave and bump n jump are typically less than 117 liters …

The reason I started this discussion actually is the same subject as at this link: freeride vs. freerace vs. slalom:

The interesting thing to me is: the categories seem to be based on performance – in the same order listed – namely freeride, then freerace and finally slalom.
The freeride is considered the less “technically demanding”. However, in the article they state that with today’s boards, an advanced or intermediate rider can ride any and all of these boards. The riders may not be able to get every last knot of speed out of the boards, but the boards have all become more user-friendly …

Some examples:

Freeride: Tabou Rocket, Mistral Screamer, SB Carve, AHD FF, Fanatic Shark/Hawk, RRD Fire Ride/Storm, JP X-Cite Ride,8098.html
Freerace: Fanatic Ray,  JP Supersport, SB Futura,  AHD Freerace, RRD Fire Race

seabreeze advert

Slalom: Exocet Warp, Mistral SL, SB iSonic, AHD SL, Fanatic Slalom, RRD X-Fire,   JP Slalom
FreeFormula: BIC Techno Formula, SB Ultrasonic, JP SuperLightWind

This is my BIC Techno Formula - NOT made any more

Formula: Starboard, JP, Exocet

Funboards:  NOT to say the previous categories are not fun – this is a beginner type category that often performs just fine …

pic from Fanatic

Where the line becomes difficult to draw – for me – is the freeride, freerace and slalom categories. People say “it all comes down to speed and performance”. Top speed, acceleration, and early planing ALL come into play and have different weights depending on the race being held. Obviously sailor skills are a given !! Some experts can ride anything anywhere !!!

How can I categorize these boards by just looking at them  ?? carefully analyzing – I imagine .. Let’s see if I can find some technical details …

In these articles they speak about vee, tuck and rails. The slalom boards are meant for speed at the PWA and are aimed at guys over 100 kilos that are solid muscle. The boards are light, stiff, fragile and “difficult” to jibe/gybe. They are not really made for mere mortals like us. The freerace on the other hand are just a little less fragile and yet are based on these speed machines. Some say freerace is toned down slalom for the mortals that are not necessarily racing professionally !! Also, slalom boards are designed with race sails in mind. The freerace on the other hand work well with freerace or even good RAF sails…again – more forgiving …

Here is a small table i filled to try and differentiate between the types:

Fast Faster Fastest
Expensive More expensive Most expensive
Somewhat fragile More fragile FRAGILE
Most user friendly Require some skills NEED skills to get most out of the board
Almost any sails Freerace sails Race sails
Not too stiff a ride Stiffer ride STIFF ride

And THEN just as I think I am getting the hang of all these terms … RRD came out with a board called the FireMove which is now classed as a FreeMove. The 140 liter model is 90 cm wide and 238 cm long. Now this sounds like a smaller FreeFormula to me :-)  Butt it is NOT. It has a much smaller tail and flat bottom to make it almost slalom like with a VEE to help in chop …What are newbies gonna think now ? Sounds like windsurfing is FREE :-) People are saying freemove is a faster, earlier planing Bump&Jump/FreeStyle-Wave board. The following is a pic of the FreeMove from the RRD site. So, how do i know it is a freemove ? by vee, tuck n rail ? {no not f'n rail :-) } Even liters seem to be less of an indicator. RRD and Dave White are saying this board is as 8 to 9 liters more than indicated ...SB used to be less than indicated ...

In 2013 Fanatic released the Gecko which is to compete with the RRD FireMove. The  135 liter version is 83 cm wide and is to support sails of 7-oh to 10-oh with a 46 cm fin. I use a 48 cm for sails of about 8.5 on a 160 liter freeride board.  So, this board works like a much larger board. One comment i read somewhere made me laugh. Person stated the wider board may feel larger, butt a 105 liter sinker will still be a sinker :-)

This FreeMove thingie seems to be catching on ... I did a verification in 2014 to see who else is getting on the "band wagon". Now they are saying the following boards are in this group as well: Mistral Synchro, Exocet Xcross, Simmer Freemove {never saw a Simmer BOARD} and Lorch Glider {never saw a Lorch, but have heard of this as a board brand out of Europe - especially longboards} + F2 XTC ?? {thought they were gone or purchased ??} Actually F2 XTC was from around 2008 !! And so , this freemove thingie is NOT so new - after all. This report from 2008 discusses the free boards and mentions the move back then already -->

The local windsurf shop called auventfou {translated means in crazy winds} has summarized these categories in their recent local circular using maneuverability versus speed with movement on the left and race on the right.

maneuverability                                                                                                speed           

Here is the Wind Junkie/Spennie take on these "free" boards :-)  No sale here !!

some more links ...

"The Race gear is exactly what it says on the tin. Fast and scary! You need to be good to get the best from this gear; otherwise you are going to have a seriously bad time on it. But if you are good enough and want to be fast, why would you settle for anything less?

And before I leave it at that, how about this for a thought… why not put the Freerace rig with all the benefits of stability, speed and extra glide through the lulls onto the Freeride board, with its control, comfort and fun factor? Well, we did and to be honest, it was arguably the best and most all-round setup of them all!"