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Me n my BEE

28JUN2011 - off for the week - went to visit the outlaws at the chalet with the wife n the kid - on a Tuesday.

Brought the stuff to test the BEE.

Dutch fellow Robert on a BEE LTD 124 with an 8.1 ripping it up

I must have hated the first test OR forgot to write about it in the journal !!! There was one day where i did the intro test on the 2001 Fanatic BEE LTD 124. When i have newbies learning how to w/s, i have them stand on the board to see how they balance the board and sometimes can spot balance issues. So, i took the BEE to AAO and put it in the water with NO sail and tried to stand on it. WELL, those smaller boards just do NOT balance the same. At one point i started to worry that i had made a mistake. Also, the anti-skid on the board was still rough enuff to rip the skin on my shins. I was NOT a happy camper that day. Although I did RIP on the 160 with the 8.5 after !!!

Add to that - my buddy now has a 2011 Fanatic Hawk 135 which he finds extremely difficult to up-haul on !!

In case you do not follow this blog or do not know me/us. My current weight is 97 kilos/ 215 pounds. Lost 35 pounds from 250 - just for windsurfing :-) {yes, i know - that was not a healthy weight}. So, these are our next boards down from our big lite wind floaters -- 160 liters AHD FF for me and BIC Techno II 160 for my 235 pound w/s buddy. {the BIC was sold and he is sticking with his Hawk 135}

This test at the chalet was with a wetsuit - no scuffing the shins and with a sail (old Gaastra Flow 3x 7.0) as a counterbalance. Winds were extremely light - the idea was to test the possibility of up-hauling.

The first thing i noticed, it was a cinch to carry the kit - board n sail - to the water as one unit. When i try this with my 160 liter board and 8.5 sail, it is a chore and NO easy task. NO wonder the others are marching to the wind with ease !!! Their kits are much lighter and easier to carry $%^&*()_

It was also a good thing that i did the previous post on up-hauling a smaller board. I did NOT straddle the mast, but instead had the front foot against the front of the mast base and used the back foot to balance how the front of the board was in relation to the top of the water.

It was not that difficult, butt i did NOT ever sink lower than 6 inches in the water. I was even able to schlogg and managed one or two(2) tacks. A light wind jibe/gybe actually went through as well.

When the wind gave a little kick, the front foot started to go back and the smile started to form on my face.

Yeah, now i almost cannot wait to give a real buzz on the water with my BEE !!!

just me n the BEE :-)


{found the entry of my first test on the BEE - it was in my original journal entries - just before or around the time they kept getting fuddled up - it was 03JUN2011 - beginning of the month on a Friday - it was the day some "lady" gave me shite for wearing a Marilyn Manson t-shirt :-) in her honour, i will wear it again next time i go out :-) }

for my records - the mast was at 140 cm from the tail - for balance

SAT 02JUL2011 was on the lake with the BEE and the Gaastra 7-oh. In a bathing suit {yes - scuffed the shins :-(} and had better winds.

Was surprised that I could NOT get the board planing in those winds. The BIC Dufour felt smoother and faster than the BEE in the same winds with the same sail. Unfortunately I already pushed my back too much and was NOT ready to try the 8.5 on the BEE - although i really wanted too. I paid dearly just for not resting the back - on the drive home every bump hurt my back :-(


Was actually able to do some tacks n gybes - not full speed though and NOT real gybes. At times the board goes down over one foot in the water ...
Waterstarts n footstraps - here i come !!

Uphauling a sail onto a "smaller" board/sinker

The reason I put the title word smaller in quotes is : size is relative. My windsurf buddy weighs about 230 lbs (about 105 kilos) and is starting to use his new Fanatic Hawk 135. This board is weight in kilos plus 30. He has difficulty up-hauling and this is a new skill to be acquired. Tinho Dornellas of Calema Sports in Florida states that it is imperative to be able to up-haul onto your board cuz there are always times when the wind goes down or wind-shadows, etc.

Bruno of 2-rad says he can up-haul on his 90 liter board and he too is 200 lbs.

It basically takes some skill AND practice. Bruno has said he keeps the front foot in front of the mast and the back foot back ie NOT straddling the mast. The reason he does this is: he wishes to start with the sail azap. Nelson of 2-rad calls it going after that upside down triangle ...

Here is an article on the subject and i will "steal" some pieces of info and some photos:
clique images to enlarge !! and see more clearly

In 2015 I tried a SB iSonic 117W, but it was too much for me. Traded it out for an AHD SL2 132 the next year which is more forgiving and yet a slalom board -- for uphauling I read somewhere it is important to keep tail up. If tail sinks too much , you may be dumped. Nose down is okay !! That helped me a lot !!

Here is a fellow up-hauling 5.0 on a 78 litre board - woman commenting he ate too much spaghetti

Heavyweights and Windsurfing

It seems anything over about 75 kilos (ONLY 165 lbs!!) is considered a heavyweight in the windsurfing world. One would think this would make it easier for women since they are typically under this weight, but not even that apparently !!
(Catapulting Aaron commented average American male windsurfer is more like 80 kilos or 176 pounds.) 

At just under 100 kilos, what does that make me ?? The doctor says my weight is okay and i could stand to lose a few pounds, butt i am no longer in the so called obese category as per BMI. When i call myself "average joe windsurfer", it is in terms of skills and experience and NOT in terms of weight. Perhaps i should call myself average BIG joe windsurfer  ?? :-) {why does this blog not post smiling faces ?? :-)} need to insert smiley gif ==>

I started this post due to a long time frustration and this entry on the MauiSails forum: 
forum NO longer exists since 2016

This gentleman,Mike, windsurfed many years ago and wishes to get back into the sport on a lake environment. As a heavyweight it was recommended he purchase a Fanatic Viper 85 which is 220 liters and obviously 85 cm wide with a very small learner sail 6.0. Personally feel this is "putz about" equipment and the gentleman will outgrow it extremely quickly. Also, around 2006 Fanatic was suggesting more narrow boards - around 80 cm. I posted an entry on the Fanatic forum to see what they have to say about the width factor on the Viper ...
"back in about 2006 Fanatic seemed to be going away from very wide boards and staying under 80 cm. There is an 85 cm wide Viper available now. On the MauiSails forum a gentleman was asking about this board. He weighs about 250 lbs and wishes to sail on small to large lakes. My question is whether he would be better off with an 80 cm board which can glide through holes and plane up great in bigger winds. "
This was the answer from Fanatic forum:
"Hi Joe,

I guess that Viper 85 has been in the line since about 2006, actually mainly due to US market at first, although nowdays most of our schools share 80/85 sizes equally. For 250lbs, he might be better off on the 85, the extra width and volume does not hurt, especially for fresh water sailing. Depends a bit on the winds obviously, if it´s constantly windy, the 80 might work, but doubt it is on smaller lakes.

Good sailing,

Craig "

So, it depends on whether it will be more on the small lake or larger lake with bigger, steadier winds - and this makes good sense.

Here's the Fanatic sales pitch on youtube:


Mike has everything going against him - and that is regarding one of the greatest water sports around %^&*  --- Not many longboards offered (or too technical and $$$), he is NOT an average weight person as per equipment setups and he is going on a lake.

Having windsurfed on a small lake of one mile length and less width for many years , a longboard is still the obvious choice. This issue today is - which one is the best for these lakes for not too much money ?? And once again - best for heavyweights of 100 + kilos... What was once a standard seems to be harder n harder to get. Then again, Starboard seems to be adding a centre-board to their larger GOs.

The other side of the coin is that the fastest windsurfers in the world are over 100 kilos and often tall as well. Antoine Albeau, Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Finian Maynard are some of the world's fastest and yet not small men. Dave White is a also a big man and known for incredible speeds and making it look effortless. Dave is a special windsurfer in that he does things with equipment that it was never intended to do - more on that later.
Antoine Albeau on Speed Channel

The sail seems to be a simpler "issue". I suggested a no-cam fully battened MS Pursuit 7.0 sail. This sail for a bigger fellow will get him started, not be too heavy and can be used in the future as a quite decent sail. Would have preferred an 8.5, but need to know skill potential first. More on that from Tinho later ...

If it was for a shortboard and a heavyweight returning back to windsurfing, I think the choice would be a little easier. A small reminder: I speak about flat water blasting with some chop. Those doing bump n jump and/or wave are on a different scale as far as I am concerned. So, a heavyweight over 100 kilos getting back into windsurfing on a shortboard... One could use a 135 liter board to be able to uphaul, especially a wide one, but that could be frustrating... Suggest a 160 liter shortboard with about 80 cm of width. Also, personally feel longer is better for coasting through lulls. AND would stick to the suggestion of a 7-oh sail to start. Later get that 8.5 and rip. My 230 lb buddy just purchased his second board - a Fanatic Hawk 135 - after his BIC Techno 2 160. Let's see how that goes - will he get rid of the 160 is the question !! He never went for the 10-oh - feeling it was just too big. He also wants to go to 8-oh when he replaces the 8.5. My 8.5 is practically my favourite setup for the BIC Dufour and the AHD FF !!
Follow-up: Now i am REALLY surprised. After just one trial run with the Fanatic Hawk 135 in overpowering conditions on a Retro 6-oh, Helmut has put his BIC Techno II 160 up for sale. This is against both my and Bruno of 2-rad's recommendation/suggestion. Not so sure the 135 will be a good schlogger. Once again, time will tell ...
Follow-up2: Attempts to run the 8.5 in 15 knot winds and wind shadows proved difficult. Almost impossible to uphaul. We'll see...
Follow-up3: Helmut beach started the Hawk 135 , planed, got in the foot-straps and hit his brand new Hawk with the mast :-(
Bruno of 2-rad ,who repaired the board for 20 bucks , says he can plane on his RRD 90 liter board using a 6.2 in 14 knots - and he is 200 lbs !!! For me that's my 160 liter board using my 10-oh !! And Helmut confirmed that 16 knots is perfect for the 8.5 So, how does Bruno do it ???
Followup4: Helmut sold his 2006 BIC Techno II 160 liter board with two(2) fins for $700. Now he is definitely limited to 16 + knot winds and must improve water starts, and jibes. Also feels like his board retained value more than my 2006 AHD FF 160. The AHD is more sensitive, more expensive and rated as a "better board". I probably will never sell it cuz it is my go-to board in 12 + knots !!!

Okay, so, which longboard should a heavyweight use on a lake? GO, Serenity, KONA, Viper, AHD ZEN or ??? Width was discussed with the fanatic forum question earlier in this post... Seems like 80 to 90 cm is a good width for starting back.

Here is a pic of the AHD ZEN: {hey - another pic that disappeared - need to copy them rather than link them ^&*( - will do so now !!!!}

When I purchased my 2006 AHD FastForward/FF 160 in 2007, the original intent was to upgrade the BIC Dufour Wing longboard. On the short list were the Fanatic Viper and the AHD ZEN since both would be supplied by local windsurf shops. I had narrowed it down to the ZEN 170 since i would also use it on the St-Lawrence with hopes of going in bigger winds. Thus, I was NOT going for the 200+ liter boards. I will post this question to both AHD and Tinho Dornellas of Calema Sports in Florida - since he was the designer of this board ... Bruno André replied and seemed to feel the 80 cm board would be fine - he did not comment on volume. Tinho replied saying he uses both the Viper 80 and 85 for teaching. He agrees with Craig of Fanatic in that an 80 cm Viper is good for a heavyweight with some skills. Tinho also pointed out the fin that comes with the board is NOT adequate. This is an often overlooked detail - i did it here %^&*( Tinho also went so far as to suggest a larger performance sail ie possibility of cambers... The most i suggested was an 8.5 and had not even considered cambers since Mike was getting back in the sport and some people do not like the extra "hassle" of cambers. If it is an issue, it is NOT in terms of rigging, nor de-rigging. The worst problem i have encountered is failure of cams to rotate in light winds or when the sail is new and not hauled enough.. Oh yeah, Tinho mentioned the option of a SUP that can handle a sail as well...

Many of the Starboard/SB boards that are for "beginners" are 85 cm wide, but are much less in volume - around 170 liters. Boards of this genre and longboards today all have fully retractable centreboards. With a little bigger back fin they can act like a shortboard !! Then there are the new concepts like the KONA where the surface area on the water changes as one speeds up !!! The Serenity is a special animal that is not for all and seems to require some windsurf skills already. It reminds me of the sculls, but with a sail. There is always the SUP option with a sail as well now.I will put a post on the SB forum to see what Roger Jackson says for Starboard longboards to start back with as a heavyweight.

Roger has responded and suggested the SB Phantom 320 as a first choice, the RIO L as second and he reluctantly suggested the GO windsurfer as third. The Phantom is more like the traditional longboard. My only question is: where does one get one in the NE USA and how much ?? Saw some decent videos on this board !!!

What about Exocet KONA ONE 220 and Tabou Windstyler 220?? The Kona Link is 220 liters, 80 cm wide and costs about $1200 at The Tabou Windstyler is 220 liters also, but only 72 cm wide. This is okay for a longboard, but is a choice one has to make does not seem to have em - they have the slightly smaller Rider. Let me write Matt Pritchard... Matt is already in contact with Mike = excellent !! Jerry of the Toronto Windsurf club strongly suggests the KONA as a "modern" longboard. It seems there are more options that I originally had thought !! This is good news...

Here is a video of Tinho Dornella's custom board Z2 - made for heavyweights. Tinho was also the designer of the infamous AHD ZEN - another great starter board...

I had promised more on Dave White aka Whitey. Here is an article about a big windsurfer, who apparently now spends more time doing photography !!

This is much BETTER than American Idol - which board will win ?? Scotty won AI, butt which board will win this race ??

Mike had said he would let us know the outcome of his hunt for the return to windsurfing. Let us wish him lots of luck !! At last "discussion" he seemed to be tending towards the SB Phantom - since he will be on a small lake as well..
210 pound/95 kilo fellow considering a BIC Techno II 160 liter board

some more discussion on this heavyweight subject here as well:

and again in SEPT 2011

In summer 2013 i took a fellow who said he was 220 pounds out for his first windsurf session. The smallest sail i had was a Hot Sails Maui 6.3 and i think that was appropriate. The board was another story. We started with my Bic Techno Formula which is 170 liters, but very wide with 94 cm. Steve had a difficult time with that and so we also tried my Fanatic Ultra CAT longboard. It has about 210 liters volume, but is much narrower. Steve was able to uphaul both, but had trouble placing the sail to get going and kept falling in. Beachstarting did not seem to be an option either. I feel the Free Formula was a good choice in terms of width stability that lacked a little flotation. If the board was like some of today's softskin boards with lots of volume, he would have been better off. For me , however, i will NOT be purchasing a 200 liter 100 cm wide board just for teaching. Once one gets over the initial hurdles, one can go to the next board quickly. And so, for me, people will just take a little longer at the beginning. The other fellow, Joe, was 150 pounds and was already trying tacking that day. Joe preferred the longboard for glide. Yes, the longboard goes better in lighter winds. Good catch Joe.

In 2015 Tinho Dornellas of Calema WaterSports helped KONA develop a new board called the HULA -

Boardsize: 294 cm x 87.6 cm wide x14.8 cm thick 264 L volume or 9’7″ X 34.5 “x5.8” Th 264 L volume

With that volume, length and width, it is an ideal board for heavyweights to get out there and learn. However, it is NOT just for learning, but also an early planing weapon !!

Here is Tinho's video selling the board ...

Kona Hula. from Kona Windsurfing on Vimeo.

Actually think his Z2 is the  better option for heavyweights

2016: Cannot believe there is nothing from Peter Hart here !!!
Well, I was just made aware of this one:

It is now early 2017 and I am looking about - still have the heavyweight question always in the back of my mind ...

On the Auzzie seabreeze forum they have been chatting about harnesses for the heavyweights and I also came across an older post about board volumes n widths for heavyweights:

what i found interesting was a number of discussions:

1) they seemed to prefer a board length somewhere around 234-240 cm
2) most of them were riding 120-135 liter boards - regularily
3) many of them have ridden boards with the same number of liters as their weight in kilos !!

What is working for me at the moment ??
1) <20 kph ~ 10 knots - Mistral Equipe II XR carbon longboard + HSM SpeedFreak 8.5
              I have used a Maui Sails TR-4 10 m² sail as well
2) 20+ kph JP SLW92 wide freeride with the TR-4 10 meter sail + 66 cm fin
3) 20-40 kph JP SLW92 with HSM SPF 8.5 or MS TR-6 8.4 + 56 cm fin
              now am trying an AHD SL2 132liter/80cm slalom board
4) 30-50 kph getting used to the AHD with 7 meter sails - am finding board short at 133 cm
               it actually handles chop better than my AHD FF 160liter/79cm board did
5) 40-60 kph when on-shore practice with Fanatic BEE LTD 124/63 and HSM Fire 6.3
6) more wind than that ? like to go see what the hotdogs can do !!
                in 25+ knot winds have seen French slalom  racer FRA-1100 go out with SB iSonic
                117W and Maui Sails TR-XI 8.4 !!! "bien joe, it iz only 25 knots !!!"

what, down-haul line slippage #$%^&*(

This season i needed to replace some ropes/cords and decided to give the latest material dyneema a try. It's supposed to be indestructible.

Well, two(2) days ago , on Saturday - the 10th of June, i was rigging my Maui Sails TR-4 10-oh race sail on a 520 mast with a Chinook mast extension. I thought i had placed the cord into the cleat well and i saw it slip back %^&* Okay, let's try that again. This time i gave it more down-haul and clamped the line in the cleat. Darn it, i saw it move again %^&*()

Wrote about this on the StarBoard/SB and MauiSails/MS forums. Barry Spanier of MS replied saying clam cleats wear out !!! I had absolutely NO idea about this $%^&*() One fellow wrote that he had never had ANY issue with North clam cleats. Well, this is a direct competitor to Maui Sails  :-)

I looked it up and the CL250 retails for about $16. Another search showed that windance had em, butt not much available in this area...   For now I will try my spare mast extension which is an Xtreme Proline. Then see if i can get that part elsewhere or e-bay. {found one @ auventfou and reserved it !!}

On the SB forum a fellow commented that it is was the line {and here, redsurfbus did as well}... I have "older" nylon line and "spare" dyneema - i can do experiments with the 10-oh.

Man, even the little dependable things give out after time :-(

found an interesting post on iwindsurf ==>

Update: Tried my "older" Xtreme Proline mast base (which also has a dyneema cord) with the Maui Sails TR-4 10-oh sail AND there was NO slippage. So, is it the cable wearing out or the CL250 clam cleat ??

Once again, time {and experiments} will tell $%^&U* and yes, i will continue this subject until satisfied !!

23JUN2011 picked up the CL250 clamcleat for $10 from auventfou - made in England. Does not look that different than the current one. Was a real PITA removing old one and putting "new" one. Winds 20 to 40 kph tomorrow - perhaps time to test it out in the rain ??

clique to enlarge
clique to see more clearly

24JUN2011 did manage to go out, butt winds and waves were overwhelming for my limited w/s experience. Was rigged with an 8.5 rather than the 10-oh - still over, butt in any case, the down-haul line did NOT slip. Still need to test the same line with the 10-oh. And to be sure - on more than one occasion. Could always try rigging it in the back yard ...

28JUN2011 - no slippage with the 7-oh.

29JUN2011 - no slippage with the 8.5 on rigging nor use and i was ripping.

btw i was surprised when i picked up the CL250, they were mounting an MS Pursuit on a Unifiber mast. Customer was returning a broken Unifiber mast - under warranty  :-(  The young girl who now works @ auventfou informed me that Unifiber makes all kinds of masts ie constant curve, flex top and hard top. So, that is why they have that interesting chart !!! They know whose business to steal !!

11JUL2011 - still NO slippage to date since changing the clip, butt i have NOT rigged the 10-oh yet. Have an issue with my back since i moved the neighbour's table :-( Perhaps will rig it in the back yard in order to complete this post.

25AUG2011 - again - still NO slippage and again have still NOT rigged that 10-oh. Again, will hafta do that in the backyard then %^&*(

02SEPT2011 - finally went out with the 10-oh. There was NO slippage and i did rig twice. Since it was NOT windy, i took the occasion to correctly rig the sail, apply Sailkote for cams, etc.

This DOES suggest that the CL250 clam-cleat for $10 solved the slippage issue.

Would changing the cord have done the same thing ?? 
That solution would also cost $1 per foot of dyneema  and thus only slightly less expensive - both negligible costs !! I used to make my cords about 6 feet. Now I am considering 8 feet !!!

Getting Hooked

During my last session, in my hurry,  I forgot to tie the seat harness straps around my legs. This basically turned the seat harness into a waist harness. I sailed like this with a 10-oh race sail without even realizing it until i got off the water. In fact i was loving it !!!

What i did notice while on the water was the boom was higher than usual - when i use the harness i put it lower- and was actually where i like it when i am not in the harness - like on the long-board on a lite wind day. Even with 30 inch harness lines, i still lower the boom to facilitate easier hooking in and hanging down low.

This makes me wonder whether i would enjoy or like a waist harness more than my current old seat harness. What i am going to do as an experiment is put the leg straps/attachments looser in order to keep the hook about two to three inches higher...

That session i had also moved the harness lines back on the boom to where i had liked them last year. This seemed to help as well.

The bigger issue for me is still the foot-straps. I am frust-strapped !! I am trying to either get in the straps too early or too late %^&*( This year my intention is to get in the foot-straps and to nail those water-starts $%^&*() After that i can concentrate on maneuvering around the chop (too small to really be called waves).

Read an article that explained how easy it is to teach people all these facets IF you are in an area with steady constant winds, shallower water and not too much wave. That's not happening here :-) For me it just means it will take longer, butt i am enjoying myself each time i go out just the same. I can still blast, chop hop and bask in the sun on a lite wind day !!!

My motto: just get on the water - and LOVE it :-)

DEMO DAY 2011 in Montreal = Saturday 11 June @ l'Anse à l'Orme/AAO

This was the message and invitation from the PREZ, Dave Cadoret - translated by me
once info is provided on the APVM site about the event , i will present it here or at least provide the link/url.

APVM = Association Planche à Voile Montréal = Montreal's Windsurf Association

so far weather predictions are NOT good - 20 kph wind from the SE - no good for AAO  and strong for newbies + 5 to 10 mm rain = damn $%^&* - let's hope 4 change !!!
it did NOT rain until later AND winds were more than 20 kph from the SE/ESE in the pm. 

this message is a cordial invitation to the 20th anniversary of APVM's DEMO DAY
ce message est pour vous inviter cordialement à la journée démo du 20e anniversaire de l'APVM.

Où : Parc de l'Anse à l'Orme, Montréal
Quand : samedi le 11 juin de 10h à 17h

This year there was a concerted effort to ensure the day represents its name well. Boutiques and the following companies will be on-site to show you their products and let you try them...
Cette année, nous avons concentré notre énergie pour que la journée porte son nom. Les boutiques et compagnies suivantes seront sur place pour vous montrer leurs produits et vous les faire essayer :

Boutiques :

* 30 noeuds
* Wind Spirit
* 2 Rad

Compagnies :

* Boutique-Windsurf
* Voile libre
* Makani

Come and test various products - it is the time to do so !!! There is always the BBQ on site, initiation clinics with the url for the inscription below: 
Vous voulez voir et tester différents produits... ça va être le temps ! Il y a toujours notre BBQ sur place, les cliniques d'initiation (invitez des gens à la clinique : ).

Pour les cliniques présentes :

* Les voiles : Bruno de 2 Rad
* Les ailerons : Louis de Makani
* Cliniques d'initiation

And as always, the famous MEGA draw with all kinds of articles and gift certificates with a radical board: SB EVO 75. As usual the links n pics disappear and so , i copied and put a pic from the current APVM archives - may be 2014 and not 2011 ...

Et bien entendu, notre fameux MÉGA tirage comprenant une panoplie d'articles et certificats cadeaux des boutiques et compagnies et d'une planche assez radicale cette année : Starboard Evo 75 litres.

Volunteers are needed / Bénévoles demandés :

As we do each year, we invite you and anyone who wishes to help - to help us make this a great day for all.
Comme à chaque année, nous vous invitons aussi pour les gens qui le désirent à venir nous aider pour le bon fonctionnement de la journée.

We always need people at the information table, BBQ, beginner clinics and to put the site together (8h30-9h00)- just write to Nous avons toujours besoin de gens à la table d'accueil, au BBQ ainsi que pour les cliniques de débutants et pour monter le site (vers 8h30-9h le matin). (répondre à ce courriel pour me contacter et donner vos disponibilités).

It is also a great time for you and anyone who wishes to join or renew their APVM membership !!
C'est aussi le temps pour ceux qui le désirent de faire leur renouvellement de membre à l'APVM.

Looking forward to seeing you all !!!

Au plaisir de vous y voir ! 
Dave the Wave Cadoret

When is there enuff wind?

In my last post I wrote about what is too much wind. Quite often the converse is an  issue as well. When is there enuff wind ?

There have been plenty of times when i/we have gone windsurfing and sat on-shore waiting for the wind to pick up or in some instances to change direction. Often, when the direction was off slightly we would go off to another more promising site. Some people say - never leave wind for wind elsewhere...

My windsurf buddy, has purchased a Fanatic Hawk 135 and is now selling his BIC Techno 2 160 liter board. This means his wind expectations have increased.

I, on the other hand, have gone to the country and brought back my BIC Dufour Wing, which has about 220 liters of volume. This means my wind expectations have decreased. The proof is in the pudding. Why, just last month, May 2011, I have been out approximately ten (10) times. About eighty(80) percent of those outings have been in lighter winds - on the Dufour with a MS Pursuit 8.5. Just yesterday, Sunday the 5th of June, I was out on a beautiful sunny day on the local river in winds all under 10 mph. And yet, I had the time of my life and it made me feel like i actually lived out in the countryside and was taking a stroll on the water !!

There are things called pain thresholds. I suggest there are levels called pleasure or joy thresholds. How much wind does a windsurfer need to have a great time. I venture to say most of it is in the mind. If you think you're gonna have a good time - why usually you do !!!

Obviously if the wind is too low for the equipment you have on site, it is a different issue. And that is why I have added the monster board and whenever winds are announced as 20 to 40 kph, I will bring along the Dufour. This way i am sure, I will venture out on the water. Since i seem to know myself somewhat - as a water rat - any time on the water is a good time !!

My hope is that people lower their wind thresholds and grasp the joy of being on the water. Yes, going fast and trying new stuff has great pleasures as well. However, i donut want to be dependent on bigger winds for my fix. I am not ready to buy a SUP or other water gadget, butt have enough stuff to go on winds from 5 mph to about 30 mph. Under that forget it and over that, my skills just are not there. This addresses about 90 % of the winds we have and guarantees me at least one wind session per week :-)

Right now Wednesday is starting to be set as next "bigger" wind day. It is about 15 mph, which sounds like 20 to 40 kph to me. I prefer the sun, but am ready to go in the wet anyway. AND the days are getting longer. Can put in a full day's work, go out on the water and still get home in time to make supper.

How can anyone complain about that? Life as a waterman is GREAT :-)

Some people go the Formula route, butt that is not a road for everyone and expen$ive.

This lighter fellow reaches 18 knots GPS in just 10 to 13 knots with an 8.0 !!! Not bad !!!
As a heavyweight, I need to use a 10-oh on my 160 liter board in such winds to have similiar results.
And the moral of this story is - get on your board n ride :-) 

Ironically I came across an article in an old Windsurf Mag from 2008 today on the train... It stated that you knew you were a longboarder if you preferred the tack over the jibe - guilty. Also said 7 mph winds are enuff to put a grin on your face - guilty. What i found really interesting was the stats - what is your biggest board?
The numbers were:
21.29 % Longboard
11.39 % Formula
44.06 % 101 to 150 liters
16.34 % 85 to 100 liters
6.93 % under 85 liters = WOW
This was apparently based on reader input and i am interested to know how well that represents the North American windsurf population. Nowadays SUP and KONA are becoming popular and may influence the big board numbers...

Followup: Bruno of 2-rad tells me he can plane with 200 lbs on a 90 liter board with a 6.2 sail in 14 knots of wind... Someone wrote something similar in a comment on another post - let me find it ... Anonymous had written in the next post about too much wind that "average joe windsurfers" use 4.2s in the Gorge and that everything is relative. Luckily, Einstein agrees :-)

How much wind is too much wind ??

Today on the first of June 2011, my buddy wanted to go out and try his brand new Fanatic Hawk 135. I can understand why he is anxious to get out. I did NOT even bring my stuff nor my car to work and Helmut was surprised. I warned him that winds were going to be beyond me and my average joe skills. He always says i do crazy stuff , take crazy risks and put myself in crazy situations. And i DO !!

However, today was NOT a day for me to be on the water %^&*()_

The winds were gonna be crazy, they spoke about thunderstorms and someone even mentioned hail %^&*( The grass in front of the office was blowing like something you see in the movies.

I did a reading with my wind meter at home and only got a max of 24 kph. But that was with the houses blocking. In the IGA grocery parking lot I received a maximum reading of 32 kph. Went to the bridge over troubled water on the 117 and had steady winds at 20 kph with gusts to 30 kph. Just when I was thinking it was not so bad and perhaps sail-able for someone of my average joe skills, the wheel on the digital anemometer started singing and showed a max of 47 kph !!There were ONLY two(2) jet skis on the water - NO kayaks and NO canoes.

The Mirabel areoport showed 20 mph winds with over 30 mph gusts.

Yeah, butt look at Dorval readings !!! Almost 30 to 50 mph winds !!!

Here is a shot from Lac de deux Montagnes as well and that is from a protected camera where NW winds would show even stronger !!!

The local experts on quebecwind were talking about their 4.x sails and being over. Or standing on shore and drooling cuz they just did not have the equipment for the day. In my case, it is easy, I donut have the skills !!

Let's just say that day there was enough wind to knock out electricity for thousands of homes for over 18 hours. This is obviously nothing like a catastrophe - just "too much wind".

This is all fine n dandy, butt what do you do when you are in the middle of a race and the wind starts to kick axx?? Check this race where the guys are just flying and obviously way overpowered !! Sorry, no sound this time ...

And this is apparently what some of the experts say about sailing overpowered - quoted from the Auzzie forum:

Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North)

"I don't want to share my secrets; I was out there on a 6.3, I made all the semi-finals and one final. There were guys falling down on their 5.7's, it's not because I was stronger, I did the maximum I could with my equipment, I tuned it to the best of my ability to keep it under control. I know there are guys that don't think about this, one day they will find out when I stop racing, maybe then I will share my secrets."

Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / North)

"I just take a brand new sail put the mast in and I sail with it. My smallest sail is 5.7m North, I am part of the R+D teams for North and Starboard so I know the gear really well. I am used to sailing in high wind conditions so it is not a problem for me."

"There are two different styles, mine is to stand on the board very upright, and I open the leach to release the wind. Other people like to get down really low in the harness and use their weight. But I like to release the wind and get the flow going fast."

Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde)

"My secret is my secret; I am from the Caribbean and that is the best secret. I was on my 5.5m in the strong winds, I like to have long harness lines and get my weight down really low to absorb all the power, and don't go full speed all the time so that you don't always crash.

Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde)

"There is no secret; just tuning your equipment and being safe on the gear, make sure you are really comfortable. I put my harness lines in the correct location; I put my boom down a little so I can get my weight down really low. I make sure my board is always in the water and I and have maximum control."