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Why bother blogging about windsurfing ?

This is a question I have been asking myself lately... Is it worth the "bother" ?
WHIFM = What's in it for me ??

Ok, I do get my share of compliments. And then i get my share of people trying to link to their sites , people who criticize me for use of "butt" & "10-oh" ,people who criticize my windsurf technique, or lack thereof etc, et cetera ...

The reason i changed my name from "joe windsurfer" to "average joe windsurfer" was precisely for that reason. I am an average joe who is having a great deal of fun windsurfing and hopely leading by example - any average joe or josephine CAN do the same !!!

The vocabulary jokes used to make me smile, "but" i got tired of the criticisms. In my mind there will always be an extra T in but and i will smile to myself. Guess I just never got past the peepee/caca stage... My grandfather always said it was vital that in order to remain young, one needs to keep the childhood heart. And that is what i do without even trying. It is a simple way of coping with today's world - without resorting to recreational or escapist drugs... The upset about the "oh" was never understood on my part cuz that is how i pronounce the sail size when it ends in a zero. OH !  {without the yelling and exclamation of course :-) }

And if all that is not bad enough, i just discovered the Internet Explorer has issues with modifications in video embedding... For that I apologize and we can all blame Bill Gates together if we wish - however, he really has done more than his share in the computer department and should perhaps retire :-) For this situation, I will begin to work in IE and ensure functionality in Mozilla @#$%^&*() Once that was fixed, I discovered that hotmail renamed their Skydrive document sharing to OneDrive and some shared documents were no longer opening $%^&*(

The reason i truly do all this is - i love windsurfing . It is like my religion. However, I will not push this "religion" on anyone. I started this blog because my son suggested that would be a good place to keep my windsurf journal entrees. As usual, things got out of hand and now it is more like a full blown windsurf website - for average joes of course :-)

Other ways i encourage windsurfing is i talk too much about it, windsurf in the winter on the ice and bring newbies out on the water regularily with my equipment. I try to bring longboarding back, but(T) that does not seem to working out so well. The SUP and WindSUP may help more in that department. I had high hopes for the Kona, but other than "Yan Sailboarder", I know of NO other local KONA windsurfers :-(

GEM , who is a big fan of HotSailsMaui is or has persuaded me that perhaps another way to help in this endeavor - is the use of HSM SuperFreak sails - or SpeedFreak even. These sails are dacron and coloured X-PLY and quite colourful. I already have an HSM Fire 6.3, but have never even seen a "Freak". Here is an example of a Freak - sorry dude :-)

Unfortunately i have been unable to get any of my four(4) children smitten with the windsurf bug. Ironically they suddenly become interested when their boy or girl friends think their father is doing this cool thing ... As soon as the relationship ends, so does the interest ... Again, as i said earlier, i will not push my "religion" on anyone - not even the family :-)

Guess i am just feeling "bummed out" with the snow, economy, etc. My son forgave me for yelling at him yesterday and my cold is a little better. After i pick up the youngest from school, i think i will do some trial runs on the ice. I am sure that will make me feel better...

Thanks for listening - i feel better already :-)

n.b. Many thanks for the encouragement received before and after this posting. If the negative comments did anything, they just encourage me to work harder - both at blogging and more aggressively at improving my technique. So, NO WORRIES = more fun to be had :-)

Winter Sailboarding 2013/2014

This year there was more snow than usual at the beginning of winter AND colder temperatures. Ironically it rained not long after and had one day of temperatures over the freezing point. I should have rushed off and tested my ice sailboard on the lake up north at the chalet, butt personal and business obligations stopped that from happening. And so, I was preparing myself for what I thought the conditions would be like up north - when we go after Xmas. I was anticipating a frozen lake with lotsa snow. First I will discuss what i did to prepare and then the actual first test ...

Currently I have two(2) winter sailboards. One works well on ice and the other in mixed conditions - ice n some snow. NO version has ever worked well in DEEP snow - over 6 inches. And SO, I thought about using deep snow skis. There seem to be none in the area - NOT even at the Poubelle de Ski on St-Laurent in Montreal !!! Perhaps two(2) skis placed close together would do the job ??

And SO, the first thought was to put the two(2) skis in the middle to kind of act like a deep / powder snow ski - as in the photo above ....

Somehow I was concerned about whether this would still allow snow through - especially since we had just had a powder hit of about 1.5 feet or 50 cm of fresh powder ...

How far does the snow sailboard  sink in fresh powder as compared to say - a real water sailboard ??

As you can see in the photo above, the summer board sank MUCH less than the current snow sailboard !!
The test did NOT have the two(2) skis in the middle ....

And so, I decided to try and flatten the whole thing out ....
First take it apart completely ....

Now add a board underneath to keep it all FLAT ...

Now put the skis back on....

Put the mast base - in case it gets in the way of the middle ski(s) ...

Now the question was whether to put the two(2) skis or the one ?? I decided to go with the one since I wanted to make smaller changes - one at a time ...

 OK ... There was a flatter surface to get the snow to act more like a water sailboard. The front of a water sailboard has a rocker - to get planing , etc. The front of this kit looks like this ...

Snow can get between the "layers" and jam up underneath. Need some kind of simple diversion. How about a "snow plow" ??

OK, all set to go - how did this work out ??

27DEC2013 - winds were out of the WEST and not too strong.  First go X-country skiing to verify condition of the lake ice n snow. Wax em up and off i go. Difficult to get to the lake cuz the snow was quite deep - about two(2) feet or 60 cm of snow that sank with my narrow skis. At first i got VERY excited when i arrived on the ice. It felt like the wind had cleared the ice - leaving a perfect section of ice - ready for my ice sailboard. Already started planning on going back home to retrieve it ....

As they say.. do NOT count your chickens before the hens get laid - or something like that...

Around the bay, the ski trail was NOT good and there were sections with deep snow and some with ice. The ice came from a snowmobile hitting water = HUH ?? More on that later ... I can handle bad trails and ice trails later. However, there came a point where even I was going through snow and hitting water ... OK, time to head back ....

Does this mean I cancelled the snow sailboard test - NON.... I now knew, or thought I knew, where the ice n snow were the best....

With the lighter wind and deeper snow potential I rigged the MS-2 which I now call the MS-oh since it has NO more battens. This sail CANNOT be used in the winter ANY more. The monofilm fixes look like they are ready to come off in the cold. This means I may have to use my heavier TR-6 8.4 ?? NOT on the snow version !!! That's for sure ...

So, how was the outing ?? Wind was NOT great - from the west there were too many shadows... I could get it going, but seems i misjudged the sections with water under the snow. Once I felt I had a feeling of how to control the flow in the snow, I called it a day @#$%^&*( It was so bad, I will NOT even rate it... The sled was better than the conditions ie the conditions were the cause of the flop and NOT the sled. THAT was important to me. Now I will just wait...

Since then we sank into a deep freeze and so i hope the ice fully solidifies. In the past my best sessions started in FEB. This year I hope for JAN 2014. Only time will tell ...

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014 !!!!


I just read an article about snowshoes. They are saying that the best length for powder snow is six(6) feet. The plank I added was about four(4) feet. As such, I will add a piece at the front portion of the two(2) skis - and perhaps even try to create a slight curve at the front ...

Twenty-two(22) inches should do the trick and will be JUST shy of six(6) feet. Can always add some at the back if need be :-)

SAT 04JAN2014 - okay, this outing has to count as a session...When I crossed the bridge with the train yesterday, the river looked favourable - ice with snowmobile tracks - NO water in them. So, around noon I went to Parc Charboneau to see if the easterly winds were good enuff ... Yes, they were (about 15 kph) and there was a kiter practicing further upwind ... Went home n got the van with both sleds and both big sails - Gaastra Flow 3x 7m and MS TR-6 8.4. Tried the ice sled first with the 7m old race sail.There was not enough wind and a bit too much snow... Took out the modified snow version. This was MUCH better. The sled felt a bit "slippery" and I moved my front foot up to stop spinout. If it was not for that issue, I would have tried the bigger, better sail. Will put the fins back on and see how that goes ... Ideal was probably the modified snow version WITH the fins AND the bigger sail. All in all , would still rate this session a 7 outta 10 - not too cold either - just coming out of a cold snap. Minus 25 last nite and only -17 now :-)

Here is it what the fins used to look like ... Now there is a plank between the skis ...

WED 08JAN2014 - Man, conditions sure can change !!! After the warmer temps, freezing rain and rain plus back to deep cold, the lakes, rivers, streets, sidewalks, etc are ALL skating rinks. This is everyone's nightmare - EXCEPT mine. Yesterday, unfortunately the temps were too low and the winds too strong - from the North and over 50 kph. That is approaching my limit on water and so, forget ice !! Today the winds were from the West and announced as 30 to 50 kph. Much better, but can still be FAST on the ice. Since it was my second outing of the winter season, and first one on the ice sailboard, took the ice sailboard and HSM Fire 6.3 down to Parc Charboneau. Winds were actually lighter and I would guess NO more than 15 kph !! A bit light for the sail, but better safe than sorry = NO more broken shoulders PLEASE. There have been MANY ski accidents this year and apparently Michael Shuhmacher is in a coma at this moment. There are wind shadows at the Parc for East and West , but once going, I give the session an 8.5 outta 10 !!! To be higher than that - a little less roughness on the ice and either a bit more wind or bigger sail. I did NOT even put the harness. I used to wonder why wave sailors were out of the harness so much. Most of them are refusing to use sails bigger than 5.7. Now that I could REALLY throw around. . . I contemplated filming with the GoPro from the mast using my new attachment idea...However, it was getting on in the day - somewhat dark for that apparatus and my session was not the greatest. Just VERY GOOD :-) Funny that the winter sessions make me understand WHY people like smaller gear !!! In the summer an 8.x sail is my most used sail !!!

And now i am just OVER zealous !!! Next day winds were to DIE around 16h00. I still see wind and decide to try = FLOP. Tried with the Gaastra Flow 3x 7m sail. It was a BEAUTIFUL sunset and chatted with a fellow who was skating on the river. Will NOT mark as a session, but rather a lesson in life/windsurfing. GO BACK to BASICS in terms of wind analysis !!! Check more than one place and make sure they overlap !!
For the winter only need about 20 kph winds. Hopefully next outing can be at Vaudreuils on the big ice... Ice sure looks GOOD !!!

Sailboarding comes down to environment, equipment AND technique.
When sailing on ice - some technique can be forgiven cuz it gets fast VERY quickly.
Environment means ice/snow, temperatures, winds and the sun goes down earlier - and so even light plays a role.
In the winter the equipment is typically "home made". Some people have come up with some pretty good and sophisticated stuff !!!
Never mind that one has a job, family, home, car, etc to take of in the mean time.
I guess this just makes every good outing PRECIOUS.
When I go to Vaudreuils, Hudson or OKA, at least I share these experiences with others on the ice:-)

SUN 12JAN2014 - today i was VERY tempted to go... Went to Parc Charbaneau - too much water on the ice, did not have my boots - just running shoes - and the wind was not that great there. Afterwards went to the Rosemere bridge - on the 117 - and the wind was better. I have not gone here yet and see no snowmobile tracks. I walked onto the ice gingerly and there was OPEN WATER under the bridge. This is not good. The last time I saw this, i sank through the ice into two(2) feet of water. And so, even though I was out about 25 feet off shore, i abandoned the mission. With that wind i would be flying and i envisioned myself FLYING into a water hole - no brakes remember. Later the wind shifted to the west and better potential for Parc Charboneau. However, winds were now 30 to 50 kph. And now i imagined how wet i would get and could see myself flying into the woods on the other side. The environment is not conducive to much today :-(

WED 15JAN2014 - winds were from the SW at about 20 kph. We had some cooler nites. Perhaps the water on top froze ?? Went past the puddle at the Rosemere side of 117 bridge. The ice and wind seemed fine. Ice sailboard with the HSM Fire 6.3. The first run across was to test the ice and potential water. It was FINE !! Went back and then I hit it - an ice puddle ie 6 inches of water under a thin layer of ice. Now that I knew where the ice was good - tried to stay there... Did a couple more runs and hit water again. Decided it was time to call it an evening - even if short lived - but safe !!! And so, I still give this an 8 outta 10 !!! 
Thus was between 7 and 8 at night with the light from the bridge lighting the way:-)
Cooler nights and temps under zero in the day on the agenda - maybe better soon !!!

SUN 19JAN2014 - yesterday i went on the local river to check the ice.There were some fisherman's holes and so i removed my jacket, rolled up my sleeve and stuck my hand in the cold water to check the depth of the ice. It was OVER 12 inches or 30 cm thick !! Later that day we saw a pickup truck on the ice and so, yes, it is safe !!! Afterwards, on the way to the bagel shop in Ste-Rose i swore i saw a large kite over the tree. But there was NO wind !!! Went to check it out and saw four(4) motorized para-gliders landing behind the island when viewed from behind the church. Tried to find them later and never did. Too bad there was no wind on this day cuz the temps were around zero !!

Today, the winds were about 20 kph SW in the morning and better in the afternoon, but my son's girlfriend was about to fly to Australia and so, we had to say adieu in the afternoon... 
Give the session an 8.5 outta 10. Felt like i needed more front foot pressure when using the harness.I tested the mast mount that I designed as DIY. With no points of reference, it just looks like i am floating over a white page.My videos may not ne posted anymore - as i really only need them for myself to learn. I have NO time to fancy them all up. And as an average joe windsurfer, i am only going 50 kph max. On water, that would be very good. On ice people go as high as 100 kph !!!

As long as I have FUN and TOW , who cares - i just hope these amateur videos at least encourage others to try stuff !!!

This one is a little faster and i am hooked in with the harness - short n sweet :-)

THURS 23JAN2014 - work from home and managed to go out early
Temp: -15 or -17 degrees C. - with windchill -34 degrees C.
Wind: 20 + kph SW
Air: ice cold - ice in the beard
Rating: 9 outta 10
Board: ice board
Sail: HSM Fire 6.3
Location: Rivière Milles Isles - Rosemere side @ 117

Thought I should bring the 7m sail, but would have had to dig out the mast behind the car in the garage. There seemed to be a decent breeze. The ice was as smooth as a baby's bottom. This was the smoothest I had ever been on and it meant that i spun out and fell twice. Needed to lean mast forward or find other ways to put mast foot pressure MFP. Did not need to lean out nor use the harness to go about 50 kph. Even with the cold and two(2) slides on the butt, it was still a great session. The sun was just going down and the view on the river was spectacular. A fellow was taking photos and trying to include me in them... This evening i purchased a tripod mount for the GoPro and will test that out next time... Also would like to try the snow sled with the fins on such smooth ice - NEED blades or more than 20 degree angle !!! Perhaps even sharpen these blades. 
Here is the tripod mount i may try next time.

I went over my older posts and discovered that I originally had the braces at 30 degrees rather than 20, but felt they dug too much into the ice. Well, right now, that is what i do need. Found the braces/brackets and will exchange them before my next outing - hopefully Sunday !!!

Here are the brackets - also need to reduce this post - has become more like a journal ....

It took me about one hour to change the brackets from 20 degree setup back to the 30 degrees. The holes on the skis for this bracket were not in the same place - further back and switched which side the skis were on. Will need to document this so that next time will be much quicker. After all that it snowed about 5 cm , blew over 40 kph winds and i took ill. I will probably try this setup just the same and am ready for a disappointment.

Here's a dude who uses a similiar setup to my ice version. This works in light to little snow ONLY. Better video, but not sure about the music :)

WED 29JAN2014 - was feeling depressed and had some time ... Went to the local river with the ice sailboard angled at 30 degrees and the flattened snow sailboard and the mini-fins. Wind was quite strong at over 40 kph. I still do NOT have the smaller sails required for that here - have the North Zeta up north. We have had snow AND winds. As such there was a big mix on the local river. Some clean really good ice and drifts as high as two(2) feet. Decided that i at least needed to check out the ice sailboard on the ice - minus the sail. YES, it did dig in much better in the ice at 30 degrees rather than 20 !! Ideally i do need a mechanism to change the angle as needed - my idea is that at times it may even be advantageous to have slightly different angles in front n back ... Where to find such a strong thing and not too expensive ??
For now - wait and be patient - once again !!!

FRI 07FEB2014 - okay, not too cold, some snow and wind from the west at about 30 to 50 kph. Time to test the modified snow sailboard. Besides being great exercise, it was a BIG FLOP. With the Gaastra Flow 3X there was lots of pull, but NO GO. Even though the board did not go down more than 3 or 4 inches when my boots went down 8 to 10 inches in the snow - there was too much drag and did not float. The board needs to be light AND large - back to the deep snow skis ??? Was also thinking to make the session a long one where i clean a track that i can BAF on .... Nothing ideal - damn....

SAT 08FEB2013 After that BIG disappointment yesterday, I had to try something. I felt the board was too heavy and dragged too much. The ice version is light and works great when there is NO snow. OK, let's go back to two(2) skis and NO board in the middle. However, I want the raise the platform and so i did. Will post some pics.

Here is my rough work trying to design the changes:

And here are some shots of what i ended up doing - ready for testing - means NO wind today :-)

And from up close - to really showed raised platform - more like a Euro sled :-) Not sure where i am going to put my feet - used to brace between ski and board - larger space now ....

Looks like people are starting to get into this !!! Just found these on a iwindsurf discussion:

called SNO GLISS ??
 and this one in the same "discussion"  - made for ice with blades and shaped a little differently

16FEB2014 - tested the modified snow version on the local river with winds from the west at about 20 to 40 kph. The snow was about 6 to 8 inches deep. It was more difficult than I thought it would be. Needed to use strength , weight and technique in order to go properly. Just when i thought i was getting the hang of it, i catapaulted and stuck my elbow through a monofilm panel on the MS-oh 8m sail. And that put an end to that. So far, these are not even sessions - just experiments !!! Since it is close to home, they take less than 1.5 hours and are like a major workout ...

I have NOT given up on the design - nor the sail for that matter. For the sail, will slap on more monofilm tape until i get another decent 8m sail with no cambers. For the board, my concern was mostly control and i always wonder - move mast forward or back?? Since there is no "mast track", I have mounted two(2) bases, one further forward and one further back - where the back one will not be in the way. Next time the experiment will need to be with the Gaastra Flow 3X sail - no way i am busting up my Maui Sail TR sail !!!
Here is a pic of the two bases on the snow sailboard...

FRI 21FEB2014 - rained quite a bit today, which is VERY unusual for February - here in any case...Have to work this weekend and there was some wind from the SW. SO, went down to the river in the early evening with Brandie to check it out. On the way to the river, we kept sinking into the snow - practically up to our knees - the rain softened the snow. Once on the river, there was water under the snow. Also, the eind was NOT as strong as anticipated. Man, that means I will need to wait until next freeze for better conditions - or expect to get wet. I REALLY do want to test my new setup with the  two(2) mastbase positions $%?&*( Patience as usual !!!

MON 24FEB2014 - it has been a little cooler - around -7 Celsius during the day today and winds were about 20 to 40 kph from the WSW this evening. I would have preferred an 8.x sail, but i busted the MS-2 and have not yet tried the TR-6 8.4 on the snow. And so, I was out with the Gaastra Flow 3X 7-oh. Since it has been colder, the snow was MUCH better - almost crunchy. The sled went fine and only spun out slightly when testing the front mast base mount. I had no helmet and no harness. Was not going any faster than the wind ie no more than 40 kph. NOT fast for ice n snow... Still give the session an 8 outta 10. Was not cold, had fun and it was exercise... Besides, tomorrow is the wife's birthday and i am sure i will be unable to go out :-)

WED 26FEB2014 - yesterday i was unable to go = wife's birthday. Today i left work early to go to the bank, RSP season, and then out to the river IN DAYLIGHT. The conditions were crusty with some small snow banks since it snowed about 2 cm this morning. Winds were stronger than Monday (30 to 50 kph from the WSW) and as such I put the HSM Fire 6.3 on the front mount again. The local river is okay to play about, butt i am ready for more !!! As marked in the comments - OKA and Vaudreuils - HERE I COME !! Unfortunately that only works on weekends or afternoons OFF. In any case, for today I give it a 7.5 outta 10. I can't wait to put the 20 degrees back on the ice version and use it instead !!!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot - my mast was stuck together :-( It's not the same as summer though - it was frozen. I start the van, open the windows and place the mast so the heat blasts on the joint. After about two(2) minutes it came apart NO ISSUES :-)

As Sailboarder and Claude Belanger say - it feels like i am "on the right track". The raised board seems to help with snow drifts. The board spins out or swings out probably because i removed the centre ski. I will put it back with the raised deck. Then it will be longer as Claude suggests and it will NOT swing out !!! Claude wrote back to me and his model is actually based on those of Langis Caron, whom he met years ago. Langis was a car racer and later a winter sailboarder who competed successfully at WISSA !!! And Langis apparently goes out on ice n snow at over 60 years of age. Guess I should not be too surprised, I am not that far away !!! :-)
Photo: Bernard Vallée
So, since I am OFF work this week and there is NO wind in the forecast ... I will put the ice board back to the 20 degree angle and add the centre ski to the snow version... I will also check to see if I can get some throw away skis and boards from the store Poubelle du ski - "ski junkyard", which by the way surprised me with all their new stuff and rentals !!!

TUES 04MAR2014 - yesterday just got back from Connecticut and the in-laws. Added the central ski to the snow model. The one ski is NOT well aligned. Put something there to pressure it into place. Also put the ice model back to 20 degrees. Today was fairly warm and VERY light winds, but i just wanted to test the big sail in the winter and the modified snow sled. The sail was just fine and the cambers popped with no issues. The wind was a bit light, but in the gusts i was able to get a feel for how well the sled would do in bigger winds... It works, but it is not as stable as i would like. I can see why the skis were angled at the back AND the ski or skis in the front are flat. I had not considered putting that many skis on the setup. With their specialized brackets, there is not much added weight and probably straighter - more easily. It was a fun test, but not really a good session - maybe 6 outta 10 !! winds less than 10 knots from the WSW. Also, on the snow model i need to ensure the metal does NOT touch the sail when dragged along ...Next day i ground down the metal brackets - looked they could damage my sails #$%^&*()_

SAT 08MAR2014 - the winds were down when this is winter sailboard season !!!  Since I had some time on my hands and  I was NOT completely satisfied with my test this week, I modified the snow version to something more similiar to Langis' windski. I am still using wood with metal re-enforcements, but with the skis MUCH closer together. It took me the better part of two(2) days to make this setup - between the design, laying it all out and doing it. Here are some photos of the results:
{The snow version is obviously the red sailboard}

What I find interesting here is: it feels like the snow sailboard is analogous to windsurfing on the water in lighter winds. In very light winds one uses a longboard which is long and narrow. When there are more stable winds, one can use wider boards with bigger sails and bigger fins to plane on the water. As snow is NOT very buoyant, it makes sense to go with a longer version rather than a wider version !!

SUN 09MAR2014 - they were anouncing 20 kph winds from the WSW and sunny, blue skies. Called Claude from Laval and he was ready to go to OKA also. This was my first winter session at OKA this year and perhaps ever... Usually I went to Vaudreuils - the ice stays there longer !! but it is farther... Saw Claude's two(2) sleds which were longer than mine yet similiar at the back. Here are some photos of the new snow model - more from the bottom:

Claude's sleds are little different in that his boards start out flat - touching the surface and then after the first third then they begin to bend towards the desired angle at the back. This is done by cutting up snowbaords and skis and putting them together like a puzzle - quite ingenious actually. 

Here the look from the back - which corresponds to Claude's:

Claude does NOT like the protruding screws and nuts. For my purposes this is fine. 
Please don't show us your hanging nuts - sorry, could not help myself :-)

And so, back to discussing the day ... The ice was choppy at places with some snow on top. I only dug into the snow with the front once - and fell. The board passed the test with flying colours and compared well with the test run on Claude's. The conditions were not ideal in terms of wind nor ice/snow. Wind was okay from about 13h00 to 14h30 and peaked again later - when i left and Claude was back out with a larger sail. I was out with the HSM Fire 6.3 which was fine in the first hour, but sucked after that. As such I can only give this session about 7.5 outta 10. So far I give the board a 9 outta 10 !!! Time will tell !!! Today's conditions were about 7 outta 10 as well ...

A couple of interesting details from Claude - without giving away all his secrets - he keeps the flat for about one third of the board and puts the mast base at 60 % from the back or 40 % from the front !!!! And mine is 56% without being aware of this detail.

Some other things that happened to me on this day / outing .. Somehow the lines seemed crossed at the downhaul. This NEVER happens to me. Since it was a semi-cross-over, I let it go. When i put the mast base into the mast , there seemed to be some snow in the bottom section of the mast. As I did NOT do a good job of snow removal, the base could NOT be removed after the session. NOT even after putting it front of the car heater. NOT until about 2.5 hours after arriving home !!! The good news? I knew it was NOT sand !!! 

So far 12 outings this winter. That's more than some of my colleagues on water in the summer !!!
83% were on the local river
50% were with the HSM Fire 6.3 & 25 % with the Gaastra Flow 7-oh
42% were rated as 8 outta 10 or better !!! and 25 % were rated as good or 7 to 8 - almost 70 % !! 

THURS 13MAR2014 - yesterday was a snow blizzard and plenty of snow - over 15 cm. Today i tried to put my weight on the new snow version in the snow and slide on it. It basically sank as far as the snow board and pushed snow with the front of that portion. This issue was seen before , but the board was wider. May be difficult to see in this pic:

SAT 15MAR2014 - was unhappy with the above pic... Not clear, etc. Now the snow has compacted due to rain and warmth - just 2 days later... As such the "board" did NOT sink down as much. This picture was also "enhanced" with Photoshop 4.x. Interestingly enough, the board sinks the same as if i walk in the snow - no more and no less. This seems to be the same phenomenon as in the fluffier, powder snow. Snowshoes keep one up higher - and how would this be possible with a snow sailboard?  THAT is the question !!!

SUN 16MAR2014 - today was colder (-13 C) and as such, the snow was more crusty/solid. I would give the conditions an 8 outta 10. Good surface with a little bit of crunch. Thus I was able to use the ice model.Wind was West 20 - 25 kph, but solid. With this setup, I could definitely use a smaller sail if the wind gets strong in these conditions i.e. smaller than the HSM Fire 6.3.Altogether I give the session an 8 outta 10, which corresponds with the rating of the conditions. NO boots required and barely used the harness - even at higher speeds. THAT is why i like smaller sails !!! Managed to go EVEN with a sore left wrist. Have NO idea where that happened. Last Sunday at OKA?? I think not cuz it did not start hurting until just a few days ago !!!

FRI 21MAR2014 - took the day OFF as i am tired, discouraged and need a day OFF :-) Was hoping for an IDEAL windsurf day. Here is what happened:
08h30 - wind was good out of the West on the local river. It had rained recently was colder now. There were "puddles" or "lakes" on the river with a layer of ice. Seemed okay and so put the ice sled with the HSM Fire 6.3. Got some good blasts going and just when i thought all was good to go - like FULL BLAST, i went through onto one of those little puddles, broke the ice and was in the water. Normally that would not be too bad. However, this time it was like putting the brakes on and i wiped out. Kept trying, but it happened again. This time i jumped off and slid on the ice while holding the sail. NO injuries on either semi-crash.
10h00 check out a field on the 25 North. It was colder and there were NO puddles. Just ice and crusty snow. The problem was there was a wind shadow :-( Kept driving towards the chalet. Was unusre of which fields to try and i would be either right on the hi-way or in the boonies. And so , ended up at the chalet.
11h30 tried the snow model on the lake with the Gaastra 7-oh. There was about 6 to 8 inches of snow and wind gusted or died. Really NOT good.
12h00 took a nap in the country
13h00 head back
14h30 back on the local river.Again the ice model with the HSM Fire 6.3. They said 30-50 kph West, butt it felt more like 20-40 kph NW.Couple of runs were good and then i went into a puddle again and fell $%^*( And so, I stayed on the beaten path i.e. found a track that worked and stayed on it. Did not use the harness because i was concerned about path and falling. Well, after that it was at least an 8 outta 10. The rating in this case is HIGHER than the conditions, which i would give no more than 6.5 !!! However, I chased the wind and conditions all day and so, probably am relieved i got some action :-)
16h00 back home writing this report - tired again

WED 26MAR2014 - left work early to pick up the kid from school. He did not have a ride home today. Supposed to get warm SOON and so HAD TO GO. Winds were from the NW about 20 to 40 kph.  Only brought the snow sled since we had had snow recently and it had NOT melted YET. Went to Rosemere 117 and rigged the Gaastra Flow 3X 7-oh. At first I was VERY disappointed and chatted with paraskier Mike Conro. He explained that since the wind was from the NW there was a big wind shadow at the Rosemere side AND BIG gusts on the other side. Let it RIP and put my helmet and harness. Did not even need my boots cuz the snow was about 4 inches. Not sure how this sled would do in more. Made a take off "ramp" with a shovel on the river :-) This helped get me out of the wind shadow area !!!
Will give this session an 8.5 outta 10 !! 
May be my last of 2013/2014 :-( 

WED 02APR2014 -  Really wanted to go on Sunday, but was unable to due to family obligations. Today had a headache and took a break from work. Temps were around 5 degrees with winds supposed to be 30 to 50 SW. It felt lighter than that and was on the snow sled with the 6.2 at the 117. The slush was BAD. With decent wind it went through, I have had conditions SO much better this year. In order to be able to go, I put pressure on the back leg which caused pain in the thigh. Would still give this a 7 outta 10. If this was in the middle of the season, it would be rated MUCH lower.

SUN 06APR2014 - obviously getting warmer with ice n snow slowly disappearing. Now I have my original ice version and the modified snow version, which is still aimed at an ice n snow combo. So, what to do? Undo the modified snow version and make the skis flatter or?? Decided to make something similar to Langis Caron and Claude:  


What they did was make the front or bottom snowboard gradually go from flat to an angle like the skis in the back. What I did was, just stuck the snowboard under the front of the skis. This was done on Saturday when it was rainy and yucky. Today the danger was sunny n hot !! Wanted to go early, but had to finish the board, do groceries, etc. I did not manage to get to the 117 local river until about 10h30. Wind was supposed to be SW about 30 to 50 kph, but was more like SW 20 - 40 kph. Guess I will call this one the snow model for now ... There was water under the bridge, near the shore and further down the bank. Thus it was about 5 outta 10 in terms of conditions. However, I had so much fun and was smiling so much, I will give this an 8.5 outta 10 :-) Managed to go with the 6.3 and in the harness !!
THIS IS IT - what it's all about --> TOW and FUN !! 
It does NOT need to be ideal for that to happen !!!
12APR2014- Saturday: Well, it looks like that`s it. In 2012 I windsurfed on water on 02APR !! There is little snow on land and the ice is breaking up - as seen in the photo below. I did a tour to Pte-Claire on Friday and the water is accessible via the boat ramp !!! Just need a HOT day and the cold water will be tolerable.

Summary of 2013-2104 winter sessions: 27DEC2013 - 06APR2014
Total of 17 outings and of them:

15 were local in Rosemere = 88%  - many of these were in the evening - in the dark
10 outings were with the HSM Fire 6.3 = 59%
9 were better than 8/10 - GREAT = 53%
5 were between 7 and 8/10 - GOOD = 35%

So, what is left to do is - bring sled(s) to the in-law's chalet and bring the longboard back. Do, I take the modified snow version apart ? Nah. More testing to do !!! And so, I purchased a sled from Henry in Laval. He seems to pick up stuff people leave laying about and sell it. Got the snowboard for ten bucks and two pairs of straight skis for future models :-) 

So, here is the new ice model: