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Windsurfing Update
Old 03-16-2007, 11:18 AM   #1
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Windsurfing Update

In the 80's windsurfing was my main hobby. I lost my equipment in a fire in 1991, and have only sailed once or twice since then.

We'll be in Hawaii soon, and I may rent a board and do some sailing.

Anything new that I should know about? When I was sailing, double-concave slalom boards were the big thing. I sailed a 9 foot sinker.
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Re: Windsurfing Update
Old 03-16-2007, 02:43 PM   #2
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Re: Windsurfing Update

There have been big improvements in windsurfing gear since you sailed. Modern sails are designed with a pre-twist shape so that they handle a much wider range of wind. Everything is lighter as most of the heaver components are now made of carbon fiber. Boards are made from epoxy so they are lighter and stiffer. New shapes can be both fast -and- turny.

The new 'freestyle' catagory is now a part of windsurfing. Tricks are taken from skateboarding and snowboarding. Lot's of fast jumps, lateral rotations, and loops.

Maui has the best windsurfing conditions in Hawaii. The local topography enhances the prevailing trade winds. Kauai and Oahu can also be good. If you're on Oahu you'll probably sail at Kailua. If you're on Maui, Kanaha is your best bet.

The trade winds are supposed to return tomorrow and be with us for at least a week. Check here and here for the forcast. You're looking for the East/Northeast trade winds. If the trades are blowing it's usually good (on Maui). Sailing in Kona winds (from the south) is also possible.



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Re: Windsurfing Update
Old 03-16-2007, 03:22 PM   #3
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Re: Windsurfing Update

Good for you T-Al. It sounds like you may be able to take good advantage of the newest gear. I sailed off and on for years but never got good enough for waves -- I made 50% of my jibes tops. I did like the wide style floaty boards. I had a Starboard Go. It was good in a variety of winds, turned well, very easy to water start. But I don't think you would see one in the waves. Now when I go down to the Outer Banks everybody is kite sailing instead of windsurfing. I gave that a try with my son for a weekend last fall and was starting to get the idea (him a lot faster than me). We plan to go back again sometime this spring.
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Re: Windsurfing Update
Old 03-16-2007, 06:54 PM   #4
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Re: Windsurfing Update

That's interesting.

I still have a "diaper-style" harness and harness lines. Do you think I should take that with me??

I sailed regularly from the Berkeley marina, and also from Crissy field and under the Golden Gate Bridge. That was great because when the tide was going out, you could always be sailing a little downwind. Never sailed in waves.

I rented the board below in the Canary islands in '97, but had a lot of trouble with spinning out -- glad to make it back to shore. I think I'm in better shape today.
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Re: Windsurfing Update
Old 03-16-2007, 09:20 PM   #5
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Re: Windsurfing Update

Al,

Forget changes in sailing gear (lighter, shorter, wider, stiffer, twisty, yada, yada), it's the aging factor that you'll notice most. None of body parts will work as well. Until the summer trades kick in it can be pretty gusty (or all or nothing) on some of the islands. Nothing wrong with a diaper (seat) harness, just need to rig a lower boom and stick to flatter water. Need a waist harness and higher boom for waves.

Oh yeah, watch out for those crazy nuts attached to overgrown kites with long strings. They are all over the place now taking up big chunks of space and creating general mayhem. Better yet try a kitesurf lesson while you are there. I think you would have a blast. 8)
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Re: Windsurfing Update
Old 03-17-2007, 07:33 AM   #6
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Re: Windsurfing Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by TargaDave
Forget changes in sailing gear (lighter, shorter, wider, stiffer, twisty, yada, yada), it's the aging factor that you'll notice most. None of body parts will work as well.
Thanks TD - now I have my excuse. I didn't start windsurfing until I was 38 and kitesurfing at 58. The joints were already shot, no wonder I can't turn worth a darn.
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Re: Windsurfing Update
Old 03-17-2007, 02:49 PM   #7
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Re: Windsurfing Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
Thanks TD - now I have my excuse. I didn't start windsurfing until I was 38 and kitesurfing at 58. The joints were already shot, no wonder I can't turn worth a darn.
Yeah, that turning stuff is way over-rated anyway. Actually I haven't touched my slalom board in 4 years. Now I just like to go for an occasional spin [Day before yesterday in Nags Head]



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