This is a diary so to speak. Documenting the outdoor activities I enjoy. Currently I'm trying to master windsurfing so that subject will be covered extensively. If you read this don't expect award winning writing as it was never really a strong point for me. You may however find a cool photo or two.

Most photos can be enlarged by clicking and feel free to leave a comment.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

WET introduction to windsurfing

In SE Virginia we have a great windsurfing club called Windsurfing Enthusiasts of Tidewater. Today was their second Introduction of the year. Sunny skies, 90+ degree air and SW winds at 10 to 15 mph greeted the 20 students that were about to get their first taste of the wonderful sport of windsurfing. Two of the "Newbies" were there at my urging, my daughter Kristen and my surrogate daughter Rebecca, Kristen's best friend.

You could see a little uncertanty on the faces of some of the attendees but after the instructors skillfully took each student through the land simulation they were all eager to hit the water. The winds were a bit stronger than ideal for learning but once they got the hang of tacking and getting underway they all seemed to be enjoying themselves. I saw a few students flitting about getting some real good speed, of course ear to ear grins followed. I reminiced back to that feeling I had when I first started windsurfing. It's what got me hooked on the sport. You know when your moving along steadily getting a little faster, the sail starts to feel light in your hands and your beginning to get that sensation of speed even though your not quite planning. That feeling that makes you want go even faster. Then you have a moment when you realize your getting this sensation just from the power of the wind. Awesome!

All in all I'd say it was a very successful event. There were a few times that some of the students were blown down wind and needed corraling there were also a few reports of jellyfish stings. Safe Sea Sunblock is a wonderful product to keep those critters from ruining your day.

My daughter was a little dissapointed that she couldn't do more. She was one of the lightest sailors out there, even on a 3.5 the wind was a bit too much for her. I have to give her credit she hung in there. She didn't get discouraged and I think that's great. She told me on the ride home she definately wants to try again with either a smaller sail or in lighter winds.

I was able to ride an original Kona for the first time. Nice board..... when powered up with my 7.8 it sailed so smooth and gliding through the holes was effortless. It did suprise me how loose the board felt transitioning from gliding to planing. Once I figured out the trim with proper foot placement it wasn't a problem. I was even able to keep up with James on one of the new Kona 11.5.
Needless to say the Kona just got added to my wish list.

Here are some photos of the event.

Beginner boards and rigs provided by Beach Sports

James showing my daughter the fundamentals

Is he teaching windsurfing or playing "slaps"

Working hard to get the sail up.
The water doesn't show it because the wind was side off
but it is averaging just under 15mph.

My daughters friend making it look easy.

Tina preparing for the Gorge.

Newbies getting their sea legs.

A slide show of the rest.

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James Douglass said...

Awesome post, Chris. :) I stole one of your pictures for my own, and linked back here.

Catapulting Aaron said...

Good stuff, man! I love what you guys are doing out there!

Wind Bohem said...

I really support the initiative to bring windsurfing closer to people that don't wsurf (yet).
I live on an island(cca 20000 people live here) that has several good surfspots, but here are, I guess maybe 20 locals that wsurf.
We should do something like this too!!!