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October 10, 2007


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Whoa - talk about a flashback...

The song's all about how cool you are if you're riding funboards. One of the lines translates to something like 'If you can ride a board like this, you're out front in the scene' - early 80's was the leading edge of Neue Deutsche Welle (New German Wave - bad 80's pop music with German lyrics, as opposed to bad 80's pop music with English lyrics - had to be there to know the true pain a cultural fad can produce...)

Some of the commentary is just priceless - whether it be instructional verbiage on jibes or chop hopping, or talk about the art and science of fins and their outline, foils, materials, and flex (some things don't change...) It's funny to watch the footage and then hear the commentary expound on how tiny moves of toe pressure etc. are all it takes to steer these high-performance rigs with the utmost precision - all the while watching guys wrench their equipment around. The sport sure has come a long way...

Thanks for the memories!


Thanks for the detail on the song and commentary! Tiny toe pressure, huh? Whatever it takes to control my funboard.

Yep - hydrofoils were real .. I tried (emphasized) one once (again - emphasized) .. attached to a stock windsurfer (circa '85)!

That one attached through the daggerboard (it was not called 'centerboard' yet) slot.

I remember when you started moving you felt all the drag from the apparatus underwater and then as soon as you reached 'takeoff velocity' the thing POPPED out of the water!

Like the guy in the pic at top, all of a sudden you're standing another +1 foot above the water .. weird.

The thing that made it really difficult to use was once you were up neither the board nor sail reacted 'as expected' anymore - it was really difficult to control the direction of the board .. and that's not just upwind/downwind...

You now had 2 additional 'moment axes' to control: 'pitch' = the bow of the board diving up-and-down, and 'yaw' = the tendency of thing to roll about its longitudinal (length-wise) axis!!!

Very strange, but kinda fun, experience .. another part of the sport's history....

-- Chuck

I especially enjoyed the catalog of catapults at the end of the film. The music seals the deal.

Hi, I'm Mrs. "Windsurfwoody", born and raised in Germany and got a real kick out of the video. I've been in Italy, Lago di Garda several times in the 80's.
I wasn't windsurfing back then, but it's on the to do list to go back and catch some waves. Beautiful place!


Thanks for the comment, Mrs Windsurfwoody, and welcome to the Peconic Puffin. (Mrs Windsurfwoody is "Woodette" in Windsurf Woody's excellent blog. The Windsurfwoodys live up to their name...check out Mr. Windsurfwoody and his woody board in this Peconic Puffin post.

Hi - the hydrofoil longboard caught my eye while surfing around for longboard information. Back around this same time, 1980-1981, there was a Greek engineer/hydrodynamicist living in my village on Long Island. He designed and built a complex hydrofoil to fit into the daggerboard slot of his original Windsurfer. As I recall, it was a T-foil arrangement, with multiple foils along the span (sort-of a bi-wing if you will). He would take this out on Port Jefferson Harbor when the wind was strong enough for him to get up on the foil (he needed some good wind with the stock Windsurfer sail he was using). It was quite a spectical to see him holding on to that old wishbone boom, with no harness, but moving quite fast. Seeing him on this thing got me pretty excited to go windsurfing. I wish I had taken a picture.

That's a great story, Jesse! If you learn anything else about the guy (or find a photo) I would love to use it in the blog.

I saw a listing on eBay for this board I was describing, or one identical to it. I downloaded the pictures, but here is the URL. No bids!


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