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July 31, 2008


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I have planed less then half the days of last year, with only 6 days in 2008 vs. 14 days in 2007.

This profound suckiness has turned into a bit of a sickness for me - in a temporary(?) bout of "windsanity", I bought a Starboard 11'2" SUP board (the red and white one). Hopefully this will relieve my condition and make those calmer days on the water a bit more exiting!

Time to move to San Francisco? Catapulting Aaron seems to sail 5.7 or less ever day there.

Lord Catapult has it good now, tis true. But come winter the Bay Area sailors do not get so much.

What's the Mark Twain quote? "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." Winters are tough there.

But today I am envious!

That's why I got a Kona. I bring all my sails and a paddle to the launch site. If I get skunked with the wind, “a paddling-I-will-go!”


Time to start sailing Heckscher more. My next day out will be day 80 of the year. I know, I'm counting the days in Hatteras and Bonaire. So lets take away 15 days in Hatteras and 20 from Bonaire and not even add back on the days I would have sailed if I was home. I'm still at 45 planing days 5.9 or smaller here on the Island, mostly at heckscher. June did suck with only 6 planing days on 5.9 or smaller compared to last years 15, but July rocked with 11 days for me and 3 days that I know I missed. So at Heckscher we had at least 14 days sailable on a 5.9 or smaller. If you guys would have drove to heckscher every single day this month, you would have sailed almost 50% of the time, and these were good freestyle conditions with plenty of wind to loop, vulcan, shaka, whatever. If you have bigger gear tack on even more days.

See you at Heckscher!!!


Well timed, Mike! Right after I posted this item I shot a note to Peconic Jeff, saying something to the effect of "Mike B will post here shortly about all the days he's had whilst we've been sitting windless." And we made guestimates...you say you had 6+11+3 (missed)for a total of 17 or 20, depending on how you slice it. Jeff wrote:
"My forecasted range for MB 2008 planing days is 15-18" while I had even greater ambitions for you ("I'm going to guess 21 for the King of the East!") I'd say we did pretty well.

Hecksher is not convenient (not that the east end is, but it's MORE convenient) so it takes prolonged wind deprivation to get me there.

So look for me soon!

I agree with Peconic Jeff. Got my 11'2" last weekend! Interestingly, I stopped going to Cabarete as often as I used to due to fewer windy days. Since getting two SUPs down there at Vela, every day on the last trip in June was a great day on the water, windy or not! I intend to do the same up here with the new board! See you at RM this weekend! Sunday?


I just looked back at the calendar. I had exactly 30 planing days by King of the East not counting the 35 from bonaire and Hatteras. I also got an hour in on the 5.9 planing at Heckscher last night. That makes for 15 planing days in July. Every other day!! Oh July was so sweet..... August usually starts to become a little less reliable with the thermals, especially towards the end of the month, so before you make the journey, double check the trends.

We've had the same skunky wind around Boston & Cape Cod. I can't afford to buy a SUP right now, but I picked up a trainer kite for next to nothing. I have to use these light tropical winds for something. Don't blame me if I try kiting, blame the lack of wind.

I think this is a global situation This end of the world we have have a definite annual reduction in the number of windy days and also the wind direction seems to be changing too. The only place I know of that the wind seems to be ever increasing is the Canaries.........it is REALLY windy over there, perhaps a bit too windy. If PWA stars are on 3.5m sails then I would need a hanky to go out sailing. I must admit that Stand Up Paddling is beginning to appeal to me if there is no other alternative!

Scooper, if there's enough wind to kite there's enough wind to windsurf. I can't afford an SUP either, though I might try paddling my longboard around for laughs!

That's the nice thing about longboard sailing: the board doubles as an SUP board. You don't need to buy two boards. You do have to make some compromises with performance, but I really like having a one-board quiver. (Okay, that's not entirely true. I have more than one board, but the Kona gets most of the use.)

Going cold turkey with no planing has forced me to take an extreme approach - find the cheapest flt and go to the Gorge! which is what I'm doin w/o 8/18. If anyone has any suggestions re equipment and lodging out there, let me know, cause I've never been.
And BTW, if I can't find 20kts+ out there, then - - got prozac?
(will prob run into Andy B out there.)

The Gorge sounds like good medicine. Maybe I should go myself!

Michael, When the wind is too light for windsurfing it is perfect for learning kite handeling, which I've heard is 80% of learning to kiteboard. Also, I'm tired of kiters blasting by me, planing, jumping and laughing, when I'm not planing on my biggest windsurfing gear. I'd like to learn kiting for when the winds are 12 to 18 and windsurf when it gets over that, but who knows if I'll follow thru. I can't afford to buy kite gear right now.

Sorry to sound like a wind snob. I'm just sick of light wind skunks and non-adventures. I'm looking for some spice.

Scooper me bro, if you want to kite, kite! However as someone who has gone down this path a little ways, I have a few more comments to make:

1. The kite handling you learn on land is nice, but the experience is quite different on the water. Still, kiting is obviously easier to learn than windsurfing.

2. Kiting isn't as much fun. I barely learned to kite so I don't speak from extensive experience (though once I'd done it I knew I'd much rather be windsurfing), but I think it's worth noting how vocal kiters are about how great kiting is. They are (it sounds to my ears, and confirmed by a few friends who do both) trying to convince themselves that they're happier as kiters than as windsurfers. They know they're having fun and that they're getting air, but there remains a nagging doubt. It's why we find kiters showing up in windsurfing forums to rag on windsurfing.

Kiters are "planing" but they're more like waterskiers than sailors. And while they jump, it's more of an experience of being pulled up than of jumping (at least that was my experience.) I'm not saying being high in the air isn't exciting...but there is bungee jumping available as well. It certainly isn't sailing. I wish it had the magic that windsurfing does for me...I'd certainly welcome more avenues for that quality of experience.

Anyhow go kite if you want!

P.S. Complaining about being skunked does not make you a wind snob...I am a wind slut, but no wind is no wind, and stinks.

Thanks for your input about kiting. I didn't know that you had tried it. I may come to the same conclusions as you. Or I may never get past the land trainer phase. I'll have to see if that has any appeal to begin with. One thing that I'm certain of is that no other sport is likely to hook me like windsurfing.

Alex you're not worthy!
LOL Jill :)

I am a WS "transfer" from SF... I can speak for both: East skunks and West skunks... Sorry to say that Boston/ Cape trully beats the West Coast... And as far as winters in the Bay area: great winter storms bringing warm winds into the area... had about 10-20 days between November and April of such storms. The rest of the year : thermal, thermal, thermal... on the clock! True that it stays "cool" in Summer and used a 4/3 wetsuit wether winter or summer. Overall, the bay area as great jobs (while a bit cut throat attitude); great steady winds; great weather right outside of SF... Should I add that I miss the area? Regards, O.

It must be windless if I'm adding a comment here, but actually I have had a good season so far on Cape Cod thanks to the 9.6 Loft Freerace and 6.9 North Duke freestyle sails I bought at the end of last season. The 9.6 has given me more planing days than the last few years when my biggest sail was an 8.4. The 6.9 Duke has made the sub 10 m.p.h. days challenging. They're boring for sure, but I always feel that I got a good work-out after one of them. It sure beats sitting at home or riding a golf cart.

>>When the wind is too light for windsurfing it is perfect for learning kite handeling, which I've heard is 80% of learning to kiteboard. Also, I'm tired of kiters blasting by me, planing, jumping and laughing, when I'm not planing on my biggest windsurfing gear.<< Actually, the only time kite boarding has an advantage over windsurfing would be in those winds that are sub-planing for a windsurfer. However, kiters have a bottom threshold when their boards sink which windsurfers don't have. You can spend a lot more time on the water with a windsurfer if you are content with sub-planing winds. As to learning, it is a good time to practice with trainers when your winds are sub-planing for windsurfers, but once you get the hang of it, you have to spend a great deal of money on inflatables and boards. Futhermore, you need help. You can't go out alone.

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