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Arenal (Costa Rica) report

 
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GuyT



Joined: 13 Sep 2002
Posts: 137

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:25 pm    Post subject: Arenal (Costa Rica) report Reply with quote

Spent 14 days with my wife in Lake Arenal for the two first weeks of January, here's the report.

Windy? Well, if it wasn't for one morning when the wind decided to sleep in until 10 am and that afternoon when it took a break at 3 pm, I could have said "Windy all the time, 24 hours a day".

So, we got 14 days of windsurfing out of a possibility of 14.

Exceptionally windy? Not really, it's what we got at that time of the year when we were there in 2005 and 2010.

Too windy? Maybe the very last day where the solid 40 knots (add 10% for miles) were hit. Other than that, moderate to strong winds, about what we get in the Gorge in July, maybe a bit stronger. Here are the boards and sails my wife Planchette (130 pounds) and me (160 but I rig like a 180) used:



More stats? 754 miles of planing, 53 hours of windsurfing recorded on my GPS device. Something like 1,000 jibes, hope I improved them, but not sure. Embarassed

The difference between this trip and our previous one is that we were there for only 2 weeks (vs 11 weeks in 2005-10). Did the math and it was actually cheaper to rent equipment at Tico Wind than bring our own like we did before.

For the equipment, no complains here. Mostly top notch Fanatic Freewaves Team Edition and North Sails. And talk about the service! Friendly and courteous. I must admit I had a problem at first with the boys insisting to carry my stuff on the beach (I have pride), but one gets used to it. Wink

I don't know how Peter (the owner of Tico Wind) does it, but most of the time in January, there is more staff than clients on rental. I quite don't understand why it's not more crowded, since Arenal is probably the windiest place on Earth in January. And without any doubt the safest place on and off the water.

Name me a place where you can leave your wallet in your back bag on the beach without any worries. On the water, should anything happen, you're quickly rescued by a jet ski.

Sure, nothing is perfect. Expect a bit of rain early January. If you are a party animal, you might be disappointed by the lack of margaritas on the beach.

And don't expect huge swell (unless it is really windy) , after all it's a lake and it does not get any help from the current like the Columbia River does. But ask any freeride sailor like me, swell is overated. Wink


Last edited by GuyT on Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14050

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guy, what Columbia River site might most closely match Arenal's terrain on a good windy -- 4.2? -- day?

Mike \m/
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GuyT



Joined: 13 Sep 2002
Posts: 137

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
Guy, what Columbia River site might most closely match Arenal's terrain on a good windy -- 4.2? -- day?

Mike \m/


Hi Mike,

I would say Stevenson on a strong westerly, where the current is weaker than the average in The Gorge. Sylvie says it's more like a big Easterly at Stevenson, maybe she's right, but I would not be the one to concede on this one, it's a slippery slope. Wink

Swell gets better as you go downwind, but most sailors stay in the more choppy corridor in front of the Tico wind center.

Here's some pictures:
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jimmchugh



Joined: 02 Jul 2000
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:47 am    Post subject: November at Arenal? Reply with quote

I have an opportunity to go to Arenal for a few days at the beginning of November. Can anyone comment on chances for wind that early in the season?

Thanks,
Jim
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Windreamer



Joined: 07 Jun 2000
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:51 pm    Post subject: do I need to worry about alligators? Reply with quote

I am planning a trip early Dec 2013 .Did you worry while you were there about crocs or alligators? I tend to fall a lot and do not want to be a meal for the wildlife.
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