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Where is the smooth wind? as opposed to gusty...
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RocRobster



Joined: 22 May 2002
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:36 am    Post subject: Where is the smooth wind? as opposed to gusty... Reply with quote

When the lulls are lower than the difference between lull and gust, it isn't very fun windsurfing.
Am curious if that is common everywhere with winds over 20 or if there are places on the planet where there is consistent wind near 20 where the spread is 6mph or less...
I.e. 18-22 with avg of 20 or 22-28 avg 25 would be a dream.
Does this happen anywhere consistently? or even 25% of the time?
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noshuzbluz



Joined: 18 May 2000
Posts: 774

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say Rio Vista is pretty consistent. It's blowing 19-27, avg 21 right now.
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loosescrew



Joined: 28 May 2001
Posts: 94

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't like to broadcast this but if you are obsessed with windsurfing and want it all the time its probably time to think about moving to Maui. The conditions are epic most days and pretty damn steady unless its blow'n easterlies and even then its not so bad compared with the Gorge. The Gorge is an awesome place to sail but it is so variable and inconsistent that is just down right frustrating.
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sunchips



Joined: 02 Jan 2010
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3rd avenue area in the SF Bay gets this fairly consistently.
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isobras



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Clatskenie (Jones Beach/Nuclear Alley), big time. Steadiest winds I've ever seen on the Columbia.

2. The Gorge in general, in "normal" seasons with the NPH sitting offshore, no nagging upper level low screwing things up, Portland cool, and eastern WA/OR hot. None of those conditions has prevailed this season.

3. Bigger sails and boards help a great deal. My last windy day was excellent, powered very consistently from AM 'til noon on a 6.2 and from noon 'til sunset on a 5.7, all on one of my bigger boards, an 86 liter wave board. No holes, just 100% consistent planing except for occasional operator error, and never overpowered, ripping off jibe after slash after jibe after slash 'til the wind and swell went funny near sunset and I screamed ashore minutes ahead of the group swim. Oh, the WIND was so gusty and up'n'down that I was often alone on the river, or at least the only one powered consistently, but that's (usually) fixable with bigger gear.

The REAL quest is for steady and manageable power, regardless of what the wind itself is doing, and the right gear and techniques can fake it, within reason. I used extra flotation to help in the lulls, but stayed narrow (early 2000s era) so I could ignore the chop while going WFO with the pedal to the epoxy in the gusts. I used the biggest gusts to rip miles upwind, in preparation for solo downwinders, or I used 'em for blasting miles downwind at near right-angles to the BAFers. I used a wave board to increase control and finesse while slashing hard enough to throw curtains of water well over my head without even considering the frequent gusts into the upper 30s. (IMO, big wide boards suck at that.) Overall, I had a great day from 8 until just before the next 8, minus time out for the wind's squirrelly early PM transitional hour during which I deliberately ate, drank, and rested until the wind made up its mind what it waned to do and the swell returned. If I hadn't watched everyone else either go ashore to rig down or up or both, or just go ashore and wait for better wind, I would not have noticed the lulls and gusts as anything but variations on a great theme. I had a fricking blast out there, with solid and manageable power 90% of the day when in fact the wind itself varied a great deal from reach to reach until late afternoon.

The REAL secret was the 6.2 when all the other guys were trying to make 4.7s and 4.2s work all morning, and the 5.7 all afternoon when they were trying to make 4.2s and 3.7s work. MAN, am I glad no one told me it was that windy; I might have rigged down and missed the great wind and shoulder-high swell (on the 6.2) that day. (My excellent, modern, trendy, wide, exotic, expensive, carefully chosen, <5% larger wave board would have beaten the living crap out of me and DEMANDED that I rig down.)

Buy sails intended to be run big, rig 'em big, learn to not only manage but enjoy lots of power, eat and maybe even rest while any unusually nasty crap blows through, buy an older and slightly narrower wave board that ignores the chop gusty winds generate, add some armor if still worried, trust your board (or buy one better deserving of your trust in rough water), bolt on a smaller fin, add a slot or develop better technique if you're spinning out, eat yer Wheaties, keep telling yourself "It's only water", sheet in when you wouldda sheeted out last season, and before long those really gusty days are much less common.

And pray that next season trends back towards normal. My usual little boards have seldom been appropriate this year, and until about an hour ago, or so it seems, the desert has been cold this year. C'monnnn, global warming!

Mike \OO/
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RocRobster



Joined: 22 May 2002
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, i was wondering about in the NW... but still interested...

Quote:
time to think about moving to Maui.


ya, in my dreams. If I could find work there that paid enough to still have time to sail, I'd go. Been looking for 10 years...

Quote:
Clatskenie (Jones Beach/Nuclear Alley),


I admit I only sailed there once, The Oregon side was light and gusty - slogging, WA 1/2 was like sailing a different site. I'd say 2m different in size to be 'comfortable' going all the way across.

Quote:
The Gorge in general, in "normal" seasons


I have heard this a few times. Maybe that is just it as I have no previous years to compare it to... now that I think of it I can research the historical data from iWindsurf... oops.
also, I have one sail (5.0) that is less than 12 years old... I can use the old 4.5 and the 6.3 is not so bad but I try to use the 5.0 on anything over 20. My sails have about 0 twist, so if that is why you can use a 6.0 when others are on 4.0... maybe that is part of it?

Anyhow, I'll look at historical info on the site to figure out if the data backs up up this year as just inconsistent winds.
Thanks
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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 1253
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Robster,

Maui definitely has the most days of steady wind I have encountered,
and the Gorge can get steady days on pure thermals, but there aren't
many 3.2 thermal days. If ya wants the biggest winds, I think ya gots ta
deal with Gorge gustiness.

-Craig
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isobras



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RocRobster wrote:

1. I admit I only sailed Clatskenie (Jones Beach/Nuclear Alley) once, The Oregon side was light and gusty - slogging, WA 1/2 was like sailing a different site. I'd say 2m different in size to be 'comfortable' going all the way across.

2.
Quote:
The Gorge in general, in "normal" seasons


I have heard this a few times. Maybe that is just it as I have no previous years to compare it to... now that I think of it I can research the historical data from iWindsurf... oops.

3. I have one sail (5.0) that is less than 12 years old... I can use the old 4.5 and the 6.3 is not so bad but I try to use the 5.0 on anything over 20. My sails have about 0 twist, so if that is why you can use a 6.0 when others are on 4.0... maybe that is part of it?

4. Anyhow, I'll look at historical info on the site to figure out if the data backs up up this year as just inconsistent winds.
Thanks

1. You caught a bad day, probably too southerly. The normal difference is more like a half meter, possibly a square meter right in Nuclear Alley, even on older sails.

2. God(sey) said so, right here, just last week. Believe it. It's as obvious as a 110-degree rainy day to long-term locals, supported by many independent types of observations by many people.

3. HELL, yes. The others were also on modern sails, but skill, preference, proper observation of conditions, sail design and tuning, and wishful thinking also matter significantly. But, really, Rob ... sell the dog if necessary to buy modern sails. They make a huge difference.

4. That may or may not answer the question. Sensors on dry land don't always reveal the quality of the wind.
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windsurfmike



Joined: 20 Jan 2001
Posts: 182
Location: Gorge

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RocRobster wrote:
. My sails have about 0 twist, so if that is why you can use a 6.0 when others are on 4.0... maybe that is part of it?
Thanks


Zero twist? Sounds like you have some very old sails. Perhaps on 430 masts. That does not work good in the gorge. The twist help bleed off the gusts in gusty winds. Even with my old sails of the early 1990's, I could get some twist. Even used sails in the in the early 2000's have some twist and are cheap.

Mike
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isobras



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cgoudie1 wrote:
Maui definitely has the most days of steady wind I have encountered

Forget the word "steady" for a moment and ask which has more hours of wind each season? That might close the gap.
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