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UrbanFisher



Joined: 01 Nov 2012
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:48 pm    Post subject: Just Dreaming? Reply with quote

Hey All,

New member here. I will start with a little background. In the 80's early 90's I was completely fascinated with windsurfing. It combined 2 of my favorite sports, surfing and sailing. I also loved the low cost and portability of a windsurfer over a larger sailboat.

Well at the time I was in high school entering college. I had no money to spend on the sport. Finally after some years I bought me a used beginners board. I sailed it a few times and then decided it was too slow so I traded it for a shorter faster board. Only problem was that I did not have enough skill to sail the new board and as I was finishing college my time on the water was very limited (that old short board has been sitting in my sister's garage for some 20 years now!).

So anyway after graduation, I got new job, married, had kids and life went on. I always wanted to re-start in the sport but never really had the time or $ (my sister lives many miles away and I have not seen my old board in years!). Well as many of you may know the sport just kinda dwindled since it's hay days. Not sure why, but I still loved it!!

Fast forward some 20 years, now divorced, kids are older and I am discovering I want to re-kindle my desire to start windsurfing again. I feel I never did learn and only "tried" it a few times with my old boards. I live in central Texas where I have access to the Gulf Coast as well as many nice lakes in my area. While looking for a new board, I found that since the sport is not what it used to be, you can get an old rig for free or next to nothing!

So I am all in now (haven't actually got a rig yet, but working on some good leads for a cheap beginners board) and had a question. Is it reasonable that an out-of-shape guy in his mid 40's would be able to learn and sail again? Am I just going through the mid life crisis and hoping I can re-live my youth? Is it possible for me to really be able to sail regularly without putting myself in the hospital?
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d0uglass



Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 1090
Location: Bonita Springs, Florida

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi UrbanFisher,

You are the perfect age to start windsurfing! Lots of people in their 50s and 60s windsurf, as well, so you'll have plenty of time ahead of you to continue to enjoy it.

There's kind of a misconception that little shortboards are faster than big longboards. Little boards can be faster in strong winds with a skilled rider, but they just don't work at all in light winds or with a less skilled rider.

My philosophy is that you should learn all the basics on a big longboard, including how to get it "planing" and how to use the harness, footstraps, etc. Because you can't really make any use of a small board until you have all those skills.

If there's a shop in your area, or a windsurfing club, that would be the first place to check out. There's also a lot of info online about modern windsurfing. I have a bunch on my blog, including the windsurfing equipment calculator in my signature, the poor person's guide to windsurfing-

http://jimbodouglass.blogspot.com/2008/07/poor-persons-guide-to-windsurfing.html

and the top 18 windsurfing questions answered-

http://jimbodouglass.blogspot.com/2008/02/top-16-windsurfing-questions-answered.html

Welcome back to the sport!

-James

_________________
James' Blog: Windsurfing Equipment Size Calculator
http://jimbodouglass.blogspot.com/2010/11/updated-windsurf-calculator-online.html
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2444

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you think you can do it, you probably can.
If you have doubts, get in shape, which windsurfing does for you.
I started at 35, plenty of disposable income, all the time in the world, part timing at a windsurfing shop, no limits, except my desires, hopes, and dreams.
Now 63, sail 120+ days a year, given up on freestyle (that's for young bodies), but can do the rest at the highest levels.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14624

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great name, especially now that I've seen the video explaining it. I once drove 120 miles, then hiked back into the wilds of Wyoming for a few days of trout fishing, caught a few trout, lost a ton of sleep, had a great time, and renewed my long-lost joy of fishing. A few evenings after returning, I tried urban fishing in a little pond two blocks away I had driven past hundreds of times to and from the office. Tied into a school of hungry, naive, tasty smallmouth three minutes away. But you take that to new heights, and I had to laugh at the fun you are having right under your nose, probably on lunch breaks. Kudos for using your imagination to enjoy the flip side of living in a city. Last time I ate a meal on San Antonio's River Walk was in 1968, fresh out of USAF OTS. (I doubt much besides catfish could have lived in that water then.)

I began WSing in 1980 at 37. I still WS my ass off in high winds, alongside an older bud whose life was saved by quad bypass surgery 20 years ago. I've met very few very active WSers 1/3 my age who can put in anywhere near as many hours in near-gale-force winds in a day or a week as I can at 69, so you should have well over 30 years of fun ahead of you. Even if you're not aerobically fit, you're lean, so getting in shape will be fun. One recipe: drive to Bird Island Basin at Corpus, take some lessons from World Winds (contact them in advance regarding timing) at one the nation's finest beginner/intermediate venues, find a good longboard or more modern beginner/intermediate board (south central Texas should have one collecting dust in countless garages), and take your love of water and the outdoors into a whole 'nuther direction ... hell, dimension. Someone already acclimated to coastal TX weather is already a big step ahead of people who don't live in a steam bath.

Key word in this whole spiel: lessons. They will save you years of floundering.
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boardsurfr



Joined: 23 Aug 2001
Posts: 602

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
drive to Bird Island Basin at Corpus, take some lessons from World Winds

That's definitely a good suggestion. They have great teachers and gear there that can get you up to speed.

Even better, take an ABK camp in Corpus next week or in South Padre Island in 3 weeks - 4 days of ABK camp will get you off to a good (re-)start.
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uchida



Joined: 06 Apr 2002
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bird Island Basin is the perfect beginner/intermediate place to sail. It's the place where I did my first water start and my first planning jibe. Waist deep water as far as the eye can see. There are plenty of friendly people there more than willing to give advice and encouragement. I use to drive 21 hours to get there. Well worth the time and effort. Beware of the severe thunder storms that occasionally push through. Also the fishing can be killer. Welcome back to one of the greatest sports around!
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1546

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Urban,

Here is a resource for you: http://www.ntwr.org/index.php

We have a very active club in Dallas, North Texas Windriders. Mariner Sails in Dallas hosts 3 "swap meets" a year in their shop, actually the gear is checked in at the store and volunteers match and sell the gear based on the buyers skill so no one gets ripped off (priced by the seller, with no negotiations). The next sale will be in the spring, just keep tabs on the web site and you can ask questions on the forum.

We just hosted our annual Pumpkin Cup Regatta at a sailing club on Lake Lewisville. We had 36 racers in 7 classes with nice winds both days in the 10-20 knot range.

Starting at your age is very common, so there is no reason to wait. One of our club members is a certified instructor and teaches in the spring, summer and fall. Our club also hosts 3 "learn to windsurf" days where anyone for a small fee can get a few hours of instruction on some good beginner gear. Lessons can save a ton of time at the beginner and novice levels.
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CFLPaul



Joined: 01 Nov 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just joined myself and am similar age. I used to do this all the time, but then like you life got in the way. Well a couple of weeks ago my son picked up an old begineers board for next to nothing (lots of that stuff out there like you have seen).

I set it up with my small sail from the late 80s and after he finally gave up I jumped on. Felt FANTASTIC being out on the water again even though the gear was not right for me at all. I can say that if you do start going it will definately get you in shape. I was only on for a few minutes and have been sore all week (and grinning every time I think about it). I have also stopped with the excuses and am running farther, faster, and more often so it will be more fun than work when we do get to go out.

Good luck......so far this is the best place I have found to get good info.
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UrbanFisher



Joined: 01 Nov 2012
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Everyone! Smile

James, I read your suggested articles on your blog. Man that is some impressive stuff! There is a lot of wonderful material on your site and I plan on reading much more. When you closed with "Welcome back to the sport!" I literally got goose bumps and a big smile on my face!

Zirteb, thanks! You stated..."If you think you can do it, you probably can." Very well stated. And that is exactly how I feel. I am in decent shape 6' 200 lbs. and I still kayak on a regular basis. So I do believe I can do it and will only improve with practice!


Isobars, Yeah, fishing is another passion of mine. Not sure what you looked up, but I have written some articles about Urban Fishing (thus that is my standard forum name). I looked on Google for any clubs in the area where I live, and no luck yet. I am however, in the initial stages of planning a trip to Corpus, Thanks for the idea!

Boardsurfr & Uchida, Looks like Bird Island is a place I need to visit! Thanks for the links and description!

Techno900, Thanks for the info. I haven't been to the Dallas area in many years. I'm in San Antonio so it is quite a drive. But I know you guys have plenty of nice lakes in the area and hopefully I can plan a trip around one of the events.

CFLPaul...thanks for the encouragement!!! I knew there had to others that where similar to me. Back in the day, all the equipment was so new and expensive. Even used stuff wasn't that old and still commanded some good cash! Now that I am re-looking for a board, I almost feel bad for how much those old boards are pretty much worthless in many people's eyes. Good for us re-beginners though!! I know it will be tough on my body at first, but I figured the more I do it the easier it will get! I have no interest in freestyle or wave jumping (ok maybe wave hopping) so a big ole beginners board is exactly what I want. In fact I was hoping I could also try and use it as an SUP for fishing. Wind blowing mount sail, no wind, grab fishing rod and paddle! Smile


Thanks again guys for the replies. I was seriously thinking that it's just a young man's sport and maybe I missed the boat (so to speak). But you gave me the encouragement and insight for me to want to take up windsurfing even just that much more!!!
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geohaye



Joined: 03 Apr 2000
Posts: 1374

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another windsurfer re-born.

Indeed: Welcome back to the sport!
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