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Windsurfing lifestyle while in retirement
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7176



Joined: 23 Apr 1987
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:39 pm    Post subject: Windsurfing lifestyle while in retirement Reply with quote

For any experience to be undertaken it is always a good idea to talk to those whom have gone before. So, I pose a question for our active windsurfers whom have retired from the nine to five. What has it been like to have more time to windsurf ? What does your day, month or year look like Did you move to another local ? Do you live in a van down by the river ? How did you prepare both financially and family wise to undertake the lifestyle ? Do you hang onto gear longer ? Are you learning to wave sail, race, or freestyle. Are you buying green bananas ?

Do you sail shorter sessions, something I hear at the beach often. For those of us in pre-retirement phase whom have friends that sail so much they don't have time to write, perhaps you could provide some detail.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2388

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can only speak for myself, retired 2 years ago.
I sail a few more days a year, now around 170, up from 120.
Most sessions ARE a little shorter, as I have more days to sail, and don't need to slog around or get whipped overpowered in gusty/changing conditions. Seems I can still sail 2.5 hours without falling, even in the surf.
Skill is getting better slowly, physical condition deteriorating really quickly. A much bigger drop in physical skills from 55-62 than any of you would believe if you haven't gone thru it.
I haven't bought a new sail or board since '98. Those year stuff, any decent gear, is competitive with anything today. Obviously not formula.
I don't need new gear. I need to rig the correct size and have it tuned perfectly. Then, it's no excuses, against anyone.
Finances? Lucky for me, I never had any, so I had nothing to lose.
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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 3056
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

for the record that is NOT A question, but 9, even though some don't have question marks.

1. Great
2. I spend 2 weeks to a month several times year in exotic locale. Cleveland, otherwise known as the mistake by the lake, Green River Wyoming, Toad Suck, Arkansas (look it up), Punxsutawney ,Pennsylvania coming up soon.
3.NO
4.No its n the mountains.
5.No retirement pre- planing, but am spending the kids inheritance now
6.In most maneuvers its better to hang on
7.Organic, yellow
8.Yes , everything is shorter when you age, hair, sex and sessions, most are shorter cause it takes so long to rig from the walker
9. I m a paid retirement consultant and as such require a retainer, money not the mouth thing, for speaking or writing about it.

my only advise is what a old cowboy in Muskogee, Oklahoma told me

BE good to yourself, cause no one else will

_________________
K4 fins
4Boards....May the fours be with you

http://www.k4fins.com/fins.html
http://4boards.co.uk/
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14153

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

7176 wrote:
1. What has it been like to have more time to windsurf ?

2. What does your day, month or year look like

3. Did you move to another local ?

4. Do you live in a van down by the river ?

5. How did you prepare both financially ...

6. and family wise to undertake the lifestyle ?

7. Do you hang onto gear longer ?

8. Are you learning to wave sail, race, or freestyle.

9. Are you buying green bananas ?

10. Do you sail shorter sessions?

1. Incredibly relaxing Ö and thatís compared to a job which allowed 30-40 days a year of vacation time beginning in its first year. No more pounding my desk while itís blowing, or messing up my career by blowing off my boss or the job to sail (a court martial offense in my primary career), or missing out on windy days.

2. I watch the wind forecasts obsessively to make sure I minimize missed days and driving for nothing. My dedicated windsurfing vehicle is ALWAYS packed so I can hit the road within 5 minutes of seeing unexpected wind and stay for several days. I avoid any obligations I canít reschedule by phone from the beach, from bridge parties to radiation treatment, during the WSing season. Days and weeks donít matter; the only time that matters is the season Ö WSing vs Not WSing, based on water and air temps. The TV I do watch is always prescheduled for automatic recording so I donít miss anything. I watch the recorded stuff whenever I get around to it, often in the dead of winter. When Iím not sailing or checking the weather, I try to find time to do all the other stuff I enjoy or need to do.

3. HELL, yes, we moved from good WSing to much better WSing Ö as soon as we managed to move her career towards better WSing (the Gorge, in my case). Zero compunctions or second thoughts about that. For the 11 years between my retirement and her career move to the vicinity of the Gorge, I Ö

4. Ö lived in a van down by the river. I designed and converted a van expressly for self-contained windsurfing 3-6 months out of the year so my sailing cost me only fuel expenses. Few things in life compare to sleeping near (within a few minutesí drive) or AT (gear rigged and lying next to the water) good WSing, IMO.

5. We spent like paupers to invest a third of our double gross income throughout the Ď90s (I retired in 1988 at 45), researched and evaluated the hell out of our present and future needs and income, realized I may not have to work again or could go back to some kind of work if we were wrong (weíre both engineers, but I did ďworkĒ for a few years testing next yearís high-wind 
WSing gear for a magazine), and went for it. I have a poverty-level military pension, my wife loved her good-paying career, gas was cheap, we spend like people with half our income, and gear is dirt cheap in the Gorge.

6. My wife is my family, and she supports my obsession in every way. The rest of our relatives are just a phone call, e-mail, long drive, and/or plane ride away. No one but the two of us gets to run our lives. My retired wife is too swamped in activities to even accompany me on my 6-hour or 6-day WSing trips, just as her career kept her swamped during my 6-month van road trips to the Gorge. Again Ö phones, planes, long drives, self-reliance, and mutual trust were critical.

7. I buy new sails every year because itís cheaper than running them into the ground and throwing the away, and, again, incredible gear grows on trees here. I carefully research and choose my boards with very specific performance criteria, shop from my very short list at swap meets and fall dealer sales, try out the occasional carefully selected new board, and have thus amassed a huge inventory of boards I absolutely love at prices averaging something like $200 each (from free to $900, mostly a couple of hundred bucks.) The newest board Iíve bought recently (because itís the newest board Iíve liked) was a 1-yo world-class custom wave board for ~$2,000 less than its new price. My top gear priorities across the board are maximal performance first, low cost second. Fortunately, my personal sailing style preferences perfectly suit wave boards from 5 to 12 years old, which are very readily available and often like new. I buy current carbon booms from light-weight sailors I know, and excellent wave/B&J fins are damn near free used.

8. Iím just pushing my personal performance envelope every windy day. Tricks/freestyle has always bored the holy crap out of me in all my sports, Iíd far rather play than race whether itís desert motorcycles or WSers, and wave sailing is not convenient to me. Itís there (the 
Oregon coast), but itís far too inconsistent to suit me. I got fed up with skunks there LONG ago.

9. I have no clue what the green bananas are about, so Iíll ignore that one and introduce this: I have never gotten tired of sports that fully challenge both my body and mind. Iíve abandoned the painful and dangerous ones (e.g., racing dirt bikes and snowmobiles) for this one and its softer crashes. If I get bored when thereís enough wind to plane (my biggest gear is a 6.2 and a 115-liter wavy board), I know itís my own fault and I ramp up the challenge level until I start crashing more often or I try something new NOT requiring practice (i.e., freestyle).

10. Usually, due both to age and brains*. Age began impacting my sailing roughly five years ago, when my jibe completion rate dropped and my endurance began decreasing. I can still put in 10 hours on a perfect (i.e., steady and strong wind) day, but in crappier wind and swell Iíll cherry pick the best 4-6-8 hours. Hell, Iíll sit on shore if itís really crappy Ö extreme chop or gusts or holes, for example; Iím in it for fun, endorphines, and an altered state of consciousness, not self-flagellation. But whether Iíve put in 2 or 10 hours on a given day, I wonít pass up good conditions towards dark, when I sail harder than I do all day for many reasons: I have energy left to burn, the wind and swell sometimes improve, the crowds are gone, Iím often sailing best then, and, most important, I know it all comes to and end within an hour or two and wonít return Ďtil daybreak.

* We can put in more hours if we hydrate and fuel ourselves more often than I used to. Iíll still put in long sessions (3-4 hours) if Iím really in a wind and performance groove or thereís a huge wind shadow, but will return for food and fluids more often now (I need to eat and drink more often anyway now for medical reasons) if the penalty isnít too great. What I seldom do unless the sailing sucks is take off my harness/vest/wetsuit until the day is over; thatís just wasted sailing time weíll never get back.

I realized many decades ago that I was unlikely to live forever and that I enjoyed most WSing more than most work. The rest became a no-brainer the day I had the opportunity to give up the latter for the former.

And, oh, yes ... I enjoy writing almost as much as I do mediocre windsurfing.
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1344

PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

7176.

Decay is inevitable As Zirtaek says, you won't do in your 60's/70's what you did in your 30's/40's. The more competent you are now (while younger) the more you will notice the loss as you reach old age.

I'D say two things. 1) Keep windsurfing but spread out into other challenging physical activities. (Cycling, kayaking, climbing, whatever.)If you don't, the loss of windsurfing or surfing ability as you age may depress you, but the newness of other challenging activities where the learning curve means improvement is still possible, can compensate.

2) Performance level will decrease with age. To ignore that reality is delusional but, stamina at a lesser intensity of effort is hardly affected. For example, (at 75) I can cycle 100 miles at a quite respectable pace, or kayak 30 miles (9 hours) in reasonably challenging seas but, what I can't any longer do is tackle maxed out windsurfing in gales and heavy seas, or go out in heavy surf. I couldn't maintain the necessary level of power output for more than a very short time.

The fortunate side of age is that I no longer WANT to do such things. I can more appreciate the fact that I'm simply OUT THERE still doing it, and ENJOYING it, albeit at a lesser level than once upon a time.

At present, we have lots of snow and a biting wind, but rather than windsurf (as I used to, just for the hell of it) I'll be on the mountain bike, or perhaps kayaking.

Diversity of activity makes life much more interesting!
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3353

PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It costs us less to be retired.
Most of the things I need for my choice of the good life are paid for,
We buy few clothes because we have enough.the gear left from closing my windsurf shop is more than enough.
The money from my paid for house in Belize bought a modest paid for house in Maui.
I actually sail better. The loss of stamina at 62 has been offset by a lot of practice sailing more efficiently. I go out in bigger waves, but now know how and when to dodge out and let some bombers pass.
I learned to fix sports cars so that I can buy them ,drive them and sell them at the same price I paid. Plenty of time to do it too.
Free cars.
I looked at my shoes the other day.they are getting moldy, been wearing bath slippers or naked foot for a year.
War is over for me,I have learned to live in peace with myself and the things I have already.
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RichardMueller



Joined: 26 Jan 2007
Posts: 60
Location: Phoenix, AZ

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We relocated to warmer, dryer weather - Olympia WA to Phoenix, AZ to learn to appreciate the rain.

In Phoenix I sail year round in light & shifty conditions. During "winter" I sail a Penguin dinghy, rather than windsurf. I spend every spring (April - May) and fall (October) windsurfing at Bird Island Basin, Padre Island National Seashore near Corpus Christi, TX.

My windsurfing has improved immensely since retirement.
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1472

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
1. What has it been like to have more time to windsurf ?

2. What does your day, month or year look like

3. Did you move to another local ?

4. Do you live in a van down by the river ?

5. How did you prepare both financially ...

6. and family wise to undertake the lifestyle ?

7. Do you hang onto gear longer ?

8. Are you learning to wave sail, race, or freestyle.

9. Are you buying green bananas ?

10. Do you sail shorter sessions?


1. Great to have more time, fewer excuses or conflicts when the wind blows.

2. I just moved from Dallas, TX to Cary, NC. North Texas is pretty windy, but Cary/Raleigh not so much. 2011 = 90 days of windsurfing. 2012 = 80 days of windsurfing. 2013 = ???? Trips to the coast (outer banks) look promising, but it's a 4 hr drive. Only 20 mins from Jordan Lake, a nice sized body of water where the local windsurfing club usually sails.

3. Moved, but because of my wife's family, not windsurfing.

4. I can sleep in my van and plan to do so on a few trips to the coast.

5. Always lived a conservative life, saving and investing (living expenses well below our income level). It paid off with no worries for the future.

6. Wife good with my sailing, but she hates the "is the wind going to blow or not?" dilemma.

7. I hang on to gear until the wear and tear suggests new gear. Some sails are replaced every two or three years, others maybe 5-6 years. I have 9 sails, so some don't get a lot of use (4.0, 4.5 & 11.) last the longest.

8. Have always raced (29 years), but little time in the waves. Now I may have more time to play in the surf. Have always done some light wind freestyle when stuck with light wind.

9. I do buy green bananas, but wait until they are a bit sweeter before eating. I have the time.

10. Yes, I do sail shorter sessions. Since I have had ample opportunity to get on the water, the need to squeeze out every last gust of wind is less pressing. After 60-90 minutes of water time, I do get a little tired and sloppy in my technique. I find sailing with my 11.0, 9.2, 4.5 and 4.0 the most demanding physically. My 5.2, 6.0 & 6.6 are the least demanding.

I am 67 and feel like I am 50. My dad lived to be 97, so I hope I can keep sailing for at least another 15 to 20 years. Probably just a dream, but why not dream.
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1344

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good on you Techno, but why only another 15 years? Laughing

If I remember rightly you also ride a bike so I looked up the records which that incredible Frenchman Robert Marchand set (for his age group) ON HIS 100th BIRTHDAY.

He rode 24.251 km in 1 hour, then later in the year he clocked 4 hrs 17 mins 27 secs for a 100km outdoor ride!!

Just think .... if he'd taken up windsurfing??
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3353

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My uncle learned to sail when he was 76. His Gybe still needs some work if the waves get too big.
Walter is a regular in the summer at Kanaha. I think he is 82.
His gybe is better than Uncle Maurice. He laid off a season after his double bypass.
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