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More general questions about windsurfing.

 
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advance420



Joined: 05 Jul 2012
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:54 am    Post subject: More general questions about windsurfing. Reply with quote

Hey all,

Some more basic questions I've come up with:

What do you need to wear? I'm going to be in Hainan China, which annually has a temperature of 65 degrees in winter, and 82 in the summer. Will board shorts be sufficient? Should I wear a cap, a t shirt, or a wet suit?

When you crash in the water as I'm sure I will MANY times, is there a certain way to crash? Is just falling off your board dangerous? Obviously I know to avoid reefs and stuff, but I mean out in the open, is there anything to know?

Can you truly go any direction on a windsurf board? I don't really understand how you can leave the dock, and the turn around and come back. Wont you go fastest if you go the direction the wind is blowing, or at an angle at least. If the wind is blowing you right out to the ocean, how do you get back to the beach?

How long does a kit last? Will I be buying new sails and masts once a month, or once every 5 years? I ask this so I can get an idea of costs.

Is it feasible to rig up a little bike trailer for your windsurfing kit? I'm going to be staying in a dorm at a university about 1-2km from the beach. I won't be able to drive.

How long is a windsurfing session? I mean, do you go out, and plane around for 30min, come on shore, rest, and get some water, and head back out? Or are you at for 3 hours? How long do you spend in the water at any one time?

Sunscreen: How often do you windsurfers apply sunscreen? Do you apply to your face as well? Are there many windsurfers who just let themselves get tanned, and skip the sunscreen?

What is the minimum wind you can windsurf in and still have it worthwhile? If there is 6mph of wind, will I be able to go out and have a good time, or will I just coast along at 2mph and be bored?

How easy is it to break your board? I take it it's hollow. If I hit a rock, am I screwed? Can the mast put a hole in it?

How far out can you go? If I feel like it, can I take a trip to one of the local islands offshore, or should I stay within 100 meters of the shore? What are the general rules?

Try not to flame too much for the dumb ass beach questions. I'm a pasty web developer from Wi. I don't get much sun... yet.
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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 1199
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:54 am    Post subject: Re: More general questions about windsurfing. Reply with quote

See comments below in italics, I am not qualified to comment on China,
but the other stuff I sort of know.

advance420 wrote:
Hey all,

Some more basic questions I've come up with:

What do you need to wear? I'm going to be in Hainan China, which annually has a temperature of 65 degrees in winter, and 82 in the summer. Will board shorts be sufficient? Should I wear a cap, a t shirt, or a wet suit?

At this air and water temp, I'd wear a 3/2 full wetsuit, but everybody is
different in their tolerance of cold water you should dress for the
amount of time it will take you to swim in from the longest distance you'll be from shore.


When you crash in the water as I'm sure I will MANY times, is there a certain way to crash? Is just falling off your board dangerous? Obviously I know to avoid reefs and stuff, but I mean out in the open, is there anything to know?

Falling off your board is not dangerous, unless you can't swim, then
it's very dangerous ;*). Sometimes you have to sprint swim after
your rig. Trying not to land on your board, or rig is a good idea.
The best way to not land on your board or rig is to hang onto the
booms in a crash. When I'm sailing over a reef, I always try and
crash flat to the water, so that I go as shallow as possible on the crash
for obvious reasons. Try not to look like a wounded seal. ;*)


Can you truly go any direction on a windsurf board? I don't really understand how you can leave the dock, and the turn around and come back. Wont you go fastest if you go the direction the wind is blowing, or at an angle at least. If the wind is blowing you right out to the ocean, how do you get back to the beach?

Once you get reasonably proficient, yes, you can go any direction
you want, with some tacking and jibing. The deal is that the rig acts
as a wing, rather than a spinnaker, so you get sucked along a-la
Bernoulli. Under the appropriate circumstances (like a broad reach
which is about 120 degrees off the wind) you will likely
go faster than the wind (again when you are proficient)
I'm not a big fan of off shore winds on an island, because
a breakdown could be fatal.



How long does a kit last? Will I be buying new sails and masts once a month, or once every 5 years? I ask this so I can get an idea of costs.

A beginner set up should last 5 years easily. I have gear that is
more than 10 years old and still going strong, and some I've broken
in less than 2 years, but 5 years is a good guess. Some
manufacturers are more durable than others.


Is it feasible to rig up a little bike trailer for your windsurfing kit? I'm going to be staying in a dorm at a university about 1-2km from the beach. I won't be able to drive.

Yup, it's feasible, but not too convenient from what I've seen.

How long is a windsurfing session? I mean, do you go out, and plane around for 30min, come on shore, rest, and get some water, and head back out? Or are you at for 3 hours? How long do you spend in the water at any one time?

Depends on how fit you are, and the conditions. 3 hours is
pretty standard if the wind holds. How long you spend in the water
has to do with your desire to improve, and your abilities.


Sunscreen: How often do you windsurfers apply sunscreen? Do you apply to your face as well? Are there many windsurfers who just let themselves get tanned, and skip the sunscreen?

There's just no definitive way to answer a question like this. Think of
it as a day at the beach for you, and apply sunscreen as appropriate.
Sure there are windsurfers who just let themselves get tanned, and
if you want to risk that, it's up to you.


What is the minimum wind you can windsurf in and still have it worthwhile? If there is 6mph of wind, will I be able to go out and have a good time, or will I just coast along at 2mph and be bored?

I guess that depends on how easily you are bored. There's displacement
mode (which I don't find exciting, but some people do), and there's
planing mode (which I find exciting). You can ride displacement in
any light breeze. Planing, you need a minimum of about 10 Knots and the
appropriate gear


How easy is it to break your board? I take it it's hollow. If I hit a rock, am I screwed? Can the mast put a hole in it?

Beginner boards should be pretty durable, and if they're made from roto molded polyethylene, very durable, but lighter boards can have a
hole punched in them from rock trauma, or be broken with a mast hit.
Boards aren't hollow (except in some rare performance oriented designs).
They're filled with polystyrene, or some with polyethylene.


How far out can you go? If I feel like it, can I take a trip to one of the local islands offshore, or should I stay within 100 meters of the shore? What are the general rules?

your questions are put in a somewhat unique way. You can do
darned near anything you want, but the rule is, don't go any farther than you can comfortably swim.


Try not to flame too much for the dumb ass beach questions. I'm a pasty web developer from Wi. I don't get much sun... yet.


You will if you start windsurfing

Good luck,

-Craig

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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13792

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One addition to Craig's excellent response: you WILL break that board you bought, with mast hits to the nose. When, not if, you do, you must proceed directly to shore and repair it absolutely water tight before any water gets inside. The core of boards like that suck up water like a baleen whale, and you aren't going to get it out. Pad the boom front end with a boo bra, and I'd recommend some means of padding the mast below the boom and/or the frony three feet of the top edge of the rails.

Many WSers love light-air freestyle, sail-handling tricks done in almost no wind at all. Any time on the water (TOW) is very instructional in the beginning.

Unless you have magical genes, wear sunscreen. A tan is a sign of skin damage, and skin cancer, like obesity and Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, is happening earlier with every passing year.

Costs range from hundreds of dollars (minimalists with access to used gear growing on trees) to many hundreds of thousands of dollars (people who abandon their careers to windsurf). Your costs will fall between those figures.

Mike \m/
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