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Struggling Intermediate on the verge of giving up
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xander.arch



Joined: 23 Apr 2009
Posts: 189

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the wind speeds where you I'd take the money you would spend on technical high priced gear and book a nice long windsurfing vacation to a windy spot where you can sail in good winds everyday. This way you can get some lessons, practice what you learn immediately, get better fast (you will improve quickly!), and try a bunch of different gear. But be careful, you may become a wind addict like most of us!

Here is a link to boardseeker's travel map. According to them the closest good windsurfing is in Vietnam. But I've heard there are some good spots in Sri Lanka that might be perfect for you.

http://www.boardseekermag.com/travel_features/travel-features.html
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letushka



Joined: 01 May 2006
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the wind is 10 knots and stable dump your windsurfing gear it's of no use and get a very nice big kite. Some kites have better low-end than others, do research.

If the wind is 4-5 knots absolutely nothing will work. Get a very nice surfski that will be lots of fun. It will also keep you in top shape.
You can look up "oscar chalupsky surfski" to get the idea.

Cheers
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rgomez



Joined: 13 Dec 2012
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jingebritsen & isobars: I do think i'm gonna have to wait for the monsoons to progress further....However choppy seas, heavy rains, lightning and an empty beach with no lifeguard or anyone to rescue is a bit scary...and not to mention a 4 hr drive instead of the usual 1 hr ferry ride to my usual spot is a bit of a deterrent.

The most obvious solution is to get a bigger rig...Im not sure how difficult a 9/10m rig would handle in low winds...It shouldnt become cumbersome to manage

Techno900: My funster 180 is a heavy 14kgs...It can handle 2 pple of my weight without sinking at all...I've tried Smile..I do agree with you that a windsurfer can get you home when the wind drops ..thats pretty much whats kept me away from kites this long

U2U2U2: My interest does lie is freeride or wave riding.....unfortunately we have no waves in my spot.....Im curious though what windspeed is required for freestyle or waves

Craig: something like the Fanatic Mega Cat seems interesting but its hard to think of once you've had a taste of planning....My kite friends keep trying to get me over to the dark side Smile..they claim a closed cell foil kite will work in moderate winds...im still to witness that

James: Ive been a follower of your blog for quite some time now...Smile.I think your calculator showed me a 12m sail..will have to check again

xander.arch: Im already a windsurfing addict....I spent a large part of the year scouting spots, practising, watching youtube videos, reading blogs and checking the wind speed every hr or so and boring my gf with constant WS talk Smile

letushka: I think I may need to add kiting to the mix so that i can go out and have fun instead of slogging it out

Will probably need to play around with different windsurfing gear before i buy anything.
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arden



Joined: 26 Jun 2000
Posts: 28
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rgomez: In my opinion, waterstarting is an overrated skill these days, especially while someone is progressing up the learning curve in a light-to-moderate wind venue. Here's why. First, modern gear (like your funster) is quite stable because of their width, so uphauling is less difficult than in the "old days." Second, you will be better served to spend your time during the limited number of windy days improving your actual sailing skills (harness, footstraps) on your board, rather than drifting around in the water trying to waterstart.

Waterstarting isn't a necessary skill any more. At your weight there are lots of high wind boards to progress to that you should be able to uphaul. As you get better, you will gradually pick up the skills for waterstarting without having to actually "practice" it.

Perhaps you aren't spending time practicing waterstarts and I may have read too much into your comment about waiting for windy days to waterstart. But, I have seen other sailors view waterstarting as a critical skill while progressing and sacrificing too much time on it. Again, just my opinion but thought it might help.

Good luck!
Arden[/i]
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rgomez



Joined: 13 Dec 2012
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arden: Your right...Its been over a month that i've been struggling to learn waterstarting in marginal winds when even deep water beachstarts have been difficult.

This has added to my furstration...I think Im gonna chill this weekend and do some runs.
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SeaDawg



Joined: 12 Sep 2002
Posts: 295

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

one board that was designed for light winds is the Starboard Serenity. It's a completly differant style of sailing. With weeks of 6-8 It could be a cool opp for long distance cruzing and exploring.
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d0uglass



Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 1084
Location: Bonita Springs, Florida

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, definitely no need to fuss with trying to beach start or waterstart when the wind is light and/or the board is big. Just get on the board, uphaul, and sail.

Beachstarting and waterstarting only become a "need" in high wind conditions with rough water and small boards that are hard to uphaul on.

My calculator might recommend a 12 meter sail and a formula board for your weight for planing in 6 knots, but that wouldn't be realistic for your current level of experience, and I don't think there's any benefit to going as big as 12 m if you're 62 kg, even if you're an expert. Some day down the line if you do want to get an "ultimate" early planing sail for your weight, you'll probably be looking at a 9.0 or 9.5, but for now you should look for a more modest step up from the 5.5 that you're used to.

I think a 7.5 would be reasonable. Even though it won't get you planing in 6 knots, it will get your Funster moving a lot faster in all winds than the 5.5, making it more enjoyable to sail and helping you cover more territory on the water during your sessions. And when the wind gets to 10-12 knots you may be able to kick up the daggerboard and start to experience planing.

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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14311

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freestyle winds begin at 0 mph and continue to at least 40.
Seriously.
We've seen mind-blowing sail-handling freestyle performed in no wind, and those skills transfer to windsurfing. 5 kts is plenty for dynamic freestyle, absolutely useless for planing.

You (wisely) mentioned cumbersome(ness). I suggest you borrow a 10m sail before buying anything. You're likely to find out that 10m is very cumbersome by your standards (and mine) and that you'll need 12 for those 6-10 kt breezes.

Now about that "choppy seas, heavy rains, lightning and an empty beach with no lifeguard or anyone to rescue is a bit scary...and not to mention a 4 hr drive " ... one at a time:
Choppy seas: pure, harsh, totally disorganized, sharp, confused CHOP sucks, but if you really mean just rough seas but with some organized chop or even some identifiable swell, you'll learn to love it. Thousands of us won't even bother to rig unless there's terrain to play on.

Heavy rains: yeah, we understand that. We all grew up hearing about monsoons, and many of us have lived in areas that get heavy rains (up to 14 inches in one hour where I grew up). It's a bummer, but if that's what it takes to get wind, bring it on (and buy a visored helmet to stop the sting).

Lightning: As in crashbangboom alla time all around you, or "merely" an occasional flash and some thunder somewhere? Again, I've lived and sailed in both scenarios, and only two friends have been directly struck by it. I would no longer do the crashbangboom bit, but the occasional observable lightning action is not a high threat. We're too small to actually attract it from any more than roughly a mast length away; any further and it's just a matter of sailing into a pre-ordained strike. A bigger risk is lying in the water -- especially if it's sweet/fresh water -- when a strike occurs "nearby" ... whatever that means.

Empty beach: Compared to a beach so completely jam packed that there's no room to rig or launch or jibe, gimme empty any day. There's no inherent risk in that.

No lifeguard/rescue: I've been WSing avidly, full-time, often year-round, in oceans and rivers and lakes, in winds from zip to gale force, for 32 years, and have never ever HAD to be rescued. Why? Because I don't sail farther offshore than I can swim and I don't sail in offshore winds (unless I'm willing to and capable of sleeping on, if not hitching a ride back from, the downwind shore). If we get knocked out, a lifeguard or rescue boat is just for body recovery; only a buddy sailing next to us can save us within the 3-4 minutes it takes to drown.

So unless those monsoons blow you out to sea if you or your gear fail, ease into them, learn, and enjoy.

But four hours ... each way? Whuff! Time to start thinking about light air freestyle plus an occasional several-day trip to the wind.

Mike \m/
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manuel



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 148

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your setup is perfect to learn, you'll occasionally get rides when it's strong enough but not so much that you have to get off the water. The rides is what will get you excited.

When you feel like you need something bigger and are comfortable with your 5.5, you can try a 7.0 or 7.5. This will give you more grunt.
Same goes with getting a small sail/board when you get more comfortable balancing on your current board.

Although, I've never tried kiting (boring to me, I don't like wakeboarding), it could be a great alternative in your area. It is a very different sport but seems easier to get going and requires possibly less gear.
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jingebritsen



Joined: 21 Aug 2002
Posts: 2437

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i've done quite a bit of windSUPing in really light winds. only a handful of kiters can make 6-10 knots work well with 20 meter ram air kites. they are as techy as formula stuff with all that bridle work.

even so, kites need steadier winds than WS'ing when it's light. quite often i'll see kites collapsing and falling from the sky, then tea bagging may ensue....

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http://www.epicgearusa.com/
http://powerexmasts.com/?page_id=72
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