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windsurfing in New Mexico
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ascott72



Joined: 12 Jun 2006
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:25 pm    Post subject: windsurfing in New Mexico Reply with quote

Who knew? they have windsurfing in New Mexico.

There are a couple of little lakes there and there is a particular month that it blows pretty hard, March I think.

If anyone from New Mexico is checking this, can you tell me a little more about what the windsurfing is like? Are the summer winds consistently sailable (thermals versus fronts) ? What is the average board volume and sail size?



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Last edited by ascott72 on Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 2976
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lived near Albuquerque, Los Lunas

Elephant Butte or Cochiti were closest, I thought the sailing sucked.

Perhaps if you had time on your hand to go when it blew, I didnt.

Colorado is somewhat similar, but the lake is 20 minutes away, so if it blows I just go instead if wasting a day

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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13289

PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SEARCH the forum with key words such as Elephant Butte Albuquerque Conchas. You'll find a lot of information, including the website/blog for NM's active WSing contingent.

HELL, yes, it blows! I lived and WSed there full time for 16 years (barefooted year round many of those years not even counting its 3 sq mile hot tub.) I've also lived at the Gorge for 20 years (seasonal overlaps), and have never seen Gorge winds as strong as I've tried to sail in NM. "Little lakes"? Elephant Butte Reservoir is roughly 2+ X 15 miles in size and several NM lakes' reaches are generally longer than the Columbia's, so room to play is not an issue. Gorge swell is bigger, but I have seen consistent overhead swell (cannot see the horizon while standing straight up) on a few occasions in two NM lakes. 2-3 feet is more common.

Like the Gorge,
1. sail size ranges from infinite to 2.5 and my workhorse was a 5.2,
2. board size ranges from 60L to cabin cruisers and my workhorse was ~80L,
3. Air temps range from >100 degrees to sub-freezing.
4. Average wind speeds can differ by 40 mph at two spots on the same day.
5. Driving often pays off big time.
6. NM forecasts are crap shoots.
7. Spring usually blows like hell.
8. It pays to take everything you own. You never know whether the proper gear is a 2.8 w/60 liters, a 10.0 and formula gear, or both and everything in between.

Unlike the Gorge,
1. NM air temps at different lakes can differ by 40 degrees all day on the same day when Chinook winds heat up the eastern plains (Conchas Lake).
2. NM's hot tub runs 70-90 degrees all winter and has longer reaches.
3. I have to wear some neoprene every day, because even at 100 degrees, 5% humidity is chilling when I'm wet.
4. NM's launches are not crowded, for two reasons: a) NM's crowds have dropped off by 95% since the early '90s and b) launch sites are MUCH less regulated.
5. NM is relatively calm in the summer ... Conchas out east blows only 18-20 many summer days (Chinook winds ... the closest thing we got to thermals but 150 miles from ABQ), but the rest of the state is pretty calm ... unless. Unless, that is, you have the time flexibility to sail Tstorm winds. Tstorms are so big there they often produce several hours of strong and fairly steady winds scores of miles away. On the bright side, we can see several 5-10-mile-high Tstorms at any given moment many summer days. We learned how to anticipate good winds from them at Cochiti Lake north of Albuquerque and catch them after work when suitable.

We sailed our asses off there, with major dips in midsummer and the dead of winter (midwinter winds mix down too unpredictably to warrant the drive.)

And there's the rub: The Drive. From Albuquerque, the three bigger and windier lakes were each about 150-180 miles away. We thought nothing of driving for an afternoon of sailing, but then gas was 80 cents and speed limits were not enforced; that 180 miles took a couple of hours, so we could leave the office at 11, sail 4 to 7 hours 'til dark, and be home before midnight. WELL worth it if the wind cooperated.

The other rub is the SW's long standing drought. My old sailing buds say the sailing is still good, but the reaches are not as open and long as they were when I left in 1999.

I absolutely loved living and sailing in NM. Fantastic climate (non-WSers curse its wind, but otherwise it's phenomenal), lots of open spaces, some good to great scenery, best Mexican food north of the border, and to me it's tough to beat skidding to a stop beside the lake, throwing the doors open, letting the dogs out, rigging, sailing lit up all day, going to bed at dark (or sailing well into the night at the Hot Tub), getting up at first light, picking up a rigged sail, eating when necessary, repeat until the wind quits, derig, find the dogs, close the doors, and head home. Unfortunately, great multiple days like that are not commonplace. Fortunately, they happened often enough to keep us motivated and packed. Unfortunately the wind is usually very gusty ... but that beats the hell out of very calm, which is also common.

Overall, NM WSing's quality depends on several things, including what you're accustomed to, whether your job gets in the way, your gasoline budget, how addicted you are to DTL wave sailing, and how much your fun depends on crowds. A crowd in NM is 6-8 sailors, and I've had (and loved) 5 to 50-sq-mile lakes to myself some days. That raises the adrenaline, especially when there are zero humans in sight and you're on your own as you range all over the lake in howling winds.
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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 2976
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/BOATINGWeb/MorganLake.html

the lake is used to cool a powerplant
and stays warm.

directions on the link

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geohaye



Joined: 03 Apr 2000
Posts: 1261

PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elephant Butte on iWindsurf:
http://global.iwindsurf.com/spot/15612

As Isobars stated, Spring rips!



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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 2976
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you do that for

Colorado
Aurora Reservoir ?

or better yet tell me where its at, looked

FOUND it

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Last edited by U2U2U2 on Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 1934

PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7i4z1Y8kBow

Coachg
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ascott72



Joined: 12 Jun 2006
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did some more googling. Thought I would share what I could find:

Isobars on Conchas, Elephant Butte, Morgan Lake
https://www.windsmart.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=78184&sid=fae001ab87fdcf260018059e4e2f972b

Isobars comment on Conchas
http://ww.windalert.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=167917&sid=5b664b087ccc8394211ce6984580f528

old page with descriptions of sailable lakes close to Albuquerque: Storie lake, Cochiti lake, Abiquiu lake
http://home.comcast.net/~raptorlp/windnm.html

New Mexico Windsurfing - Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Mexico-Windsurfing-Association/81588152245

Southwest Windsports (Albuquerque)
http://www.windsurfnm.com/
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13289

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, ascott. But heads up to anyone considering moving to NM: don't base moving to Albuquerque or Santa Fe on sailing at Abiquiu, Cochiti, or Storrie. They're lame even by NM standards.
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ascott72



Joined: 12 Jun 2006
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 3 big lakes using google maps and ABQ airport as a starting point:

Conchas Lake = 170 miles east. Estimated drive time 2 hours 38 minutes
http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/conchaslakestatepark.html

Elephant Butte = 143 miles south. Estimated drive time 2 hours 0 minutes
http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/elephantbuttelakestatepark.html

Morgan Lake = 199 miles northwest. Estimated drive time 3 hours, 8 minutes (75 degree water year round)
http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/BOATINGWeb/MorganLake.html
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