Sunday, June 29, 2008

Intro to Windsurfing Report

Today was the Windsurfing Enthusiast's of Tidewater's second "Intro to Windsurfing" event for 2008. It was held at Fort Monroe in Hampton. Students paid $25, which was a pretty darn good deal for windsurfing lessons, especially since it included a "Start Windsurfing Right" book. We did most of the teaching on Mistral Prodigy boards and beginner rigs lent by Beach Sports.

I taught a group of several women of varying ages and abilities. Everyone had success except one poor girl who was only 80 lbs. To her, the 3.5 m2 sail was like a 7.0 m2 sail would be to a typical weight beginner; impossibly huge. Oh well.

(Picture by Chris Coyne. Many more pics on his account of the event.)

The most encouraging thing about today was that several of the newbies from last year had returned with gear of their own and good, independent windsurfing skills. Proof that the system is working.

As the instruction was winding down I took the opportunity to do some joyriding of my own. I had a chance to compare my Kona ONE longboard to Chad Perkins' Kona 11'5", which is a very similar board but lighter and without a daggerboard. Chad's board planed about the same as mine, but had a lighter and peppier feel and favored more of a small-board riding style.

I also did some wheelin' and dealin', buying a 430 cm "skinny" mast from Chris Coyne and buying a skinny extension from Beach Sports to go with it. Now I don't have any excuses for not charging in the waves and trying to loop (skinny masts are more resistant to breaking). I put my standard diameter 430 mast on consignment at beach sports (it's a good, cheap deal for a high quality mast if anyone is in the market), and also put a 50 cm powerbox weed fin and 46 cm trim box freeride fin on consignment.


snnoopy said...


You were my instructor last year and I returned this year with my own equipment and to help. Yes, the system is working. Thank you for the wonderful lesson last year.


jz said...


Cool blog.

I came over here from a post the Tidewater Sports Report
( did highlighting your site today.

Nice to see another local sports blog going strong.

James Douglass said...

Elaine- It was great to see you out there. You are definitely one of the "front-runners" from last year. :)

JZ- Neat, I'm glad windsurfing is starting to register on the sports scene. If you want to see some better pictures of the event, go to Chris Coyne's page:

rod.r said...

Hey James

Any more on the 11'5"?

I've had a K1 since Nov 06 and am interested in how they compare on the flats for non-racing, and if the 11'5" could be considered an "upgrade" from the K1

James Douglass said...

Rod- I think if you have an upright, waist-harness style of sailing, you don't mind using the windward rail to dig upwind, and ~7.5 is the largest sail you will want to use, then yes, the 11.5 would be an upgrade. If you want to use larger sails or ride with a more locked-in style then it would make more sense to stick with the K1.