Monday, June 29, 2009

Formula and Stuff

The last few days in Florida have actually had some decent wind from the West in the 10 - 20 mph range. The conditions have been perfect for windsurfing on a flat, blue ocean with my newly-acquired formula board and cheaply-acquired 8.7 meter squared sail. The black strap in the back center of the board is the "chicken strap". Putting your back foot there instead of in the outer strap helps tame the board when you're blasting deep downwind.


The sail has 5 different kinds of tape on it repairing rips in the monofilm. Clear packing tape, black gorilla tape, grey duct tape, opaque medical bandage tape, and West Marine spinnaker tape. I think I'm going to get a newer sail in the 9.5 range with a more durable construction.



I wouldn't have been able to kiteboard safely in these conditions because of the offshore wind direction and gustyness, so that says a little something about the advantage of windsurfing gear.

Sunday my colleagues from the Smithsonian Marine Station had a "beach day" organized by two visiting scientists from Germany (pictured on the jetski).


I set up my Kona longboard with a 3.5 sail and the Germans both windsurfed impressively.


It was a cool day.


Catapulting Aaron said...

Formula in offshore winds like that is so cool... smooooooooove!

James Douglass said...

Dude, I crack up every time I see your goofy shark avatar. :)

rod.r said...

James, nice board...what year is it? I had an 8.3 Z1 a few years back. Quite a heavy sail but very grunty by todays standards.

Interesting that you have bought a formula even though you have the Kona...when I had my Kona, and now with my IMCO, I'm constantly evaluating how much light wind planing time I'm giving up.

James Douglass said...

Rod- It's a 2004 Exocet Turbo Formula II and it was $200. If I only had space for one big board it would be the Kona, but since the TFII was cheap and I had room I figured "why not"? There was another time in my life when I decided formula wasn't worth the hassle, but this time I think it is.

Outdrsmn said...

I had a feeling you would go back to formula being down there.
Kashy keeps trying to get me on one of his formula boards but it's usually too windy when we have sailed together.

We have a young woman from Germany sailing with us up here this summer as well she has been borrowing gear and doing quite well.

James Douglass said...

Outdrsmn- Hmm. If you get tired of your twin-fin plastic board you could replace it with an earlier-planing formula board. They're lots of fun in 10-15 knots, giving you the ability to go anywhere upwind and downwind. Not so friendly to ride in >15 knots, though. I'd take Kashy up on his offer next time the wind is light. Just don't expect to ever beat him in a race.