Sunday, May 23, 2010

News and Formula Windsurf Stuff for Sale

I'm in a rush to prepare for a science-related trip to Boston (leaving tomorrow) so I'm going to see how efficient and terse I can be in composing this watersports-related blog entry. I'm giving myself 20 minutes. Ok:

News item #1- I got a new toy from Maui Malones. It's an Exocet Warp Slalom 71, an all-black, carbon fiber, slalom windsurfing board. (For going fast and racing.) Sunday afternoon I rode it with a 6.8 sail in 10-13 knots. In that wind strength I had to pump the sail and fish for gusts to get planing, but once planing, wow! It was like the board had afterburners and could go upwind and plane through lulls like magic. I'm sniffing around for a nice 7.5 - 8.5 sail to complement it better.

News item #2- To avoid toy and time overload, I'm selling my formula windsurfing stuff. Here's the info on it if anyone is interested

2004 Exocet Turbo Formula II. Well used but no leaks or major repairs, 5 straps- $200
Select DC 70 cm fin with screws and washers- $50
520 cm NP 100% Carbon Mast- $100
9.8 Aerotech VMG 2005, fuschia and yellow, durable grid construction, rigs fine on the mast.- $150

There's videos of the gear in action here and here.

$460 for everything if you pick it up in Fort Pierce.


News Item #3- Since the wind was from the Northeast last weekend the Fort Pierce crew launched their kites and windsurfers in the lee of the South Jetty. Here are my most poignant jetty weekend memories:

*The illusion of flying over the underwater terrain because the water was so clear.
*Steering around sea turtles.
*Steering around schools of jacks.
*Steering around bold yellow clumps of Sargassum seaweed.
*Steering around a manatee orgy.
*Chasing a flying fish on a way-out-there windsurfing run.
*Three rednecks wading through the swimming area with full spearfishing gear.
*One redneck returning early and vomiting copiously into the sand. He buried it.
*My roommate Antonio and buddy Marc advancing their respective levels of kiteboarding.
*A fat guy with tattoos and a ponytail hitting on Antonio's Brazilian intern.
*A very stoned teenager stumbling around trying to bum a ride to Port Saint Lucie.

Another thing wasn't so much a memory as a set of observations confirming my theories about what it takes to kiteboard in light winds. It takes a big board, a big bow kite, gentle kite trim, and only moderate edging with the board. Some good kiters had big enough kites but tiny boards that wouldn't allow them to stay upwind. In windsurfing it's obvious that you need a big board to use a big sail. A similar principle seems to apply in kiting, but a lot of kiters just don't seem to get it. They lose in the light wind stuff because they never go bigger than their narrow little 125 - 150 cm boards. Some other kiters were sheeting and sine-ing their kites too aggresively, generating power but getting dragged downwind or stalling their kites on the upstroke. In light winds I think it's better to ease out on the sheeting and let the kite "suck" you upwind, which of course is easier to do if you have a bigger board with more glide and float. The sheeting out a bit to go upwind technique works best when you keep your board speed up and the kite flying efficiently by not edging harder than necessary to maintain line tension. Finally, I noted that big "C" shaped kites are lousy, since they have more drag and less power for their weight and they require more wind to do everything.

Ok, that was more like an hour. I'll see if I can be "terser" in my composition next time. Back to work...

7 comments:

hardcrab said...

Hi james Id like to take that stuff off your hands if possible. ill be in palm beach tommorow and maybe till friday if your around ill head down and pick that stuff up from you. let me know at gk109@hotmail.com if this wil work for you. thanks GK. I wont be able to reply back to you until tommorow night just so you know too.

n said...

Good point about the kiters edging too much. I reckon it comes down to being too greedy. Mind you, most of the locals here go like the clappers in light wind. But when the wind is too light even for them, you see them pushing too hard and stalling, followed by the walk of shame :) Cool blog!

Johnny Douglass said...

Hey James. Do you think anyone in WA would want my Bic Rock and Roll? I'm going to have to take it to the land fill in two weeks if nobody wants it.

Ian Berger said...

That's one of the things I loved about Florida: all the sea life. Up north we have the vomiting rednecks, but no manatees, sadly.

That's it, I'm moving!

-Ian

James Douglass said...

Hardcrab- You're the second person to ask to check out the stuff. If the first guy doesn't end up taking it all I'll contact you. :)

N- Yeah. "Light" is a funny word because it really depends on folks' perspectives and what they're trying to do with what kind of gear.

Dad- Yeah, I reckon someone in WA would take your rock and roll. Post some pictures on your blog and I'll cross-link it from m blog.

Ian- Sounds like a plan! Ironically, I'm about to move up to New England at the end of the summer. At least I know now I won't have to say goodbye to the vomiting rednecks behind.

jackson said...

hey, If you haven't already sold off all that stuff, I'd be interested in buying it. Miami is notorious for 8-12kts, and a formula kit would be great for this wind range. You can reach me at pieguy57@gmail.com or at 786-838-1387. Thanks!

James Douglass said...

Jackson- Sorry dude, I already sold the stuff. Check the iwindsurf.com classifieds because there might be some good stuff there. -J