Monday, October 29, 2012

Best Gulf Coast Windsurfing So Far

Wow, I am riding high on stoke after two weekend days of epic 4.7 sail + 83 liter board wavesailing at Wiggins Pass in Naples, Florida. The strong, side-onshore, NW winds were related to the "pinch" of Hurricane Sandy's low pressure and the high pressure cold front over the mainland US.

Saturday I was overpowered with the 4.7- really should have been on a 4.2 or smaller. A German tourist was blasting around on an old 3.5! Tweaking the downhaul, outhaul, and harness lines on the 4.7 helped keep it controllable, and there was enough current pushing me downwind that I didn't have much of a problem getting stuck upwind, as sometimes happens when overpowered.

Sunday the 4.7 was juuuust right and I felt a lot more dialed into the onshore wave conditions. Wiggins has a long area of breaking waves with a smooth transition from smaller ones on the inside to bigger ones on the outside. In contrast with Nahant Massachusetts the waves are a bit more "lumpy," so it's easier to weave around the bumps on the way out without having to go right through a pitching face. An extra bonus of Wiggins was that the outgoing tide from the pass would give you a boost back out to sea at the end of your wave-ride. It was super fun doing that perpetual motion circuit again and again. 

The wind are supposed to be more mellow today, but I think the waves will be up for a while, so I'll try to get a session after work. I haven't been able to give the WindSUP 11'8" a fair shake in the waves yet, so this may be the day. (I did give the WindSUP an unfair shake in the waves around sunset on Friday, right as the wind switched from side-onshore 20 mph to mostly-offshore 3 mph. Doh! I was not impressed with the board in those limping-along conditions. Hard to catch a wave unless you were right on the peak, and then it was hard not to pearl the nose. A little more wind and/or a little better angle should help.)

No comments: