The cold season has begun in Southwest Florida. That means the weather is like summer in Washington State, but with warmer water- pretty much perfect. The cold season here is also the windy season, so the sweltering heat, single-digit offshore winds and fickle seabreezes have given way to cycles of frontal passage associated with a nice variety of windsurfing conditions. In an earlier post I described an amazing two-in-a-row of high-wind 4.7 meter squared sail / 83 liter board sessions at Wiggins Pass. The streak continued last Wednesday when I arrived at Wiggins expecting to rig a 5.5 or a 6.8 but ended up doing 4.7 AGAIN, though this time on my mid-sized 106 liter board.
I felt nicely dialed-in on the sail. So nicely, actually, that I started to get that nagging feeling of, "Hmm, I ought to get up the nerve to try a forward loop or something." Fortunately, I suppressed that feeling and instead just focused on trying to ride the lumpy onshore-wind waves with some style. It went well until the wind fizzled at the end of the session and I went down in the impact zone. I got rolled by a wave that didn't seem like it had much power, but somehow it busted one of the main monofilm panels on the sail. (See the end of the video.)
Wiggins Side-Onshore Wavesailing from James Douglass on Vimeo.
I ended up replacing the 4.7 North Instinct with an older 4.5 Ezzy Wave SE from AcePerformer. It's not a perfect match, but the price was right, and the grid construction on the Ezzy should hopefully survive a few more awkward washings. Rhonda tried it on the WindSUP yesterday at Sanibel Causeway and made it look good. I'm proud of how she's been sailing lately- first dealing with very gusty offshore wind and flat water at Bonita Beach, then dealing with choppy onshore conditions at Sanibel. Plus, the other day at Wiggins she was using the Angulo SUP as a giant boogie board, riding waves for the first time in her life. And she can flatwater SUP like nobody's business.
Gorge Paddle Challenge Werner Coverage Videos
8 hours ago