About two weeks ago I had an funny wavesailing session at Wiggins Pass in Naples, Florida. Most of my wavesailing there has been in Northwest wind, but this time the wind was from the South. It was strong enough for me to use a 5.5 sail but it was a bit inconsistent- perhaps because of the direction. Anyway, I started out with my little waveboard, the 83 liter Starboard Evo, and had some good runs on that. After a while, though, I started having trouble staying planing and staying upwind against the longshore current. I considered switching to my larger shortboard, the 106 liter Exocet Cross, but then I said to myself, "Aww, heck. Why not switch all the way up to the 220 liter Exocet WindSUP? That way I'll still be able to catch waves even if the wind gets really light."
The huge board certainly had a different feel. On the way out a shortboard skitters and jumps over the waves, whereas the WindSUP whomps over the waves like a destroyer battleship in an open ocean storm. On the way in, either board is happy to ride a wave, but the two boards require drastically different kinds of input from the rider to make turns. The 83 liter board carves squirty little turns with subtle motions of my toes and ankles and moderate repositioning of my sail and body. The 220 liter WindSUP swerves from its momentous path only in proportion to how strongly and deliberately you stomp your weight around on it. But if you really exaggerate your commands it carves awesomely. As per typical, my video doesn't quite capture how fun it was out there, but here it is anyway. The song is "My Body" by Young the Giant.
Hardie at Hardings
1 day ago