This Thanksgiving holiday has been awesome. It started last weekend with Rhonda's sister Andrea and brother-in-law Jon coming down from New England for early Thanksgiving-like festivities. We made pecan pie and watched the Patriots kick butt in overtime. Jon learned to windsurf with a 4.5 on the WindSUP 11'8".
We also divided forces one day so the New Englanders could do craft-fair type shopping and I could test a new formula windsurf fin. The fin is a 72-2 cm F4 "xs" (extra soft). Compared to my older, cut-down Curtis fin the F4 has a more curved outline, which hides the fact that it's actually more upright (less rake angle) than the older fin. It's also more flexible, which is supposed to help generate the "foiling" effect that gets the board planing and helps it go faster with less of the hull touching the water. My maiden voyage with the fin was with an 11.0 sail in offshore winds around 5-15 knots. I definitely felt like the fin improved my planing threshold and my ability to coast through lulls. Upwind angle also seemed better.
A nice treat at the end of the session was Dr. Alex from Naples showing up with his 9.0 and 90 cm wide FreeFormula board. I was about to quit but instead went back out and filmed some with my helmet camera. It's really nice to have someone else to windsurf with when you're used to windsurfing alone.
My dad took some pictures and video. Of course he missed my greatest moments of glory, which were later in the session, but from what I saw I realized two things: 1) That I'm still a kook at SUP waveriding, and 2) that I'm starting to get a "not in my twenties anymore" midsection. I think I need to work more on my fore-aft weight distribution; I'm sinking the tail too much. I also need to work on my wave knowledge; sometimes I go left when I should have gone right, etc. One thing that was cool, though, was a close encounter with dolphins.
Two reported paddleboard deaths this week
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