Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Formula Windsurfing Boom Mount Video

I haven't had much chance to windsurf lately, on account of work and wintry weather, but last Saturday there was a break in the cold that enticed me into a west-wind formula session. As soon as I got rigged, though, the wind fizzled. I shlogged for about an hour, disappointed and getting chilly in my shorty wetsuit. Only after I had returned to the beach to de-rig did some wind kick in, from the north. I added another layer of neoprene and went out again for a half-hour of fully-powered blasting with my 9.8 msq sail. It was totally worth it. I even got some video with the GoPro HD camera, which came out ok considering the poor light conditions.

Grey Sky Formula Boom Mount Video from James Douglass on Vimeo.


Andy said...

Dude- awesome!

DaNewsBlog said...


One of the best Go pro vids i've ever seen

DaNewsBlog said...

BTW, Was the cam mounted directly to the boom?

Mo said...

Excellent video!

James Douglass said...

Andy- Thanks!

Clyde- I used the helmet strap bracket cinched tightly to the end of the boom, and put an extra pivot joint between the camera and the bracket to get the right height and angle.

Mo- Thanks!

Waterturtle said...

James, Off-topic - what's the windsurfing like at Edisto? Any waves there...even for SUP surfing? Family friends are trying to convince us to go there this summer....of course, my selfish windsurfing mind is wondering about the conditions there. Also, can you windsurf over the inlet area leading into St Helena Sound?

James Douglass said...

Waterturtle- The wind at Edisto can blow from any direction, or not at all, but summer gets a pretty good dose of SW seabreezes in the 10-20 knot range. The waves are mostly shorebreak, but there's a long sand spit off the point that can be interesting. There's miles of flatwater in St. Helena Sound, but you have to hit the tides right because the current is very strong. I wrote a guide to Edisto windsurfing in another post.

Johnny Douglass said...

...and of course Waterturtle can rent your parents' house if he goes to Edisto to test out the wind.

James Douglass said...

Yeah- Click on my dad's name to go to his blog and he has info on renting our edisto beach house in the sidebar there. :)

Waterturtle said...

Thanks for the info...nice vid by the way...really captures the speed.

Unknown said...

Hey James,

I've been receiving my daily Scuttlebutt for a long time now, but was really psyched to see your video featured in today's issue:

Great job!

Mo said...

Hi James, I posted and featured your video on Hope you don't mind.

Unknown said...

Hi James,

Thanks so much for your recent reply on iwindsurf regarding my mast track/fin dilemmas. I think you have hit the spot with using a larger fin and moving the mast track back when using the smaller sails.

I loved the video and thank you for providing a link. Seeing you on a wide board really helped put things into perspective for me. For some reason looking at your stance and easy transition to the straps was incredible. I feel as if I am way too far forward (where it feels balanced to stand) the way I have things set up now. You hardly moved backward at all to get into the straps. Do you think my mast track needs to go back a bit? I'm thinking it does. Also, when I am attempting to get into the straps, the board is on edge and never seems to ride flat in the water; again maybe the Drake race fin will help, instead of the small weed fin.

You do great things here and thanks.


James Douglass said...

Hi Adena- Keeping the board flat (not tilted towards you) is really important. The longer fin helps with that, but the real key is a committed stance, with your weight going through the sail into the mast base instead of down through your feet. Putting your front foot in the strap first while the back foot keeps the board level is a good way to start. It's also important to stay strongly sheeted in with your body weight to keep your speed and momentum going. Pointing your toes helps, too. When it works out, it will kind of feel like you're weightless and your legs are just springs to absorb the bumps. Good luck. :)

James Lilley said...

I sent this video to all my friends who watch me obsess over this sport. Although we're not exactly breaking any speed records, the video captures the velocity stoke better than any I have seen. Superb stuff!

GregM. said...

Hi James,

Like others have said, Very cool video!!
I'm an experienced windsurfer up in the Seattle, Wa. area and have a couple questions.
One - What's your height and weight? (if you don't mind me asking)
Two - Were the winds when you did this FW video mostly off-shore? Or at most, off, with some side thrown in? It looks like you were in solid 15 knot winds... but the water texture looks more like 5 to 10. And watching your vid a bunch, with your sailing direction and land in the background... it looks to be protected water of some sort... or at least off-shore winds.
Thanks for any info and clarification... Greg

James Douglass said...


I'm 5'10" / 160 lbs.

When I first launch, the wind is offshore (W) and only a few knots. When I launch the second time the wind has suddenly shifted sideshore (N) and increased to ~15 knots, so I'm very powered. Even though I'm in the ocean, the water is flat because I'm just south of a jetty. You can see an aerial view of the launch site here:

How's the formula sailing in Puget Sound? I always thought that would be a great place for it.

GregM. said...

Thanks for the quick and informative notes!

Yeah, that explains how cool you look (and fast)... and just what I was guessing. I'm 6'3" and 200#... we would NOT be having the same experience on a FW in the same conditions. And yes, your good speed and the deceptive smoothness of your ride, is due to the protected water you were in (and your light weight).

It's an awesome vid (and I like all your others too) but it's un-realistic for most windsurfers around the world to have that speed, in that smooth water (unless they can also find good wind, downwind of a jetty... or off-shore wind). In other words, MOST fast rides on such a wide board, would be very rough, challenging and wild, for people in more typical conditions. And jibing would be similarly, much more difficult. Anyway, love the music and the perspective from the boom-end.

Sailing in the Puget Sound is decent if you have the right board and rig for your weight. Lk. Washington is also good. But summertime winds are light, approx 0 to 15 knots most the time. The rest of the year can bring higher winds with storms... but that brings other challenges.

Keep up the nice video work, Greg

Unknown said...

Adorei, in inglish I love it. I am portuguese. Nice video. Video porreiro. lol