Yesterday (6/25/2012) was a breezy, gusty day here at Sayers Lake. I wore myself out dealing with the gusts (from schlogging to way overpowered on a seconds timescale), but I got 7 (seven!) nice planing runs. In two of them I attempted to jibe, crashing similarly in both. Here they are in the video below; the last part of the 2nd one is repeated in slow motion. I have asked my windsurfing gurus to critique my form in those jibes. [Got a reply from Andy Brandt: "Bill. You are trying to flip the sail with the board at about 6:30. You need more speed to flip this early and let the board carve under the flip not muscle pull it in. In this case you would have been better sailing clew first and Turning the board farther (like an hour) before flipping. Then the sail will come around closer to the tail of the board and It will not yank you off the front."]
I drove down to Ultimate Watersports in Gunpowder Falls State Park, on the Susquehanna River near where it flows into the Chesapeake Bay. There I bought a used Hi Fly Motion board (on the right in the pic) to join the Baby Board. It's not quite as wide, but it's a bit longer, and it should be great whenever I'm teaching more than one beginner.
The other day Susan, who had windsurfed before but had never had a lesson, gave me an opportunity to give her a more solid grounding in the basics and then quickly move on to slightly more advanced moves: i.e., the shortboard tack (non-planing). In the first video, very early in the lesson, she sails out onto the lake and back. In the second video, towards the end of the lesson, she demonstrates the hand and footwork of a shortboard tack. Such a quick learner! [In the first clip, the GoPro camera was mounted on her clew. In the second, I had the camera on my head. And in the second clip, "I've never seen it like this" referred to the algae floating in the water.]
Sunday June 17, 2012. The wind blew from the south, coming over the ridge onto the lake, causing it to be quite unsteady, especially near the southern shore. However, near the northern shore especially, there was plenty of breeze for pleasant schlogging, and many great short planable gusts. (I was using my 8.0, as usual.) Alex and Sveta from State College were sailing, too, but we were usually pretty far apart, as we all searched for the best wind. The following video is a 2.5 minute compilation of some highlights:
1. Beach start, 2. Planing on port tack, 3. Seeing Sveta on the water and a very slooow pivot jibe, 4. Planing on starboard tack and planing into a jibe onto port tack. The last item, the planing jibe, is instructive (to me!); I will study it to see how I killed my speed (that's bad) in the jibe but still managed to stay upright and get planing again.
Michael, age 70, and his grandson Jonah, age 12, took a windsurfing lesson this past Monday. Jonah caught on so quickly that I failed to properly instruct him in how to beat upwind and in what to do when getting blown downwind. Nevertheless he learned a lot and says he wants to come back for more. In the video below, we see Grandpa Michael ceasing to drift downwind by getting the board pointed across the wind and sheeting in.
Sveta and Alex are self-taught novices with their own gear and lots of enthusiasm. It was a pleasant surprise to be able to windsurf with them on Saturday (June 9, 2012). It was a gorgeous day, with lots of planable gusts for my 8.0 m^2 sail. They weren't taking a lesson, but I still shadowed them occasionally as they sailed. For a video that shows only a bit of planing and then concentrates on Alex and Sveta, see below. (The video comes complete with a heart-stomping, foot-throbbing, computer-generated musical score!)
This is Bill vdB, sharing little vignettes of windsurfing on Sayers Lake, in Howard PA. and sometimes elsewhere.