April 2015

Getting on a Plane

Beatles like planing
We all want to get on a plane
Over the handlebars
This is no way to get planing

Planing: it's why most of us windsurf. When the board pops on top of the water and accelerates, everything about our experience on the water changes. That's not to take away from the joy and experience of a non-planing session but most of us want (and need) the part of windsurfing that begins at about 15 mph on the water.

The transition from sub-planing to planing can also be a pretty significant hurdle for the intermediate windsurfer. Board and sail trim, feet placement and steering all change. Furthermore, you now have to deal with foot straps and harness lines. Worse, in variable conditions like we have here in Atlanta, getting on a plane often coincides with significant wind changes (gusts).

With all this going on, it can be daunting. Worse, often we end up in one of the more humbling ways to crash on a windsurfer, a catapult - over the handlebars

We've been asked by learning windsurfers how to get on a plane while remaining attached and standing on the board. While we do it ourselves, we find it more and more difficult to explain because there are a lot of things going on at once and a lot of it depends on how powered up we are, what kind of board, the water conditions, etc. The more we think about it, the more we realize that we should just shut up. But saying nothing isn't very helpful, either.

So, we've done some searching and would like to recommend at least three good resources we've found online:

I Hate Going Windsurfing

Saving the soul as well as gas
I'd like a commute like Tim Carter's in Hilton Head. Five minutes to windsurfing by bike.

I hate going windsurfing. I really do.

Don't get me wrong. I love windsurfing. It's the going part that I hate. There are times that I feel like I'm a character in a Greek or Shakespearean tragedy. The fates, mankind and nature all align against me - impeding my progress, throwing road blocks in my way or having me brave evil ogres and dangerous villains. There are days that by the time I get to the lake, I'm so taxed and exhausted that it's almost difficult for me to enjoy my time on the water.

Ideally, I'd enter a tranquil and meditative state while on the road but I'm simply not that strong. While I begin every trip with good intentions, my resolve and strength ebb under the repeated attacks to my psyche and safety. I drive an older, slower car and pull another 1000 lbs of trailer and gear behind me. I can maintain a steady speed but I need space to brake and change lanes; and acceleration up hills is non-existent. Most of the several hundred thousand cars and trucks on the highway with me are respectful, patient and attentive. I tip my hat to all of them.

But, there are malevolent forces that conspire against my happiness. Here are a few from the Rogues' Gallery:

Bayerische Motoren Werke

Let's begin with the easy target: this fine German company makes some of the world's finer cars, without question. But the people who drive BMWs have acquired a reputation and deservedly so. My last encounter with a maniac on I-85 returning from an afternoon session (no, I'm not making this up) was a BMW hurtling through the Peach Pass (Hot) lane under Spaghetti Junction at rush hour probably doing excess of 110 mph. This car wasn't going fast, annoying fast or even asshat fast but carnage fast where you genuinely fear for people's lives.

No surprise, it's a Bimmer
Does any part of this really surprise you?

Odds and Deep Ends No. 23

Spring has sprung, daylight savings time is here and a lot of us are finally getting on the water. It's actually been fairly breezy recently - except last Saturday - and our getting on the water has meant postponing posting all sorts of crap interesting odds and ends.

Possibly the worst windsurfer-sup conversion we've seen yet.

Via Craig's LIst:

I will say it is a pretty small board (approx. 9'-3" long x 22" wide). It definitely takes some skill to use it as a SUP board. The buoyancy is 97 kg (~213 lbs). I weight about 155 lbs and I'm able to stand up on the board, but it took practice and a lot of stabilizing muscles. Because it's short, I would have to start off on my belly and paddle with my arms. Once I was moving, I would pop up into the standing position, similar to surfing. I needed the forward momentum to help keep my upright. It's super hard to stand up on it without at a standstill.

If you're looking for a very forgiving board, this is probably not for you. But if you're looking for a challenge, and a board that will give you a good core workout, this would be perfect.