No Gurls

no girls allowed

For some reason, windsurfing in these parts is considered a "guy" thing. It really shouldn't be. Of course, when you look on the water at Lanier or a local spot, it's largely men who are windsurfing but that's really more about us than the sport.

We are tempted to blame part of this misperception on that notion that only men would be silly enough to jump into Lake Lanier in the winter time. But, someone in our household did the Polar Bear Plunge into Lake Lanier a few years back with her girlfriends so it can't be that. It just may be that women who are starting out windsurfing or considering it don't see many role models.

Well, thanks to the glory of Youtube, here are some good role models in videos posted recently. They aren't doing anything super crazy, just riding and enjoying things. We hope it encourages more women (and men) to get on the water.

The incomparable Sarah Hebert.

Crack Wh*re

38 degrees

Addiction can be a brutal and ugly thing. We doubt that some teenage at a party, when offered an illicit substance for the first time, says, "Why yes, I'd love to do degrading things in back alleys someday. Let's see where this leads us."

No, the lure is pleasure, comfort and a bit of a thrill. It's only later, when the cravings won't stop that even the most impossible idea seems not only plausible but perfectly sensible.

Most of us started windsurfing on a pleasant, warm and gentle day. A caressing breeze filled the sail and momentary lapses of balance only meant a swim in refreshing if not warm water. It was all so fun. So innocent.

Soon equipment was bought. And then more equipment. You maybe had to bargain with the spouse to justify a new (to you, at least) piece of equipment. Maybe you didn't reveal how much that sail cost after shipping and taxes. But, you were really beginning to enjoy the sport and a mast here and fin there didn't seem like a big deal.

Summer fell into autumn but you didn't want to stop. Suddenly a bit of neoprene seemed sensible. One wouldn't want to be cold or uncomfortable. Plus, fall meant more wind which justified yet another board or sail or even both.

The days grew shorter and chillier. You didn't set out to sail in the cold. But, last week was fun and this week isn't that much cooler. You really wanted to go again.

In a couple more weeks, you realized it wasn't that you wanted to go when you saw the trees bending but that you must go. You had to go. Yes, it was a bit cool and perhaps uncomfortable but nothing that one couldn't become accustomed to.

You realized that you told your family less and less about your sessions because you had grown tired of explaining why someone would go to the lake on a brisk, if not down right chilly day. They don't understand you'd tell yourself. "It makes me feel so good," you whispered to yourself, "they don't understand that."

Another colder day. If you wear more rubber it won't be so bad you justify.

Your family expresses concern. "It's cold out," they say. "We're concerned for your safety."

You tell them that you are okay. You have things under control. You could take the day off if you wanted to. You'll go today and take tomorrow off.

You want to go again but now you fear their reaction. "I'm going to the mall," you say. You never go to the mall. They, too, know you never go to the mall. The whispers begin.

You are at the lake. It's really blowing. You are cold. Miserable in fact. If you fingers or toes ever begin to warm up, the pain will make you double up and nauseous. You promised yourself you'd wear protection but you never do.

It's 38 degrees. TV reporters looking for that easy story look under bridges for those exposed to the harsh elements. If they only knew how much easier it was to find you in the parking lot staring at the open lake.

When you began that summer's day, you'd never imagine that you'd end up here - alone, miserable, maybe shivering. You close the door to your car, step into your harness and walk down to the water. It's windy and the demon needs to be fed.

Barrett Has Room(s): OBX Spring 2016

If you are like us, every time you see pics of Hatteras/OBX you wish that you could have been there. Wish no more next spring, our good friend. Barrett Walker has had some rooms open up in his usually quick to fill house.

If you aren't familiar with one of Barrett's Hatteras trips, take a tip-toe through his photo album from his most recent trip: Outer Banks Trip - Fall 2015

Okay, now the details -

Outer Banks Spring 2016:
Again this Spring we’ve rented a 5-bedroom house at the same great waterfront location.

The price per week is - $400 single and $450 per couple. Call either Barrett or Peggy with questions. To reserve please send your check to Barrett & Peggy Walker. Our contact and address information is listed at the bottom of the flyer.

Most guests bring their own gear, but you can conveniently rent from OceanAir (252) 995-5000). Brian, the shop owner, lives next door to our house. Ocean Air is a full service shop for windsurfing, kiting, and paddle boarding. In May Kitty Hawk Watersports opens one mile from our house. The second shop rents and gives beginner windsurfing and paddle board lessons. There are many rental locations for surfing, bicycles, kayaks, and other gear. Kitty Hawk Kites gives hang gliding lessons nearby on the sand dunes were the Wright Brothers first flew.

For more info,see the flyer below


Randy Lands Kite Sponsor

This Fall Randy joined the Outer Banks Trip and brought along a paddle board. He’s typically the first windsurfer out on the water, but when the wind was light, he headed out on his paddle board with a kite folded up that he deployed once off shore.

When he wasn’t windsurfing or kiting, he headed out in his car, returned with shopping bags that he carried up to his room & closed the door.

Of course we were curious, and asked Randy what he was up to. He responded “I’m advancing the science of kiting”. It was all very mysterious.

The mystery deepened when Randy sought out advice from Ted’s wife, Ruth, about sewing technical stitches that shape fabric with complex curves. He also spent a lot of time on his cell phone and said that he was in contact with a designer in Denmark - very strange. We suspended disbelief when we saw Randy trying out the kite that he put together after a trip to the Dollar Tree where he bought water-resistant fabric stitched together with Ruth’s sewing advice. Note the Go Pro helmet camera documenting his scientific advancements. It was all starting to make some sense.

The next day the mystery deepened. Things got really spooky when a character showed up at the house while Randy was out on the water testing his gear. There are some pretty weird characters living on the Outer Banks, but this dude was really creepy wearing a cow suit, with a mask, flippers and a sign that said "Eat Chikin or We Are Sunk". (Also this dude was pretty dumb since he couldn’t spell.)

At first I thought the dude came by to help Alain find the Go Pro camera he dropped in the water. Maybe that’s why the dude was wearing a mask & flippers. The other folks at the house tried to ignore the dude, thinking Halloween was a few days away and maybe this was a surf dude smoking weed.

When Randy came in with his kite all folded up, they walked off to talk down by the shore. I thought I heard something about “sponsorship”, but the wind was blowing and I really couldn’t hear.

Then another strange thing happened. The kite that flies from the tower at Kitty Hawk kites disappeared. For years Kitty Hawk Kites has had a cow-shaped kite flying from their observation tower. Kitty Hawk Kites is the world’s largest kite & hang gliding store just down the road from our windsurfing house. You can climb a tower there and watch kites & hang gliders being flown nearby on the sand dunes at Jockey’s Ridge State Park. It was a real surprise when the cow kite disappeared, but we did have some strong winds.

Suddenly it all started to make sense to me, Randy’s strange experiments with kites that became more and more secretive, the time spent on his mobile phone with a supposed contact in Denmark, the weird cow character who showed up at the house wanting to meet in private with Randy - maybe this was the dude he’d really been phoning all along. When the cow kite disappeared from Kitty Hawk Kites, I realized something was fishy about Randy’s Denmark contact.

Luckily I brought a very long telephoto lens. When Randy set off on his paddle board and disappeared out of sight behind Nags Head Island, I caught him unfurling a very large black & white kite in the shape of a cow.

I hope Randy won’t be too upset that I’m the first to break the news. I think Randy’s negotiated sponsorship from the South's leading fast food chain known for it’s delicious chicken sandwiches. I’m not at liberty to name names, but you know who I mean. It’s the chain that’s closed on Sundays. This is really good news when sponsorship is so hard to find. Now Randy can afford to continue his scientific experiments and buy more supplies at the Dollar Tree.