The Great (Virtual) Yard Sale

Winter is coming to a close and spring is about to... spring. Some of us hardy souls have been at it for most of the winter but the more sane have been waiting for warmer temps. Having had fingers and toes go numb a few times ourselves, there's something to be said for the wisdom of waiting.

Many of us have gear that needs to leave the garage. Others are either starting out, looking to replace worn gear or have moved to the area from a place where sails bigger than 6.0 aren't as necessary.

It's time for a yard sale, a swap or whatever you want to call it. Sure, we have the "For Sail" section of the forum but stuff gets lost there sometimes.

So here's the deal: if you have something you want to sell or are looking for something to buy, post it in the comments below. We'll leave this up until mid-spring. If something moves, delete or edit or comment. When it's over, we'll close comments.

yard sale

More No Gurls

no girls allowed

Actually, the only reason for this post is to use this other pic we found.

We just wrote a post about women and windsurfing here in the Southeast, especially inland. While there are women who windsurf, most of the regulars tend to be men.

So we posted a few videos to inspire those women who may be considering either going out or taking up the sport. Since then, we've found two more really nice videos to add to the collection. We hope they serve as inspiration to both male and female windsurfers.

Good promo from the RYA in England

For the more action oriented, we present Tatiana Howard at Ho'okipa

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.