Wednesday, June 23, 2010

First Sails on New Original Windsurfers

New Owners Get A Soulful Feeling -and- Windsurfer Ties for 1st Place!

Last weekend was the first time on the new Original Windsurfer. I drove to a regatta at Grosse Point Park put on by the Grosse Pointe Windsurfing Club. The park has a big grassy area to rig up and a small sandy beach to launch from, what more could you ask for? Oh yes warm clear water and we had wind!

I was excited to try my new board and experience a new venue. Six races were held in winds ranging 6 to 13 knots with stronger puffs blowing thru towards the end of the day. There was a photographer on the beach who captured one of the starts; see the photo sequence below. My sail is the ORANGE colored sail.Getting ready for Start

Flag down, horn blows, GO!

Go go go...

Pulling away from fleet

Original Windsurfer "Old Schooled" entire Prodigy Fleet!
photos by Mike Florian

My new Original Windsurfer didn't disappoint. In addition to it's ability to plane in almost all conditions, I also had a blast sailing it. Before starts and between races I played around and pulled off a few duck-spin-tacks, rail rides, power jobs and sail tricks. The Windsurfer's sail is 25% to 40% smaller than the other 7.5 & 8.5 sails on the race course, which is one reason you can do sail tricks and throw around the sail to power jib. But a high volume board & big sail didn't translate into more fun or a competitive advantage this day, because I ended up tied for first place overall. For a complete event recap, visit the MOWIND website.

As I was driving home and reflecting on my first sailing impressions for my new Windsurfer, I got an email from John (from Minneapolis) who had just bought a new Windsurfer a week earlier. It was also his first day out on his new Windsurfer, and his email sums it up best. I couldn't have said it better myself, so with his permission here's his note about his first day out on his new (original) Windsurfer:

"Yesterday, I finally went out on my new board. The conditions were perfect. The wind was probably around 10-15 mph. I was at my local city lake, Lake Calhoun, where all the local guys go in Minneapolis. There were probably 15 guys out.

It was great pulling up in the parking lot with the new/old-style board on top. I jumped out, unloaded it, placed it among the other big wide-style boards, started rigging, etc. I was so focused on and excited about getting that thing rigged up. I was so excited to get that thing out on the water.

I finally rigged it up and quickly brought it to the water. Jumped on and THAT OLD FEELING WAS BACK! That soulful feeling that I haven't felt in almost 20 years. I can't even tell you how stoked I was.

Within 3 minutes I did a couple of quick tacks where I quickly take two steps to the back of the board (it's sort of a dance move, when you think about it) and snap it around, and then immediately run three steps to the front and around to the other side. Within 6 minutes I was doing my quick jibes which only that board can do. I was riding with my back to the sail, front to the sail on the opposite side, on the rail, cruising backwards, with the sail backwards (going forward) and then doing a quick jibe in the opposite direction. Many of the other guys were sitting on the beach wondering when the wind would pick up and/or stay consistent to have any fun. The other guys on the water were just going back and forth, sometimes not moving, waiting for the perfect wind to enjoy themselves. I was passing guys, too.

I was having the time of my life.

My cousin, Mark, came down to shoot some video. I don't have it yet. He jumped on after I rode it for a while. He was as stoked as I was.

My Windsurfing fever has returned. That old feeling is back in my blood. I will now start noticing the leaves on the trees when the wind picks up. I've been riding short boards for a long time, but I haven't had that wind-in-the-trees sensitivity/awareness in over 15 years.

I can't wait to get out again.

I look forward to seeing the video John!

I've had several requests from folks to get a closer look at the new Original Windsurfer so here's some pics for y'all:
Thanks Marguerite Donahue for this shot