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It was last April that I wrote a post about how Rebecca and I were interested in acquiring a windsurfer. Since that time, we have had our ear to the ground (or is it ear to the water?), looking for a used one. Just the other day we read on Facebook that our friend John, the brains behind the website Desperate Sailors, had a windsurfer that he was looking to offload. The challenge we faced was that the windsurfer was in Culebra, about 125 west of us, and we were not.

Yes, I know that kiteboarding is all the rage these days but we think that windsurfing would be a little bit better for us. The only downside is that the board is a LOT larger to store.

Not to be deterred by that geographic hurdle, John spoke to his boat neighbors who had previously let him know that they were soon going to be heading to St. Martin. When what we needed was explained to them, Steven and Linda on the catamaran Flying Loon were kind enough to agree to ferry the board and all of its bits and pieces here for us. Cool, right?

Yesterday, as we looked off to our port side, we were happy to see Flying Loon anchored almost beside us, with the windsurfer nicely secured along the rail. Awesome! Thanks John and thanks Steve and Linda, you all rock!

The price to have the board shipped here. If only FedEx could be paid with tequila. πŸ™‚

30 Comments

  1. That’s great. ZTC will soon look like a proper cruising boat with things festooned all the way round her! πŸ™‚

    In the meantime, you two are going to have a lot of fun. You will learn a new skill. The next thing you will need is a pair of wet/dry suits! You will also have to work out a way for you both to do it together to avoid one getting jealous! πŸ™‚

    Just kidding! πŸ™‚

    Mike

  2. A windsurfer on board … how cool! We’ve yet to try it, but it looks like a lotta fun. Looking forward to hearing about your experiences with it.

  3. Large board…..small sail……weight distribution……best for learning…….and the curve is quick!

    Enjoy…..taught W/surfing in Sask. Ca. in the ’70’s. Some of the best fun On the Water…….j….

  4. Very cool! Because of my Benign Essential Tremors, most activities requiring any amount of coordination or balance result in huge amounts of laughter! Paddle Board was the most recent. Kneeling, great, standing, no. And I suspect with the addition of a paddle, a windsurf board can perform double duty.

  5. Mike,
    You and Rebecca will love windsurfing.
    I did it for 5 years and I consider it the best work out all around.

    My 2 cents:
    – Try to buy the wider board you can find, there are some thin(slalon) that will go really fast but it is extremally difficult to learn on one of these (being there…).
    – get a rig smaller than 6.5 square meters.
    – keep your knees bent.
    – Your balance is in your butt, so move it (back and forth) !
    – Start to use the the seat harness as soon as you can get moving.
    – Use a bikers leather glove, the ones without the finger tips (the windsurfers gloves are waaaaay expensive to do the same)
    – I added a block at the foot step and that made wonders in assembling the sail.

    enjoy, and keep posting pictures !!!!

    Ricardo

  6. That is awesome that you are learning something new but please read up on it some more before you guys get on that board. I kiteboard and love it, windsurfing is a little less dangerous but still can hurt you badly if you’re not careful. You really need to know what size sail you have so you know what wind range you can ride it, you can’t reef that sail, lol. Most guys I know that windsurf have at least 3 different sail sizes. Have lots of fun with it. πŸ™‚

  7. To have several sail sizes is wonderful, I never had it for $$ reasons, but I wonder that when Mike see the size of a windurfing sail bag . . .

    That is the reason I said below 6.5 sqr meters . . .
    For winds from 10-20 knots something from 5.5 to 6.5 is what makes the trick.

    Ricardo

  8. Hi there Mike and Rebecca,

    Learning Windsurfing in Simpson bay should be very nice depending on how steady the breeze may be… it would be best to find an area were steady trade winds are not interrupted too much…

    Kitesurfing is more of an aerial sport rather than a water sport… things can go very wrong very quick so it is a must to get schooled on that one…

    … Windsurfing is a sail sport and the boards to get on a plane (planning hull) it is a blast… also, windsurfing held the worlds speed record under sail until someone made up this contraption that its only purpose was to beat that speed record, LOL… to me nothing beats the slapping sound of a planning board accompanied with the whistling of a sail going at its fastest, LOL…. it may be a little steep learning curve but the rewards are very nice… lol…

    … I remember while learning I bailed (let go) of the board and I literally skipped (bounced) of the water once, up in the air again and hit the water again and in the water… It was a blast… LOL… just to give you an idea how fast those things can get, LOL…

    … get to watch a lot of videos on the internet about how to set it up, tune it, and go windsurf…

    … just blog about your learning experience… since that there are a few windsurfers in here anyway… we may be able to help…

    … the worst part of it is to find time to do it. You know, your available time with/plus good weather for it. It doesn’t seem to be a problem to you both, LOL…

    Patience and ride that learning curve,
    Sammy

    • Before we break any speed records we’ll just try to stay standing. πŸ™‚

    • Please know I am not here to start an argument, I love reading this blog and love kiting and dislike the bad rap many windsurfers give it. The sailing speed record for 500m was held by a kiter for 2 years before the sailrocket took it late last year. l’Hydroptere had it before that. Kiting is still coming together as a sport, much like snowboarding was back in the 80’s.

      • We have nothing bad to say about kiteboarding. We think kiting is cool and would love to do it. The downside I see is that it would be a lot harder to just pop off our boat at anchor and go. It seems to really need a second person to launch the kite, unless your good and have enough wind to self launch. During our lessons we saw how difficult that was even for the pros. The equipment also seems much more fragile and it is at least or more expensive than windsurfing.

  9. As a decent skier and even better slalom water skier, I was pretty confident I could “get it” quickly. Took me quite a while, lot’s of laughs and very tiring hauling that sail up to balance sail position and body balance. I had a few really good rides but never got completely comfy on one. Good luck!

  10. Sammy is right.
    The sound of the water and the wind on the face while planning is just amazing.

    I could only be standing when I was told by my wife (after she recup from all the laughing) that the knees needs to be bented all the time and you get to move your butt to get your balance – all the time – as the others seams to be doing . .. The mentined it before.

    Planning is the next step after you can be standing and moving….
    In Brazil we call it catapult: When things go wrong and you fly like a frog in the air with your legs up and splash the water…. Part of the learning.

    as you can see, a lot of fun to the audience too….. hahahaha

    Ricardo

  11. Learning to windsurf with a support dingy (and video cam) is deluxe. Exchange places when one tires of falling off and getting back up. A long John wetsuit to prevent nonskid abrasions is a good idea. A few lessons with a good instructor makes things faster and easier but learning by trial and error is possible and often hilarious – post pics please. Β It takes a while to get a feel for the balance and steering so having a dingy to tow you back upwind makes it much less stressful. If there is any wind you should have a few good catapults on the first day. Have fun! Β Β 

  12. So by my count- that’s one windsurfer, one kayak, 2 bicycles, and a cat that have been added to a 32 foot PDQ. It gives me hope for my future boat- but sends chills up my husband’s spine!

  13. I hope that you have better luck than I did. When I was a teenager, I was at Port Stanley beach and I rented one and received a shot in the groin when the pole came out of the holder…twice! Opted for the kayak after that. Looks like fun though, enjoy.

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