Friday, May 28, 2010

A Windsurfing Nation

The Community section located in the left hand sidebar of the Learners guide now covers the entire continental U.S. with a little Mexico and Canada thrown in for good measure. Organized into 7 different pages, is a list of the current Windsurf Nation. Please look at your area of interest and correct mistakes and omissions. Leave a comment on this blog or at the bottom of the page here.

Why collect and publish such a thing? In theory, for anyone new to this scene, it's a chance to find someone else to sail with.  If you love this sport, then you gotta love those who practice it. Finding them is the next logical step. Community is worthy of promotion.

Digging up all the information for Community gave me a good look at how we present ourselves to everyone else. On behalf of all of us who regularly visit windsurfing websites, could the hard working volunteers who build and administer these websites please update your sites. Too many links don't work. And if you started a Yahoo email group that hasn't had a windsurfing post in years or is overun by solicitous spammy offers, please, please go ahead and delete your group. When anyone asks almighty Google for help in finding a windsurfing connection, what you find in Community is what they will see. Can't hurt the sport if our websites are at least accurate and up to date.

Wherever there is a windsurfing website, another path is created  that leads to the windsurfing story. Our Windsurf Nation does a good job online giving our sport identity. Because we love what we do, we never hesitate in telling others how much fun we're having. And that's what all the online presence boils down to: all the words, photos and videos, are really just one big smile.

P.S. The next Community survey will be Maui.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Learners guide updates

There are 2 new communities listed on the Learners guide sidebar: The Gorge and Pacific Northwest and California and Baja, Mexico Please help make these guides accurate. Corrections? Omissions? Leave a comment.

Another new page is Hodgepodge, a collection of dissimilar ingredients.

One more addition is The 10-Step Guide to Windsurfing by Bill Prinzmetal, found here at the bottom of the page.

My virtual tour of some of this continent's massive west coast proves to me that windsurfing is alive and well. No matter what you remember about the good ol' go-go glory days from our infancy, when we were the buzz child of all things new, today, Windsurf Nation is stoked and sharing it. In fact there are many of you too young to know much about the glory days except through photos...thank goodness.

I like San Francisco where it seems everybody has a blog or a website. Is it 'cause everyone is techno savy and the internet is a natural extension to the art of communication? Or is it, everyone is just stoked out of their brains and compelled to tell anyone what a damn fine thing this windsurfing is? Don't matter, it's a pleasure to read all of it.

It's been said that California is years ahead of the rest of the U.S. One thing really stands out about SF: there is a culture of acceptance for kiting; a real merger of the two sports in many of the organizations. In fact, stand alone windsurf shops have been long gone. Retail reality requires the multi sport approach. San Fran already embraces this across the water sport community. Will the rest of us follow years later? Will we be "Board Groups" with the only requirement, you use a board on the water? Who knows...For now there is stoke and there is windsurfing and it feels good.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Americans in Korea

In Ulsan this year is "Captain" Greg Thomas US 808, 62 year old eldest of the 3 man American contingent, including Micah Buzianis and Kevin Pritchard, all from Maui.

Former Maui resident, Josh Angulo who now lives on and competes for the Cape Verde Islands, will be powered by new sponsor Gun Sails.

A field of 57 men with 16 from Japan will make for some wild 'n crazy heats.

It's going to be fun to see how last year's Womens Freestyle Champion, Sarah Quita Offringa will do in 2010. She is fully committed to all of this year's slalom racing tour. Don't worry, she will also defend her freestyle crown. I'll also be rooting for Sarah Hebert whose new sponsor, Boston Scientific is excited about her transatlantic crossing later this fall.

PWA reporter Paul Griffiths, Day 1 report  John Carter photos  Not much to say from the Live Ticker because like last year, the wind is not ready to cooperate. Skippers meeting set for 9:00 on Sunday. Saturday's day 1 is over.

Continent 7 interview with Antoine Albeau right before the PWA event started.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Q and A from Podersdorf Day 5

Tuesday. Another no wind yet day in Austria at the PWA's first event of the season...From the Live Ticker this interview/question session from the freestyle competitors. Go to the bottom of the page to start.

15:53 He started windsurfing in 2003, when he was 12 years old.

15:52 He says he's never actually counted. But, he sails every single day that's windy. When he was training in Bonaire, that meant every day, but more recently in Holland, it was 3 times in the last month!

15:47 Next up, Rizek from the Czech Republic wants to know how many days per year these guys spend on the water. And from what age they started windsurfing. I'll just ask the closest person next to me for this one, which happens to be Davy Scheffers.

15:33 Rossi also reckons that visualisation helps him to learn new moves. It's wont do you any harm giving these things a go, so try it out next time you want to learn something.

15:32 But most importantly he says that doing exercises on land and in light winds are extremely important. That way you have some form of muscle memory, so you'll know how certain moves feel before you do them.

15:28 As for how to learn a new move, he thinks your first step should be to get hold of a copy of the Tricktionary!

15:23 He seems to think that some moves you can do almost instantly because they make sense in your head, whereas others are completely alien. But what works for one person can be completely different for someone else.

15:20 He said it's difficult to put a number on how long it takes them to learn a new move. For example, it took him 2 months to learn to vulcan, but 6 months to flaka.

15:15 Right, I've tracked Rossi down.

15:12 Chris Cross has sent in a couple of questions. He'd like to know how long it takes these guys to learn a new move, and how they go about it. For this one, I think i'll track down the tricktionary legend, Michael Rossmeier!

15:08 The wind still hasn't appeared. But, we've received some more questions so stay tuned for them.

14:20 He also says that plenty of moves come from light wind variations. So the guys will go out when it's really light just to see what sail spins are possible. I hope that answers your question Fred.

14:15 As for how the guys come up with the new moves, Tonky admits that it's getting harder and harder, but still says there are plenty of possibilities to dream up. He says that some of the best moves have come from watching people fall off. Often he'll watch his brother Taty, or Kiri in Bonaire, and when they fail to land a move it allows him to see what else could be possible.

14:07 Tonky reckons that we could possibly see some new moves in Fuerteventura. He said that they're more likely to be combination moves rather than anything brand new. Last year he unveiled the Bongka which was a forward loop into a flaka. He says that this year he thinks he'll try to do a forward ponch combination.

13:55 Fred Willis from Ireland wants to know what the next big move is going to be. And how the guys go about thinking them up. I've just spotted the style master from Bonaire, Tonky Frans, so i'll see if he can answer this for Fred.

13:05 There has been no change in the conditions here this morning. Sailors will remain on standby throughout the afternoon.

12:55 Keep your questions coming in.

12:44 This is what Bubble had to say: "Well, i already had the classic short back and sides so that left me with 2 options, shaved head or long hair. I didn't really fancy the shaved look because my head would get too cold and i'd look like a bit of an idiot. My hair is too thin for growing it long and you also have to go through the stage of looking like a girl, ie the Max Rowe look. Someone mentioned a mohican and Scott Fenton didn't have his anymore so i thought i'd give a try. Now i'm glad i did it beacuse it has helped me geain some recognition in the windsurfing world."

12:38 Our second question of the day comes from Paul Hunt in New Zealand. He wants to know why JP/Pryde rider Andy 'Bubble' Chambers chose to have a Mohawk hair cut! Hopefully Bubble wont take this in a bad way...

12:10 The lake resembles a mill pond at the moment. SUPing is the order of the day. Sailors remain on hold.

12:03 Andre told me the following, he uses the Duke range from 5.4 upwards and from 5.0 below he uses the Ice. He reckons if you try to use just one mast, you won't be getting the best range from your sails. He uses a 430 with the 5.4 Duke and then a 400 on his Ices. Gollito also agreed with him. So if you want the same performance as two of the PWA's finest, that's what you should go for. I hope this answers your question.

Send any other Q's to

11:55 Our First question of the day is from Swierakk in Poland. He wants to know which sails he should buy for freestyle from the North Sails range. And, whether or not he could use just one mast

PWA Live Ticker[showUid]=67&cHash=9dfffe514c