Sunday, July 25, 2010

Gear on parade

Just when you thought it was safe to buy some new 2010 gear...the 2011 lines begin to appear.

Maui Sails has been using the Issuu publishing platform for their monthly newsletter. In fact, take away the sail company name and you've got all the elements of a good magazine. This brochure does a nice job of introducing their new sails.

Simmer Sails takes a more traditional approach to introduce their wave sails: some awe inspiring wave riding with explanation from Kai Katchadourian:

This Starboard video introduces their talented team riders showing what can be done with the 2011 boards; another wave sailing video introduces the Quad. Starboard has recently reskinned their website.

This 2010 X.O Freestyle Wave Sail called the Fusion has only 3 battens.

The I Q, Gaastra's 2011 Thomas Traversa signature sail has 4 battens in the 5.0 size and smaller.

The North 2011 Ice and its brothers are happy with 5 battens. The Shox.XTR ( seen this product before? ) claims better speed, control and comfort.

Boardseeker got some "Spy Shots" of the RRD 2011 Quad.

Here are 3 relatively new American fin companies: F4  Kashy  Ifju

Aluminum Aeron Booms arrived in the U. S. this year. Wind-NC has the info.

This pdf.file introduces the 2011 Goya sails.

Check out this new German made Tecno Limits boom head and the unique way it attaches to the mast.

Neil Pryde replaces the Alpha with the Atlas.

Robby, Kai and friends show off the entire 2011 Naish product line.

Their recently redesigned website is the perfect place to find the 2011 boards from Fanatic.

So far, JP has only gone public with  their 2011 Super Light Wind board. Andy Chambers interviews Werner Gnigler:

RRD introduced a bunch of wassups (windsurfing as stand up paddle)  in 2010 along with the rest of the industry. Here's some Florida proof of how they work:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A casual history of recent U.S. National Championships

2010  San Francisco  This year, the National Championship had it's own website courtesy of David Well's Waterhound. David set a new standard for event reporting.  Not to be outdone, Shawn Davis Photography provided a massive photo record. New this year was a freestyle competition. Also new this year was the awarding of the M9 Bill Weir Memorial Trophy for overall champion.

2009 Hood River   Steve Bodner reported: 4 days of epic racing on the Columbia River Gorge was enough for local Bruce "It's my river" Peterson to claim both the course and slalom disciplines for the 2009 US Windsurfing National Championship... This iWindsurf thread caught most of the reporting.

2008 Worthington 
Allison Shreeve reports: Worthington certainly knows how to put on a regatta for the 65 competitors who made their way from all over the country and beyond for the US Nationals. From Tornados to glorious sunny conditions, a beautiful lake just perfect for windsurfing, and the lively sounds of the Unvarnished Music Festival made this a most memorable week. The US Nationals have just concluded for 2008 with 17 spectacular races in Formula and 19 races in the open Raceboard fleets. Results Here's a 30 minute video report:

2007 San Francisco  Bryan McDonald reports First Day of racing: Light breeze...with most people on 10m sails. Seth Besse, whose Dr. forbid him to sail (due to a recently dislocated shoulder from slalom training), is winning the event. Second place is going to Hansen sailor Ben Bamer. Listen to interviews with Seth, Ben, olympic hopeful Denise Parris, Steve Bodner... learn why Mike Zajichek is not racing... The Podcast dominated the reporting. Find all of them on this WindSurfing Mag forum thread.

2006 Maui  MattPritchard dominated his 19-39 age group winning 14 slalom races, five course races and the long distance race. To determine the final standings in each age group, race officials used a formula that allowed the slalom to account for 40 percent of a total score, course racing to account for another 40 percent and long distance racing to make up the remaining 20 percent. Results

2005 Hood River  ESPN showed up to film the first day of competition for their 50 Days in 50 States series and there was no wind. Gorge based VMG Events reported 120 competitors. Steve Bodner reported on Thursday July 28: The nuclear gorge winds finally arrived this morning. By the time we arrived at the site, the river was full of white caps and 25-30k. The organizer started off with slalom right away and we ran 2 heats of the modified Gorge slalom course... Steve's full report.

2004 San Francisco  Steve Bodner reported:
started out slow this morning while the wind was still building but by the end of the 4th race I was feeling in form. I made several small mistakes that set me back but at the finish of Day 1, I am sitting in 15th. My goal is top 10 so I've got a few more guys to knock off before it's all over...Results

2003 Worthington  This NPR piece tells a little. This was the first National Championship in Worthington.

2002 Corpus Christi  From the NOR: To all you US amateur racers, or wannabe/wannatry racers, out there, mark your calendars and start making plans to attend this year's USWA Nationals over May 22-27. Kevin Pritchard won this National Championship. More photos.

2001 Hood River   Bruce Peterson reports: For those who haven't yet seen a report or any results from the nationals, the short story is this. We raced nine races over two days of a five day event. Winds ranged from 10 knots to gusts over 30. Phil McGain dominated the event winning six of the nine races, followed by (in order of fleet finishing position) Micah Buzainis, Jimmy Diaz, Matt Pritchard, Devon Boulon, Alex Aguera, Dale Cook, Rob Hartman, Mike Zajicek, and Bill Weir rounding out the top ten. I finished in 11th place racing on camberless Retro sails. More

2000 Martha's Vineyard  In August 2000, the US Windsurfing National Championship on Martha’s Vineyard was cancelled. Too late to reschedule, Kent came up with a solution. In conjunction with Adventure Sports, Kent provided 50 Techno (One-Design) windsurf boards for the Islamorada Pro-Am in the Keys. He convinced the event director that they could host the first ever US Windsurfing National Techno Championships.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Andy Chambers explains freestyle moves

Another light wind opportunity on the PWA Tour ... Paul Griffths conducts this Q & A with Andy Bubble Chambers (photo)

Paul:  We're still on standby here in Costa Teguise. We've had a lot of people asking us to explain various moves that the sailors have been performing during their heats, so if the wind remains light we're going to get one of the guys to explain all via the Ticker.

Ok, I've dragged Andy 'Bubble' Chambers away from his lunch to talk to us about some of the freestyle moves we've seen over the past few days. First up Bubble, lets talk about the most basic moves.

Describe the spock, the flaka, and the grubby.

Bubble: The easiest way to describe it is to go back to the real basics of the vulcan. This is effectively an air gybe where your feet stay in the straps and you land sliding backwards. The spock is the next step on from this. As you're sliding backwards you push the mast into wind and carry on round another 180 degrees. And, when you slide this final 180 you flip the sail again to go back the way you started. The flaka is essentially just a planing aerial upwind 360 in the straps. The grubby is pretty much a downwind 360 in the straps but instead of carving round the move, you slide on the nose of the board.

They sound easy enough to understand, probably a little bit more complicated to actually perform! What's the next step up from those 3 moves?

Bubble: You'd probably learn how to do all of those moves switch. Which means you're sailing in the wrong straps with your body twisted.

Do those switch moves have a different name?

Bubble: Just to make things a bit more complicated - YES! A switch stance spock is a Puneta, a switch stance grubby is an e-slider, but the switch flaka is simply that, the switch flaka!

Where do we go from there?

Bubble: You could add a diablo to each of those moves to increase your technical skill points. A diablo being where you duck the rig at the very end of any move.

What about a ponch then?

Bubble: That's basically a cartwheel whilst holding on to your gear. You and your board cartwheel over the top of your sail. This move is more technically difficult than the one's we've spoken about already, and is even harder on glassy flat water!

Is that similar to a toad?

Bubble: Not really. But, you do still rotate with a cartwheel type of motion. However, you're clew first in that one, and rotate away from the wind.

It's starting to get complicated now!

Bubble: I know. Next up is the funnel.


Bubble: A funnel, named after the legend Andy Funnel, is basically a switch stance front to sail spock 540. You start off switch stance, duck the sail (so that you're now front to sail), pop 180, and then slide round the rest of the move.

And a bob?

Bubble: That's essentially a regular stance funnel.

I'm getting lost, but lets carry on. What's a culo?

Bubble: It's a mix between a bob and a toad.

Ummm? Go on then...

Bubble: In the simplest of terms it's exactly the same as bob but off axis, so you rotate over your gear rather than with it. A burner is the switch version.

What about the chachoo? That's been around for ages right?

Bubble: Yeah it has, but it remains one of the most difficult moves to do. Most people do the switch version which is far easier. With this one it's essentially just a spock 540 but you rotate around the clew of the sail instead of the mast.

OK. Finally, another move we here about all the time is the kono. What's that?

Bubble: It's a lot like an old school move that Robby Naish used to do when he turned around. You duck the sail like a duck tack, carve into wind, pop the board up and sheet in facing the other direction. If you end up going the other way though, it's just a half kono, you actually need to spin 360 in the air to do the full version which barely anyone can do!

Right, you've confused me enough now. If anyone else out there is feeling the same, just log onto where you can search for all of these moves and more! Now when you see them written in the Ticker, and you're not quite sure what we're talking about, you may be a little bit wiser! Bubble has basically fried my brain talking moves so i've let him wander off now. The wind is still playing games with us, and everyone is waiting patiently on standby.

You can find PWA media man, Paul Griffths plying his trade with play by play on the Live Ticker, daily event reports and windsurfing news at

Postscript: The event below, recently announced on July 1: Event organisers are eager to hear from anyone interested in attending. Register or leave a comment on this forum thread.

Freestyle Competition in conjunction with the 2010 U.S. National Windsurfing Championship

San Francisco | Crissy Field | July 20th-24th.

There will be 2 Divisions.

New School – Any trick counts.
Old  School – Bring your Carving Tricks and Light Wind Maneuvers.

You can enter both Divisions if you like!

Entrance Fee is $35 and gets you into all the action and parties at the St. Francis Yacht Club.

Latest informatiom here

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Calendar: August 2010

PWA Fuerteventura | July 23- Aug 2[showUid]=166&cHash=67d7efba0d

Starboard Prokids IFCA Freestyle Championship | Bonaire | July 28 - Aug 1

The Gorge Challenge | Gorge Cup | July 31 - Aug 1

Canadian Youth Sailing Championship | Ottawa | Aug 1 - 7

Techno 293 National Championship | Martha's Vineyard, Ma. | Aug. 3-5

Canadian Windsurfing Championships | Dryden, Ontario | Aug. 5-8

ABK | Rio Vista | Aug 6 - 8

Inter Lake Yachting Regatta | Put In Bay, Ohio | Aug 6 - 8

PWA Bosphoros Straits, Istanbul | Aug. 6 - 7[showUid]=170&cHash=dec34be7e4

Amber Dune Butterfly Effect | Cabarete | Aug 6 - 7

Cabrillo Beach Enduro | San Pedro, CA | Aug 7

San Diego Formula Windsurfing | Aug 7

Run 'n Root Beer Regatta | Shell Point, Florida | Aug.7

Menominee Festival Regatta | Menominee, Mich | Aug 7-8

King of the Hook | Hood River | Aug 9

PWA Alacati, Turkey | Aug 9 - 14[showUid]=167&cHash=7e49a5f310

St. Francis Yacht Club Twilight Series | San Francisco | Aug 13

ABK | Rio Vista | Aug 13 - 15

King of the Hook | Gorge | Aug 14

Kona Race Series | Melbourne, FL | Aug 14

Williams Fork Race | Parshall, CO | Aug 14!/event.php?eid=112357422147666&index=1

Tour da St. Croix | Prescott, WI | Aug 20 - 22

Wyatt Miller Jibe Clinic | The Delta | Aug 21

Cal Cup Race 6 | San Francisco | Aug 21

St. Francis Yacht Club Twilight Series | San Francisco | Aug 27

Waconia Wind and Wave | Waconia, MN | Aug 28

More events will be found on this Canadian schedule. Plus, on page 2, Nevin Sayre put together a calendar for 2010 junior events.

More Team USA junior events.

Mowind does a detailed schedule  for the Great Lakes / North Central Region

Calcup covers the west coast U.S. races and more.

ABK continuous tour schedule

U.S. Windsurfing National Racing Tour

Southeast U. S. events will be found here

iWindsurf Events page

Just in cast you missed it.

Pistol River.. The Super Final from Kevin Pritchard on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Gorge Windfest: blueprint for success

Windfest had all the ingredients that make it a worthy model for anyone planning any future windsurfing event.

The event was put together by an established and well known orginization: Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association. Their recently reskinned website's Events and News sections provided help for visitors searching for information. Gorge Windsurfing, the CGWA Facebook page, added another way to stay connected and informed about the event. Being able to link to event information helps big time in spreading the news. What's more, these 2 entities would guarantee space for the all important post event reports. 

Location, location, location. The often quoted real estate axiom certainly applies to events for 2 reasons. The Gorge is arguably the number one summertime destination for windsurfing in the continental U.S. Good industry support for bringing a large collection of current 2010 gear to view and demo is somewhat easier because there is so much  windustry in Hood River.  Windsurfers love wind and gear.

Industry support also means swag. The Windfest raised money for the CGWA by auctioning off a Vela Brazil trip and a chance to build your own Nolimitz mast. The unplanned interesting stuff can be shared if someone has a video camera to capture the good vibes and memories.
It's nice for us and everyone else to know there's more than our insane passion for wind and water. The highly successful ad campaign by Nissan branded their trucks with our love of dogs: Dogs love trucks. The Adopt a Dog Parade certainly proved we weren't just a bunch of sports only kooks.

Competitions are almost always an intregal part of any large windsurfing gathering. Amplifying the activity level of Windfest was the long distance race, The Gorge Blowout. Windsport did a nice old school phone interview with winner, Bruce Peterson. Windsurfing's unsung reporting heroes, the blogging community, were made proud by this Blowout report from Andreas Macke. Windsurfing events are defined by and it seems require video reports. I'm sure this video will travel far and be used in next year's promotion:

It seems, another requirement is the event poster (top of page) which puts all the information in a pleasing artsy presentation. Last but not least, an ample flow of photos keeps the audience involved and wishing they were there. Of course somewhere to publish those photos really drives home what the CGWA did to make Windfest a success. Doesn't hurt to have key event personnel available for media reporting either.

Timing is everything. The week prior to the Windfest, on the nearby Oregon coast, was the biggest wave contest in the U.S. in many years. Coupled with the Pistol River Wave Bash  was a new type of event, the Jump Off. Both produced considerable interest and excitement. The week after Windfest saw the Team Edition of the Jump Off start in the Gorge. Exciting events, before and after, certainly helped Windfest across the board. This Zane Schweitzer report shows how a visiting pro can add to an event.

Don't forget the power of food, drink and music. Everyone needs 'em. An event this size certainly required a heapin' dose of behind the scenes, tireless volunteers: the all too underestimated get 'er done part of the event equation. Even Homer Simpson would see that a lot goes into making a good windsurfing event. Windfest certainly proved itself worthy as a guide for others to follow.