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How to Handle a Skunk…or, What You Gonna Do When the Wind Don’t Blow:

I was in Avon on the Outer Banks for a week last month for the North Sports National Dealer Meeting. The Man, himself, Robby Naish, was there for 4 days. (I’m sure you know this already if you’ve crossed my path since then.) Yes, I was a little gah gah. This is the dude whose raw ability helped pioneer the modern sport of windsurfing in the 70’s as a teenager. Then, in the 80’s, he went on to define shortboard windsurfing in all of it’s many aspects as we know it today. He became the dominant champion throughout the world. He was the right man – at the right time – with the aggressiveness, style, and skills on the water – as well as the personality off the water – to become one of those few world-class athletes who come to utterly personify his sport. Sure, windsurfing may be a minor sport in this country but there’s no question that Robby is to windsurfing what Arnold is to golf, Michael is to basketball, Wayne is to hockey.

Anyway, here we were in Hatteras. It’s blowin’ 35 knots the day he arrives. How I met him—out on the water, on the sound-side on a 6.6 while the rest of us were on 4.0’s – is a story I’ll have to tell you in person. But, what I saw him doing the next day on the water is what I’ll remember.

That next day after lunch, we broke out of our dealer’s presentation to find the wind so light only a handful of beginners and wind-starved Canadians who didn’t know better were out there holding up the biggest piece of monofilm they could get their hands on. The rest of us did what we always do in these conditions – fidgetted and complained about the sorry conditions. What did Robby Naish do? Rigged up a 20 sq.m kite and grabbed an 11foot traditional wooden surf board – no straps or anything on it – and went longboard kiting for over 2 hours. But, that’s not all. The next day, again, it’s even less wind. I’m in a meeting on the back deck of one of the sound-side houses. Below us we notice somebody sorting through the tons of high-performance demo gear. This person pulls out one of the inflatable Mistral Windgliders. He hops up, starts pumping the sail on his way out to the barely perceivable wind line. Yep, it’s Robby again. He sailed around 20 minutes and then had his wife Katy jump on there with him. They navigated the man-made canals between the houses, under the bridges, laughing all the way for the longest time.

What is the moral to this story? Well, there is so many morals to this story you don’t want to hear them from me – it’ll come off like a sermon. But, I’ll melt it down for you: If, after 27 years of windsurfing and kiteboarding almost everyday at the most extreme level, Robby Naish can squeeze true delight and joy out of a no-wind day on a Hatteras trip, then so can you and I when we are in similar situations. Because, after all, windsurfing, surfing – all the freeride sports – are about focusing on the present, experiencing the “now” – finding joy and delight somehow in what is given. Keeping that perspective with us all the time. Sometimes it’s going to blow – sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s rain – sometimes it’s shine. Same old thing you’ve heard before: it’s the attitude that counts…that, and having the right toys.



Chris Campbell and Chuck Hardin meeting Naish in Hatteras

LAKE SCENE UPDATE

Big Wednesday – Nov. 6, 2002
It was ferocious at Clark Hill with gusts of 50mph, a sustained period in the 40’s, and hardly ever out of the 30’s all day long under blue skies, fluffy white clouds – just no people. Only 3 on the water here. There was a good crowd of around 30 windsurfers at Van Pugh on Lanier, and the eastern contingent of ACWA gathered with nearly a dozen at Lake Monticello (NW of Columbia, SC). But, it was an epic lake day here. I spent 2, ½ hours on 4.5 and 5 hours on 4.0. That morning at the coast, at Station 29, there was a 6:30am well-attended board meeting. (Matthew, Jose’, Bart, Scott, and chairman of the board, Johnathan Coleman among others). Five-Oh or better, for sure, and waves on the outside were nearly mast high; but, it was rough between sets, rain came in and killed it about 9:30, clocked around to off shore. SEE, sometimes the PLACE TO BE is on the sweetwater. So, if you couldn’t make the scene on this Big Wednesday, dust off those old excuses and lies and be ready to get out there for the next one. It’s cold front season…and you can see it coming.

Clark Hill (aka, Thurmond) – Scotts Ferry Landing is back open with full facilities and lighting. Our rigging circle is reduced by half and not yet grassed or pinestrawed. Parking near the rigging circle may become an issue as usership of the ramps picks up – IF the lake ever rises again to normal. Is it up about 4’ as of 11/20.

Windtalker – It’s all ready. It’s all “solid-state” this time. We’re just waiting for the Savannah office of the Corps of Engineers to let the NWS turn it on. Paperwork concerning security issues is waiting for a signoff. Must be lost under all the “Why all this rain is not returning lake levels to normal” press release reports they keep making up. When it comes on, data will be updated every 5 minutes. And, oh yeah, it’s free this time – no phone line to pay for.

Monticello (Columbia area) – SCE&G thought they got rid of us finally. But squash us here and we windsurfers spring up there. Murray is no longer the scene -- everyone is going full Monti. Larry and Willis’s “secret spot” is no longer that – the scene is shifted to Lake Monticello. Access and rigging is a windsurfer’s paradise and the lake pristine: no jetski’s or even waterskiing allowed. Debra Bricker has pointed out you can own a piece of this oval-shaped 6,700 acre windsurfer’s heaven. Currently only about 30 homes on it. Uncrowded, great fetch, higher elevation than surrounding area -- it’s windier. Waterfront 1 to 3 acre lots for sale at $79K. About half of 60 lots are gone but contact Wanda Carnes, the agent, 1-800-671-2875, will show you what it’s all about. Mention Debra if you do call her, please. (She’ll get some credit for the reference.)

Speaking of Lake Murray, Nick du Pont pointed out “there was a public meeting regarding hydrilla and Lake Murray, and the proposal to import sterile carp to eat it all up. Nick said he figures when they're done, there will be a giant carp tournament; or we'll need "carp-fins".

Oconee (off I-20, exactly halfway between Augusta and Atlanta, near Greensboro, GA) – EUREKA! It does exist! Actual CAMPING in a secure, clean, full-service campground with very good windsurfing launch right at the campsite! The best campground is Parks Ferry (NW, SW). Get the right site and your launch would be mast-length from your campfire! Another campground, Old Salem, would have an even longer fetch on N and W, but the campsites are a couple hundred yards back in a cove from full exposure – still not too bad. Details and information at www.georgiapower.com/gpclake

Lanier The LLSC has extended an invitation to sailboarders to jump in any of their Frostbite races in '03. The series is 7 or 8 Saturdays in Jan & Feb. The format is a little different from "regular" races-- they run very short (~15 minutes) windward-leeward heats, so there's lots of action and not much waiting around. Sailboards would have a separate start and possibly different marks, too. Chris Voith, the ABC race dude, says the best approach is to watch the forecast and when there's a Saturday when we'd be going anyway, just meet at LLSC to sail, (and/or race). Info and directions at www.windsurfatlanta.org and cvphoto@mindspring.com

CHARELSTON STUFF

Sail Sulivans Surf Cam –
Man, I love these guys who are not only fantastic windsurfers but skilled techno-geeks as well. Johnathan Coleman has a detailed plan afoot to replace the recently shut-down surf cam at Station 29. It’s more than a plan – the man is on a mission. Here’s his summary: “I am planning to build a new sensor and install it at a friends house on Station 30. From a functionality perspective I intend to be able to provide more information than is currently available through iwindsurf. That would include a nice web cam with either live streaming video or 5 minute updates, and because of the location it should be a perfect view of the sailing area. I would also like to make it java based so that people can watch the live images of the ocean and watch the wind meter readings move in real time, all without sucking up a lot of bandwidth so dial-up users will be OK too. And I believe I will be able to offer automatic text messaging [to your e-mail address] and paging options with parameters set by the user to be notified when the wind hits a predetermined level. Anyway, more details to follow soon. Thanks to all who have been so generously offering their support and assistance. If all goes as planned regarding funding it will be a free service to the community too. And if folks out there have any other ideas then please let me know.”


DEMOS…CLOSE-OUTS…PRE-SEASON…


Close-out 2002 boards:

Starboard wood FORMULA 156
for $835! INCREDIBLE! That’s a $1664 retail board!

Starboard Free Formula
198 for $975.(Retail $1342) All Starboard is half freight, too!

Starboard Carve 90, 135 & Free Sex 86, 96, 116
D-ram, $975, wood, $1075 (Retail $1560!)

F2 Max-2-Air 264 $899
– my favorite 15 to 25mph board -- (259, 254 available too)

Mistral’s ‘ 01/ ‘ 02 Custom Flow, Score, Supervision, Naish WAVE, various, $799 down to $650!

JP Freerides 130, 145, 160 for $899.

BIC Techno 293 CTS (205L) and Evolution Large (135 L) at $790 – that’s nuts!

Demo Boards (w/ foot straps, fin)
F2 Discovery 190 -- $790
(normally $999, 80cm w., rubbber deck, w/ centerboard --- more range.)
F2 Max-2-Air 264 (‘ 01) -- $650
Seatrend ATV 262, 86 liter -- $580 –
best turning board ever!

WET WEAR! – Get yer wet wear right here! Semi-dry and Dry suit close-outs - men's and woman's.

Ahhh, cold front season -- it’s the cure for what ails you. But, to get out there and get yours, you’ve got to dress for success. This year there is not quite as many suits on close-out (in as many sizes or models) as the last two years, but those who come first may get served well. Neil Pryde suits from ' 02 in the nifty, super-improved "E2" closure system. It’s sort of like a zipperless suit but with a little mini-zipper added at the back of the shoulders with continuous flap behind it. It's easier to get on, but the real benefit is the minuscule amount of cold H2Oh! it lets in. $100 off the original price at $258 for this top-of-the-line Apex 5000 5/3 Windsurf series.( $242 for a 4/3 ' 02 model with the "E2".) Also, 2001 series 5000 5/3 Zipperless models still available at $237. Some 4/3, series 4000 Multisport and Windsurf models, 2001, for around $160 depending on model. Even a few year year 2000 suits in 4/3 in vertical zipper and zipperless for $148.

HOT Sails Maui 2003 Pre-season Special
The windsurfing "industry" declined 25% world-wide last year due to a triple whammy: bad weather in Europe; a bad economy everywhere; and the bad, bad kiteboarders siphoning off a big chunk of business. This is good for you, the still-addicted, ever-stoked windsurfer that you are. Resale prices are actually lower; products are innovative; service is better than ever as we compete to survive.

HOT makes innovative, very durable, excellent quality sails. Check it out: www.hotsailsmaui.com :

1.) Big sails -- FORMULA D -- 2 and 3 cam freerace in 1/2 meter size increments from 6.0 to 9.5 plus 10.3, 11.5, and 12.5 resale for $495 to $645, which is pretty darn reasonable, will be $386 to $499.

2.) Freeride -- STEALTH -- no-cam slalom model in 1/2 size increments from 5.0 to 9.5 resale for $440 to $ 555 will be $343 to $433.

3.) Superlight -- Psyclone -- not only tough-looking, but the toughest superlight sail around. In .3 or .4 sq m. increments from 4.2 to 7.1 normally $375 to $450 will be $292 to $351
3a.) Fred said throw in the woman's specific DIVA, too. One of HOT's best sellers -- the bump/jump wave sail that most lightweight men should be on, too. From 3.3 to 5.3 its normally $400 to $435 will be $312 to $339

Neil Pryde
I’m one of only 2 dealers nationwide taking delivery on 2003 model NP sails now. I’ve got the twin-cam SPIRIT and superlight SUPERNOVA in various sizes in stock and I’m motivated to get ‘em moving right away. I’ve also got some SUPER LONG RACE-length ALUMINUM BOOMS. AT around $190, these booms from the world-wide leader in racing are the best alternative to the $600 carbon boom.


Previous Postings
  2002
Aug-Dec 2001
June-July 2001
January-March 2001 .
November-December 2000
August-Sep2000
June-July 2000

May-June 2000

April-May 2000
 
Chuck Hardin
(706) 860-0639

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