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More Stoke for everyone:

I love that word. I'm glad it "belongs" to boardriders and surfers. Stoke goes beyond "enthusiasm". It's enthusiasm taken to the next level. It's not a state of just being "fired up", or we would call it that. Rather, it's an ingredient, a quality, that can be there even when one is calm and mellow. It's a heightened awareness, energy, and intensity -- an "aliveness" that comes from experiencing in some hands-on way the largeness and power of the natural world. You think it's just extreme athletes doing near-impossible feats who have "stoke"? Please...spare me. I was at the lake last Wednesday with a middle-age, hardworking obstetrician on a beautiful (75* in Jan.!!) 12 to 20 mph day. (OK, it was Peter.) He said it was his "best day ever". Long planing reaches, using the harness, in the straps for the first time on his new GO board. It was a day with lulls and holes, but then these sweet long gusts would build...and we would just cruise. No fight; no struggle -- just riding. The result? STOKED. Both of us. Windsurfing -- it's the ticket to stokeville. It's not far away. Make 2002 your year to make the trip.


This is just a head's up -- there is a new, or re-newed, club for the lake-bound windsurfer's who live primarily in the Augusta-to-Columbia, SC area. It's a loosly organized, low-key, high-stoke group - 'cause that's the way we want it. Anyone from anywhere is welcome to join who has in common with us, as one member put it, hydrilla, red clay, I-20, choppy fresh water, and pinestraw rolled up in your sails. You'll receive an inviatation in a separate e-mail to join the e-group list and/or the club itself, so look out for it. Chill -- meetings will be minimal to non-existant and there ain't even any dues. Will explain in the e-mail.


Windsurfing trips and events some local folks are doing that you may want to get in on...

1) Hatteras -- Oct 2003
Whitecap is not planning a Spring Hatteras trip, but we're going in the Fall @nd week of October at Avon in our favorite choice sound-side house, Le Spot. Cost is about $250 for lodging and food for a full week! Can't beat it.

2) ABC Travel page --
This a new page added to the Atlanta Boardsailing Club's site. Scott Geddie has volunteered to be the club's "travel master". Any upcoming or long-range trips that are planned or looking for interest is posted there. You don't necessarily have to be a member to be included in most trips, but members do have first dibs. Check it out. As alwys with the ABC web site, it's thorough, up-to-date, and easy-to-use.

Charleston Sailing Spot Rediscovered: Patriot's Point Hilton on Mt. Pleasant

This report from Scott West tells it all.

"The Hilton over at Patriot's Point is a pretty fun place to sail. Previous attempts to sail there were always on NW, W wind, and it was ok, but nothing stellar. James Island Yacht Club always proved better. Everybody knows that the usual place to sail when it blows S, SW is at the beach, but some wierd things happed with that wind during the winter and early spring, like Saturday before last.

The NWS was predicting 20-25 out of the SW all day. I called up the windtalker at 29 and it was barely getting to ten, and averaging around 7 or 8. I went out to the beach, and sure enough the big pocket of moisture was right off shore, and wouldn't let any wind to the beach. Meanwhile, wind was funneling in through the harbor entrance (Ft. Moultrie included), creating 4.9 to 5.7 conditions (I was on a 5.5 with a small wave board). Since the tide was outgoing, Ft. Moultrie was a bad idea, so we tried the next alternative, Patriot's Point. It made sense as far as its location and wind direction, but I hadn't sailed it on that direction before. Really nice, no mean current even during peak tides, and you can sail most of the time without being in the shipping lanes. Also, they have a little bar at the hotel and decent rigging areas. There was about 10 or so of us, and nobody has ever said anything to us about sailing there. I think they like it since it kind of adds to their tropical theme. Definitely the right place to go on a S, SW when the beach isn't happening, and downtown is going off." [He means when you're standing at the beach in 5 to 7 and you call the downtown windtalker and it says 17 to 22.]

Thurmond's Windicator is on!

The Thurmond Dam windicator (which is maintained by the nWS, i.e. National Weather Service and found at ) is on line again -- updated every 5 minutes and totally reliable.

Rogue Windsurfers shake 'em up at Lake Murray

Here's Pate Bryan's report from Jan. 7th, edited for a PG - 13 rating:

"Yesterday was a nukin day here [at Lake Murray, Irmo side launch]. 20-40 mph. I wasn't going out in that wind with my new board, plus my smallest sail is a 6.8. I knew better. Pat [Evans] was chomping at the bit, wanting to rig a 5.5 of Scott [Davenport's]. I told him to hold his horse's, Greg [Knopf] is getting his butt kicked with a 5.9, Ed [Gould] is over powered with a 5.1. I said, trust me on this one Pat, sitting in this warm van is were we need to be. I actually brought my Magnum out with 6.8 and thought the wind would die out, which it never did. To top everything off, some knuckle-head traveling across the dam called SCE&G and said the windsurfers are in trouble (he happened to see Greg get tossed over the handlebars). Then a security guard shows up and says the Sheriff dept. said for everyone to get off the Lake. Yes, thats right, closed the Lake. Is the Lake private or public. Do we still live in a free country ? We were pretty upset though. Greg and Ed had really had enough bone jarring thrills for the day anyway, so we tucked tail and went to Pat's to watch a surfing video."

There were some further "discussions" with the security guard and no reprecussions are expected; nor do we expect this incident to be repeated on the next epic day that comes around. (Now, if the guards had seen Ed and Pate windsurfing while it was snowing, THEN they might think we were a danger to ourselves. They have a great photo; I'll e-mail it upon individual request.)

Equipment news and stuff

I have greatly expanded my inventory this year. Y'all bought so much last year, I've been encouraged. Right now I have 3 brands of masts, 3 models of booms, about 5 sail models, 3 brands of harnesses and harness lines, and ..oh well, you get the picture. But, my guarantee is your total satisfaction, so I try to sell you what you really want and need, not what I have on hand. Plus, that national mail order house is not going to take back with any refund -- much less a full one like I will -- that new board or sail after 3 or 4 uses just 'cause it really isn't behaving like you thought it would. I will. I've got to live and sail with you people and I want you happy. "Defects in material and workmanship" got nothing to do with it. 'nuff said.

Boom Special -- I've got the new Windsurfing Hawaii MAKAI premium aluminum boom as my 2002 inventory Super Special. The MSRP is $169, but due to the double discount Surf Expo special and pre-season purchase I made at the Surf Expo last Sept., I'm going to offer them for $143 till they're gone. (That's only $10 more than the LANAI model which I still stock.) The MAKAI has a 2-door, continuous aluminum front end that fits any conventional size mast or an RDM (skinny) mast without an adapter!. I 1/8" tubes of upgraded 6070 aluminum, harness line and tail piece adjustment markings on 24" of gold anodized adjustment. Looks killer!

Also, while we're talking used stuff,
Gene Mathis of the ABC is running a windsurfers' consignment used-gear shop at his place near Lake Lanier. You can put your own stuff there to sell or do some shoping. Contact gene at 706-739-4511 or for more details.

Final shot....

Remember the Universal Windsurfing Excuse formula: SE = f(WS x SO) where the sophistication of the excuse (SE) is a function (f) of the expected wind speed (WS) for the day multiplied by the strength of the obligation (SO) you need to get out of. In other words, if it's gale and it's your 10th anniversary, you better have a heck of an excuse. If it's the weekend and just a breeze and the conflict is a neighborhood party, then any old lie will do. So be creative, sidestep some obligations, and come on out for an exhilarating antidote to the winter blahs -- WINDSURFING!

Previous Postings
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November-December 2000

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April-May 2000

Chuck Hardin
(706) 860-0639

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