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State of the Stoke:

What a busy season! Windsurfing is really rocking again in these parts -- not that it ever wasn't, according to the ever-stoked wind-addicted faithful rippers out there. Reports come in from Stone Mountain to Station 29, from the coves of Lanier to the coast of the Golden Isles, from the weird waves of Lake Murray to the real waves of Wilmington -- the demand is there. This sport is captivating people again like it did in the 80's. That's fantastic. I love windsurfing people. They're great people, without fail, everywhere I go. While wave surfers at the most popular breaks are getting a reputation for aggressively defending "their wave" from the occassional visitor, windsurfers will drop what they are doing and help a complete stranger -- as long as he has a wind wing in his hand. It's curious to me why windsurfers are so consistently good, decent people. Could it be because this sport teaches patience and humility while elevating the spirit? Life is short. Thanks for spreading Peace, Love, and Joy. Thats what makes it all worthwhile -- well, that along with a little sideshore, steady 17 knot sundown session on a balmy summer afternoon...

 

Kid's Rig for Rent.

I surrender. So many of you have asked about sail rigs for your kids. I've sent out tons of info. Nobody has moved on it. So, I've ordered a HiFly "Junior Pro" 2.8 rig. It's a monofilm sail that looks much like Mom and Dad's but with a design and outline to put the center of effort in the right place for a little person. It has a 2-piece alumimun mast and fixed boom (lightweight) of reduced diameter. Has adapter to work with your bases and U-joints. After testing it on my 7-yr old, I'll offer it for rent at $25 which will be returned to you in full as credit toward a new rig if you decide to get one. These rigs are available new in 1.6 to 3.6 for $180 to $280. (You pay the freight coming and going. The rental period will be a reasonable time for you to get out on the water to try it.) First call, first served.

New Area Windtalkers...

Lake Thurmond -- As you know, the eqipment is installed in a prime location and in fine working order; yet, WE HAVE NO WINDTALKER. All I have left is staying on Pam Tucker of the Columbia County Emergency Management Agency to pressure the NWS to get the last ingredient accomplished, the dedicated out-going phone line from the Columbia office. Do that and we're done. Someday, we'll have it. If we don't get movement on it by August, then maybe a deluge of friendly, brief e-mails from many different people (i.e., you folks) to the NWS office will motivate them. I'll let you know. Lake Murray -- Same story; different lake. Hardware is being installed but it's not going to "work" either without a dedicated out line from the NWS office.

Charleston News

Charleston Scene Longboard races every Thursday evening at the James Island Yacht Club. Don't have to be a member to participate. Or any experience racing. Open classes. Totally low-key way to get into racing. Contact the Whitecap rep in the Charleston area, Johnathan Coleman, at .................... Station 29 Situation: if you visit the area, be aware that the usual windsurfing crowd is spreading out all over the beach fron from the lower station #'s all the way to the Isle of Palms. They're all still there -- just not neccessarily at 29. The sandbar and current situation there has inspired some to branch out. But many of the regulars can still be found there. I'm aiming to do lessons -- come hell or highwater -- in Charleston around the July 28th weekend. Please, let me know of any who are interested. Groins prohibited!

The S.C. Court of Appeals has ruled that the construction (and re-construction) of goins is prohibited by the SC Beachfront Mangament Act. The Coastal Conservation League, Sierra Club, and Surfrider's Foundation all strongly oppose the erection of groins as an attempt to interfere with what Mother Ocean has been doing with sand and island arrangement for eons along the barrier isles. This ruleing overturned permits for a jetty on the south end of Folly Beach, 4 new and 17 refurbished groins on Hilton Head, and pending applications to build many more at Hunting Island, Garden City Beach, and DeBordieu Colony. This is a victory for all who love the ocean and beach. Research has proven that "erosion control" hard structures, such as seawalls and revetments, create much larger problems along the coast than they solve. (Thanks to follybeachsurfer@aol.com)

Lessons Going on all over

The summer is waning away, so get those spouses, freinds, and neighbors in a lesson before it's too late. Clark Hill Lake, St Simons Island, Lake Murray, or Charleston, Whitecap can usually make it work. Here's what's set up right now: July 15th and Aug. 5th at Clark Hill; any day around July 28th to Aug. 1st at Charleston and/or St Simons. The Atlanta Board sailing Club had 16 at the "Learn to Windsurf" clinic at Lake Lanier on June 24th. All of these are invited to Session Two at that clinic on July 21st. Hopefully, the conditions will be as perfect that day as it was at Sesh One. Look out for a "follow-up" clinic at Clark Hill for all those who took their first lesson this year (or anybody who wants to come.) in early September.

Hey, YOU, Don't forget the e-Swap Meet! The e-Swap Meet on the Whitecap website (www.whitecapwindsurfing.com) has been an alarming success. In fact, the lists of used gear from our 3 state community of windsurfers are pared way down, so don't forget to list your used stuff there. Remember, I don't get involved financially in the e-Swap, but this is where you can sell and shop for used stuff in a simple, orderly fashion among windsurfers who know one another -- more or less. And speaking of selling stuff, which means you may have to ship it, you may need... ...The Right Eighteen Wheeler You can ship sails, masts, and booms by UPS or FedEx Ground, but when you need to truck that board, go with AAA/Cooper. They are WAY cheaper than anyone else and no damages after several trials so far. Thanks to Brooks Gant for finding them. They were even $25 less than Overnight with whom I have this "great" industry-negotiated discount.

So, just what exactly is "monofilm"?

(Here's some answers to the most FA sail Q's I've heard this year.)
Monofilm is an extruded polyester resin. That's right, melt down that old leisure suit, spread it out in a real thin, consistent layer and, there you go, you got "monofilm". (That's not far from the truth --- I was told this week that some sails are produced from recycled polyester.) >> This sail is all crinkly -- what's up with that? Is it old? That happens to monfilm through abrasion, creasing, and especailly UV radiation. It is a sign of weakness. ("You are the Weakest Link...Goodbye.") It can't be avoided, but some manufacturers use what's called "X-ply" in almost all their sails over the whole sail -- not just in their hardcore wave sails and not just along the luff and foot -- to counteract that. SO, what is X-ply, exactly? X-ply is two sheets of polyester film bonded together with a glue containing UV inhibitors and stiched into a "mesh" with reinforcing thread. It's more pliable, less prone to cresing and tears don't spread easily. >> Can I store a sail rigged for months at a time without harming it in any way? ANSWER: Sure, just don't forget where you buried it. Yes, you can. No, they don't stretch out or loose shape as long as nothing is put on top of them. Hang 'em up completely off the ground if possible.

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Chuck Hardin
(706) 860-0639

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