been blowin. Not a little, but A LOT... and OFTEN. Y'all
have read the e-mail reports -- unless you ignore all this
blather. 230 lb. guys on the lake waterstarting handkerchief
size sails on April 1st; Gorge-hardened sailors sitting
and watching the fools get tossed on April 17th; others
swimming Charleston Harbor with busted gear from over-powered
epic sessions. Ain't it fun! The one I don't believe --except
that several witnesses reported it to me -- is the reports
of Ed Gould, who weighs in at about 130 lbs., flying 3/4ths
mast high over Lake Murray for hours on "Terrible Tuesday",
April 17th, on a FIVE POINT ONE! No one else -- from the
coast to Alabama -- could handle a 4.0 that day. The guy
is 53 years old, for goodness sake! Did I tell ya the one
about Danny Johnson on his highway-side Albama lake that
day attracting SIX rescue vehicles who blared up to his
wife, who was sitting in the car videotaping him at the
moment, and piled out like a SWAT team to save him -- I
guess -- from having to much FUN? Well, I told you again.
all this extreme stuff, we've had lots of 15 mph, beautiful
days. It's been like the old days of yore. And, the lakes
are full of water again. Summer traffic isn't on the water
yet. You NEED to get out there, which brings me to this...
have a question for you:
do most Southern towns like ours, far from the mountains,
have ski/snowboard shops to support a sport that you can
only do in far away places during a short part of the year
in conditions you can't control and might stink when you
get there, but don't have windsurfing shops? It's a vexing
question. With today's light weight, light-air gear, you
can windsurf RIGHT WHERE YOU LIVE around an average of 80
days a year (I can prove this) in planing or darn near planing
conditions -- and still hold down a job, pay the mortgage,
get the kids to soccer practice (or bring 'em with you),
snuggle with your spouse -- you know, have a regular, responsible
life. That's what ALL of Europe does. Is our society too
hurried, too lazy, or just too short-sighted to pursue something
that takes a bit of effort to get the payoff. Somebody please
'splain this to me (and Brian Butkus who actually asked
Devices here and there....
news: the National Weather Service office must have a dedicated
OUTGOING line from their Columbia, SC office to call up
the system at Clark Hill Lake (Thurmond). "Give it two weeks,"
they told me last week . Good news: everything else works
on that system perfectly. The web page is even set up. More
good news: Lake Murray now has the same NWS windtalker system
installed. Sponsored by the Coast Guard Auxilliary and Power
Sqadron. Not on line yet. Stay tuned -- you know I'll let
you know. More bad news: The Murray location sucks for windsurfers
-- it's on Flotilla Island tower at end of Johnson Marina
Rd., if you can find that. Not good exposure, but it is
high. Even less-welcome, but necessary, news: If you use
the Sullivan's Island windtalker, (843-883-5247, http://iopweather.com),
it's time to send in you annual up-keep donation to John
Cutter at 2098 Courtney Manor Dr., Mt Pleasant, SC. 29466.
It costs about $400 a year to keep one of these things going.
meet in Charleston -- May 6th...
is the good one, folks. Always well attended, and more importantly,
the wind has blown like crazy the last three times we've
held this swap meet. (No, I'm not guaranteeing -- or jinxing
-- the wind for that day. Don't believe in that superstitious
crap.) It's in the parking lot of Half Moon Outfitters in
Mt Pleasant just past the Shem Creek area. It begins mid
morning on Sunday, May 6th. Delightful time to go to Charleston
to sail and you might snare a deal. If you go, and want
to sell some used stuff, get there EARLY. It will be crowded,
which is good but the best spots to put out stuff will go
San Blas trip -- May 25 - 28...
on-the-beach camping trip to Florida panhandle coast (near
Panama City) put together by my most excellent buddy, Danny
Johnson. Great location -- shallow, warm, and windy (we
hope) and great people. Camping is at a real nice spot,
Indian Pass. (www.indianpasscharters.com). RV's accepted.
Contact Danny at 256-845-1914 x127 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
know that Whitecap pretty much does a Fall and Spring trip
every year? We just got back from Hatteras, and again, it
was a great time we'll all remember. I only do prime houses
set up for windsurfing. Speak up anytime when you're ready
to join us. The fall trip is aiming for CORPUS CHRISTI area
on the Texas panhandle. Never been there, but it is the
most regularly windy place in the continental US, statistically
speaking. I know I've said we'd do this before and didn't
do it, but with enough windsurfers committed early, it's
a definite go this time -- Pam approved it. Corpus is like
Hatteras but warmer, clearer, with good food, and something
to do at night. So, I guess, it's not like Hatteras. It
does have shallow flats for ever on one side and wave sailing
on the other. Fly cheap; rent gear there cheap. Or drive
and bring it. Whatever.
-- here, there, and everywhere... It's "Learn to Windsurf"
time! Weekend dates are booking up fast. Whitecap is now
a road show, too. Nifty enclosed 6' high, 12' long trailer
makes it possible to come to you! Clinics are booked in
Atlanta and getting set at St Simons, Charleston (if a good
location is found or Scott bulldozes out a new cove at 29),
Lake Murray (if Ed and Pate will get off the water long
enough to round up the wanna-be's), and even possibly Lake
Greenwood (thanks to Lou Rubin). Lessons are $95/person.
Everything included but lunch, towel, and sunscreen. (Weekdays
are fine with me, too.) Be careful before committing youself,
or especailly friends, to a lesson. This thing is like cocaine,
not that I personally know what that is like, but IT IS
ADDICTING. One taste and windsurfing can mess up your nice,
well-ordered, simple life.
Chronicle newspaper article -- Tuesday, May 1st.
a reporter, Lisa Lohr, a lesson Sunday. We had perfect conditions;
an immaculate day. I think she freaked-out on me. Well,
not on me...I mean...on windsurfing. To say she loved it
is a HUGE understatement. A staff photographer was present
so it all ought to make a real good article. I understand
several of you were interviewed. Roman, Allan, and Joyce
will have photos, she says. Jack and Linda are thoroughly
quoted, along with some others. Check it out Tuesday, the
1st. I realize most of you on this e-list are not from the
Augusta area, so I'll send out the web address when it publishes,
if you care to read it.
closeouts on sails...
has a great deal on a '00 closeout of the Ultimate Carve
series. In the 2000 Windsurfing magazine reviews these sails
had all smiley faces. In 5.0 and 5.25, its a one cam sail.
In the 5.5 to 6.5 it has two cams; 6.8 and above it has
three. Lightweight and good range. Not reinforced heavily
for waves or extreme bump/jump but a great shape for the
lake and moderate winds. The cams are little mini ones with
rollers so it's like being camless in manuverabiity and
weight, but holds shape in light air. I guarantee it. Really
awesome great price on these: 4.0 at $250 4.5 at $265 5.0
at $285 5.25 at $290 5.5 at $$295 5.75 at $295 6.0 at $300
6.25, 6.5, 6.8, 7.5, 8.5 all in the low to mid $300's. This
is as good as you can buy any top quality new sail. You
get what you pay for. Get something made very well and durable...but
at a great close-out deal. Hey, you big sail lake guys,
Neil Pryde has the '00 Diablo 8.2 and 8.7 on close-out at
$395. Is that a deal? --you bet. The 8.2 sail is '01 MSRP
at $610. You can't buy big sails like that for $200 range.
It's a camless, fast, great lake light-air race type sail.
Has 8 battens with a deep pocket. Super top quality product.
NP may have 7.2's also still on hand by the time you call
me. Brand new, never opened North Easy Fun 4.8 sail, in
stock; dacron, vinyl - great for kids but not a trainer
-- $145 Starboard "GO" rates a whistle and a holler from
the wind snobs... Roman Kilmenko and I rode the board that
started the whole "widestyle" thing (if you ignore HiFly
for the past 10 years) in less than 10 mph wind last weekend.
We gave it our top mark: Roman whistled; I hollered. We
were simply amazed. I wouldn't believe how quick it jumped
forward on a 6.8 in about 7 knots -- just a hair short of
a plane. It feels lively under foot but it's soooooo stable.
The rubber deck just glues your feet where you want them.
Roman called me 3 days late rstill rather dumbfounded by
the whole thing. It's made me completely reconsider the
whole light air cruisin' thing. I also rode Starboard's
Formula 175 at Hatteras. Talk about wide - 80 something
cm and volume to float a sumo wrestler, yet it's thin adn
"light" feeling. It went so fast, it scared me off it in
a hurry. Never would have believed it. Are the WIND SNOB
days behind for me and Roman? I doubt it, but now I'm wondering.
Board Bags -- in stock! I also one Epic Gear basic bag with
double-sided solar guard material in 275cm X 67cm for $75.
Also, I have Windsurfing Hawaii's attractive, padded bag
(no solar guard) at $109. Sizes are 265 cm ((8'8") 275 cm
(9'0") 285 cm (9'4")
of the Future?
september, '00, members of the Surfriders Foundaton lowered
120 fourteen-ton sandbags off a barge anchored at Dockweller
State Beach near the LA airport. Their goal: the nation's
first artificial reef designed to jack up surfable waves.
Is this why we donate to this cosatal environmental protection
group? To make themselves a wave? Relax-- the Chevron Company
paid for it. Why? - because the CEO like's to surf. No,
because, our government did something right. When Chevron
was granted a permit to build a pipeline in the mid 1980's
off th etown of El Segundo, it was under the stipulation
that if the project diminished local waves, the company
would have to make amends. In 1994, a state regulatory commission
decided it had and the oil company turned over $300,000
to Surfriders. "This means that waves deserve the same protections
aas redwood trees," says Chris Evans, Surfriders exec. director.
Cultural and environmental impacts will be determined before
pursuing additional reef projects. You know, the waves make
the beach, other wise it's just a big salty lake. Good deal.