Thursday, August 20, 2020

My Short History with Windsurfing

With the previous post on the D2 Windsurfer, I had a chance to reflect on my short history with Windsurfing. All of my casual involvement with Windsurfing occurred when I was a young dude. I wrote about my first encounter with the very early Windsurfing community and my breakfast conversation with one of Windsurfer's emergent rock stars over at this post. It was also at Association Island in 1974 that I first stepped on a borrowed original Windsurfer. I took it out close to dusk in very little wind. I got upwind OK without major mishaps and about 200 meters from shore turned around to go downwind and back to the beach when I started falling off the board. I was wondering if I was going to have to arm paddle home when my brain finally re-calibrated my balance and I was able to drift back, standing up, without embarrassment. Back in Annapolis I learned the basics on another borrowed Windsurfer. I still remember how impressed I was with the Windsurfer's easy acceleration with just barely wafting gusts. With the original Windsurfer I was competent up to a mid-range breeze and didn't get comfortable with stronger breezes until I had some time on a F3 board, a design which was already moving toward less length, rig back further, full battened sail. Although I had several sailing friends that got out of dinghies and continued hard-core at Windsurfing (some became pros), I never never went down the rabbit hole of short boards, water starts, wave jumping, camber-induced sails in various sizes, summer trips to the Gorge or Hatteras. I stuck with racing dinghies. With the light air of the Chesapeake, it seemed to be the more comfortable choice.

Grainy photos of the blogmeister from back in the 1970's

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