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Showing posts with label Windsurfing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Windsurfing. Show all posts

KiteWing - An Awesome Toy For All Board Sports

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Kitewing SK8 Ice & Snow Sail

If you've been following this blog, you know that being ExtraHyperActive, I love all types of boards sports : snowboarding, surfing, longboarding, windsurfing, skimboarding... You also know that a few years ago I started doing kiteboarding and kite landboarding. All these boardsports are extremely fun, and offer something for everyone. But I never stop looking for more ways to challenge myself, have fun, and create unforgettable experiences !

Recently I came came across a pretty awesome toy that can be used with any board, and more !

Kitewing SK8 Ice & Snow Sail

Kitewing (aka Skimbat) is a wing shaped kite. Many people call it “the wing” for short, just because of its shape.

Snowfer - Windsurfing On Snow And Ice

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You can have a lot of fun with sails and kites, you can use 'em with all types of boards and terrain, all year round. I thought that that most creative way of using a kite was with a bike. But recently I saw another cool "sport" that is growing in popularity in places where winter prevails most of the year ( Canada, US Midwest, Finland...) .

Part snowboard/part windsurfer, Snowfer extends windsurfing seasons, and makes snowboarding so much fun without mountains and chairlifts.

Windsurfing Your SUP/Paddleboard

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It's been a while since I went windsurfing. After my windsurfing lessons two years ago, I took my board out maybe two or three more times before realizing that it wasn't for me.

Windsurfing in Washington is a very weather dependent sport . The only place where it blows consistently is the Columbia River Gorge. But even that place has its disadvantages ( 3 hour drive from Seattle, not exactly "beginner friendly"... ).

But about a year ago, I bought an awesome SUP that can be used for stand up paddleboarding, surfing, and even windsurfing !

Tandem Windsurfing

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Some of the outdoor activities/action sports/adventures are impossible to try without special training and equipment/gear. But there are always options, alternatives. You don't have to be a paragliding pilot to try tandem paragliding, and you don't need to invest tons of money and hours of training to do your first tandem skydiving jump.

Till recently, I've always thought about windsurfing as a solo sport, but this video changed everything about my windsurfing experience

Starboard Gemini Tandem claims that you can take out a total beginner on a smaller sail on the front of this one and they can enjoy the rush of planing without all the hard work!

A tandem board allows complete newbies to experience the thrill of sailing without the common frustrations of learning. They can watch and imitate more experienced sailor while getting instant feedback from the board.

The Aquaglide 270 Multi Sport - A Remarkable Multi-Use Watercraft

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What if you can use your watercraft for more than just one activity ?

Recently, I came across this interesting product:
Aquaglide 270 Multi Sport 2015 is a great multi-use watercraft that can be transformed into a windsurfer, a sit-on-top kayak, a performance towable, a sailboat, or a motor tender! Compact, quick and easy to assemble, the Aquaglide is the perfect addition to your collection of water toys.

I tried windsurfing this summer , and I loved it ! The only downside - loading/unloading, and transporting the rig to the beach can be a hassle.

Oregon Windsurfing: Pistol River State Park

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Last year I wrote about my visit to Hood River in Oregon that some of the most hard-core sailors call the windsurfing capital of the world, thanks to the incredible gorge winds that blow along the Columbia River.

Another popular windsurfing spot in our neighboring state is Pistol River State Park which is set in the dunes of the southern Oregon coast.

Ocean windsurfing is so good here it has become the location for several national championships. According to the representatives of the American Windsurfing Tour Pistol River offers “some of the gnarliest sailing you are going to find” and that “it blows hard and it blows hard a lot”.

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Kiteboarding And Windsurfing At Magnuson Park In Seattle

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Kiteboarding and windsurfing at Magnuson Park in Seattle

Magnuson Park in Seattle is one of my favorite ! For ExtraHyperActive folks like myself, the park offers an abundance of adventures : climbing, kayaking, sailing, paddleboarding, and for the past few years, has become a popular launch spot for kiteboarding and windsurfing.

I Love Windsurfing Because...

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I wish I loved windsurfing as much as this guy...

But with rare 25-30 days a year of "consistent wind" in Seattle, and 3 hour drive to Hood River ( the unofficial windsurfing capital of the world ), it's hard to stay dedicated to the sport.

...but videos like this keep my passion alive...

SUPing At Sunset Beach, In Tarpon Springs, FL

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Not on your average tourist's radar, Sunset Beach juts into the gulf at the end of Gulf Road in Tarpon Springs. It's nearly a perfect spot to sit in the shade of the palm trees gently swaying in the breeze and watch the sunset.

This is the perfect beach to go to if you want to escape the crowds. True to its name, it is a spectacular place to view sun setting into the Gulf of Mexico.

Apparently, this beach is also popular among paddleboarders, and kite surfers.  In "winter months" ( are there "winter months" in Florida ? :)), the wind is nice and steady, enough area to launch your kite, and super safe for beginner kiters ( it's shallow, so even if you get stuck, you can always just get up and walk back to the beach ).

I took my Stand Up Paddle Board /windsurfer for a short evening session. I had a lot of fun, and the sunset was breathtaking !!!

Windsurfing The WindGlider On Lake Tapps

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Recently I've been obsessed with windsurfing. Nice weather, steady wind, and a few new ( recently discovered ) local spots ( Golden Garden, Magnuson Park, Browns Point ) provided with excellent opportunities for windsurfing in Washington.

As you remember, last summer I got to try my new Windglider ( now re-branded as Aquaglide ), a great multi-use watercraft that can be used as a windsurfer, a sit-on-top kayak, a performance towable, a sailboat, or a motor tender. This summer, I tried to use it as a windsurfer.

Aquaglide Multisport sailboat

Even if you've never ever done ANY board sports, the Windglider would be an excellent way to introduce yourself to both windsurfing and paddleboarding.

Because it's so wide and stable, you'll have no problem keeping your balance. Because it's inflatable, you won't need much wind, and even a light breeze will get it going.

Not to mention how compact it is. Everything fits into a bag. . The WindGlider is compact, quick and easy to assemble, and you don't have to worry about having an expensive car rack or a trailer to transport it. It certainly beats having to transport/keep five separate water toys.

If you're ExtraHyperActive with multiple outdoor hobbies, this is a perfect multi-use watercraft for you !

Aquaglide Multisport sailboat

SUPing The Windglider

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Last year I wrote about the WindGlider -a great multi-use watercraft that can be used as a windsurfer, a sit-on-top kayak, a performance towable, a sailboat, or a motor tender.

One of my ( generous ! ) readers, who happened to come across my blog, generously donated this watercraft to use it to its fullest potential.

Last summer I was extremely disappointed with windsurfing opportunities in/around Seattle area, and after a few attempts gave up and sold my sailboard.

As you might know , recently, I got my first SUP ( stand up paddleboard ), and now I'm absolutely obsessed with it !

When I assembled my WindGlider, I realized that it would work just fine to use it as a SUP as well.

The middle of the WindGlider has pockets to insert two planks that you can stand on, and a 3 section paddle can be used as a SUP paddle as well. Two inserted fins allow to keep the Windlider in straight line, an added strap and multiple D-rings will keep your dry bag and water bottle in place, and it's wide enough for two ( who knows, may be three ? ) people to sit on.

Other advantages ( comparing to SUP or a windsurfer ) - it's very light to carry around, load on and off your car roof rack, or you can just deflate it to transport in your trunk and store in your garage/closet.

Performance wise...well, let's not forget we are still talking about a cheap inflatable. So you definitely wouldn't want to enter a SUP race on it...

But it's so stable and easy to paddle that even a 4 y.o can do it...

Windsurfing the Columbia River Gorge

I started windsurfing last year, just like I start many other outdoor sports- first I bought cheap used gear from Craigslist, and then tried to figure out how to use it. After learning how to rig a sailboard and taking a few lessons I was physced to go on my own. The only problem - wind conditions in and around Seattle suck. Most of the time. That's why the most dedicated windsurfers ( those who don't mind a 3 hour drive ) travel from Washington all the way to Hood River in Oregon.

Hood River is a big name in the world of windsurfing and kite boarding. In fact, some call Hood River the windsurfing capital of the world, thanks to the incredible gorge winds that blow along the Columbia River. On an average breezy day, it's typical to see dozens (if not hundreds) of colorful sails dancing across the wide river.

Being frustrated with wind conditions back in Washington, I was looking forward to strong, consistent winds that the Columbia River has to offer. What I didn't expect was the wind conditions to be THAT strong...

If you are a beginner with crappy 15 year old windsurfing equipment, you have absolutely no business on or near the Columbia River.

With ice cold waters, strong fast currents, gusty winds, and heavy shipping traffic, the Gorge is no place for beginners to cut their windsurfing teeth.

I'm not saying "don't go there". I'm saying find an experienced, knowledgeable sailor familiar with windsurfing on the Columbia River.

There are a number of different access points to the river. Unlike other windsurfing spots, the difference of only a few miles can mean huge differences in the wind, water and atmospheric conditions. Speak with the locals to find areas that are most appropriate to your windsurfing skills.

Comparing to kiteboarding, windsurfing is "old school" which means cheaper classes and rentals. The equipment that many local schools have for rent is more advanced and easier to use.

If you feel like you are loosing interest in windsurfing, donate that old worthless p.o.s O'Brien you have, and come to Hood River. Windsurfing on the Columbia River will rejuvenate your passion.


Learn how to windsurf

One of my goals for this summer was to try kite boarding. After checking out local outfitters and Craigslist for gear , I've realized that I'd have to put that goal on hold ( too expensive ). But instead, I found a cheaper and no less exciting water boarding sport - windsurfing.

One of my readers ( Thanks Paul !) generously donated his old windsurfing gear to me. He also gave me the book " The beginner's guide to Zen and the Art of windsurfing " dated...1985. You can guess that the gear was as old as the book. After reading the book, watching Youtube ( is there anything you can't learn from Youtube ?), and trying to figure out "how-to", I gave up.

Just like many other outdoor sports, the basic skills of windsurfing, steering, and turning can be learned within a few hours. The sport has a potentially shallower (longer) learning curve when compared to other so-called "extreme" sports, like snowboarding, surfing or even climbing. Beginners would need to develop their balance and core stability, acquire an understanding of basic sailing theory, and learn a few basic techniques before they can progress to planing windsurfing.

Normally, you would start on a land-based practice board, known as windsurf simulator. It is an apparatus which makes it possible to learn to maneuver windsurfer on dry land. After literally 10 minutes of "theory", you are ready to hit the water !

For beginners it's very important to start with the right gear ( board, sails ) and favorable wind conditions. Like I said, with the right coaching ( and favorable conditions ! )the sport of windsurfing can be learned withing a few hours. A competent instructor will provide a proven, step-by-step approach to learn windsurfing safely and quickly, help you find the right gear, and make rapid progress.

Strength and balance are only part of the equation... all it really takes is persistence and determination !