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Posted by on in Windsurfing

Wave

Waves can hardly be separated from the ocean experience – ridges of water, big and small, seemingly travelling vast distances. Science does teach us, however, to not get carried away in those dreamy distances, and instead to understand waves as upward and downward movements of water that lead to the transfer of energy across wide spans.

Wave types explained

Types of waves

Nearly all the waves seen in the ocean are created by winds, but not all of these can be defined by a single set of parameters. To understand ocean waves better, we can classify them into two basic types – progressive waves and standing waves.

Progressive waves are those that we pictured in the beginning of this article – the ridges of water that seem to travel miles before they reach us. In other words, progressive waves are the waves that appear to ‘move’ across the water surface. This type of wave includes all the standard characteristics – a crest (created by upward movement), a trough (created by downward movement), wavelength, amplitude etc. This category of waves includes not only the familiar surface waves caused by wind, but also the internal waves and tsunamis generated by seismic disturbances, landslides or volcanoes on the ocean floor. Progressive waves are technically independent of each other. When two or more of these waves happen to cross paths, they simply pass through each other, the only difference being an addition to or subtraction from the crest or trough at the meeting point. This explains why waves on a beach always seem random, because at any given point in time there are several different groups of waves coming in from different parts of the ocean surface.

Standing waves occur when two equivalent waves travel in opposite directions, thus maintaining the upward and downward motion of the water, but eliminating its ‘progression’ or apparent movement in any direction. Such waves are akin to those that occur in swimming pools. In the ocean they are frequently seen near the coast, where the water has a tendency to meet seawalls or even hulls of ships. This action causes a great deal of sloshing, leading to what is known as a ‘seiche’ – the most common type of standing ocean wave.

Waves can also be reflected or refracted. Reflection is fairly easy to understand – a progressive wave is redirected in the opposite direction when it hits a barrier of some sort. Refraction is a whole new deal. To understand refracted waves, recall how when seen from the shore, all the waves seem to line up and approach the coast. This parallel motion is caused by the water becoming shallower towards the shore, causing the waves that are nearer to the coast to slow down, allowing others to catch up. This creates parallel layers of waves, and also some interesting phenomena. One of these is the ‘longshore drift’ that gives a swimmer the tendency to drift towards the coast. The other is ‘breaking’, caused by the layers of waves just described getting closer and closer to each other, creating a tall wall of water, which incidentally is what enables surfing.

Ocean swell
Ocean swell driven by wind

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Great white shark facts

 

There aren’t many facts about the great white shark that haven’t already been relayed over and over again. This predator of the seas does complete justice to the fear and awe associated with sharks. Reigning over nearly all the coastal waters on earth, the great white preys on an enormous variety of fish and seabirds, while paying obeisance to only one species of marine life – the killer whale or orca. Spielberg officially named the great white shark a ‘ferocious man-eater’ in the 1975 blockbuster – ‘Jaws’.

Scene from Jaws movie
Scene from Jaws movie

However, there is more to this marine predator than meets the eye (or the imagination, to be more appropriate). While it does enjoy a rather extensive menu when it comes to the species it consumes, recent research seems to suggest that it isn’t a natural trait of the great white to feed upon humans. Instead, the majority of the unprovoked attacks recorded across the globe, were a ‘sampling’ exercise of sorts, and only proved that these sharks decided against adding humans to the array of marine wanderers they prey on.

Great white and human

As more and more facts about the great white shark are unearthed, one cannot help but marvel at the design that renders it almost invincible. Having evolved over 16 million years ago and sharing family ties with C. megalodon (a prehistoric shark), the great white gets its name from its white underbelly; its dorsal region is slate grey, acting as a camouflage against the backdrop of the ocean floor. A Gigantic creature, its torpedo shaped body and immensely powerful tail ensures that it guides its 5000 pound mass easily at 15 miles an hour.

But that is not all. While the great white does have an exceptionally powerful sense of smell, what makes it unique is its ability to detect movements in electromagnetic fields. Every time a potential prey moves – even the tiniest bit – it sets the predator on its trail. To illustrate this point further, the great white can sense fluctuations as close to one billionth of a volt – meaning that even if a human heart beats close enough, it shall be found.

Powerful shark

Over the years of its evolution, the great white has gone on to add more and more weapons to its impressive armoury. 300 serrated teeth, laid out in multiple rows, replacing each other as needed, are the primary tools of the trade. Also significant is the shark’s body temperature which is slightly warmer than the ocean water, enabling it to hunt the more slippery and agile prey – the sea lion for instance. This feature also helps in ‘breaching’ – an act in which it completely leaves the water to attack its prey. In fact, the great white shark has a habit of regularly lifting its head to glimpse the action above the surface of the water. This is because it can smell better above the water surface than below it.

Great white shark teeth

The great white shark has earned itself a formidable reputation, but the fact remains that it appears on the list on endangered species today. It may be a wise move to admire this predator of the seas for the design marvel that it is, and attribute the danger associated with it to the simple thought that perhaps the ocean ought to be left as it is.

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Posted by on in Windsurfing

Shark deterrent wetsuit

Out of all the shark deterrents out there, probably one of the most interesting of all is the wetsuit version. It seems to be "shark week" with all the recent posts on this topic but you'll find this one highly appropriate.

It's important to note that the following is not a deterrent but probably an attraction to sharks, so be careful not buy one of these goodies.

Since that's out the way, let's take a look at the real deal and more importantly, do they actually work? Who and what kind of review can we expect to read from people who have purchased these things? Perhaps something like "Great suit, I windsurfed in shark-infested waters to test this new suit and it seemed to have worked, I'm still here", or how about "Unfortunately my husband's suit never worked".

Obviously we can't get rely on reports like that but rather relying on research or studies completed by the seller of these wetsuits. Let's take a look at the kind of shark repelling suits that are available. If you search online stores such as eBay or Amazon you'll find they are quite scarce but this one did show up below and if you click on it you'll see the product:

 

Shark rash vest Shark rash vest

As you can see, this particular item is actually a rash vest but it claims the following:

"The unique color pattern of our rash Guard mimics the features of highly venomous Lion Fish, therefore minimizing your chances of being mistaken for a sea lion or any other type of favourite food on the menu of local sharks."

and also

"The design of our Rash Guard makes swimmers and surfers look unattractive to sharks. Lion Fish is not on a shark's normal menu, and despite attempts to train sharks to eat Lion Fish, these attempts were only limited to one place off the coast of Honduras."

as well as

"In addition to poisonous looking fish stripes on the surface of our Rash Guard, the large eyes placed in an unnatural location should also confuse and scare off potential predators looking for a quick bite."

and finally

"...there were articles published in ABC News Australia’s web site confirming that using particular patterns on swim garments would make the wearer appear obnoxious, poisonous or unattractive to the sharks.

While we can't guarantee that wearing our Rash Guard will make your totally invisible to sharks, there is a good probability that your already slim chance of being bitten by this predator might become even slimmer."

So the question is this, does it work?

Recently Professor Shaun Collin and Dr. Nathan Hart of the University of Western Australia’s Oceans Institute published research suggesting that sharks were cone monochromats, which means they are probably colour blind animals.

Based on that it may be possible to design a suit that can create some kind of camouflage suit that reduces the chance of attack, which would also entail a suit designed for certain types of water conditions. Otherwise another option is to create a wetsuit that repels the shark directly. To repel them directly would require the use of contrast.

There is strong evidence that if something looks like food that sharks don't like, then sharks will avoid it, according to Dr. Hart. Tiger sharks were also observed swimming past dummies that had striped pattern wetsuits, but those clad in traditional black wetsuits were attacked.

One question raised is that, what if the designer unknowingly produced suits with patterns that attracted sharks? Obviously there are foods in the ocean that sharks like to eat? The answer is that this is already the case with our usual black wetsuits and surfboards. We've all read articles on how surfers look like seals in the water when paddling on their surfboards in full bodied black wetsuits.

The combination looks entirely natural to a shark in terms of food, especially the big sharks. One thing is certain, if they work there is no shortage of demand.

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Posted by on in Windsurfing

Sportrack

When it comes to sportracks you might be overwhelmed by all the different models and features available. Hopefully this article will help you decide which one you need. We'll include those fora range of sports and not just windsurfing, since many of us also enjoy other sports.

Some of the factors in deciding which one to get will obviously depend on the type of equipment you'll carry but apart from that you ought to look at things like, adjustments, weight load, how much play there is, the type of fitting it uses and also the price.

Our Sportrack and roof rack picks

SportRack SR1010 Complete Roof Rack System

This type comes in at about $160 off amazon and is one of the most popular of the range. That's probably because it's quite versatile and you can use these racks for a number of sports.

Pros

The biggest pro is that they're versatile. They can be used on most vehicles generally speaking. You can also attach different equipment such as bikes, kayaks, surf boards and your windsurfing gear.

They're not confined to sports either and soon you'll find them more useful when you need to transport other things like household items for example, provided they're not too heavy. The price is not that bad either compared to other racks out their which are hundreds of dollars.

If you're looking to save some more dollars, then you can avoid using a professional to install them. Installing them is pretty straight forward and you don't need to be incredibly smart. It doesn't take long either which means you can remove them and use them on other cars whenever you like.

Most people are quite happy with the product.

Cons

Fitting the item is not a big deal but there is one area that could probably benefit from some improvements and that's the metal plate-clip that clamps the racks down. They seems to be sturdy enough but there are reports of them coming lose.

They might also have a bit of play depending on the roof shape on your vehicle no matter how tight you try to fit them. It's hard to tell before buying them and the only way you'll find out is after they're fitted. The problem with even the slightest shift is that over time the rubbing will create some wear.

Malone Auto Racks Universal Car Roof Rack

This Malone product is quite impressive on a number of points. Also a popular one and if you see for yourself there are 150 reviews and counting.

Considering these are the "crossbar" type, they have a different fitting system compared to the previous product we listed here.

Pros

Most people that buy them are happy which provides immediate assurance that they'll do what they're supposed to do. The major benefits are also the fact that these racks are "universal" and can carry different types of equipment. Their selling points are:

 

  • Universal crossbar that fits nearly all factory-installed vehicle side rails
  • Transports kayaks, canoes, snowboards, surfboards, roof boxes, and more
  • Square profile bars provide a secure, tight fit for rack accessories
  • Rust-resistant rubberized bar coating stands up to years of rugged use
  • Key-locking attachment towers; supports up to 132 pounds

You can select different sizes so you'll need to do some research as to what size you need before purchasing them.

Cons

We're not quite sure on the "key lock" and seems to be a bit of a selling rap more than security device. If anyone wanted to take your racks, it should slow them down a bit. However, you should be more worried about what's attached to them.

We looked for some reports on the stability aspect and some have claimed them to "slide" a tiny bit. It isn't much of a big deal anyway considering that there is a natural roof curve on most cars which would prevent them from sliding too much. However, we would prefer to see a rock solid type to begin which. You'll notice in this picture that the roof bar sits nice and flush with the rack, which is ideal.

They aren't heavy duty (that's what you pay for), so don't try to load up hundreds of kilograms on them.

SportRack SR7011 Horizon Cargo Box, 11-Cubic Feet

If you're looking for something over and above roof bars then you might want something like this. It provides you with 11 cubic feet of storage space that can fit on most roof racks.

It won't carry your windsurfing board, but if it's snowing you can then transport things like skis or snowboards. This model will carry about 3 snowboards and 6 pairs of skis.

Pros

Some of the points worth mentioning is that these units are streamlined, which help with fuel economy over long distances. That's a major plus if you're the adventurous type that travels a lot.

The main selling points on this item are:

  • Rugged construction made from impact resistant ABS material
  • Secure centralized lock for easy opening and closing
  • Passenger side opening for access away from traffic
  • Easy-snaps hardware mounting system for quick on/off
  • Fits SportRack Roof Rack Systems, square, round and most factory racks

It comes with a "Limited Lifetime Warranty" that should provide some assurance on its quality. They also state that it fits all "SportRack Frontier roof rack systems", square, round and most factory racks. The "other factory racks" could be questionable!

Cons

There are not as many reviews out there as we'd like so it's hard to tell the most common problem people have with this brand. There are a few draw backs that we picked up on. One of them is that it seems to be a tad bit too long on some cars which creates the problem of opening your hatch while it's on the roof.

Thule Pulse Cargo Box

This model has a better performance rating than the previous one listed but it's also the more expensive one. The dimensions are 89 x 13 x 27 inches and come in different sizes, 11, 14 and 16 cubic feet.

It serves as a transport container useful for carrying and protection your valuable gear. As with most of these brand their size will limit you as to what you can store in them.

Pros

This sleeker streamlined unit along is convenient and super easy to use. It uses their "Easy-Grip Mounting" and can quickly attach to your racks. It delivers on quality and also has the durable and rugged ABS material. It's claimed to be long-lasting and is designed to protect the contents during transit.

The locking system is adequate and is secure enough to be used as a security measure. It opens and locks on both sides and compared to the "elite" model, its higher price is still affordable.

One of the selling points often liked are the "Single-Side Opening for safe, passenger side loading unloading of items", which is a major plus. Most people enjoy the fact that it's very light which helps to carry it and the height is praised.

Cons

There are some people who were still not happy. It's hard to avoid the critic in all cases however, these points were worth mentioning on this product.

Some users state that it's bouncy and flexible which makes a big of a wind noise that could be unpleasant. A few reviews contain complaints related to fuel consumption, that the box increases their consumption which is disappointing as you'd expect good fuel economy considering the product is quite streamlined. Perhaps it's related to the load rather than the box.

Overall, given the few complaints that are listed and for the price versus quality, it's a good buy for most people which seem to agree.

SportRack SR4611 Locking Roof Bike Carrier

If you're looking for an affordable bike rack then this will do the job. It's designed for one bike which is great for on the go transport. It's a simple model with a simple purpose of transporting a bike and ideal if you don't need a rack for multiple bikes.

Some of the specs are:

  • Maximum load - 45 LB
  • Rack compatibility - Check fit guide below to determine fit to car make and model. If car make and model are not listed, no SportRack system is currently available for that car. Fits round, square and factory-installed square crossbars.
    • Crossbars diameters must not be greater than 3-1/2"
    • Minimum crossbar spread - 24"
    • Maximum crossbar spread - 34"
  • Grip arm bike tube compatibility - elliptical and 1" - 2-1/2" diameter bike tubes
  • Fits most bikes with disc brakes - Yes
  • Bikes lock to carrier - Yes
  • Carrier locks to rack - Yes (with cable lock, sold separately)

Pros

It allows you attach a bike without taking off the front tyre. The goal is for convenience and time saving. For example, if you're doing a bike trip with mates and would like to try a few locations. Then moving from one spot to another will ensure that no-one has to wait for you to fit the front wheel and fix your adjustments, just take your bike off and go. Besides, fitting your wheel on every time before riding can get frustrating in one day, even though you might say "putting on a front tyre isn't that much of a big deal".

The price is affordable but you should consider that it needs a set of base racks to begin with. You'd need a decent pair for added stability.

Cons

The obvious one is that it cannot take tandem bikes. So if you're going out, your bike is the only one that's going with. There are a few reviews some of which are the following complaints:

  • Cracks on the arm handle and unsafe
  • Plastic material that has broken
  • Could be too short for some bikes

It's worth mentioning that the first 2 of these review complaints are obviously from items that had problems and could indicate an issue with quality. Perhaps if there were more reviews their overall rating would be higher as people who are unhappy are more likely to review an item than those who are.

SportRack SR2901LR 2-Bike Lock and Tilt Platform Hitch Rack

Here is a bike rack that will allow you to fix 2 bikes so that you can at least take a friend along when going for a ride. The carrier features include: 1-1/4" and 2" hitch receiver compatibility with the locking functionality you need. It has fold-up wheel loop arms and there is access to vehicles from the rear.

Built for two bikes some of the specs are:

  • 35 x 15.8 x 7 inches
  • 30.8 pounds
  • Hooks and wheel trays adjust to fit almost all bike frames and sizes
  • 90 LB maximum carrying weight limit

Pros

Along with the higher price it also comes with a better rating than the previous bike rack listed here. Most people are satisfied with it and the construction seems to be strong and durable. The system is more stable which is obviously also due to the fact that it doesn't go on top of your car. Over and above that, many of the reviews claim that it's solid and sturdy.

A major advantage of having a rack on the rear of your car is that you free up space on your roof, allowing you to transport roof-top gear as well. Unlike using a roof-top bike rack which limits you to a bike only trip!

Some of their selling points are claimed as the following:

  • Hitch mount bike storage conserves internal vehicle storage, and atop roof racks
  • One to two bicycle stowage capacity
  • Simple knob-based assembly
  • Features independent adjusting, padded ratcheting bike hooks that clamp down on virtually all frame styles and sizes
  • Raised wheel hoops for both bike wheels that quickly adjust to virtually all bike lengths and bike wheel sizes
  • Centre post tilts away when carrier is empty and platform arms are extended for easy and convenient rear vehicle access
  • Constructed of durable and long lasting high-grade steel.
  • Includes locks built into each bike hook, and a SportRack hitch lock for maximum security
  • Moveable rubberized hooks that secure the bike ensure protection for the finish
  • The centre folds down for rear vehicle access and folds up when not in use
  • Includes locks to secure the bike to the rack and rack to the vehicle

The product also comes with a "Limited Lifetime Warranty".

Cons

Some disappointments noted reported by users are:

  • Some users spent more time than they'd like on setting up and fitting the rack, especially the pins.
  • A few claims of the rack having a wobble due to an adapter for the larger hitch, which is plastic.
  • Some complaints on the screwing bolt that goes through the receiver. That it's too short, or lock does not secure on pin.
  • Time spent on assembly.

Overall the rack is used by a large number of satisfied customers who have coped fine even with the complaints stated above.

SportRack 4-Bike Tilting Platform Hitch Rack

The last item to list here for bikes is this rack from SportRack designed to carry up to 4 bikes per vehicle. It's also fitted to the rear end of your car giving you that roof space needed for other gear.

Ideal for a family of bike riders. Most of us wouldn't carry more than 4 bikes at a time so this is more than enough for families that enjoy bike rides together. Perfect for family holidays and adventurous camping trips.

The specs for this rack are:

  • 70 pounds
  • 46 x 13 x 10 inches
  • Centre folds down for rear vehicle access
  • Moveable rubberized hooks secure the bike to the rack while protecting the finish
  • Hooks and wheel trays adjust to fit almost all bike frames and sizes

Pros

The majority of reviews state that the construction is solid and sturdy and the material seems strong enough to satisfy customers.

Cons

This can be debated as a problem, but some complain that the rack is heavy and is easier attach with the help of two people. However, it's obvious that it's heavier because it's larger due to the fact that it carries 4 bikes.

Rather a heavier and stronger construction than a lighter weaker one. The major consequence of heavier items is increased fuel consumption which is normal on any load.

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Posted by on in Windsurfing

Interesting facts about sharks

Our friend the shark has the obvious connection to almost every water sport enthusiast out there. A lot of us suffer from a phobia or fear of shark attack, not convinced? Who doesn't jump out the water instantly when they fall into the deeper water?

Perhaps it is indeed a matter of understanding and awareness. Most of us turn the channel or look away when there is a show or images of sharks because we just don't want the thought of getting bitten to pop into our heads.

Here are some real but interesting facts about these animals that might change your view in the slightest degree about them.

Shark facts

Here are some interesting shark facts that you might not know about

What are my chances of getting killed by a shark?

You have a chance of about 1 in 300 million, the reason why it seems so more common is because of the fact that it's so infrequent that when it does happen, it makes every headline in the world. Rare instances are absolutely loved by the media. Things that happen often are less likely to get reported.

You have a far greater chance of getting killed by lightning, coconuts or bees. If coconuts are more lethal than sharks, why aren't we more afraid of them? The answer is... "the idea of getting eaten alive".

Is the movie Jaws real?

Surprisingly, the movie is based on a real event that happened in 1916 where 4 people were fatally attacked by a killer shark in New Jersey, USA.

Sharks may cure cancer

Sharks hardly ever get cancer and scientists are trying to figure out why, if they do, we might be able to enjoy the same benefits. Also, according to recent studies, sharks are at greater risk of cancer today due water pollution.

How many types of sharks are there?

There are just over 440 known types of shark. It's likely that there are a few more species unknown us.

We all want shark teeth

A shark generally has about 45 teeth at a given time with several rows (up to 7) of replacement teeth. They grow back fast, real fast, in fact sharks can go through more than 30 000 teeth in a lifetime.

Sharks have no backbone

Sharks have no bones at all and their "skeletal" structure is made up entirely of cartilage, which is a little weird indeed.

Shark live is tough

The first tiger shark pup to hatch eats the other unborn sibling pups until only two pups are left.

Sharks hate men

90% of shark attack victims are men. Who knows why, but it seems they have some hidden agendas.

Shallow water attacks

Most attacks happen in shallow water, so our greater fear of deeper water is somewhat unfounded. Even though we feel safer in shallow water, the risk seems greater.

Sharks ought to be afraid of us

For every 1 human that is killed by a shark, we kill a few million in return, talk about race discrimination.

Fresh water

Bull sharks are able to swim up river into fresh water and readjust or regulate their bodies accordingly. They can swim thousands of kilometers up rivers. Perhaps there is a justified fear for sharks in your toilet.

Old bastards

Some sharks live long, the Whale shark can live up to 100 years and they're also the largest fish in the world. However, this poor sucker has to wait 30 years until they can produce baby sharks.

Shark attack vs shark deaths

While the number of shark attacks are small, the number of deaths by shark attacks are even smaller. Most of us assume that a shark attack means that someone has been killed, in fact most attacks don't result in death.

Are all sharks evil killers?

Only a few sharks of the hundreds of species are "potential attackers" that could harm us. There are actually only 3 sharks worth mentioning as potential threats. The Great white, Tiger shark and Bull shark. Which are responsible for the majority of attacks on people.

Not so deaf of dumb

Sharks have ears and have good hearing. They have inner ears that can pick up sounds from 250 meters away.

No rest for sharks, ever!

Some sharks will simply die if they don't stop swimming, because if they do, they'll suffocate to death from lack of oxygen going through their gills.

How scared of sharks are you?

If you have a phobia of them, it's called Galeophobia.

1st place for high jump

Great white sharks can jump up to 3 meters out of water. This can be seen off the coast of South Africa at sea Island. Here they launch upon their seal prey when attacking them and the force propels them out of the water.

Horrible history

Upon the sinking of the USS Indianapolis during World War II. Almost 900 sailors were left in the Philippine Sea near for 4 days. When help arrived only 316 people were still alive and no-one knows for sure how many where taken by sharks, but rumours say that the sharks had a feast.

Pound for pound

Great white sharks don't have much more of a harder bite than humans do.

Poking it's eyes may not help

When a shark attacks it doesn't close its eyelids, a great white shark instead rolls its eyes into the back of its head when it attacks. This helps the shark protect its eyes, so trying to poke them may not help as much as what we think should we get attacked by one.

Sharky smell

Sharks can detect 1 drop of blood in an Olympic sized swimming pool.

Hearty creatures

Sharks can sense your heartbeat through their sensory nodules called mpullae of Lorenzini.

Sharks are blamed for almost anything

An ancient Greek historian called Herodotus said that sharks destroyed a Persian fleet in the 5th century B.C.. This is the most likely the first time sharks were labelled with a killer reputation.

 

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Posted by on in Windsurfing

Windsurfing vs Kitesurfing

Windsurfer and kitesurfer surfing together

Whenever I teach someone who is new to windsurfing, or chat to those who haven’t tried it, I’m almost always asked the windsurfing vs kitesurfing question. “Which one do you think is better?”

I used to reply with I’m not sure because I haven’t tried kitesurfing and I’d often say “I’m told that kitesurfing is easier and that both are great”.

Since then I promised myself to go out and give kitesurfing a go, properly. So I could at least get a feel for it. I also thought it would be worth my time, considering it’s good for light winds.

My answer to the “windsurf versus kitesurf” question is now different. I also know I’m personally biased towards windsurfing and have my own preferences for it, but I’ll try to take an objective point of view anyway.

Difficulty

I learnt to kite through the same way as everyone else, but I think my windsurfing background gave me an advantage because I already understood wind, direction, gusts etc. I found it a lot easier to than windsurfing, but I learnt windsurfing more than 20 years ago on equipment that was incredibly unfriendly for beginners. The time it takes on new gear to learn what I did 20 years ago can’t be compared. I’d imagine windsurfing is just as easy to learn today judging on how fast my students progress.

I’ve heard others say, “go kitesurfing, it’s so much easier”, but in my teaching experience this isn’t true. Most people who say that took up windsurfing from a time when it was difficult indeed, heavy sails, long thin boards & awful equipment made learning a nightmare. For those who made it through, we look back and still say it was worth it. If you had to take a person new to both windsurfing and kitesurfing, gave them lessons on both sports and then asked them which one was easier, I think they’d answer differently.

All of my students have learnt to sail out and back on their own in 2 or 3 hours without having ever touched a rig before. In that same time someone new to kitesurfing is still learning to fly the kite.

Here is the thing about windsurfing which is the stretch to planing is the big challenge, although it’s still not as it tough as before, it still takes time to get hooked in and in the straps comfortably. From what I can see, kitesurfing offers a faster path to planning than windsurfing.

Which comes to my next point, what good is a sport if it’s nothing but easy? If you prefer ease to skill then perhaps you don’t want to bother with a “somewhat” longer learning curve.

Fun factor

My biased mindset tells me that windsurfing is more diverse but both sports have a solid fun factor. A lot of people kitesurf and I’m sure they wouldn’t it if wasn’t fun. Kitesurfing currently holds faster speed records over windsurfing & we’ve all seen the long hang time kiters are known for. I find the “airtime” to be a touch more graceful in than windsurfing, which is harder and faster. Kiters float and glide and you’ll have enough time to enjoy a good view if you’re high enough. With windsurfing you rocket upwards and hope to God you land well.

Although, I guess here is where the preferences come in and you’ll find kitesurfers saying that kitesurfing is more fun and windsurfers saying that windsurfing is more fun. Which is a normal response for anyone passionate about their sports, but what if you’ve done both?

Same thing, it depends on you as a person. If a person advises a newbie that one is better than the other, then they are mistaken. You don’t know unless you try and try properly!!

For me, windsurfing takes 1st prize hands down. What about you?

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Posted by on in Windsurfing

Weather flow

Ever heard of a weather meter for your iPhone? Introducing Weather Flow for iPhone, it's a neat little thing that I got for my birthday in March this year. I was pretty chuffed about it so I thought to do a quick article on what I think so far. So here is my amateur review since I'm no professional "reviewist person".

The Weather flow device itself fits snug in the palm of your hand, it is light in weight and blue in colour. The unit also comes in a tight little box case which houses the thing fine when you're not using it. It protects the blades which are the most sensitive part and you'll need a hard case like the one it comes in. I like that because unlike other products where you throw the box away, this one's box is quite useful. It plugs into a little hole in the same way it would in your iPhone as you can see in the pics below.

Weather flow box in hand Weather flow back of box Weather flow box from side
Weather flow out box Weather flow side view in hand Weather flow front view in hand

 

Positives

I was quite surprised how sensitive the blades were. I blew it and it picked up the speed quite quickly. It also seems pretty consistent with the weather charts, obviously the speeds are slightly different on the water especially if there are windless pockets on shore.

It works with iPod, iPhone and Android devices according to the back of the box and as you can see it records speeds in different units. For example, you can use knots, km or miles per hour. You can set it to seconds or meters as well.

It also uses your iPhone to give you the wind direction, I messed around with it a bit to try and pull out a wrong direction which seems it can happen. However you have to move your phone back and forth to throw the reading off which none of us would do anyway.

The app is pretty user friendly, just open it and all is straight forward. It's not packed with features and facilities but its purpose is for wind speed anyway so it does the job.

The app does have a few useful tools anyway. It logs previous readings and has some social element it as well.

 

Weather flow app start Weather flow app speed Weather flow app report
Weather flow app menu Weather flow app settings Weather flow app speed settings

 

Cons

One downside is that I had to get a new iPhone case so it could fit correctly, so make sure that your case has a hole that lines up nicely otherwise it will be tricky to insert the device. My cover's hole seemed to be a bit too tight for the device's fitting to slide through.

I'm not sure if it was the app or my iPhone itself, but every now and then the volume slider would pop up as if it were ear-phones. No big deal, it could be my phones connection or the case pressing on the pin.

 Weather flow load app fail

 

Verdict

Would I buy this for one of my mates? I sure as hell would.

You can pick them off amazon pretty cheap as shown below for example.

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Surfing Quotes

 

Here are some of the best surfing quotes of all time, enjoy:

 

“People come and go, but the waves keep rolling”
Unknown

“Live life one wave at a time.”
Unknown

“If no-one is there to hear it, does the crashing wave make a sound?”
Unknown

“You cannot stop the waves, but you can learn to surf”
Jon Kabat-Zinn

“Surfing’s the source. Can change your life. Swear to god.“
Point Break – Boy in surf shop

“I just surf cause it’s good to go out and ride with your friends.”
Big Wednesday – Matt Johnson

“Surfing soothes me, it’s always been a kind of Zen experience for me. The ocean is so magnificent, peaceful, and awesome. The rest of the world disappears for me when I’m on a wave.”
Paul Walker

“With 73% of the planet under water perhaps ‘earth’ should be named ‘ocean’”
Unknown

“Surfing’s one of the few sports that you look ahead to see what’s behind.”
Laird Hamilton

“If in doubt, paddle out”
Nat Young

“Out of water, I am nothing”
Duke Kahanamoku

“Surfing is very much like making love. It always feels good, no matter how many times you’ve done it.”
Paul Strauch

“Okay, sh#t, I guess this is a good day to die!”
Gerry Lopez (on towing into Peahi/Jaws)

“Wiping out is an underappreciated skill.”
Laird Hamilton

“I could not help concluding this man had the most supreme pleasure while he was driven so fast and so smoothly by the sea”
Captain James Cooke

“Sliding a wave removes our brains out of the ordinary and slips us into the extra ordinary of being there now. No more worries about mortgages or strife of being poor or rich. When you enter the domain of an ocean cylinder, that moment, those split seconds belong to the Zen part of just being. Period.”
Bill Hamilton (surfer/shaper)

“The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun”
Duke Kahanamoku

“Its not tragic to die doing something you love”
Mark Foo

“I think when a surfer becomes a surfer, it’s almost like an obligation to be an environmentalist at the same time.”
Kelly Slater

“I’m just a surfer who wanted to build something that would allow me to surf longer”
Jack O’Neill – talking about inventing the wetsuit

“So this is where you work Turtle?”
“Only when da surf’s bad, Barney. Cause’ when da surf’s good, nobody works!”
North Shore – Rick and Turtle

“Never drive away from good surf.”
Roger Sharp

“I don’t need to tell you this but just to be sure: DO NOT ever wear boardshorts outside of your wetsuit. Unless you want every single right-minded person in the universe to think you are a tool of the highest order; and yes it is okay to point and laugh if you see someone doing it.”
Roger Sharp

“If you are too deep for the wave of the day go anyway to give the crowd a show. Everyone loves a good swan dive into the flats and someone on the right spot can still enjoy the ride.”
Roger Sharp

“You should always tell at least one newbie that the wax goes on the bottom of the board to make it go faster, like a snowboard then watch the confusion.”
Roger Sharp

“Conversely always tell a beginner that the zip does indeed go on the back of the wetty, no one should be allowed to walk down a beach like that.”
Roger Sharp

“You don’t need to get every biggest and best set wave of the day. Sharing is caring and sometimes the smaller ones run better.”
Roger Sharp

“If you see some litter on the beach on your way back to the car pick it up. Might not be yours but it’ll do wonders for your karma.”
Roger Sharp

 

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Surf exercises

Let's face it, we could all do with a little more strength and fitness for our surfing enjoyment. It's no fun resting on the beach when the conditions are perfect, while at the same time you don't want to risk drowning from fatigue.

Fatigue in the water is a real issue and one of the common causes of drowning, but I'm talking about improving your performance.

By performance I mean:

  • Faster recovery times
  • Increased power
  • Increased stability and core strength
  • Increased lactic thresholds and strength endurance
  • Greater ROM (range of motion) and flexibility

Yes you can enhance these factors by exercise, sport specific exercises for surfing!

As a qualified fitness professional and passionate surfer I can help with some great exercises for surfing. I have trained several athletes in a wide range of sports and recently one of my guys got bronze in the world basket ball champs in Turkey 2013, so what I am about to tell you is not just some gym guy posting his cool tips.

Right, so here is some tips I am willing to share.

Broken record syndrome

Don't do the same thing every time you train. The goal is to keep yourself adapting, not become adapted. As long as you're adapting, you're getting results from your training.

A great way to mix it up is to focus on your training times. The body doesn't care much for numbers and while you might think last week I did 10 reps, so if I get 10 reps today then I got a similar workout. If you're focused more on performance than image, then consider how long your sessions are in the water. How intense are they? How long do you spend swimming out in tough conditions.

A great way to have the mix and mimic your session times is to a combination of programs during the week. For example, you could do week 1 with split programs, during morning doing enduro and afternoon strength based circuits. The following week you can focus on progression sets and core strength drills. When I say progression sets, you base your training on sets that progress on intensity. (Ie. They get harder and harder as each set goes, generally you'd want to start with 2 or 3 sets and see what your failure point is)

You can also shock your system by doing micro-sessions. That means, you completely change your programs from 1 hour sessions down to 15 minutes max. You can do this for two weeks. A 15 minute micro will look something like this:


-----------

1 x 1 minute dynamic stretches
1 x 2 minutes warm-up - (Getting HR to around 70%)

WO phase: 10 minutes of 95 - 100 percent intensity. With no more than a total of 45 seconds to one minute rest during the 10 minutes. You can use regressions on all stations or exercises as long as you keep moving and the HR is in that 95/100 zone.

1 x 2 minutes cool down into static stretches

-----------

This kind of drill will produce a killer amount of lactic build-up, so it's not uncommon to get nausea during your first session, if this is the case be sure to extend that cool down as much as possible to help deal with it.


Compound so it hurts

You want to try and do compound exercises. That means avoid isolated ones like a one arm dumbbell drill where you spend 30 minutes working the bicep and your heart rate is 120.

Use your workout time to hit more than one major muscle group at a time. Instead of doing a one arm curl, try a wall sit with alternating dumbbell curls.

Hit the bar and do pull-ups which is a nice compound exercise.

Most compound exercises engage core as well which is vital for surfing. Some crazy compound workouts for core and strength are mountain climber - push-up - burpee supersets combined.

Sounds like a mouth full but, it is more like a mouth full of vomit if you're not careful about it, so start slow by doing 2 sets for starters and so on,

Intervals and fartlek training

I'm not going to explain the full deal on fartlek, but to put it in a nutshell. You'll benefit from it in terms of speed and endurance. This type of training incorporates a variation of intensities.

Both traditional interval training and fartlek training will benefit your surfing skills. I'd try to do at least one of these sessions per week on varying days.


Don't be shy

Finally, don't be shy to post and ask for any more info! There is a lot more where this came from. Enjoy!

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Is windsurfing easy to learn?

I posted something similar to this earlier on regarding the difficult vs easy aspects of windsurfing. I also touched on the processes of learning for the first time. But for those who have never in their life tried to windsurf, you might wonder if the sport is easy or difficult to learn.

Windsurfing is not as popular as some of the other sports, such as football, tennis or swimming. Those sports also benefit from the fact that they’re also in our schools, social circles, coffee shops, parks and all over the media. So to ask the question, “Is soccer easy to learn” might seem easy to answer because almost everyone has kicked a ball at some point.

However, how many people do you know are windsurfers? Do you know someone who does this sport often enough to tell you what it’s like to learn the basics of the sport? Indeed, when you watch the professional s on TV it looks as though it requires the most talented of people and that it’s probably a very difficult sport to learn.

My bet is that this is a big contributing factor to why some of us don’t try it out. Some think it’s too hard to do so they take their kids to a soccer club or something more common.

The truth is that windsurfing is an amazingly easy sport to learn (I’m talking the general basics). Of course, there are levels of the sport that require exceptional skill, but for those of you looking for easy fun then windsurfing is the answer. Let’s not forget that almost every sport has levels of play that require talent.

Windsurfing is actually getting easier to learn by the year

The main reason is because of improvements in equipment. Lighter, stable and more user friendly equipment make it very easy to rig-up and head out.

Sails carry more range, boards accelerate quicker than before but one thing that isn’t improving is the price. So what do you do?
Second hand is sometimes a good idea.

The newer models of learner boards that are wide, with adjustable bootstraps are the best choice to begin with. A smaller than average sail that’s not super technical like the slalom or race ones is a good idea.

The great thing about these boards is that when buying them second hand, you can be pretty sure that they’re in good condition.

Why?

1. People would generally progress onto newer stuff quite quickly
2. They are built to be almost indestructible
3. The person who used it probably didn’t ride it in waves etc.
4. If it was damaged and they tried to repair it, you’d probably notice it right away considering their limited experience in the sport and, if it had been professionaly repaired then that’s ok since you’re not obsessed with performance.

So get some beginner stuff and give it a go.

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Is windsurfing easy or difficult?

I’m often asked if windsurfing is difficult and most assume that you need to be super strong to “hold the sail”. Understandably, it’s a reasonable question for anyone who hasn’t tried the awesomeness of this sport.

Obviously there are different levels of the sport each with its own level of skill and fitness demands.

Almost every “physical sport” on a professional level requires skill, practice and excellent fitness. Fortunately windsurfing covers all the extremes from easy to “just hanging on”.

Let’s look at some of the things that make windsurfing easy or difficult.

The harness

Sometimes a bit more wind helps to make windsurfing a whole lot easier because you can use a harness. Those who have never windsurfed are usually surprised to hear that a windsurfer doesn’t hold the sail up, but instead the sail holds the windsurfer up.

The fact of using a harness means you can lean back against the wind which changes everything and allows you to recover while having fun.

When the wind is lighter or not strong enough to hold you up, then you’re forced to unhook and handle the sail with your body.

Also, if the wind is blowing gale force then you’ll obviously find it more physically demanding to hang on and hold the sail down, because you’re using more than just your body weight.

Equipment

Using old or heavy stuff makes it much harder while lighter and newer gear easier. Today windsurfing is far more user friendly compared to 20 years ago. Another common mistake is when first timers buy big and expensive gear. Sails that are built for speed require more rigging experience and can be technical to sail especially when doing things like tacking, jibing or water-starting.

Race boards can be just as technical and often easily damaged when going through those catapult stages.

Shops may be pressed to sell the big expensive stuff but I always recommend something that is light, easier to handle, simple to rig and likely to last longer. Performance is the last thing leaners should be focusing on, more performance could raise the difficulty bar.

Sadly, the image of fighting floppy sails and dragging heavy boards across the sand still sits in the minds of those who have never been introduce to how far we’ve come today. Which is why so many students say “I’ve never seen a board so wide and short!”, or “I don’t remember it looking like that”.

Yes, new stuff costs more so for those who don’t have much to spend, they might have to settle with a single piece mast full of water. In my view, if the equipment isn’t user friendly, don’t buy any of it at all.

The challenges

As with other sports if you wish to learn something new it will require some work. Don’t expect to be jumping waves after a few weeks in the water. It takes time and if you’re serious about starting up it will become a lifestyle anyway, so what’s the hurry.

Sure, if fancy tricks and loops are the reason you started windsurfing in the first place, then of course you should aim to reach that level one day, but just be realistic and admit to yourself that it will take time and practice. Expect those days that “don’t go your way!” and punching your sail could get expensive. In that case just pack up and go home.

For those happy with jumping on a board and floating around, then windsurfing is simple. If all you want to do is go out, turn the thing around and come back, then it’s as easy as cooking your own breakfast. However, a lot of us will tell you that windsurfing is not fully experienced until you’re hooked in and planing. To reach a level of comfortable planing is not so easy, it requires time and effort. For some it may take a few weeks or months and for others it could take 2 years, it depends on how often you practice and how quick you learn.

Some sailors are fortunate enough to live 5 minutes from their sailing spot and can get out every day but there are those who can only get out once in a while. Time on the water makes a huge difference and knowing what windsurfing does to a person, it’s best you move close to water.

Friends

Learning the basics on your own is like getting lost and trying to find your way back home without a map book. You try this and that and hope to get it right but really, you’re going about it while blind folded.

Get out where the other windsurfers are, you’ll learn how they rig, read the wind & gusts, ask for tips or even just watch what they do on the water.

The more time you spend with top level sailors, the faster you’ll progress.

Confidence

If you’re insecure then the level of difficulty will increase double fold. Hesitation, tension and nervousness are recipes for brute failure. The hesitation sets you up for wipe-outs, the tension causes you to tire and the nervousness causes you to focus on the things that could go wrong.

Confidence makes windsurfing a lot easier, that’s because you’re more relaxed, have more energy and don’t hesitate when you commit to something.

If you’re scared then stay away from the water, any moment of panic will cause you to fall and tire. You have to be confident in what you know.

At the same time, don’t be scared to head out into conditions a little more challenging than what you’re used to. I don’t mean put yourself in danger, I simply mean that if you’re comfortable in 15 knots of wind, give 20 knots a go and make sure friends are close by. Suddenly the 15 knots conditions become a walk in the park.

Remember why you started

Your reasons to start windsurfing could be to become professional, a new hobby, for fun, to try something new or just to get outdoors and into some water. So it's up to you on how to approach learning, you could take it the slow and easy way, or go faster and harder up the ladder to which you'll face solid challenges.

Looking back to why you started will also help motivate you to not give up after those off days and help you realise that it's so worth it to keep on practicing. It's also not normal to have bad sailing experiences day after day, if that's the case then something is wrong and don't be shy to ask for some tips.

Hopefully this helps someone who is new to the sport!

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Is windsurfing dangerous?

People windsurfing

I’m often asked about how safe windsurfing is, my answer is always the same, “it’s as safe you make it and as dangerous as you make it”. It’s safe enough for children and wild enough for adrenaline junkies.

When I say “safe”, I don’t mean that you can completely remove all the risks involved, that’s impossible to do with any sport. I simply mean ensuring that you avoid silly mistakes that could endanger you.

Let’s not forget that certain sports carry more risk than others and when you combine things like speed, water, waves, height and equipment the risks become greater. Obviously sports have different levels of danger and windsurfing has a wide range in its own, there are several disciplines and aspects. For example, if you’re windsurfing a big board, on flat water in 10 knots, it might be safer than going out in 40 knots, common sense.

I find that most people think windsurfing is a “dangerous extreme sport”, yes it is but that’s not all it is. The reason for that idea is that most of us watch it on TV and see the extreme side of wavesailing, little do they know it can be quite relaxing and just as chilled as paddling out on a board.

Windsurfing really does have something for everyone.

For those starting out, here are 5 tips that will help increase the safety of your windsurfing experience.

1. Go with friends.

Most of us might be embarrassed to try something knew or fall in front of friends, so we try it alone first and then brag about it later. I’ve seen the consequences too many times from this type of thinking. I can’t tell you how often I’ve observed those who go out on their own while it’s clearly their first time. What happens? They have a hard time getting back to shore and call for help.

That’s why I say have friends, because they are there to help.

Besides, another great reason to have friends is for the perfect opportunity to say… “Why don’t you give it a go”.

2. Check your gear

Do yourself a favour and make sure it’s all working please. Look for stress cracks on your mast, the base and its rubber join. Do a good job of putting it together so that when you go out, you’re not scrambling around your gear in panic when it falls apart.

This is especially true for those who purchase older and cheaper equipment as well as for beginners who purchase new gear rigging up for the first time.

Breakages happen all the time and there are ways to get around that. One nice tip is that if your fin snaps, tie your harness around your back strap and use it for a rudder.

Use the RIGHT stuff as well, I’m not going to hammer you with tons of gear tips and all its technicalities but at least get some sound advice as to what equipment you should be using. Windsurfers are awesome people and I don’t know of any who wouldn’t want to help.

In general, stay away from the professional equipment, don’t get a massive sail or a tiny one and don’t purchase a tiny board either. A wide board will help your stability and the longer thin ones are generally the older models, new is always a good idea if you can afford it.

3. Conditions

If it’s blowing off-shore then don’t even think about going out, if it’s blowing side-off don’t even think about going out! If the wind is at any moment blowing out to sea and off the shore, you will be facing dangerous conditions.

Start out in an onshore direction where the wind is blowing towards the shore or side-on winds which are great conditions for learning. If something goes wrong, then at least you don’t get blown out to sea.

If it’s epic rough and pumping 25 knots plus, then you should probably avoid going out. Of course you need some experience first. Get used to flatter water and lighter winds before going hard, a good start is 8 - 15 knots.

4. Locations

Are there other windsurfers that use that spot? Don’t go windsurfing just anywhere because there could be rocks, shark breeding or other dangerous things under water.
Find out where people windsurf and investigate where the beginner spots are.

5. Watch your intake

I went out sailing just the other day and drank a coffee before heading out, I usually bring a bottle of water with me but this time I forgot and what a stupid thing that was.

I had a few sips from the local tap before heading out, but about half an hour into my sailing I suddenly got very fatigued, I was dehydrated. Luckily water wasn’t far from me and that fixed the problem but it’s a reminder of why we should keep hydrated, oh and have something to eat for god sakes, it will help with the energy levels.

The last thing you want is a surprise episode of profound fatigue, wipe out in deep water and find yourself swimming for your gear. You’ll be surprised at how fast dehydration kicks in when you’re taking in salt-water. I like to have an orange at lunch, oats for breakfast (slow release carbs) and some good protein source foods at lunch. I’m always amazed at how much my performance and energy improves if I have good intake.

There are other highly important tips but I think I should close by saying one final thing, use your gifted brain. If there is anything that seems to clash with your instinct, listen to your gut. Use common sense and don’t be foolish especially if there are others on the water.

Often (not always) when there’s an accident, there’s a fool to blame so don’t be a hero just have decent fun and know your limits.

Peace!

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Jellyfish stings and allergic reactions

One of the most common wildlife encounters that all surfers have is with Jellyfish. For a lot of us they pose no threat, but for others they’re a real problem.

Obviously it depends on what type of animal it is, some are deadly such as the Box jellyfish and others like the Blue blubber are thought to be harmless.

What if you’re someone who gets localised allergic reactions from those “harmless” stings? Some of us end up with long lasting welts that are itchier than the itchiest thing you’ve experienced, worst of all scratching can sometimes make it spread. These reactions can last up to a month or more if not treated.

I’m one of those who react to almost all jelly stings. The sting itself is not so bad (provided it’s a harmless jelly) and for a moment it burns a little, but the horrible part is from the next day onwards.

Blue blubber jellyfish sting

After this one I’ve had enough, because it’s starting to degrade my windsurfing experience. This particular sting happened in Queensland, Brisbane. I was windsurfing at a sport called Sandgate and while standing in the water a Blue blubber brushed past my leg, I discovered they were all around me. Luckily it was only one that got me, which is still enough to keep me out the water.

For anyone with a similar problem, I find that a steroid cream works best. It’s a prescription cream so you’ll need to go to a doctor, but so far it’s the only thing that works for me. Also make sure you don’t touch your skin after it’s applied, the scratching prevents the reaction from going away. It usually takes a few days of using it until the rash disappears, without it the rash seems to go on forever.

Steroid cream for stings

3 days after using steroid cream
This is 3 days after using the cream

Personally I think that it’s a result of an overactive immune system as it’s not due to one particular Jellyfish, I’ve had the same immune reaction from different types of jellies. I have also tried anti-histamines and to be honest, they’re nowhere near as effective as using the above mentioned cream.

Trust me I’ve tried hot water, vinegar, bite creams, tablets and a lot more, this stuff works. The only problem is that long term repeated use could result in skin conditions (it’s a steroid), so first prize is obviously prevention. I’m also not sure if the body builds a resistance to steroid creams over time.

I know vinegar is a popular immediate treatment and in my case it doesn’t seem to help the post reaction, but perhaps it might reduce it to some degree. The same goes for hot water, interestingly hot water is supposed to be effective for Blue bottles, not vinegar.

Most people think that a jelly sting happens at that instant. Not really, while the majority of the sting occurs at the encounter, it still gradually gets worse as the leftover nematocysts fire away one at a time. A nematocyst (stinging cell) houses a tiny harpoon that penetrates your skin when fired and it pumps the venom into you. These stinging cells are what come off the Jellyfish’s tentacles. Should you get stung avoid rubbing the area to prevent triggering those remaining nematocysts.

You might think I’m weird, but I personally found a pair of leggings to be useful. They’re almost like stockings but are actually those thin black tights that girls wear. They’re cheap and I’ve tested them against the jellies, works great. Obviously you’ll need a long sleeved rash vest as well. I haven’t used leggings long enough to tell if they’ll get stretched. Another problem might be that the stinging cells (nematocysts) could get trapped in the material on the outside, which might end up on your skin at some later stage. I haven’t experienced that yet and it seems the jelly bits didn’t stick to mine, but it’s worth mentioning anyway. In this pic I’ve got them over my suit, but you should probably wear them under so they don’t slip off.

Nicholas spaggiari windsurfer

Probably the best bet is to use a stinger suit made for this kind of protection. They’ll cover your whole body and are easy to put on unlike a winter-wetty. They’re thin so you won’t find it as hot as a wetsuit which means its fine for summer or any other season. You can get one like this from most dive shops. Far north Queenslanders use them for swimming when the Box jellies are around, so they’ll get the job done for sure.

Stinger suit for jellyfish

If you only get mild reactions then you probably don’t want to go as far as a stinger suit, but perhaps you don’t like the idea of having a little itch. In that case, another trick that I found, which I know for sure makes a difference, is to use a lot of thick sun screen. It seems to reduce the sting and I think that’s simply because of the extra layer which stops some of the cells penetrating your skin. Obviously the water takes it off over time, but if you don’t have massive reactions and don’t have any other options then this fix is at least something you can try.

If anyone else has preventative ideas that are easy and cheap to implement, please comment.

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Posted by on in Windsurfing

The 5 fastest windsurfers on Earth

 

#5 Patrik Diethelm - Switzerland - 50.62 knots (500 m)

Sail number: SUI 20
Weight: 92 kg
Height: 183 cm
Age: 41

Patrik achieved his fastest speeds at the Luderitz Speed Canal in Namibia. His speed records are quite something with a current average speed of 51.45 knots. Over the 500 m run he clocked in at 50.62 knots. His fastest speed of all peaked at 53.53 knots and his fastest run over 100 meters is currently 53.17 knots.

Patrik recored 52.21 knots over 250 meters.

 

#4 Bjorn Dunkerbeck - Switzerland - 51.17 knots (500 m)

Sail number: SUI 11
Weight: 102 kg
Height: 191 cm
Age: 44

Bjorn established his personal bests at the Luderitz Speed Canal in Namibia. He still remains one of the top windsurfers of our time and is currently the 4th fastest windsurfer alive. Bjorn has an average speed of 51.38 knots. Over the 500 m run his best was 51.17 knots putting him in the 4th position. He nailed an impressive 53.14 knots over 100 meters and his all-time fastest speed peaked to 53.37 knots. His 250 meter run is also worth a mention, 52.43 which goes to show the consistency of this mans abilities.

Not far behind number 3.

 

#3 Jurjen van der Noord - Netherlands - 51.29 knots (500 m)

Sail number: NED 55
Weight: 95 kg
Height: 195 cm
Age: 33

Set again in Luderitz at the Speed Canal, Namibia, Jurjen placed his authority in the top 5 fastest sailors to date blasting out 51.29 nots over 500 meters. His average speed is 51.39 knots overall. For 100 meters he remained over the 53 mark comfortably at 53.23 knots. Hi all time fastest speed peaked to 53.47 knots just a touch below Patrik's insane 53.53 knots.

Over 250 m Jurjen's speed recorded 52.48 knots.

This brings us to the two fastest windsurfers fighting over first place.

 

#2 Anders Bringdal - Sweden - 51.54 knots (500 m)

Sail number: SWE 10
Weight: 103 kg
Height: 193 cm
Age: 46
Rides for: Mistral, Gasoil, Neil Pryde, AL 360, Da kine

Anders set his records at the Luderitz Speed Canal in the country of Namibia. His current average speed is 51.40 knots and over 500 meters he clocked 51.54 knots putting him in second place. His 250 m run recorded 51.92 knots, Anders also holds the fastest speed in windsurfing over 100 m at an incredible 53.4 knots.

Anders is the first person to break into the 50 knot mark over 500 m on a windsurfer which many hail as a proud moment in windsurfing history. His all-time fastest speed is 53.59 knots.

Interestingly these speeds were attained in a wind range of around 35 - 40 knots.

 

#1 Antoine Albeau - France - 52.05 knots (500 m)

Sail number: F 192
Weight: 99 kg
Height: 186
Age: 41
Rides for: RRD / Neilpryde / Quiksilver / Ford Autovital / Sosh Orange / Ile de Re / Group Rhinos / Garmin

The fastest windsurfer for 500 m is Antoine Albeau with a speed just over the 52 mark at 52.05 knots which set a new world speed record in November 2012. His record speed over 250 m is 53.14 knots and over 100 m is 53.95 knots. His peak speed which is his current fastest speed of all is a crazy 54.16 knots making this possibly the fastest speed on a windsurfer to date. He says "Happy with the 54.16knots / 100.3 km/h on the display!!!".

Antoine's average speed is over 52 knots, at 52.13 knots which also makes him the fastest windsurfer in terms of average speed. His speeds were set at the Luderitz Speed Canal.

 

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Posted by on in Windsurfing

Top 5 annoyances of a windsurfer

Here are 5 annoying things which almost every windsurfer can relate to. If you're not a victim of the following 5 then you'll know someone who is. They're those things we don't talk about but do them anyway and most bizarrely, accept them all as completely normal. Although, when we're out of our "windsurfer mode" they are totally crazy.

For example, imagine doing #4 before going into a coffee shop.

#5 You leave your wet underpants on the back seat

How many times have you left your wet shorts / underpants in your car or in one of your containers? How bad did it smell when you discovered it was still wet a week later? Even worse, what response did the person have who had to wash them?

Hard questions, but surely what takes the cake is the fact that no-one washed them, so you just wear them again. What the heck, they're wet anyway plus the salt will kill any bacteria and a nasty rash won't hurt as much as missing out.

#4 You get naked behind your car door

Okay before we raise our arms and shout "WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT?", it might look creepy to a sweet old lady, that by the way hasn't the faintest idea as to what windsurfing is, who happens to spot a pair of white butt cheeks or, god-forbid, uncooked beef and potatoes.

Most of us try to be decent about it so we do in fact use our car door for cover. But what about when the wind is blowing and you're a little desperate? Stuff it, the side walk it is.

#3 When last did you wash your wetsuit?

You can't say you own a suit until you've urinated in it. Secondly, there's nothing better than warm water down your legs on those cold days. It's also just way too impractical to do it any other way.

So what's annoying about this? The annoying part is several months later when your suit reeks like a public toilet. Of course some of us do wash our wetsuits when we can, we give them a good rinse and then bobs your uncle they're clean. But for some reason as time goes by it gets stinkier and stinkier.

Once in a while we're a victim of the old shart, but fortunately that doesn't seem to be common practice.

#2 Waves finger and shouts one more

Sometimes we invite friends or family along to enjoy a day out. Little do they know it has nothing to do with a get together and everything to do with the sailing you selfish bastard. When they arrive everybody is sitting in their cars because the sand hurts them too much.

So what happens next? They want to go home and they want to go home now. This is where the old finger trick works like a charm, we call out "one more" whenever we jibe and the runs get longer and longer.

It often goes something like this. "5 minutes, 1 minute, 1 more, 1 more, 1 more, last one, final one and I swear this is the last go". Usually gets you about 45 minutes extra sailing time. Annoying for those waiting, yes.

#1 Sulk factor

Probably the most annoying thing we do of all is sulk. It usually happens over the weekend following #2, your friends and family have learnt from experience, so they make alternative plans the second time around and expect you to join.

So you find yourself chatting about Jill and her ex while the wind is obviously punching 30 knots, putting it mildly the day is a bitch so you flop the meat around half-heartedly because you offered to help BBQ.

The closest thing to foamy water is a beer so you open a few and get tanked. It takes a while but eventually you're laughing and strangely every time you laugh everyone else seems to stop.

Not only are you annoyed with the whole situation, they all seem to be annoyed about it too which is why this takes number 1.

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Woah!

We have just launched our brand spanking new blogging facility.

So then... what does this mean?


  1. One of a kind - run your own feature packed blog using epic features such as social integration, sweet editors and the latest micro-blogging software. If you're addicted to water sports and want to share your passions, then this is the only place you should post your articles.
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  3. Do you have a flickr account? - You can integrate your blog by adding whatever images you like directly from your flickr collection. All your favourite surfing images can be posted instantly.
  4. Something for everyone - even if you don't write or blog, you can still read awesome articles here related to the love of windsurfing and other water sports.
  5. You don't need to be an expert - everyone has something to share and here you don't have to be a pro author or anything fancy. Just share what you like to those who relate.

 

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