June was pretty good. Perhaps the best part of June was that it didn't bubbled much, as several of you recently mentioned at the beach. June is often known for warm air and cool lake temps resulting in a bubble, but not much this year. We had some warm air temps, but the water was also warm. We saw 22 sessions on an average windsurfing sail size of 5.3m and board size 96 liters. That's over 5 days per week. The average air temp at the lakeside during those sessions was 68.9 degrees. Just beautiful weather!
About two-thirds of my June sessions were on the foil. Lisa and I have been slowly improving. Our last session of June was on 3 foot rolling waves with the foil in the open Lake. So fun! We scored a couple sweet NE and NW sessions in June, while the remainder of our sessions were predominantly SW.
This foil thing has opened up a whole new world for our windsurfng. With the foil you can go wherever you want because you have such an incredible capability to get upwind and downwind with ease. It's very little effort. You can check out a cove or a bay, and then easily get back to where you started. One day in Rochester I was practicing my upwind technique. When I got out in the open lake the shoreline all looked the same when I turned around. I didn't pay much attention to it until I decided to take a break. I didn't know where the van was parked. I came into the beach and walked to the road. I was about a half mile upwind of the van and I wasn't even trying all that hard to get upwind. It's really pretty cool.
Summer has just begun, so enjoy it!
So, now, after 13 sessions of windsurf foiling (see session #13 video HERE) I am starting to gather further insight into sail size comparisons, technique, and possibilities.
With better technique comes a more realistic sense of possibilites. My pumping technique has improved significantly, which means I don't need to rely on big gusts of wind to get on foil. My 4.7m sail with the foil makes me totally powered up when others guys are on 8.5m sails with regular gear (probably 7.5m sail for me with regular gear at my weight). Two weeks ago it seemed like I needed a 5.3m sail when they were on 8.5m sails, but that is NOT the case anymore. A 4.7m sail is more than enough sail to blast on while other guys are on 8.5m sails. And, when others are on 6.5m sails with regular gear (probably 5.7m sail for me with regular gear at my weight) I can blast on a 3.7m sail with the foil. It's a pretty cool deal! Of course, all of this depends on the foil gear as well. Click here to learn about Our Windsurf Foil Gear and Why.
I am also learning upwind technique better which means I can now go upwind at a much steeper angle than riders on regular windsurfing gear. I have learned to get my heels to the edge of the board and lean the board over to the windward side. At the same time, I move the front hand back to the harness line to open the front of the sail and really power it up, while sheeting in with the back hand. The kit just flies upwind. By riding upwind at a steeper angle I then have more opportunity to play around on waves when going downwind without losing ground. The downwind technique is a different animal though. When going downwind and wave riding you have to take a big step forward with the front foot and move the rear foot across the board a little. Once you do this you have much better control over the board for wave riding and downwind maneuvers.
Well, that's it for today. Have fun on the water!
Everyone keeps saying what a tremendous season it has been so far. I checked that monthly data for May and the data agrees!
The month of May delivered 24 sessions on average sail size of 4.9 meters and average air temperature of 54.1 degrees. The season on the whole has delivered 63 sessions on average sail size 4.6 meters and average air temperature 48.7 degrees. That is simply spectacular!
The month of June is starting off well with wind predicted for both June 1 and 2. Honestly, I can't keep up with all the sessions. Now that we have the foil I could pretty much ride almost every day on a 5.0 meter sail or smaller. I got caught complaining the other day that there was too much wind and I couldn't foil. Lol. I almost had to slap myself. The last couple years have been so windy that I really don't need a foil, but it is just so much fun that I now find myself sometimes going to places where the wind does not blow as hard just so that I can have a better chance to foil. That is certainly a change in perspective for me.
There are a couple sessions of photos from May if you click here, and a couple sessions of videos if you click here. There is also an update of my windsurf foiling progress if you click here. Have fun out there!
Eric L. Mihelbergel is an intermediate level windsurfer and kiteboarder living in the Great Lakes Region of New York State who enjoys writing about windsports and fitness.