One excruciating week after arriving in San Francisco, I bought a board and got on the water.
The board I picked up was a Fanatic FreeWave 104, which I think is just about the perfect big board for me in the bay. It's slightly big, even for being my larger board just because the swell and chop can be pretty steep and intense out here.
Yesterday I rented a 5.0 Naish Boxer at Coyote Point from Boardsports Schools. I was a little nervous, to be honest. While I've met a lot of friendly windsurfing folks at the various launches, I still don't really know anyone here and most of my sailing has been on flat(ter) water and with regular windsurfing buddies.
Of course at the end of the day, I'm getting wet. It had been windy all week and it was killing me that I hadn't sailed yet. When I got out there, I was kinda slogging along, still trying to figure out the board and I saw about 50 yards ahead these big consecutive pieces of chop. Swell? Chop? I dunno. They were a little intimidating in comparison to most of the water I've sailed, but once I hit speed, my only trouble was keeping the board on the water, which ain't all that bad of a problem. A little air never hurt anyone, right?
Yeah, it was awesome. Once I settled down a little bit, I was having a ton of fun. My jibes were suffering, even though the board carved great. I need to figure out how to time jibes in sync with the rolling chop. I also felt really buoyant in the water. Waterstarting was effortless. Maybe it was the wetsuit. Maybe I've had a couple too many krispy kremes lately.
The sail felt great -- I want to demo more stuff before I make a final decision, but I did love how light the Boxer felt. Super-light in the hands, not even a little bit of twitch to it. It almost felt like windsurfing without a sail. My only concern is maybe it doesn't have a lot of low-end. Then again, it would probably be more rangy on the top-end in that case, and I could go straight to 4.0. Maybe I could get a powerful 5.6 or 5.7 for those days when a 5.0 boxer isn't enough? Decisions decisions.