Monday, June 9, 2008

New Stick and First Sesh

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.


Unknown said...

Hi Aaron,
Welcome to Coyote Pt.!!! You picked a fine day. It was one of the most consistent wind days in the last 2 weeks. The chop is one of the best "features" at Coyote. What did you think about the chocolate water? Not as tasty as it looks ;)


PeconicPuffin said...

Bay man! Congratulations on your first sesh.

The Fanatic Freewaves are great boards, but "big" for their literage.
I have the FreeWave 77...sounds small, right? I regularly sail a 5.0 on it, and have sailed a 5.5 on the thing. I'd say it planes and carries sails like a 90 liter board from five years ago. It does turn, slash and jump like the 77 liter piece of candy that it is, though!

I weigh 165lbs btw.

Once again, congrats on your move and getting on the water in the Bay!

Andy said...

Nice Aaron! Funny- I always thought the boxer had a lot of first and second gear, but not much third or fourth... Could be the masts or the tuning. It's amazing, but one meter sail spacing does work pretty well these days, even in the smaller sizes. Check with a local, about the same size as you, to see if he's always on a 4.5 or 5.5 before you commit to something that might be just a little too big or too small most of the time...

Catapulting Aaron said...

mo, Thanks for the welcome! I actually thought the water didn't taste that bad. Of course, I used to sail the potomac quite a bit. :)

Andy, I'm not sure if I described high end and low end accurately... I guess I meant I thought it had more range in high wind as opposed to being faster with "high end". I'm not the brightest!

I stuck a post on iwindsurf to see if I could get some input on the Bread and Butter sail for bay area guys my size. I'm pretty sure it's going to be something like a 5.0 to 5.3...

uglyjiber said...

Attaboy! I'm glad you went with that board, the bigger was one was a fine pick. You'll have it settled down in the chop soon.

Oh, and listen to Mo - I hear she's got Coyote pretttttty dialed. ;-)

Andy said...

Yeah I guess my descriptor of gears didn't really make much sense, anyway... I understand what you mean, though, I'm just surprised by it. Everything is pretty darned tunable these days, anyway. A centimeter or two of downhaul can make a big difference!

Man, a bread and butter sail in the 5.0 range... Gotta love it!

James Douglass said...

Cool dude. Fanatics are good boards. You're a lucky son of a gun to be in a place where 5.0 is a bread and butter sail. :P