Working within the Windsurfing Industry has taught me many things, one being that people LOVE their Fiberspar Carbon Booms. These booms were, and still are, top of the line carbon booms that perform to the highest standards. With features such as durability, weight reduction, and many other performance driven aspects. Keeping your Fiberspar Booms up to par and functional is one of Wind Power’s top priorities, we offer many different Fiberspar parts to keep them on the water. Link to Fiberspar products.
Today we want to discuss a common issue with the Fiberspar Carbon booms, the issue regarding why some windsurfers need to replace their Fiberspar Carbon boom Twist Locks when the tabs on the inside fingers of the Twist Locks start to wear down. Located below in Image 1 is a close up of how the locks are positioned on the boom end and in Image 2 the tabs on the fingers.
Image 1: lock on boom end Image 2: tabs on fingers
When this happens, the boom end is able to slide freely, not allowing the tabs to properly lock onto the certain notch. This is an obvious issue when wanting to rig different sized sails. Luckily Wind Power has a large quantity of OEM replacement Fiberspar Twists Locks and the “know how” to help you replace them yourself. With the help from this short blog, you will be able to fix any Fiberspar Boom whose twist locks have failed!
Wind Power has created a great video starring Wind Power’s very own Kevin Gratton. It is a fantastic video that goes into great detail on how to replace the Fiberspar Twist Locks and little hints to make sure everything goes smoothly through the process. This video is a great guide and the visuals will help you to understand the process. The link to Wind Power’s Fiberspar Repair Video can be found here.
Alright, let’s get into the first steps in replacing your Fiberspar Twist Locks! The first step in the process is to gather your Fiberspar Carbon Boom and all your equipment/tools needed for the repair. The tools needed for this install can be found on the instructions sheet which is located here. Next we will remove the boom end to easily work on the boom and to avoid any damage to the boom end. We need to remove the old twist locks, the best method we found is using a hacksaw and cutting at an angle lengthwise. Make sure to only cut into the plastic and to not cut too deep that you cut the carbon arm, just go slow and you will be fine. After it looks like you have cut all the way through the plastic, take a Flathead screwdriver and twist your wrist to pry open the cut you just made. This will force the twist lock off of the carbon arm and remove the twist lock. After you have removed the plastic lock, you will need to sand the excess epoxy that is on the arm.
When you begin to sand the arm to remove the epoxy, the best method is to rip a large piece of emery cloth and sand it similar to how you would polish a shoe. This is shown in the video, this will give you the most even sand on the arm and ensure you get each side evenly. Start on the bottom of the arm, then flip the emery cloth over and continue on the top. Continue to check to see how the new lock slides onto the boom arm, it should slide on and off very easily, if not continue sanding. After your twist locks fit onto the boom extremely well, sand the inside of the locks themselves. This helps for the adhesive to stick to the plastic and helps ensure that it adheres properly. After sanding everything it is suggested you wipe down the surfaces that were sanded. This is a precautionary measure to make sure everything is clean and there’s no debris.
Now that your locks fit properly and you have everything sanded and prepped you are now ready to begin mixing your adhesive! Kevin has a great little trick to remove the adhesive from the package quickly and mess free, just simply take the stir stick and use it to push the adhesive out. Stir the two parts together and begin applying the mixture generously to the boom arm and inside the lock itself, any surface that is being glued is suggested to receive a little adhesive. Now that your adhesive is applied to your boom arms you can begin putting the locks on, while pushing the locks onto the arms, slowly turn the lock in a clockwise motion to evenly distribute all of the adhesive. Position the lock tabs where you believe is the best location.
After your locks are firmly pressed onto the boom arms it is essential that you look into the tubes where the boom end slides into. Take a rag or paper towel and wipe any excess adhesive out of the tube, if there is any adhesives in the tube and it drys like that you won’t be able to install the boom end and you will need to use a Dremel tool or sandpaper to remove the excess adhesive. It is also recommended to remove any excess adhesive from the outside of the locks, removing this adhesive give the locks a more professional appearance after the adhesive dries. After everything is cleaned and positioned correctly we recommend taking packaging tape and tape the locks into place. Use a decent amount of pressure to ensure a solid connection, sometimes when the adhesive dries it pushes the locks forward and out of position so it is better to just tape them into position ensuring they will not move. Let you boom sit for approximately 2 hours and you will be able to remove the tape.
Once you remove the tape exposing your brand NEW Fiberspar locks, it is EXTREMELY important to put the twist lock caps ONTO the locks. This is displayed in Image 4 located below. If the caps are not put onto the locks then you risk the chance of breaking the fingers off of the locks when trying to install the boom end. This is a simple step but can be overlooked at times… speaking from experience. Once the caps are placed onto the locks you are ready to install your boom end! It is recommended you find a partner when installing the boom end, it makes it much easier, but it can be done solo. If you are attempting to install the boom end solo, apply pressure to the boom end pushing the ends towards each other and taping the boom end. For a reference to this, you can find it in our video when Kevin installs the boom end himself.
Image 4: Placing Twist Lock Caps onto Fingers to Avoid Breakage
There you have it! You now have brand NEW, fully functional Fiberspar Twist Locks! You are now ready to hit the water with one of the best booms to ever be created for the Windsurfing junkies like us.
For more information contact the Wind Power team. We’re here to serve your Watersporting needs!
The winter season is fast approaching, and here at Wind Power we have been receiving a lot of interest in the snow sports that we participate in. So today, we decided to create a quick overview of the winter sport “Snowkiting”.
(Wind Power’s own Ben Herdrich Snowkiting on a warm day)
In this blog we will explore the concept of Snowkiting and the types of kites used while Snowkiting. Snowkiting is an amazing new sport that has been the talk of the town for a few years now, with all the new and advanced equipment, it makes the sport easier and more versatile for all types of riders.
Let’s look a little bit into what exactly Snowkiting is and why it is becoming such a popular sport. Snowkiting is basically skiing or snowboarding with a kite. There is a lot that goes into this sport however, understanding the wind, flying the kite, edging, jumping, etc… With all these things going on, Snowkiting can become a very challenging sport that tests your limits each and every session. Wind Power recommends at first taking lessons (Snowkiting Lessons) to learn important safety concerns with kiting, and also how to actually FLY the kite. Learning how to properly fly the kite from an instructor makes it that much easier, and quicker, to get you up and running on your board or skis. A few safety factors are important to understand, you need equipment that will protect you in case you crash, fall, make a mistake flying the kite, or any other factor that can come into play. Pads are highly recommended since here in Wisconsin, we are mostly Snowkiting on frozen lakes and this can cause injuries if you are not properly protected. For safety, protection equipment and gear, check out this past article written by Wind Power: Winter Safety Equipment.
Let’s talk a little bit about the types of kites used for Snowkiting. There are two specific styles of kites used in the winter season. The more traditional kite that is commonly used for Snowkiting is a Foil Kite link to Ozone Foil Kites.
Foil Kites are non-inflatable kites that capture air inside of various cells located on the leading edge of the kite (very front of the kite) to create the classic C-shaped outline the kite requires to properly fly. Below in Image 1 is an image of an Ozone Foil Kite. A few benefits to having a foil kite is the ease of packing up, the power that foil kites are able to generate, and the ability to kite in lower wind ranges. The foil kite is able to be easily packed away into a small backpack when in the backcountry, no need to release any valves to deflate the kite (we will explain this feature in the paragraph to come). A foil kite can also be used on land, some rider use foil kites to power buggies, mountainboards, and other land cruisers. These are just a few benefits to having a foil kite in the winter.
Image 1: Ozone Foil Kite
The second type of kite used in Snowkiting is a Power Kite or Inflatable Kite. This style requires air to be pumped into a “bladder” on the leading edge. In doing so, the kite takes on a “fixed” shape. A benefit of an inflatable kite compared to a foil kite is that inflatable kites can be used more easily on both water surfaces and snow/ land surfaces. This is due to the fact that inflatable kites can be “re-launched” from water surfaces much easier than foil kites. This allows kiteboarders to use the same type of kite on both water and snow/land surfaces. Referencing the previous paragraph, these kites have sometimes multiple struts lining the canopy to help give the kite its shape. Located below in Image 2 is a great picture by North Kites showing the leading edge, and the struts located on the kite.
Image 2: Leading edge and Struts
The bladder and all the struts fill with air and this air needs to be removed to store the kite in its specific bag. This process is not a lengthy one so packing up takes just a little bit longer than the foil kite. Located below in Image 3 is a picture of a Naish Inflatable Kite.
Image 3: Naish Inflatable Kite
Wind Power has been involved in Snowkiting from the beginning. Not only do we host races, events, demo, etc, we are also actively involved with Snowkiting instruction all winter long! Link to Winter Snowkiting Lessons page. Wind Power has the knowledge, experience, resources, location and support for ANYONE interested in pursuing Snowkiting.
~Team Wind Power~
The following is a Letter written by WISSA Competitor Klaus Faisst, bib #001, from Toronto, Ontario Canada. Klaus is a veteran WISSA competitor with many Worlds Champs attended. His expertise, advice and great attitude helped make the WISSA 2015 event a success. He was very involved in the preparation of Racing as Fond du Lac hosted it’s first World Ice & Snow Sailing Championships.
Three weeks have now passed since returning from Fond du Lac … enough time to reflect on the many highlights of WISSA-2015. Today I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you and the three organizing teams – the Fond du Lac Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Winnebago Association of Kiteboarders (WAK) and the Wind Power Windsurfing & Kite Center – for executing this highly successful international event in your community.
I also want to summarize my own impressions as well as comments from other participants and observers. You and your teams and volunteers with your sponsors and media partners have accomplished so much that it will be impossible for me to account for everything. Also, many of your activities before, during and after the event took place “behind the curtain”, and remained unnoticed by the competitors. As a long-time WISSA-participant I now dare to say that you have staged one of the best or perhaps the best event ever in WISSA history.
Your experience from previous Sturgeon Stampede / Winter Kiteboarding Classics had clearly paid full dividends, and so did your numerous meeting discussions and correspondence exchanges with your team members leading up to the event. Equally beneficial was, without any doubt, the personal experience of the Gratton-Brothers in national and international competition. Andy and Kevin had the racing part firmly under control. Fond du Lac has now set a new standard and will serve as an example for conducting future WISSA world championships.
In addition to the actual competition, participants of WISSA-2015 will also long remember many other highlights and special features from our 35th World’s in Fond du Lac. They include the festive character of the opening and closing ceremonies at the Yacht Club and the Retlaw Hotel, the large snow-free area you had provided for short track slalom (STS) races, the wide-open area for the course races, delicious and plentiful luncheons in heated shelters, the huge birthday cake for our WISSA-friend Kalev from Estonia (a most thoughtful gesture) and lots more.
Competitors will also be talking for a long time about the Friday evening extravaganza at “WISSA Village” right on the frozen lake, including the gigantic bone fire, the Sturgeon Queen contest, ice boat rides with Andy, lively entertainment by the music band “D-Willy and the Souvenirs” inside the heated tent, and of course the spectacular fireworks.
Equally gratifying, competitors will also have taken home fond memories of spirited camaraderie during the week at the Retlaw Hotel, the educational and entertaining evening at the Thelma Sadoff Center, watching the “Frozen Chosen”, as well as convenient shuttle service, continuous assistance from volunteers, throughout the week plus special gifts from sponsors (I got a nice Cabrinha shoulder bag at the closing ceremony). Visitors from overseas were especially appreciating the transportation you had provided from and to the airports. A very special thank you for all your help in this regard.
Your careful attention to so many details could be observed right from the beginning. The participant’s packages (C’mon in) found on arrival in the hotel rooms contained, in addition to Craig’s warm welcome-letter, all essential information… event schedule, official area guide, restaurant guide, shuttle service. The same goes for the registration packages received on Monday at Wind Power Windsurfing & Kiting Center, containing – in addition to a WILLKOMMEN-letter from the three organizing teams – all essential race info, including a really nice name tag with individualized country flag, sailing instructions, WISSA site maps, T-shirt (at last I got one with long sleeves), race bib and plenty of goodies from event sponsors.
This feeling of being well looked after remained with us all week right to the moment of departure. Obviously, a great deal of collective thinking as well as plenty of emotional intelligence has gone into this event, resulting from your early planning and plenty of good will on all sides. The attractive trophies made by sled sailor Brian Reedy received plenty of admiration as well. Brian’s creative talent and craftsmanship will now be a discussion topic by the glorious champions from far away places. And one more thing needs mentioning… the event logo, so prominently displayed on the individualized participation diplomas, medallions, race result sheets, bibs and many other event items.
Positive feedback on WISSA-2015 had even arrived from my brothers back in Germany, who were stunned by the event’s world-wide publicity. The drone video, showing some of the action in WISSA-Village from the birds eye perspective were definitely a hit. My brothers also talked about the beautifully arranged flags of the 11 participating nations “standing” in a stiff wind.
The race committee and their helpers deserve special recognition for preparing and executing world-class course races and short track slalom (STS) races. Actually, we learned a few useful things from you guys, including the clever diversion of the kites away from the sleds and wings. It enabled all three race classes to use the same start and finish. Best of all, to my knowledge, there were no complaints about damaged kite lines from interfering sleds and wings (usually there are plenty). And what a pleasure it was to watch the flawless 5-minute count-down for the kites and then see them take off towards the upwind mark at full speed. The race course might have been somewhat longer than usual. However, with the strong winds it only raised the standard for international competition. Kevin, Andy, Jim and all the other folks who were doing such a great job in the freezing cold… on behalf of all competitors, thanks a million for your dedication and endurance.
The STS-course was also generously sized which made racing extra thrilling since competitors could gain extra speed between turns. Only some of us competitors can appreciate the efforts required in preparing and maintaining such a large snow-free surface. Pictures by media partner CNN and the video produced on February 11, show plenty of fast action on the STS-course and will always be a proud reminder of those great moments – with snow blowing horizontally over the ice. Of course, Richard Liepins from Latvia (the tallest in the WISSA-family) was the key player in the STS-races. Without him it would not have worked. I will write to Richard separately and will thank him as soon as I am done with this review here.
In connection with the STS-races I have only one regret: That we could not demonstrate it to a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The inclusion of a sailing event in the Winter Olympics has been a long-standing objective by the IOC. Could anyone imagine the publicity for Fond du Lac from showing STS racing to the world, and the demo eventually leading right up to a future Olympic discipline? Am I dreaming too big now? I don’t think so. Short track slalom racing is Olympic material, containing all the elements of a spectator sport… fast, fluid, graceful action, wild wipe-outs, easy to follow and to score. Very rarely do we get the combination of conditions we had in Fond du Lac, i.e. a large snow-free surface, clean winds and the best contenders and race master in the world.
To the few participants who were lamenting about the missed marathon race and the big air jumping competition on “Blizzard Saturday” I want to say: Count your blessings that we had a sensible race committee, fully aware of the risks associated with excessive winds and white-out conditions. They deserve special praise for assessing the weather and acting accordingly. Searching for survivors in poor visibility is no fun.
Kudos also for the well prepared substitute program on Saturday, starting with comfortable lunch at the Sunset on the Lake Grill & Bar, followed by a stimulating afternoon at EAA’s Air Venture Museum in Oshkosh. This visit has been on my “to-do-list” for many years. By the way, after Andy’s announcement on Blizzard Saturday’s skippers meeting quite a few competitors (including myself) were happy about the day off. Sled sailor Mike Bierworth (011) was obviously not one of them. Mike’s reputation is now well established both as an exceptionally tough long distance sailor (57 miles in extreme weather) and as a brilliant help for computer work associated with registration and race results. Thank you Mike, for also incorporating beautiful action photos in the result sheets. Plenty of admiration also goes to the folks who were doing speed trials on Blizzard Saturday. Thank you for enduring it all. The speed clocked by kite sailor Robert Cook of 55 miles /hour (88 km/h) in those conditions is truly impressive.
The WISSA-success at Fond du Lac may now bring up a fairly obvious question: Could we do it again? Perhaps it is too early to ask. You, the organizers need a rest now. So much time and effort has been consumed in the past year, on top of some uncomfortable periods filled with uncertainty about the event’s outcome. Of course, projects like these are always extra difficult the first time around.
For WISSA to return to Lake Winnebago in future years would certainly be a “no-brainer” because of the outstanding pre-requisites: A welcoming community capable of providing a grandiose winter playground for ice & snow sailing with easy access to thick ice, reliable winds, competent officiating, convenient equipment rentals from Kevin’s shop, comfortable shelters for competitors and equipment, expert help with waxing, super clean toilets, shuttle service between Hotel and race site, manageable transportation from and to airports. In fact, Fond du Lac may well be one of the best places in North-America.
Furthermore, your model of combining the Sturgeon Stampede with WAK’s sailing races has been working well in past years and staging the two events back to back, like this year, has worked even better. “WISSA-Village” can easily be turned into “Stampede-Village”. Many of your preparatory activities would be common to both events. Naturally, you, the organizers would have to assess the cost/benefit question and what a future WISSA-event would add to local prestige and regional economy.
Kevin, once again, our outmost appreciation goes to you for taking on the task, way back, and for your steadfast determination to turn WISSA-2015 into a such a fantastic event – the best we ever had on this continent. You fully deserve all the satisfaction associated with our success! Thank you very much!
Gentlemen, please also convey our gratitude to the volunteers, event sponsors and media partners. Best regards with a big thank you also to Don Altmeyer, Duane Waltz and Ed Schneider. I would have loved to spend more time with all of you – on and off the ice. It was also wonderful to observe that many of you (organizers, volunteers, trophy makers, computer wizards, sponsors) are also avid all-year-round sailors and competitors. Chances are, some of you have been enjoying more ice sailing after WISSA-2015 than prior to and during the event.
Klaus Faisst, 001 (on behalf of all competitors)
Thank You Klaus for all your efforts making WISSA 2015 a great event! Please leave a comment for Klaus and everyone to read.
The Organizers of the WISSA 2015 Event want to share the pictures and videos.
We are encouraging everyone (racers, volunteers & spectators) to share their content. There are a lot of great pictures & videos!! If you check out the Wind Power home page, over 100 images from WISSA 2015 were added to the slideshow.
If you choose to share your content, and we sure hope you do, you will have access to all the original content that is being shared via a private URL. The images and videos that are uploaded, we be reviewed and selected content will be posted at web quality for everyone to enjoy.
We will be using FTP (file transfer protocol) to allow you to upload your content to the Wind Power web server. To request an FTP account for sharing, please fill out the following form and hit submit. You will be e-mailed a private FTP account information and basic instructions on how to login and upload your content.
If you have questions, please contact us and we will try to help!
Here is an embed of the Drone Video from WISSA 2015.
During the recent World Ice & Snow Sailing Championships in Fond du Lac, we updated the Event Status with short summaries each day that were available on the Live Camera page or on the Wind Power Weather Center.
WISSA 2015 starts Monday!
Monday Feb 9: WISSA 2015 was officially declared Open at the Ceremony at FDL Yacht Club. A practice course race and STS were done, but the wind became very light….Now we wait for some wind.
Tuesday Feb 10: SE Wind came up after lunch. Short Track Slalom races for Sled & Wings Racers were held. Conditions were good. The Kites held 3 course races NW of the event site. The race results should be posted tomorrow.
Wed Feb 11: Windy and Windy. The Wind came up on Wednesday NW 20 mph gusting to 30 mph. 2 course races for Kites, Sleds and Wings were completed before lunch. After Lunch, 1 more course race and then on to STS (short track slalom). The Short Track was awesome to watch and race as it was very windy and the conditions were excellent.
Thursday Feb 12: Good NNW wind in the morning. 3 course races were run north of the event site. The temps were low (6F/-14.4C), but the snow seemed better. The 20 mph winds dropped to about 13 by the end of the last course. After lunch, the Sleds and Wings did a few Short Track Slalom races, but the wind was getting light so the day was called about 4pm.
Friday Feb 13: We had a south-west wind 15-20 mph for the 3 course races for Kites, Sleds and Wings. The course was just under 4 miles long. After lunch, STS races were held and the wind was great about 18 to 22 mph. There were some aweome races and a few spectacular crashes. The bonfire got started to create some warmth. The Sturgeon Queen contest had numerous contestants, 4 finalists and Molly J. was crowned the Queen. The fireworks show was quite a site. Andy Gratton was giving ice boat rides on the STS track until late in the night….what a day! My GPS showed 31 miles total for the day.
Saturday Feb 14: Very strong North-Northwest winds on Saturday. The Wind Power Weather Center rated it at 4 windsocks (25+ mph ave) for 5.75 hours. The race committee declared no course or STS racing due to strong winds and very low visibilty (0.1 mi). Speed runs with the radar gun were ran just north of the event site. Bob Cook got a top speed of 54.4 mph on kite with skis. This was the windiest day on Lake Winnebago this Winter season. A few sailors free rode for a while as the day cleared up nice. Mike (#011) did the Honorary Long-Distance with 5 trips to the FDL Lighthouse and a total of 57 miles (630 miles for the season since 11/21/2014). The Closing Ceremony and Awards banquet was held at the Retlaw and was a great dinner with awards. Hopefully all the racers and spectators had a great time at WISSA 2015. It was an exceptional event!! Thanks to everyone who contributed to making this event happen and the racers for traveling to Lake Winnebago. Stop by the Event site or Wind Power on Sunday.
Post-event Update: It’s Monday morning and what an amazing event. I am more tired (and sore) than Sunday. Anyway, the Tent is down and the Event Organizers have been working hard to clean-up. The weather Sunday & Monday is cool, but light wind and sunny makes for a couple beautiful days. We will be sending out an e-mail to racers, volunteers and staff shortly with FTP info on sharing media (images and video) and soliciting some feedback. If you left anything behind, please notify Dan Duester or Kevin at Wind Power.
What a great Event! I have referred to this a few times just to remember what direction wind was blowing that day. Hopefully others find this useful too.
WISSA 2015 Event Site from the Drone (Thanks Casey)
The following files (.pdf) are the FINAL Scoring results from the World Ice & Snow Sailing Championship event held in Fond du Lac, WI USA. The event was help February 9 to 14, 2015 on the Southern end of Lake Winnebago
We hope everyone made it back home with safe travels and has great memories of this exceptional Event put on by Wind Power, WAK and FDL Visitors Bureau. Also, a huge THANK YOU to the Race Committee for running great races!
STS (short track slalom) Racing:
Mike Bierworth (#011) was nominated for the ‘Honorary Long Distance’ with 57 miles sailed on Saturday Feb. 14. No racing was held Saturday due to high winds and very low visibility.
We are going to be adding content to our blog and site in the near future. It is windy today, so gonna go out and sail a bit. Thanks to ALL the Racers, Volunteers, Hosts, Sponsors, Spectators and everyone at WISSA 2015!
What are you doing the week of Febrauary 9, 2015?
Hopefully you can make it to the World Ice & Snow Sailing Championship Race on frozen Lake Winnebago either as a participant, spectator or both. Fond du Lac, WI (USA) has been chosen as the North American host for this annual event. The event is simply referred to as WISSA 2015. The World Ice & Snow Sailing Association (WISSA) , Winnebago Association of Kiteboarders (WAK) and Wind Power Windsurfing & Kiting Center are the primary organizations running the event. The Fond du Lac Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (FACVB) is providing an incredible amount of support in coordinating and promoting the event.
See the Official Press Release for WISSA 2015.
On Facebook, see WorldIceandSnowSailingChampionship2015
On Twitter, use #WISSA2015.
The event attracts competitors from all over the globe. The race typically alternates between Europe and North America locations annually. It was held in Madison, WI back in 1995 and in St. Ignace, MI (north end of Mackinac Bridge) in 2012. Wind Power was at both of those events and we are super stoked to have the WISSA 2015 event right off Roosevelt Park in Fond du Lac on Lake Winnebago. This location is right across the street from our Surf Shop and is the most popular windsurfing and kiteboarding launch on Lake Winnebago no matter what time of year.
Please read the press release, watch the video above, and visit the web sites linked above to learn more about this event and the groups supporting it. We hope to see you there and it is sure to be an incredible event. Let’s just hope it is a little warmer than February 2014 🙂