2009 is coming to a close and I hope everyone starts the New Year with a blast of fresh air. Our last season had some strange weather patterns with temps cooler than usual but we had pretty decent wind except for September. I haven’t figured that weather pattern out yet.
You should have also received the Wind Power Equipment Info and Pricing (.pdf) as an attachment with this e-mail.
(view online .pdf)
Winter Sailing with Wind Power
My last kiting session was Dec. 2nd at Club Altmeyer on Lake Winnebago with Jeff Ross, Matt Schmitz, Don Altmeyer and myself. We were on 16 meters ripping it up for our last soft water session for 09. I was the last on the water and packed it in right after I tried a trick and crashed on my toe-side, proceeded to get dragged and loose my beanie and immediately got an ice-cream headache. That was enough to turn our thoughts to hitting the hill (Sunburst) in 3 days for skiing and snowboarding. Late October and early November had some great wind and abnormally warm weather. I hope everyone took the time to take advantage of it.
It’s time to get the winter sailing and kiting equipment out and polished up. Wind Power is looking forward towards fun on the frozen lake. The stability of the frozen lake makes learning and progressing at all levels of windsurfing the easiest. Of course, protective gear is required! A helmet, knee pads and elbow pads at the very least. Some people even wear hockey pads. Contrary to what you may think the winter is not hard on your equipment, if you use a little common sense. Stay away from protrusions in the ice; find smooth ice for the most fun. Dropping your rig and having the booms slide on rough ice can be hard on the grip. Use an old pair of booms or put a covering on your booms. Personally I stay away from rough ice. I use my best sails because I need the performance they have with the speeds I can reach. I have been sailing in the winter since 1985 and I have yet to damage a sail or break a mast.
Here is a list of what you can learn easier in the winter/frozen lake, than on the lake in the summer. Let’s start with just learning how to handle the sail and then how to tune the sail. Many sailors just rig the sail, head out and sail the rest of the day without ever adjusting the downhaul, outhaul, or harness lines. On the ice/snow it is so easy to stop and adjust your sail settings and then go for a run and see the difference. The speeds you can reach in the winter amplify the changes in the rigs adjustment. Learning the harness technique, going fast and getting in the footstraps. This can be learned and enjoyed on the winter board, ice board and snowfer. Learning how to do a planning jibe can easily be learned on a freeskate, along with freestyle and many tricks. Read Kevin’s article Winter Sailing & Kiting on Lake Winnebago: Freeskate, Snowfer, Snowboard and more
Don’t forget about kiting! As I have explained on the Wind Power Blog article Learn to Kitesurf in the Winter at Wind Power, kiting can be learned in 2-3 hours in the winter on skis or snowboard. If you are not proficient on the snowboard, stick to the skis if you want to learn how to kite in 2-3 hours. Learning how to kite and snowboard at the same time is not a good mix. Many future kiters have inquired about our winter lessons. Wind Power will start teaching as soon as the ice is safe.
Call or e-mail us to get on our e-Flyer list for ice conditions and where we will be kiting or sailing. Wind Power does not have rental kiting equipment, but we do provide equipment for lessons and we do sell all the necessary equipment for kiting!
O’pen Bic News
Kevin will be traveling to Miami again this year to assist the Race Committee for the 2010 O’pen BIC "Un-Regatta" Mid Winters. It will take place at the Miami Shake-a-Leg Yacht Club on January 16 & 17. Last year there were 22 contestants and this year they are predicting 50. Steve Eliasen will be bringing a contingency of 8 kids from the Fox Valley to participate. If you have a child interested please call and we can help you make arrangements. Wind Power will be hosting a number of O’Pen Bic un-Regattas throughout the Fox Valley in 2010. Stay Tuned for more!
Wind Power Blog
Make sure you check out Wind Power’s New Blog, we have a summary of last fall’s Wind Power Champs. Watch the videos of sailing on the ice and winter kiting, comments are more than welcome!
WAK - Winnebago Association of Kiteboarders
WAK (WAKkiteboarding.com) will be hosting a Winter Kiting Event Feb 13 & 14, 2010. It will include course racing, high jump and more. Windsurfing will also take place with Wind Power being one of the event sponsors.
See more of Gene’s kiting sequence here
Other News, well Anders Bringdal a Swedish windsurfing at the top of the professional windsurfing tour from 1986 to 2000 will be running Mistral (http://windsurfing.mistral.com). Mistral has been Wind Power’s primary board brand since they became a dealer for Mistral in 1985. Wind Power looks forward to the fresh air Anders will bring to Mistral. Kevin has communicated with Anders about the board line-up and he currently working on some new longboard and hybrid designs in 2011.
With the Holidays right around the corner Wind Power wishes all of you a Merry snow filled Christmas and wind of your Happy Holidays. Looking for a Holiday gift? Check out Wind Power, we have Gift Certificates available. Call Kevin with questions or further discussion.