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TOPIC: Sheboygan Chronicles - 2017

Sheboygan Chronicles - 2017 4 months 1 week ago #37

  • Ady
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Well you may start to hate me, but I'm going to say it anyway: get rid of that board!
If you are not comfortable and you have to keep changing footstrap positions and place them in strange ways then something is wrong and it is NOT your fault. You've got hurt twice already and this is not a coincidence anymore, it's a pattern. I can't judge if the board is good or bad, but I can tell with certainty that it's not for you /or for our conditions for that matter/. This is starting to look a lot like the situation I had with my older 2012 Kode 86. No matter how I placed the foot straps or what fin I've used it just kept riding wild and I kept crushing badly to the extent of breaking my ribs twice /the 3rd time the impact vest saved me/ and once getting a serious concussion that left me floating out there short on breath and dizzy for several minutes. I blamed it on my inexperience and its low volume until I bought the 2016 Kode 94 last year and had that WOW moment. I just placed the 3 footstraps inside and on the middle holes , the mast foot in the middle of the track and it felt spot on from the get go. Just like a very good shoes that fit perfectly , you put them on and you forget about them. The 3 fin setup was another eye opener that I wouldn't have believed it before I've tried it. Now all of a sudden I'm not that bad in waves anymore and those nasty trip-overs are a thing of the past. I like this board so much that I sent Starboard a "tumbs up" email. I bought it used from the Big Winds rental fleet sell out at the end of last year and it's the technora construction that is tough but still light enough and escaped both times that I hit rocks this year without damage/unlike me and the fins/ , the fact that it had some scratches, chipps and dings but no cracks or repairs after a season being rental without a nose protector speaks volumes about its toughness.
Another strong contender perhaps would be the Fanatic Freewave-also single/tri fin . Around here they have become as popular as the old RRD FSWs were and the guys who ride Fanatics tend to stick with the brand unlike the rest of us.
And btw like Big Winds sell their Starboard rentals at the end of the season, Worldwinds sell their Fanatic rentals every year so you may be able to replace your Starship with a used 2017 Starboard or Fanatic with little or no loss .
PS: crap-the cheaper, tougher construction Fanatics found in the rental fleets come as a single fin only, you'll have to fork out for the TE. Go, Starboard :woohoo:
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Sheboygan Chronicles - 2017 4 months 1 week ago #38

  • Gregory
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Ady, your advices are always welcome.
For sure the Starship has been wild to ride ever time and it got me injured twice. I never had any such issues with the Starboard or the more recent Fanatic. But I still think this may be due to my totally inventive and wrong strap setup. I got to correct it and give this thing a second chance. I was sailing the same board in California 3 weeks ago and it behaved very differently than mine.

I don't have a lot of experience with many boards but one thing for sure is that the Starship is really super fast when powered up. This thing is like a rocket! This also makes negotiating tightly packed 1-2 feet ramps and chop quite physical and challenging. I love the speed but I never get to sail on flat water when I get to use a 100L board. So something a bit more tamed would be a good thing.

Your experience with your 2016 Kode makes me think of how comfortable I am with my AtomIQ. In Bonaire last January, I sailed the 2015 100L and the 2016 106 Liter and both were super comfortable and predictable. The water conditions were more flat but the wide body short board recipe is making things a lot more easy to deal with. Even my new Falcon lightwind that I pushed last Wednesday beyond its intended usable range was fun and safe: 4-6 foot swell past the lighthouse, NE 17-20 knots and rigged with my 7.5 Cheetah. The Falcon was still predictable and remarkably sail-able which are qualities that I never really experienced with my Starship so far.

So, like you suggested, might be time to trade for a more comfortable pair of shoes. But for now I need a strong knee brace and a few weeks of rest!

Sheboygan Chronicles - 2017 4 months 1 week ago #39

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Exactly my point. How did you come to choosing this board btw? Somebody else is sailing one around Sheboygan maybe or like myself you've been misguided that multi-fin boards have no use in the Midwest. If that's the case, then our assumptions have been wrong and I have experienced the benefits of having 3 fins on my board even on ponds like Wolf Lake where winds above 25 mph can produce a chop big enough to make a board bounce and skip uncontrollably when carve jibing. The benefit of the side bites is that they provide a lot more traction in the turn, while at the same time allowing you to use a much smaller center fin without the risk of constant spin outs when sailing upwind. Using a smaller center fin then reduces the lift effect that bigger fins create which in turn makes the board ride lower in those critical moments smoothing out your turns nicely. Btw the only Naish board that I've seen around here Iately is a Global, which is the right Naish board for lake Michigan IMO and it belongs to one of the best windsurfers around Chicago-Macek -if somebody is wondering /not sure about the name spelling/. The Global is a 3 fin, onshore wave board blending maneuverability with just enough speed to allow easy crossing of the shore break in side to onshore conditions.
As much as I want you to experience the benefits of multiple fins for yourself I have to admit that you are right about wanting to give the Starship another chance, mr. Naish deserves it indeed ! What you may want to do to avoid farther injuries to your knees besides letting them heal adequately and placing your front foot straps inside / or installing 2 back footstraps outside/ is a change of attitude. What I mean by that is that you've become more or less a power hungry, blasting addict :ohmy: Something I was trying to warn you against from the very beginning. In your defense though there are not many sailors in our neck of the woods that can show you otherwise-very few actually. Yours truly have been suffering of the same blasting addiction until very recently , but I felt that something is missing and I searched and I found the enlightenment in the articles of Peter Hart which I love reading for they are not just dry technique instructions, but a wealth of windsurfing wisdom, philosophy and humor aswell. This is how I finally realized what the real meaning of "windSURFING"is -the opposite of wind-blasting . So I stopped being a "horizon chaser" like PH mockingly calls us and started looking at the near-shore break as a playground instead of simply a nuisance . I must have had this mindset in me though, because I bought my wave SUP very early on, I just didn't have the knowledge and a good local example / because I didn't know where to look for them and they've been under my nose the whole time/. So in case you may have wondered before-this is why I try so hard to steer people towards buying a Windsup /preferably non-planing/ for a light wind toy instead of light wind blaster like your Fanatic. Windsups are IMO the best tool, medicine if you like , for curing the blasting addiction.
Now back to you and your Starship! To be able to have fun safely and enjoy the beauty of the SURFING in windsurfing you may want to start sailing the Starship like a wave board, meaning somewhat UNDERPOWERED either by using a smaller size sail /which you dont have a big choice of at this time/ then usual or setting up your rig to accept less power /something your Revos are very good at-just remember to apply a lot of downhaul extending the leach crease beyond the half cog mark and using the lower boom clue hole instead!/ Be careful to not outhaul too much though-Sailworks don't build in so much shape in the sails like Ezzy , but require much more downhaul in contrast. Smaller wave fins are another way to smooth out the ride in strong winds to some extent and a good starting point for a board of the size of yours is to divide the sail area by 2-a 5.0 m sail will match to a 25 cm fin for example.
Underpowered sailing unfortunately leads to upwind issues, so keep this in mind if you decide to follow my advice this time and always launch from the most upwind point possible. When shlogging sail upwind always and don't be ashamed to come in from time to time and walk your kit upwind along the shore to compensate for lost ground.
Lastly if I've bored you to death or if I sound like lecturing you, know that this hasn't been my intent and I apologize for that.
www.windsurf.co.uk/a-real-world-journey/

Sheboygan Chronicles - 2017 4 months 1 week ago #40

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Ady, I might not be at the same stage of maturity in the sport as you have. Blasting has a way to still put a smile on my face. After more than 15 year interruption and about one year back into the sport, I'm just getting more comfortable with basic transitions. Once I improve in that department, I might find interesting to go learn a few more tricks in the waves. That said, I do enjoy surfing the swell on the return runs and don't think of speed at that point. That's a good sign, right?!

I used to sail a 9' glass custom in 3-fin config back in the days. I remember the difference when I set it to a single fin. I wonder how would sail the Starship in a 3-fin configuration...

I like riding on the rails now that I have the hang of it with the Starboard and the Fanatic so I'll probably set the Starship in dual strap in the back, shorten the stance a bit, and give it one more shot.

Good call on the fin size. I started the session with a 5.7 and the 32cm stock fin. I then switched to the 5.0, got lazy and didn't change for my smaller 28cm fin. Bad choice. If I had, that would have made a difference in the handling for sure. My sail was trimmed properly though: max downhaul and mid outhaul. The gusts were just really hard to handle with a board that was going all over the place.

Finally, I don't expect to do things right and might not always agree. I found listening to others experiences very enriching though. But sometimes, one has to make the mistakes to learn first hand why thing are better a certain way.

For now though, I really like sailing for speed. Adrenaline rush is why I'm in the sport more than technical prowess. But I'm sure I'll come to the conclusion at one point that there's more to it than just speed! So let's see what happen next.

Again, a pleasure to read you and always nice of you to share your unfiltered perspective and advice. I successfully back in the sport when I got my 124L AtomIQ because you recommended it and you have been spot-on! :)
Cheers.

Sheboygan Chronicles - 2017 4 months 1 week ago #41

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Thank you for the kind words!

Sheboygan Chronicles - 2017 4 months 1 week ago #42

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The El Medano, Tenerife leg of the PWA wave circuit has started and while checking the Youtube videos I came upon a 2013 finale between Koster and Mussolini at the same location. Fortunately the video is unedited and represents a great example of what I was trying to describe in my previous post. Just ignore the fact that it is a competition and imagine a similar shore break play at one of Lake Michigan beaches . The camera operator shoots the action of Koster only and you can clearly follow the routine involved. Koster is bearing away hard to get through the break; once he is past the white water he looks for a good ramp for a jump or just turns upwind to gain ground and after some distance make a quick tack with the same purpose-staying upwind. Mark how he always tacks at this point!
Do you see him chasing the horizon? No, the good waves are near shore! Now he starts coming in sailing upwind again until he comes close to the break cranking hard to catch up to a good wave or slowing down if he has to wait for one. And then the most fun -the wave riding-begins. Back side, front side he alternates to impress while throwing in expert moves until almost at the beach where its time for a quick jibe and then the whole circle is being repeated.
Again its not as easy as it looks, but it is perfectly doable by an intermediate if the wind is not too strong . No need to do any complicated moves or double loops, it is a lot of fun even with the occasional simple chop hop on the way out and a bit of backside wave riding on the way in. The best wind range for me is between 5.7 to 4.7 with the 5.2 being my favorite /either on the 94 Kode or the 9' Converse-both thrusters/-not to hectic, but engaging and adrenaline inducing enough . From what I've seen so far at Evanston, most guys prefer boards around 100L. My strategy is to be not too powered up to be able to think, look around and try stuff.
Not arguing that this is the only way to have fun, it's just the way I like it for when we have good N winds at the Big Lake and I couldn't resist the opportunity to showcase it when I saw the video. Another way to do it in lighter winds is with a Windsup /or any big turny board with a small fin/ and a 5ish sail.

Sheboygan Chronicles - 2017 3 months 3 weeks ago #43

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Thanks for sharing Ady.

Tomorrow is the eclipse of the sun and as I'm getting ready to look up into the heavens, this reminded me a few pics I took during a pretty special day in Sheboygan! It was on July 5 at the end of a nice light wind session. A westerly front was coming and suddenly the sky featured an unusual and beautiful cloud formations that resembled an inverted mountain ridge. It was amazing to watch.

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Sheboygan Chronicles - 2017 3 months 2 weeks ago #44

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August 27, Sheboygan WI, North Beach, SSE 15-17 knots (my guess), 4' swell. I went north beach today because the shore break on south beach was big and messy (didn't want to break something...). North Beach is semi-protected by the north pier and offer sailing conditions with less chop but still with roller coaster swell wrapping around the lighthouse. The only issue with this launch is the wind shadow the first 100-150 yards out due to the marina buildings and other land obstacles. So a little buoyancy is necessary to get out far enough to catch good wind. My124L is still disabled so I took the 156L Lightwind Falcon with the Ezzy 8.5 Lion for a ride. I am impressed with the range of this board. I though that it couldn't handle swell, chop or anything above 15 knots but to the contrary. It really is a fun, fast and easy to control board. ...a purchase I didn't regret.

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Sheboygan Chronicles - 2017 3 months 2 weeks ago #45

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I just want to warn you about the danger of kicking the sharp back edge of a long fin when waterstarting barefoot! I almost lost a toe in the same situation and it took 16 stitches to put it back together and the scan showed the bone was broken too.

Sheboygan Chronicles - 2017 3 months 2 weeks ago #46

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Ouch. Thanks for the warning. I can see how it can easy happen. After all this extends more than half a meter down in the water. Unless the wind is weak or I'm on a smaller board, I tend to unconventionally waterstart with my back foot on the board which i guess makes the fin no longer a risk factor (it gives me better directional control of the board while in the water) ...But obviously not on this picture since my left knee wasn't bending as well as I wanted with the brace.

Sheboygan Chronicles - 2017 3 months 2 weeks ago #47

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That's a really nice Falcon, Gregory!

Sheboygan Chronicles - 2017 3 months 2 weeks ago #48

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Thanks, Mike. :cheer:
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