Tag Archives: windsurfing

Windsurfing Wave Foiling

Casey’s Blog:

  Foiling is the very hot topic these days, especially after watching the Americas cup cats flying around Bermuda in 10 MPH wind. Luckily for me I have been racking up the air time foiling for 3 years now doing Kite and Windsurfing foiling. Even though both are fresh and exciting, it was kind of more of the same old for me. Ultimately my feeling on the whole foiling thing is I could take it or leave it. Now hear me out since that is just my opinion as an Uber Watermen. Foiling “is” the future and it will be very very popular. All racing will be going that way and kiting/sailing has already gone that way, as well as most flat water cruising for sure. It is a New Era.
Now here is the game changer for me when it comes to foiling. Recently I have gotten into “Surf foiling.” These foils are quite different in the way they ride because they are big and slow with lots of lift designed for riding waves under control. I started off SUP foiling in small waves with the Mystery Machine, which is probably the hardest thing I have ever done in the water, but so freaken fun. Then I got the idea to stick a sail on the sup/wavefoil and give it a try. That Day turned out to be the Game Changer: Everything worked amazingly perfect, I was gliding/flying on wave after wave(and not good waves either! The crappiest waves: The ones that don’t even break, super small waves, and even open water swell). What I found after switching to my high performance Red Barron foil board is you can catch a swell and completely flag the sail out by just hanging onto the mast or boom and ride the waves forever on the foil with zero sail power. The best part is you don’t need much wind either. Just 12-15mph and a 4.7-5.7 sail and you’re flying on these big surf foils heading up wind like crazy, looking for more swell to ride. I can even go out to open waters and ride downwind swell for crazy amounts of time with zero sail power. There are all sorts of new things to do I haven’t even thought of yet.
This new discipline is WWF (windsurf wave foiling) that’s what I am calling it anyways. I am not even sure if anyone else in the world is even doing this yet? It’s truly opening up my waterman mind to all kinds of new things. WWF already has been replacing other water activities for me like light wind sailing, wind Sup longboarding and kiting. I don’t do much of those anymore). It has shortened up my quiver also. The biggest sail I ever need for WWF is a 5.7 or maybe even a 4.7 with the right designed sail. There is so little sail power required I will be out for a 3 hour WWF session and not use the harness once since there is no need to. WWF is not replacing everything though. When the waves and wind are up, its business as usual with all the normal toys, but for crappy conditions, non-breaking waves, and light winds, it’s crazy fun. I have new board designs dancing in my head and even some foil mods. Hmmmm. I am so very stoked on this newly discovered discipline and I can’t wait to score more sessions. I am really looking forward for WWF to evolve over the next 3-5 years. It’s going to be an exciting ride. Bring it on!

 

1ft wave perfect!

Just flag the sail out and ride the wave!
Heading up-wind for another ride in very little wind.

SUP and general water safety rules

 

As many of you have recently witnessed here at Da’ Reef there has been a great disrespect of water safety by a large number of power craft users.

This unsafe operation has prompted many calls to the Coast Guard and Niagara Regional Police water patrols requesting increased enforcement of laws/regulations in our corner of Lake Erie.

I have it on good authority that the patrols will be in the area on this coming weekend so let’s all be safe, aware and set a good example of what watermen and women should be.

As a reminder of what is necessary I have done some research and this is what I found….

Transport Canada pdf link

Transport Canada, like the United States Coast Guard, classifies Stand Up Paddleboards as human powered vessels when they are being used for navigation. When being used within the surf zone for surfing activities these requirements are not in force. When undertaking a trip or circuit such as a group crossing or solo outing, this is considered navigation.
As human powered vessels, Stand Up Paddleboards are subject to all carriage requirements, including lifejackets. There must be one Canadian approved lifejacket or personal floatation device available on board and available for immediate use. There are many PFD options available for ease of use, such as waist-pack inflatables (a popular choice among competitive rowers, who are also short on space and require a broad range of movement) or low profile paddling vests.
While we have received many requests for the consideration of a leash in lieu of a PFD, Transport Canada does not recognize the leash/paddleboard combination as a floatation device.

If everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket or a PFD of appropriate size, you are only required to carry .1) a sound-signaling device; and .2) a watertight flashlight if the boat is used after sunset or before sunrise or in periods of restricted visibility.

Transport Canada supports leash use, but not as an alternative to a lifejacket or personal floatation device.

What does all that mean for you?

Wear or carry a PFD with you when you are heading out for a paddle, safety 1st. It is just common sense. A sound signaling device is also recommended.

Wear your leash, this prevents you from being separated from the board should you fall. Your board is the thing with the most float available should an emergency arise.

The PFD  guidelines apply for our friends on kayaks, canoes, and other paddle craft as well as sailors, wind surfers and kiters.

Ultimately the decision to wear a PFD is your choice, choose wisely.

Let’s all avoid hefty fines and keep the PFDs with us and have a safe summer out at Da’Reef.

Below are some links for inflatable waist pack PFDs.

 

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-marine–ultra-slim-manual-inflatable-life-jacket-belt-pack-blue–15911308?recordNum=7

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/dakine–uscg-approved-type-v-inflatable-pfd–16975757?recordNum=18

 

Minimum requirements for all other craft are:

a PFD for all aboard,  a sound signaling device,  throw-able line,and a paddle.

Please refer to the Transport Canada link above if you are unsure about anything. Continue reading SUP and general water safety rules

“The Red Barron” Windsurf Foil, A Board Room Project.

Casey’s Blog: 

Say hello to “The Red Barron” this is my latest creation out of the board room. It is a performance Windsurfing Foil board.  Specs are 6’6″ x 29 1/4″ x 4 3/4″ @ 16lb.   This board is made to fly like a jet, with everything designed just for foiling in mind. Check it out!

 

The Red Barron
Looking sharp
Much respect for the Red Barron!
Don’t mess with this Reef warrior, he will shoot you down!
Snoppy In the house! On the machine Guns! Look out!
Tiny at only 6’6″
Paired up with the XL Naish Chopper (5.3-5.7) the perfect foiling set-up!
I am very Happy with this one!
Just awesome!

Reef Warriors support Adaptive Watersports

As Reef Warriors or followers of our site you know we are passionate about enjoying time on the water. Gidget and I are taking that passion and helping open up the world of watersports to a wider group. We are supporting  the efforts of Steve Spitz and WNY Adaptive Watersports and the newly formed WNY chapter of Team River Runner on behalf of the reef warriors.

WNY Adaptive Watersports is a local program which helps  the disabled and physically challenged enjoy the watersports including sailing, waterskiing, scuba and fishing. The kayaking component needed more attention so that spurred the linkage with Team River Runner

Team river runner is a national program to help disabled veterans kayak and sup. The newly formed WNY Chapter is in its infancy and is looking to grow in this region. Although its focus is on disabled veterans the WNY chapter is opening this up to the community at large.

We are spreading the word about these programs and hoping to stir up more support. Gidget and I were involved in an early planning meeting and will be volunteering at some of the upcoming water events. We wish to spread the word among the Reef faithful and ask for any help you can provide.

At this early stage the WNY chapter of Team River Runner is looking for support in many different ways. This may be in the form of gear (kayaks, gently used life jackets) your time for organizational meetings and paddle events and of course monetary donations.

We hope you will consider sharing what you can to  give back to the community and help others find that same enjoyment on the water whether it be a calm paddle or catching a wave!

For more info: please contact

Lou or Gail (Gidget) at reefwarriors@outlook.com

or

Steve Spitz at

Spitzskier@gmail.com

                                                

 

Robby bring the “Chopper” back.

Casey’s Blog:

Ok, Robby Naish I will give you an out, you don’t have to do any more reading if you just bring the chopper back…………………………   No! you say? Now you’re going to get it!

  For some crazy unknown reason, 4 years ago now, Naish Sails stopped producing the greatest windsurfing sail ever made in the history of windsurfing known as the “Naish chopper”. Rumor had it, that it was the brainchild of Mark Angulo. This wouldn’t surprise me a bit since he seems very open minded and he pretty much invented 80% of what is cool and awesome in windsurfing today (moves,style,gear,ect). The chopper is a very innovative and simple concept which works so well in the real world conditions.  It’s a wave sail that is super compact(manuverable), very powerful, provides instant input and is Uber forgiving. Oh and the “Key” to the Chopper is the whole range (4-sails, 5.7-3.7) all rig on one size mast, A nice short 370 mast, and one 140-190 boom. Yes! How Insanely simple is that? You can go to the beach any day from 15 to 40kts with just 4-sails, 1-mast, 1-boom and you have everything covered! So freaking simple. Just that concept alone is worth gold. Now given the option, which quiver would you chose?

“Old windsurfing way”= 6-sails, 3-mast, 2-booms

 VS

“Chopper way”= 4-sails, 1-mast, 1-boom.

 No brainer right? Think about it, if you were new to the sport or you’re a parent of a Kid that just got the “Windsurfing Bug” and you were looking into to buying some new gear.  Which option is:  1) Way easier to sell. 2) Way easier to explain. 3) Total cost is way less. 4) Much Simpler and 5) More attractive!  Yup! The “Chopper way” (Did you understand that? Dumb windsurfing marketing people!).

      Another first on the chopper is they changed the sail sizing system. They changed it yet again to a simple system called: small, medium, large and extra-large. Just like your T-shirt size that’s how the different sizes of the Choppers are described. Now anybody “new” to the sport has no problems adapting to this simplified system, but most windsurfers have a complete melt down with this. They are so used to the number system they can’t envision it any other way.  They ask me what I am riding and I say “medium” and you almost can see the gears & cogs exploding out of there head. It’s really funny stuff! Look, it’s hard to teach old dogs new tricks, so probably Naish should have put some sail numbers on the sail along with the sizing system to keep the melt-downs to a minimum. The main reason for the sizing change is in the chopper design itself.  The choppers pack more power per square meter than any other sail ever made. For example, the Extra Large is really a 5.3m, but it sails and has the power of a 5.7-6.0. So is it really a traditional 5.3m!? No, not really. Thus the need for a new sizing system.  Once you get used to the system you can’t go back to numbers.  Say if a Large is too much then you go to a Medium, if it’s too light you go to a XL. Sooooo Simple! I don’t ever think about what size to be on anymore! It’s such a nice feeling and mind relief.

     Now as for the amazing performance of the chopper, I have written reviews, and other people and magazines have written reviews so I could go on and on but I am going to just sum it up.   The chopper is so different in every way that even the way you rig it up is completely backwards from normal sails. The “Trick” is just a hint of downhaul to make a guitar string leech and then lots of outhaul, and adjust the outhaul for desired power. That’s it! Done!  No more saying “is that enough downhaul?” or “Does that look right?”.  Again so simple!  This sail, in some magical way is both a “powerful” and “soft” wave sail at the same time. I think it defies the laws of physics…or it’s just really short! It can power up to 100 and then depower to zero in an instant. It feels so light and maneuverable that you will forget you even have a sail in your hands. It truly is a surfer’s sail by just disappearing and allowing you to focus on surfing the wave and being in the right spot to Hit the Lip!

  Look is the chopper the best sail for onshore wave? No. Is it the best for sideshore wave? No. Is it the best for down the line waves? No. Is it the best for bump and jump? No. Is it the fastest sail? Definitely not. Is it the most stable sail? Nope. Is it the best freestyle sail? No. Is it the lightest sail? No.  Look The Chopper would not win an award for best sail in any technical category, but yet it would be right up there near the top of every single one. There are things I can do on a chopper, that I can’t do on any other sail.  In real life it would win the category hands down for “having the most fun”. The category for making you “a better wave sailor”. The category for “keeping life simple and easy”. The category of “saving you money by not having so much gear”. Ect.

      The chopper has developed a cult-like following. I know about dozen people who have quivers of them and they all love and rave about them! Heck I know a couple of Naish Team riders that loved their Choppers and miss them so much. They said the Choppers were way better compared to what they are currently riding. I get monthly emails of people looking for quivers of them so there is still clearly a ton of interest there. I just can’t think of any good reason why Naish sails would just stop making them (other than listening to dumb marketing people?). I have tried many brands of 3-batten sails including Naish and they are all Floppy pieces of junk with little to no range. They probably work at Hookipa but that is the only place where they work. All brands 5 batten sails will always have there place on the water, as they are all locked down and super stable rigs that will pretty much sail themselves.  All the other 4-battens sails out there are just lightened up 5 battens (the same sail just a little lighter) and maybe in some cases a little less range. The end result is they are all the “same old” and none of them have a compact, 1 mast/boom concept.

    I have 2 quivers of choppers so I should be good for a while especially with that Naish quality. I will never go back to a normal windsurfing sail ever again!   Oh, every year I try the latest and greatest sails, and just one session on the newest stuff, reminds me how freaken awesome the choppers truly are. The difference is like night and day! So, when that day comes and all my choppers are worn out and I need new ones, I am coming for you Robby Naish! I will hunt you down and you will make me a new set or “there is going to be trouble”!  We are Called REEF “WARRIORS” for a reason. Arrrrrrr!

   Anybody else who wants to pick up the Chopper torch you got my support. Goya, Simmer, Sailworks, Hotsails, anybody?  You would be an instant hero and legend, and probably your bank account would like it too!

  If anybody is looking for some leftover Naish choppers there might be some left at “BigWinds” so check them out!

http://www.bigwinds.com/