View Full Version : Windsurfers? Kitesurfers?

04-18-2012, 03:44 PM
Does anybody even do windsurfing anymore? I never see them around where I live.

I've been thinking about getting a new toy. I've been trying out kayaks, and the SUP thread got me thinking about those (a little :rolleyes:)... Both are good exercise, but I think I need a bit more of an adrenaline rush.

Kitesurfing looks cool, but I've never tried it. There is a school at the beach here but they're pretty expensive. I tried windsurfing years ago but never got into it. I think either one would be fun when the wind is strong enough to blow out the ski course.

Is anyone here into either of these sports (windsurfing, kitesurfing)? Pros and cons of each?

04-18-2012, 04:46 PM
I'm 53. When I was in my 20s and 30s I windsurfed whenever I could, mostly on Mississippi River, and I've taken 2 trips to Aruba specifically to windsurf. To windsurf well, the learning curve is steep and falls are spectacular. I've not windsurfed in 10 years, but I still have my equipment. I recently read a post on this site about SUP and just today received my new $300 SUP paddle as I intend to paddle my old Mistral Equipe Race board. If I like it I'm going to get a SUP. I intend to SUP mainly for exercise to build up my core body strength. I still water ski on most mornings at an undisclosed location, but every now and then I'm going to take my old sailboard out for a paddle on the River. I'd like to resume my windsurfing on light wind days. I don't think I want to sail in high winds over 20mph as I'm not willing to pay the price of failure. Windsurfing is a great sport and nothing beats the thrill of being dialed in on the harness and skimming across the water at 20 mph! When I sailed on the Mississippi River I had to turn a lot due the narrowness of the River. I also had to dodge towboats. The other problem is you never know when the wind is going to blow and it's hard for me to drop everything and rush out of the office just because the wind is blowing. I can usually count on SAG conditions at 6 am which is when I usually go water skiing. My advice: Do it!

04-19-2012, 11:23 AM
Windsurfing is a great sport and nothing beats the thrill of being dialed in on the harness and skimming across the water at 20 mph!

Well, cutting across the wake at 50+ mph behind a MC probably comes close! :D

Thanks for the info TnB. I tried windsurfing a few times many years ago on light wind days and found it boring. But it sure looks like fun when the breeze kicks up. We get a lot of windy days at the beach here -- there's a small group of guys I see out there kitesurfing but never any windsurfers. I grew up sailing Hobie cats and they're a lot of fun also but don't give you the workout that I suspect you get with windsurfers, SUPs and the like.

Any kitesurfers on here?

04-19-2012, 12:19 PM
I am sure there is someone with more experience than me - but I took about 4 hours of kitesurfing instruction a few years ago (in Aruba). It is really cool - I got up a few times and rode a short distance. It IS a rush. However, it also scared the crap out of me - the power of the kite is incredible. I wanted purchase the equip but I didn't really have a good area to do it that was consistently windy (live near Chicago). And, I have so many other on the water activities that I just couldnt' justify dropping about $3,000 for gear (min - you really need more than 1 kite). Like I said, I am sure someone has more exp than me....

04-19-2012, 12:30 PM
Great comments here. Yes, I do get "dialed in" to cross the wake at 50 mph behind my PS197; however, I like carving turns on glassy water better than crossing the wake and, if you think about it, when you carve a turn the boat is no longer doing the work because you have accelerated beyond the speed of the boat which is what windsurfing is like all the time; you harness the wind in the sail's center of effort and transfer the power from that point to the fin beneath the board and end up moving faster than the wind speed. I'm sure we all will agree, water sports are the best, no matter what you do!

04-19-2012, 02:29 PM
It isn't windy in Chicago??? ;)

Thanks for the input guys. I may start lurking around some other forums to see what the deal is. I didn't know the kitesurf equipment was so expensive... I was thinking around $1500, $2000 tops. I believe windsurfers are bit cheaper.