Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Back on Track

For most windsurfers on Long Island, we haven't set foot on our boards since Hurricane Sandy 4 weeks ago!! The raw power of the storm destroyed many beaches and communities all along the south shore. Roads were destroyed, beaches swept away and, many homes sunk into the sea with the rising waters. The weeks following the storm had gas shortages leaving us literally high and dry. With no gas to fuel our cars to even make it to work, our windsurf mobiles had to take a back seat. 4 weeks later things are starting to get back to normal. No more waiting 4 hours on line for gas that might not even be there by the time it's your turn at the pump. Beaches are slowly starting to open back up, and the majority of the debris from the storm has found a place to rest. So all we need is some wind! I had another dilemma of my own. No Sails!!! At least none below 5.0. And guess what, in the fall on Long Island the 5.0 might as well be a 7.0. It's blowing 25-40mph or nothing!! Then as if sent by Aeolus himself, my brand new set of 2013 Northsails idols arrived just in time for the first winds after Sandy hit the East Coast. The forecast was west winds of 25-30 knots, gusts to 35 knots! Looks like a 4.0 day to me. West Meadow was the call, not only because it's my favorite place to sail, but it also happened to be one of the few beaches that were accessible that would be good on the westerly wind. Pulling into the parking lot at West meadow I could see it was packed with cars. When I took my first look out at the water, it was covered in windsurfers. There had to be about 30 of them!! People came from the Hudson, the entire ocean crew showed up, and of course the West Meadow regulars were all there to score their first session in weeks! I pulled in next to Chachi who already had his 4.5 laying in the parking lot. I got out of the car, struggling to push the door open into the wind. "4.5 Chachi? I'm thinking 4.0 or 3.7." "yeah, I know, I think I'll be back in after the first run!" He also got his new 2013 North idols, so we were admiring his laying there in the parking lot guessing as to how the newest 4 batten northsail would handle so much wind. As I was rigging, Chachi hit the water. Strangely, he didn't look all that overpowered. Total control? On a 4.5 four batten in well over 30 mph winds? I rigged my 4.0 anyway. I made it out fully powered on the 4.0 idol. On the way back in, I saw Chachi come really close to landing a backloop. The day went on and the wind kept cranking. After a short while Chachi decided the 4.0 was a better call and rigged it up and joined me on his new skate. We were twins! Two 4.0 green idols and 2 yellow skates going shaka for shaka and funnel for funnel. That day will always be a day I'll remember on the water. Great wind, great conditions and great friends! I'll have a full review of the new 2013 Northsails idol after I get to try the bigger sizes. (5.0 and 5.6) So far from what I can tell with the 4.0 and 4.5 is that they have more power, a lighter and softer feel, and are much, much better than the ice/IDs for freestyle! In a straight line I think it will be a personal choice of feel of the sail. For me, even if I wasn't doing freestyle, I would take the idol over the ice. If the larger models are anything like the smaller ones, I'm never going back to 5 batten!!