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What are the most suitable boards/sails/wetsuits...

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RAW1979
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Post by RAW1979 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 18:05

Hi All

So glad I found this site and the nomads club. I've just got back from mexico where I taught myself to windsurf, and I totally fell in love with it. I need to get amongst some people who know their stuff that I can learn from so please get in touch if you don't mind a total novice taging along with you on a wkd trip somewhere. I'll get the wife to make one of her awesome cakes as a way of saying thanks!

I live in Bristol, and am also a keen mountain biker so if anyone wants to attack some trails and then talk windsurfing i'm bang up for that.

Please get in touch, I have the bug and need to throw myself into it.

Regards,

Russ

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rachael
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Post by rachael » Mon Jun 27, 2011 20:22

Hey Russ,
Welcome to the site, it's always nice to hear from a new obsessive!
I'm nowhere near as good as most people in the club and have really benefited from picking people's brains about locations and so on so if I can pass anything on I'll be glad to. I'm not a mountain biker but there are a few on here.
What kind of level are you at in your windsurfing? Do you have your own kit and if so what, or would you be looking to hire kit to start with?

Rachael

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hi

Post by RAW1979 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 20:32

Hi Rachael,

Thanks for getting in touch. In terms of skill level I literally self taught over the space of a fortnight holiday (probably 7 sessions). I understand the basics but just need to keep doing it and pick up tips from more experienced people.

I have no kit at all so would just hire, beg steal or borrow at the moment. Hesitant to spend any money until I know a bit more about the kit. How much would the whole kit cost if bought second hand?

Let me know if there's anyway I could tag along on any outings. Really keen to learn as much as I can.

Russ

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Post by rachael » Mon Jun 27, 2011 21:37

Hey Russ,
It's very impressive to teach yourself, I don't think I'd have known where to start!
People tend to learn in certain stages ie
- start on big floaty board with daggerboard and small sail in relatively low wind, learn to uphaul, sail along and turn around
- once you can stay upwind, try medium boards without daggerboards and get comfortable in the harness
- then get into stronger winds and into the footstraps and blast along fast
- then learn to waterstart, get onto small boards and start thinking about waves/freestyle
Where you go, what wind you go out in and what kit you need depends on what stage you're at, as you've only had a fortnight I guess the first stage above?
If so you want to be in flat water ie Llandegfedd or maybe Portland or Poole, ideally with someone around in a rescue boat. There are some beginner-friendly spots on the calendar http://www.bristolnomads.org.uk/about/events/index.htm but there isn't always a huge turnout on beginner-friendly days.
The good news is I'm looking at doing instructor training in late august so might need volunteer students to practice on after that, and don't mind giving tips before (especially if cake's involved!) The bad news is I don't have beginner kit. I don't know if anyone in this club has beginner kit you can borrow or whether llandegfedd windsurf club or barry island bwa club does? Otherwise the best thing is probably to hire kit.
Not exactly sure of cost of second-hand beginner kit, few hundred quid maybe, personally i just invested my cash in windsurfing holidays instead until i was ready for smaller kit. The first thing you would need is wetsuit and then harness, but you can normally hire those too. Don't rush out and buy any old kit, the right kit is so much easier to learn on, get someone who knows to check out anything you're thinking of buying, I don't mind helping.
I will stop as this is turning into an essay but feel free to ask any questions.
Welcome to the frustrating and expensive but friendly and addictive world of windsurfing! :D

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Thanks

Post by RAW1979 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 08:05

Thank you so much for all your feedback. Really useful stuff.

I'm definitely at the very first stage you mentioned, and if you are going to become an instructor then please keep me in mind. I might see if I can go and have a lesson somewhere this weekend just to keep things ticking over and progressing. There's a lake that does lessons in Gloucester called croft farm which apparently is quite good.

Think I'll just keep asking for help and guidance on this forum as well.

Thanks again

Russ

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MartinF
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Post by MartinF » Tue Jun 28, 2011 08:21

As Rachael advises - don't rush out and buy kit without knowing what it is you're buying. Ebay is full of ads for kit that's "suitable for beginners". Normally, it's nothing of the sort: It's just a euphemism for "very old, heavy, narrow, and difficult to use/overcome/master. By all means, keep an eye on eBay, and if you see something that you think is of interest, then post a link to it - probably in the "Starting Line" forums here - and ask for advice. Buy, beg, borrow or steal Boards mag - there are often beginners sections in there.

As a couple of off-the-cuff suggestions for suitable boards, try:
  • Fanatic Snake
    F2 Phoenix
    Bic Techno (will be harder to learn on but more rewarding later on)
Costs for windsurfing can be astronomical, but there's no need to go there if you choose wisely. There is good used kit around - including on eBay - if you have the patience to look before leaping. One thing you will need is a wetsuit. You could buy 2nd hand, but you'd be lucky to find something that both fits and isn't falling apart .
    Last edited by MartinF on Tue Jun 28, 2011 08:27, edited 2 times in total.
    It's an ill wind that never blows at all.

    RAW1979
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    Brilliant

    Post by RAW1979 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 08:25

    Thanks so much,

    I think my plan is to have another lesson this wkd and hire all the kit. Pick the brains of the instructor as much as i can. Get some copies of Boards magazine, and probably visit Windsurfing World to see how much wetsuits cost.

    I'm actually just going through the purchase of a new house so unfortunately can't really go out and spend what I'd liek right now.

    I'll get there.

    Thansk so much guys and gals

    Russ

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    MartinF
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    Re: Brilliant

    Post by MartinF » Tue Jun 28, 2011 08:28

    RAW1979 wrote:and probably visit Windsurfing World to see how much wetsuits cost.
    FYI, Windsurfers World does discount for Nomads members.
    It's an ill wind that never blows at all.

    RAW1979
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    Post by RAW1979 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 09:13

    Ye I saw that on the Nomads site. Already applied for my info pack. Very cheap to join so definitely worth doing.

    Guys thanks for making my first steps into Windsurfing very informative. I'll buy you a beer if I see you at any Nomads outings.

    Russ

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    Quick question

    Post by RAW1979 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:39

    A friend of mine mentioned that Trench Lane, Winterbourne has a lake that might do windsurfing lessons.

    Any idea if thats right or not?

    Only place I know is Croft Farm in Gloucester but if there's somewhere more local it would be really useful to know.

    Cheers,

    Russ

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    MartinF
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    Post by MartinF » Tue Jun 28, 2011 14:09

    The rather grandly, and misleadingly titled "West Country Water Park" is - I think - what you refer to as the Lake in Trench Lane. More commonly known as
    1. the Almondsbury mud pond
    2. Jet skiing pond where a child was nearly killed a few years ago - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... h-car.html
    3. home of the rather bizarre "entertainment" known as "lake golf"
    4. Final resting home of ancient kit - used for teaching
    5. Mad Mike's place (Mike Thompson)
    However - my information is now many years old. From Googling it just now, it seems to have changed - chameleon-like once again - to a tri-athlon training lake :shock: with no obvious links with windsurfing any more

    Croft Farm is actually nearer to Tewkesbury than Gloucester, so somewhat further afield. It's a very small, shallow lake and is probably the safest learning environment you'll find. A number of Nomads have begun their windsurfing careers there.
    It's an ill wind that never blows at all.

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    rachael
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    Post by rachael » Tue Jun 28, 2011 17:04

    If you're thinking of having a lesson this weekend, some options are:
    Llandegfedd - 40 minutes from Bristol - http://www.gwent-adventures.co.uk/ - they have kit & wetsuits to hire or I think
    kit/wetsuit is included in lesson cost.
    Poole Windsurfing as above
    Weymouth http://uk.otc-windsurf.com/school.htm
    Croft Farm as you say

    If you want a lot of lessons look at http://www.neilson.co.uk for overseas lessons - can work out similar cost with bonus sunshine - they normally do good offers May and Sept.

    Have fun!
    Rachael

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