Michigan Windsurfing

Windsurfing & Stand-Up Paddleboarding in Michigan

    The weather has been beautiful this Memorial Day weekend.  On Friday and Saturday it was 70 degrees with a 5-10 knot ESE breeze.  That’s not enough for me to plane.  Instead, I spent each afternoon sailing (non-planing) at the Lake Lansing swimming beach (closed for swimming due to Covid-19), trying to hone basic sail- and board- handling skills.  This weekend’s goals were all varieties of helicopter tacks (and its close cousin, the upwind 360), e.g. clew-first, switch-stance, fin-first, back-to-sail, etc.  I rode my usual RRD 105 liter freestyle board (to get incidental balance practice) and used a small sail (4.1) to make the sail handling easier and because I knew that I couldn’t plane even with my biggest sail.

    On Sunday, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, the temperature hit 80, and the wind was a solid 10 knots from the WSW.  I launched from the boat launch instead of the swimming beach to get clear wind and to continue my non-planing practice.There were occasional stronger gusts, but they were not consistent enough for me to switch to a larger sail for planing.  However, during one big gust, I got on a plane with the 4.1!  I cannot remember the last time I planed comfortably with a 4.1 in 80 degrees and sunshine during a holiday weekend in Michigan.  It felt glorious.  The gust lasted for 4 reaches and 3 jibes before evaporating.  I was reminded of the saying “you gotta be in it to win it.”  If I hadn’t been on the water for non-planing practice, I would have completely missed it.  It was a nice surprise.

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The ability to appreciate and take advantage of light wind days I suspect comes from attendance at many ABK camps.  Glad you got out.  I'm still dry.




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