With only 88 days to go till the big event and only 14 until online registration opens I thought I’d put fingers to keys and look into kit selection for NWF. Now I’m specifically talking about windsurfing here and going to draw on my own experiences, that of your normal free ride sailor, and often on a budget!
The first thing to remember is that NWF is for everyone no matter what kit you sail or your ability, the main thing is to get amongst it and have fun.
Prior to the event there are always loads of questions flying around, most of them based around kit selection. Of course if you’re into racing already then you’ll probably have the latest sail and board combo that wouldn’t look out of place on the PWA tour, and if that’s the case good on ya, you’re sorted! If you don’t have a race set up you’ve probably got one of the following three set ups;-
- Single or multi fin wave board and a smaller sail range that you predominately use in waves, the good news is that if it’s ‘going off’ you’ll be sorted.
- A nice 120L free ride board and sails from 5.3m up to 7.5-8.0m, again if the winds are light to moderate you’ll be sorted. And if it’s going off just whack on the downhaul and hold on to that 5.3! And remember speed is your friend.
- A couple of freestyle waves and a multicoloured range of different sail brands ranging from 4.2m to 6.0M. Pretty much ready for anything apart from seriously light winds
If there’s moderate wind most sailors on the kit above will be happy. The problem is you won’t know what the forecast will be until you‘re packing the van, car, or motor home in readiness for the trip to Hayling Island, so how can you prepare for light winds
Sail whatever you have, there’s loads of safety cover if the wind drops completely, just remember your up-haul.
Pull out that old board stuffed down the side of the shed, or up in the garage rafters. If you don’t have that option, you can bet your bottom dollar that someone else does and is willing to sell for bargain prices, good old Ebay! A couple of years ago I completed on an old Osterman Windglider I bought off Ebay. The full setup including board, sail, mast, boom and associated bits and bobs, only cost me £10.99 and that’s including the tenners worth of diesel my van consumed on the collection run; bargain! This is a good option for those on a budget, or students! I won two races on my Windglider in the pre 85 class and had loads of fun to boot! This option will also give you a greater appreciation for the pioneers of our sport, and also make you wonder how the hell it became so popular???
See if you can borrow some demo gear from one of the many super friendly exhibitors in the trade tent.
Many windsurfers now own a SUP board. If you do and it has a mast insert you have another light wind option, If you’ve bought one without a windsurf option, firstly why would you do that? And secondly you could consider entering the SUP event. Sorted! I’ve also raced in the windSUP class at previous events and won a few prizes in the process.
Ultimately it’s all about taking part and having fun; however if you do have a secret competitive streak and would like to get on the podium, but don’t have the latest kit. Don’t worry there are categories for pre 1985, pre Millennium, windSUP, and Fancy dress. So if you dress up as Fred Flintstone and sail an ancient Whaler, you may stand a good chance of getting on that podium!
See you on the water