Jamie Hawkins is back this month to answer all of your windsurfing woes. Don’t forget if you have any questions and want to be in with a chance of winning this great Flying Objects waist harness, send your questions to email@example.com
Have a question for J. Dogg? Send it along with your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t worry, we won’t print your details!
Well done to last month’s winner of the grand prize of this fantastic Flying Objects Waist Harness!
Jamie Hawkins is sponsored by:
Photos by Julia Toms
AN APPETITE FOR SLALOM RACING
Dear J Dogg,
I want to get into some local slalom racing and don’t have a huge amount of money to spend at the moment. I am 85Kg and all I have is my wave gear. I just want to start with one board and rig that I can use in most conditions. What size would you recommend?
James from Dorset
James: glad to hear you want to get into some racing. It’s one of the most fun aspects of the sport and probably the most exhilarating. You live in Dorset, so the Poole Slalom Series, generally organised by my mate Cribby, would be a good place to hone your racing skills in a low-key but competitive environment. Being fairly light at 85kg, you could get away with a 7.8 as your one sail. Get at least 3 cams as this will make it more stable in high wind and give it more drive in the light wind. With practice you should be able to get going in 13 knots and hold it up to 25. Remember you can tune this type of sail a lot with downhaul and outhaul settings. Your board should be no bigger than 110 litres and 2 fins is a must – a 40cm and maybe a 37cm.
Dear J Dogg,
I really like the idea of doing some amateur competition this season. I was thinking of heading over to Rhossy but am not sure that I am good enough (I can waveride quite well but can’t really do any loops). Also, I am a bit short of cash… What do you think?
Rob from Birmingham
Hi Rob, I think it’s totally possible for you to give it a go. Wave-riding is the hardest and highest scoring side of wavesailing. You also don’t need loads of kit. You just need to know your kit and be comfortable on it. The key to a good heat is to make sure not to rush and get the 3 waves and 3 jumps. It’s surprising how may peeps miss out on going through heats because they only got 2 jumps. Whatever you do, just enjoy it, it’s supposed to be fun, don’t sit on the beach all day waiting for your heat too, get out and practice. Also practice sailing 10 minute heats at home in the weeks leading up to the comp.
WINNING QUESTION FROM LAST MONTH!
Dear J. Dogg,
I need some advice. A while back, I went on a windsurfing trip but the wind didn’t play ball. Whilst waiting, I saw a couple of fellers pumping hard on the beach before taking to the water with kites. I knew it was wrong but I was excited by the way they moved in the fickle breeze and knew then that I had to give it a go. I found a flyer in a phone kiosk advertising full-on kite tuition so I called and booked a session. At first I found all the pumping, reaching and dragging to be disconcerting and rather painful but after a couple of sessions I really got into it. Now I can’t get enough of it. Even my work is suffering as I spend all my time cruising kite surf forums looking to get my fix. I think my wife and my friends have their suspicions after they caught me trying on shorts over my wetsuit at the beach. I really, really want to embrace my feelings and to fulfil my urges but I feel my windsurf buddies and even my wife will desert me if the truth came out as their opinion of kiting is that it is a sport for talentless ex windsurfers who can’t afford jet skis. What do you think I should do, J. Dogg?
John from London
John, you know what, I totally feel for you. At the end of 2009, I badly injured my left knee looping at K-Bay and couldn’t windsurf properly for over a year. However, I discovered the dark side too, and I too was very worried that my friends might find out. In the end, I was spotted one day down the beach by my windsurf buddies, even though I was in disguise wearing big shorts over my wetsuit and a neoprene balaclava! Since then my friends only ridicule me and laugh at the fact I can no longer turn and just pivot from one tack to the next. My beer belly has also grown since only kiting. I am really looking forward to my knee recovering and getting a boom back in my hands.