Monday, June 6, 2011

Light Wind Freestyle Sailing on SUPs

So officially May was one of the least windy in recent history which is quite a let down following an amazing April.  So far June has been more like August but lets hope that turns around.

The past couple weekends have been SUP weekends.  Sure we did lots of flat water paddling but we've also gotten into light wind freestyle.  A couple weeks ago Leah learned to heli tack and the upwind 360 on the SUP with a 4.7 in really light south wind.  Yesterday I used the 7.5 on the SUP in really really light NE and had a blast working on sail 360s, heli tacks, upwind 360s, backwind wake rides and anything else that popped up.  Andy got out and learned back wind sailing too- we were having so much fun we didn't notice how much the wind had clocked east so at the end of the day we both got to swim our kits in.  Totally worth it!

In the recent issue of Windsurf Magazine Josh Sampiero wrote an article questioning if SUPs possibly hurt windsurfing.  It was a great writeup on the subject and generates good discussion.  My opinion is that SUPs that can be sailed can only help grow windsurfing.  In inland summer wind a SUP with cushy padded deck is awesome for lightwind mucking about.  Working on sail handing using the SUP as a platform will make you a better sailor.  Compared to Formula or longboard windsurfing I think the fun factor is higher without compromising much on upwind ability.  When you factor in being able to paddle and surf the thing when the wind goes to 0 you just can't beat it. 

Rob, Mac, Mark, Addict circa 2009.  Rob and Mac's photo.

A phone call from Mark reminded me of this trip when Awesome Bill from Yadkinville learned to SUP.


  1. You are wise beyond your years young boardrider. Those that only want to get radical will never get the spiritual side of it.

  2. It gives you a whole new way of looking at the day. We sure could use a little of that.

  3. Yep, I sure could use a little bit of that.