Getting Into the Hobby

Daily Wind forecasts, questions about weather, gear, locations, etc.

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Getting Into the Hobby

Postby Mike » Wed Apr 13, 2005 2:27 pm

Hey guys,

I'm a resident of a small town near American Fork. Closest lake? Utah Lake. I've been trying to seek out new hobbies and with the coming of spring and school coming to an end soon, I think I need to get into it.

I used to live in Southern California, I never got into real surfing; but body boarding was absolutely great. I still have good dreams about 6 foot waves thrashing me around (gently) like a rag doll in my childhood days.

Out of boredom I looked into windsurfing on google. I later came to learn that people actually windsurf places other than the ocean, such as Utah. Now the more I look at this stuff, the more I get excited about it. I just have some questions.

Having no windsurfing equipment whatsoever; I'd really appreciate it if anyone could tell me everything I need to get started at Utah Lake. If you could even point me in the direction of a "beginner package" of some sort, that would also be great :D.

Oh yes... I heard something about the UWA owning some sort of spot at Utah Lake to get in. Anyone fimiliar with this?

Thanks guys,

Mike
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Postby ewaters » Wed Apr 13, 2005 3:29 pm

I too am a beginner. I do have equipment already (I've posted here before about my new purchase). I tried to windsurf one day up at Deer Creek, but flailed at the sailing launch (the wind may have been too powerful - I was swept down current and couldn't get the damn sail up, and wound up spending the entire time paddling back in until I was exhausted).

Where's a good place to learn? I've had a great time (beginning time) practicing in Hood River at the small "pond" where all the other beginners try it out. Is there a place similar to that here? Shallow so I don't have to worry about being dragged out to the lake, windy, safe? Someone mentioned a lake that's really shallow; and the island in Deer Creek - are these good places to learn to sail?

--
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Addicted to wind

Postby DeanDavis » Wed Apr 13, 2005 6:30 pm

Wind surfing and kite boarding are unusual sports in the sense that you don't just do it like many other sports you live it! I guess there must be people that try it and don't like it or do it only occasionally but all the people I know live for it. So it’s a little like contemplating heroin only this addiction is, arguably, a little more healthy. Things to prepare for:

1. If married or with a steady girl friend, buy the dog another house since you will need the old one.
2. While still a beginner and not a full addict think about how much that girl means to you or think about how to build lots of wife credits to cover the coming months. On a summer windy day she should not expect to see you until after 11:00pm.
2. Think about your vehicle. Is it equipped for serious gear carrying capacity? Station wagons, trucks, vans, car top carriers are all good options.
3. If you think you had no money before start thinking about how you can scrounge up an additional $2,000 per year to support the addiction. Don't forget gas money either, 100 miles is nothing to satisfy the addiction.
4. Although it is probably possible to ride without the internet or a cell phone it is hard to imagine life without either.
5. Expect to burn at least a few hours a week on the internet looking at weather predictors and reading Craig and other posts.

Now you might think that I am joking but those statements are about 95% reality. To further emphasize the addiction how many times will you find people jumping into 40 degree water with a 35 degree air temperature and then being excited that the wind is blowing 30 MPH resulting in a wind chill of minus something ridiculous. Don't take lightly to what you are embarking on!

Now on a lighter note it sounds like both of you are interested in wind surfing. Although I have only wind surfed a few times from interactions with wind surfers I can tell it is just as fun and addicting as kite boarding but the following comments are from a kite boarders perspective.

American Fork or the small town nearby (don’t be shy you can tell us where you really live we are all Utahns here) is a very nice (centrally located spot) for a kite boarder. You have Rush lake about 45 minutes to the west. You have Utah Lake (SSB) about 25 minutes to the south and in the wintertime you have skyline about 100 minutes to the southeast. If they ever fill that pond at the base of American Fork canyon you might even have some early morning drainage flow potential in your backyard.

As far as lessons or things like that we are all supposed to say you must take lessons but ironically most of us didn’t (at least that is my feeling). Without being too cocky I would say that the wind rider crowd in Utah is about as cool, caring, and considerate a bunch of people as you can imagine and if you just head to the beach on a windy day there will be lots of people willing to talk and give you ideas. Note that you don’t want to head down after a 2 week dry spell since we will all be a little out-of-sorts due to the withdrawals and a little overanxious to get a fix. The best time is a full day of wind then you will find us on the beach satiated and much more willing to chat.

As far as gear goes now a days you could probably get on the water for about $1,000 bucks (kiting) but that is only a start. You will crave more and more and better and newer and it will never end. If you want input on sizes and type of gear. Post again and I’m sure you will get an ear full.

PS I am an ex So. Californian and a life long surfer and I would take a typical summer day at Utah Lake kiting over the best surfing day in So. Cal (the crowds, parking and the attitude is hard to overlook). Now a good day surfing on the Central Coast might be a closer comparison.
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Re: Addicted to wind

Postby Mike » Wed Apr 13, 2005 11:08 pm

1. If married or with a steady girl friend, buy the dog another house since you will need the old one.


Girlfriendless high school student. I'm good :D.


2. Think about your vehicle. Is it equipped for serious gear carrying capacity? Station wagons, trucks, vans, car top carriers are all good options.


1996 Toyota Camry... That might be a problem. I could always use my mom's minivan though.

3. If you think you had no money before start thinking about how you can scrounge up an additional $2,000 per year to support the addiction. Don't forget gas money either, 100 miles is nothing to satisfy the addiction.


I'll see what I can do. Working at Godfather's Pizza in AF isn't really helping.

5. Expect to burn at least a few hours a week on the internet looking at weather predictors and reading Craig and other posts.


I can do that.

Now you might think that I am joking but those statements are about 95% reality. To further emphasize the addiction how many times will you find people jumping into 40 degree water with a 35 degree air temperature and then being excited that the wind is blowing 30 MPH resulting in a wind chill of minus something ridiculous. Don't take lightly to what you are embarking on!


I need a new hobby. I'm ready. I'm tired of spending hours upon hours sitting on a computer playing games. Is kite and windboarding actually physically demanding? I'd assume so. I DO need to shed a few pounds. Hopefully this might help!


American Fork or the small town nearby (don’t be shy you can tell us where you really live we are all Utahns here) is a very nice (centrally located spot) for a kite boarder. You have Rush lake about 45 minutes to the west. You have Utah Lake (SSB) about 25 minutes to the south and in the wintertime you have skyline about 100 minutes to the southeast. If they ever fill that pond at the base of American Fork canyon you might even have some early morning drainage flow potential in your backyard.


It's a small town called Cedar Hills. I didn't even know that I had other lakes around me! That's quite interesting. I think I know what pond you're talking about. The one I'm thinking about is in a park called "Adventure and Learning Park". Is it behind a high school? Are there two little "docks", both of which are hugely vandalized? That place is within easy walking distance!

As far as lessons or things like that we are all supposed to say you must take lessons but ironically most of us didn’t (at least that is my feeling). Without being too cocky I would say that the wind rider crowd in Utah is about as cool, caring, and considerate a bunch of people as you can imagine and if you just head to the beach on a windy day there will be lots of people willing to talk and give you ideas. Note that you don’t want to head down after a 2 week dry spell since we will all be a little out-of-sorts due to the withdrawals and a little overanxious to get a fix. The best time is a full day of wind then you will find us on the beach satiated and much more willing to chat.


I've told my friend about getting into windsurfing over the summer. He's guessing that it's way too hard to even bother to start. My younger, much more athletic brother feels the same way. None of them have tried it. So far I'm just being discouraged from doing this. How hard is it to really get started? Assuming I have the money, which I do (almost).

As far as gear goes now a days you could probably get on the water for about $1,000 bucks (kiting) but that is only a start. You will crave more and more and better and newer and it will never end. If you want input on sizes and type of gear. Post again and I’m sure you will get an ear full.


Even though I know nothing of either one. I'm assuming that getting into kite boarding would be more expensive because of the kite.

PS I am an ex So. Californian and a life long surfer and I would take a typical summer day at Utah Lake kiting over the best surfing day in So. Cal (the crowds, parking and the attitude is hard to overlook). Now a good day surfing on the Central Coast might be a closer comparison.


Where did you live? I lived in a very nice place called Oceanside!

Thanks for that very long and extremely informative post. Looking forward to hearing more.

-Mike
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Postby jaynesjared » Wed Apr 13, 2005 11:18 pm

IMO kiteboarding is cheaper and with lessons the learing curve is not as steap.... you can kite a kite board combo for under 500.00 easy...

lesson keep you from giving up after the first time sucking royaly....IMO

late :mrgreen:
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Postby Kenny » Thu Apr 14, 2005 7:24 am

I think you should check out videos on both kiteboarding and windsurfing before picking one or the other. Windsurfing is more about speed and kite boarding is more about jumping in general. Not saying that you can't jump on a windsurfing rig, you can, but you need a wave or swell to work as a ramp. Utah Lake gets some good swell from time to time. Kite boarding can also be done on the snow. I personally have only taken one windsurfing lesson, so I am not a good person to ask about which one is better. I think kiteboarding is the best sport that I have ever tried.

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Learning at Utah Lake

Postby miker » Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:03 am

The UWA has a free swap meet on APril 30th. There will lots of gear both windsurfing and Kite to chose from. You should be able to get outfitted then.

Thanks,

Mike Rossberg
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Followup

Postby DeanDavis » Thu Apr 14, 2005 11:14 am

Mike,

Sounds like you are in pretty good shape to start. I think some of the other replies have good ideas, i.e. videos, lessons, swap meet. To get you amped on kiting try http://www.kiteflix.com.

Looks like there might be a north wind today so I bet there will be some wind surfers out at Rocky Point this afternoon and the kiters hang out at South Sandy Beach (that's where I plan on being around 4pm). I think directions to both should be on other web sites linked from our home page or from Deriks (http://www.ukb.com, I think).

I grew up in Bonita then moved to Encinitas (your neck of the woods) then back down to La Mesa to go to school. I surfed mostly Wind & Sea (big time attitude) or Blacks. I started doing the north county stuff a bit but my stay in Encinitas was pretty short. I really got into surfing when I moved to San Luis Obispo. After surfing the central coast I can hardly bear surfing in So. Cal any more, it just sucks. I don't even go out any more when I go home to visit relatives.
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Postby Steven Nyhus » Thu Apr 14, 2005 2:06 pm

Mike,

There are a few options available to you. I have some beginner gear and i know of at least one other board that and rig that you can rent for a short time or as long as you need. The swap meet that is comming up is also a great place to come and meet some people and get some questions answered. I am a windsurfer, and I have been hooked on it for some time. It is a great sport and is a ton of fun. I you get started on the right gear, you can be sailing in a very short period of time. I am working on becomming a windsurf teacher, and I would be happy to help you in any way that I can. Just drop me an e-mail.

Eric,

There are a few good places to windsurf around the area. One of the key things you will want to keep in mind is that the best wind speed to learn in is under 10 mph. Once you can sail in those conditions, you can start going for 10mph+. Deer Creek in the afternoon when the wind is blowing can be from 12-20 mph. Hard to learn in! The best time for Deer Creek (after it warms up!!) is from about 9-11 in the morning when there is a light east wind. Again, the right equipment (Wide board, and beginner sail) makes all the difference. If I can help, drop me a line.

Steve Nyhus (s_nyhus@yahoo.com)
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Postby ewaters » Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:18 pm

Steven Nyhus wrote:The best time for Deer Creek (after it warms up!!) is from about 9-11 in the morning when there is a light east wind.


Where? Still at the sailboat launch, or another area of the park? I found the steep rocky launch area a bit daunting.
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Postby Steven Nyhus » Thu Apr 14, 2005 6:17 pm

Drive toward Heber City to the east side of the lake to Deer Creek Island Resort. That is where most of the people sail at DC. There are good launch areas and rigging areas. When the wind blows out of the SW, it will blow you to the beach instead of out into the middle of the lake. Hope to see you there this spring and summer

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Postby Mike » Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:16 pm

Ok... well right now I'm contemplating whether to get into kiting or sailing. Kiting looks awesome, but I'm mostly for speed, which is what windsurfing is good for apparently. How fast can you get on a kite compared to a windboard? Another problem: I'm afraid of heights! Is it actually possible for these kites to take you away if a big gust of wind comes along unexpectingly? Are you held on with a harness or are you holding on for dear life with your arms? What if you let go? Would your kite fly away?

I'm quite confused as to what to do.

How would you get back to shore if you were going with the wind? I just need to know how it all works.

Oh... April 30th just had to be the day that prom was on :D. I won't be able to make that one.

Forgot to add... Do any of you have any footage of yourselves or others in Utah doing what you do?
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Hope to be of some help

Postby Josh Shirley » Thu Apr 14, 2005 10:21 pm

You just failed your first test. Windsurfing before anything else. j/k. The swap is Saturday morning, and will probably not conflict with your prom. Many people show up with lots of questions. There will be gear there that is good to learn on, or we can find you some. Bring some cash and/or an empty car. Some people act like they will only sell it, but I think you might find someone who's wife wants a clean garage so they will part with some gear for free. I have an old beginners board that I could sell or trade (2 hour massage from prom date is as good as gold.)

I windsurf. I learned here in Utah. This season will be my fifth. I have learned almost everything I know about windsurfing from the community here and a lot of reading. The internet is a great place to get tips. Yesterday I read how to build a kite out of a blue tarp.

If you like speed then windsurfing is the way to go.
Deer Creek is a great place to learn, as well as the Provo harbor at Utah lake (just stay inside the jettee.)
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Postby Steven Nyhus » Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:11 am

If you like speed, windsurfing is the way to go. Windsurfers currently hold the sailing speed record 48 knots (which is over 50mph) and they are hoping to break the 50 knot barrier real soon. 20 to 30 mph speeds are very common on a windsurf rig. Everyone has their favorite sport. I would suggest doing a little research on the pro's and con's of both sports. Look closely at the safety aspects of both. Talk to people that are involved in both and find out what their feelings are. Only after you have good information can you make an informed decission. What ever you decide, you will have a great time. If you want my thoughts, drop me an e-mail at s_nyhus@yahoo.com
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Getting into the Addition

Postby Craig Goudie » Fri Apr 15, 2005 2:52 pm

Believe what you've read. This is no "hobby", and you won't be able
to treat it as such. Be prepared for failed relationships (unless your
only relationship is your dog), and a change in diet (can you say peanut butter and instant mashed potatoes), so you can afford gear.

Seriously though those who ride the wind do develop a real passion for it.
I am a windsurfer myself (though the darkside guys have been bugging me
to get out on my kite lately). The swap meet can get you a lot of really
cheap used gear to begin sailing on. You need a big floaty board (that means at least 150 ltrs and more floaty is better), a 5 meter sail without
cams (cams are plastic devices between the mast and the batten which
allow the sail to maintain it's wing like shape), a mast, a boom,
a fin (usually there's one in the board), a U joint (connects the mast to the
board), a wetsuit, a harness, and a PFD. You'll also need a 6 pack of
beer minimum (but ya probably won't find that at the swap)

Now for the interesting stuff. About 5 years ago, the beginner part of this
sport was revolutionized, when huge wide "short boards" ( short board is any
board without a dagger board) developed. These babies can get you sailing
in one day. You might be able to rent one from our illustrious prez, as it's
rumored that Powerex has a "Start" beginner board for rent. Call up
McClean Quality Composites and ask for Mike R. He might be able to hook
you up with a rental board. Tripp Houk was certified in teaching a while back. Don't know if he's still doing that, but he is the UWA training Chairman for windsurfing.

Look for me at the swap (Green Aerostar Van with Oregon plates). I've got
an old 170 ltr BIC Samba. It won't be nearly as pleasant to learn on, but
I'll let it go really really cheap, and there are probably 20 UWA members
that have a similar board they'd want to get rid of ;*)

I bet with a little luck you might be able to get totally set up for a couple
3 hundred bucks.

Welcome to the world of adrenaline junkies.
Craig Goudie
Sailing the high desert lakes of Utah on my:
150 Sumo, 8'6"RRD TT, 8'2"Cross M
with Sailworks/Naish Sails

Sailing the Gorge on my:
9'1"RRD Freeride, 7'9" Open Ocean Slasher, 8'0"Hitech
with Northwave Sails
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