Tampa Bay Windsurfing

Welcome October!

Time to celebrate the beginning of Windy Season! Tune up and update your equipment, reconnect with your windsurfing community and get back on the water!

(I visited North Beach Windsurfing yesterday to chat with Britt and Karen and update my equipment and plans for the upcoming season. A new 9.5 Ezzy Cheetah in my future! What are you planning for this year!)

But this year October brings even more exciting news to the FL windsurfing community.

Two Kona events in October
Kona North American – Hosted by the Pensacola Yacht Club on October 20-21.
Kona Worlds – Hosted by the Clearwater Community Sailing Center from October 26 – 31. I’m registered and will be participating in the Kona One series. Hopefully I will finish this year and not in last place!

Glide 2990 news
We have a surprise visitor to Sarasota, FL at the end of October. Bruce Kendall – two time Olympic medalist, Gold in 1988! Eric Jahn and I have been in touch with Bruce to discuss and learn more about the Glide 2990 that Bruce designed and is proposing for the 2024 Olympic games. Great news – Bruce is bringing a brand new Glide 2990 and complete rig to Florida! We need to confirm with Bruce his schedule and plans but once we do we will post information on this site and FL focused facebook pages.

Don’t forget to download the Waterspotr app. I’m looking forward to a few roadtrips and checking out some great FL locations.

October is going to be a great start to the Windsurfing season! See you on the water!

Building support for Windsurfing

It always concerns me when someone reports via Facebook or other social media that an area has been closed to Windsurfing. We hear news that Lifeguards state we are a danger to swimmers and arbitrarily restrict access, City Councils that close areas to water related activities, etc.

In my opinion one of the best ways to counter these misperceptions of our sport is be active in our communities in a positive way. Local Sailing clubs in Clearwater, Miami, etc. do a great job of building awareness. Windsurfing events help folks to see the sport in a positive light but what else can we do?

Here in the Tampa Bay area the Windsurfing community has joined with Tampa Bay Watch on various clean up and social events. We need to do more of these types of activities as local environmental groups are usually well connected and do great work.

Saturday (9/22) is National Estuaries Day/International Coastal Cleanup and our little group will be participating in clean up activities in our surf areas, not just for us but for everyone that enjoys Tampa Bay.

Check out your local area for events during this Coastal Cleanup and let’s keep our water clean and create a positive image of our great sport.

WaterSpotr App

I had the pleasure of running into Jerome Samson as we enjoyed the winds of TS Gordon and he let me know about a new app published by the US Windsurfing Association called WaterSpotr.

You will want to check out this app and sign up – all free. Great windsurfing location information and a simple way for windsurfers to post information about current conditions and great places to windsurf.

Our community is small but active and this is a great way to learn about new locations and connect with locals. Feel free to friend me when you download the app – Konatom!

Summer Doldrums

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

(The Rime of the Ancient Mariner – Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

The plight of the Florida windsurfer in the summer months has been well known to sailors for millennium but new to me as this is my first summer waiting, longing for wind.

Thank goodness for my Kona One as it has helped me to keep my sanity and allowed me to work on my non-planing techniques and learn to rail which is the great advantage of a dagger board.

Now we are into September and we have our first tropical system since Alberto in May.  The forecast is saying good wind for most of Florida!  So hopefully this is goodbye to the doldrums and hello to an early windy season until next June of course!

 

Travels to Virginia Key in Miami

This weekend I visited Miami and checked out Virginia Key.  Thanks to Eric and Tim for pointing me in the right direction to better understand the great locations in Miami and Biscayne Bay.

It was disappointing to learn more about the closing of the (western side bridge) of Hobie Island Beach due to Hurricane Irma and the effect this had on the Sailboard Miami’s business.  Hopefully Hobie Beach will be open again soon.  It is great location for beginners and windsurfing instruction.

If you live in the Dade County area and want to help to re-open Hobie Island Beach check out Andrea Fuentes petition.

From Hobie Island Beach (eastern side of bridge) I headed over to Virginia Key Park.  A spectacular location, smaller then what I’m used to in Tampa Bay but right on the Atlantic and protected by a reef/sandbar.  Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to surf as I had to head north.  I look forward to visiting again this year and getting on the water.

Welcome!

I hope you enjoy this website and find the information of value as you explore and enjoy Windsurfing in Florida.

I continue to enjoy my Windsurfing adventure as I move into year two of my journey.  I’m still trying to master high speed techniques but with practice and help from Britt and Karen at North Beach Windsurfing (+ my fellow surfers) I’m making progress everytime I jump on the board.

This year I added a 135 JP X-Cite Ride to go along with my Kona One.  A lot of fun but switching to a smaller board was quite a challenge.

Unfortunately it is now summer so I have to be patient and wait for good winds but you will find me on the water every chance I get – so see you out there!