June 4, 2003

surf blastin’, nose bustin’

On Monday afternoon I had an absolutely killer session out in the Hook. The wind was inconsistent but it was really gusty, so I grabbed a Mistral N. Trance learner board (think of your kitchen table), popped on a 3.3 meter sail and hauled away from shore. It was the fastest and most intense windsurfing I have ever done, and I got the board up on a plane and just kept cutting back and forth through the bay without a pause for respite. My arms and legs screamed as I pulled hard on the sail and drank wind like an Apple River inner-tuber drinks Grain Belt.

Whenever I tried to dial into the harness a gust would come along and throw me down into the sail. After one of these episodes I decided to stay in the water, grab the sail and toy around with body-dragging. With all my weight (my massive, boundless weight) churning through the water the board was able to quickly pick up speed in the gusts. If the wind was a little bit stronger and consistent, there’s no doubt in my mind I would have been able to waterstart. Mind you, the concept of someone waterstarting in the Hook is absolutely kooky.

After getting my fill of body-dragging and drinking River water I hopped back on the board for some more blasting. I knew I had finally come of age in my windsurfing when I became a serious hazard to the people around me who were trying to learn to windsurf. At one point I was careening toward Liz, who shouted “I don’t know how to steer!” I tipped the sail to turn upwind and avoid her, and something crazy happened. The board left the water, the sail spun around, and I got tossed over the handlebars across the airborn board. It was like some crazy, clumsy freestyle move.

Rowena? I’m comin’ for you.