Well, despite the fairly mellow prospect of wind, I decided to give
my Stretch board another try on Sunday.
When I arrived at NAtural; Bridges, a few people wer rigging up, but most
were ewaiting for a 'wind dummy' to go out and test the water for them.
I selected my biggest sail (5.5) and carried my rig down the beach. Another
guy was about to launch into the small surf and quite unexpectedly lost control
of his rig and immediately broke his aluminum mast. Another guy said that he
had broken a carbon fibrespar the week before. Now I know why I will always buy
wave masts, no matter what kind of sail I am using.
After a few shaky starts, I fanally got going, and for the first time was able to
find out what my new board can do. What I found out is a few things I can't
do! THis thing takes off so fast if I bear even slightly off-wind, the board can
move right out from under me, catching me off balance and precipitating
some really spectacular slams.
ON the way back to shore, I am used to the board slowing right down as I reach
the kelp beds, and having to slog in. yesterday, despite the very low wind inside,
I was able to maintain a relatively full-powered plane all the way in.
However, after falling just outside the surf and then getting trashed by the next set, and then later getting myself caught up in the kelp, I exhausted myself quicker than
usual and went home to BBQ salmon and my wife who has just returned from 9 weeks
So so far I am delighted with the Stretch. AS for pointing upwind, I can slog it
very high upwind, but when planing I haven't got it wired yet. AT least I KNOW
it is my fault.
Another thing which happens once in a while is that when your rig gets unceremoniously
trashed in the surf and flung up the beach, some kind soul (non sailor) will rush
into the water and try to retrieve the baord for you. It scares the hell out of me to
see some guy trying to grab my rig when the next four foot wave will just smash the
whole thing including the 13.5 inch razor sharp dagger fin right on top of him.
It's hard to yell at people to stay away, then thank them for their attempt to help!
Once again, a really nice day. The weather was perfect, the wind was good, the
water fairly flat, and once again due to lack of visiting Bay sailors, the sharks