Las Vegas WInd/Land Sailing, Anybody ?

Las Vegas WInd/Land Sailing, Anybody ?

Post by Gary Jaco » Sun, 03 Sep 1995 04:00:00

   My family and I are being treated to a trip to Las Vegas by my in-laws, but
we are not much for *** (We live just an hour from Alantic City and
hardly ever go). We are, instead, looking for alternative things to do,
especially with a 5 month old.

   I'm wondering if any of the Las Vegas sailors can tell me how the sailing
is at Lake Mead or any other spot near the ***s and how is the wind at the
end of September (any place to rent equipment ?). I've also heard about land
sailing in the area. Where can we go to watch this ?



Las Vegas WInd/Land Sailing, Anybody ?

Post by Bill Nelso » Tue, 05 Sep 1995 04:00:00

Several of us from the Seattle area were down in the Las Vegas/Lake
Mead area on our annual pilgrimage to Nevada at the beginning of this
summer.  Here's some observations accumulated over the last few years...
as we head down there every year at the beginning of May to sail.


The sport of windsurfing and landsailing in Nevada is paralleling the
course of the sport around the country.  Shops have closed and the
locals are migrating to other sports.  Having been down in the area
each year for the last 8, we found in 1995 the number of folks out on
Mead on a great 40 knot weekend was less than 6...with only two
self-proclaimed locals around.  Since the peak times of the '87-89
period, sailing in Nevada has pretty well dried up.  

This is disappointing,
as Lake Mead has a real potential as a high wind location under
certain specific weather patterns.  It is also a shame that the lack
of a windsurfing club in the area has resulted in a restriction of
launch sites on the west end of the lake, and a militant parks force
who will aggresively chase sailors off the lake in conditions that
seem prime to us windsurfers (20 knots plus).  We have found in recent
years, that escaping to the east end of the lake under the correct
weather patterns can result in a more pleasant experience, versus
negotiating sailing time with dilligent parks people at the authorized
west end sites.

These view points are from non-locals, but represent our experiences
over the last 8 years.  Any locals from the area may want to
respond...although none we have talked to in recent years have been
on-line, or familiar with the rec.windsurfing network.

One other note, bring all your own gear...there are no up to date
shops within several hours of any reasonable sailing locations in the
state of Nevada.

PS: we will be going back there again next year, inspite of the
above mentioned items...*** windsurfers find the best areas around,
(and put up with the minor roadblocks), to get memorable
is too short to sit around watching tv and wasting away!  Given the
right weather patterns, you will have a fine time.

--Bill Nelson
  NW Windsurfing Network
  Tacoma, WA


Las Vegas WInd/Land Sailing, Anybody ?

Post by NLW TFW » Tue, 05 Sep 1995 04:00:00

Our CORPSE of Engineers also used to chase us off our local lake when it
got windy, but their attitude changed slowly as they saw these trends
1. We'd rescue other sailors, or at least go help them ashore, when
someone got blown away or broke down.
2. We've helped boaters in the same situations.
3. None of us died, even though we had to occasionally physically some
hypothermic sailors off the water despite their macho protests.
3. They saw more and more of us having a great, self-sufficient time in
extreme wind and cold, without requiring any organized rescues.
4. Our beach behavior was exemplary -- cleaning up the area, no noticeable
drinking, no rowdy behavior, respecting the rules -- as opposed to the
groups the were used to.

Windsurfers now have strong respect from the Corps and the state park
officials, and we thus have complete access, anywhere, any time, to any
water in the state where any boating is allowed. Even if the parks boat
launches for a rescue at our biggest lake, there's no charge unless we did
something really irresponsible like going out in a gale with beginner

Have the Nevada saiors shown windsurfing videos to the officials? How
about letters from the California lake officials that have "caught on" to
the safety of windsurfing since their early bans? High-wind demos didn't
overly impress the officials at Lopez, Elizabeth, the O'neil Forebay, etc,
but time and experience and organized efforts brought them around.

We were at Bird Island at Corpus Christi years ago watching a black (this
was way beyond blue) norther approach. It was a pitch black wall thousands
of feet high coming at us from the NW, and we could hear it long before we
could feel it. But WX Radio had alerted us: it was a 60 mph blast coming
right at us, and we were rigging 3.0s as fast as we could, looking forward
to our first good wind for days. In the midst of our exuberance a park
ranger skids his patrol car to a stop, and hollers to us, "You guys know
what that is coming at you? It's a wall of 60-knot wind. You'd better ..."
We were devastated. We just knew his next words would be "get off the

Instead, they were "rig your 3.0s!" And away he went, chuckling. It's all
a matter of experience and attitude. He knew from years of watching many
sailors of many skill levels in extremes of weather that Bird Island is
almost foolproof. When you can walk back from almost as far as the eye can
see, it's hard to get hurt.

And when the Nevada rangers observe more sailing with little danger
they'll come around. It's up to the rule-benders on one hand, and the
oprganized educators on the other to convince them of its safety.

Have the Nevada officials contact New Mexico's officials, and Utah's, and
California's, (I don't know about Arizona's attitude) and they might
rethink their paranoia.

Mike \m/


Las Vegas WInd/Land Sailing, Anybody ?

Post by Francis J Gramkowski I » Wed, 06 Sep 1995 04:00:00

: end of September (any place to rent equipment ?). I've also heard about land
: sailing in the area. Where can we go to watch this ?

: Thanks,
: Gary

South of Las Vegas on I 10 at the NV CA border are two dry lakes, Ivanpah
and Roach dry lake, one on either side of the ***es there.  There are
several local land sailors and kite buggiers, a kite buggy is similar to
a land sailor but uses a kite instead of a fixed sail and is smaller and
more manuverable.

If you want to get a look at land sailing or give it a try contact Scott
Dyer in Las Vegas, he is an active land sailor and kite buggier and will
be able to tell you if any is going to be out on the lake bed when you
are there.