Being a newbie at any sport is always daunting – and taking lessons is the best way to improve. But I live in Central Oregon about 3 hours from my nearest lesson site (Big Winds in Hood River) so I am depending on online videos to get me started.
All was going well over the past few sessions when the winds were (frustratingly) light. I could experience, practice tacks and gybes, stay balanced and get from here to there fairly easily. I have been using the smaller of my two wings, the 4m Freewing AIR V2.
Earlier this week I drove on to Suttle Lake after looking at my “wind app.” I didn’t expect much because the prediction was for average winds of 6.5 mph. I arrived to find a glassy lake. In my mind it was going to be a SUP day rather than a wing day.
Things changed quickly as they tend to do on the water). After about 45 minutes of calm paddling the breeze began to nip at my heels. Excitedly I paddled back to the car. It was time to inflate the wing and have some flying fun.
In the few minutes it took to get ready and back on the water the wind had gotten even more brisk. WOW! Was I excited. Tacking out from shore I was thrilled at the acceleration and steady speed. After a tack and then a gybe I started to really concentrate on heading back upwind as the wind was coming directly from the point I needed to return to.
In the image below – my return point is in the upper right. While my tacks were not getting me closer to the shore – I was totally stoked at how fast I was going. I hadn’t gotten my feet into the foot straps and it was all I could do to stay planted on my board. It was impossible not to be stoked by the bow wave zooming along ahead of me. The wing soared and played overhead – seemingly with a mind f its own. Yes! I totally need some lessons – but the ride was over-the-top fun!!
I powered and un-powered the wing to the best of my abilities, all the while thinking, “How strong is this wind anyway?”
I later learned that it had been 10-15+. That’s not much for a seasoned wing-er, but it was a lot for me!!!!! This old lady needs to consider getting a smaller sail. I wonder if a 3m Freewing is in my future? I think it should be – at least until I train and learn A LOT more.
I absolutely love reading your blogs! You inspire me to listen to my heart and not be limited by what society expects from a woman of my age (60). Thank you for talking story and being an inspiration to us all!
How very kind of you! Thanks for the comment – always listen to your heart, stay young at heart and keep on playing outside and in/on the water!