I was riding around in Maritime Cove yesterday afternoon just west of Princess Pier and the spirit of Tasmania when another rider joined me with a red sail and blue board, say hi if you are on here. I noticed he was punching far higher and faster into wind than I was and he quickly disappeared off towards St Kilda.
I'd like to know how I can eventually get that sort of performance to ride far upwind and head off down the bay and back. Also maybe one day I'd like to race in courses similar to sail racing.
I am still pretty fresh to wind surfing, with only a few months experience and I'm riding a pretty novice setup, Bic techno 148 and NP Solo 6m. Still, it'd be great to know the sort of gear to upgrade to next for the kind of riding I want to do.
G'day Mitch yeah that was me, but I was on new windfoil which points very high. Normal gear can only go across the wind really.
Upwinding is a matter of attitude and skill. If you make the choice and put in the effort to ride upwind you will develop the skills.
The main difference between the various craft is the time taken to go places and the number of turns you will have to do on the way. On a wave board it might take 45-60 minutes to go 3-4 km upwind. On a foil it takes 15.
The end result it you might do one lap to your turnaround on a wave board, or 3-4 laps. Alternatively, you can do longer laps. My daily run is Hampton to Black Rock, or Brighton to Elwood/St Kilda and back. Recently I've been doing Hampton to Aspendale and return.
There's all sorts of interesting side benefits to riding upwind. Your gybing skills improve. Your fitness improves. Your wave riding and downwind riding improves (that's what you do on the way back downwind). Your speed improves (my GPS shows 3-4kph better speed upwind compared to downwind.)
You don't need any special equipment, just the will to stop wearing a groove in the same bit of water.
Don't be tempted to sail too far out to sea. It's dangerous and pointless. You have more fun and get more quality experience staying within reach of the shore. If you're doing long coast runs then think about emergency backup. I ride with an Apple Watch. That lets me make calls, pay for stuff (at beach cafes etc), and friends can see my location.
Get rid of the BIC 148. Infact, put a hacksaw through it. Very hard to get up wind. That was my first board as well.