We welcomed the wind back to the Gorge the first week of August after suffering one of the longest windless heat spells in memory. The week started with reasonable Gorge winds in the mid 20’s, I use the word reasonable, because by Friday sailors were using words like crazy, insane, and stupid before the word “wind” to describe the conditions at Doug’s. Check the iwindsurf graph to see what all the talk was about. For over 12 hours the average wind speed was over 30 with gusts averaging over 40 to 54 mph. I consider myself a decent windsurfer, but when survival is the goal, I think it’s time to de-rig and watch the few sailors who live for days like these…I call it wisdom.
iwindsurf wind graph for August 7
I was at Doug’s for 3 of the reasonable days this past week and connected with several sailors who had heard about the new Panthers and Freewaves, or had already added them to their quivers and just wanted me to check how they had rigged their sails (I’m more than happy to do it). Monday I met Laszlo who sails the Gorge in summers and southern California the rest of the year. His go to sail for the Gorge is a 4.7 Wave Panther, which he says, “felt completely comfortable as soon as I left the beach and feels very light and balanced”. When not sailing in the Gorge he sails Topanga, Leo Carrillo, and County Line in southern California. It’s down the line wave sailing and he’s planning to get a 5.2 and 6.3 Panther Wave for the lighter conditions created by winter and spring clearing winds. Laszlo loves sailing and is serious about his time on the water.
Laszlo sails the Gorge and Southern California
I meet a lot of sailors who make the trip from Florida each summer. The Gorge is definitely the gathering place for summer windsurfers. Monday I met Hot Rod from Key Largo who sails Ezzy SE Waves and was anxious to try the Panther and compare the two sails. “It definitely has the Ezzy wave sail feel.” After making a few reaches the wind kicked up a notch, but Hot Rod stayed out and was having a blast in the building swells. Later he said, “Normally I would have changed to a smaller sail, but with the Panther they have a lot more range than the old SE.”
Hot Rod from Key Largo loves Doug’s Beach
I always enjoy talking with sailors who sail other brands and share what they like about their sails….then take out an Ezzy. Bob from San Francisco is a great sailor and has been on his current brand for 12 years. He took out a 4.2 Panther for a long test ride in the building swells and ramps. Back on the beach he shared his impressions of the Panther. “The conditions were really up and down, but the sail handled it very well. It depowers well on a wave, but still has the power for going big off the ramps…fun, fun, fun!”
Bob sails an Ezzy for the first time.
Ezzy Airtime at Doug’s Beach
See ya on the beach, Gary & Nancy