Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Faster than the wind

I have been windsurfing since 1977. Like sea kayaking you can do it in a variety of conditions but I find that the two sports are highly complimentary and tend to windsurf when the wind is stronger.

Quite a lot of the time you can do both and a speed comparison is interesting. There was a 12 to 17 knot wind blowing straight down the bay to the sea. Paddling the mile across the bay at right angles to the wind, I averaged 2.9 knots.

Repeating the exercise on a light wind windsurfer with a 7.0m sail I averaged 25.1 knots. It is a great feeling flying along faster than the wind, with only the skeg in the water. I am surprised more sea kayakers do not windsurf.


  1. Hi Douglas
    Couldn't agree more - windsurfing and sea kayaking work really well together (provided you have lots of storage space and spend all your spare cash on gear!). We load up a van with all of the gear for a two week trip to Tiree every year. Brilliant fun.

  2. Not quite the same but I used to fly kites and throw boomerangs for the same reason.

  3. Gary I am ashamed to say I have never been to Tiree or Coll!

    Kieran. I hope you meen traditional kites. Kitesurfing scares me!


  4. Douglas I meant traditional kites. But why does kite surfing scare you? I think it looks like an amazing sport and so much more portable than a windsurf/kayak and real crossover potential...

  5. Kieran, I am no lightweight, can you imagine the forces involved?