Author Topic: Thinking about getting into Downwinding - Questions  (Read 1431 times)

APPST_Paddle

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Thinking about getting into Downwinding - Questions
« on: March 16, 2017, 08:48:35 AM »
I'm thinking about from a fitness and paddling improvement standpoint about getting into downwinding and more flatwater paddling. Here's where I'm at and my questions:

-I'm purely into SUS right now, love it, can't get enough. I'll occasionally take my longboard style SUP out in flatwater just to get some water time in.
-Anytime the wind goes over 13 knots or so - I'm kiteboarding
-I'm at the gym 5 days a week depending on surf/wind - basically I do something everyday, and a lot of times twice a day (hour in gym, hour kiting or surfing)
-I'm 36 years old, 170 lbs. and in fairly good shape

Here's my questions:
-For anyone who's purely into surf, how does downwinding compare from a fun standpoint? I know it's not surfing, but I'm sure there's people out there that either said hey I tried this and hated it, or I loved it and didn't think I would, etc.

-Paddle size/shapes - I'm sure there's plenty of info out there for this, so I'll do some research. Right now I have a single paddle - Kenalu Ho'oloa at forehead level, 95 sq in.

-Board - No clue on volume/length or what would work well, etc.Probably need to demo.
 

-
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Badger

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Re: Thinking about getting into Downwinding - Questions
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2017, 09:32:06 AM »
I mostly surf and I would say the fun factor of downwinding is very high. It's a lot like surfing. You are riding waves, accelerating and turning, although everything happens a lot faster. You really need to be on your toes and react a lot quicker than regular surfing. That's what makes downwinding excellent training. Given the right conditions it's never boring.

I discovered downwinding in a small tidal bay across the street from my house. It's only a three mile run but 20 to 30 mph winds can kick up some close to knee high waves. I started on an 11'2 Starboard Blend and got some surprisingly long glides. I became instantly addicted and bought a JL M-14. After a couple of years I sold that and got an M-12'6. I still haven't decided which length is better for the conditions where I live. Most will say 14 feet is the best length and I have to agree.

A lot depends on where you will be doing it. Certain factors have to line up to create good downwind conditions. Do you already have a place in mind?

Coming from a surfing background, you might want to consider a more surf oriented downwind board rather than the race type boards. The race boards do go fast but they don't ride the waves or turn on the wave nearly as well. Plus, a surf style downwind board will actually surf real waves. I've surfed my M-14 and M-12'6 a lot. They are among the best surfing downwind boards out there.

Because downwind boards are generally high volume and a lot thicker, you'll need a slightly longer paddle.

.

« Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 09:59:15 AM by Badger »
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laszlo

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Re: Thinking about getting into Downwinding - Questions
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2017, 10:04:17 AM »
I think downwinding is totally addictive, it is a way to enjoy surfing on water that doesn't normally have breaking surf, but it really is dependent on where you are doing it. To be really fun you need wind, a lot of it, and a body of water with enough fetch to build windswell. It should also have wind that blows generally parallel to a shoreline, and have access to put in and take out spots. Not too many locations have all the ingredients.

coldsup

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Re: Thinking about getting into Downwinding - Questions
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2017, 10:30:41 AM »
Can't beat SUP surfing personally but DW is a very good alternative when you can't surf. It is surfing.....but different. And it can be more tiring physically for sure.

Just another SUP discipline....go and enjoy.

Takes a while to get the hang of it ....unless you have ideal conditions to learn on. It's either too much or too little where I am  ;D

APPST_Paddle

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Re: Thinking about getting into Downwinding - Questions
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2017, 10:36:52 AM »
Can't beat SUP surfing personally but DW is a very good alternative when you can't surf. It is surfing.....but different. And it can be more tiring physically for sure.

Just another SUP discipline....go and enjoy.

Takes a while to get the hang of it ....unless you have ideal conditions to learn on. It's either too much or too little where I am  ;D

So here's the thing - if there's a lot of wind, I'm kiteboarding. I live basically on a tidal sound/ditch that I can get out on from my house +/- 2 hours around high tide. I'm 10 minutes from the beach. If you need a lot of wind to make it fun, then I'll probably never go because I'd be on a kite. I was looking at it for the light wind days (5 - 12 knots) which will not create much of a bump I'm guessing.
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stoneaxe

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Re: Thinking about getting into Downwinding - Questions
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2017, 12:04:46 PM »
Downbreezing ain't downwinding...it's just paddling flat with the wind at your back. If you will be kiting whenever the wind is high I'd say don't bother worrying about the board since you won't be getting many (if any) glides either way. And for fitness the less suitable the board the better....you'll get a better workout on a shorter board (more and harder paddling) and a better balance workout on something less stable. how long is the fetch where you are considering DW? Maybe at the high end of your limit of 12 kn with a long fetch you could get some glides but even there it's likely very marginal. I'm certainly no expert but 12 kn I don't think many would think of as downwinding. In my mind it kind of starts at the high end of Beaufort force 4....15 kn or so and above.

On the other hand....you'll find that surfing a 14'er from WAY outside when others can hardly get on a wave a lot of fun, no slashing turns but taming 14 of beast hanging out in front in long swooping turns for long, long rides is fun in it's own right. I love the smooth feel of surfing my 14...it's basically a big gun, though it only gets surfed when its small (I call it my anti-skunked board). Then someday when you do get out in some real downwind conditions you'll understand it's allure and you won't always kite when the wind is high.... ;)
« Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 12:35:22 PM by stoneaxe »
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yugi

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Re: Thinking about getting into Downwinding - Questions
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2017, 01:29:42 PM »
Hi, I’m a kiter too. You can mix it up. Downwind SUP is superior if the wind is iffy or it’s a bit chilly. You stay a lot warmer paddling and you can always paddle in. The best for downwind SUP is when the wind is picking up. The waves are sharper and better formed. When the wind is dropping downwind SUPing is kind of “sticky”.

You can start by getting out in those light winds on your 10’1. Kind of the way you do anyway on flatwater just to get time on water in. There’s no huge thrill to it (Stoney’s right) but if you get good at eeking a glide out of a microbump you’ll fly in the bigger stuff. It's not all that bad, and that time on water is very good practice.

The days the wind may be fickle, it’s a bit cold or the wind might pick up but hasn’t yet (that’s the best) try SUP DW instead of kite.

If you get hooked and score a 14’ downwinder board you’ll end up  going out more on flat days on it. For sure. They make great allround boards and can be surfed too as mentioned.

You’d want a longer paddle to start with.






headmount

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Re: Thinking about getting into Downwinding - Questions
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2017, 02:25:20 PM »
I think downwinding is totally addictive, it is a way to enjoy surfing on water that doesn't normally have breaking surf, but it really is dependent on where you are doing it. To be really fun you need wind, a lot of it, and a body of water with enough fetch to build windswell. It should also have wind that blows generally parallel to a shoreline, and have access to put in and take out spots. Not too many locations have all the ingredients.

What Laszio posted is really it.  Where do you live?  Paddling offshore anywhere presents many potential hazards and if you add in cold water... well I don't think I would be interested unless it was somewhere like the Gorge where the shore isn't too far away.  I live in Maui which is arguably the windiest warm water place on the planet.  I spent years as a surfer cursing the wind but now I'm making lemonade.

PonoBill

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Re: Thinking about getting into Downwinding - Questions
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2017, 03:41:13 PM »
If you get a few good downwind days and really get a good run, you'll likely be hooked. Being here in the gorge I know a lot of people that do it all--kiting/windsurfing/downwind. Most started off saying "if it's really good I'm going to be kiting/windsurfing".  The only guy I know who stuck with that is Maui Meyer. Lazlo was on the fence for a while, but he's pretty hooked these days.  I'm a total junkie. Every year I say "I'm going to windsurf/kite this year" and every year I don't.
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APPST_Paddle

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Re: Thinking about getting into Downwinding - Questions
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2017, 05:01:04 PM »
I'm in Charleston, SC - pretty tame in terms of wind/large open ocean swells, etc.

I may pick a few spring days/mornings when the wind is in the low teens to try it instead of mowing the grass kiting, or I'll just wait until foils become reasonably priced and go that route.

Thanks for all the replies.
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yugi

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Re: Thinking about getting into Downwinding - Questions
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2017, 05:22:34 PM »
^ good idea!

Foil kite on low wind days and downwind Sup when it's honking.

Best of both worlds.

addapost

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Re: Thinking about getting into Downwinding - Questions
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2017, 05:34:19 PM »
I'm thinking about from a fitness and paddling improvement standpoint about getting into downwinding and more flatwater paddling. Here's where I'm at and my questions:

-I'm purely into SUS right now, love it, can't get enough. I'll occasionally take my longboard style SUP out in flatwater just to get some water time in.
-Anytime the wind goes over 13 knots or so - I'm kiteboarding
-I'm at the gym 5 days a week depending on surf/wind - basically I do something everyday, and a lot of times twice a day (hour in gym, hour kiting or surfing)
-I'm 36 years old, 170 lbs. and in fairly good shape

Here's my questions:
-For anyone who's purely into surf, how does downwinding compare from a fun standpoint? I know it's not surfing, but I'm sure there's people out there that either said hey I tried this and hated it, or I loved it and didn't think I would, etc.

-Paddle size/shapes - I'm sure there's plenty of info out there for this, so I'll do some research. Right now I have a single paddle - Kenalu Ho'oloa at forehead level, 95 sq in.

-Board - No clue on volume/length or what would work well, etc.Probably need to demo.
 

-

Where are you and what kind of conditions can you expect? I am going to be a bit of a Debbie downer. There are many folks here who obviously love to DW and you will certainly hear the positives from them. Where I am we get good to really good surf conditions pretty regularly throughout the year and that is where you will find me. For 3 or 4 years I TRIED to like downwinding. I scouted out 4 or 5 runs. I bought a high end DW board (14' SIC Bullet) and went out as often as possible- dozens of times in 4 years. I NEVER had a good run. The waves and wind NEVER lined up with the direction you needed to go in relation to the coast. Long story short I am all done trying and I sold the SIC. Now if it is too windy to surf I am back to my kayak origins, playing in the soup in a sea kayak. The point is I think you really need the right set of circumstances of wind and swell size/direction for it to be the kind of fun you see folks here experiencing. If you have that where you are, great! I'd find out for sure before investing in a dedicated DW board.
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Badger

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Re: Thinking about getting into Downwinding - Questions
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2017, 05:47:35 PM »
I'm in Charleston, SC - pretty tame in terms of wind/large open ocean swells, etc.

Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie look like good downwind spots.



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SupSimcoe

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Re: Thinking about getting into Downwinding - Questions
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2017, 06:48:16 PM »
I sold my race board to get a Jimmy Lewis Rail because I fell in love with downwinding. I purchase the Rail because the board is also great in all other conditions. I would not use it for serious racing but that is not something I do so it is a mute point.

That being said I would suggest renting, demoing or renting a DW board and try it out before committing.
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headmount

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Re: Thinking about getting into Downwinding - Questions
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2017, 06:48:39 PM »
I'm in Charleston, SC - pretty tame in terms of wind/large open ocean swells, etc.

Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie look like good downwind spots.




Looks good but what about gators?

 


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