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The Foil Zone => Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP => Topic started by: SUPeter on June 13, 2022, 05:02:55 AM

Title: Adventure Winging/SUP Downwinders
Post by: SUPeter on June 13, 2022, 05:02:55 AM
Seems to be more and more people doing longer and longer downwinders using a wing or a paddle. Here in Maine, we have so many opportunities regardless of the wind direction.  Finding a crew and a boat to tag along is, for me, pretty darn impossible since conditions often change rapidly and planning is troublesome. For this reason, downwinders are typically done with a buddy or two, or for the longer ones, alone(much less to worry about).  Having multiple plans in case conditions change is necessary.  Ill just post a list of gear and equipment I carry on longer runs where conditions might leave me changing my plans or worse yet, spending a night on an island.

- waterproof back pack
-plenty of durable waterproof ziplock bags
-2 compasses  (one on my hip at all times( in case visabilty lessens.  a few important directions memorized.)
-Handheld  waterproof VHF radio
-GPS with chart plotter capability (waypoints stored)
-phone( chart plotter capability)
-fire starting materials and wire saw ( in case I have to spend a night on an island)
-extra food, water
- Your wing becomes your tent/shelter
-My paddle attaches to my wing handles ( in case I have to paddle to safety)
- a combo wing/downwinder board will help since paddling speed is near twice as fast as my wing specific board
-cash, credit card( in case I have to find a ferry or get lodging on a nearby island. Ferry Schedule)
-extra wool sweater
-dry suit ( this will be warmer and drier if you spend the night)
-head lamp and strobe light
- a good familiarity of the area including shipping channels.
- I'm sure there are other things I've missed but having a 15 lb pack on my back is all I care to carry

Have fun, be safe!

Title: Re: Adventure Winging/SUP Downwinders
Post by: VB_Foil on June 13, 2022, 10:32:15 AM
Great list!

We've got a lot of looky-loos who will call Coast Guard if they see someone out on a wing far offshore, probably thinking it's a downed kite in distress.  In the past when I had a 10 mile river run with a lot of residential homes on the route, I put in a call to the local Coast Guard station to let them know the planned route and that we have communication devices should the need arise.  They requested a call in when route completed.  Not sure if that's overboard, but I hate to see resources wasted with a chopper overhead (May have had one called on me prior, but coast guard said a reported downed kayaker was the reason for call-in...but I don't know who else woulda been out in those conditions other than myself lol - winter, side-onshore at 20 knts).
Title: Re: Adventure Winging/SUP Downwinders
Post by: Hdip on June 13, 2022, 10:38:10 AM
James Casey talks about an app they use in Australia where you can report your route to avoid that. I've talked to the local lifeguards in Malibu and they say if they get a call they have to come out. Normally they watch the person for awhile to see if he's doing OK. If he's struggling to stay on foil then they will go out after you.

I asked about giving them a planned route heads up and they said if they get the call they have to respond to it.

One guy up in Ventura doing a sup downwinder kept getting a bunch of notifications on his apple watch. Finally checked, it was the coast guard and he said thank you but I'm fine. My favorite part of that story though was the call came in from one beach. The coast guard had cell phone company find his location. To which the coast guard replied. "That can't be him, there's no way he could get that far that fast." :)
Title: Re: Adventure Winging/SUP Downwinders
Post by: bigmtn on June 13, 2022, 05:04:15 PM
yeah I'll text a couple lifeguard friends on the north shore and let them know where we are going and what color wings we are using.  so if they get a call about us, they know who it is and how to get a hold of us.

my first attempt at winging got "a few 911 calls" and the lifeguard had to paddle a mile out to check on me and my buddy as we were laughing our heads off at each others falling as we slogged our way back to our house.

I'd add a whistle to your kit.  a whistle will travel a lot farther than a yell especially on a windy day
Title: Re: Adventure Winging/SUP Downwinders
Post by: VB_Foil on June 13, 2022, 05:12:26 PM
Haha! Classic stories above.

Add a mirror as well while you are at it.
Title: Re: Adventure Winging/SUP Downwinders
Post by: radair on June 14, 2022, 04:40:11 AM
Good list, Peter! A Swiss Army knife and a bit of paracord wouldn’t add much weight and would be handy if you had to make a shelter out of your wing. I hope to join you on a coast run this year.
Title: Re: Adventure Winging/SUP Downwinders
Post by: SUPeter on June 14, 2022, 06:02:35 AM
Thanks for all the great advice! Pre-contacting the Coast Guard seems very wise for when I am in eye-shot of the shore.  So far we have only had a few lobster boats come an ask if we are OK.  I do carry a bit of cord with me but the swiss army knife could come in very handy. I like the mirror recommendation as well, and, come to think of it,  I believe there is a mirror on one of my compasses.  As I get further and further "over my head" with these downwinders I'm beginning to think a straight SUP paddle downwinder has its advantages over winging downwinders.  With a paddle, even if the wind dies the swell lingers for quite some time.  Downwinder boards (especially my next 8' x 20.5" DW board) are so much easier to paddle and a lot faster.  wind and swell could completely shut off and you would still be able to cover miles on your knees or butt to get to safety.  I'll be in touch Rob , and hopefully we can share an adventure some time.  I would love to go from Cape Elizabeth to Harpswell or further to Small Point/Popham Beach.
Title: Re: Adventure Winging/SUP Downwinders
Post by: PonoBill on June 14, 2022, 08:22:57 PM
Wow, I've never done a downwinder with more than a Camelbak and a cell phone--and that was mostly for music. This is not to say I was being wise, but I estimate between Maliko runs, southside Maui, westside Maui, Viento, and various eastside Columbia river downwinders I've probably done somewhere around a thousand--maybe more. I don't tend to do them in places where you might wind up somewhere other than where you planned, though if you fuck up on a southside Maui run your next stop could be Tahiti. My notion of safety gear is doubling up on leashes--which I've thought of but never actually done.

Still, it sounds like fun if there's a little uncertainty mixed in. Back in the very early days of windsurfing when I was poorer than poor, I spent two weeks windsurfing through the San Juan Islands, dragging a 5 buck "liferaft" behind a roto-molded 12-foot windsurfer. The raft had my camping gear as well as a crab/shrimp trap, spearfishing and freediving gear, and condiments. Food came in the form of stuff I shot, trapped, picked, and foraged. It was SO much fun I came very close to quitting my job and just continuing. I wound up deep into Canada by accident. One morning I asked a nearby boat "What Island is that?" Vancouver Island. Oops. I had breakfast in Victoria without any customs folks realizing that I wasn't local.
Title: Re: Adventure Winging/SUP Downwinders
Post by: SUPeter on June 15, 2022, 04:32:59 AM
Thanks Pono. I agree. On downwinders with land off one side or both sides, its just my board, paddle?wing.  Some of the more offshore downwinders have a bit more uncertainty built in. Wind, fog, tidal currents ,bad weather ,  shipping traffic opens the very real possibility that your intended location might not be where you end up. I do use full strength heavy surf leashes on both my wing(attached to leading edge handle, not the doohickey thing)  and board. Water and weather can be a lot colder as well. Anything is possible but I'd rather extricate myself from a bad situation rather than relying on the coast guard or nearby vessels.
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