In January my wife and I enjoyed a week in Bonaire. Bonaire is best known as one of the best locations in the Caribbean for Scuba and Snorkeling but on the east side of the island is a small bay that is a paradise for windsurfers. Consistent strong wind, beautiful water, a couple of great rental shops and the bay is protected by a reef that creates ideal flat water conditions for ripping.
That is my ad for Bonaire but I went to Bonaire to test out short boards, specifically Fanatic Geckos. I needed to do this because in the spring of last year I purchased a used 2006 JP short board which turned out to be quite a mistake. I really struggled with this board as it was too hot for me and as a result I lost confidence and ended up selling the board. Fortunately I was able to return to my Kona and was able to regain my confidence and continue to build on my skills.
For non-windsurfers, short boards dominate the sport and can be used for a wide variety of conditions. The advantage, speed and maneuverability but as you can imagine they are more challenging to master.
So by November, my confidence was returning and it was time to start testing short boards again but I thought it might be fun to accelerate this process so off to Bonaire for a week of windsurfing in ideal conditions or so I thought. My first day in 20+ MPH winds was challenging to say the least but by Day 2 I was making progress and continued to improve. I played with a few boards, had a great lesson and ended up really enjoying the experience.
Long story short, I’m the owner of Gecko and I’m having a great deal of fun gaining new skills and a couple of weeks ago set a new personal speed record of 29 MPH and hopefully will master the carve gybe (fast downwind turn) with a bit more time on the water.
So my lesson, progress comes in small steps.
Sounds like a fun trip. A lot of windsurfers, when starting out, jump to too small a board (don’t know if this is your case). Going from a longboard to a 100 liter board is a huge jump. Often it makes sense to transition to something smaller but still floaty – maybe 120-140 liters in the 72-78cm width range. Big enough to float on but small enough to begin to feel foot steering on a plane.
Keep it up – you’re getting to the fun part!
Thanks – With the right equipment I’m back to accelerated learning and having more fun as my skills improve.
How about an article from the 2020 trip?