Location, Location, Location

This isn’t a post on real estate but it is related to the question that so many of us in the windsurfing community are asking, Fin or Foil. Last year I posted “Questions that lead to unexpected results” about my questions regarding Wind foiling and Wing foiling and after a few months of reflection I’ve come to some new conclusions.

The fundamental questions haven’t changed. As a recreational windsurfer what is the best way to manage your time on the water, the cost of equipment and instruction and very importantly personal enjoyment. Here in Florida we are coming to the end of our windy season (October – April) and this season I have had some great days on the water which have put into sharp focus for me the importance of my location.

In SW Florida (Tampa Bay area) we have some of the best windsurfing locations for every possible wind direction in the US. Some of my favorites are flat water, long run locations with shallow water. For the most part they are either to shallow for foiling or provide only limited options.* We have great foiling options as well, hell we have the Gulf of Mexico but I love these flat/shallow water locations for freeride windsurfing!

I’ve now been in the sport for five years and in the last year or so my windsurfing enjoyment has rapidly increased as my skill level continues to improve. I work with Andy Brandt (https://www.abkboardsports.com/) during his winter visits to our area and this year I decided to put Wind Foiling on hold for the most part and focus on my fin skills, specifically the Carve jibe but also my sail handling and general skills. My focus is “lock in my freeride skills before moving onto something new” and in doing this I’ve been reminded how much I love my local flatwater spots.

Bottom line: In SW Florida we have great locations for both fin and foil sailing and my plan is to enjoy both as the seasons, winds and my skill level dictate. Summer will be here soon enough and I’m looking forward to focusing on my foiling skills this summer but in the short term, my new Starboard Carve 119 arrives this week and I can’t wait to check out the Auto-Jibe option!

For more on this discussion check out Peter Hart’s recent article in the April 2022 edition of Windsurf, The Paradox of Choice. As always Peter does a good job stating some of the challenges that we face when considering so many incredible options for spending time on the water.

* Favorite locations

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