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Bonaire as a windsurf destination 2018

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:16 pm
by Patrick
Bonaire was our windsurf destination this year, Jibe City to be exact, and it was my first time there.

The wind blew everyday, and we used everything from 5.2 to 7.5 meter sails. The rental equipment was plentiful and we sailed 100 to 150 litre boards. The water was mostly waist deep or shallower where we sailed, with deeper areas just a short sail away. Water conditions were mostly chop as the wind is onshore, and a reef protects the sailing area from larger waves. The air temp was warm enough to sail without a top, but some used a 1.5mm neoprene shirt.

The launch area (shown in my pic) was narrow and quite busy, but the staff kept it moving along quite well. There is an area in the water where you can leave your board and rig, and go in for a break.

Our group is already planning a 2019 trip, and we will go back to this same destination.

This is a very quiet forum. I am not sure if anyone is interested in a review like this, but thought I would post it anyway.

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Re: Bonaire as a windsurf destination 2018

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:36 pm
by MarekBad
Hi Patrick,

To the contrary - many are very interested in your first-hand, boom-gripping review, thank you for posting, I enjoyed it!
It's just that lots of windsurfers are introvert, shy people.. :) ... but they will show up here, eventually. Perhaps when spring time warms the waters..

Best,
Marek

Re: Bonaire as a windsurf destination 2018

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:36 am
by sandman
Nice post Patrick. Aruba always a good spot for sailing especially if you're into freestyle or flat water blasting!
So how did you enjoy the new gear vs the old?

Re: Bonaire as a windsurf destination 2018

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:17 am
by Patrick
Thanks Marek. Yeah, maybe that's it. :lol:

Thanks Sandman. You are right, both Aruba and Bonaire are good for freestyle and flatwater blasting. But we stopped going to Aruba many years ago as so many new hotels were being built that blocked the offshore winds, it was a pain to get out and back in again. That was the Fishermans Huts area. I understand there are other areas to sail, I might check them out sometime in the future. But for now, Bonaire is the place for us.

You also asked how I liked the new board shapes. Well after sailing 8 or 9 of the new boards, the Blast, Fox, Hawk, Gecko, Firemove, and others from 100 to 150 litres, the short answer is no, I do not like them. The long answer and why would take me too long to write this morning. They all had pros and cons, but I did not find one that I would swap for my early 1990's 133 litre F2 Xantos. My style is bump and jump, fast drag racing, manovering in small and medium Lake Huron waves, and carveing (all the way through) gybes. My old F2 handles these very well.

This picture was taken over 30 years ago of the place in Aruba we used to rent from. I'm second from left, with more hair than I have now.

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Re: Bonaire as a windsurf destination 2018

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:48 am
by sandman
Hi Patrick, Sorry about the mix up. I did mean Bonaire 😜 . I have some friends in Aruba doing some Clinics, hence the mix up!
Yeah, those short, wide and thin boards really suck in bump and jump! I do have the Tabou Version (rocket 118) which I use exclusively for flat water blasting (mainly in summer) with a 7.5 sail! Other wise I use wave boards. For your style of sailing and for where you sail, I think an FSW (freestyle wave) would be the ticket! If you get a chance to try one these you may change your mind about the new shapes👍

Re: Bonaire as a windsurf destination 2018

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:47 pm
by Patrick
Thanks for your input Sandman. As a result, I just checked out some reviews of the Tabou Rocket and Rocket wide. They look really good. In one review, the designer mentions the several positions to mount the footstraps. This might be the key.

The thing that bugged me about almost all the wide boards I tried in Bonaire was the difficulty I had getting my front foot out of the strap while exiting a gybe on plane. I tried loose strap, tight strap, with booties, barefoot, even removing my foot partway from the strap when entering the gybe. None was satisfactory. With my old board there is no problem. I did think at the time that the angle of the front straps wasn't right for me, and that the same staff member had set all the boards the same way. They were not about to lend me a power screwdriver. :lol:

I will watch for another chance to try some of the new boards.

I hear you about the wave style boards. I already have a dedicated wave board, 1990's as well but still a lot of fun with a 4.7 or 5.2.

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Re: Bonaire as a windsurf destination 2018

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:39 am
by sandman
My jibes on the tabou aren't always pretty. It took me a while to get the hang of it, and they are getting better, but the fact that the board planes so early and I can go blast around on a light wind summer day, coming back with a smile makes it all worth while for me😊
Now hopefully will check out foiling to further expand the wind range👍