I really have to thank my friend Andrea, the "doctor", who convinced me to have this "stolen" ride during the week .... It was a bit of time that we did not surf at Abbadia Lariana (Southern Como Lake), and today the spot offered us a beautiful North West wind at 35 knots..
Windsurf session: Abbadia Lariana (Como Lake)
This week the first blow of winter cold arrived also to Northern Italy, and then I had some reservations to go out for a surf ride, especially in the early morning. The lake water, however, until December is not usually so cold. "Fortunately" the Foehn North west wind didn't enter immediately this morning (in Valmadrera the temperature was a few degrees above zero). But when from the office, I realized that anemometers of weather stations, Dervio before, and then Abbadia, were beginning to mark interesting wind speed, every obstacle was wiped out ...
I leave the office at 12.50, eating something in a hurry.... At Abbadia Lariana, the wind is good. Needless to make more way to get to Dervio. Moreover, in Dervio it must have been even more tough (the anemometer will come to mark, on the land, a top speed of 70 km/h, compared to 60 of Abbadia Lariana).
I arrive to Abbadia at about 13,20. On the shore I measure just 25 knots, it does not seem strong. I ask a guy that has already got into the water. He tells me that he can not keep the 4.2 (70 kg). In the middle of the lake it has to be stronger. I'm uncertain between 4.7 and 4.2. Luckily I meet Fabrizio, that is mounting the 3.7. He recommends the 4.2. Luckily, I rig that one.....
I meet Andrea, already arrived at the spot. He is, also, mounting the 4.2. We discuss about fins. He thinks it's better to put the shorter fin with his RRD 110 FSW.
I go out with the RRD FSW 111 X-tech. Once again I left at home my 86, which I didn't load in my car yesterday evening, fearing the usual gusty North wind. And, on the other hand, today it would just be fine, as wind is steady.
We assemble our equipment, and dress our wetsuit in the parking lot, under a warm sun, and sheltered from the wind. There are 13 Celsius degrees, and I am not cold at all. Indeed, after wearing the suit, I'm hot.
Before 14,00, I get into water. Wind is really from North West, so it enters well at Abbadia.
Session Technical data
Average wind at 30 knots, gusts at 35, North West. Half a meter chop. Water not so cold.
Me: 70 kgs
Board: 2010 RRD FSW 111
Sail: 2014 Ezzy Tiger 4,2
Wetsuit: 5 mm (2 mm boots, 3 mm gloves, neoprene headgear).
For me, the first rides are always to warm up. Muscles, as the F1 tires, must reach operating temperature ....
The wind is nice. Not too gusty (although the North Foehn is never really steady): with 4.2 planing is guaranteed without problem.
Anyway, it's quite strong and tough. In the worst gusts, I have to open the sail a little, and luff close to the wind not to accelerate too much.
If I had mounted the 21 cm fin, I would have gone, perhaps, a bit less fast, and less upwind....At some point, I realize that I am almost 150 meters north of the exit point. Anyway, that's fine, because, I can try all the jibes I want. Near the shore of Abbadia Lariana, conditions for jibing, or for freestyle moves, are great. Less wave, and a little less strong wind. Maybe I received too much advice for the jibe, and now I have a bit of confusion in my head. Today, I decide, after carefully seeing Tricktionary 2 videos, to move the front foot away from the strap, placing it just aft of it, immediately before of jibing the sail. This allows me to keep more easily the body weight inside the turn. Today, I often do mess with the sail ... (yes, also because the wind it's quite strong). Concentrating on the feet, even if I open it quickly, I do not run it at best. When I open, I should also take it a little more towards the outside of the curve. Instead, I keep a bit too much to the inside of the curve, and this make the board return upwind, or go straight. In some attempts, however, I run the sail better. Anyway, I realize I'm improving session after session, and now, with less demanding conditions, I should close the manuevers with higher percentage. Damned power jibe ...! But, that's why windsurfing is a such a wonderful sport, just because there is so much to learn, and because it's for resolute people.
After 30 minutes, I return to shore, to take a little breath. In the water, there is Matteo Romeo, young and talented italian freestyler.
I take this opportunity to shoot the video of the day (see below), filming my friends and not only. Fabrizio closes a beautiful jibe, with switch output, and some freestyle maneuvers. Matteo, as usual, shows his skills. Andrea suffers from my same torments with the power jibe... and, in fact, we often face and advise each other .... He tells me that he has changed fin, during the session, putting the shorter, and now he feels much better. It goes slower, and then controls better the board, which is more maneuverable.
The water proves to be still good as temperature. Even on the shore, it is fine. However, we are in winter, and the sun sets early behind the mountains on the opposite shore, which, here, is near, and now it only inflames the mountain group of the Grigne behind us.
Shortly after 15.00 I have given everything I had. I'm trying to keep me trained in this period, with proper exercise, to compensate for less frequent sessions. But I realize that, perhaps, I'm devoting too much attention to the legs, and that I must, instead, strengthen more the arms. Although a good technique, especially in the use of the harneess, helps to tire them less, there is little to say: while windsurfing you need powerful arms ... So, I will fix it.
I go away from the spot, while "the doctor", after having a snack, is getting into the water again. But you know, he's a rock ...
Aloha. Fabio Muriano
For the complete slidegallery, click here.
The video of the session