Home Page Discussion Forum General Windsports Discussion Syracuse Clan and Foil Windsurfers

This topic contains 7 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  FrankieBob 4 months ago.

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  • #4960


    Wind Hotline

    I was going through some papers and I found this Wind Hotline list of phone numbers for the Syracuse Clan circa mid to late 80’s. Thought it might amuse someone or at least make someone smile and remember someone long forgot. Saw a obit for Fred Hickey last month who was one of the first local windsurfers. He worked at Lunds which sold equipment and sponsored races at Oneida Shores. Remember the park at Seneca had a pay phone?  And beepers! Hard to imagine so many people and the fastest growing sport is almost extinct now. I’m the only one that shows at Seneca anymore since its pretty close and I missed days because of back trouble this year. I’m good now and hope to be seen soon.  One of the few of our clan left Kevin ( ha ha list was before Kevin and he is penciled in )  just started foil boarding on a Horue 120. Does anyone in Rochester Foil Windsurf for a contact for him?

  • #4962


    Hi Frankie

    I don’t believe anyone foil windsurfs yet; several kiters are foiling.

    I understand that Tom Hammerton, of Hot Sails Maui (now living in PA just south of Corning, NY), is designing a windsurfing foil.

    Been an awful season for me, as work, moving, etc., have dramatically constrained my ability to get out. Only 1 time here in NY so far. Ugh.


  • #4963


    Word on the beach is that Baycreek Paddle Center may be bringing in a couple demo Starboard Windfoils soon thanks to the work of a well connected local.  I also heard the other day that a couple of the Foil Kiters are working on same from Slingshot.

    It is seeming more and more attractive to me as I see more video of it.  The riding style looks less awkward and more fluid.  Erie Joe Krineski out of Erie PA (second home Hamburg Town Beach) also ride a Horue board, and it is reported he is doing pretty well on it.

    Frank,  that is an awesome piece of history you have there.  Thanks so much fore sharing it.  I have a stash of 20+ year old windsurfing mags that Art Mayne gifted to me that is cool to look at from time to time.  I would call Rick Griffin our local historian.  He shared a big stack of old local pics, literature, club stuff with me a while back.

    Oh, and if the internet ever goes down and you can’t use Youtube for nostalgia, I have you covered.  VHS versions of Robby Naish RIP, Boardsailing year 1986, and my personal favorite Neil Pryde Fast Forward are available for rent.


  • #4970


    I thought the same thing. The biggest attraction is the publicized lower wind speeds that are acceptable. Kevin has been a couple times and so far been successful getting up on foil for a couple hundred yards at a time. His first response is that it requires a very gentle trim touch for both sail and board. No yanking and cranking like you can on a windsurfer. I guessed that by watching video. He indicates beach launching is much harder than you would guess too. Right now for him @ 220 lbs. it is an 14 to 18 knot sport. He also has got some nice marks on his legs from falling on the mast and foil. He lives at the end of derby hill rd next to the bird sanctuary at Mexico point. He also says the rollers that occur in 14 on Ontario are making it harder because you have to adjust for that also where with a windsurfer you really don’t. Three of us are going up to Henderson Harbor to catch the SW tomorrow. Joe Cushman Owns Dick Gaffney’s old camp on Rockledge rd now. Man! I have lots of good memories from there when Dick owned it and 10 of us would sail. Maybe I will get a chance to see in person but I’m hoping for more wind. My next purchase will be a board that will float me since I have not owned a floater in 20+ years and can’t do the gymnastics to get to the wind line like I use to.

  • #4971


    I have to admit, I see foiling a windsurfer as an interesting thing in and of itself, but I don’t see it as a viable long-term idea for light wind windsurfing. To me, waves / swell are much of the fun, so for big lakes foiling takes that out; any lakes that develop significant weed burdens are out; have heard multiple stories and can see the risk of falling onto the foil in a crash; as a sports medicine doc with training in ankle injuries, the potential leverage of the foil/sailboard on ankles in a crash is sobering. Contrary to Matt Pritchard’s line in “Heart & Soul”, pain is not always temporary, and particularly in the foot and ankle.

    In a comparable amount of wind, a high-performance longboard offers more spray, just as much finesse (if not more) to make it go right, gives a good sense of speed (though not as fast as foiling), and offers a much better workout. I haven’t wrestled with a windsurfing foil and wallowed out far enough to launch, and it’s undoubtedly lighter but visually looks no less ungainly than a longboard.

    Bottom line for me – I just don’t see it. Windsurfers keep looking for ways to get out in ever and ever lighter winds, but the problem remains that there’s only so much power in light breeze. If it’s “plane or go home”, kiting is the solution (with/without foil) for light wind. But for puffy summer winds, I still contend that a longboard is the way to go…the Kona 1 still is probably the best buy in hard boards, but the latest inflatable WindSUPs are getting awfully compelling as a solution for family or friends.

  • #4972


    Geoff I agree with everything you have said. Kevin has already had a couple of the high leverage ankle twisting falls like you have said. He got annoyed at me when I commented that he had more money into the Horue 120 than I have in my last 5 boards all new but one. In the late 80’s I had an Mistral SST Comp race board that with a 6.8 I could be in the straps planning in 12. Of course I was 25 lbs lighter then but I wish I still had that board. A significant decrease in wind locally starting in about 2000 killed local windsurfing but we are just as guilty for its death. In the 80’s we always took long boards, girlfriends, wives, dogs, kids, windsurfing. We went even if there was low prospect of real wind just to spend the day at the beach with other windsurfers because it was cheap entertainment. When we stopped teaching people on no wind days we killed the future of the sport. I met my wife windsurfing. Saturday was about the most horrible day I ever saw up in Henderson. Wind was 16 -30+ shifting SSW to SW all on the same reach. SSW is off shore. I did see an old friend Rob Sachs who stopped to see the 3 of us. I had not seen him in 15 years. Still windsurfing in a pair of Ellen Tracy sunglasses he sold me 20 years ago. He laughed when I remembered the sales pitch he used ” Richard Gere wears these!”

  • #4973


    I’m looking for a home for an F2 All-Carbon Lightning, if you’re up for it Frankie. R I D I C U L O U S L Y   L I G H T, there is not an ounce of water in it (much lighter than my Fanatic Mega Cat); CB is in good shape; mast track has been updated to a modern track (lost a couple of inches of excursion towards the nose); CB gaskets were replaced with rubber baseboards (it works!), but need to be re-glued (I didn’t know the rubber has to be flamed prior to gluing). Superb light wind experience for only $150 (my cost for replacing the mast track), beats the heck out of foiling in cost and in overall experience.

  • #4976



    Hi Geoff! Thanks for the advice and offer. I would absolutely take that route if I had a camp on the water. Not sure I want to try to haul a full size board on the factory racks on my cars now. Saw a brand new Mistral Equipe still in the bubble wrap and parts boxed went for $1050 on Ebay monday. I was tempted. Before I had several different full size vans for surf mobiles which were great. I had this caravan I took the back seat out and a two tier rack I made. It was actually pretty awesome! On top is a Rogue Wave SL, A Gregg Lower Wave and a mistral SST comp. We sure tore the poly boards up fast!


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