windsurfing in victoria, location notes.

Elk Lake.

Not a bad place to be in a good westerly, if you don’t want to deal with the rough water at Clover Point. Skip it completely in a Northerly though. (It’ll be dead calm. See Island view instead).

I don’t have enough experience with summer conditions to know what the thermal pattern is. Always seemed to be “some” wind during the summer, but rarely anything significant.

Island View.

I’ve had a couple good days at Island view on relatively light North winds. e.g. yesterday Kelp reef was reporting 13/15 knots and at least with the 10m sail I pretty much had my hands full. At least on an Ebb tide, the water is pretty darn flat…

I _have_ seen wind against tide pile up here. And if you can’t go to windward very well, you might have to walk back up the beach to your ride… It hasn’t been an issue for me on the long board, but I’ve seen more experienced riders on the wider boards walking their gear farther down the beach than I’d like to do at the end of a long day.

tom_at_islandviewLousy webcam shot at IslandView… but the best of the bunch.

Clover Point.

Every time I’ve been down there when there is any wind, there’s usually a pretty big swell. So I tend to avoid it. That means I don’t really have anywhere to go on a South Easter though. Cadboro Bay and Willows beach become options, but the swell is just as bad, and the wind can be fluky.

Links. is pretty good, I just have trouble finding info on it. . Hhmm, looks like the ‘sailing guide’ under the ‘wiki’ menu item is the links for the location pages… but it is hit and miss. Some are great, others are basically blank… and having three pages for Cook St, Clover Point, and Ross Bay (all within 1/2 mile) doesn’t help.

Going to windward.

Going to windward. Was thinking about this yesterday. My background is sailboats, with quite a bit of racing. In sailboats it is all about speed to windward. Anyone can go fast off the wind, but the guys who can make distance going to windward will consistently kick everyone else in racing. Windsurfing might actually be a good training environment as the feedback is so obvious and immediate. Of course, slogging to windward on a windsurfer is comparatively boring to shooting off on a reach. But the obvious points are the same as for a 50 foot yacht. Waves slow you down, and you do want to keep your speed up. So reach off a bit to get your speed back, then put the nose back up… that’s really all there is to it. It’s just much more obvious on a lightweight sailboard than it was on a 4000 pound thunderbird.

It seems the old style longboards probably handle a bit of chop better than the modern wide boards. Only makes sense… the narrow board cuts through a smaller part of the wave and the longer length reduces the pitch change. Seems to me like shorter wide boards would be fine on a big swell, but are going to suffer in the short chop you get in 10-20 mph winds… but I’ve never ridden one (yet).