Farrel O’Shea was one of the 80s most radical wave sailors, but lately he’s more involved with speed and helming a successful watersports company.
O’Shea International manufacture the O’Shea Stealth 5/4/3/ wetsuit – which we’ll review – as well as clothing, surfboards, SUPs. It also imports/distributes Simmer windsurf gear, making the company an all-round brand catering for a broad range of participants.
With this in mind, the O’Shea wetsuit range has to serve a variety of different needs. The wants of surfers are very different to the needs of windsurfers so we were keen to get hold of one of their flagship winter wetsuits, the Stealth, and put it through its paces.
First inflatable SUPs… and now the ever-inventive Starboard have produced the Inflatable 11.2ft x 32’ Blend windsurfing board (or WindSUP as they’re referred to). What the hell is a WindSUP I hear you ask?
Think windsurfing as it used to be back in the day during the glory years. Cruising around in light winds, throwing down the odd freestyle trick or going for a cruise along the coast. The choice is yours.
After windsurfing shot itself in its proverbial elitist foot, this is the next attempt at renaissance for the sport. But how does this inflatable stack up?
If you have a windsurfing board, then you need something to put it in. Now while you can just about get by without windsurfing board bags, buy a good one and you’ll wonder how you ever managed before.
Your board will be much easier to carry and transport if in a bag, it will also have a longer life, as the bag will protect it from damage, both when being moved and being stored.
There are two main types of board bag: travel bags and day bags. Travel bags are sturdier and thicker, designed to stand up to the rigours of travel. They are heavily padded to protect the board when it’s being moved around, particularly when being taken off and put onto roof racks.
Looking at the new windsurfing equipment 2012 has to offer, it’s clear that windsurfing has come a long way since the clunky longboards and cloth sails of the 1970s.
Windsurfing technology continues to develop, allowing beginners to learn more easily and advanced sailors to take on the biggest of waves and the strongest of winds with ever more style and agility.
So, what new equipment is out this year? And what’s available if you’re looking at upgrading your board, sails or setting yourself up from scratch?
If you’re buying windsurfing gear for the first time, you’ve probably spent hours checking out the best booms and comparing different sails and boards. Shopping for a windsurfing board and rig is a lot of fun, but booms…
Buying a boom clearly doesn’t always inspire the same excitement, but it is an important piece of kit, and so it is important to get the right one for you.
The boom is a vital part of your set-up. It is the metal bar that goes around the sail, giving you something to hold onto when sailing. It allows you to control the sail. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to windsurf.
So, it’s worth spending some time choosing this very vital piece of kit, rather than seeing it as an afterthought.
Buying windsurfing equipment and choosing new sails can be a little bewildering at times. Whether you’re a seasoned windsurfer looking to upgrade or come back to the sport after a while away; or you’re just starting out on your windsurfing adventure, read on for our guide to choosing the perfect sail for your board.
The main thing to consider is size. The lighter the winds you plan to sail in, the larger the sail you need. Your body weight is important too, as the heavier you are the more drag your body will create, and so the larger the sail you’ll need.
The size range of windsurfing sails is wide, but standard sails suitable for beginners will be between 2 and 7m².
You don’t need to fork out for expensive windsurfing equipment to get skimming across the surface of the water, wind in your sail and board under your feet.
But as with many other extreme sports, windsurfing is all about being able to successfully harness natural forces, both beating and succumbing to their power.
To do that, you do need the right gear. And you won’t always want to hire it. So, if you’re getting into windsurfing and might be considering buying your board and other basic windsurfing equipment, read on.
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