I´m on hold until 2012

For the moment I have taken a time out from windsurfing. The reason is simply that my body needs to cure. The fingers, ear and my back took too much damage in the end of the season. Still 2011 was the most successful year for me so far. In the meantime I know that my sail- and board partners don’t rest. My new 2012 Loft sails are on the way from the factory in China and Carbon Art are doing the finalising job on the new slalom boards on New Zealand. The new sails are improved in the leech and weight, which make them more responsive and even easier to sail. The new boards are a little fuller in the rails, which give them better release, and the rocker line is a bit more tuned towards smoother ride and faster jibing. You might think that this is the normal “bullshit” everyone is saying about the next year’s products? I don’t think so. Both companies have made a big efforts in product R&D the last year. Ben van den Steen and Ludo Jossin on the water and Monty Spindler on the shore and behind the sewing machine in windy Tarifa, Spain, obsessed to develope the worlds best racing sails. Enough of words bout that. And Carbon Art that not have change their superb slalomboards for years, but now the big Australian on Maui, Phil McGain has worked with focus on tuning the boards the last year. So even if I am on hold, I am looking forward for 2012, the gear will be super!

11.11.11 - A tribute to Robby Naish

Probably he most beautiful handwriting in the surfing industry..!
Today is the 11th November in 2011. Some surfers might say "Ke11y". But to me that reminds me of Robby Naish. (His sailnumber is US1111). I admire him as the most contemporary waterman, brand builder and ambassador in the surfing industry. Even if he not has been as successful in racing as Björn Dunkerbeck, he still was a very good racer in the eighties and a wave sailor with flow and more grace than all others. He was early into kite and SUP and I believe it is important building bridges across the surfing sports. In the end we are in love with the water and we need to share that asset. I also take the opportunity to thank Robby for the   sponsorship with me 2009-2010. The remaining of that sponsorship has left traces in my home for a long time. No other has that much profiling t-shirts and accessories!

The Loft Sails interview

My sailsponsor Loft Sails has published an interview with me at their site, about the sails, season, trimming and events: http://www.loftsails.com/2013/interview-with-anders-bjorkqvist/
On that site it is also a video with Dirk Jan Knol and me on the Karpathos speed strip.

Heja, Viva, Go Anders Bringdal!

Anders Bringdal protected from the sandstorm
I raced with Anders the first time in May 1984 (the weekend the Herreys-trio won Eurovison Song Contest), and we have met, sailed and raced together in the -80, -90, -00 and -10s all over the world. He is a more talented windsurfer than myself, but we have a some things in common; nationality, almost same name, age and we share some interests. (speedwindsurfing, marketing, the ws-industry and our families). When we meet we have a lot of things to catch up with. It has happened that I gets e-mail that where intended for him... It is a pity that Anders Bringdal is not more into computers. I would love to follow a blog from him. Right now he is down in Luderitz, Namibia, Africa, (Luderitz Speed Challenge 2011)  trying to brake the speed world record. I spoke with him after last years attempt and it was no walk in the park. Turbulent wind, whirlpools, a narrow and shallow canal, and a very short window of time every day. I admire that he is back this year. He has already broken the GPS record and is on top of the overall GPS-ranking. He has guts, and I do hope he manage! Go Anders go!

Mindset is everything – Weymouth 2011

Imagine that you have the best boards, sails, masts and fins. And you also have the perfect trim and you have sailed over 200 quality speedy days the last 3 years and you have beaten all the international competitors only a few weeks ago.

And now it is racing again. What could go wrong? Sure there will be some fast racing?
Well, also add to the cake, a head concussion with blood from your ear a few days before the event and 4 doctors and one Otology professor that ABSOLUTELY banned you from getting ANY water into the ear, under ANY circumstances. And 8 grams penicillin a day and a broken finger and no hearing on the left ear.

(c) David White
Even if the very kind people at Waterproof.eu had given me a premium diving hood that where 98% sealed I did not feel safe out on the water. I also added an extra lifejacket over my weight west looking like Quasimodo from Notre Dame. So if/when I fell into the water I would at least float high… Maybe it also is relevant to add that I only 2 years ago got deaf on the same ear for 10 weeks after an infection and lost the balance totally. Getting water into the ear was simply no option. With that mindset I entered the water at Weymouth Speed Week. Even if the speaker Pete Davis announced that I was one of the favourites to win the European Champion title, I knew before I started that it will not end well. The last two events have ended at the hospital and I do not want this to end that way. I will play safe.

No guts - no glory!
What happened out on the speed course? Well all runs started well, but when the going got tough, I backed off. Every time. Too choppy, or too overpowered. I simple could not hold on and let go. Therefore I was beaten. A lot. The mindset stopped me. But I managed to participate and enjoy the warm atmosphere and climate of Weymouth Speed week and I do not regret that I went. And I must congratulate David Garell, he sailed fantastically! A well deserved European Speed Champion 2011!

Swedish Championship 2011

OK, I will post some words about this event. I was one of the event workers and I was responsible for the course. I sailed well in the first heat, but in the second when the wind went up, I change to my 7.8 sail. I had not done the trimming well, too much stress with the event and with far too much depth in the sail I went away in 35 knots. Had a catapult in the choppy course and hit the head hard in the surface. I was very dizzy for a long time. A very much merry go round, or caruselle. The heat was cancelled and a lot of sailors help me to the ambulance. I was really feeling bad.  I dont think I really had a concussion, but today I at least know that the eardrum is damaged (5 doctors and one professor has looked into my head). Besides from that I feel almost 100 and some very kind people at Waterproof has helped me today finding a hood that should be 100% dry. So I am packing for UK after all...

New rubber for the winter

When it comes to wetsuits and neoprene I have one principle. No sponsors. I want to buy the best. And that is not easy. The last 3 years I have used wetsuits from Mystic, Pro Limit, NPX, Tiki, and Neil Pryde. But none is perfect.

I need wetsuits for the spring when it is cold in the water but warm in the air, the summer when it´s warmer in the water, in the autumn when its quite warm in the water but cold in the air, and in the winter, when its just very cold. After 30 years with windsurfing I have ended up with using 3 to 4 wetsuits. With about 70-90 days of windsurfing a year, they usually last for about 2 years before they are worn out.

The first problem is that the suit should keep the right temperature. For example the Mystic Cure 6/5/3, an expensive winter suit. Looked good, but was not warmer than my Neil Pryde 4/3. The Neil Pryde Elite, fits perfectly, but I can tell you that a tube of Aquaseal doesn’t last a long time. So most double lined suits are too cold, most of them are too small around the lower arms. And the single lined are always leaking after only a few weeks…

But. Last week when I went to the German Championship, I borrowed a Simmer 3/2 with long arms. I thought it would be too cold for the season. But it was so good compared to i.e. e my 4/3 TIKI, thinner and more flexible but much warmer. And a lot of place for the muscles!
I decided to try to keep it, and when I went to meet the owner Johan, who works in a surf shop Surfers.se, I ended up buying the whole range. One for every season, I thought it is best to grab the opportunity when all suits where in stock in my size.

I cannot say that Simmer has the best suits, because I have not tried more than the 3/2 for a week, but I like it a lot. The only downside, so far is that it takes a while to dry it. I will be back with more on this subject. 
1. Edit one. The 5/4/3 was warm but OK around 12-14 C in the air and water.
2. Edit two. The 5/4/3 works OK around 8-10 C in the air and water, with polypro underwear.
2. Edit three. At longer sessions (more than about 90 minutes) the 5/4/3 can be cold even with polypro. Then the TIKI-heatpads are marvelloes.

Up, down and up again in Germany

The European Championship Speed Tour in Germany is finally over and it was a mentally rollercoaster. The duration of the event was eight days. The longest contest I have ever entered. First some words about the place and the organisation. We stayed and sailed at a small fishing village, Orth at the island of Fehmarn. Three restaurants, two cafés, one bar and three surf shops, that´s probably all you need. The geography of the village is that it is surrounded by a long low peninsula and inside it is shallow water. Perfect for speedsurfing. 
We, Daniel Borgelind and I, stayed in a huge apartment overlooking the event area. Perfect. The German “ordnung” also impresses me. The event tent with the race office for example was solid and had everything we needed. And when it comes to the “fin-talk” (obligatory at all speed contests), they had a doctor in fluid dynamics that held an hour workshop about the subject. About 50 participants where competing in the event.

The week started slowly with a heat wave and no racing on Saturday and Sunday, but on Monday the wind picked up.
The organizers decided to do a fun-race, a little unnecessary I thought, but afterwards I think it was the right decision. We (Daniel Borgelind and I) went out with 9,5 and had some fun. We thought we were the fastest of the day, but one German guy, Michael Naumann (also on Loft Sails) was on top.

Zara Davis and me enjoying life, (with a glove on left hand)
On Tuesday (my wedding anniversary) we sailed 2 heats. The first was in winds around 18-22 knots and I sailed my Loft Racing Blade 8.6 and CA SP63. A perfect combo for light wind speeds. I won the heat with some margin. The organizer decided that it was not valid afterwards, but according to the international rules with 20% of the sailors, over 28 knots in average, it was valid. (Actually 80% was over 28 knots). In the afternoon the wind picked up. I went out testing my 7.8 sail before the start, but it was too small. When the heat started I was fighting my way down the course with my 8.6 in 37 knots in top speed. I did 2 quick runs and went ashore and switched to 7.8 again. 

In the middle of the heat I had a terrible crash. Hooked in I went through the sail and got stuck with my head down in the water, with my arms on the other side of the sail. It was a close call and I almost drowned. I fought for my life. But at my third attempt I got up on my feet. Relieved it ended with a broken sail, I thought. But when I looked at my left hand the ring finger could not move. The organizer was very helpful an drove me to the hospital and after some hours with X-ray and more, I ended up with a straight finger for 9 weeks…  

It has to be exactly fixed all the time. Depressing when leading the event. I desperately asked the doctor, could I continue to windsurf? You could try, he said. But to be honest, when the ring finger is straight you cannot use more than the thumb and the index finger. Depressing, even if I was sharing the lead with David Garell.

Carbon Art SL 55, Loft Sails Racing Blade 7.0. Photo Pete Davis
On Wednesday the wind had picked up to 30 knots, but the water level was very low. They decided to start a heat anyway, and I made a plastic package of the finger and bought a neoprene glove to keep everything in place. Normally I would sail my 7.8 and SP53 in these conditions, but that sail was wrecked so I went out with my precious Carbon Art SP55 (extremely fast slalom board) and a 7.0. We sailed on a 500-meter course and there were big holes in the wind down the course. It was hard to sail with the finger, especially to jibe. But I did 4 good runs with speeds around 35 knots. I had delivered with a bad finger and I could exhale, BUT. The red flag came up! The organizer closed the course because of low wind, the heat was cancelled. One hour of waiting and then the new heat started. I had to go out again. That was tough. The water was even lower, so I sailed light on the feet, but it was super flat and I enjoyed every run.
I ended up winning the heat, and that put me into the lead alone. 

We spend the rest of the evening getting things to fix my broken 7.8 for the next day and also getting better gloves for my hand. Daniel spent some hours with my sail and at 12.00 PM the sail looked OK.

The last day with wind was Friday. My tactic was to be out on the water and do some safe runs and try to stay top 5. When one of the top guys went in a gust, I went after. With one more run we would have the first discard. But at the start of the first heat I noticed a new problem, the important batten over the boom was broken. I tensioned the battens above and below to maximum, to get a better shape. It worked but it was almost impossible to rotate. The only choice left was to fight with the 8.6, and I managed a 4:th and a 6:th place (and the last I could discard). That put me up to the top (9,4 points) ahead of Manfred Merle (10,7) and Daniel Borgelind on third (12). Close battle! I am very happy to win a major speed event; it is actually the first time I have won! Speed:World:Cup.com
Gold, and Bronze to Sweden!
And on Friday we packed and after noon we headed back to Sweden, and I managed to get to my daughters birthday party. Thanks everyone that helped me around the accident, Rosie, Zara, Pete and Daniel. 

3 Fast Weeks at Karpathos

Back home after 3 great weeks at Karpathos in Greece. 17 days on the water and almost 900 logged kilometres at speeds between 35 and 43 knots. This was the 3:rd year in a row and for me the weeks at Karpathos is very special in many ways. I get the opportunity to test trimming and I can improve my small gear sailing. I brought 3 speed boards and one small slalom board, four sails, five masts and 40 fins. The conditions are very demanding with gusty winds around 20-45 knots, 5-9 Bft.

The last 2 years I have arranged an event called King of Paradise. The event site is Karpathosspeed.com
This pic is not Photoshopped!
 It is a GPS-event and we count the best 250-meter runs. That format is quite demanding because if you want to perform you have to be on the water as much as possible. You never know when the best gusts will come. Still I find it relaxed, and it always nice with some competition when you do speedwindsurfing.

Training camp
I am very happy with my sailing in Karpathos this year. I do not get many days with small speed gear so it very learning to get that many windy days in a row. It is like a training camp with the best mates in the world. This year I also had great help from Dirk Jan Knol with trimming my new sails from the Loft Sails. I did six new PB (personal best) and finished third in King of Paradise all three racing weeks, and was the fastest of the day a few times (which wasn´t easy with top world cup sailors as Dirk Jan Knol, Daniel Borgelind, Markus Emanuelsson and Magnus Bengtsson). Also fast "locals" like Nick Vardalachos and Panagiotis Drakopoulos where sailing with us.

Some reflections
At gusty spots where you need good upwind properties and high speed in the acceleration into high-speed, a small slalom board could be easier and faster than a speed board in the same size. I ended up sailing my Carbon Art SL55 rather than the SP53. With the SL55 I logged speeds over 42 knots and 10-second average over 40. Another reflection, I found the C3 Venom and Black Project Type S, the best fins in my quiver. (I sailed with 6 different top-fin-brands).

PROS and CONS with 3 weeks at Karpathos
+ I got very fit
+ Developed my small gear sailing enormous
+ Very good food
+ Airport pick up and storage and resque by Chris Schill
+ New PS´s
+ Great sailing mates
+ Competitive racers
+ Windy
+ Technical spot
+ UFO at Bella Karpathos Pizzeria in Pigadia
+ All people on the island are very nice and true friendly
+ My family loves the island

- Sharp and slippery rocks
- Short speed strip
- Technical spot
- 3 weeks slips away too fast
- 48 weeks until I go back again

And a video of a "standard" + 40 knots run, Carbon Art SP44, Loft Racing Blade 6,3

Packing for Karpathos

Give advice to other experienced sailors is often not necessary. But going to Karpathos is a bit different. Even if you have been there before you might forget about the demanding conditions. Gusty offshore winds with 30-50 knots and 30 C and sunny. A lot more wind and temperature than what Windguru indicates.
Here is my list:
- Boards: 44 and 53 cm wide, 65 and 83 litres
- Sails: 6,3 and 7,0 (You can go down and up one size on the boards and sails if you bring more than two, I bring 4 sails and boards)
- 26, 28 and 30 cm fins, standard speedfins, i.e Tectonics, C3 Venom, BPF Type S or Deboichet UW,
- One extra mast, i.e. an extra 430 might be very useful
- Check or replace all your mast foot-tendon joints
- Change all harness lines to NP vario (they breaks in the worst catapults)
- Bring a weight vest or something other vest that floats
Add always 5-10 knots
- A helmet (we riding against the rocks)
- No wetsuit is needed, but thin shoes are nice
- Camelback, when it is not the World cup no caddies will serve any water
- Energy powder
- A lot of guts!

The new fence

The fence to the neighbour is completed. Well, maybe a few boards need do be replaced some day, but I think they will do the work until next summer or even until 2013. That´s the upside with sailing on Carbon Art. The boards are so extremely well built, that they stay in shape even if I use them a lot. It will be interesting to see how the slalomboards works. I get sometimes a bit tired of some sponsored sailors that on different forums raise all their boards to the stars. Some of them have no idea what quality is and what boards works best. But myself I have definitely found my home now. I will never ever sign any top contract again and race with boards that not perform 100%. Carbon Art does not sponsor their sailors. (But I do not say that I never ever will ride other boards!).
I know that some are saying that I have too many boards. Yes I admit I have. I think there are about 25 boards around in my house, garage and trailer and I use only about ten. But some boards cannot ever be sold. I will write a blog post about those boards when it becomes colder…! By the way, my wife got more books this week than I have Carbon Arts, read about that here.

New speed fins from Maui

These last weeks before going to Karpathos some goods arrives almost every day. Masts, boards, boardbags, GPS, nutrition drinks etc. And today some interesting new fins. Black Project Fins has proven to build the best slalom fins I ever used and now they have built some new speed fins. I have never seen such high quality fins before, so it will be interesting to try them. The models are X40 and X45, which stands for the expected speed! They are about 215mm and 225 mm deep and are the new modern design with a wider base. They are very thin but also assy. Karpathos is a place where we sail around 37-42 knots but also choppy and tought upwind. I hope they will work OK upwind. In worst case I might have to switch fins at the start!

The new RIB is all about speedsurfing

Only a few speed spots in the world is safe when the wind is hauling with 40-50 knots. 
On many spots that we are sailing at, it is offshore winds and it is often 1000 km to the next shore. And some spots are not accessible with cars. You either have to walk for hours or sail very far. Some spots needs to be pre-checked before you do a + 40 knots run. Some spots needs the obstacles to be marked before you sail. Sometimes you need to put out buoys to mark gates for speed-courses. And sometimes when you arrange an event the wind is at another part of the country. It is like the same idea as when you see Robby at Jaws on a jetski, it is nice with support and resque. That why we, the serious speed sailors, need boats and that’s why I bought a new RIB. But it took a while before I found it. 

First checking the Internet of used Zodiacs in Sweden. But they where all quite expensive. It ended up in buying a brand new. The local dealer offered me a Zodiac 550 Pro Open, with Evinrude 90hp and a trailer for over 35.000 EUR. But checking around on the web, I found Chas Newens Marine in London and they offered me the boat for a lot less. So now I have the tool for exploring new spots. The west of Sweden has 10.000´s of small islands…! (The RIB might be use for family trips too!)


OK, it is less than 3 weeks left before I return to the Paradise. And I have to admit that I do not only love to enjoy the sun, food, all friends and the turquoise water. Most of all I enjoy to compete. And the best summer in my life so far was in 2009 when I participated in the Speed World Championship on my holiday. I was a beginner and it was just for fun. Over 100 speedsailing days later I will return for the third time. In the middle of the financial crisis there will not be any major event in the island of Karpathos this year either. But still this is the perfect place for a speedcontest. Paradise Bay is 900 meters from  the airport, with one storage booth for every rider containing up to 5-6 rigs and all boards you need. And in the end of the speedstrip there is a huge veranda/stand where you could watch the race from the shadow. 5-6 days a week the wind is roaming with 30-50 knots from the island.
So the last year and and also this year I arrange "King of Paradise". If you want to do some serious speeding this summer please join me to Paradise Bay!! Here is the event site!

Time for windsurfing

(this watch is junk, also outdoorgb.com that sold it)
Sometimes I get the question, "Are you professional and windsurf full time?” I smile, but that is a relevant question if you know that I spend around 80-110 days on the board a year. Especially if you are aware of that Sweden not is the most consistent windy place and the sea has ice for 3-5 months during the winter...
The truth is that I have an ordinary job running an advertising agency. But there are some tricks to get that many days on the water. The most important; live and work close a proper (speed) windsurfingspot.

It should be easy to sneak out before work or in the evening and set some 37 knots run without spending hours in the car. Most of us windsurfers have family obligations. I have a very understanding wife and kids, (only Roger van Tongeren in Holland that can beat me in that discipline I guess). But even with a family with that mind-set it is good to have the possibility sneak out early or late. I love those days when I start the day with 2 fast hours in the water before 9 AM or end the day with some hours after 8 PM. In that way I get 50-70 days a year on my home water. Then I try doing some travelling with my gear. Last year Egypt, Norway, Greece, England, France and Australia. That adds the about additional 20-40 days. So I see myself as a pro - windsurf-time finder. 

PS Do never give priority to dead things such as houses, gardens or other time-stealing projects!!!

New speed rules tested in Klagshamn

Last weekend we sailed 2 international and one national speed contests in Klagshamn in the very south of Sweden. All contests where sailed during the same time, but different classes and rules in each contest. The easiest rules was the Heineken Trophy Match -  Sweden vs Nederland, where the top 5 sailors from each countries 250 meter average speeds where counted together. I sailed well in the only valid heat. 31,4 knots in about 18-20 knots of wind and I scored the second best speed in that heat. We, the top 5 swedes, managed an average speed of 31.2 versus 28 knots for the 5 guys from Nederland.

The second contest was the Swedish Speed Tour. 26 competitors had paid the membership-fee to the national Swedish federation. This year the rules has been changed so they would be as close to the international as possible. A 250 meter run on a fixed course, and minimum 20% of the fleet have to do 3 runs over 28 knots. We started 9 heats but only 3 where validated with the new rules. I did not win any heat and ended on a clear 4th place. I did my best and I am quite happy with the result.

Ten male competitors had paid the membership-fee to the ISWC. 2 x 250 meter run on a fixed course, and minimum 20% of the fleet has to do 3 runs over 28 knots. This turned out to be a very special game. With only 10 men it only needed 2 guys to validate a heat. During the first heat last day I did three +28 knots runs. But the heat where not valid beacuse not 20% of the fleet did not do 3 runs. All that I needed was one other guy that sailed an extra 28-knots lap. Easy. That could have switches some places in the final results-list... I do not know why that did not happened. Tactical reasons maybe?

And in the last heat there were only 0,06 knots between me on 4th place and Marcus on the 2:nd. We all had 30,5 knots avarage on 2 x 250 meters. The margin of error for a GT31 GPS-unit is… a lot more than 0,06 knots. So when I conclude this event; I sailed very well, but did not score 100% in the results. Ended up 4:th in this contest too. Results here.  Next time the luck might be on my side! Anyway, I am extremly happy with my gear this year. The Loft Sails and Carbon Art boards rocks!

more video here

Trailer love

I have written a blog post about Surf Mobiles
Some people mixed that expression up with practical vehicles that transport the gear to surf. For me that is something different. I myself like trailers. I have seen a lot of them in England and also some in Australia. It is perfect to have everything in order and it is so easy just to hook on to the car and go. It is also good that the gear can be wet without damaging the car. Just one con, in most countries there is a speed limit. So for long road trips I usually go by a van.


I have to admit that I sometimes have a little too much gear. But when it comes to masts it is good to collect a few. The basics are to use the mast the sail maker recommends.

But here is a big but. No sail is developed for all conditions, sailor’s weights, riding style or intend of use. Most sails are tested for slalom, some brands have only heavy sailors, some have lighter. Many are doing the test-work at Kanaha on Maui. I guess some avoid the 9,5m2 days, and they never have flat water. 

In the eighties I was sailing raceboard with sails from Tushingham, their racing sail was terrible and the only mast that made the sail work OK was Serfiac Pro Lite with the top cut off 30 cm. Took a while to find that out and hard and expensive to get the masts from France.

The last years when I was sailing Naish I found out that the sails worked better with softer masts, especially in the top of the sail. That may sounds weird since I am a heavy guy, and when it was possible I used RDM even on the big sails. Now when I am on The Loft Sails, where all sails comes with both RDM and SDM-cambers, I thought RDM would be perfect for me, but the SDM-masts are faster on all kind of sailing. (So far).

For most sailors the recommended masts will do the work. Especially if you are into slalom and not are committed to find the extra knot on the top.
The general rule is light riders - soft masts, and heavy – stiffer. But remember it could be the opposite. When it comes to tuning the sail, it is good the have some ideas and basic knowledge in sail design. You also have to know what you are looking for. Low-end acceleration, middle-end acceleration, top-speed, control etc. I.e. the right mast can give you the turbo-kick you want when the gust comes!

Don’t be afraid to test softer or stiffer masts in your sail. Sometimes you find a golden nugget. That nugget could help you mentally when you race. And if you think that you are fast, you will be fast too!

Cutting down trees is all about speedsurfing

At my local beach we do not have a speed strip. With speed strip I mean a sandbank, a shoreline or a wave breaker that takes out the waves and chops. Instead we are sailing in the shallow part of the Kungsbacka Fjord. The major disadvantage with that are about 500 rocks that are hidden below the surface. My first year speed sailing I damages about 40 fins. That’s not OK. So 2009 I bought 100 sticks that is made to mark the roads during the wintertime. It was hard work to mark every stone, using my old Mistral Equipe as SUP. 

But the idea was to do it well and that the sticks would stay for some years. 2009 I only broke about 10 fins. Last year I bought an old Zodiac Mark 1 from the fire-brigade. Unfortunately all sticks from 2009 was gone because of the cold winter w Then ith thick ice. Anyway I marked about 150 stones and no fin was damages. this year we had another bad winter, so now the stone-marking season just has begun. When its low water, sunny (easier to se the stones) and no wind, you know what I am doing!

Much wind but not much speed

Photos by Lars Bjärkling, more pics on http://s-72.blogspot.com/

Speedwindsurfing is in some way like playing golf. You think you got it, but sometimes it is hard to do it well. The season has just started at my beach and we all are new in the game for the season. The last two days we have had gusty wind 15-40 knots from NW. The water level have been high and that makes it choppy. But we have the best boards for cutting chops Carbon Art Sp53 and 44, so that shouldn´t be a big problem. Still up to 1 meter chops and 2-3 meters apart, that was too much for me. With flatter water 40 knots would have been possible but I didn´t dare to go for it, 35,3 in topspeed and around 34 knots on the reaches. Days like this it´s not at all important with batten-tension and others small details, it´s all about guts and backbone. To be fast in chops you need to train the body to react without engaging the brain. You pass 5-6 chop-waves every second and the feet and legs need to know what to do. What I need is to train a lot more to be confident in chops again and I also wish to sails some flatter water, maybe a trip to Öland or Holland soon!

POLYPROPYLENE - read my words!

Polypro also shape up the body...!
I live in Sweden. It is a country where one third of the land area is above the Artic Circle. That means that it is pretty cold most of the time. Still I windsurf everyday when it is no ice on the sea. (And there is enough wind off course). We never sail without a wetsuit, even in the summer. For me the most important part of the windsurfing equipment is the wetsuit (or wetsuits to be correct). Until now. By a coincidence I passed Quiksilver´s outlet in Melbourne in January, and I happened to pick a black rash guard. What I did not know was that the material wasn’t Lycra. It was Polypropylene. Probably not a blockbuster in Australia because it is extremely hot. And when I tried it at home under my Neil Pryde Elite I almost was boiling even when I was surfing in water with ice blocks. A week ago I also bought a pair of Polypro shorts from Billabong. They where not is thick as the Quik-rash but still quite warm. Yesterday I sailed for 3 hours and when I went in it was snowing a lot. I guess most people would consider it a cold day. But with polopro, nothing is cold anymore. My advice; Polypro are very very very good products! 
Extremely much better than a neoprene rash vest and another universe compared with a Lycra vest.

The trimming season has begun

I have no intention to write boring blog posts of every surf session I do. I found all these blogs about "today I sailed with xxx and yyy, very conform. Who bothers? But I note that my trail and error season started yesterday. The new Lofts Sails has the same basic construction as I am used to with the Stealth´s. Although the downhaul and twist are a little more controllable on the Loft´s. Yesterday I tried some different downhaul settings for RDM-masts. A good thing with the Loft is that every sail has a tool for adjusting the battens, integrated at the foot of the sail.

Twist: The Loft Racing Blade vs Neil Pryde Evo II
I was lucky to have a photographer on site. That’s very helpful for documenting the trim and twist of the sail (thanks Henrick). Also tested some new Black Project slalom fins on the speed boards. Unfortunately the wind was not consistent when I tried their speed fins. 
I am grateful that I used Prydes vario harness lines yesterday. (They break easy). I had a very bad catapult fall and the boom head, harness line and a rib was damaged. If the first two not had broken, it would probably ached more in the chest. Today it hurts some when I breathe, but that’s what speed sailing is about, “not guts no glory”. Season has started!