Iceblock sailing

My daughter told me the other day that it will be windy on Saturday, "20 knots. Is that much?" "It´s not much but it is OK", I replied. I also looked in that paper and noted that the forecast not only promised wind, but sun and "high" temperature (+5 C, 41 F).  But the tricky part was, where could I find open water? Thanks to Facebook, a friend helped me to some spot-checking. And on Saturday off I went. 
But sailing in cold water (0 C or 32 F) requires more preparations than usual. Here is my checklist. A very good wetsuit. But inside I wear a heater rash ( NOT neoprene) and two heating pads in a belt that I can activate in emergency by pushing through the suit. On my feet I wear very warm boots and on my hands gloves with modified open palms. But apart from that I have also packed my weight vest with warm energy drink in a camelback, extra energy bars, and in my aquapac I also have a mobile phone (no SIM-card only for emergency-calls) except of my GPS. And not forget a big helmet that fits on top of the hood.

On the water I use more slalom setup (if the water is deep). With slalom I mean a bigger board and a smaller sail than I use in the same wind for speed. The idea with that combo is to avoid swimming as much as possible. With open palms, it helps to have a carbon boom.

OK, how did the premiere turn out then? Well it was warm, almost too warm (the rash did the job very well). An unexpected obstacle where that there ice blocks floating everywhere, much more than I thought. So the sailing was more ice block slalom than pushing high speed. But it was fun, and a guy from the local newspaper turned up by a coincidence and did an interview and took some pics. And one more thing, the new fin gave the Naish SP135 new life! Made the big board feel a lot smaller.


  1. What, sail size, board size and fin did you use?

  2. LOFT Racing Blade 7.8 on Loft Team Edition RDM 460, Carbon Art SP63 with Black Project Type R 36cm and Naish SP 135 with Black Project Type R 40 cm.

  3. I also like to use the small sail + big board combo in winter. Just soo comfy and it just sails much better :)

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