Country “Wind” Profile

Hear it from our readers…

JANE & MICHAEL GYORKOSamerican_windsurfer_5.34_country_Canadian-FlagAlberta, CANADA
AGES: 40/43e
Jane: Registered Nursee
Michael: Sales Manager

BEST WINDSURFING SPOT:
1) Upper Waterton Lake, Waterton International Peace Park
LOCATED: Southwestern Alberta
CONDITIONS: Glacier fed chop and waves
2) Old Man River Dam
LOCATED: 10 mins. south of Pincher Creek, southwestern Alberta
CONDITIONS: Reliable, unobstructed wind, premier windsurfing. Built to be windsurfer friendly. Flat water and gnarly chop.
3) Cavan Lake
LOCATED: 20 km east of Medicine Hat
CONDITIONS: Flat and fast.
4) Rattlesnake Reservoir
LOCATED: 5 mins. west of Medicine Hat
CONDITIONS: Flat, chop, waves.

BEST SHOPS:
1) Wind Addiction
CITY: Kingston, Ontario
PHONE: 1-800-617-9463

BEST PLACES TO STAY:
Most people camp at the locations we sail. Camping facilities vary from very basic to full service.

BEST TIME TO VISIT:
For reliable wind and water: April through June and September through October. Bring a dry suit and a steamer. Summer months are very hot and dry in a semi-arid climate. Summer winds can be flaky and reservoirs are depleted for irrigation. A shorty is needed in summer.

Advertisement



american_windsurfer_5.34_country_Canadian-FlagMIKE & JENNIFER COCKRALL-KING
Alberta, CANADA
AGE: 30/27
Mike: Physician
Jennifer: Restaurant Manager

BEST WINDSURFING SPOT:
1) Alberta Beach at Lac Saint Anne
LOCATED: 45 mins. Northwest of Edmonton
WHY: Great launch
CONDITIONS: Flat
2) Cooking Lake Sailing Club
LOCATED: South Cooking Lake – 30 mins. southeast of Edmonton
CONDITIONS: Flat

BEST SHOP: Shipwreck Boat Rental
CITY: Edmonton  PHONE: (403) 454-8670

BEST PLACE TO STAY:
Fantasy Land Hotel at West Edmonton Mall

BEST  TIME TO VISIT: Late May – Early October
Avg. temp. 70’s & 80’s in the summer with occasional 90’s.

Thank you for the invitation to let us introduce your readers to our small part of windsurfing for the past 15 years. Long before we met each other, we were coincidentally being introduced to the sport on the same lake (Lac Saint Anne), located about 40 minutes west of Edmonton, the city in which we both live in the central part of Alberta.

Although we enjoyed our early days of windsurfing during Edmonton summers  in the era of tie-on booms, floppy sails and fixed daggerboards, we have come to the conclusion that it would be difficult for us to recommend the lakes of central Alberta as a windsurfing destination. The local combination of a short and generally chilly sailing season, along with generally light and/or inconsistent winds, have encouraged Jennifer and me to travel extensively. In the past 5-6 years we have considered ourselves worthy of pilgrimages to more serious windsurfing spots. As a result, our search through our old photo archives looking for shots of our local sailing spot has not provided us with a great selection. However, along with photos of our immediate area, we have also included some pictures of what we consider the best windsurfing Alberta in general has to offer.

Just a short 6-1/2 hour drive south from where we live, exists what I arguably believe to be some of the best windsurfing in one of the most beautiful locations in the world. I make this statement as objectively as possible in consideration of our various trips to other better-known windsurfing destinations such as Aruba, Maui, Margarita, the Gorge and even the south-west coast of England. The blue sky and the crystal clear water of Waterton Lakes Park, where the prairies meet the mountains near the border between Alberta and Montana, is beyond compare. On a recent trip, as we ripped it up with some friends on a fairly common 4.5 m2 day on Waterton Lake, we looked back to the shore to see wild deer walking around and curiously sniffing at our beached equipment. Not only are the ambient beauty and wildlife in the area appealing, but a variety of conditions are available within close proximity. A venue with warmer, flatter water and less gusty conditions, is only a 20–minute drive away from Waterton Lake at the reservoir above the dam on the Old Man River near the small town of Pincher Creek. Pincher Creek, incidentally, is the sole region in Canada making use of wind-generated power (for links to online information about the area, try http://www.pincher-creek.com/ index.html). The sailing season in southern Alberta is not appreciably longer than in the central part of the province, generally late April through mid-October, but the winds are more consistent and a lot stronger, sometimes bordering on furious and totally unsailable, with occasional wind warnings and gusts well over 100 kilometers/hour (60 mph).

Since we first started to windsurf, we have progressed from longboards to shortboards, from uphauling to waterstarting, from consistent falling to consistent jibing and from 6.5m2 days on our local lakes to challenging nuclear winds at the Gorge. But all things considered, the truly best days of sailing are any that we have been able to spend at home with each other and with our friends.

Sponsored Links


american_windsurfer_5.34_country_spread2-s
(enlarge)

american_windsurfer_5.34_country_Canadian-FlagMITCH TOEWS
Steinbach, CANADA
AGE: 42 Market Analyst

BEST WINDSURFING SPOT:
1) Brereton Lake
LOCATED: Whiteshell Provincial Park  WHY: Windy
CONDITIONS: Flat
2) Buffalo Point
LOCATED: Lake of the Woods
WHY: Clean, warm & shallow
CONDITIONS: Flat

BEST SHOP: Shipwreck Windsurf
CONTACT: Dave Potter
CITY: Edmonton
PHONE: (403) 465-5307
FAX: (403) 463-9667

BEST  TIME TO  VISIT:
September


american_windsurfer_5.34_country_Canadian-FlagJOHN CURTIS
Ottawa, CANADA
AGE: 30   Looking for work

BEST WINDSURFING SPOT:
1) West Lake
LOCATED: Ontario
WHY: Beautiful & uncrowded
CONDITIONS: Flat, chop
2) Emily Street
LOCATED: Kingston, Ontario
WHY: Decent wind, beautiful water
CONDITIONS: Chop

BEST TIME TO VISIT:
June–Sept


american_windsurfer_5.34_country_Japan-FlagDAVID LOYD
Otsu, JAPAN
AGE: 38  Teacher

BEST WINDSURFING SPOT:
1) Shinbata Beach
LOCATED: East side of Lake Biwa
WHY: Good for course slalom.
CONDITIONS: Chop
2) Shirahige Beach
LOCATED: West side of Lake Biwa
WHY: Strongest wind (offshore)
CONDITIONS: Flat
Lake Biwa is 30-60 minutes from Kyoto

BEST SHOPS:
1) Sail Surf
CITY: Moriyama, Japan
PHONE: 077-585-4767   FAX: 077-585-7665
2) Nifty Biwako
CITY: Otsu, Japan
PHONE: 077-521-4446   FAX: 077-521-1911

BEST TIME TO VISIT:
April, November (Best sightseeing times too!)


american_windsurfer_5.34_country_Japan-FlagSEIGO AKADO
Mikuni-machi, JAPANe
AGE: 38  Business Owner: Old-Time Pro Windsurfer

BEST WINDSURFING SPOT:
1) Mikuni Sunset Beach
LOCATED: Japan Sea (Fukui-pref)
WHY: Very windy, but flat.
CONDITIONS: Flat
2) Shioya Beach
LOCATED: Japan Sea (Ishikawa-pref)
WHY: Good waves, few people.
CONDITIONS: Flat

BEST SHOP: Les Ailes Surf
CITY: Mikuni, Japan
CONTACT: Fujita
PHONE: 81 (0) 776-82-0971 FAX: 81 (0) 776-82-5971

BEST PLACES TO STAY:
1) Mikuni-ya.
PHONE: 81 (0) 776-82-2750
2) Hotel Akebono
PHONE: 81 (0) 776-22-1000
CONTACT: Shimizu

BEST TIME TO VISIT:
March – April.


american_windsurfer_5.34_country_spread3-s
(enlarge)

american_windsurfer_5.34_country_France-flagFRANCIS MOUNIER
Etel, FRANCE
AGE: 36  Writer/Anthropologist

BEST WINDSURFING SPOT:
1) La Plage du Pradic
LOCATED: Etel
WHY: It’s in front of my house!
CONDITIONS: Flat, Chope
2) Kerilio
LOCATED: Eroeven
WHY: One of the best wave spots in France
CONDITIONS: Waves
BEST SHOPS: Magic Surf
CITY: Theix, Auray
CONTACT: Pascal Bily (Manager)
PHONE: 02-97-24-08-12 FAX: 02-97-54-33-39

BEST PLACE TO STAY:There are many hotels in every village, priced around $30-$40 a night.

BEST TIME TO VISIT: Fall and Spring are the windiest (Avoid January)


american_windsurfer_5.34_country_France-flagVALADES SANDRINE
Arcueil, France
AGE: 25   Pediatrician

BEST WINDSURFING SPOT:
1) Agon Coutainville
LOCATED: Manche
WHY: Very good wind.
CONDITIONS: Slalom waves.
2) Charenay/Seine
LOCATED: Seine of Marne
WHY: Only 60 km from Paris.

BEST SHOPS:
1) Maui Fun
CITY: Jontereau
CONTACT: Jerome
PHONE: 01-60-96-75-60
2) Hawaii Surf
CITY: Ivry

BEST PLACE TO STAY:
1) Giles de France   2) Me Valades Sandrive

BEST TIME TO VISIT:
February, March & April


american_windsurfer_5.34_country_France-flagGALLOUX MATHIEU
Bernard, FRANCE
AGE: 17   Student

BEST WINDSURFING SPOT:
1) Calir
LOCATED: Calir in Corsica
CONDITIONS: Waves
2) Algajola
LOCATED: Algajola in Corsica
CONDITIONS: Waves

BEST SHOPS:
1) RBO
CITY: Malakoff, Paris
PHONE: 0146467979
2) Aloha Windshop
CITY: Algajola
PHONE: 0495607957
FAX: 0495607957

BEST PLACES TO STAY:
1) Hotel “La Villa”   2) Hotel “Balanea”

BEST TIME TO VISIT: May/September


american_windsurfer_5.34_country_France-flagNICOLAS BRUNEL
Marselle, FRANCE
AGE: 26   Computer Programmer

BEST WINDSURFING SPOT:
1) Carro LOCATED: 35 km west of Marseille
WHY: Good conditions and good company
CONDITIONS: Waves
2) Eplochove
LOCATED: Marseille
WHY: Near the city

BEST SHOPS:
1) Driveurloc
CITY: La Valette
CONTACT: Anyone
PHONE: 0494/750517
2) Epluchures Beach
CITY: Marseille
PHONE: 0491/732827

BEST TIME TO VISIT: October to November and February to July


american_windsurfer_5.34_country_Netherlands-FlagRENE BROOS
Roosendaal, HOLLAND
AGE: 43   Importere

BEST WINDSURFING SPOT:
The Grevelingen LOCATED: Lreuelingermeer near Bruinisse
WHY: Perfect conditions for everybody. Fun for every surfer.  CONDITIONS: Flat, chop
BEST SHOP:Van Bellen Windsurfing
CITY: Willenstad, Holland
CONTACT: Marius
PHONE: (31) 0168-473220  FAX: (31) 0168-472110

BEST PLACE TO STAY: Aqua Delta
BEST TIME TO VISIT: March until October.


american_windsurfer_5.34_country_Slovenia-FlagJANEZ BARBO
Vrhnika, SLOVENIA
AGE: 26  Undertaker/Contractor

BEST WINDSURFING SPOT:
1) Piran
LOCATED: Koper
WHY: Good wind and waves.
CONDITIONS: Waves
2) Cerknica Lake
LOCATED: Cerknica City
WHY: Near to my home.
CONDITIONS: Flat

BEST SHOP: Sport Fun
CITY: Liubljana 1000
CONTACT: Gabrovser
PHONE: 00386-61-345-678

BEST TIME TO VISIT: From March – October.

Slovenia is a very small country, so the chances of developing windsurfing are restricted. Besides scarce windsurfing spots, the problem is inconsistent wind. There are on an average in the summer just 5 windy days in one month (cca 15m/sec).

So that is why the sport of windsurfing is not so developed in our country. I can talk about innumberable larger or international races. There is no international community of windsurfing here. In Slovenia the standard of living is not  high, so the sport of windsurfing is very expensive. There is no sponsorship.

The consequence is that windsurfers are just those people who really wish to do that. And I am one of them. I started to windsurf as a very young boy and I am still holding onto it today. Actually this is my only real passion. Because of bad chances of windsurfing in our country, I keep looking for some wind in neighboring Italy, Croatia, and Greece.

Sport is a motive of my life, with windsurfing at the head. So I want to stay in direct contact with it.

Advertisement



american_windsurfer_5.34_country_Ireland-FlagBRYAN P. ALTON
Dublin, Ireland
AGE: 40   Software Engineering Manager

BEST WINDSURFING SPOT:
1) Brandon Bay
LOCATED: Dingle, Co. Kerry
WHY: Good wind all directions.
CONDITIONS: Waves
2) Broad Meadows Estuary
LOCATED: Malamide, Co. Dublin
WHY: Closest to home and safe.

BEST SHOPS:
1) Surf Dock Windsurfing
CITY: Dublin
PHONE:  353-1-6683945
2) Wind & Wave
CITY: Dublin
PHONE:  353-1-2844177

BEST TIME TO VISIT:
All year. Best winds Spring & Fall.


american_windsurfer_5.34_country_Finland-FlagSAMI TUURNA
Espoo, FINLANDe
AGE: 48

BEST WINDSURFING SPOT: Pori
LOCATED: West coast of Finland
CONDITIONS: n/a
BEST SHOPS: Skywings
LOCATED: Espoo, Finland

I started windsurfing more regularly in 1978. Sailing on a plank was more of a swimming than a sailing experience in 1975. I was the international representative of winter windsurfing (what is that?) in the early days of the IWCA (International Windsurfer Class Association of Europe). With their support, I was able to organize the first official Windsurfing World Championships in Helsinki, Finland (sleds with Windsurfer one design sails) in 1983. Since 1986 these championships have annually been organized by the WISSA (World Ice and Snowsurfing Association). I designed the Skimbat wingsail in 1987. WISSA granted the best design award to the Skimbat in 1994. At the veteran age of 48 you can still consider me to be an eager speed windsurfer on the water and a faithful Skimbat wintersailor (Finnish champion of 1994, and silver medalist the same year in the world competition.) Best regards to my friend Robby Naish in Hawaii. (Aloha!)

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Suggested correction

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Suggest an article topic