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2017 WindSurf Journal

At the end of 2016 I followed GTJ/Guy Trudeau junior's instructions and used one of his crossbars to build a true windski .. Did NOT get to test it in 2016 😒

Well, brought the stuff up north to the out-law chalet cuz the ice is supposed to be frozen. This is on TUES 27DEC2016, my birthday... when i tested the ice at night/evening, I managed to break through top crust and find some water before next layer 😒 and it looked light / perhaps water ? near the middle of the lake $%^&*(( On the following morning put on the BIG boots and wandered further out. The ice made a BIG BOOM like lake was a GIANT WOOFER. Was afraid for about 2 seconds. Went and got my other sleds and took out my favourite ice sled with the HSM Fire 6.3. Ice was fine (8 outta 10) but the wind was too light  - off n on around 10 kph (6 outta 10). It was good to go out though !!! Just been too long - think i have a serious addiction 😊 This is the ice sled:

Here is a video from that day - kept private for now...

The next day I tried again, but wind was even less - 6 outta 10. Tried my ice sled, but the ice was too sharp and rails too sharp - did NOT go better than above sled. When I rigged the SW Retro 8-oh, the wind died !! This is my blue ice sled:

One thing to remember is: in 2015 on 27DEC2015 it was 12 degrees up north and I windsurfed on the water. This winter started much colder and promises to have more opportunities to sail on ice n snow. On the 30th snow got dumped and so, not much chance of ice sleds - snow versions to be tested in 2017 !! The video from 27DEC2015 is kept private , but will display it here for myself:

I think this paragraph explains WHY windsurfing in the winter is NOT very popular. It quickly describes the issue we have doing our sport in the winter and why I have five(5) different models to try and get out as often as I can in the "off season" - taken from

"If a more high performance windsurfing-sleigh that rides with ease and safety on ALL types of snow was available to windsurfers and new people, they would discover the joy of windsurfing on ice and snow and they will increase the windsurfing community!

And they forgot to say it should be reasonably priced... A snowfer KC5 Pro Race board now has the asking price of $2000 with full set of optional blades costing another $1000. No wonder everyone tries to make their own !!  

On 31DEC2016 I went to check out OKA main beach (La Crête is closed ie NOT ploughed)  and there were actually 2 kiters out in an Easterly 10-12 knot wind with snow. This was a test of the Piktek camera with the case open to check filming with the screen and the microphone. This seemed to generate a pink almost sepia tone on the pictures - which disappeared @ the end when the case was closed and during a subsequent test driving down the road ...

01JAN2017 went out to OKA again to check it out, but this time with "my stock". There was more snow than I would have liked - about 6 to 8 inches / 15 to 20 cm of blown snow. Wind was from the West at about 20-40 kph and gusty as usual. Thought I would give it a try, but was NOT feeling enthusiastic - this is kiteboard weather... Tried the windski after having removed the clips - can walk out with the ski boots and slide the kit along - with the HSM Fire 6.3. Tried it too early - still in wind shadow and tried to sit down and take boots out of skis - NOT easy - slipped out of one %^&*() Walked it further out and with great effort could get it going , but once moving wanted to go upwind. Tried it again and felt it was too much effort and still trying to go upwind. Sent some questions to gtj.
Also tried my snow sled that works with 3-4 inches of snow, but NO GO either ...

Am still thinking I need a completely different sled to windsurf in deep snow. Feel the wide alpine skis are required with an elevated platform... 
Will go to poubelle de ski next week !!

Guy gtj says no more than 10 cm of snow and there are bindings easier to get out of ... 
He is on / in Costa Rica at the moment - MUCH better than snow !!!

MON 09JAN2017 went to Pte-Claire to check winter conditions. Was too discouraged to try and build a deep snow windski last week. Jalal and I were surprised ... There was NOT much snow, quite a bit of ice and still some water = NOT ready yet.

TUES 10JAN2017 went @ lunch to check Vaudreuils. Had my stuff - HSM Fire 6.5 and the snow sled that I trust:

The wind was from the SE and light. And so, I did NOT rig up ...

Thought about coming back later. Forgot my phone at the office and my cameras @ home $%^&*

On the way home, decided to check out Pte-Claire in the St-Joachim kiter bay. Looked slushy, but took a chance and soaked my socks %^&*

Also was thinking about sailing @ work in the parking lot since it had a slippery, icy base, but they put salt in the morning %^&*()

Lot of swearing going on = sorry.

Decided that if it did NOT snow @ work early enough and wind was better @ Vaudreuils, i would give it a try.     Well, that is what I did...

Went to Vaudreuils at about 15h30 and the wind was supposed to be 20-30 kph from the SE. It felt like the wind was lacking, but paraskier told me was better, further out. So, I rigged up and was NOT able to sail well, unless way out

The issue(s)  was/were that I brought ONLY that 6.5 anticipating sailing on an icy base. Would have liked at least a 7.x meter sail. Perhaps even 8.x. In any case, since I also forgot my harness, this was probably all for the best. Would have killed my forearms and in any case needed to pick up the youngest before 18h00 !!!

Will give the session a 6 outta 10 since I did get to go on a work day, left early, got some fresh air and some exercise !!!

NEXT time will bring more sails, my camera(s) and MY HARNESS #$%^&*
Here is a better picture of the sled used - 2nd from the right:

Also, of interest, it is the first time my mast extension got stuck inside the bottom part of the RDM mast. I guessed it was frozen stuck, but it was not. Did NOT come apart in car nor garage. Had to take a rubber mallet to a screw driver through the holes on US mast base. Guess the rubber gasket got stuck - i was just too excited or upset and rushed - for nothing $%^&*(

TUES 17JAN2017 orange ice sled HSM Fire 6.3 Parc Charboneau = 8 outta 10 & NE ~ 20 kph

Managed to leave work early. Wife and young un don't want me going out in the dark - NOT sure why ... Ice was a bit rough, but no snow to speak of. The river is narrow and so difficult to get speed for jibes/gybes - always did half tacks... Tested out the PicTek camera which seems fine. The boom mount would not tighten by hand. Had to use a screw driver. Plan to put Def Leppard as background - are you man enough 😀

tried it with this software which was supposed to be "free", but leaves a watermark unless you pay and trial before is NOT even full blown one %^&&**(){

NOT sure people appreciate the sport, the videos, bad editing, etc
What I will probably do, is make my videos private and post them for myself ONLY !!
The next editing software to try free is called LIGHTWORKS...

SUN 22JAN2017 OKA ice sled HSM Fire 6.3 NE 20-40 ?? give it 8 outta 10 !!

Yesterday I went to the local river to check conditions. Felt the ice was "soft", but checked depth at fisherman hole and it was 8 to 10 inches thick !!

Today was expecting BIG winds - as announced - up to 40-60 kph. This worried me a bot cuz the ice is soft and with BIG winds my smallest sail is the HSM Fire 6.3. Do I need to go up north to get the WindWing 4.6 ?? Could not since the daughter and boy friend were visiting SAT - in the end they showed up LATE %^&*(

So , went a little earlier to beat the wind and make sure I had sun before it got too "warm" - it hit two degrees C today. The ice was NOT great. There was water on it at places, it was crispy in other spots and the wet snow dragged the ice board down - especially if there was water under it. I only hooked in on one run. Did NOT trust the ice nor the unsteady winds. Gave session eight out of ten just the same. Was not cold, got to out and did not get hurt... 

Met a windsurfer who paraskis. He has been doing it for about five years and finds it so , so .. Another kiter headed upwind and that seemed to be the last we saw of him ...
Paraskier hung out to wait for bigger winds ....

MON 23JAN2017 brought my stuff to work in anticipation of going to Vaudreuils at lunch or after work. Left before lunch and turned back !! Wind was good and so was the ice. This means I had to be ready to go FAST and be ready to FALL. I was NOT !! Would prefer to have time and snow pants as protection. Too bad cuz big snowstorm is supposed to come tomorrow / Tuesday 😒 Have discovered that my preference is the ice sled in light winds ie < 40 kph ...

SUN 28JAN2017 OKA ice/snowsled HSM Fire 6.3 SW 20-40 ?? give it 8 outta 10

Started with the ice sled, but the snow section caused sudden braking - as suggested by winskier on quebecwind. So, went back n got the iceNsnowsled. That seemed much better. Could NOT get everything dialed in and got tired. Was probably too scared to fall off and as such did not lean back enough in the harness. Have to get over that !! Promised Akshah a movie and so, when I went back with ice sled, brought out the "new camera" for more tests. NOT happy about the hue ... unless so desired 😐
Anyway, here is the unedited video: windski @ 5:00 and action @ 7:00

SAT 04FEB2017 OKA SW 20-50 kph full ice/snow sled HSM Fire 6.3 = 7 outta 10

Put the blue extension on the ice/snow sled, but did this @ OKA with no tools. Next time bring some tools to tighten properly. The sled worked REALLY WELL. The ice with snow was VERY unsteady and so were the winds. Kiter was using a 7 meter kite and suggests 30 knot gusts. It was gusty, but not 30 knots - to my feeling. Probably 25 knots max. Enough to rip the sailout of my hands and have me hit my head - with a helmet of course. No injuries and no breakage with an hour or so outing = cannot complain. Met two(2) windsurfer - Pierre and the lady who has the AHD and Maui Sails ...

My left thigh muscle and front neck muscles (@ the sides) were sore three - four days after !

SUN 05FEB2017 Rosemere SW 20-40 kph same sled as above HSM Fire 6.3 = 7 outta 10

This time bolted the blue part onto ice/snow sled. There was more snow that at OKA and it was powder - about 5 to 6 cm or more at parts. This seemed to slow the sled down. Gusty as usual, but managed to use harness when there was enough wind. More snow coming and so may need to sit it out for a while. 
Sent my trimm Select 66 cm fin to California. Lost money on that one, but made it when I sold the Bic Formula. Should have sold that board with one fin !! NO more trimm fins for me ...

WED 08FEB2017 overnight we had snow and THEN freezing rain which made for a hard crust. I figured I would have to wait until that snow melted before going out and playing with my ice n snow toys. Sammy R @ work asked if this snow did not make conditions better for me - told him i like ice. On the way home from work saw a young boy sliding around on TOP of the frozen rain without falling through. These two things made me go to the local river to check things out - effectively, I was able to walk into  the middle of the river and remained on the crust. We are supposed to have COLD for the next few days and so, it may hold !! Friday has wind. There was another car in the parking lot that came while I was on  the ice for a while with the lights left on. A third car showed up and parked strangely. It was the cops !! They asked the 2nd car for license and questioned them. I left while they were busy = leave me out of it #$%^&*(

SAT 11FEB2017 Rosemere 20-30 NW ice sled HSM Fire 6.3 = 8.5 outta 10

It was sunny, wind was okay and correct set and so, why not a higher score ... The ice had formed from freezing rain on top of the snow generating chop !! Otherwise it really was GREAT !!

See for yourself ...

SUN 12FEB2017 Parc Charboneau 20-30 kph NE ice sled HSM Fire 6.3 = 8 outta 10

Big storm supposed to come tomorrow. Was going to go yesterday, but wind lacking and still NOT feeling up to it ... There was MORE snow than I expected and at first thought too much wind. Tried the ice sled and the ice\snow sled, but the ice sled won. Went for about an hour. Wind was up n down too and thus could not rate session higher. In the winter we deal with surface conditions, cold AND wind conditions. Thus it is difficult to have a perfect day. ALWAYS fun to get out !!

SUN 19FEB2017 went to local river to check out the conditions. Had OVER a foot of snow in the last week and was starting to look @ building ANOTHER sled to be able to handle the DEEP snow #$%^&* However,  as I stated, better to go down to the river and check what's what... I was surprised - there was ONLY about two to three inches of WET snow on top .. Seemed to have water inside footprints immediately ... and then actually sank down into water - about 4 inches ... This means we need cold weather before that section of ice will be good again ...

At this time I have gone out eight times on ice and snow with an average rating of 7.6 out of 10. That's about once per week since 01JAN2017 !!

Fri 03/03/2017 - went to local river and was VERY discouraged ^&*() Holes in the ice everywhere - FORGET going here for the rest of 2017 !! Martial from work kite surfs with skis and was in the La Crête bay from the town of Oka. He went over 100 kilometers and reached 70 kph... This does NOT encourage me to go there just the same ... so ...

SAT 04MAR2017 - Chalet NW 20-40+ kph ice sled HSM Fire 6.3 = 8 outta 10 

Since I do NOT trust local ice, went up to the out-law chalet. Ice conditions were 9 outta 10 considering recent weather, etc. The wind was from the NW, gusty and since on a small lake, with wind shadows. Give the wind a 7 outta 10. Did manage to fall on knee without protection and on elbow without protection ...

In terms of electronics - NOT happy. Got the Timex GPS to show speed and tried to film it - both the clasp broke and the final film  from the helmet was NOT accessible ^&*( Am so glad I managed to get a clip from my DIY selfie...

SAT 11 MAR2017 - Chalet NW 20-50+ kph ice sled WindWing 4.6 = 7 outta 10

When I checked the conditions, the ice looked like 9.5 outta 10 AND the wind seemed good = oh oh. So, I rigged the WindWing 4.6 instead of the HSM Fire 6.3. All week I prepared on how to improve the selfie from the backpack, but today there were other concerns i.e. namely the ice and the wind. When I finally got out on the ice, there seemed to be no wind. It picked up and picked up and picked up. The ice in the end was 5.5 to 9.5 due to recent melting and freezing. I tried to used the rough sections of ice to slow down, since bigger speeds were attained and once going, there was NO stopping the sled. So, it feels like the wind was 5.5 to 9.5 as well. NOT an ideal day and at the end I stopped in order to NOT hurt myself. Did not film either and made a quick unlisted clip just to show the day: 

WED 22MAR2017 went with Jalal @ lunch to check out Vaudreuils and Lac deux Montagnes. It was still -10 in the day and had been cold @ night. The snow had developed a crusty top and there was one kiter out , one preparing and another kite on the "ice".  Kiter was crossing the entire lake. Chatted with Martial who was working from home and he immediately headed out to 😊KA ...

SUN 26MAR2017 with the recent weather, SUN was to be a PERFECT day to hit Lake of Two Mountains ... It was to be a day of celebration for my young son Jerry - well NOT too young, think he turned 25  😊. So, I got to shop and prepare. Martial was out kiting and he said it was marvelous !! He went all morning and then joined his family for the sugaring off - cabane à sucre... Lucky bugger cuz after that it started raining and the temps are going up !! Even up north daily temps are going way up and nights not below -4 😖

SUN 23APR2017 Lac St-Pierre MEQ2 HSM SPF 8.5 < 20 kph SW = 6.5 outta 10
Yesterday I tried to go to OKA for a first session of the year. The park was closed since access to camping area and beach were both flooded out... Went to the town of OKA to see if there was access from there ... NO

Water levels are higher than anything I have seen since living in Montreal and I was there when the "tunnel" of deCarie was flooded. This is much worse in overall impact. There has been flooding in Hamilton as per my brother, I saw it in Vaudreuils, Rosemere, Ste-Therese, Trois-Rivières and the fields east on Montreal. Saw two kiters ON a flooded farmer's field !!

Last week this was Vaudreuils:

So, Saturday was a wipeout and Sunday looked like it too. Cartier had high waters , but was accessible. NOT my favourite place ... especially light winds...

For Sunday, they say the winds were up later in the day. I was on my way to the musical "Book of Mormons" by then ...

Enough about the conditions, what about the day ?? There was no-one @ Multi-Voile which is just over an hour from my house. They charged me $8 to launch and I was the first one of the season. Water was so high, you could launch from anywhere, but NOT ideal. Wind was very light, but it was warm. NO gloves and no gargoyle. Nothing broken and no walk of shame and so did NOT give it a failing mark, but was hoping for at least 20-40 kph. Others were using MUCH smaller sails later in the day ...

SUN 29APR2017 OKA main beach MEQ2 HSM SPF 8.5 WSW 20-50 kph = 7.5 outta 10
Since the wind was to be WEST and La Crête is closed ... and to be more than 25 knots ... i went early to the main beach - packed it all - MEQ2, Shark 145 and BEE 125. I was hoping La Crête would be accessible and then go from there... When I arrived wind was still light and looking SW. There was a kiter with three boards and 7 and 11 m² sails. I did a test run and it seemed good, but stronger further out. Came in and helped the kiter launch his kite - the 11 meter one. Did a couple more runs, but I was starting to have difficulties. Wind kept shifting and getting stronger. My uphaul cord broke - close to shore = phew. Was unsure whether I should rig down or go ?? Kiter explained to me he could NOT get out. Windsurfer came over to me and told me he could NOT get out either - he was a little fellow of about 140 pounds on a 100 liter board and a 5.5 sail. He was hoping for 30 knots !!! More kiters arrived and they were all shaking their heads. Little fellow tried again and it looked like wind was offshore !!! Other windsurfer says he was putting his BIG 125 with a 6.6 sail, but further down the beach. Ski-guy was at the beach, but going for a walk and Hatteras in two weeks. Told me JF is younger than us and retired now !! Was going to give session a 7 outta 10, but it was better than last week and so, 7.5 !!

Now I am at home and wind is howling - too much for me !!

Checking quebecwind and windjunky says he was out with a 4.2 and was considering a 3.7 on a quad 87. I knew it would be WAY too much for me !! People are talkin about 31 knots ... 
Windjunky took pics of La Crête: and this is the parking lot !!

07MAY2017 Just when you thought it could not get any worse !!
I took this picture a couple of weeks back

Yvente went recently and took this picture at the same spot - a dike has been built & gravel has been added in order to be able to pass with water on both sides.

Oka is closed and Georges said the army was there yesterday. Parts of the town have been evacuated .
Water levels are higher than EVER !!

I went to local river to check, water is high and can get out, but need to start closer to the bridge and wind is SW - blowing me into the bridge with current and debris. Too risky and not a nice enough day.

SUN 14MAY2017
Seems OKA is still closed and water access is difficult for windsurfers and boats. Water levels are going down, but more rain is in the forecast. Ironically, it seems to rain on weekends. Here is a pic I found today :

Pte-Claire Yacht Club 1970 flood
TUES 16MAY2017 Rosemere MEQ2 HSM SPF 8.5 WNW 20-40 = 8 outta 10
As discussed everything is flooded out and only starting to go down - dropped about a foot or two. Wanted to try local river yesterday, but was unsure and so went today. Brought the trusty steed, but still not using the dagger/centreboard and so need to be careful about the current and the bridge. As I was rigging up could smell the pot from two young dudes upwind at a picnic table. Was able to launch near the trees and not from the boat ramp which is too close to the bridge. Wind was gusty as usual and almost fell in when i hit the first lull. Managed to save myself and stayed dry. Did not encounter much traffic, but a large blue barrel and large log did float by = DANGER. Didn't stay long as winter sailing was so much more fun and i drool more for something like Oka. When I got off, the stoners came over freaking out about what they had just seen 😁 Looking forward to OKA and testing the Shark. So far NOT looking too promising. 😒 Normally such a session would not get such a high mark, but i am desperate. Forgot to mention that I ended the session on the boat ramp and did not stop early enough. Ran my fin across the cement - damn $%^&*( Oh yeah, farmer john with no gloves, nor hat ..

WED 17MAY2017 Oka main beach SHARK 145 HSM Fire 6.3 WSW 30-50 = 5 outta 10
Normally this would be a fail, but did get to go to OKA and try the Shark. Had a really difficult time trying to waterstart in that windshadow with the waves. Kiter took off down the beach with kite in circle of death and his buddy running down the beach. Kept an eye out, but could always see the head in the water. I managed to uphaul a couple of times and decided to call it  a day %^&*())_ The beach was like my last visit on 29APR - about 10 feet of sandy beach and that's it. Why was main building closed ?? Had to pee outside ... Farmer John  with no gloves nor hat - wore the helmet. Read the reports - others were out with 4.x sails and < 100 litre boards - saying winds hit 30 knots. Knew I was way over  - need la Crête !!! with a nice SW !!

FRI 19MAY2017 chalet MEQ2 SPF8.5 N 20-40 = 8 outta 10
The enclosed video does NOT do the day justice. After I put the camera away, the wind kicked and I planed, fell in , planed, etc It was warm enough to have no gloves and bare feet. Did have the jacket on, but open.

SAT 20MAY2017  still up north - a little colder and wind died a few times = 7 outta 10

SUN 21MAY2017 quick run on the water before leaving - too gusty and more E = 7 outta 10

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