Saturday, January 1, 2022


In 2021, like most years before, I kept track of all my days on the water- including the number of times I sailed, where I sailed, how long I sailed & what I sailed. With the help of Twitter and Strava, it’s become second nature.

I’m not just curious about how I spend my time, but look at the data to see what I can learn.

This season, I was all in with wing surfing. For the first time in over 20 years, I devoted myself to one sport & one discipline. In past years, I’ve done most every discipline of windsurfing and kiteboarding, sometimes both or all at once.

In 2021 the quiver thinned out- no more kites, sails, booms, masts, lines or fins. For the most part, it was one board, one foil & a quiver of 3 wings.

Of course, it’s never that simple.

Looking at all the seasons’ data, I begin to see patterns of what equipment I used most at different times of the year, and where I spent the majority of my time on the water.

In 2021, I winged over 3000 miles, using 7 wings, 3 foils, 4 boards at 6 different locations.

84% of all my sessions (171 out of 220 sessions) came at one location-Crissy Field in San Francisco. In the 20 years of making this my home spot, sailing under the golden gate bridge never gets old. I often ask myself, what keeps me coming back session after session, year after year- chasing the wind, anyway it blows.

2021 was year 2 on the wing foil and the one of best years yet. 35 years of windsurfing & 8 years of kiteboarding got me here.

This year, the wind turned on early in SF. By on, I mean dozens of early spring days with 25–30k and several big spring days in 40k+ where I couldn’t even get to the bridge. The 4m wing was the most used size in the quiver with 107 sessions. In my wildest dreams, I never thought I’d be using a 3m rig for windsports but here we are with 38 sessions by the end of the year. It’s become my go to wing in over 20k. Not only is it less drag, but it’s easier to make transitions with. Once you realize most of the power comes from the foil, wing size almost becomes secondary. I tried a bunch of wings this season from the Duotone Unit and Vayu VVing but kept coming back to the Ozone Wasp V2 for the best range, stability and comfort.

The golden rule of windsports is never leave wind for more wind but by July, the marine layer was taking its toll in SF and I headed north for a 2 week Gorge bender. I managed 425 miles over 29 sessions spread over 13 days. The highlights- 11 downwinders form Viento State Park to the Event Site in Hood River where I found my flow, floating downwind like a butterfly, carving up and down mountains of freshwater peaks in 25–35k of breeze all while in a shortie wetsuit.

Halfway through this season, I devoted myself to learning the foiling tack. There’s several variations from toe side to heel side on both port and starboard but after several months of practice, I’m about a 75% success rate on the foiling tack on my best side. On the weak side, it’s lower, but that means more chances to get better!

Next up on the learning curve was backwinded foiling. I could not even wrap my head around this one despite seeing my buddies foil gracefully on the leeward side of the rig and float through transitions. 35 years of wind sports told me otherwise-pulling the sail or wing on the windward side was the most natural and obvious thing to do and teaching your muscles to push from the leeward side was the hard part. Once I finally got the courage to go into my first backwind while foiling, I was simply amazed. I’ve yet to only make a few dozen attempts before the season ran its course, but I’ve never been as excited to learn something as I am backwinded wing foiling.

2021 had the least amount of competition I’ve ever done. I raced just 4 races over the course of the summer with 3 Friday Night Wing Slalom races & the Ronstan Bridge to Bridge race. While I used to strive at racing, something changed at the end of 2019 when I stepped away from competing and found my flow off the race course. Frankly there’s more fun to be had the other 199 days on the water to take racing too seriously.

Turns out, you can still have the ‘Best Day Ever’ even when you’re not at the top of the pecking order.

Just as I keep evolving, so does the sport of foiling. In December of this year, I got my first sup foil session at Bolenas. The goal- to find as much winter stoke as summer.

Onwards & Upwards.

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