A few weekends back Ice Cup Sweden held one of their open days on Ältasjön where people could come and try out ice surfing. I thought it would be a good oppertunity to try out my own board and meet some like minded people. Andy and I headed down around noon.
It was an exellent day for trying out.The lake was like a mirror, the clear smooth ice perfectly reflected the sun and the clear blue sky. There was very little wind i would guess around 4ms so Andy rigged the 7m2 “unlucky gaffa” sail. This sail always gets broken on every outing and repaired shodily with Clas Ohlsons finest gaffa tape. I got the board down to the lake with some difficulty, the entire area around the lake was covered in thick ice that made it more treacherous than the lake!
Andy luckly had borrowed a crash hat from his wife, the first person we met on the ice asked if we had proper protection we flashed the helmet at him. Good to know they are putting safety first.
We got the sail attached to the board, I donned the helmet and tentitively set sail out on the lake, immediately I could tell the board had some design issues, the deck needs to be longer, the place where you want to put your back foot simply isnt there, which makes things difficult. I added a foot rail at the last minute and that turned out to be a mistake as it is far too big and prevents you getting over the centerline, so that will be taken off! The board is very unstable at low speed the plastic eggs stiffeners in th shocks arent stiff enough, so I’ll have to swap those out.
I was impressed as to how much like windsufing the experience was, I kept things slow, real slow I really didnt like the idea of falling off at speed! Some of the more experienced guys acheived impressive speeds, gliding past with swishing noise! The beauty is that you can practice gybes at any speed i performed quite a few 4kph gybes! I navigated it back to the marshalling point and found a patch of rough ice and was pleased to see that the board soaked up the bumps really well. I handed it over to Andy and heh set out for a tour around the lake.
There were a lot of people out that day with a lot of different types of craft, in fact one of the things about ice sailing is that almost no two craft are the same.
Finally on the last turn of the day I dropped the sail and destroyed the top panel, so that tradition has been upheld.
I cant wait till the ice hardens up again to get another go at it.