Posted by: newenglandsup | April 2, 2009

Downwind – You don’t know what you’re missing!

I have a similar post to this on the zone but this goes into more detail and is focused here on the particulars of what New England waters might offer in the way of downwind runs.

1st…if you don’t know what a downwinder is…picture a honking wind (25-30 MPH plus) at your back with swells big enough to ride being generated. Now get yourself on a board made for these kind of conditions…a couple of buds so you can set up a vehicle shuttle and be safe. Get out into it and run with it for 9 or 10 or 12 miles..or more…surfing the swells the whole way. I have to say it…this can even be MORE fun than surfing. Especially if the surf is just mediocre. You know the days that have 30 MPH winds aren’t likely to be the best for standup anyway. This makes for another way to have a blast on the water.

I’ve been playing with what I thought gave me a taste for downwind runs here by paddling out against 15 or 20 mph winds and then running back in with them….NOT! I got my 1st true taste of what a downwinder is on Maui a month ago. Even those weren’t the real gnarly stuff in big swells but they were enough to give me a taste and I know I want more….bigger and juicier too.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what spots might lend themselves to a downwind run. The ultimate…Provincetown to Plymouth in a nor’easter. 40-50 MPH winds with 5-6 ft swells in Cape Cod Bay. I figure 2.5 – 3 hours to do the 22 miles. You’ld want good safety equipment, double leash, waterproof VHF, etc.. Across Buzzards Bay might be another good one. Sandwich to Brewster, Falmouth to Yarmouth…lots of possibilities…nice to make them coastal runs if possible. All you need is a day with a big wind consistent from a given direction and then pick your spots.

I’ve recently started a Google Map…The Standup Paddleboard World Downwind Map. It’s a place where anyone can join in and post downwind runs that they’ve done or would like to do. If you zoom in on Cape Cod Bay you’ll see the Provincetown to Plymouth run. You can also embed pictures and such. I’ve included a video of last Octobers nor’easter at Plymouth to show what it would be like coming in at Plymouth Beach. If you click on the red line you’ll see info about the run and the link to the video. If you prefer to view it directly in Google Maps…here’s the link. There are a few runs included from folks on Maui as well.
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=111250336184002650032.000465bf61b95191e0c45&t=h&z=3

Next up…downwind boards.

standup paddlesurfing, standup, standup paddle surfing, SUP, surfing, downwind, standup paddleboard race, standup paddleboard racing

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