The average recreational sailor is usually content just to make it out on the water for a quick blast whatever the wind and waves are doing. Obviously most PWA tour sailors are similar minded although the lifestyle they lead gives them the option to get slightly more fussy about their optimum conditions. We asked a cross section of the world’s elite to describe their ideal set up for a magic day on the water:
JASON POLAKOW (Neil Pryde, JP)
Ideal conditions for me would be 20-foot Jaws with a very light cross-offshore wind. Sail size would be 4.7 or 5.0 and have to use a slightly thicker board than normal too get into the waves.
VIDAR JENSEN (North)
My ideal conditions would be un-crowded logo to mast side to side off point break on a glassy wave on my 4,7 and my 245 - 53 cm side shore board. With warm air and water. That sounds about right….Vidar!
LUKE WALMSLEY (Starboard)
My favorite conditions would probably be 4.7/5.0 sail size with port tack down the line waves with any size from head high to mast high and side/ side offshore wind and a few mates in the water for amping up.
PETER VOLWATER (Arrows, F2)
Still, I must say I miss the sailing at home. How can you beat sailing around with the local crew at your home North Sea break? I'm talking about the North Sea - IJmuiden / Holland with a big low pressure SW - storm; 4,0 m2 sail, port tack waves bending around the harbor jetty at high tide. With a mast high side shore wind swell and a dumpy shore break (as long as it's semi sunny and over 15 C) that's the conditions I wish to sail
right now! Variable and unreliable conditions make you super motivated and happy
when you score it. Special…PV
ROBBY SWIFT (Neil Pryde, JP)
My Favorite conditions are pretty much Starboard tack with about logo to mast high waves. Hookipa on a good day is pretty much what I like. I love jumping too so Pozo when there are good waves and wind can be really fun! As far as jumping goes, I don’t really have a favorite tack but my wave riding is definitely better when the wind is coming from the right!!!!
I am not really too keen on flat water or light winds, although in Bonaire this year I had fun. It made all the freestyle moves so easy but I don’t think that I would like to sail in those conditions all the time. There is definitely more of a thrill and excitement when there are good waves!
ROBBY NAISH (Naish, Naish)
Side shore, 20 knots (5.0), four to six feet (logo to mast high) either tack, port or starboard. Warm water, reef break, six guys in the water.... Heaven! Aloha, Robby.
TRISTAN BOXFORD (Gaastra)
I love all kinds of wave conditions, whether it be port or starboard, but definitely prefer it when the wind blows cross to cross-offshore and the waves are clean, fast and hollow, as that is when the best wave-riding is possible. My ideal sail and board size for those kind of conditions I would say is a 5.0 Gaastra Manic on an 8'2 Quatro 'Slash and Burn'. This would mean that the wind would be blowing at least a steady Force 5. Although I still enjoy it when the waves are small, I definitely yearn for big waves whenever possible, that are both hollow and fast.
NIK BAKER (Mistral, North)
My ideal conditions would be 4 to 6 foot starboard tack side shore down the line 4.7 super star on and my 8'2 razor/beast.
RICH FOSTER (Naish, Fanatic)
My best conditions are 4.5 slightly onshore, logo high waves two or three of my best mates and sailing in shorts having fun windsurfing. Back loops, back loops, back loops!!
JOHN SKYE (Arrows, F2)
My favorite conditions are pretty standard I am guessing. 5.0 weather, logo high (with occasional bigger sets), side shore, starboard tack with good jumping and riding. I would be on my small wave board and loving life. I also wouldn't mind cross-on...or cross off...in fact almost anything as long as it’s windy. Dead flat water is also pretty fun, but it would never best conditions status. Basically I am not fussy!!
Honestly for me my best conditions are any sort of wave that has any sort of section that I can do any sort of somewhat schralping turn on.... so that basically means 1 foot to 10 foot and 3.5 to 6.3.... but what really makes my session is when it’s not crowded.