Thursday, December 3, 2009

Shipping Windsurfing Gear Overseas

Well, my windsurfing boards, sails, masts, booms, and roof top sail/mast carrier are now on their way back to the USA. They were packed up yesterday in a big 360cm long x 155cm wide x 155cm high overseas shipping box. Our Belgium moving company, Gosselin, built the box especially for the gear based on the dimensions of my longest board and the best width by height stacking requirement. Of course I spent several weeks pre-packing each board with bubble wrap and extra cardboard padding over the rails, decks and lower surface. Then all that went either back into the now very tightly fitted board bags or into windsurf board boxes.

For the sails I used the same big 12" and 14" diameter heavy cardboard shipping tubes with wood stringers and round plywood end plates. The sails got put inside each shipping tube and I also placed some of my bigger sails inside the rooftop sail/mast carrier that I built for my Volvo last year.

Once it was all packed in and the side put back on, with the top nailed down etc. it was good to know that everything should be safe inside for the long ship sea voyage home. Of course this box will be placed along with my other overseas shipping crates containing house hold items and furniture, into one of those big metal containers.

Still, it is difficult to watch your beloved windsurfing boards and gear get taken away in a big truck by someone else. Don't worry though, I do have each and every item listed on the shipment inventory!

Now, I just look forward to unloading it all back on the other side and finding everything safe, sound, and ready for Hatteras action.


Windsurf boards, booms, masts, & sails waiting along with lawn tractor to be loaded up.


Loading of THE BOX begins! Epoxy/Wood/ Glass - Roof top sail/mast carrier, pre-wrapped in cardboard, loaded first. Luckily it was built to take the weight.

The Goya Wave board goes in on top of sail shipping tubes.

Everything fully loaded, with some extra house hold stuff to fill up space, and side panel ready to go back on. Those "Dish Pack" boxes are what I used to wrap up my longboard.

"THE BOX" side gets sealed and nailed back on for the long journey across the Atlantic.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Brouwersdam, Netherlands - Last Session

Saturday, November 14, 2009; my last session at Brouwersdam, and likely my last session anywhere in Europe, before I move back across the pond to the USA.
Although rainy in the early a.m. the sky soon cleared up and 25-30 knot clearing winds blew in from the SSW. Even better was the rise in air temp with the appearance of the sun. By mid afternoon it was almost 60 degree F. which is amazing for this time of year at the beach in Holland. Even better was the fact that high tide was about 11:00 a.m. so you did not have to carry your board and rig near as far to get to the water.
It just turned out to be the perfect way to end a great three years of windsurfing over here on the Euro side of the pond. Although I am excited and anxious to return to my home breaks I will surely miss the many great sessions and spots here.

(Note: Click on Photos to Enlarge.)

Chuck & Trusty Old Fanatic Goya Wave 80 liter

Meanwhile, over on the lake side there was a whole bunch of high wind, high speed blasting and freestyle going on!

Looking South across the lake next to the Browersdam Windsurfing shop (Surfcentrum).

Looking east across the "Freestyle Pond" towards the Brouwersdam Windsurfing Shop, Restraunt, Bar & Water Slide.

Nice grassy rigging areas over on the lake side.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Brouwersdam, Netherlands - World's Greatest All Around Windsurf Spot?

Chuck Rigs 5.0 on Beautiful Fall Day at Brouwersdam, 18 Oct. 2008

(Click on photos for enlarged view)

There is a truely remarkable place on the southwest coast of Holland where what could be one of the worlds greatest all around windsurfing spot, Browersdam; is found. Thanks to the dikes, or dams as the Dutch call them, built to keep out the North Sea, Browersdam separates the North Sea to the west from the inland bays and waterways to the east. These bodies of salty to brackish water are commonly called lakes, by the Dutch people. It reminds me a lot of the Outer Banks of North Carolina except that the ocean is on the west side and the sound on the east.

It is generally a windy place most of the year but with typically lighter winds in the summer and plenty of strong winds in the fall, winter, and spring. Of course this includes times when the infamous North Sea gales can bring nuclear winds ashore. As for wind direction there are spots to windsurf for every wind direction between the North Sea side and the lake side of the dam.

Several kilometers in length Browersdam has a beautiful sandy beach all along its west side with parking for literally thousands of cars and vehicles. Here exists a fabulous spot for Windsurfing, Kiteboarding, and land sailing/kiting on three wheel carts when the tide is lower.

Between the North Sea and the Lake side there is something for just about everyone. Beginner areas, slalom/formula, free style, speed zones, bump & jump conditons, and even wave sailing can be had. About a kilometer or so out from the beach is a series of sandbars, often exposed at low tide, that break up the Northsea waves creating flatter water in the huge expanse of water to the east of the bar. When the tide is high North sea swells and waves can come over the bar bringing in breaking surf and rideable waves along the beach. On a good wind day the more adventurous can sail out to the bar and waveride the surf. It is just like sailing out to sail the reef on the Pamlico Sound south of Avon in North Carolina except you are likely to see a bunch of sea lions out there at the Brouwersdam outer bar.

Check out this link to Google Earth to see where the spot is. Also if you zoom in close you can see the wakes from windsurfers.,3.870964&spn=0.018595,0.07699&z=14

Windsurfing North End North Sea Side

Kitesurfing Area near South End, North Sea Side 15 August 09

Looking North from the Kitesurfing area, North Sea side. (You can windsurf here to if you don't mind being out with the masses of kiteboarders)

Looking south from the Kitesurfing area

Sun tanning Euro Style

Kitesurf Centrum - Kitesurfing rentals, school, and land sailor rentals.

Entrance to the south end kitesurfing area.

Chuck's windsurfing vehicle and German friends kitesurfing son, Kim.

Caravans, Vans, and cars from all over Germany, Holland, Belgium, France etc. parked along the road by the kitesurfing area. (Looking South)

Looking North along the road up towards the windsurfing area on the North Sea side.

View from atop the dune looking NW up the beach, North Sea side.

Plethora of Kites fill the sky. Plenty of windsurfers out to the north of the kites as well. Another great day, summer 2008 at Brouwersdam.

5.5 wind day and high tide bring in some waves from over the outer bar into the beach, north end Browersdam. Fall 2008

Sailors getting ready to head out.

Dutch windsurfer heading out - view looking south.

Valeri Veroski, Brussels, Belgium windsurfer and his new 65 liter high wind custom "Witch" board. He has a new 3.7 and 3.4 to ride it with.

Chuck at Brouwersdam, November 2008, 4.7 - 5.0 day, cold, but FUN!

4.7 / 5.0 day, November 2008

Brouwersdam Lake Side

On the inside of the dam, just across from the beach is a huge area of water with room for hundreds of windsurfers. Kiteboarding is not done on the lake side so there is plenty of room for windsurfers. There is also a perfect beginner and freestyle pond just outside the windsurfing shop, school and restaurant/bar called the Brouwersdam Ziel & Surfcentrum (Sail and Surf center) . See there website at: "" On a good windy day the beginner pond is full of young freestylers practicing all the latest moves.

Brouwersdam lake side looking east from the dam.

Looking ESE at the lake side of Brouwersdam south of the Surfcentrum area.

Brouwersdam "Surfcentrum" and the "ski jump" in the distance as windsurfers sail the lake area

The Beginner - Freestyle Pond- Looking west north west. The pond connects to the bay (lake) so you can sail out and in when you want to. Otherwise it is perfect for learning and is a freestyle show off area in higher winds.

Looking north along the beach by the pond and adjacent to the "Surfcentrum" windsurfing store, restaraunt/ bar

Another view looking north

Note all the caravans (RV's) all loaded with windsurfers and windsurfing gear!

The windsurfing center and restaraunt/bar

Each you lunch, have a beer, and watch the action

Another view looking west at the pond

Note the entrance to the pond from the lake on the left of the photo

They even have built recently a big waterslide jump that you can slide down or even ski/snowboard down ending in being boosted up high into the air over the water for aerial trick practice.

The outside bar area

,Looking South East from the windsurf center out onto the lake.

Entrance to the windsurfing shop

Back entrance to the windsurfing shop warehouse area

Another view of the bar area

All around the west end of the lake near the Surfcenter is parking room for several hundred caravans and cars and more windsurfing. To the north of the center is another huge area of water with even more places to park and windsurf when trying to get away from the big crowds near the Surfcentrum. One place called the "Punt" or Point" is very good for SE, S, and SW winds.
Waiting for wind at the Punt - Looking West towards the dam that separates the Northsea side from the lakes on the east side.

Looking east at the Punt. Once you get about 15-20 feet out from the beach the bottom becomes sandy but you need to wear foot wear on this side for getting into and out of the water plus protection from shells.