Welcome aboard! Need more sugar?

By December 2, 2007 Sidenotes

Hello and welcome to CarbonSugar.com. Hopefully you are here because you windsurf. If not, this is probably the site for you – please click here. Windsurfers: This weblog was a result of having never found any decent ‘windsurfing-specific’ books, articles, tutorials on any racing related tactics, technique, design or construction of high-performance windsurfing gear. Sure, there’s sporadic articles available on the internet with important tutorials and many of the popular worldwide windsurfing magazines write great tutorials, but I wanted more information.

The articles on the web and in magazines were always targeted toward beginner windsurfers and never had enough detail. I wanted more information. I didn’t want to have to scour the web to find more information and I didn’t want to have to always painstakingly disect C.A. Marchaj style books in order to work out how I could apply more information to our highly tuned 5 cam, 10 batten aeroplane wings…

And so CarbonSugar.com was born. Inspired largely by a few of the windsurfing masterminds out there who have put their thoughts and knowledge to the public domain. Chiefly, windsurfers like Boogie, who blogs about speedsailing design has collected some great articles and links to design related information. Kevin Pritchard, the legend, who writes about his daily life on the pro tour. Steve Bodner, who like myself (but to a larger extent), writes about the day to day activities at international windsurfing events that he competes in – something a lot more pro sailors should do in the guise of helping out aspiring young windsurfing grommets.

I am just as interested in the science behind how to go fast as I am at getting my FW board over the elusive 35 knots (64.8 km/h). As a racer on the international circuit, I have seen how hard a road it has been to get to the top level, especially when knowing it all could have been a lot easier with the right information, coaching and help in the early stages (something which I believe is readily available for other sailing classes). I wanted to make a weblog dedicated to advanced tutorials on racing, tactics, technique and the psychology behind going faster and winning more races. I also wanted to start some discussions and propose ideas about windsurfing design, construction, the sport in general and anything that people might find could actually help them be better racers.

Working with a father who is really into designing, repairing and playing around with carbon products and windsurfing gear, over the years we have made our own boards, sails, wide-tail boom-ends, repaired and modified boards and even made our own racing fins. So I feel like I know a little more about how windsurfing gear goes fast as a result of putting the pieces together (or back together) in the garage before I go sailing (and then breaking it). I don’t know everything yet however, so hopefully people will come onboard and start some discussions to fill the voids.

Active participation is encouraged and I hope that everyone who reads these articles will post a comment and contribute to making the articles better. Everything I write will be researched, but seeing as hardly any of the things I want to write about exist anywhere in print, a lot will be from personal experience – so get on board and critique and help us all get better at going around the course faster…

Imagine one-day that a book as legendary as High Performance Sailing existed specifically for windsurfing?! Admittedly, most of what Bethwaite writes can be applied to windsurfers (and I will reference the ideas I have taken personally from the book as much as I can here), but a lot of ideas about trim and boat setup can’t be, so in that imaginary book’s abscence, this will have to suffice. Hopefully others will cotton-on to the gap in the market and start weblogs like this one in their own areas of windsurfing expertise.

Enjoy.

Join the discussion 16 Comments

  • theo says:

    Looking forward to reading the articles. I’ve added this website to my rss reader.

  • darwinsurfer says:

    Great Job, the best windsurfing discussion website I’ve seen so far ( and the only one I constantly visit). Keep the Good Work.
    Darwin Santos
    La Vega, Dominican Republic.

  • changer says:

    Hi Sean, good to hear from you. good luck with this project.

  • Alidd says:

    *OMG! I love this current template of yours… isnt there any for me to get it?

  • Varla says:

    Wow, there really isn’t anything like this around for windsurfing. will be interesting to see how it progresses. Hopefully more tutorials, as i think its a good idea to have something for the more advanced people and not just the beginners. Maybe you could write something Sean about getting sponsorship in windsurfing, you seem to do ok without winning the world championships (yet!).

  • Sean OBrien says:

    @ Alidd – not a chance! This website is my own custom design, I don’t think I’d ever release a template of it out into the market (unless I changed the design of the website).

    @ Varla – that’s not a bad idea about the sponsorship. I recently was a guest speaker at a inspiration dinner for Youth Sailors in my home town where I spoke about self-promotion, sponsorship techniques and marketing so maybe I could write some of those ideas down in an article.

  • JW says:

    Great initiative, hands together!!

  • rob132 says:

    Gday Sean,

    Great website, content and design. Sites like these are essential for the longevity of professional windsurfing.

    I love the technical and development aspect to sailing and have enjoyed reading the articles so far. I was lucky enough to have chatted with Frank Bethwaite back when I sailed an NS14 as a kid many years ago. All the books mentioned bring back heaps of memories.
    For what it’s worth, I would love to one day see Raceboard tech. info (longboards) included in Carbon Suger.

    Cheers

    Cheers.

  • Sean OBrien says:

    @ rob132 – I have personally never met THE Frank Bethwaite, but I have had a chance to meet his children (Nicky & Mark) through my short stint in the Australian Olympic Squad for RS:X last year.

    I’m probably not the person to be saying anything about raceboards as I have never sailed one. I grew up in the wrong part of the world for raceboards and by the time I was interested in course racing at a young age, Formula 42 was on its way out and when the first "wider" boards arrived which later translated to formula boards I was hooked and (apart from the RSX) never saw the need to ride a centreboard.

    I’m hoping that what I’ve started here might encourage others to start something exactly like this. In fact, I’d love it if people copied my idea completely … I can only write so many articles (1 a week I am aiming at) and still try to windsurf, learn, travel and have a life but if others were writing their ideas down also, then there would be more to go around…

    Hey, you don’t have to be a world champion to understand how gear works, you don’t even have to be ‘correct’ in what you say, just give your opinion and others will comment/correct and it goes from there…

    Thanks for reading.

  • Smithy says:

    Great job Sean! keep it coming!

  • Nick Icke GBR 139 says:

    Hi Sean

    Having combed the web for years looking for useful info on formula racing, techniques, gear and other related issue’s with no success, i had begun to give up hope of ever finding the indepth knowlegde i’d been so long seeking until one day i stumbled upon !!!CARBON SUGAR!!!

    My prayers have been answered!

    To date i have spread the word to my fellow team riders here in the U.K, close friend 9 times british formula champion Keith atkinson (who thought the site was great and a breath of fresh air) i’m sure he’ll be in touch soon, the guys at tushingham sails U.K, Mark Minter From Thommen Boards/Spartan wet suits U.K, My Sponsor Rob at Skisurf.

    Now i plan to spread the word via the UKWA website so hopefully other racers like myself can benefit from this great concept and see also that this website is truly straight out of the top drawer.

    well done Sean, Back of the net mate

  • Sean OBrien says:

    @ Nick GBR 139 – cheers!

    Great to see you found the site and are enjoying it. I know Keith well, but haven’t seen him on the tour for a while (thought he might’ve dropped off the map) …

    Was hoping to catch up with a few of the UK guys at the WhiteAir FW last season but not too many showed up :-/

    Thanks for reading 😉

  • 888 says:

    Awesome site! keep it up.

  • Keith says:

    hi Sean, hows it going mate. Nice thing youve got going here. very indepth. Hope alls well for you. my emails keith@keithatkinson.com. let me know if your coming to sunny UK again. 🙂

  • Jeba says:

    really odd layout for a surfing site ??

  • Sean OBrien says:

    @ Jeba – really?!

    I think its kinda cool. I made it a blog so its easy to navigate and relatively simple for people to find the information and older articles even if they aren’t fully ‘techy’ people.

    What do you think about it is odd?

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