Niagara Slick
By Brian Hopkins

My fellow windsurfers, I give you "Niagara Slick", soon to become a household icon, revered with the same awe as the Maid of The Mist, The Niagara Thunder and Niagara Dry. It’s a wondrous place located at beautiful Bowen Road Park, just 1 short mile north of the Peace Bridge.

Here, the Niagara Rivers runs deep and swift through a narrows, where constant upwelling of clear water crushes any attempts by the wind to create chop. Rigging a sail one meter larger than normal creates no problems, as speeding over glassy flat water does not impede endless acceleration… oops, just blew past warp 10.

Now imagine being hooked in, hiked out, sail raked flush to the deck. You are loose and free, streaking across this slick liquid surface. Approaching a huge lens-like upwelling, smooth and polished, the radius of this lens describes the arc of the best jibe in your near future. Just follow the jibe manual, step by step. You know the drill. Step out of the back strap, bank the board, crank your knees into the turn, pull down on the boom. It’s magic, the board carves so sweetly as the water gurgles along the rails. The sail rotates unchallenged and naturally (have confidence in these instructions). The boom is back in your hands, nothing goes wrong. It cannot, Niagara Slick prescribes the perfect jibes. The jibe is now history, the board screaming back towards Canada. The next jibe is racing towards you. Another lens, JIBE, JIBE, the command rings in your ears. Rail pressure, flex, mast base pressure, oops, you’re being pulled over the sail, inches from the watery surface. Magically, the sail rises, rotates, flowing to the opposite tack. Was that a laydown???? WOW….. MAN….YES!!!!!!

Did I mention that the Northwest wind opposes an ever-increasing river current? Well blow me down, folks, looks like, yes it is, another bonus. Does this mean that even after 20 to 30 jibes, the forces of water and wind become stalemated, cancelled, equal? Yessiree pardners. Perpetual Jibe Syndrome (PJS), never ending, faster, slicker, explosive, the ultimate flat water high wind experience on the planet. A gift to us from Niagara Slick.