I can only think of two sports in Newport Beach that are made better by heavy winds, and they’re practically the same sport: windsurfing and kiteboarding. With the winds kicking up this week into the 30 mph range, most outdoor sports are put on hold until the gentle breezes return.
Not only are there scraps of palm trees all over the streets, and trash circling above the ground in garbage tornadoes, but too much wind completely destroys the water condition for most ocean sports and beach games.
Try throwing a Frisbee to your friend in 25 mph winds and see where it ends up.
A few of my favorite sports are nearly when it’s this windy; golf, surfing, and basketball. The wind kind of creates a “timeout” because it simply ruins the experience.
Golf isn’t impossible to play in heavy winds, it’s just obnoxious.
Hitting into this kind of wind is usually an automatic two-club-up adjustment, and the opposite goes for hitting with the wind. Elevation change makes it even worse. For instance, when you’re standing on an elevated tee box on par-3 and hitting down to an open green 170 yards away, you normally might reach for your 6-iron, but into the wind you’re hitting a 4-iron and with it you could drop all the way down to an 8-iron.
When the wind is whipping sideways, across your shot, you have to hit your shot like a penalty shot in soccer and bend the shot so it lands back on the fairway. It’s very difficult to play in the wind, and takes a lot of practice.
Playing basketball, or even shooting some hoops by yourself, proves incredibly difficult when the wind is howling like this. Over the holiday weekend I tried to get in some time over on the courts at schoolyards (out front of Newport Elementary on the Peninsula) but the wind made every shot curve about 3-4 feet. Obviously you can play on an indoor court, but the wind takes away the ability to walk down the street and get a little exercise at the local hoop.
Surfing, skimboarding, and boogie boarding is also possible in the wind – it just makes for a completely unpleasant experience. The wind absolutely kills the shape of the waves and makes for small, mushy slop that hardly provide a decent ride at all. Not to mention sitting on your board waiting for waves when the wind is howling and your ears feel like they’re going to fall off.
Here’s a bonus sport that wind ruins, snowboarding. Sitting on a chairlift with snow pelting you is incredibly painful. Getting stuck on the chairlift when it stops because somebody fell at the exit point is also unpleasant to say the least. Needless to say at this point, I’m not a fan of the wind. Wind chill makes it colder out than it really is and I just want it to go away!
Next week, I take on rain!