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Chinook Waterstarter
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LHDR



Joined: 22 Jun 2007
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NickB wrote:

So what are the basics please? The "get into initial position" is a part that's pretty much left out of every waterstart educational video on the net (or please point me to any good self-help resource you know of)...

I also used to spend a lot of time swimming the rig around to get it to the "required" initital waterstart position. Instead, you can lift the sail easily from various board/sail orientations as shown in the nice youtube video. I also like this video by Jem Hall:
http://www.boardseekermag.com/technique/planing-through-lulls-086.html
-lhdr
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5699

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NickB,

No doubt, the videos that stevenbard and LHDR posted are worth a thousand words. They're exactly what was needed here. Of course, getting the clew on a much larger sail out of the water can make things a bit tougher, but the basics are still the same nonetheless.

The only thing I would highlight is getting everything into the right position prior to trying to clear the sail. In my experience, that's where much of the time and effort is, especially if the sail lands on the wrong side of the board. Still though, much less time and effort than uphauling.
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dhmark



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 211

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those videos are all shot in smooth off-shore high wind conditions with 5.5 or smaller sails, its easy for everybody in those conditions. The waterstarter of course will not teach you anything about waterstarting, it merely saves a bit of time and energy in getting the clew out of the water, which can get stuck sometimes in waves, current, less than optimal wind, waterlogged boom, large sails, etc, despite optimal positioning and technique. If it is viewed in that perspective, then it serves its purpose. For some people, this may make it worth it. dhmark
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BLARBR119w



Joined: 04 Mar 1998
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the same experiences as Nick B. As long as I can stand up, I can orient the board and sail into the correct position. As soon as I'm in deep water, everything I try fails. I get exhausted after trying a couple of times even wearing a PFD. Then I get worried about getting blown downwind or downcurrent (I sail at Sherman Island) and say screw it-and just uphaul. Of course uphauling in wind over 20 has it's own problems.

The boardseeker video helps explain what to do to get into position. But what do you when your sail ends up vertical in the water? In other words the clew is five feet underwater. I appreciate everyone's input.
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jingebritsen



Joined: 21 Aug 2002
Posts: 2378

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clew straight down is a bit of a bummer. Swim the mast upwind with patience. Try to keep the mast low. Otherwise it might catch the wind and dig down again. Same technique with clearling the clew. Keep the mast low to the water. Swim the sail into the wind until the clew clears. Position the sail for the deep water beach start....
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tyler4bu



Joined: 06 Jul 2009
Posts: 101
Location: Santa Barbara/San Diego

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in a similar position and have also been considering buying the waterstarter... Windsurfing in Santa Barbara and San Diego the only winds I can get are between 12 and 17 knots meaning a sail range between 6.2 and 8.5 (with the 8.5 happening quite a bit more often than the 6.2), would your guys' advice change to a new windsurfer trying to waterstart such large sails?
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*Matt*



Joined: 19 Mar 2008
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Practice in sallow water. Deeper and deeper beach starts. Neck deep then if you fail you can swim in the 10 feet and try again.

You are at the tip of the mast (or slightly above the boom). The mast is perpendicular to the wind. You simultaneously draw the mast towards the wind and lift your arm as high as possible out of the water. By drawing towards the wind the clew can not possibly go under water.

Now you work your way down to the boom. Put downforce on the universal to orient your board to beam reach, keep the mast low to the water to depower until you are ready. Then lift the boom high and forward to get power.

A couple tips that caused my break through (I learned last year):
1. I had to put my back hand much father back on the boom than I thought.
2. Do not put yourself right into the standing position, but into a catchers crouch, then stand up with your legs
3. Put the board under you and downwind by flexing your back leg as you are being lifted out of the water.

Good luck, find a video. Gear wont solve this.


Last edited by *Matt* on Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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einhorn



Joined: 03 Sep 2002
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IM(not so H)O, the first video mentioned was pretty worthless and wrong. As far as I could tell, the guy was standing in chest deep water. That's why he could just lift the sail up the way he did. Doesn't work like that in real life or real conditions.

I have seen good videos on waterstarting. They are more like 15 minutes than 15 seconds. The first problem is, as the writer figured out, that beginners use A LOT of energy getting into and trying to stay in position, and it only takes a couple seconds to get all messed up again. The second problem is, waterstarts are all about feel, and that's very hard to learn from a video, especially for a beginner. You can learn all sorts of pointers on jibes, tricks and other techniques from a video as you become a more accomplished sailor, and you may be able to improve a waterstart from a video, after you've been doing it awhile, but I really think trying to learn from a video will cause more frustration than it's worth.

Instead of offering a bunch of technical pointers, which probably wouldn't help much, I'll offer the one suggestion which I waited way to long to take when I began sailing: Take a waterstart lesson from a good, reputable, preferably registered instructor, and preferably a private one. Many schools and instructors will offer a "guaranteed" one-day waterstart lesson. After a year of struggling with waterstarts and too much contradictory advice from too many people and sources, I went out with a private instructor, who took me to his "secret" favorite place with good winds, good conditions and no crowds. Took about 2 hours to learn a perfect waterstart that works in almost all conditions. Well worth the cost! Rather than hours of frustration on the beach, and sore muscles from uphauling, I was up and sailing confidently in deep water and actually having fun. Within a couple days practicing, my waterstarts were easy, quick and effortless.

. . . OK, I can't resist. If you insist on torturing yourself by trying to learn on your own, here are my best pointers:
1) Wear a flotation device! I'm not talking a big orange thing, but something made for windsurfing. It will make it easier to lift the sail, protect against bruises, keep you from getting tired out, and may just save your life. (I switched to a combination kite harness flotation device years ago and I absolutely love it.
2) Difficulty flying the sail or burying the clew, especially in chop or current. -- From the water it is difficult to see how much water is on the sail. If there is any, as you lift the sail to runs to the clew and pushes it down. You have to go slow, and let the water run off first. In chop or current, you sometimes have to to up to the top of the sail and start with the tip. As you lift it, the water will drain off and you can work your way down the mast.
3) Put only your back foot on the board, let your front leg hang down and it will work like a giant fin. A two-footed waterstart is good for only two things: Really high wind, or butt sailing, which is handy when you're upwind, and the wind dies or is too strong for you. Just lie back, put both feet on the board, fly the sail, and you'll get blown straight downwind. . . which is why you don't use this technique in normal conditions.
4) Here's a subtle trick I learned from ABK school. Rather than putting your heel on the board, toes up, roll your foot so the outside of your foot is flat on the board. It will allow you to bend your knee and bring the board much closer to you, without requiring as much limberness.
5) You can drag the mast across the back of the board and balance the boom on the tail, which will make it much easier to drain the water, maneuver the board, fly the sail, and lift it up. If the boom is out past the end of the board, move your mast track forward or lower your boom. You don't need to be rigged perfectly for sailing. You're working on learning to get started.

Good luck.
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jingebritsen



Joined: 21 Aug 2002
Posts: 2378

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is turning into tons of words. Go find a budd to teach you for a sixer. I DO NOT start from the tip of the mast, even with ginormous Formula sails. If the board is too short to drag the boom across the tail, simply use the tail of the board as a float with your soon to be front arm. Grab the back strap for extra grip.

Push down on the tail, and pull the sail upwind. Keep the mast down low so the sail does not get caught by the wind and rip from your hands. Fly the sail, and then it's a really deep beach start from there....

Ironically, I'm sailing quite often in too light of winds to water start with my long board in the surf. No biggy, uphauling is easier in that light of wind anyway. But, when the wind is 10-20, dragging the boom across the back of the board makes this issue a snap.

Seen one fellow that just got a long board start doing the sail tip thing. Had to run down there and tell him he was really wasting his energy with the mast tip thing.

Main reason I don't like the water starter is it only delays the skillset for doing without one. And, it weighs lots when wet on the wrong side of the boom, and catches the water when doing transitions. A little technique makes this item a needless expense.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5699

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Come on guys, let's not make learning waterstarting tougher than it really is. The idea that you need to buy waterstarting lessons is a bit over the top. I taught myself to windsurfing without a single lesson, and with respect to learning to waterstart, I taught myself to do it in no more than an hour, if even that. After that I could always waterstart, because it kind of the same as learning to ride a bike. Once you get it, it's second nature.

Actually, I thought the videos were very clear. After letting the videos soak in, it's simply practice to hone your skills.
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