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Teaching new windsurfers.
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SeaDawg



Joined: 12 Sep 2002
Posts: 384

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:59 am    Post subject: Teaching new windsurfers. Reply with quote

In the next few days I'll be starting windsurfing lessons for some new sailors. My students will be a man and wife team. The woman a retired prfessonal figure skater and the husband a currant snowboard insturctor. Both are in their early 30's.

This is going to be fun. My boards of choice are my Kona One, and my 2000 era Tiga 291 79cm wide and 205 liters.

It's been along time since I started teaching a complete novice. I'll be interested in seeing which board works best foe learning.

Any thoughts?>
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d0uglass



Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 1250
Location: Bonita Springs, Florida

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They will probably both work fine, though the Tiga should be more stable for the first few steps because of the width. Make sure you pick a spot with as flat water and few obstacles as possible, and use really small sails in the 3 - 4 m range. And if you're using the Kona you'll need to put a much smaller fin on it, because it won't tack with a small sail and the big 46 cm fin.

I had mediocre results teaching windsurfing until I took the US sailing windsurfing instructor course, which took the things an experienced windsurfer does instinctively and broke them down into teachable chunks. I put some advice on a few grief-saving teaching techniques on my blog...

http://jimbodouglass.blogspot.com/2008/06/how-to-teach-windsurfing.html

#1 thing is teach how to tack before you teach how to sail, so the student will be able to come back to you.

-James
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SeaDawg



Joined: 12 Sep 2002
Posts: 384

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, the tacking thing. My knees are so creaky I have a hard time ececuting that manuver myself. I think I'll forward your blog to my students to review.

My smallest sail here at the cottage is a 4.5 wave sail. I was going to use a 6m for the husband and a 5m for the wife. Starting winds 5-10mph.

I'll have my chase boat so I can haul them back to shore.

I'm sure the uphaul splash uphaul routine will be a drag. I just don't remember anything fun about learning to windsurf.

Sailing venue, Southshore of eastern Lake Erie, where I started 33yrs ago.
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 2770

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For their first sail use a long rope-leash- so you can easily haul them back in until they can stay up wind.

Coachg
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 4570

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both are good athletes..........that can be a good and bad thing. Their physical ability, particularly balance, will be a great help.............but their expectations for progress will be high based on past athletic successes, so frustration may set in quickly. The first thing I always try to teach non sailors is to be aware of where the wind is coming from, and where the sail should be in relation to the wind. Second thing is how to uphaul with minimum effort...........that's where a huge amount of energy can be expended. The more stable platform would seem to be the best place to start. Good luck!
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d0uglass



Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 1250
Location: Bonita Springs, Florida

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good that you're teaching the "efficient uphaul" technique, since they'll definitely be doing a lot of that. Smile

I'd use the 4.5 for the wife and the 5.0 for the husband, even if the wind is super light.
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ccyne



Joined: 28 Aug 2006
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just taught someone this weekend fairly athletic mid 30's. Winds were less than 10 mph used a 4.0 on an aircraft carrier (Nash Kailua), that is really the only kind of board to be sucessful with in one short session...wider is better.

Did on land instruction showing uphaul, Let her do it... Did uphaul to neutral position, let her do it... Did uphaul, to neutral, to getting under way and sail steering and controling the power (hips in, straight arms 7 position), let her do it.... I finished up with and put special emphasis on the all important tack.

On the water we went through the exact same procedures. While she was practicing I stayed close enough to give instruction and to correct bad habits. Most common: bending at the waist, you really hate to tell a woman not to stick her butt out. However, hips in does make all the difference in being able to control the sail.

The water had some texture to it which i think is good. Very small swell/chop and an occasional boat wake. The reason I like a little texture is they get their sealegs faster. Some people I've seen and also taught on smooth water have a hard time transitioning to the texture. They have to think too much about balancing and can't remember what to do. In my experience if they are trying to do everything at once (balance and learn). After about 20 minutes or so instinct takes over the balancing part and they can concentrate on the instruction. Of course this is my opinion, there are limits and it wont work for everyone.

After three hours on the water she could do all the basics, sail upwind, downwind and tack. She could also sail through doubling up boat wakes ( which surprised me), wanted to go faster, can't wait to go again and was talking about buying equipment for herself.

Anyway just a brief rundown on what works for me. Hope it helps!

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Chris
http://outdrsmn.blogspot.com/
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19262

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe wrote:
The first thing I always try to teach non sailors is to be aware of where the wind is coming from, and where the sail should be in relation to the wind.


I've got to chuckle at that true statement: What would you do with/for a windsurfing student who is incapable of understanding wind itself, especially including wind direction? Our whole windsurfing school gave up and refunded her money when two days of attempts by half a dozen nationally certified instructors proved unable to establish any connection in her mind between "wind" and flags, clouds, tree leaves, tossed debris, luffed sails, billowing streamers, smoke, ripples, flickering flames, etc. To her, every occurrence was the will of God, or love, or random events; the most basic concepts of physics were beyond her ken. I'd guess she thought Newton was a fig, Da Vinci just wrote stupid novels, and that an = sign is implied in the term, "science fiction". I guess we should have advised her to buy a jet ski ... presuming she could fathom the connection between the throttle and the engine.

These days we'd just sideline her into kiting.

OK, THAT'S JUST A JOKE I COULDN'T PASS UP. Don't get yer board shorts in a bunch over it. Wink

Mike \m/
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capetonian



Joined: 11 Aug 2006
Posts: 1103
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="isobars"]
mrgybe wrote:
These days we'd just sideline her into kiting.



Current women's world champion?
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SeaDawg



Joined: 12 Sep 2002
Posts: 384

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a little surprised about the wider shorter board vs. the kona. I've taught lots of people to sail on my Laser.

I like the kona concept cause it's more like really sailing. Center board, steering with the sail( in displacement mode) Short wide boards sort of just crab sideways in learning wind.

Ah, I remember my 1st attemps back in 1978 on a Dufour I really hated it. Too, stubborn to quit though.....
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