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johnl



Joined: 05 Jun 1994
Posts: 1160
Location: Hood River OR

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm    Post subject: Does this sound like you? Reply with quote

Well it's too calm around here so I'll fire things up a tad Smile I'm sure there are people out there who have sailed hundreds of boards for thousands of hours and have driven millions of miles to windsurf who will probably disagree with this, but what the heck....

Here is an observation of watching intermediate level windsurfers in the gorge. This is a SHARED observation by the windsurf instructors of the gorge (you know people who spend 3 - 6 days a week all day long trying to help people improve as windsurfers).

You might call this "why things go wrong" or maybe "why we teach this way"......

1. Women unfortuantely seem to be victims of this more than men. Probably because their SO rigged their gear Shocked

2. You watch them go out to waterstart to sail. It's up and down winds (you know intermediate locations) and they put both their feet up on the board to waterstart. Then they sit and hang there till a GFG (Gust from God) comes and picks them up. Some stay up, some don't.

3. Instead of veering off the wind in a gust or chop, they continue to pinch up wind trying to get on a plane while others around them take off.

4. Once on a plane they feel like they are overpowered. So instead of going on a beam reach, they pinch upwind on a close reach to bleed off the power of the sail.

5. Now that they are on a close reach it's REAL choppy out there. After all they are slamming into each row of chop one after the other as they pinch up against the wind.

6. Now it's time for the jibe. But they are overpowered and nervous when they start their turn. The wind speed is much greater than their speed, so then lean back, open up the sail and hold on killing all forward speed. They come to the turn point and flip their sail. Some stay dry, some don't.

They then return to Step #3 to try sailing back......

Does this sound like you? Or people you have seen? Here are some suggestions.....

1. Women, don't listen to the men, rig the smaller sail like you wanted to....

2. Learn to waterstart with the backfoot only on the board. Learn to properly angle the board across the wind. Learn to power up the sail by moving it up and forward. Once you do this, you won't need a GFG to get up... (maybe a waterstart tuneup lesson is needed)

3. Learn to watch the wind and water, looking for that small gust or chop to turn off the wind with and get onto a plane. Learn to be effective USING your sail, not just hanging onto it till it pulls you along.

4. Once you learn to do #2 and #3, you will find you may not need the larger sail. This will allow you to get on a smaller sail, and sail on a beam reach and enjoy a reduced chop ride....

5. Hmm, less chop now, maybe I don't need to spend $$$ for a new board....

6. Jibing, if you want to plane through your jibes, the EASIEST way is a broad reach to a broad reach. Scary fast into the jibe, leaning INTO the turn (not leaning back and sinking the tail). Lots more to jibing than just this, but really being powered up with the RIGHT sized sail and entering the jibe from a broad reach and exiting to a broad reach makes the jibe so much easier....

Sorry for the long post, but after a summer of watching people doing this ALL DAY LONG without a clew of why they can't jibe or taking forever to waterstart, I couldn't resist. It all starts at the beginning. That and I've been sick and bored for a week, so I thought what the heck Cool

PS I don't have a spell check and I misspell words from time to time, so if that is all you get from this... piss off... Evil or Very Mad
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mikephillips2011



Joined: 09 Jun 2012
Posts: 32

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Does this sound like you? Reply with quote

Excellent post. It seems to me that all the sailing errors you point out all stem from one thing: Fear of Catapult.

It's kind of hard to convince a beginner/intermediate to not fear being capitulated. The fact is that it can be just damn intimidating and scary out there. It takes a lot of time on the water to gain confidence on a little board in the middle of a hurricane with giant breaking swell. In that situation, all your instincts tell you to slow down. That means turning upwind and as you pointed out, that's when all the trouble begins.
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mchaco1



Joined: 08 Sep 2010
Posts: 643

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I pinched up a lot when i was starting off in some of the more exciting spots, but the problem is that you end up upwind and have to get back downwind...which is a problem if you were giong upwind to avoid speed in the first place. After getting comfortable going fast I love the broad reaches and only pinch up to make up some upwind ground to be able to come back down. I think the best advice to anyone stuck at that point is to go to the hatch/maryhill/dougs, where your in over your head and you will get over that pretty quick Laughing
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noshuzbluz



Joined: 18 May 2000
Posts: 774

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the best instructional tool you can use is video. The light didn't come on for me and my buddies I think until we started taking video of our jibes. The main thing I remember seeing of me was that when I thought I had my knees bent and my weight forward I was still leaning back. The picture of what you feel like you're doing sometimes is vastly different than what you really are doing. I was so excited the first jibe I pulled off when we first started videoing but my buddy said "You're not gonna like what you see" I'm thinking What? I was foward and everything....NOT!
I still think, even though they're REALLY old instructional videos, that the Shortboard I and II videos from the Gorge are the best high wind instructional videos that I've ever seen. Everything from jibing to jumping in high wind and swells. Watched 'em every Saturday and Sunday morning before the rest of the family got up for about a year.....Good times, Good times!
Here's the videos I'm talking about. Anyone remember them?
http://www.sideoff.com/videos/inst_wsurf/gorge_video.html

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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2377

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha ha, good stuff....
Since you left Berkeley, I got this g/f who started windsurfing in 2010, late in the season, at the CalSailingClub.
She's currently riding mostly a Futura111. And sometimes L-8. Might seem big, but she get's off work at 5PM, not the strongest time of the day for wind here. She tried for months to waterstart with the backfoot first, including AndyBrandt, Cyndie, and Asma clinics I told her I, Sofien, Christian, Kevin, ChendaHerstus, and BrianBurke all waterstart with our FRONT foot aboard the deck.
After trying for 3 months, she relented and tried using the front foot on the board, just behind the mast track. Winds were 12, barely planable for Formula with 10's. She made her first 3 tries, albeit with some hanging time.
You see, different people do it differently. I did the speed trials circuit for 3 years, most buds in the 230 lbs range. Some 275 lbs. All put the front foot in first.
Andy. Yes, he teaches backfoot first. He's a good friend of mine, dating one of my very good friends for the last 3 years. I just don't believe him when he teaches waterstarts. And yes, Asma and Cyndie also taught only back foot on board waterstarts.
I haven't done one of those since I tore my medial collateral in my left knee in 1989!;
Us big heavy strong sailors need different techniques Very Happy Very Happy
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johnl



Joined: 05 Jun 1994
Posts: 1160
Location: Hood River OR

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zirtaeb wrote:
Ha ha, good stuff....
Since you left Berkeley, I got this g/f who started windsurfing in 2010, late in the season, at the CalSailingClub.
She's currently riding mostly a Futura111. And sometimes L-8. Might seem big, but she get's off work at 5PM, not the strongest time of the day for wind here. She tried for months to waterstart with the backfoot first, including AndyBrandt, Cyndie, and Asma clinics I told her I, Sofien, Christian, Kevin, ChendaHerstus, and BrianBurke all waterstart with our FRONT foot aboard the deck.
After trying for 3 months, she relented and tried using the front foot on the board, just behind the mast track. Winds were 12, barely planable for Formula with 10's. She made her first 3 tries, albeit with some hanging time.
You see, different people do it differently. I did the speed trials circuit for 3 years, most buds in the 230 lbs range. Some 275 lbs. All put the front foot in first.
Andy. Yes, he teaches backfoot first. He's a good friend of mine, dating one of my very good friends for the last 3 years. I just don't believe him when he teaches waterstarts. And yes, Asma and Cyndie also taught only back foot on board waterstarts.
I haven't done one of those since I tore my medial collateral in my left knee in 1989!;
Us big heavy strong sailors need different techniques Very Happy Very Happy


I actually learned front foot waterstarts and after a few ABK clinics really worked on changing to back foot waterstarts. It took me a while for the change, but EVERYTHING clicks better when doing it this way. You are able to rotate your body better up and onto the board easier which makes getting up when the wind is marginal much easier. Remember most people can get up when they are fully to overpowered. Watch the ones waterstarting in marginal conditions and see how they do it Smile

Now as to injury and/or flexibility problems, that changes everything. This summer I did something to my hamstring on my right leg. So I had to modify my waterstarts till it healed. It made teaching real interesting. I had to demonstrate going the opposite way with my left foot otherwise I was showing it incorrectly Smile

Oh yeah, if you think you have your waterstarts down, try them clew first. Then come talk to me Cool
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2377

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been doing jump jibes since late summer, 1984. Clew first waterstart each and every one. I haven't gotten the nerve to perfect WillySkippers, especially with my old, deck slippery boards.
I don't think there is ONE windsurfer over 215 lbs who always waterstarts with the backfoot on the board.
I competed in 4 years worth of Stroh's World Cup Slaloms in SanFrancisco. Always used front foot to waterstart after crashing mid pack.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14037

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never heard of waterstarting with only the FF on the deck.
1. How does one control board pointing angle with only the FF on the deck?
2. How does he roll his body forward to add a bit of momentum as he rises out of the water in marginal-wind water starts?
3. We extend our other leg down into the water to increase drag to increase apparent wind. Isn't that both less effective and in conflict with #2 if that's our back leg?
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2377

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are an old windsurfer, like me.
Remember FerrisHamilton? DaveLeahrs? FatDaveGould?, JeffBayles, BobBogdanovich? and a host of other's I forgot from the speed trials days late '80's thru early '90's, ALL used front foot at slog position just behind the mast track, kicking with the back foot that is underwater.
I already mentioned some modern guys.
How about RobWarwick? You know him, he's working up at your neck of the woods. He uses either foot, whichever is not injured.
Remember AndyBrandt's sub 5mph waterstart? Where you roll the board onto it's side towards you? You are in slog position, front leg in front of front straps first, while rear leg can go on then or wait after a couple of kicks.
LeeD, waterstarting with the front foot on the board in slog position since Sept, 1983. I didn't learn waterstarting by watching vids or taking lessons, just went out and did it my first week of windsurfing.
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DanWeiss



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 1930
Location: Connecticut, USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just out of curiosity, LeeD, why to you connect personal pronouns into a single word? Iwould truly liketoknow.
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