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PeconicPuffin



Joined: 07 Jun 2004
Posts: 1730

PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I respectfully disagree with much of what you've written.
swchandler wrote:


The fact that you already know how to sail will be an unquestionable asset


Not very much. I sailed before I windsurfed and while I liked to flatter myself into thinking that my sailing knowledge mattered, it barely came into play when learning the basics.

swchandler wrote:
you can save a chunk of pocketbook by passing on the lessons, especially if there's some expenditure involved in traveling and lodging associated with taking them.


And many people will tell you that lessons are the best value you can get for your money in windsurfing. I certainly believe that.


swchandler wrote:
I would recommend taking a period of time, like a few months, to see how well you pick up the sport. If you are totally committed to being a windsurfer, and it's not just a passing fancy, you have an excellent chance of success. If it ultimately turns out that the difficulty of learning becomes too much of a problem, you can always elect to seek lessons to help break through your barriers.


I don't totally disagree with this, though I think you run the risk of missing out on windsurfing by concluding it was a passing fancy if you have a hard time at the outset.

swchandler wrote:
Unless lessons are offered at your local venues, it's very unlikely that lessons will teach you much about your local scene and the practical dos and don'ts that might apply.


I completely disagree. What you learn in lessons anywhere will apply at your local spot. As for finding out the local dos and don'ts, even expert windsurfers ask the locals before launching what they need to know (currents, tides, hidden rocks, surprise water traffic etc)

swchandler wrote:
If you can get past the basic rudimentary beginner stages, you'll be totally addicted.


That's true. Take lessons to get you there faster. Lessons will take years off of your learning curve.

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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 2777

PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevenbard wrote:
Coach, Where is csus? When do you give lessons?

When I come up to visit my son would love to take a lesson. (And you'll then want to recruit him to play football instead Smile )


http://www.csusaquaticcenter.com/

Just east of Sacramento, CA near the town of Folsom.

Coachg
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 9491

PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While you might disagree Michael, I'm proof that lessons aren't required.

"What you learn in lessons anywhere will apply at your local spot."

Now, I have my shot at disagreement. I don't know where you windsurf, but I can tell you that the places I windsurf are vastly different, with each offering a different set of challenges. Simply learning the rudimentary basics of windsurfing at most venues that offer lessons provides almost nothing in the way of the important information and details needed at real world venues. All that comes with experience, and communicating with locals is invaluable in building a base of experience.

Lastly, I think that it's important to clear the air about lessons as the route to successfully becoming a windsurfer. That's simply hype, and often very far from the truth. I can't tell how many folks I've known that took lessons, sometimes many of them, and still never made the grade. To become a windsurfer, you really have to want to do it, and be prepared to suffer through some of the frustration and difficulty inherent in the process.

To make my point a bit clearer, I guess I can make the case that taking a class in school doesn't mean that you will like the experience, or ultimately excel in that subject or field. Like many situations in life, circumstances are often quite complex and not always easily packaged and achieved. Also, many things are best learned through the school of hard knocks. Some of the most successful folks are self made.
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 2777

PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swchandler,

The fact that you are a self taught windsurfer is very admirable. Iíve seen people teach themselves to play the guitar and become successful musicians. One of my assistant coaches is a self-taught golfer who regularly shoots in the low 80ís. There are, as you said, folks who are self-made successes. But I would guess those are the exceptions, not the rules.

You are correct that taking a class in anything is in no way a guarantee of success. I could take all the singing lessons in the world but I would still be at best a better bad singer. Itís a known fact that some people donít have the aptitude or desire to succeed in certain fields. Lord knows Iíve seen my share of kids who have played four or more years of football and still canít catch a football.

But in a sheer numbers game, if 100 people tried to learn windsurfing on their own with 1980ís gear and 100 people took lessons on modern gear, Iím guessing that a year later there would be far more people still sailing, and sailing better, from the group that took lessons on modern gear. So while encouraging someone to try on their own with old gear is by no means pure folly, the odds are that you will be sending them to their windsurfing doom.

Coachg
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 9491

PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I indicated in my first post, I was unable to see what the gear actually was, but I was aware that it was older stuff from earlier comments. Nevertheless, I do agree with you that someone new to the sport will likely progress much quicker with the newer gear, and that their potential success ratio would be much improved.

I have to say that when I bought my first rig in 1985, it was all brand new stuff, and far superior to the older gear available at the time. In all honesty, I think that improved my experience greatly. However, I was totally committed to becoming a windsurfer, and I was more than willing to suffer all frustration and difficulty to get there.

Needless to say though, not everyone at the onset of learning a sport wants to put down some serious pocketbook to buy the latest stuff. As a good balance under the circumstances, I think that moonie5961 could be better served by buying gear in the 8-10 year old range. Still very cheap overall, and it would incorporate many of the design themes associated with the latest gear.
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PeconicPuffin



Joined: 07 Jun 2004
Posts: 1730

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="swchandler"]While you might disagree Michael, I'm proof that lessons aren't required.

So am I. But if I could do it all over again I'd take lessons in a heartbeat. I've often imagined how much further ahead I'd be if I'd taken the lessons route. And I sail now with guys who in three years have learned what it took me eight or nine to get down. They probably would have succeeded without lessons, but having taken advantage of lessons they are now way ahead of where they'd otherwise be.

swchandler wrote:
I think that it's important to clear the air about lessons as the route to successfully becoming a windsurfer. That's simply hype, and often very far from the truth.


I think you are muddying the air, not clearing it. Lessons as the route to successfully becoming a windsurfer is not hype, it's the odds-on favorite. "Often very far from the truth"? The suggestion that competent instruction is an impediment to learning is nonsense.

Good for you that you had a successful experience learning without lessons. I got as far as planing in the footstraps and waterstarting and even a few ugly jibes without lessons. But there is no question at all that if you took 100 comparable people, gave half of them lessons and the other half none, the overwhelming majority of those who took lessons would be way, way ahead of those who were teaching themselves.

(at this point I'd like to say it's my intention just to disagree strongly and not get into pissing match territory. I think quality lessons are practically a silver bullet. You clearly do not. In any event, I'm done, for the moment at least.)

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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 9491

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The suggestion that competent instruction is an impediment to learning is nonsense."

Come on Michael, let's be honest here. I never suggested the above. I think you're spacing out a bit and making stuff up. My earlier point was very simple. Lessons don't necessarily produce interested and dedicated windsurfers. They aren't the silver bullet that many readily push and hype.

Overall, please remember that I clearly stated in my first post that "I have no real negatives to highlight about taking lessons". Many folks can benefit greatly from lessons, and I wouldn't want to suggest otherwise, but it's my position that they aren't a requirement. Some folks want to do it on their own, and I respect that because that's how I wanted to do it. I have no regrets, and I wouldn't have wanted to do it any differently.
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PeconicPuffin



Joined: 07 Jun 2004
Posts: 1730

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

swchandler wrote:
"The suggestion that competent instruction is an impediment to learning is nonsense."

Come on Michael, let's be honest here. I never suggested the above. I think you're spacing out a bit and making stuff up.


I'd howl with indignation at the suggestion that I was spacing out a bit, except that I was in fact quite jetlagged when I wrote it (plus whatever pill I took to get me to sleep through the flight may have lingered). So it's not entirely inconceivable that I wasn't at my best!

The comment of yours that got me going was "I think that it's important to clear the air about lessons as the route to successfully becoming a windsurfer. That's simply hype, and often very far from the truth. " Here is the my new response, following 7 hours of sleep:

"I believe lessons are the best route to successfully becoming a windsurfer. I believe there isn't a drop of hype in that statement, nor is it in any way, shape or form misleading."

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DanWeiss



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 2276
Location: Connecticut, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't resist a fight, so let me add my thoughts.

Lessons are not necessary. One can teach oneself to windsurf only by watching others do it, I suppose, but I don't know anyone who has learned in such a vacuum. At the very least, a person will read instructional articles, watch a movie and ask questions from other windsurfers. That's how I did it, well before I attempted my first uphaul.

Until 2003, I had never taken a lesson in my life -despite having taught hundreds of people to windsurf by that point. I figured that I should follow my own advice, so I signed up for one of Tinho's racing camps in preparation for that year's Midwinters. That camp produced great improvement in all aspects of my sailing, including correcting a flawed tack that I simply never diagnosed myself -although the advice I received was the same advice I gave when critiquing the technique of others. I worked very hard and managed my best finish in years given the competition.

It took me years to make my planing jibes with any consistency. Four years later, I taught people how to jibe in a few hours. How much farther could I have progressed if I was hitting my jibes in 1983 instead of 1988?

Lessons reduce the time required to progress onto more exciting parts of windsurfing. Better said, lessons allow the windsurfer to sail more fluidly at an earlier time. This creates for most windsurfers a draw to learn even more new things or simply to stay on the water for longer.

I fail to see how anyone can say with a straight face that decent, relevant instruction isn't sure to help everyone. Even young Robby Naish received instruction at the same time he was inventing new moves.

Given appropriate conditions and the right gear, plus a serious dose of intrepid-ness, just about anyone can teach themselves how to windsurf by merely watching others. It's simply not a question that real lessons will reduce the time it takes to reach the first stage of windsurfing (beam reach out, tack, beam reach back, return to place of departure) and establish the proper foundations for reaching the next stages much more quickly than trial and error.
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ctuna



Joined: 27 Jun 1995
Posts: 888
Location: Santa Cruz Ca

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 10:54 am    Post subject: Learning Windsurfing Reply with quote

Of all the sports I have tried Windsurfing is the most difficult to learn.
It requires both mental and some athletic ability . Skiing , Surfing , skateboarding and SUPing all far easier. Its equipment intensive. you need a few boards sail,masts booms and fins to cover all conditions. You need to be able to put your equipment together and tune it. You need to select the right equipment for the conditions. You can't directly see the wind the way you can a ski slope or wave. The techniques you use for going slow are different from the techniques you uses for going fast. If you can get a good instructor from the start it will greatly speed up your learning curve.
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