How things change windsurfing

DSCN1683 DSCN1869In my Windsurfing Learning Curve I have noticed a radical change in how I go about things when I started – what made me realize this was watching Anita last Sunday at Wellington Point.

My Stats atm:- Beach start 98%, Harness 90%, Water starts 20%, Planning often,

Anita Stats atm:- Beach starts .5%, no harness yet, water starts not yet (Anita struggles up hauling – maybe need to fast track the water starts), Planning – hasn’t experienced this awesome phenomena yet.

So what has changed – I get on the board (beach start or up haul) grab the pressure from the wind as something to hold onto,  push my front foot forward to transfer that pressure to the board,  hook into the harness looking forward and off I go most of the time on the Pacifico.  The Shark and the Kailuha are a different story – I am still a beginner on these boards.

Back then it was a scramble onto the board and pull the sail up simply trying to hold that balance.  One foot each side of the mast – learn to feel and hear the wind on the back of your ears.  As soon as the board starts to move everyone tells us to move our front foot behind the mast base — haha yeah right – that is not as easy as it sounds. Try and hold onto the sail and balance all at the same time. As a beginner this is not an easy task – it is something that is essential to learn.  Not a clue really on where to place your feet on the board or really where should I put my hands.  A natural balance mechanism in our minds has us with feet spread wide for balance front to back and hands the same on the boom.  That’s just so we can stay upright on the board instead of in the water.

Recently both Jack and Simon have explained the movement of weight and the difference it makes to the board (especially if you are a heavy weight like myself)  Not so crucial for light weights like Anita and Jaye, still important though.  This is the problem I am still having on the smaller boards – Simon says baby steps feet close together and small shuffles.  (what a difference this has made) and it is all about the weight transfer around the surface of the board. Makes sense.  But man, it is sooo hard to do that at first.  It seems as though 2 inches makes a difference if you have your back foot 2 inches (50mm) towards the rear of the board you will find the board tends up wind. Good when you are deliberately doing this to get up wind – but tough when no idea that it is a simple little movement of weight that is causing it.

I now have a better idea of how it all works.  What’s different now then, feet closer together about shoulder width perhaps a little less (trying for the foot straps).  Hands closer together about the same distance about two hands apart.  Hooked into the harness. Remember to push the boom/sail away so it doesn’t unhook.  Looking where you want to go.

We have had no sailing experience before and very little understanding of the wind which tends to make learning windsurfing, just that little bit harder.  But it is a lot of fun and so far my experience is that it is all worth it

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