How did you get good?

Chat about stuff that doesn't fall into the other categories here.
abitwindy
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Re: How did you get good?

Post by abitwindy » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:30 pm

Thats good advice pk, unfortunately i won't be getting away sailing as i used my free week pass snowboarding.

I have gone through phases of studying manoeuvres and even rigging up in the garden , but that soon wears off :lol: .
Im going to make more of an effort this year as i should have a bit more time, im not talking about being a wave god of freestyle master just want to nail my turning and get some more air time.

Ive got some kit decisions to make now!

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BTB
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Re: How did you get good?

Post by BTB » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:00 am

I would echo a few things here.

Firstly i'm not good anymore (assuming i ever was). But the times when my sailing jumped on were when i could sail every day. Holidays as a kid. 2 weeks in turkey when i was about 15 transformed me from someone who couldn't waterstart and was struggling on my new short board to nailing waterstarts mastering the board and generally being a decent sailor as oposed to someone who was just beyond a beginner.

I'd also echo that location is a huge factor. I mostly sail in waves now and at times you feel like you are not learnin anything but there is only one way to sail well in choppy onshore waves and that is practice. However core skills should be nailed on flat water. I sailed at west kirby a lot years ago and you can learn so much when you take the chop and small swell out of it.

Last thing that is worth a mention is kit. I spent a lot of time learning on the wrong gear. (Early 90's most of us were on the wrong gear). Dont get caught up in the marketing hype and use kit that is easy to get on with. Definitley try smaller boards before you make a big jump down in volume and dont think about cammed sails if your still improving / nothing stunts progress as much as a board you cant sail or a rig that you can't throw about.

PK1111
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Re: How did you get good?

Post by PK1111 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:29 pm

You dont have to go abroad to get good learning conditions, but boy it does help!
I’d flag Egypt for flat water skills work, and the canaries for waves, esp Tenerife and Lanzarote.

Flat smooth water can be found depending on tide.
My favourite is Hayling Island at low tide, but mind the danglers.
Cross offshore conditions can be great, eg North Kent cost in a south westerly.
If you want to progress more in waves, then softer locations such as Camber Sands and Saunton are great.
You can also find your gibes and tacks improve there as the water between waves can be very smooth.
There’s no feeling like hammering into a smooth inside strap to strap gybe and then boosting a big jump!

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BillG
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Re: How did you get good?

Post by BillG » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:46 pm

What PK says. Also try to sail in waves on both tacks. I've had 3 week holidays on Tiree for years and always manage to sail on both tacks in on shore, cross shore even off shore, waves and flat water. I always feel like I've improved when I come home (probably an illusion but I feel better anyway).

JackF
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Re: How did you get good?

Post by JackF » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:39 pm

For me it was a shift in mindset, in combination with time on water, that's helped me progress. I had plateaued for a long time and was getting quite bored of just grooveriding. Last summer I bought a helmet and made the decision to start chucking myself into moves. I reckon I made more progress in those few months than I had in the last 5 years.

Smidge
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Re: How did you get good?

Post by Smidge » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:20 pm

An interesting point I picked up talking to people at Vass is that many of the young freestyle windsurfers there just skip the gybe altogether. They learn to water start, plane, and then go straight to vulcans. Perfecting the gybe and fast tack is hard - and not cool enough for them.

I wouldnt go that far but what im trying to illustrate is that getting hung up on acheiving gybing perfection before thinking you ar any good and moving on to the more interesting stuff is a dead end for many a windsurfer. I did my first gybe 23 years ago shortly before kids and they are still not pretty (gybes not the kids) and only get to 50% on a small board in bumpy conditions. But I have moved on - when the conditions are right Im learning flat water loops and Im learning (slowly) to wave sail at easier locations like Hayling and Avon. I also learned to duck gybe a few years ago which was awesome.

For me, what really picked it up after kids absorbed all our time was starting to go to Vass every year. Its a huge expense so not for everyone, but having some serious tuition for a week or two every year, somewhere warm where you can get out most days to practice it - and where the kids are having a great time so you dont need to worry about them - is fantastic. If you can afford it some sort of high quality tuition at least once a year is well worth it. We were self taught for 15 years and developed no end of bad habits and lacked inspiratio - we would have benefitted hugely from regular clinics.

billyboy
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Re: How did you get good?

Post by billyboy » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:33 pm

My windsurfing has always been a bit start-stop. I learnt in my mid-late teens, progressing quite quickly like you do at that age! Once I was sailing wave kit (still not really a wavesailor due to coming from Suffolk!) I went travelling, sailing in Victoria in Oz (not the best season so not loads of TOW) and perhaps most significantly Maui. On maui I sailed 28 days out of 30 on 4m or 4.5m - that really got me comfortable high wind sailing (but not waves as it was compleeeetly flat!) and has probably set me up for the next 30 years!! Since then I have sailed waves more and learnt to surf and SUP in waves - the latter both helping immensely with my waveriding. However, since that 28 out of 30 day period on maui I have always struggled for TOW, with bad luck on holidays and living inland taking its toll. I worked from home for a few years which got me 20-30 sessions a year - this combined with advances in kit got me a bit better, as did sailing at Hove in the summer where you actually do get waves compared to most other spots along the south coast! More recently I'm back working in an office and down to 10-20 sessions a year - barely enough to tread water :(. If we get a windy summer I am hoping to progress again (I have a freestyle board and my eyes on a flaka!), but another summer like last year and I will hardly sail - winter just doesn't have enough daylight to fit in windsurfing very often...

So, in summary, if you want to get better you need to go windsurfing a lot!

Asle
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Re: How did you get good?

Post by Asle » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:14 pm

How did I learn and how fast did I learn?

Best tip is to sail a lot. I started when I was 15. The first summer I had four weeks where I sailed every day for five six hours, so probably over 150 hours in four weeks. It was at a very crappy spot where the wind was gusty and could change direction 180 degrees and also go away in seconds. I was on a board with a dagger. I learnt to read the wind, I learnt to tack and gybe non planing and I learnt to go upwind and downwind. I even did my first planing runs there. Then I bought a small board which I in the start was not able to up haul and I was forced to learn the water start and I also vent out in waves for the first sessions with that board. I was never afraid and my thinking was that it was impossible to hurt myself as it was only water. I learnt the waterstart the first session on that board and I did my first planing gybe in the fifth. I could never done that without all the intensive sailing on the bigger board.

In adition to all this I did a lot of studying of moves and did them at home on the floor of my bedroom again and again and again.

My tip is to use a lot of time making the moves on wand off water. You have to understand the moves and to do a lot of movements so the brain and the body create muscle memmory. Hard work and never giving up pays of. I think the most fun thing in windsurfing is to learn new moves. I need to sail a lot in a period to do that. Periods where I do not sail a lot I easy fall into old habbits and it can even feel dull. I have sailed for 35 years and I am still learn new things when I get to sail more. Seasons where I only sail 20-30 sessions due to family, worrk and othe comitments I do not learn new things. Seasons where I sail a lot and also go out in light wind with a big board and a small sail to practice sail mover and other moves I learn the most. I never go to a spot without sailing. Even when it is only 3-4 knots I do some sailing either on my freestyle board or on my big 150 liters/ 75 cm old RRD Evo 360 with a 20 cm fin and my 4.8 freestyle sail. Spending a lot of time doing that my sailing on my freestyle or wave board in stronger wind afterwards always develops furhter.

Point is, the more you put into your sailing the better you get. The more you challange yourself the better you get. The more you try to understand what is going on with a move the better you get. The more I sail the more fun I have.

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BTB
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Re: How did you get good?

Post by BTB » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:37 pm

Asle wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:14 pm
How did I learn and how fast did I learn?

Best tip is to sail a lot. I started when I was 15. The first summer I had four weeks where I sailed every day for five six hours, so probably over 150 hours in four weeks. It was at a very crappy spot where the wind was gusty and could change direction 180 degrees and also go away in seconds. I was on a board with a dagger. I learnt to read the wind, I learnt to tack and gybe non planing and I learnt to go upwind and downwind. I even did my first planing runs there. Then I bought a small board which I in the start was not able to up haul and I was forced to learn the water start and I also vent out in waves for the first sessions with that board. I was never afraid and my thinking was that it was impossible to hurt myself as it was only water. I learnt the waterstart the first session on that board and I did my first planing gybe in the fifth. I could never done that without all the intensive sailing on the bigger board.

In adition to all this I did a lot of studying of moves and did them at home on the floor of my bedroom again and again and again.

My tip is to use a lot of time making the moves on wand off water. You have to understand the moves and to do a lot of movements so the brain and the body create muscle memmory. Hard work and never giving up pays of. I think the most fun thing in windsurfing is to learn new moves. I need to sail a lot in a period to do that. Periods where I do not sail a lot I easy fall into old habbits and it can even feel dull. I have sailed for 35 years and I am still learn new things when I get to sail more. Seasons where I only sail 20-30 sessions due to family, worrk and othe comitments I do not learn new things. Seasons where I sail a lot and also go out in light wind with a big board and a small sail to practice sail mover and other moves I learn the most. I never go to a spot without sailing. Even when it is only 3-4 knots I do some sailing either on my freestyle board or on my big 150 liters/ 75 cm old RRD Evo 360 with a 20 cm fin and my 4.8 freestyle sail. Spending a lot of time doing that my sailing on my freestyle or wave board in stronger wind afterwards always develops furhter.

Point is, the more you put into your sailing the better you get. The more you challange yourself the better you get. The more you try to understand what is going on with a move the better you get. The more I sail the more fun I have.
Re working moves out. If you have to look at the boom or your feet at any time you are not doing something well. Gybing is a classic example where you watch people who have nailed gypes and they are always looking head up and past the mast to where they are headed and where they will exit the turn. Same with tacks - look at the sail or your feet and your in. You have to have the movements locked down so you can keep the head up.

DaveMac
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Re: How did you get good?

Post by DaveMac » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:07 pm

abitwindy wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:38 pm
Hi Judging from a lot of the posts on here most of you guys are at a very good level of sailing.
Ive been windsurfing for ten years now and still not gybing very well (inside only about 50 percent), tacks are ok on bigger boards.
In that ten years I've moved house three times, had three kids and started a business.(also kite surfed for two of those years).
This is the year for me to try and progress , the last move has landed me across the road from the beach.

So im guessing that most of you have had years of windsurfing pre children or just are super wealthy with flexible jobs? ;)
Sounds like you have been busy!
It is really difficult to progress if it is just an acheivement to be able to get to the beach and go windsurfing at all. Partly I am just pleased I can still get out there and blast about. I probably plateaued about 15-20 years ago, since then all my improvements are assoiated with better kit and how much sailing I get. My holy grail is the duck gybe. It's not going to happen unless I get the time tuition and location. But I still try the odd one when things are going well. Time on the water with the right kit is the key. No-one has mentioned fitness though, perhaps it is obvious but if you are knackered after 30 minutes you have a problem! Reckon you already know that though.

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