How did you get good?

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

Post by Smidge » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:44 am

What got me able to do rudimentary duck gybes (occasionally) is the tip "Bear away longer/deeper, duck sooner). So you turn onto a broad reach (120) at full speed, go into gybe initiation prep, get back hand as far back down boom as possible (and then udge a bit further during the duck if its a big sail), initiate carve and almost IMMEDIATELY duck the sail (if this doesnt work its because you didnt bear away enough or you ducked too late). Then you just need to make sure you continue to remember to carve the board around with your body weight/feet when you get to other side of the sail rather than being overwhelmed with shock like I usually am.

The trick is that if you are sailing on a deep broad reach then the timing of the duck is almost immediately after the carve starts (a second or less)- no thought required. Any other point of sailing means you have to have judgement about when to duck (and I dont).

Having someone who really knows what they are doing follow you in and shout "Deeper" and "NOW" can also help!

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Re: How did you get good?

Post by DaveMac » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:26 pm

Cheers chaps! What with duck gybing and a new body no-one will know me! :lol:

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Re: How did you get good?

Post by PK1111 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:11 pm

Good comments from smidge on duck gibing.
I find the key is going into it really fast, so that as you bear away, the apparent wind from the front, takes over from the direct wind from over your shoulder.
That’s When you throw the rig forward and to leeward, it back winds and the throw of the back end of the boom equalises pressure so the sail floats back into your hands.
Miss that moment and the direct wind reassert itself and you’re in trouble!
If the front of the sail gets whipped out of your hands, you need to just pull the boom back in front of you and hope you can hang on.
Following someone proficient and copying can work wonders.

So it’s much easier with a fsw board and medium sized sails.
Slower wave boards in higher winds are much tougher.
Good luck.

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Re: How did you get good?

Post by FiveOh » Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:36 pm

Good Q.

I’m not as good as some of my friends who have been sailing for far fewer years than me but much better than some friends who have been sailing far longer......

... The main difference is 1) TOW, 2) A willingness to try new things.

And 2) is far away the most important.

Some friends had huge amounts of time on the water by virtue of their choices of where to live, but their unwillingness to try new things meant that they eventually got bored and became kite surfers.

Welcome back to the light side!

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Re: How did you get good?

Post by Screamer » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:09 am

Excellent advice in every single post.

I live inland, sail on a river 20-30 sessions per season, I very rarely go to somewhere warm and consistently windy. To answer your question, I never got really good, but I am confident on small kit in ugly confused chop. I make 95+% of dry gybes, on a good day lot of them planing.
As said, tow is key. If you want more of it, you have to organize your life around wind (this sound extreme to most normal people I know). If that is quality tow, with tuition, even better. But even showing up on a miserable cold day for a grooveriding session with a mate or two, puts a grin on my face, so don't beat yourself up if it's not all progress all the time. When a forecast appears, I have a small checklist:
1. Is it Mrs. Screamer's birthday?
2. Is it our son's birthday?
3. Did somebody died and we have to attend a funeral?
If all the answers are "no" than I'm off sailing (I have a flexible job, that helped a lot during past 20 years)

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Re: How did you get good?

Post by Olly808 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:42 pm

I improved a lot in the last 10 years by doing a lot of what has already been mentioned and a few more...
My top tip is not to waste time (and money) on big sails trying to get planing in less than force 5. Light wind freestyle is the fastest way to improve. Get trictionary and set yourself targets whenever you sail.

When the wind is blowing, sail in different places and seek out flat water from time to time as it’s pretty hard to get better (at anything other than jumping) in bump and jump conditions until you can tack and gybe properly on flat water.

Sailing frequently helps of course but sailing infrequently is often an excuse more than a real reason.

And yes, coaching works wonders.

Good luck. For an average sailor there is no reason you can’t keep improving even after middle age if you do it right.

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Re: How did you get good?

Post by deckchair » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:43 am

challenges . it is such hard sport to improve in and that for me is the attraction. You see anybody who is good when you windsurf and you know they have put in a lot of hard work and time in order to be at that level. This has kept me going to the beach for twenty odd years. The first challenge water starting in a gravel pit on a cold winters day. The latest challenge being foiling . No kids and we have been lucky that we have travelled to some of the most beautiful parts of this world just to windsurf. i have a normal job where i am stuck in the office looking at the trees blowing outside . Of course the Mrs is a much better windsurfer than me :D

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Re: How did you get good?

Post by Stev-0 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:13 am

I started my passion for windsurfing when I was 11 in New Zealand and when I was 22 after finishing university I went to live in Maui and for a year. I was sailing Ho'okipa and the other spots in the winter when the swell was good. That was nearly 30 years ago and that time was amazing. I moved to London in my late 20-s and discovered the southcoast windsurfing scene in my mid-30s and got the wavesailing bug back.The funny thing is that I was wavesailing and looping better at 40 than I was at 22 due to the equipment improvements. I am back in Auckland, NZ - which sucks for wavesailing as not consistent at all and now I am a mild-mannered-middle-aged-marketing-manager with a young family so time and energy are at an all time low. Foiling had been a revelation and a total game changer as I live near the beach and there is a strong foil race scene emerging so getting into that and learning a new sport. I still love wavesailling and that is my first love but I only get a few good DTL sessions a year when I go to Taranaki.

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Re: How did you get good?

Post by Ola H. » Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:01 pm

Good question!

I started windsurfing at 10 at my parents summer house on old big gear. The lake in question must be some of the worst possible paces for windsurfing because of the regular 90 degree wind shifts. The gear was also super heavy and I was small and not very strong. These two negative I think was quite formative, because I learnt be super sensitive to what the wind is doing though both looking around and using feedback from the sail and I learnt to let the wind do as much as possible of the job for me when handling the sail.

A leter formative period was when I started to sail on small boards in the ocean (as well as on lakes). Then I was often on very very small boards and from that I learned to be effective.

Most of my wave riding skills, or rathter style, I think comes from sailing a lot in quite bad conditions but still being almost 100% dedicated to wave riding. I think also this taught me a lot about gear handling and making the board turn tight and hit the right spots also when conditions really didn't allow.

It was quite late (at 32) when I finally got to Maui and experienced very good conditions. Before that it was Sweden all the way, plus a few visits to Portugal. But another important thing as that I early found out what was my style. I wanted to go vert and kind of hit the lip from under and then kind of flow out with the lip. It was probably luck when I did it first in Portugal 1997, but that was such an aha moment so from then I pretty much always aimed for that and I think this has given me a certain way to view waves that in particular on smaller conditions defines a lot of my sailing (and making small stuff look good I reckon is the best aspect of my sailing).

I also designed my own boards from 1990 or so and I think trying to design boards that allowed me to do what I wanted has also forced me to think a lot about how wave sailing works and that has also helped me improve. At 49, I think I'm still improving in fact.

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Re: How did you get good?

Post by Harryo » Fri May 10, 2019 9:26 am

DaveMac wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:26 pm
Cheers chaps! What with duck gybing and a new body no-one will know me! :lol:
I’ll throw in ‘vision’.
As for reg gybe look out of the turn to where you want to go, not at the rig.
When you duck keep your eyes and your head pointing to where the clew has just been - out of the turn. Let your new front hand find the boom on its own.

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