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  1. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    The 'falling in the right way' is something I've been meaning to work on but you always seem to be concentrating on something else at the time. It would need to become automatic.

    My guess at what it means is to always fall in upwind of the board, so if you are going to err, try to err on the upwind side.

    When you are falling try to keep the rig flying - if you cant do that, on the way down try to flip it if necessary while its still out of the water to try to keep the mast upwind. I guess you would also not lean on it and try to leave it floating on the surface.

    I've never tried wearing an impact vest for extra floatation when windsurfing, but a close-fitting one might help.

    Bigger board smaller sail helps too. I find my 5.7 too big at times and the 5m is about the biggest I can pull over my head in one sweep most of the time.
    Last edited by boards_ronnie; 4th July 2012 at 09:22 AM.

  2. #16
    Senior Member /Vico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by basher View Post

    The important point I'm making is: when you're in the impact zone, the number of fins, graphics, labels on the board or its forum reputation have no bearing on what happens.
    No, basher. You are just being a prat again.
    It is what it is.

  3. #17
    Senior Member Silicon Beach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    El Médano, Tenerife
    na-omi, I think the most important factors in getting out of and getting used to the situation you describe in your initial post are fitness, stamina, and experience. There's a bit of a chicken-and-egg thing here though, because the only way to get these is by putting yourself in 'harm's way', in the situation itself and getting trashed until you acquire the fitness, stamina, and experience. You have already made massive steps in graduating from being an intermediate groove-rider to being a wave-sailor by putting yourself willingly into the impact zone situation, so you definitely have the most important thing: the cojones ! (well not literally, obviously).

    Of course you can get fit in less stressful ways, and this will definitely help in the impact zone, but the kind of stuff you have to do for you and kit to survive involves a certain kind of stamina that I think can only be gained by being / there and doing it. Of course, this is 100% true for the experience factor ... btw I use the word 'experience' rather than 'technique' because despite all the useful technique tips in the thread, it isn't like say learning to gybe - eg something that involves doing a finite number of small steps the right way, but this (surviving the impact zone) is more a matter of instinctively reacting to the rapidly changing environment. As Basher says, this becomes a non-thinking instinctive thing, relying on fitness, rather than something that you can learn on a forum.

    When we have high tide here I do a lot of windsurfing in a shore break with very gusty wind (often not enough to waterstart at all in the impact zone, as BillyBoy will testify) and I end up getting rinsed a lot. I can either not go into the waves and sail on the outside where the wind is clean, or I can decide to go into the surf zone and accept that I'll spend a fair proportion of the time swimming around getting rinsed. Because I want to try and ride the shorebreak waves I choose to go in there, so I've got very used to getting trashed in the shorebreak. This is actually very useful practise and impactzone-survival-fitness training. It's not dangerous because it's only a few metres from the beach, so the only thing in danger is the equipment (plus as you say, a bit of a walk back). I'll list a few of my personal tips re getting out of there, but as I say, I think the main thing is getting used to being rinsed, relaxing about it and getting the fitness / stamina necessary to get yourself out. Getting rinsed is absolutely bloody exhausting though !

    So, my tips (apologies if I'm duplicating stuff already posted) ... while you're getting rinsed, get the tip of the mast pointing into the wave (ie NOT towards the beach) and bury the rig under the water - if necessary by lying on top of it. Duck dive the rig into each breaking wave and be patient. Don't try and get the rig up until you can see smaller waves coming. Don't panic - Try and relax and breath calmly, so that your heart rate stays low enough to be able to water-start away when the time is right. As surf breaks over you, try and keep hold of the boom and the mast (one hand on each), and just be patient - even if this means getting rinsed back to beach in unrelenting shorebreak, current, lack of wind etc. At least you and the kit will be in one piece to walk back up wind and try again.

    Tactics-wise, as the others have said, you can always just not get into this situation in the first place by staying upwind, and out the back where the wind is clean, and making sure that you take a big enough board and sail to make that easy.
    Currently writing the World's first Windsurfing Novel: 'Too Close to the Wind' - watch this space!
    ps check out my musings from El Medano: Life on the Reef
    Boards: Quatro Supermini Thrusters: 94 & 85
    Sails: Severne Blades.

  4. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    I should really upload the video of me... in cape town... at sunset beach... that will tell you exactly what not to do. I was a bit keen on getting a GoPro ..... it only led to 2 weeks of constant ribbing.

    A couple of pennies worth - if your getting tired and the heart rates high - just head inshore ASAP as once you finally do get up you're too knackered and then just fall at the first hurdle and repeat... for 45 minutes if you're me!
    Don't swear at your kit, it only makes things worse.
    Maybe practice finding the quickest way to get back up from all your drops - i.e. if you drop it out back and its clew first -try clew first etc.

  5. #19
    Super Moderator Arf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by willmort View Post
    I should really upload the video of me... in cape town... at sunset beach...
    Please please please pretty please!!
    * -Scourge of the Seven Seas-*

  6. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    First is choosing your battle ground. Southbourne can be mean. Avon, just round the corner is far more sedate and easier to manage, if in doubt don’t go out!

    My main tip is the same as SBs i.e. not to panic. Conserve your energy, breath when you can, get under the waves give yourself time to figure out your mess.

    I heard something on the radio today which was 'people should procrastinate more'. Your case is actually a good example where a little more thinking might be beneficial. I am not talking eons, more thinking through where you want to be and what is going to be the safest quickest way to do it.

    Take a moment and think through what you need to do, take a few waves on the head if necessary, you are unlikely to be in any real danger.

    Your main target is to get your sail up and out the water, once you have, get on the board in what ever manor you can – nose first, clew first in to shore, out to sea, it doesn’t really matter as long as you are moving out of the impact zone.

    Sometimes swimming your kit out of the impact zone and doing a walk of shame might actually be a better option than trying to sail out of the situation especially if you are getting tired and need air.

    Ultimately the staying up wind, choosing the right gear, looking at how the place works will come with experience, but we all have to deal with the poop as it hits the fan. SB gave the best advice – Don’t Panic and breath!


  7. #21
    Senior Member Henryscat's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Some good tips there...

    The practice thing is unfortunately the most important, I think. I sailed at the weekend for the first time in over 8-months (gasp!), and although I'd not actually forgotten a lot, I found I was experiencing the whole situation more as a beginner would, i.e., "crikey, this is really quite tricky!". Falling in "correctly" was noted - finding myself fully underwater and being kinda amazed that I had outstretched arms and was pumping the sail to keep the clew free without even thinking about it, for example. Once you have the experience, a lot of things are done by instinct and are probably hard to actually learn.

    I also noted how fit you get from actually windsurfing - or rather how much harder it gets if you've lost a lot of that fitness...

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