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  1. #1
    Senior Member Graemef's Avatar
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    Port & Starboard Tack Beaches and Goofy/Regular Terminology

    In answer to Arf who is a surfer so of questionable sexual orientation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arf View Post
    Ah but I'd say that's wrong, or at least, the terminology the world (not you) uses is wrong.

    Evil/expensive/port tack conditions usuallly means we are sailing out jumping with left foot forward, and then riding the wave with the right foot forward. This is most definitely not the favoured thing for the regular footed surfer!!!

    I know you probably meant 'port tack riding' is favoured for regulars, ie riding the wave with the left foot forward. This would be true, and luckily, All our UK beaches are 'PORT TACK RIDING' beaches, as fortunately 'port tack riding' is implied by 'It's a starboard tack beach'.

    this very issue confused me for bloody months when I first started.
    Windsurfers years ago call beach Port or Starboard according to the tack they're on jumping on the way out, so a typical Easterly makes a south coast beach Port tack, some of the not that well travelled South coasters even refer to Port tack as the 'Evil' tack, because they can't jump on Port, which really isn't that difficult, it's actually easier, but they are generally less practised, and the upside is it is easier for us to become even handed.

    Most board riders ride with left foot forward as regular, like myself, our strongest leg is our right leg and right arm so we lead with the left and scoot with the right, so windsurfing, Port is the strongest tack for a regular rider, right arm is the sheet arm right foot for steering.

    Wave riding, the same, Port riding is easier than Starboard, Goofy riders therefore find it more difficult to become even handed, they have a far tougher time of it, but would fair far better if their local favoured beach was Port, the return to Starboard would be a lot less traumatic than the situation they find themselves in currently.

  2. #2
    Doesn't matter whether you are goofy footed or regular, what matters is what you become used to.
    if you are made to play tennis with your right hand, that becomes the norm, even if you are left handed. So the experience and muscle memory out-trumps the natural sidedness.

    So most windsurfers learn on one beach and that becomes their favoured tack.
    On the south coast, the prevailing wind is SW and so it's from the right on many beaches - meaning you jump on the way out on starboard tack. Hence the name.

    The more you stay on a starboard tack beach, the worse it will feel when you change to a beach with wind from the left (port tack beach). Like when we fly out to the Canary Islsnds.
    And this works the same regardless of goofy/regular footing, or right or left handed ness.

    I'm a starboard tack sailor and it took years before I could jump reasonably well on the 'evil' tack (definition of evil here, is your non preferred one). Even now, it takes a day or two to reorientate.
    Another fine example of this is when you ride a bike - most people get on the same way each time, and find it difficult just to cock their leg over from the 'wrong' side.
    Last edited by basher; 8th January 2014 at 10:11 PM.
    Now back in the UK.

  3. #3
    I've just realised this started in another thread which I've only just read.
    Hope that clears it up anyway.

    I think once you learnt the muscle memory on both tacks you aren't phased by either.
    At that point, your favoured tack may well become one which suits your natural right or left handedness (goofy or regular, in surfing terms).
    I guess the real problem for those who surfed before they windsurfed is that a windsurf wave board won't let you lead with the same foot on both tacks.
    Last edited by basher; 8th January 2014 at 08:16 PM.
    Now back in the UK.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Arf's Avatar
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    I was shocked and amazed how quickly I learnt to jump with me right foot forward - I thought I would have to deprogram years of regular foot skateboarding, but actually it was easy (perhaps because there was no opportunity to jump the other way round with the winds in the SE).

    It's a right pain in the ar$e when it comes to waves though, its not that I can't ride a wave goofy, but I'm 99% better with my left foot forward. So all my windsurfing life I have dreamed of catching a sizeable righthander on a point, with a cross off wind blowing across, but as it turns out that seems to be about the most incorrect thing to be wishing for in the UK. Not saying there aren't any, but I'm thinking of really high standards, a super long wave.. remembering I've grown up surfing bruce's beauties and supertubes - thats the real reason for the yearning for that.

    hopefully this year I'll hit upon the Bench on a day like that, I can dream :-)
    * -Scourge of the Seven Seas-*

  5. #5
    Senior Member Graemef's Avatar
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    It's true that good riders will master riding 'switch', but, in sports that recognise the difference, riding switch will be scored higher, windsurfing doesn't acknowledge switch simply because of the ability to ride both ways apparently naturally, but however good you get, you'll always have a favoured tack.

    In my case it wasn't until I engaged in snowboarding that I even realised this and how it happens in everything, even sailing a bloody dinghy which you wouldn't think, I even now consider which pedal forward when jumping a mountain bike.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arf View Post
    I can dream :-)
    http://vimeo.com/83383266
    Last edited by Flyfish; 9th January 2014 at 04:31 AM.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Arf's Avatar
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    That's the stuff.. and good use of a kitey at 02:35 :-)

    Well just to explain my natural preference for rights, if I move back to South Africa I'll probably not to Cape Town , but to St Francis Bay instead, where my folks live. It's right-hander country, but you can't windsurf at Supertubes or Bruces unless you catch them empty (supers doesn't get empty). But here's what they (and the other local break, Seal Point) look like:

    Supertubes:


    Bruces:


    Seal Point:


    And those are all within 30 mins of each other. You can see where my bias for rights comes from, got a bit of practice in over the years.

    now, those spots are surf spots, you can sail at Seal Point I imagine, but never seen anyone try yet. The local windsurfers choose to avoid the surfer crowds, and opt to sail at one of the crapper right handers around the corner, magna tubes. So here's a bit of video of what Magna Tubes is like:

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    * -Scourge of the Seven Seas-*

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