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Thread: Balance Skills

  1. #1
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    Balance Skills

    I remember back to the day when I first stood on a narrow/short board. The board slid off from underneath me and I ended up in the water over and over until a couple of sessions later, I actually sailed to a nearby buoy and back. Then, it was a case of being able to uphaul in windier conditions without falling into the water. Now, when I step on a board, it feels almost as though I am on firm ground, even in gusty and choppy conditions. To achieve this level of balance I made myself a balance board with some plywood that I had lying around and bought an 8 inch (small) basketball from Sports Direct and practiced for about ten minutes a day for several weeks.
    So, is my balance very good/excellent?

    I bought a pair of Rollerblades this week together with knee, elbow and wrist protectors, rolled out a couple of rugs on my timber floor so I could practice. The rugs give a softer, cushioned high friction ride that is easy to master. Having spent a full one hour on the rugs, I turned the rugs over and noticed that it was more difficult to balance and ride the rollerblades on the smoother underside.

    Today, I spent an hour on the timber floor holding onto the banister rail of my staircase landing, slowly rolling along turning and returning with the rail close at hand which I repeatedly grabbed when I felt that I was in imminent danger of landing on my whatever....

    Tomorrow, I will be heading to a local rollerblade rink so I can practice - not falling...

  2. #2
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    Good exercises Spammy. Being brought up on ice and snow us vikings probably have an easier time getting balanced. Been rollerblading for twenty years. Jump if you hit something at speed. Been biking a lot the last few years and learnt trackstanding and two wheeled hopping, inclusive up and down stairs. Can even more or less track stand a motorbike. Remember bent knees and looking where you are going on the blades. Turn head, then upper body and lastly feet when turning. I now work on standing brakeslide 180's on my bicycle and turning the head is a must.
    Last edited by boards_Tomas; 27th February 2015 at 09:32 AM.

  3. #3
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    Just like when you first learn to ride a bike the human body seems to have the ability to adopt appropriate motor skills subconsciously over time. I think the problem is that what you learn may not be optimum or be able to deal with sudden variation. So your training can only help I reckon. There are a couple of things I learnt ( belatedly!)doing MTB that I probably would not have picked up without being told and then accentuating those specific actions......and they have helped me with windsurfing as well. They relate to when you are on any moving platform really and concerns whether you are a "passenger" or dominating the platform. Simple example is when you brake hard or the platform is stalled in some way, dropping your heels and lowering your wrists means the bike is pushed in front of you and your momentum does not overtake the bike ( ie you don't go over the bars). The same applies with more accentuated body shift to approaching a ramp or drop and the same principle again for cornering.

  4. #4
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    Without a doubt balance and motor skills are paramount in windsurfing. In addition, windsurfing also requires excellent hand/foot/eye coordination, muscle memory etc.

    I recall last season when I attempted the carve gybe at full speed. Approach was fine, I had plenty of speed, unhooked, engaged the leeward rail and started to open the sail as the board started to carve. From that point, I was out of control. The rig was torn from my hands and I was left falling into the water backwards as the board was carried some 25 to 30 feet away. I was left with that - Oh well, back to the drawing board feeling.

    I often wonder if skateboarders and BMX riders (the ones that you see at skateboard parks/ramps) would make better windsurfers, especially freestyle and B&P.

  5. #5
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    My main sport was always motor racing up until 2010 when I finally gave up. Motor racing is classified as a carving sport just like surfing and windsurfing and as such it's all about balance. In the ten years that I raced I saw a lot of novices come into the sport and gradually work their way up, but one of the best that I ever saw was a keen windsurfer, who not only set a reasonable pace early on, but he chose to start in a pretty fast car too, which is harder to drive than the sort of car most novices start in. His balance and hand eye coordination was obviously extremely good from all the windsurfing that he'd done and it was making that connection that made me want to learn to windsurf when I stopped racing, which I duly did

  6. #6
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    Love your signature BoredAtWork. You may find it hard to believe but I'm actually BoredAtLeisure a good part of the time. Which is why I took up enduro. Standing power slides is a favourite. Weight forward and centered is essential. Now ws mostly feels pretty safe too
    Last edited by boards_Tomas; 28th February 2015 at 09:53 PM.

  7. #7
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    I think I originally joined to ask a question and I had to quickly think of a username! Yes, much like Enduro, motor racing was a bit risky so it's lovely to now do a sport where if I crash all that happens is I get a bit wet and maybe stub my toe :-D

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