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  1. #15
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    Jul 2015
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    Last weekend I was away and this weekend I am away. I am OK for the first weekend in October then I'm having a very minor op that will require a few stiches so will be out for another couple of weeks.

    It's all good but it means that I can't get on the water

    Are there any drills I can perform in my back garden whilst i'm off the water.

    I can think of rigging up, hooking into the harness and footwork but is there anything I can do that will really help?

  2. #16
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    Jul 2015
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    Essex
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    Saturday 4th October 2015:
    A couple of hours in the garden in practising rigging and setting up harness lines followed by tack, gybe and hooking in and out practise. About ten years ago I got to the point of starting to hook in and each time I did I was pulled immediately over to leeward. A tip I heard echoed in my mind when you hook in push the rig away with extended arms and flat palms (as though you are pushing someone in the chest). Keep light fingertips on the boom and this will force you to commit to the harness but also balance things. It did and was happily hooking in and out


    Sunday 5th October Alton Water – Winds Cross on to Offshore about 7-12 mph
    Brimming with yesterdays confidence got on the water went to hook in and immediately bottled it. I thought OK let’s have a couple of runs to settle myself. This turned out to be about 6. I thought well I have to do it at some point so I hooked in. I have no idea why but my heart was really pounding. I remembered the tip from yesterday and this made the whole thing feel more balanced. I did manage to get hooked in and out a few more times, had a couple of short runs being hooked in and even managed to take my front hand off. I had a couple of tip toe moments but I did not get pulled over but still the nervousness persisted a little. I guess it’s just a case of keep doing it as this is only my second time out on this board.

    In the end had a very good session lots of tack and flare gybe practise some good and not so good footwork but unlike in my last session I was out in conditions that I was able to control. The wind died on a few occasions but mostly it was good enough to get going despite shifting around a lot. Towards the later part off the afternoon the wind filled in a bit and I had a couple of runs where I had to really lean back to control the board. I tried hooking in whilst being leant out but it all went a bit squirrely and I felt like I was about to get pulled over so unhooked sharpish. It feels to me that there is a short time where you just hook in and are not committed to the harness and it’s at that point where you are more likely to get pulled over as everything feels slightly Alien.

    Everyone I speak to keeps asking me if I will go through the winter. I have no idea as I thought it would be too cold in the water already but my 5/3 was far too much for the conditions yesterday so I think I have a good while left yet.

  3. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    3,876
    It sounds like you are having problems counter balancing the power of the rig...........and also some issues with lack of confidence.

    Dealing with the confidence issue first. It might surprise you to know that a lot of windsurfers get nervous before going out. It is natural and a good survival tactic so nothing to be ashamed of. You do need to control it however because otherwise you will be stiff and slow to react on the water. Satisfy yourself that your kit is all in good condition and checked, you know the forecast and tide times, you have someone watching out for you etc. Then mettle yourself and be determined to be the boss out there.

    In terms of counterbalancing the power of the rig you need to do 4 things. First, anticipate the gusts by studying the water upwind and being alert. Second keep a light feel on the back hand and react to a feeling of more power by easing the back hand a little........or in extreme cases letting go with the back hand. No sheeting in equals no power! Thirdly, whether you are in the harness or not you must be leveraged against the rig. When there is not much power in the rig, that leverage is downwards and can be progressively transferred to down and outboard when there is more power in the rig. It may be useful initially to keep monitoring where the boom is in relation to your eyeline. Minimum is level. If your eyeline is above the boom you are an easy target. With that degree of leverage is should be possible to oppose the force of the rig and use it to propel the board forward. Lastly, keep your back leg bent, you front leg almost straight and your hips turned to face the direction of travel. This helps to ensure you can resist any forward pull.

  4. #18
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2015
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    Essex
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikerb View Post
    It sounds like you are having problems counter balancing the power of the rig...........and also some issues with lack of confidence.

    Dealing with the confidence issue first. It might surprise you to know that a lot of windsurfers get nervous before going out. It is natural and a good survival tactic so nothing to be ashamed of. You do need to control it however because otherwise you will be stiff and slow to react on the water. Satisfy yourself that your kit is all in good condition and checked, you know the forecast and tide times, you have someone watching out for you etc. Then mettle yourself and be determined to be the boss out there.

    In terms of counterbalancing the power of the rig you need to do 4 things. First, anticipate the gusts by studying the water upwind and being alert. Second keep a light feel on the back hand and react to a feeling of more power by easing the back hand a little........or in extreme cases letting go with the back hand. No sheeting in equals no power! Thirdly, whether you are in the harness or not you must be leveraged against the rig. When there is not much power in the rig, that leverage is downwards and can be progressively transferred to down and outboard when there is more power in the rig. It may be useful initially to keep monitoring where the boom is in relation to your eyeline. Minimum is level. If your eyeline is above the boom you are an easy target. With that degree of leverage is should be possible to oppose the force of the rig and use it to propel the board forward. Lastly, keep your back leg bent, you front leg almost straight and your hips turned to face the direction of travel. This helps to ensure you can resist any forward pull.
    Mikerb thanks for your advice with regard the nervousness I used to experience it when I first put my board in the water but that has diminished greatly now. My kit is new so should be in good nick I think it's just a case of as you say grasp the mettle, MTFU and get the practise in.

    With regard to the controlling the power of the rig I think I understand the mechanics of it all. Though watching me sail would probably tell you the opposite. In fact the Harness puts me in more of super 7 stance than when I am not in it. I remember watching a motorbike training DVD (I can't remember the specific one) and the guy said you have ten dollars to spend on attention. When learning to ride nine dollars is spent just letting the clutch out but once you get used to it, it only costs a few cents. I think this is where I am with my windsurfing so much goes through my head, get sailing pull the boom towards you, hook in, rig away, commit to harness, look for gusts, check stance, are hips pointing forward and am I looking where I want to go.

    One other thing I did read from one of Guy Cribbs sheets and it confuses me slightly as it is counter intuitive to all I've learnt so far is. He states that it is the front hand that is the emergency brake. If you sheet in hard with the front hand this will de power the rig and stop the board.

  5. #19
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    Oct 2012
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    London
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    Sheeting in with the front hand does depower the rig, but bending your front arm is not a habit that you want to get into. Many people go through a phase of bending the front arm. It feels like you are controlling the power, but in most instances you are killing the power and stopping yourself from planing.

    Also if you overdo it you will get the wind on the wrong side of the sail and you will be driven into the water underneath the sail

  6. #20
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2009
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    3,876
    Agree with AJE......pulling in with the front arm is what most refer to as choking the rig and it is easy to do without realising it if you keep your front arm bent. If you are slogging or planing slowly it is best to keep the front arm straight and use the back hand to control the "throttle".

    ps you referred to the super 7 stance and I know what the trainers mean by that in terms of stance but I think it is often mis interpreted as keeping your body in a straight line from feet to shoulders. In fact retaining some flex in your legs at the knees and also breaking at the waist to a degree, enables your whole body to remain flexible and to respond to slight variations in wind direction/sheeting angle; it also enables your legs to act as shock absorbers and allow the board to follow the water shape. So the stance is a figure 7 shape but not necessarily consisting straight lines!

  7. #21
    Senior Member Capie's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
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    Cape Town
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    842
    Quote Originally Posted by AJE View Post
    Sheeting in with the front hand does depower the rig, but bending your front arm is not a habit that you want to get into.
    Third this advice. I'm still unlearning this.

    Something else I've recently learned is to get off the water and change something if you aren't comfortable. I tend to plough through because I'd rather be out on the water than tinkering but that does tire you out quicker and makes the next session equally frustrating. When you're learning, 40 minutes is about the maximum you should stay out for before taking a rest. After that, the muscles you should be using will be tired and the wrong muscles will step in to compensate. Staying on the water for too long or when you're uncomfortable can lead to bad muscle memory.

    The feeling you describe with the harness is pretty normal. Taking weight off your arms puts more weight through your legs and it feels like you're teetering. Mikerb has given you some good advice there. Something you can also try is to use super long lines. That makes getting in and out a bit easier and it means you have to really accentuate the movement to commit weight to the harness. If there are other windsurfers where you sail, ask someone to help you set up the lines, even if it means them sailing the board up and down. It's tough to commit to the harness if the lines are in the wrong place.
    My Boards: 2016 Fanatic Falcon TE 129, 2014 Patrik Slalom 115 vII, 2014 Patrik Slalom 92l, 1992 Windsurfer One Design, 2012 Fanatic Freewave 85l
    My Sails: North Sails Warp f2016 , North Hero, North Volt

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