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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    Advanced tacking through waves

    Watching the PWA I noticed the pro's on the inside and outside seem to favour tacking into a wave where they switch sides just at the top or immediately after the wave passes under them. I've always favoured tacking in the flats between the waves so I was wondering whats the logic for tacking through the wave and does it require any specific adjustment in technique - thanks

  2. #2
    If you go round the front as the wave comes under the board you can load the nose just as it gets a lift by the passing wave.

    This crest tack is often easier – than tacking in the trough and then being hit by the wave straight after you have changed sides.

    (I had better confess that I can do this port to starboard but not starboard to port – so as with all windsurf moves, it still needs to be practiced. I guess the way to learn it quicker is to stop gybing. Tack on the inside and tack again out back.)
    Last edited by basher; 23rd July 2017 at 09:01 PM.
    Now back in the UK.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    What Basher said, plus your in cleaner air tacking at the crest of the wave rather than the trough. We're talking pretty marginal gains though.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Silicon Beach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    El Médano, Tenerife
    The masters of tacking are the pros and local hotshots at Cabezo. They can tack in milliseconds, a few centimetres from the rocks, sometimes even tacking around a big rock! They know where every rock is at each state of the tide. So, when the contest is here in a couple of weeks, watch them on the video - even better live! They always tack on the inside because there's no room to gybe because 'Godzilla' (massive inside rock shelf) is in the way for a gybe (it's why I don't often sail there - plus nasty shorebreak right on top of Godzilla = broken mast), but actually on the outside i would say they're doing 50 / 50 gybes - tacks.

    Personally, I love gybing on swell / waves. I never get tired of the feeling of carving the board hard on a swell and coming down it planing. and where I sail (the Wall mainly) there's plenty of room to gybe on the inside (on flat water right beside the wall itself).
    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.

  5. #5
    If the wind is cross onshore it is usual to use the wave to get upwind on the way in, close reaching along it. It is then quite easy to pop over it with a tack as it reforms and crests ensuring no loss of ground downwind. Bearing off to gybe in front of it would mean losing all that ground.

    This is often what you see at Pozo on the inside.

    As Basher says as the board pops over the wave and helps your tack (if timed right). a blog about looping

    UPDATED Feb 2016

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Doesn't it also seem logical that this gives you the maximum space to get planing after the tack? And perhaps also that scissoring the board around could be easier on a half broken wave? Jumping early and not overloading the nose will be important I guess.

    It seems that at Pozo the wind typically turns more towards the beach the further in you get. Which means that the launch should be "broader" than you may think if you're not familiar with the place. Whatever ground that's lost will (hopefully) be regained further out. The way the wind turns also means that you may get precariously close to the bunker on the way in. A typical beginners mistake will be to head up, lose speed and get washed in. As with the launch the trick is to focus on speed first and use a wave to transport you way up towards the launch area. That's the theory anyway!

    Note to self: The fact (?) that not only the wave but also the wind turns with the clock as you get further in also means that you don't get a significantly better angle for front side riding. Riding close to the shore dump is also potentially dangerous and means you'll mostly need to jump off and won't be able to practice those stylish tacks.
    Last edited by boards_Tomas; 26th July 2017 at 01:27 PM.
    The infamous wavewriter

  7. #7
    I like to set the board exactly at 90 degrees to the wave so when I step forward I can lean hard on that front foot and have good support.
    The wave can be upwind on the same tack (45deg) or on the other tack (135deg). Criss-crossing chop can make a narrow board feel quite unstable even at speed so I prefer to loop for a clean spot (not easy sometimes!).

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