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  1. #8
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    You can still use the back of the board, just use your arm as an extension.

  2. #9
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    You can practice on land if you fix the mast base to the ground, or with a board on a soft sandy beach without a fin. That is just to get you used to lifting yourself down to the ground slowly and back up again.

    In chest deep water, you have to take your feet off the bottom and blow the nose downwind a bit with the sail. Then get your back foot on the board ahead of the rear strap and your front foot at the rail of the board. The main problem is usually the board rounding up into the wind as you come up out of the water. You have to think of using the boom to press down on the mast base as you come up. It also helps when learning to have your hands further from the mast, so there is more pull on your front hand.
    When you get up, be prepared to reduce the power in the sail, but try not to over do it.

  3. #10
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    Grumpf used to be very good at teaching water starting but these days he cannot bend his knees too far for fear of follow through.

    His method was to do it it in reverse to get the feel. Sail to a stop then do the move backward lowering yourself down. When you are in the water with the rig still flying roll yourself back up. Hard to explain without a rig in hand but I am sure you can picture what I am trying to say. You can do it in stages going lower each time until you get the full on water start without the hassle of recovering the rig each time. Learning rig recovery is a separate art and best done, at least for me, by doing loads of silly freestyle stuff on light wind days. Doing this really focussed the mind on falling in while keeping the rig flying.

  4. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by phill104 View Post
    Grumpf used to be very good at teaching water starting but these days he cannot bend his knees too far for fear of follow through.

    His method was to do it it in reverse to get the feel. Sail to a stop then do the move backward lowering yourself down. When you are in the water with the rig still flying roll yourself back up. Hard to explain without a rig in hand but I am sure you can picture what I am trying to say. You can do it in stages going lower each time until you get the full on water start without the hassle of recovering the rig each time. Learning rig recovery is a separate art and best done, at least for me, by doing loads of silly freestyle stuff on light wind days. Doing this really focussed the mind on falling in while keeping the rig flying.
    Yes, I read about that technique elsewhere on the forum! I managed to get a couple leg drags in 1m waves, but I found it way harder than actually waterstarting in the shallows where I didn't have to worry about rig recovery and could just take my feet off the ground. Way better than my first attempt to learn in gusty 25 knot winds and 3m waves in Maui at Kanaha!

    My main challenges now:
    - keeping the sail flying on wind and handling saltwater in the eyes when my head goes under
    - the sail pulling forward into the wind on the windward side of the board straight into the water (I think this happens when I don't manage to stay upwind of the board enough)

    This is the wind where I live in Vancouver Canada. I can definitely get a lot of low wind practice We get excited when it hits 10 knots! (Which usually happens on days that I'm working, or by the time you get to the beach kitted up it's settled to a nice calm 5 knots. I feel like I'm in an abusive relationship with wind.)


    I think the nearest good place to windsurf is Hood River Oregon, but that's not for triflers!

  5. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by boards_ronnie View Post
    You can practice on land if you fix the mast base to the ground, or with a board on a soft sandy beach without a fin. That is just to get you used to lifting yourself down to the ground slowly and back up again.

    In chest deep water, you have to take your feet off the bottom and blow the nose downwind a bit with the sail. Then get your back foot on the board ahead of the rear strap and your front foot at the rail of the board. The main problem is usually the board rounding up into the wind as you come up out of the water. You have to think of using the boom to press down on the mast base as you come up. It also helps when learning to have your hands further from the mast, so there is more pull on your front hand.
    When you get up, be prepared to reduce the power in the sail, but try not to over do it.
    Great suggestion on the beach practice! I'll give it a shot. Most instructors I hire just learned by time on water, but it's very inefficient to learn when you only get to try a few times due to all the work of rig recovery etc.

    I've definitely had the rounding into the wind challenge. I've reduced it by pointing more downwind and sheeting out aggressively once I'm up, and having my back foot further forward, about halfway between the back straps and blue circle on this board: Click image for larger version. 

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    More wind always helps! I've had surprise waterstarts where the wind decides it's time for me to get up and start planing whether I want to or not. I figure that's how it feels every time for you folks

  6. #13
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2009
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    Most people focus on the part of water starting that starts when you present the rig to the wind and try to get up onto the board. OK that can be tricky until you discover the technique but personally I think the most difficult part of the complete manoeuvre can often be rig recovery. All the gurus seem to teach going to the rig and swimming it into the right position etc. I think life become a lot easier when you manoeuvre the BOARD to the rig, rather than the rig to the board,.....regardless which tack that results in for any subsequent flying of the rig. The use of the float in the board then becomes possible as described in posts above to get the rig flying.

    If you are already beach starting in say waist deep water you can practise waterstarting just by not putting your feet on the sea bed. The 2 most important aspects of the waterstart are to regulate the amount of power in the rig, and to reduce the forces that prevent you getting up on the board.

    The amount of power in the rig is determined by the angle of the rig to the wind.....tight to the wind is least, off the wind is most. The other thing that determines the amount of power is how vertical you can get the mast. You get the mast as vertical as possible by keeping your hands relatively close together and you body close to the windward rail of the board.
    The forces working against you getting up over the board are the combination of your bodyweight and the distance that weight is away from the board. The key to reducing that force is to keep you legs bent and get your backside and shoulders as close to the board as possible.........the more you lean out the greater the load the power in the sail has to lift.

  7. #14
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    Apr 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drear View Post
    Great suggestion on the beach practice! I'll give it a shot. Most instructors I hire just learned by time on water, but it's very inefficient to learn when you only get to try a few times due to all the work of rig recovery etc.

    I've definitely had the rounding into the wind challenge. I've reduced it by pointing more downwind and sheeting out aggressively once I'm up, and having my back foot further forward, about halfway between the back straps and blue circle on this board: Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	7 
Size:	22.0 KB 
ID:	15861 Are these bad habits?

    More wind always helps! I've had surprise waterstarts where the wind decides it's time for me to get up and start planing whether I want to or not. I figure that's how it feels every time for you folks
    On land, you are learning more about controlling the power of the sail, but it doesn't help as regards handling the board in a waterstart.

    It's not a bad habit to have your back foot nearer the mast - if you can manage that. It's easier to blow the nose downwind when the foot is further back, and it can help in light winds to get over the board if the tail sinks a bit more.

    Eventually, you have to learn to waterstart in as little wind as possible, but having enough wind to do it with inefficient technique is the way to start.

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