STATE OF ORIGIN
Growing up in Western Australia (W.A.), I’ve been fortunate enough to have access to some of the most consistent and diverse waves in the world. Although they are quite far apart, there is such a vast array of wave types in W.A., from my home spot of Geraldton where the waves are peaky, wedgy mush burgers, to the Gnaraloo freight trains of the North and the Margaret River detonators of the South. With such a variety of quality waves, the emphasis of windsurfing in W.A. is wave riding and this has been the dominant ideology since I began windsurfing. Being able to ride a wave well and do a proper turn was, and still is how your sailing is judged in W.A.
Jumping is sick and we have amazing jumping locations as well, but the easiest way to steal somebody’s girlfriend / boyfriend in W.A. is with a huge hack, fin waft, cutty or those 3 combined. I’ve heard countless stories of that one hit or wave of older generation sailors or the exploits of ex-PWA sailors such as Luke Walmsey and Ty Bodycoat that have defined them as some of the best wave-riders in the world. When I watched those guys as a young whippersnapper, I always admired their wave riding for being innovative, radical and progressive and now I aim to represent those same ideas as much as I possibly can. Below are a couple of my tips for wave riding in small to medium size cross-on conditions that I see frequently in Geraldton, so feel free to act out the movements in the mirror at home!
My approach to wave sailing in cross-shore winds and cross-on winds is very much the same, however in cross-on winds it is obviously harder to achieve the turn you want. No matter what conditions you sail in though, my 3 biggest tips would be to move your hands on the boom, bend your knees and learn how to do both of these with speed. In cross-on conditions it’s all about trying to manufacture your own speed. Unlike somewhere such as Margaret River, Gnaraloo or Hookipa, where the wave gives you plenty of push and the wind is cross-off, in cross-on conditions the wave won’t give you speed if you just rely on that alone. You need to learn how to generate speed through everything from the wave, your body, board, sail and turns.