MOVE ON UP – WINDSURFING TECHNIQUE
NEW YEARS REVOLUTIONS
Come January 1st, like many of us, you will play around with some ideas for a New Year’s resolution or two So I would like to commence 2015 with you taking on some windsurfing resolutions and move forward into a ‘New Year’s Revolution !’
Words JEM HALL // Photos NICK JONES
In any area of life in order to succeed you have to truly “want,” which is far more powerful and determined than “need.” This is ever so true in our great and challenging sport so if YOU really WANT to move forward in your sailing then you really have to commit to take action. A quote that can highlight this is “Successful people have results and unsuccessful people have reasons.” So let’s look at committing to your resolutions and beginning the revolution of really ripping in your sailing.
“ Looking where you want to go means you look upwind to go upwind ”
RESOLUTIONS FOR REVOLUTION
Mindset: How committed you are and what kind of internal self-dialogue have you ? A positive self-dialogue
is crucial, try statements commencing with ‘I shall, I will and I can’ and insert your chosen targets of waterstart, gybe, sail fast, jump, loop, tack or attack the waves, as examples.
Technique: This is perhaps the one area most look to improve in, let’s kick off by presenting the basic building blocks upon which all improvements are built as “Ordinary things consistently done produce extraordinary results.” Whenever you go sailing, choose one of the below basic concepts and focus on it for at least a portion of your session. Set an allotted time, like 20 minutes of your “hour of power,” where you focus on that one thing. By hour of power, I mean to sail for an hour maximum and then review and think about what you did, “less is more.” By sailing “less’’ hours but more effective and focused, you will gain “more” from your sessions. It can be said that when you over-sail, you spend the last 30 minutes of your session “practicing your mistakes.” Sail less and with more focus to really enjoy your sailing and improve !
// Get low and be ready to gybe.
Here are three basic concepts to look at first:
Look and see: Looking where you want to go means you look upwind to go upwind, as opposed to staring at your gear. Also, look at the wind to examine what sailing line to take, head upwind in the gusts that you “see,” and bear away (turn downwind) when you see lulls. Take this further by looking out of your gybe’s (or top turns), and when waveriding, aim to see as early as possible any sign of swell to gybe or tack onto.
Precise hand position: Throughout most moves and skills, it is of vast importance to ensure your front hand is back by the front harness line (assuming lines are positioned correctly) and that the other hand is about shoulder-width back from this. Next up, whenever you are gybing, sailing clew-first, looping, etc, put your backhand way down the boom to give you more power and control over the sail. This is very effective.
Get low: This is simpler yet more challenging than you think. Aim to bend your back leg more than usual when getting planing, sailing fast, getting up from a beach start or water start. Take this a stage further and look to be positioned with your head at boom height throughout the majority of your powered-up sailing – as I say on my clinics ‘’Get down, James Brown’’
// Get low out of the gybe and with your hands precisely placed.
// Let go in your carving 360s’.
// Let go of the boom and trust you and your lines.
Work on these points and never underestimate the power of self-visualization. So you know that I am with you on this and acting on my “Revolution” technique, I am currently working on my own waveriding. The targets I have set for myself are placing my back hand way back during bottom turns, getting lower throughout the ride by really flexing my ankles and taking more risks (enjoy crashing ! ), as failure is one step towards success.
“ By sailing “less’’ hours but more effective and focused, you will gain “more” from your sessions ”
If all of the above has not got your boat rocking, and you perhaps want something more prescriptive for 2015, then I will now say to you ‘let go and release the handbrake.’
// Hands precisely placed in the gybe and seeing out of the gybe’.
// Attack the gybe with back hand precisely placed way back.
Try these moves and skills:
• Sail one handed; I mean really sail along with front or back hand off and get better at it, so much so that you can do it for a hundred metres or more.
• Do one-handed transitions; from one handed heli tacks, to hand drag gybes, to one handed jumps, to one handed carving 360s and through to one-handed top turns.
// Helping my rippers set their targets and ensuring their mindset is positive.
These will build your risk taking mindset and make you raise your game whilst building essential windsurfing skills so you can make progress in all your moves. Go on, do it and enjoy making your resolutions for Revolution !
RRD boards, wetsuits, softwear, Ezzy sails and Pro Sport Sunblock sponsor Jem Hall. You can also follow him on twitter / Facebook.