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JEM HALL – THE MOVES THAT MATTER II

24/08/2016
by

JEM HALL

MOVE ON UP – WINDSURFING TECHNIQUE

THE MOVES THAT MATTER II

Now that you have had the chance to cogitate upon the Moves that really Matter, in last months piece, lets expand on these by moving you on up in the latter moves in the list with a new swagger and a focused commitment. I am very motivated to help you move down and through this list as through my coaching clinics I have seen what really motivates people, and have enjoyed being on their journey of progression with them, and so with my own observations and my rippers valued feedback I am well placed to help direct your efforts and Move you on Up.

Words  Jem Hall // Photo  Nicolas Jones & Dave White

www.jemhall.com

(This feature originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of Windsurf Magazine. To read more features like this first, Print and Digital subscriptions are available. Prices include delivery globally for 10 x issues a year!)

The Wish List

A quick recap of the list:
1)  Holy trinity: the ability to get planing (preferably early), sail fast and get / fly upwind.
2)  Tacking: the building block of all transitions.
3)  Super Starts: beach start well and have all the waterstarts in your armoury.
4)   Gybing: Set high standards here and this will define you as a windsurfer!
5)  Jumping: go fly, have fun, fall and embrace risk.
6)  Duck gybing: Learn it in light winds and do it when planing as soon as you are getting round a fair few carve gybes. Again, it is fun and a bit risky.
7)  Carving freestyle: Cracking a move like the Carve 360 in the straps will really get you excited and is a great builder of skills and helps you fully understand how to carve.
8)  Rotational jump: Go on, you know you want to and so many more of you are, hoorah! When I learnt to forward loop I felt like I could learn any move after that.
9)  Aerial freestyle: This will keep you sane on flat water, and in medium winds, while teaching great board control and adding a new dimension to enjoying all aspects of our great sport. We are talking Vulcans, Grubbies, aerial gybes, Willy skippers and so on.
10)  Waveriding: For me, and many of you, this is the absolute pinnacle of our sport and test in technique. All the moves in this list build us to move on up in this one move that really matters.

This month I will finish off with guiding you as how to rip in the last 5 moves that matter.

Skills and drills to believe and achieve

Duck gybing

I really feel this move is an important breakthrough in all sailors carving skills! It is timeless, stylish and also boosts the risk taking mindset we all need in order to rip in windsurfing. Furthermore, it can be learnt and improved by all levels in light winds.

Specific targets for the different levels are:
Improvers: learn to actually duck the rig and the co-ordination of how to cross your hands over and really pull the rig across you. Main tip is getting your old front hand right to the back of the boom.
Intermediates: actually to go for some duck gybes once you can bang out some carve gybes both ways. You have to want this move and my main tip for you is to get the rig light and duck it early. Your mantra is duck, look (out of the turn) and pull (the rig across and damn hard too!)
Advanced: you rippers have to really set a high -standard here and this means two main targets; direct boom change and keep low throughout. No boom walking please so old front hand to back of boom and new front hand grabs boom in front of front harness line, and all whilst you keep low and flow through the move. Do it and enjoy it.

Carving Freestyle
I was inspired to do this move by many ’90s windsurf videos and then I realized just how much it helped me to understand how a boards performance whilst I was testing. Then whilst witnessing the results of my pushing my rippers to carve some style on my coaching clinics I not only saw first hand just how much it improved their caving skills but also how it upped their style quotient.

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// Get that hand right to the back of the boom and duck, look, pull.  PHOTO  Nicolas Jones
The magic 2 moves are carving 360s downwind and upwind. Windy and flat and the downwind is best, when the wind is a bit lighter try the upwind 360. Many of the skills can be refined in light winds but mainly it is all about getting the sail light and carving the first phase SMOOTHLY!

Specific targets for the different levels are:
Improvers: realize that you are always building for the future so get out there and learn to sail front to sail (backwinded) and get good at steering and coming out of this position. Main tip is to keep the rig back and down and have your hands close together.
Intermediates: for you it is all about really being to able dominate the rig front to sail and carve into the moves with a light rig. For the carving 360 downwind I want you get low and out and bear away and then as you come over and carve really roll across the rail over the front foot and then begin to carve harder. Your aim is to be able to feel and understand the rails and the subtle changes in carving pressure. .
Advanced: in lighter winds it is all about you learning the non planing upwind 360 and I want you to really steer the board with your legs and then I want to look over your front shoulder whilst steering through the rest of the move. When you are powered up hit those downwind 360s hard and this time with only your backhand on the boom (and next to the back harness line) and really crank into the carve with bent ankles and look at the mast tip. This move has just been covered on my #top100tips Vimeo channel.

Rotational Jumps
Why should we rotate? Well, why not but for me it is all about conquering the big milestones in our great sport and after learning to forward I felt I could learn anything and was less fearful about learning other scarier moves like push loops. Again I urge you here to work on the more achievable forward loop, if it is a backward rotation you want then aim to fly high and rotate only a little on the way down and then build from that. My looping clients have not only a higher level of sailing confidence but also more importantly a higher level of self-esteem.

Specific targets for the different levels are:

Specific targets for the different levels are:
Improvers: learn to steer the board hard and fast with your legs and the rig as early as possible in the sport and then you will use this skill forever! When turning downwind, in light winds, push away on the front leg as your body moves back and out and pulls the tail upwind with the back leg. Look to rig really get the rig across you and the backhand at the very back of the boom. Do this and you have learnt not only how to steer in the water but also in the air, and it really helps you learn to gybe and wave ride too!
Intermediates: you only need to look up this list and remember that I have already tasked you with learning to jump and now I bid you to do learn tail up jumps, which are best boosted by learning to do tail grab jumps. This will ensure your tail is up in your forwards, accelerating your learning of them. In moderate winds learn to do the Wymaroo, a light wind loop steering drill. Covered well in my Winner to Wavesailor DVD.
Advanced: I think you know your bidding; you have to get on it and pull that damn trigger, as they say. Get over the board, slide that back hand right back and then go off the wind and pop, throw, look and pull. Don’t think, just do. Enlist some comrades in arms to do it with and know that the 1st twenty attempts are all about getting comfy with crashing.

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//  Crank into the carve 360 with bent ankles and the rig down, back and low. PHOTO  Dave White

Aerial Freestyle
I would say that learning to Vulcan saved my windsurfing from staleness and also really enjoy breaking through another gateway move that opens the door to other sliding moves, and with a renewed confidence that you can and will learn more moves! There are many aerial / sliding moves that you can work on. You can begin by flirting with some aerial gybes or willy skippers, and also try a few grubbies but the one that is really worth the commitment it requires is the Vulcan. It is what I call a 200 – 400 rep move in that you have to be willing and ready to do this amount of attempts to nail it.

Specific targets for the different levels are:
Improvers: it is mainly about you acknowledging the power of looking into and out of your moves as aerial freestyle is a lot about body positioning. Next up you can work on some boom-to-boom tacks so your hands are ready to move fast for the Vulcan.
Intermediates: get very good at popping the board on flat water, by getting over it and coordinating your leg and arm movements. Boost this further by adding the tail grab pop to your armoury. Finally you can work on the boom-to-boom tack for speeding up your Vulcan hand movements.
Advanced: you are now ready to go for the whole move and just like the forward the first 20 reps are all about ‘getting comfortable with (being uncomfortable) crashing.’ Next up you should be aiming to really turn your head early in the move as you tuck up your back leg and move your hands fast across you to get that new hand on the new side of the boom.

Wave Riding
We have now reached the pinnacle of our sport and getting to this point and enjoying it motivates a huge amount of people in our great sport. When I’m coaching my intermediates to tack on flat water they often go at it with a new vigour if I remark about how competent tacking will see you crack wavesailing faster. So this is why the moves that matter list has come together and it also shows how all the moves interrelate. Your first rides and best rides will always be very memorable so get in there and catch those waves and feel the flow as you ride them with joy.

Specific targets for the different levels are:
Improvers: understand the power of steering board aggressively using your legs and the rig and build looking downwind and then looking upwind as your hands come back together, as these are the exact movements for your head and hands whilst riding.
Intermediates: first up you have to get in some wave conditions to understand the challenges and joys facing you in this new arena. Then you have to look to catch some waves by slowing down and waiting for them and then just find the energy on them and have a wiggle up and down the face.
Advanced: your main target is to undertake a change in mindset as you sail with a better strategy, i.e. get out easier so you can identify and catch some good waves. Once on the waves it is about getting high on the wave and feeling when is the time to begin riding. Lastly, when riding it is all about really exaggerating your head and hand movements, back hand right back in the bottom turn and all the way to the back harness line in the top turn. Enjoy!
Know your targets and a further tip to ensure that you learn from them is to write down exactly what you learnt and your reflections on what to do next time you sail, on your phone or in a notebook! You must be active in your learning to crack the moves on this list, and in turn progress and thereby enjoy your sailing even more. As the saying goes “Determination beats skill, every time.”

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//  Early head and fast hands and embrace a bit of crashing too.  PHOTO  Nicolas Jones

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// Hands together and body out in your waveriding top turn just as you do in your Holy Trinity skills. PHOTO Dave White

RRD boards, wetsuits, softwear, Ezzy sails and Pro Sport Sunblock sponsor Jem Hall. Get him live and direct on one of his highly acclaimed coaching holidays. You can also follow him on twitter / Facebook and Instagram.

www.jemhall.com

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