November has been a slow time for windsurfing over here on Maui so not much going on lately……. It is nice to have a break but after a few days, the craving to be back on the water still eats me up!
I got a quick question today via email asking about some forward loops techniques- so wanted to share it so anyone else out there might pick up a few tricks!
Question: With overpowered forwards and high forwards do you have the same control as those at 10-15 feet? I worry about getting blasted on the landing but assume you just shoot downwind and throw a more downwind rotation.
Answer: Yeah, well the higher you go the slower you need to rotate. As you are going up, you want to be stalling out and delaying your rotation so you don’t just over rotate and obliterate yourself….. i think you have more control the higher you go because you have so much room to rotate that you just fall into it. I don’t start my rotation till I reach the apex of a big jump over 10 feet! You don’t want to pull as hard with your back hand as you would when doing a quick one not that high off the water- or you might find yourself entering into a double forward- and let me tell you a 1.5 forward really wakes you up!
If you have never done a forward loop before but have that burning desire, here is a video to learn the steps in working up to your first one!
Wow- talk about an epic week of conditions…… Finally the Aloha Classic came back to Maui and what a show it has been! If you have not been here to watch it on the beach, you can watch it right now from the live cast coverage that has been taking place! Kai Katchedorian has been commentating the daily activity with incredible style and grace, just like his sailing! Check out this link here and get caught up: http://www.alohaclassicmaui.com
BIG congrats to new PWA World Champion Marcilio “brawzinho” Browne- he earned his title with heavy pressure! Great to see such a good guy take it this year! Another big shout out to Levi Siver who won his first ever PWA Contest with grace and style- he was definitely the man we are used to seeing blitzing Hookipa everyday! Way to go Levi!!!
As for me, I’m stoked to have gotten to sail out there with all the boys and get to hit some lips and take some waves on the head to let me know I’m still alive! Kev ripped it pretty hard and took down some names, he was sailing with pure style and consistency as normal. He is a huge inspiration to me out there on the water! Keep ripping brotha-
A huge thanks to all the photographers out there that went out of their way to showcase this great event. The Fish Bowl Diaries Team is a great place to see a ton of great shots as well as Jimmy Hepp’s page
Enjoy the pics, make your comments and give props to everyone that made it happen!
Sometimes hitting chop at full speed can be pretty scary. We have all heard the saying “speed is your friend” and most of the time it is. When most people see chop coming at them, their first reaction is to slow down. When that happens, they straighten the legs and head up into the wind and usually end up hitting the steepest part of the chop and get bucked off! Sound familiar?
When I see chop coming at me, I hit the gas! I usually bear off the wind, bend my knees and stick my butt out so that I can absorb the bumps. My “SEVEN 7” stance turns into a “SIX 6”. Bearing off the wind also takes some of the edge off the wind chop and won’t send me flying. This is where those LONGER harness lines really help out! You are able to get further away from your rig and stay in control.
If things are really out of hand and you are getting bounced all over the place, get out of your harness lines, drop your butt down into the water and hang downward on your boom. This stance forces you to bend those knees and get low….. It isn’t the prettiest looking stance but it will do the job and save you from getting flicked around. The name of the game is being in control and having fun!
Equipment setup for choppy conditions has a couple rules I like to go by-
• Having the mastrack forward helps keep the nose of the board low and down- this equals less tail walking.
• Putting your foot straps further inboard will give you more control, especially in the turns.
• If you are spinning out a lot, move your fin further back or your foot straps forward if your using a powerbox or tuttle box board.
• Make sure you have enough downhaul in your sail- too little and you will be getting thrown all over the place.
• The more overpowered you are, the more outhaul you can pull on- This kills some of the power in your rig and makes it easier to control.
Now all you need is some wind and water- get out there and GAS IT!
I like this shot of Kevin in his high wind stance, weight is LOW, Knees are BENT, Rig is upright, Arms extended and he is in perfect control and ready for anything that comes at him. How long do you think those harness lines are??
Look at this disaster of a forecast……. OH NOOOO!!! The arrows are going every direction, looks like someone is really confused? Maybe yes, Maybe no…… Someone once told me, “the only people that try to predict the weather around here are fools or out of towners!” I always loved that line and use it all the time. Maui is quite unique in how the wind blows- as long as you have the right flow pattern of a North/NorthEast breeze it normally increases and accelerates through the valley between Haleakala and the West Maui Mountains. When the wind is very on-shore, that means you might venture over to Kihei as the wind increases through the valley and hits the south side with more vengeance! It has more time to “funnel” between the mountains and increases in a side/side off direction. Even though the water is flat with small chop you can still get out there for a good time. If waves are your thing, waiting around till 2pm at Kanaha for the strongest wind of the day may only let you get schlogging out on a 6.2 on your SUP board- plenty of fun there. If that doesn’t do it for you, jump in the car to Kihei and you could be overpowered on your 4.7! There are a couple places I look to see what the conditions “MIGHT” do during the course of the week- Here they are:
This one below tells me the flow pattern and direction:
This one tells me a little more of what is going on:
For Daily updates and live action this works perfectly:
To see how the conditions look at Hookipa, this is a good one when it is working:
This photo popped into my inbox from Paula over at Windchaser Photography… She asked a few questions and wanted me to examine this shot- I thought it was something that we could all learn from so here some dialect back and forth-
I was wondering if you could do me a huge favor. Could you just look at this pic my husband took of me yesterday. Is my hand too close to the mast? arms too far apart? any other suggestions. The boom height and harness line length feel good.
Thanks in advance for taking the time.
Here is my reply:
No problem……. when I look at the shot a couple things stand out-
yes, your front hand looks too far forward-
I can also see a lack of mast foot pressure going on there- see how it looks like your weight is on your heels and you are pulled over the side of the board too much to windward- think about getting your weight on your toes more, dropping your butt down to engage the harness lines and get more mast foot pressure to keep the board driving from the mast- make sense?
Also, check you head where it is looking- if you are trying to go upwind, you should be looking upwind!
Same with the hips, if you twist your hips upwind, you are in a better position to cruise upwind more naturally.
Some other things to think about would be to really focus on using your body weight to engage the harness and let the harness do the work- this also achieves the mast foot pressure we are looking for AND takes the work out of the arms!
Food for thought……
Hope to see you on the water : }
A few simple things that can correct a lot of issues that a lot of windsurfers have- My favorite words of wisdom are:
LOOK where you want to go and STAY LOW!!!