Friday, June 17, 2011

Josh Angulo's loop pictures

One of the many highlights at last weekend's East Coast Windsurfing Festival were Josh Angulo's loops. Fortunately, Richard Burns (Mike's brother) got pictures of one of the loops. Here's an animated GIF:
Richard's camera angle was great to see a few things of interest for all of us who would like to learn to loop. Here are the individual pictures:

This is shortly after taking off from a small piece of chop. We can see here:
  • Josh's front hand is all the way back to the harness line (and he sails the harness lines further back than most of us - check out how he adjust the lines in James Douglass' "Angulo-vision" video).
  • His grip is very wide, so his back hand is very far back on the boom.
  • The board is tilted so the entire underside is exposed to the wind. I looked at a lot of other speed loop videos, and the board is tilted at least somewhat in all of them.
Look at the angles in Josh's knees in the shot above and in the next shot in the series:

Here, Josh's back leg is pulled up, and the front leg is extended, pushing the nose of the board towards the water and to leeward. His front hand has moved backward on the boom a bit, and is now over the harness lines. The mast is starting to move to windward, and Josh is starting to look back.

  • The mast is tilted windward at almost 45 degrees, ready to push the nose downwind.
  • Josh is pulling himself up over the boom and looking back.

As the nose clears the water, the pressure on the mast base is pushing the board around. Josh is making himself smaller to facilitate the rotation.

At this point, the board has turned 180 degrees, and Josh is falling towards the water. I think the rest of the rotation is completed just from the momentum he and the board have now. Josh landed this loop standing, almost ankle-dry (for those who watched the heat: the pictures are from the second loop).

The picture series illustrates nicely what Andy Brandt teaches about the loop: it's mostly done by sail steering in the air (mast to windward), and not by "just sheeting in". Josh is just starting to sheet in in the last picture, as he is falling towards the water. The "sheet in" advice might work for very vertical forward loops of high waves - but when learning loops in small chop or waves, imitating Josh in the pictures above will certainly work better, and keep you and your board safer.

Thanks to Josh for showing how to loop; Richard for catching him on camara and letting me use his pictures; and Mike, Christina, Tom, Jill, and all the other ECWF organizers for making it all possible,

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