Sunday, March 12, 2017

Big Foot Problems

Have you ever had a windsurf session where your feet got bigger and bigger as time went on? That's what happened to me today! Let me show you.

It all started well enough. We did not get the usual Texas sunshine, but at least the rain that had been with us for almost a week stopped today. I had hoped to do some freestyle, but when the averages picked up to almost 30 mph, and my 5.0 m sail suddenly seemed huge, I settled for trying to jibe without falling instead. At first, things went ok:


But then, my feet started to get bigger, and I had problems getting into the straps:


As the size of my feet kept increasing, my increasingly desperate attempts to get into the straps after the jibe had me bouncing around:


When I finally got my feet back into the straps, I put them in really good. Too good, as I discovered when I tried to get them out again in the next jibe:


That hurt a bit. Clearly, my big feet required some changes. The first thing that came to mind was a duck jibe, so I tried that:


So far, so good. But I don't really do Duck Jibes. That's too much like freestyle. So how about we just copy the delayed foot work, but otherwise do a normal jibe? Let's see:

That worked! But then, I remembered what my windsurf teach guru Andy Brandt says about this jibe (called "Sail First Jibe" in Alan Cadiz' jibe video): "Don't do it!". I learned the hard way to always do what Andy Brandt says. One time in Bonaire, he told me to go in because I was tired. I went for "one more run", ruined a sail, and almost broke my nose. So something needed to change!

Fortunately, I remembered that doing a sail-first jibe with both feet in the straps is allowed - it's an "easy" way to learn sailing switch stance in the straps. So let's try that:

That has some promise! For some reason, though, planing out seems more difficult. One might argue that this is because the weight further back sinks the tail and reduces speed, but who wants to be that technical? I have a better idea: I'll blame the chop instead! Chop can be blamed for all kinds of jibe problems. Sure, Bird Island Basin does not have a lot of chop, but there is some! All I need is a place that's even flatter! So our next stop (after a brief return to Cape Cod to shovel the drive way): Dahab in Egypt! Stay tuned...

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