Sunday, July 18, 2010

ABK camp Cape Cod coming up

The ABK camp in Cape Cod is coming up - Andy Brandt and his crew will be in Hyannis on September 10-12. ABK camps are the best way to improve your windsurfing, and to have more fun on the water. I have written about the ABK camps that I have attended in Bonaire in 2009 and 2010 before, so I won't repeat what I wrote. However, I never blogged about the Cape Cod camp in Hyannis that we attended last September, so here are a few details:

Since the camp took place after Labor Day, the beach was almost empty, except for the maybe 15 campers. The camp took place at the far end of the parking lot, and we sailed in Lewis bay. The ABK team had rented a big truck, and brought salad and sandwich stuff for the lunch breaks. In the evenings, we used the truck to store our rigs, after just taking of the booms - very convenient.

For the lessons, the campers were divided into three groups, based on skill levels. Typically, we would have a theoretical walk through whatever techniques a group was working on at the beach in the morning and again after lunch, and then practice the rest of the morning and afternoon. This sometimes included simulator exercise. Here's what my lovely wife learned in the three days:
  1. Day 1: waterstart. She had done some waterstarts before, but was not comfortable doing them. Sometimes, getting the rig into position would take her 10 minutes and leave her exhausted. Therefore, she sometimes did not surf when it was really windy.
    She practiced waterstarts with her group on the first day, when we had nice strong winds. She learned all the tricks needed, and got really comfortable with waterstarts. Good thing, too, since she needed them for our trips to Maui and the Gorge this year, where she often was overpowered on a 3.6 m sail.
  2. Day 2: footstraps. Before the camp, Nina was surfing only in the front foot strap. She sometimes tried to get into the back strap, but it rarely worked. As a result, she was going only about half speed, and occasionally got catapulted. Even though day 2 was a light wind day, the ABK folks taught her how to get into the back foot strap on a smallish board by hanging down on the boom. The first time we went windsurfing after the camp in high winds, she was in both straps the entire time, speeding along and having a blast. I had to work really hard now to catch her...
  3. Day 3: Heli tack. The heli tack is a fun and useful trick that Nina absolutely wanted to learn. She had tried it on her own a bunch of times, after looking at online videos and instructions, but with limited success. At the end of the third day of camp, she was nailing the first heli tacks, and happy as a clam about it.
At our favorite windsurfing spot in Fogland, several of the regular windsurfers have commented how much Nina has improved in the last two years. Without a doubt, these improvements are mostly due to the three ABK camps she has attended. I have noticed similar levels of improvement in a lot of other campers after even a single camp - although many ABK campers attend as many camps as possible, since each camps brings new skills and more fun.

So - what are you waiting for? Sign up for the camp at! Hope to see in in Kalmus soon!

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