Monday, July 13, 2015

What's Missing?

Do you see what's missing on this image?
You say waves and chop? Yes, true, but that's not it. Other sailors? Also true, but again not the right answer. If you get onto the water at 9 in the morning, you'll have the entire bay (almost) for yourself, and you can find very flat water. But more about that below.

The most unusual thing that's missing is the right front footstrap. That's the result of trying to mix too a couple of things:

  • One-footed jumps: the PWA pros get very high scores for one-footed backloops - so why not try one-footed jumps?
  • Splits: The current Queen of the East, Deniz, always shows splits in her freestyle routine - why not add a split to a jump?
Of course, I'd never try these things voluntarily, but my subconscious must have gotten ahead of me two days ago. I have having a great session - finally got my first Carve 360 here, and started to comfortable with jumps. Then, the back foot slipped out of the strap during take-off. Too early! I did not get any of the height that the pros get! Instead, the back foot hit the water right away. The board was airborne and going forward, so time for the split! My stupid subconscious completely ignore the fact that I don't do splits. But before I even had time to complain, the board hit the water again. With the front foot still securely in the strap and the back foot trailing about 2 meters behind, my leg tried hard to bend sideways. One of the little tendons in the knee stopped that, but it complained bitterly about the try. I guess tendons do not like to be stretched too much.

To add insult to injury, the lovely Nina, who was close by and sailing towards me, did not even see my acrobatic act! I spent a few minutes in the water pouting, and maybe also waiting for the pain to go down a bit. Swimming after my gear was arms-only, since my right leg did not want to move much anymore. But I was still able to sail back to shore.

Yesterday, my knee felt ok while walking, so I joined Nina for a morning sail. Sailing out on port was perfectly fine, but returning on starboard was a different issue. With the right foot in the front footstrap, it seemed that every little piece of chop resulted in sideways torque on the knee, which in turn resulted in pain. I almost stopped after the first runs, but then I discovered that simply placing the foot on top of the footstrap fixed the problem - the foot could now move freely enough to make sailing (mostly) pain-free. 

Nevertheless, I kept the session short, and skipped the afternoon session. Here are GPS tracks from a previous day where we did both a morning and afternoon session:
The lower tracks are from the morning session, the upper tracks are from the afternoon session. Morning winds are offshore and gusty, but the water is very flat. In the afternoon, you have to sail out past the point into the big swell and wind chop - very different! When you come back in, you get a short region where the water is flat; but if you sail too far, the wind drops off, sometimes to nothing. Yesterday, I did not think that my knee was ready for big swell and chop, so I took some pictures instead.

Nina Duck Tacking


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