Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Upwind 360

Yes, I know. I have not blogged for a while. No, I did not move away from Cape Cod. We just went to Hatteras for a couple of weeks. And windsurfed. A lot. No surprise there. I like windsurfing a lot. I mean, like windsurfing for 6 hours a day. That's a good day.

Since I have not given up completely on learning new freestyle tricks, I need to windsurf a lot. I am a slow learner. Tricks that others get in a day may take me a week. And I need all the help from ABK instructors I can get. Because if I screw up a trick, I usually have absolutely no clue what I did wrong.

Fortunately, we had good wind and plenty of great ABK instructors around - Andy, Brendon, Tom, Derek, and Eric. The fearless Nina started on Vulcans, and progressed nicely - her crashes now look just as violent as we expect Vulcan crashes to be, and her Flaka tries have reached the "any day now" state. I stuck with simpler stuff - mostly the planing Upwind 360. It looks really cool when Andy does it - he seems to loose no speed at all! And I can do the non-planing upwind 360 in my sleep. So this should be easy, right? Well, judge for yourself:

Not easy for me! I worked on it almost exclusively for several days. That makes somewhere between 50 and 100 crashes. According to Andy Brandt, the last one in the video counted as a success - "everyone waterstarts out of their first one". I did not count it, since I also hit bottom; but I had another one without bottom contact a bit later.

I also got my first planing Push Tacks during the ABK camp, thanks to tips from Derek. I had been close to completing one before, but it was still nice to finally get one. During the lighter wind days, I mostly worked on the Jaw Breaker. I made some progress, but it's still a matter of luck if I get one. The same applies to three new light wind moves that I had not done before - the Spin Tack, a Pirouette escape from the Jizz (Kreuzhang), and the Clew-First Duck Tack. But I made a few of each, so I can claim 5 new tricks. I'm pretty sure that's a record for me for a single ABK camp. Cool. Now I just have to repeat them, get the success rate up, and do them on both tacks and in different conditions. That should keep me busy for a few months! But there is hope - during a short session at Kalmus today, my one and only Push Tack try was dry. Of course I could not try again after that - why ruin a 100% success rate?

There's a few more things to write about, like the by far best weed fins I ever tried and the WET Fall Regatta that we stopped for on our way home, but that will have to wait.

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