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22Jun/15Off

PETER HART TOOLING UP FOR THE SWELL

PETER HART TOOLING UP FOR THE SWELL

wave kit 01

PETER HART TOOLING UP  FOR THE SWELL

The only thing more daunting than confronting a meaty Swell for the first time, is trying to choose kit for the job. The options appear overwhelming. Fresh from his 5 week wave clinic tour of the North Atlantic, Harty helps you prioritise and explain what’s most likely to help or hinder.

Story PETER HART


We looked at each other with all the mutual understanding of a Chinaman and a Frenchman discussing the value of a good forward defensive cricket stroke. “How much tuck do you want in these rails? How much tail kick? Wings or squash tail? Where do want the entry point?” “Er …I just want it to go round corners.” The year was 1981. The place was Crantock Street in Newquay, Cornwall and the man standing in front of me with a saw, a block of foam and all the ridiculous questions, was Tad Ciastula of Vitamin Sea Surfboards.

Along with 3 friends, I’d booked a trip to Lanzarote with the sole objective of learning to sail a ‘sinker’ – the moniker given to boards in that era that didn’t support your weight when stationary. We had just seen a video clip from Hawaii of Mike Waltze sailing waves on what looked like a modified surfboard and wanted a piece of that action. They didn’t exist in production form so we had to get them made. Someone had put us onto Tad because he was skilled, personable and open to new ideas. But he didn’t windsurf; so had to be given at least a germ of an idea of what was needed before he could start having new ones.

I had been thrust forward to discuss because I surfed. Well I had a surfboard and could stand up but I was no Kelly Slater. I didn’t speak a word of ‘shaper-ese’ and had not one meaningful syllable to offer him. But there began a fertile relationship. We backed away from the foam, sat around a table and tried to address the real objectives, not the fantasy. “How much time will you really spend with your edges in contact with a wave face?” Not that much. “What kind of conditions are you likely to confront (not the ones you want to confront)?” Mush.

Tad grasped the ‘blasting about joyfully but meaninglessly’ aspect of windsurfing and could see that what we were after primarily were boards that afforded us a little more speed and control in wild winds and rough seas … but which at least gave us the option of riding waves – i.e. not a surfboard with a mastfoot but a smaller windsurfer with a few more surfy bits. What today would be called a ‘freestyle wave.’

We copied footstrap and mastfoot positions from existing boards but added a 12” Malibu fin box as a mast-track to gives us greater trimming options. As for fins, we went for a three fin ‘thruster’ arrangement (sound familiar?) – purportedly to add more grip and drive in steeply banked turns (whatever they were) but in reality to offer a bit more resistance and reduce the spin out, which was a way of life in that era. Tri-fins were also the current trend in surfboards – we weren’t immune to trends even back then.

As for size, in a rare moment of clarity I shared the lesson I’d learned with surfing which was that you don’t get to ride a wave unless you make it through the break and can paddle fast enough into a wave to catch it early, for which big is beautiful. So we didn’t go too small, 270 cm and about 100 ltrs in today’s money (which actually felt really small for the time.) It was important, we decided, that we could actually sail the things.Tad suggested that as soon as we reached that position where we were catching wave after wave and genuinely felt we were being held back by the design, not by incompetence, then he would make some tweaks.

And did these boards work? Absolutely. Well three of them did. One of our band, Aussie Phil, had ideas way above his station. In his deluded mind he was already ripping Hawaiian reef breaks and kept asking Tad what would make the board ‘snappier’ and more manoeuvrable. “Tail kick you say? Well give me a load more of that mate!” And so Phil ended up with an undersized stick shaped like a court-jester’s slipper, which pushed so much water that he planed just once during the whole six weeks we were in the Canaries; and that was during a Scirocco gale.

The last we heard of Phil, he was back in Oz farming bamboo. Anyway, the reason for that rambling anecdote is that the questions asked and lessons learned during that pioneering encounter, are pretty much the same today as you ponder kit for the waves. What do you really want this board to do? Ride, jump or blast?

What sea state do you mostly encounter? Swell or wind blown waves?

What kit are you used to? What’s your style? Do you have a style? Do you want one? Do you care?

The way to approach this is to explain the fundamental concepts of wave kit – and then look at the current frills. It’s a bit like buying a car in that first you have to decide on the basic requirements such as size, horsepower, seats for kids and space for dog, kit, partner etc; and then agonise over the details of traction control, size of subwoofer, number of cup holders etc. The approach starts with the self.

When it comes to selecting wave kit do not fall prey to ‘me-no-good, can’t-tell-the-difference’ syndrome.

Confidence Crisis
Self-deprecation is the windsurfer’s worst enemy. “It doesn’t matter what kit I get because I’m useless and wont be able to tell the difference” are words frequently uttered by the novice deciding to cobble together some dusty bits gleaned from a garage sale.  Hopefully someone plucks them from the jaws of eternal stagnation by providing them with a combo designed specifically for their level. Thereafter they do associate progress with equipment and set-up. They realise that planing and getting into the straps was only possible when rig matched board; and straps, harness lines and boom height were all configured so that they could line themselves up directly with the power and deliver a constant force into the board via feet and mastfoot without crouching, twisting, straining or popping discs. That attitude to kit should then follow them all the way up through the levels – especially into wave sailing.

The harder the discipline, the narrower the appropriate kit window – if you’re fighting the wave kit and struggling just to sail in a straight line, what chance have you when you throw waves into the mix?  Wave kit may be different but it should not be difficult. The easier it is to sail, the more you lift your head, relax and sail tactically. Don’t think that just because you have no experience you wont be able to tell the difference between good and not so good wave equipment. You will.

Yesterday was a better place
Yesterday at East Wittering I counted 50 mostly recreation-al sailors out on the water (but it was a Tuesday – so obviously without jobs). It was brutal. The wind was gusting from 15-50 knots and the sea was a mess with a vicious cross chop atop a lazy, intermittent swell. Yet these people weren’t just out, they were doing stuff. Popping big jumps, lining up on waves, screaming off down the line, smacking lips. Ten years ago on the same patch, perhaps 5-10 would have braved such conditions of which a couple with lots of logos on their sails, would have been actually doing something. So what has happened in those 10 years? Basically vastly improved wave kit has brought the upper levels within reach. But how?



THE CHOICES PEOPLE MAKE
The participants of my recent wave clinic in Tiree stand before their favourite sticks. No one was hamstrung by their equipment. Their choices were sound and worked even though some seemed surprising – like 30 year old ripping Mike going for a single fin and 50yr old, lake-dwelling Viki favouring a quad. There’s gigabytes of information out there so it’s interesting to hear what informed their decisions.

088 Peter Hart Article Updated

// (1) Ruth is a relative newcomer to waves and living in Cumbria doesn’t get to the coast that often. Her chosen boards are 103 and 78 freewaves.
“I had rubbish boards before, got advice from a clinic and did what I was told (well done Jem!). I didn’t go for a full on wave boards because at this stage I think I need more allround designs to nail the basics.”
// (2) Mike is in his early 30s and having taken a couple of years off to travel and windsurf, he’s very good. His board of choice is 76 Real Wave single fin.
“I broke my board in Perth. The Real Wave was available for a good price. I reckoned the single fin would work best both in the chop of Perth and the mushy waves of home where you need speed to do anything. I think it’s beginning to hold my riding back. I tend to spin out a lot when I try and crank it which is making me draw out my turns so I’m in the market for a multi fin.”
// (3) Rob loves his kit and has improved hugely in the waves since buying a SUP. He’s holding a Quad 92. He has an 82 as well. It wasn’t something he planned: “I was actually after a twin but there was a 6 month wait so I went for the Quad and love it. I had an 86 fsw but in the waves I just found it too fast and lively. I’m not aware of having to change my style that much but my coach said the Quad has forced me to use my front foot more, which is nice to know.”

// (4) Viki, despite doing most of her sailing on a lake running a T15 squad, has perhaps the most dedicated wave board, a 75 Quattro Quad, but loves it.“When I first came on these wave clinics I had rubbish old kit, which felt very technical to sail. For me the big thing is still getting out through the waves. I liked the look of the Quad. I find it really easy to sail and what helps more than anything is that the small fins and wide tail allow me to launch early and get straight into the straps. And for some reason I find I stay upwind.”


Don’t make do! The game has changed.
Before you plump for that classic model, a snip at fifty quid though it may be, understand how the overall wave sailing game has changed. In the past a wave board’s manoeuvrability was linked primarily to its size and amount of rocker. Fewer litres meant thinner ‘grippier’ edges, which held in at speed. More rocker – the curve nose to tail but especially in the tail – helped the board to sit in the water and ‘snap’ round. But both those features made it slow to plane. Wave sailing for most was therefore a windy pursuit, 20-25 knots plus. To keep us afloat, we would load little boards with relatively big sails. Big wave boards did exist but they bounced and skipped the moment the going got tough. The problem was that sticking to a relatively long (250 ish) and narrow outline, the only way to build in volume was to thicken the edges.

It was a decade ago that the outlines suddenly changed. Short wide boards weren’t an immediate success, but it set us on a right track. They had more curve in the plan shape so you could engage the whole rail in the turn without tripping  – like a surfboard. But you had adopt a more surfy style, standing in the middle of the board (more about that shortly)

Thanks to squillions of R and D hours experimenting with minute adjustments of volume distribution and various blends of rail shape and rocker, they have improved immeasurably. We are now in the happy place today where bigger boards work so much better. The difference in outline between a modern 75 ltr and 90 ltr board is not so different. The extra volume has been cleverly hidden in places that aid the float but detract minimally from the performance. This has changed our relationship with power. Sitting higher in the water, bigger boards need less grunt to push them along on and off the plane. Riding hanging onto a lot of power, you can’t take up wild angles because you’re always resisting the rig. Typically good sailors are using 0.5 sq m less than they were a few years back. Using a smaller rig widens your cage of movement. It’s easier to hide and depower the sail allowing you drop deeper into turns, drive the board like a surfer. Whereas once you were judged by how small a board you used in the waves, now it’s by how small a rig you can get away with. But away from the glory of eye-popping off-the-lips, it’s the most basic considerations that have the biggest influence. Back to yesterday’s gale – as the tide turned, the current inshore started ripping downwind at about 4 knots, yet the majority were managing to hold station. That would never have happened before. Do the modern boards point higher? Not necessarily – but they plane earlier and longer. If you drop off the plane where the current is running (often around the impact zone), for every second you are off the plane, you’re losing about a metre downwind. The newer, wider, designs help you get through those rips and fluffy patches. Whether you’re learning to carve gybe or sail waves, it’s the ability to stay upwind that has arguably the greatest influence on your progress.



Pros eye view pt 2 JOHN SKYE on fins and battens
Listening to those on the cutting edge of the wave scene is interesting because they take the kit to its limits and really can identify the differences.

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// I mostly use twin or quad. All my boards are quad, but depending on the conditions I alternate the set up. Twin makes the board a bit more free and pivot better, so I tend to choose this set up when its very light winds (e.g., 5.7 and 92 setup) or when its very small and junky onshore surf. As a quad the boards have more grip and more drive, and the front fins pull the board into the water which also aids control. If the waves are better I find the quad set up can give me more speed through the turns. I haven’t played around too much with the Thruster set up, but I feel this give a bit more directional stability and maybe makes the board more settled. But I still need to play with this more and now we have 5 boxes in our boards it allows me to do that.
For me the less battens you have the more reactive the sail becomes. That means more feedback for the rider, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what you are looking for. So in general a 3 batten sail will change shape a lot more as you ride. When you sheet the sail in, typically it will create a lot more power and drive instantly and the same when you sheet out with the power leaving the sail more quickly. In riding this can be a big advantage if you want to use the sail to power you through turns and then release the power at the top. On the other side you have 5 battens. These are less reactive, which can be a positive. If a gust hits, the sail will stay more in control and the rider can forget the sail more and focus on riding. They also tend to offer a more consistent power for jumping. The 4 batten sits somewhere in the middle and is my personal preference, offering a reactive feel when riding, and good control for jumping. It is important to also consider that it is not just the number of battens that effect these things, but also the designed usage of the sail. RRD for example have the Four and the Vogue which both feature 4 battens. However the Four is more reactive and with more power, whilst the Vogue is more controllable and settled.

 

Volume – the key factor
“Shall I get an 85 or a 95?” The general rule is that the bigger the board, given the general lack of storms, the more use you’ll get out of it. As little as 5 years ago I would have said the ‘go to …’  wave board is your weight in litres.
Today I add 7-10 litres to that. At 85(ish) kg my most used board is my 92 which I use with a 5.7, 5.2 an sometimes even 4.7.But it does depend, of course, on your ability and what you plan to do with it. Some choose wave boards primarily as high wind blasters specifically for use with sails under 5.0. In which case go smaller.

The main consideration is whether you truly intend to ride proper waves. The reality is that on the best riding days, from Cornwall, to Tahiti, in side or side off conditions, the wind is gusty and often light.
The deciding factor is what board do you need to punch through white water and how much volume do you need to bog around comfortably off the plane and perhaps even uphaul? For an 80 kg bloke, it’s about 90 ltrs but add another 10 or 15 to that if you’re challenged in the general trimming and balance departments.

STYLE – how much can you change?
My friend Filippo, who has a van full of the very latest Quads, commented that he doesn’t know many sports like windsurfing (and wave sailing in particular) where the amateur aspires to use exactly the same kit as the pros. It’s an interesting point – and maybe they shouldn’t. Modern wave designs have been developed mostly by young people whose style has been shaped through surfing, freestyle and wave-sailing, which means they’ve never really used a fin. They stand over the board and sail and turn off the front foot.

Most recreational sailors, on the other hand, come from a free-ride background. They sail off the leech and drive all the power through the back foot against the rail and into that powerful fin, which they use like a safety blanket. The two styles couldn’t be more different. A lot are happy to make the transition, but an equal amount struggle. The question is how far are you prepared to bend towards the new way? It depends on how many hours you can put in to adapt – but also on your DNA. I am lucky enough to have access to all the new stuff. I’ve moved with the changes  and embrace the front foot, big board, small sail surfing style … almost.

However I spent a big chunk of my formative years competing in slalom where the gybe is all about a massive sheet in and driving that power into a long sharp edge and feeling it bite. The thing is, I still like that feeling in my wave sailing and so probably use a slightly bigger sail than is hip, and hence tend to ‘fin up’ my boards a little more. There may be an old dog and new tricks issue, but I prefer the word ‘heritage.’ I can’t get over it, I quite like the feeling of a little extra power.

The message is to adapt, but not move so far from what you know that you can’t function. If, try as you might, you can’t help but give the back foot the odd reassuring hoof, then don’t be afraid to invest in big fins, err towards a single fin or maybe a freestyle wave board. Now there’s a can brimming with wrigglers

“I borrowed a quad off Chris ‘Muzza’ Murray, new school to the core, and when I swapped the 13cm fins for 16s, so incredulous was he that I might as well have poured lemonade into his real ale. But it worked for me”

 



HOLDING IN
The modern board and rig combo in action in what is now called ‘real world’ conditions – identifiable waves but nothing bone-crunching. One major advantage of the multi-fin design is how the fins pull them into the water allowing you to do tight full rail turns at relatively slow speed – and therefore stay on the wave face and not outrun it.  Note how the set and design of the sail naturally pull you up onto the front foot.

wave kit 05

// Above It may not feel comfortable for blasting but getting used to widely spaced, open, inboard straps that leave your feet right on the centre-line, is the biggest step you’ll make towards controlled riding. Photo Danielle of GetWindsurfing

 

THE FREESTYLE WAVE QUESTION
When it comes to explaining the wave vs freestyle wave board option, I value the opinion of a man who actually designs them. Tiesda Yo of Starboard.“If you’re asking yourself this question, the answer is probably FreeWave. A Kode 81, 86 or 94, it’s like buying a BMW M3. It’s got four doors, it’ll commute to work and it’ll rip on the track. FreeWaves are the choice for high-wind blasting, jumping and wave riding. But if most of your windsurfing is carving up peeling walls of water, then go for the dedicated wave board and forget the BMW.” It’s the versatility of the fsw that you’re buying into. The choice of strap positions allow you to adapt your style gradually, moving them inboard, opening them up millimeter by millimeter as well as reducing fin size (and on the latest designs, adding some thrusters). The set up, learning to sail upright, leaning forward with both feet on or across the centerline, has at least as much influence on your ability to perform in waves, as the design.When you’re good enough to feel that point where the fsw is hampering your riding ambitions, you can trust your own decisions about the next step.

Pro’s eye view pt 1. Jamie Hancock and the fin question.
Jamie is one of our great home-grown talents. At 68kg he’s at the lighter end of the scale – and the smallest board he uses these days is a round 68 ltr (used to 60ltr). He has this to say about the fin question. “For me it is simply a question of what best compliments my board. My Tabou boards come with 5 fin slots so there is an option for any set up. Last year I used quads for added grip and switched to twins for added speed in onshore conditions on the same board. This year I’m using tri fins as they have a winged tail (steps in the tail). That is what is best for this board. I find thrusters are a kind of compromise between quads and twins and work really well. So the number of fins really depend on what gets the most out of your board – I don’t have a favourite. Fin sizes are a whole new story …!”

Fin Multiplicity – How many and where???
I often start my wave clinics by showing people some footage I took of Josh Angulo sailing his crunching home break of Punta Preta in the Cap Verdes. To this day you will not see a more impressive display of down-the-line (downwind) wave-riding with full power bottom turns, cranking, vertical, one handed cut-backs under the lip with rail engaged right up to the nose logo, as well as massive aerials. It was 6 years ago and he was using a bog standard, production, 88 ltr board he grabbed from the racks of his hire centre with a 22cm single fin. The message is you have to get into some wildly extreme situations before you will be held back by classic, good, no frills wave kit – and even then probably not – assuming it’s the right size for you and the conditions and matched by a well-set rig.

The year before  at the 2007 inaugural and now legendary PWA wave event at that very same spot, Kauli Seadi kicked off the multi-fin rush by tucking his new quad fin design into some super tight pockets and drawing lines that no one had seen before. It’s also possible he performed thus because he’s brave and incredibly skilful and that other aspects of his new board design were more influential (the outline, the rocker etc) than the cluster of fins. But it’s also worth noting that Josh won that event on that same 88 ltr single fin.

My advice is not to get too distracted by the question of how many fins. Fins, of course, are very very important but they’re the icing on a big and very complicated cake. If you’re looking to compartmentalise you can say:

Quads – powerful turns.

Tri-fin (thurster) – powerful turns but more directional

Twins – loose, surfy, skatey.

Single fin – yet more directional, secure, predictable.

The first twin I tried about 5 years ago, I hated. I would have more secure going down the fast lane of the M6 on a wet Friday night on a shopping trolley. It would go in any direction but straight. But I love my new one – it’s fast, directional but loose in the right areas. It’s not about the fins, the basic design has simply improved.

Many of the latest models are coming with 5 fin boxes. It seems like a choice you can do without but it’s the best solution. If the board is good it will work with every set-up. Having the options allows you to tune it for different conditions (see the comments of Jamie Hancock and John Skye), onshore or sideshore, riding or jumping – or just settle on a feel that suits your style. And everyone has a style even thought they don’t recognise it as such.


BIG WAVE BOARD OR FREESTYLE WAVE
The new kid on the block is the supersize wave board, some now weighing in at 120 litres – an unthinkable design as little as 3 or 4 years ago. From recent experience I can affirm the one I tried was amazing. But the mistake I have seen some make already is to think they’ll double up nicely as chunky allrounders. No, they are wave boards. The volume around the mastfoot is there to help you drift out in very light winds where you might normally only be able to use a SUP. But the rocker line that makes them so maneuverable on a wave, and the wide stance, does not make for particularly early planing or a comfortable speed stance. If you want the option of blasting and speedy gybing, go for a freestyle wave.

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// Despite weighing in at a shade over 60 kg Phil Richards loved the 120 wave board for no wind wave riding.
Photo Danielle of GetWindsurfing

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// The outline and straighter rocker of the fsw makes it the more versatile option. Photo Simon Bassett


WAVE RIGS – and the batten question
If you’ve been in this sport long enough, you will get the odd déjà vu. I happened recently upon some correspondence I had with Roger Tushingham while testing sails in Barbados in the late 80s. It was all to do with the ‘soft’ (sail with leech battens) vs hard (sail with full length battens) wave sail debate. He had sent me the first batch of fully battened prototypes. I didn’t like them. I couldn’t feel what was going on. They were heavier. When you sheeted out they still pulled. The argument was that they were more stable. In the end we reached a compromise and the new sails arrived with the option of either full or
half battens.

And that’s pretty much where we are now with the 5,4, or 3 batten sail debate. At the NWF I was discussing the issue with Sam Ross and we decided only half jokingly that we seem to be in the throes of
redesigning the training sail. As a beginner a batten-less sail gives you more feel as well as visual clues (flapping) as to its state of trim. It also bags out to give you a lot of power for its size. But it’s all good, if just a little confusing. Lets us dodge the batten issue for a second, and as with boards, focus on basics.

Match a wave board with a wave sail. It’ll be more robust and likely to stay the course. But the key design features are a flatter foil, which goes neutral and depowers as you sheet out, and a centre of effort which is higher and more forward and lifts you up, inboard and onto your front foot into that ‘ready to surf’ position. A tighter leech and that high centre of effort lifts the board out of the water and allows you to get away with a smaller sail. Compare that to a more speed oriented sail which has more shape in the bottom battens, pushes the board onto the water and encourages a hunkered down, fin-driving, speed stance. When it comes to battens, the less you have, the more information you get from the sail, (good for tricky wave riding situations), the more low end power it produces (good for multi fin boards where you’re trying to get away with a small sail); but also the less stable it is – not so good for powered up jumping.

Currently I have a mix of 4 and 5 battens. I currently favour 5 because, as I mentioned, I like to be a little more powered up than perhaps is strictly necessary and also gives a bigger wind range – a definite bonus when I’m coaching and the van is a long way from the waves.

Harty returns with yet more words of technique wisdom in the next issue.  In the meantime check his website for details of the 2014/15 clinic schedule (and how to buy a copy of his new gybing DVD) or email him to get his monthly newsletter – harty@peter-hart.com

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11Jun/15Off

JULY 2015 ISSUE ON SALE

JULY 2015 ISSUE ON SALE

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WINDSURF MAGAZINE #347 JULY 2015 ISSUE ON SALE

The July 2015 Issue of the world’s only monthly English-language windsurfing magazine is out now!

BLAST INTO SUMMER COAST RUN – PORTLAND TO LULWORTH

 // 

DEFI WIND – 


THE ULTIMATE RACE

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BIG JUICY READS

Defi
DEFI WIND – RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINES
Plucky Brit, Peter Crosby, reports first hand on the windiest Defi ever while organiser Francky Roguet recounts the crazy carnage of the biggest startline in windsurfing.

Lulworth
MAUI’S WEST SIDE STORY
John Carter lays bare Maui’s lesser known West side with its stunning scenery and range of sick sailing spots.

Bigbury
BIGBURY SPOT GUIDE
Learn all about this famed South Devon wave spot from local Dave Ewer as JC and Timo Mullen take a road trip to Bigbury.

Ben Profitt
FIRST TIME – BEN PROFFITT
John Carter breaks down the Rhosneigr ripper’s inner demons in the pound store psychology of ‘The first time….’

_B9Q0552
FIVE GO WINDSURFING! – PORTLAND TO LULWORTH COVE
Five heroic windsurfers brave the treacherous seas of the Jurassic Coast for a jolly good downwinder. What could possibly go right!, JC reports.

Oda
ODA JOHANNE – NORDIC FREESTYLE QUEEN
How does a young woman from Norway become Vice World Champion, we sit down with Oda to find out.

Taty
TATY’S TIPS – SLALOM SPEED FOR THE LIGHTER RIDER
We quiz Taty Frans on his secrets for going fast as a lighter rider and being one of the most well rounded sailors in the world, competing in Slalom & Freestyle.

POINTS OF VIEW
We quiz some of the finest windsurfing selfie shooters on the planet for their tips, tales and tricks of the trade in using point of view cameras.

GEAR SHED

Test
130 LITRE FREERIDE BOARDS –

THE THIN (WIDE) LINE
The large freeride board was the principal domain of the intermediate rider, but is there a little more to the large freeride hull now? Our team investigates.

Fanatic Gecko 133
JP Magic Ride 132
RRD Firemove 130
Starboard Atom 130
Tabou Rocket Wide 128

7.5 CAMMED SAILS – THE WINGS OF THE DOVE
Camless freeride sails are ever popular, so what of the camber inducer? Has it become solely the domain of the amateur and professional racer? The team investigate.

Attitude Hornet 7.8
Ezzy Lion 7.5
GA Sails Phantom 7.8
North S-Type 7.8
Severne Overdrive 7.8
Simmer 2XC 7.8
RRD Firewing MKIII 7.8
Tushingham Bolt 7.8

TEKKERS

Harty
PETER HART MASTERCLASS – ALL A QUIVER
How many? What’s the best gap between sizes? Cams or no cams? Should you mix the brands? Peter Hart helps you amass the bespoke quiver.

Jem
MOVE ON UP WITH JEM HALL – VULCAN HOW TO 
Jem Hall breaks down the perfect introductory move to intermediate freestyle.

BOARDSHORTS

LATEST & GREATEST
The golden glint of shiny new kit glows brightly in these pages; read, drool, repeat.

SUMMER ACCESSORIES
It’s summer, yay! time to tan and kick back with a Cornetto. Read on for our guide to the best in summer accessories!

SITTIN’ ON THE DUNNY

EDITORIAL – GONE WITH THE WIND.
The Editor champions the act of going downwind, why the windsurfer rules this point of sail and why we don’t do it more?

AFFAIRS OF THE HART – FUNGIE THE DOLPHIN.
Harty dons his hippy hat to explain why Fungie, the resident dolphin of Dingle Harbour, has such a special place in his heart of Hart’s !

 

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25May/15Off

BJORN DUNKERBECK THE TERMINATOR

BJORN DUNKERBECK THE TERMINATOR

BJORN DUNKERBECK  THE TERMINATOR

Bjorn Dunkerbeck has dominated modern windsurfing and his mere name defined winning. So when he announced his retirement we needed to know more, but all of us in the office were too scared to ask. Decades of domination were built on his icy reputation. Having decided unanimously amongst the team that we were all cowards, we rigged the short straws so JC had to go face to face with the Terminator and left him with strict instructions not to look him in the eyes otherwise he’d probably die. Many biscuits were bitten and teas nervously drunk before he returned but thankfully he did, bringing back a must read interview with the most successful windsurfer in the world and his retirement plans for anything but pipe and slippers.

Words & Photos JOHN CARTER

(This feature originally appeared in the March 2015 issue of Windsurf Magazine. To read more features like this first, Print and Digital subscriptions are available. Prices include delivery globally for 10 x issues a year!)

Some say he should have quit while he was ahead as PWA Slalom world champion back in 2011 but the simple truth of the matter is that Bjorn Dunkerbeck just loves to windsurf and the thrill of competition is in his blood and something that was always going to be tough to let go. The last two years have been a rocky road for Bjorn on tour, the sweet smell of victory has evaporated to a certain extent with 13th and 14th places in the overall rankings; tough results to handle after years of domination! Bjorn has been publicly critical of light wind slalom, a major factor in his decision to announce the final curtain on his thirty year PWA career would be drawn at the end of the 2104 season.

So when Bjorn held his press conference in Sylt delivering this shockwave to the windsurfing world, I sensed an interview with this icon of windsurfing was imminent. The big question was when and where? My initial thoughts were to plan it right after his last race in Noumea but what if he wasn’t in the mood or he had a bad race. If he did not cooperate then I could blow the whole thing! I could have snagged him down straight away during Sylt or in La Torche but it just did not seem right to interview him until his PWA career was officially terminated. So I decided to take my chances and leave it until Noumea, in my books it had to be done right after the last race after 30 years on tour. That’s when the emotions would be flowing, the quiver bags finally packed and the moment he would start focusing his legendary status, skills and passion in a new direction. Come the final morning of the last day of Noumea, I knew it was going to be a hectic day. Albeau and Moussilmani were locked in battle for the title, plus there was a prize giving ceremony after the racing and the usual bag packing frenzy that goes down after an event.

Unfortunately for Dunky he made an uncharacteristic mistake in his final ever round of PWA slalom and sailed the wrong heat but surprisingly when I tracked him down in his pit area after the racing he was in a upbeat mood and was more than happy to sit down for an interview to reflect on his thirty years of professional competition. Far from being the end of the road for Bjorn, his piercing eyes still looked hungry for more glory as he answered my questions about the past, present and future. It proved to be a story not just about the end of a  journey but also the start of another chapter in the life of living legend, Bjorn Dunkerbeck!

Click here to read more: Windsurf Magazine

19May/15Off

JUNE 2015 ISSUE ON SALE

JUNE 2015 ISSUE ON SALE

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WINDSURF MAGAZINE #346 JUNE 2015 ISSUE ON SALE

The June 2015 Issue of the world’s only monthly English-language windsurfing magazine is out now!

España

THE 

LAST TIME WITH NIK BAKER


  //

GRAN CANARIA 


SPOT GUIDE // 

TARIFA 

DAY 


TRIPPING 

Subscribe or grab your copy now in either App or Print  versions!
(Prices include delivery anywhere globally 10 times a year.)

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BIG JUICY READS

Los Roque1
LOS ROQUES – THE MAGICAL ISLANDS
Diony Guadagnino and Ricardo Campello team up for a voyage of surf discovery in their homeland.

Mo Twins
MORENO TWINS – DOUBLE TROUBLE
Same but different, John Carter interviews the most successful windsurfing sisters in the world

NIK BAKER MAIN SHOT
LAST TIME – NIK BAKER
The UK’s most successful competitor on the PWA, faces his demons under the terrifying torture of ‘The Last Time !’

STALLED FORWARD
STALLED FORWARD – HOW TO
Young gun Pablo Ramírez (Pablito) breaks down the stock move of any Gran Canaria hot shot – the stalled forward !

Adam lewis2
PROFILE – ADAM LEWIS
John Carter finds out what it’s like to be a young Brit on tour and a rider on one of the world’s biggest windsurfing teams.

Spot guide
GRAN CANARIA – SPOT GUIDE
From the high winds of Pozo to flat water spots, that even beginners can enjoy. Chris Pressler gives us his guide.

Tarifa
24 HOURS IN TARIFA
JC, Timo Mullen and local Ben Van der Steen team up for a hit and run to Tarifa for a 24 hour mission that didn’t disappoint !

Ross BW
WIGHT WINTER
Ross Williams exchanged winter training abroad for a winter at home on the Isle of Wight. JC finds out why the plan paid off.

GEAR SHED

Test 1
125 LITRE FREERACE BOARDS
Everyone loves to go fast; we test the boards that will make you love it even more.

STARBOARD Futura 114
FANATIC Ray 120
RRD Firestorm 120
TABOU Speedster 118
JP 124 Super Sport

7.0 NO CAM FREERACE SAILS
All the speed without all the fuss, we test the sails that provide all-round performance as well as fun.

NORTH E-Type 7.3
SEVERNE NCX 7.0
GOYA Nexus 6.9
EZZY Cheetah 7.0m
RRD Fire 6.8
SIMMER V-max 7.2
NEIL PRYDE Hellcat 7.2

TEKKERS

Peter Hart Harness

PETER HART MASTERCLASS
HOOK, LINE and SINKER! Harty solves everything about the harness – design, set-up and technique?

jem hall
MOVE ON UP WITH JEM HALL
PREPARATION, PREPARATION – Jem Hall looks at preparing effectively for carving tacks and carve gybes

BOARDSHORTS

Travel
SPAIN AND CANARIES MICRO GUIDE
We round up some of the best hot spots of Spain and the Canary Islands.

LATEST & GREATEST
Did you hear the one about the Antique shop that had nothing new! – the opposite is here – fresh bits on the latest kit.

SITTIN’ ON THE DUNNY

EDITORIAL
España – From world champions to windsurfers with a healthy career/life balance, the Spanish have it all Editor muses why.

AFFAIRS OF THE HART
Harty charts his love/hate for Fuerteventura, a story of catapults & trashed hire cars, usually in the company of Whitey.

 

 

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The post JUNE 2015 ISSUE ON SALE appeared first on Windsurf Magazine.

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14May/15Off

PETER HART THE CAMERA TRAP

PETER HART THE CAMERA TRAP

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

PETER HART THE CAMERA TRAP

The video sequence or the photographic still can be an invaluable teaching aid… so long as you get the right shot and know what you’re looking at. Peter Hart has advice both for the photographer and ‘photographee.’

With PETER HART

(This feature originally appeared in the January February 2015 issue of Windsurf Magazine. To read more features like this first, Print and Digital subscriptions are available. Prices include delivery globally for 10 x issues a year!)


You may be an exception but the improvement graph of most windsurfers starts with a steady upward path; but then suddenly looks like the heart activity of a dying man on a defibrillator – flat lines interspersed with vertical spikes – which makes it exciting and frustrating …but probably more the latter. The secret lies in understanding what was responsible for those joyous spikes. What made you suddenly put the back foot in the strap? Drop forward rather than lean back into a carve gybe? Turn the head to look down the wave as you turned off the lip?

There is no one answer of course – nevertheless I’m going to give you one – it’s feedback.

At beginner level you get plenty of it. The light wind arena is closed and safe. The proximity of a mentor dissipates anxiety – the greatest learning inhibitor. Communication is easy and although the incoherent mate who’s teaching you doesn’t know his luff from his leech, some of the information is useful even if it’s limited to opening and closing doors and sticking your bum in. But with a decent teacher, the scenario is not so different from getting your forehand drilled by a tennis coach – thanks to his or her constant verbal tweaking or demonstrating, bad habits never have a chance to engrain themselves.

But as the wind increases and you bump onto the plane, your windsurfing universe expands. And with every metre you skim gloriously away from the shore, the chance of useful feedback reduces. To prevent technical stagnation, you have to keep the feedback channels open. But how?

Go on a clinic, he said with no hint of self-interest, where you’ll luxuriate in a hot tub of feedback, but you can’t be on one all the time. As you seek to improve, the best place to look is upwards. How do the pros break down the barriers? Apart from privilege, opportunity and instinctive brilliance their greatest and least heralded talent is their ability to self-coach. For the vast majority, the video is as an indispensable tool. To master the most complex moves, you have to be acutely aware of where you, rig and body have to be at every stage of the move. It’s not just a ‘crash, burn, learn’ approach. They really put the ‘anal’ in ‘analysis, scrutinising every frame of the footage like a biologist picking through the carcass of a dead rat.

Quizzed on the subject, the first comment I got from Ben Profitt was “it’s pretty much the way I learn everything.” (See elsewhere in this article a more detailed account of his method.)

As moves get harder, the window for error turns into a slit. For the vast majority of pros, the video is an indispensable tool


What the video brings
Used well, the video is as multi-functional as a Swiss Army knife.

It’s the rewind button for your muscle memory.
“Reg … do you remember that jump you did about half an hour ago? Well you took off about 10º too far into wind… you don’t remember? OK … whatever.”

The problem with live feedback, especially in wild seas where it’s not convenient to keep coming in and out, is that it’s delayed. The video jogs the memory, gives you a visual reference and makes the feedback relevant.

It closes the gap between perception and ego-busting reality.
What we think we’re doing is rarely what we are doing. Frank was a good gyber – on the flat waters of Dahab’s Baby Bay at least – but he hardly ever bent his knees, which is a key element in controlling the arc and being able to pressure the edge evenly though chop.

He came in after a series of planing dry ones seeking praise and affirmation. I pointed out the straight leg thing. He couldn’t have been more incandescent if I’d suggested he drove like a pensioner. “I think you’ll find I did.” He sniffed.

The video playback revealed the naked truth. The thing is he did bend his knees, ever so slightly, as he initiated. But as the board tilted over, the legs straightened again – he didn’t remember that bit. Being able to relate the feeling to the picture is a massive help.

Fault-finding and positive reinforcement
Video allows you to keep on practising after the event. Pawing over sequences again and again reveals more and more details of good and bad and really puts you in touch with what’s going on. But the camera is just a tool and just as you can write rubbish with a beautiful fountain pen, it’s worse than useless in the wrong hands.

Here’s a typical postmodern windsurfing preparation routine. Arrive. Park. Stare at sea/lake. Assess wind strength. Jog back to car avoiding eye contact with Geoffrey, the resident boffin who will otherwise engage you in a 20 minute one way discussion about foil flex percentages. Rig, change, launch – total time so far, 11 minutes and 24 seconds. But now add a further 90 minutes for activities under the general heading of ‘briefing film crew and setting up Point of View cameras. Everyone is at it and great it is too. But where you point them depends whether you want to just make a movie or get some technical feedback.

Movie Maker or Teaching Aid?
Jamie, not his real name, presents himself on many clinics. I treasure his company but every now and then we have a minor falling-out (hence the pseudonym … I don’t want to upset him) over the subject of video.

The conversation would go something like: “Harty, did you get that last wave ride? I think it was my best ever!”
“Absolutely!” I said knowing full well that the only sequence I had got of Jamie was of him mistiming a top turn. And so lying I at least postponed his wrath until the naked truth was revealed at video replay session. I tried to stem the flow of abuse by pointing out that I was his coach, not his personal videographer. Of course I would love to have caught that life-affirming moment – but actually the role of the video in a coaching context is primarily to show what you can’t do – not what you can.

Two other things made Jamie hard to film. In a crowded spot, he’d go way out to sea and so was very hard to pick up on the way back in. And if the rider disappears for long periods, the cameraman is likely to get distracted or daydream. It’s so much easier to film someone who stays in constant view. Also, it turned out Jamie performed his ‘ride of the day’ way downwind. He wasn’t sailing to the camera, he was just sailing. It was a one-way relationship. More about that in a minute.

The sudden availability and affordability of amazing devices along with the influence of social media has definitely changed people’s relationship with the camera. As soon as it comes out, they either hide for fear of finding themselves looking like a clown on Facebook or they try to show off and perform their trademark ‘banker’ moves.
So lets isolate the elements of a meaningful video session.


 

FILMING THE BASICS
Ultimately most technical issues at intermediate level, early planing, speed, gybes etc. are kit related. I take a lot of stills and video of my clients just sailing and we scrutinise posture, how much the rig is moving, how and if the sail is self-trimming and how the board is making contact with the water; because until those things are sorted, it’s hard to move on. If you didn’t feel that comfortable it’s so useful, especially with a still shot, to relate the feeling to the picture.

video 02
// Constant tail walking is often a set up issue. Here the still shows how a high boom and short lines are lifting the hips too high and making it hard for him to lean forward and apply mastfoot pressure. The rising harness and vertical harness lines also tell a story of discomfort.
video 03
// The rig is still and the board is riding smoothly nose to tail – that tells you all you need to know. Arms parallel with the water and harness lines coming out at 90º to the body are good indications of a happy stance and good power distribution.


The Tool(s)
Until recently I was getting through about 3 camcorders a year – not through dropping them in the sea but just from using them 1000 times more than the average consumer and in an environment (damp and salty) that rarely benefits micro circuitboards. Happily the explosion of the smartphone has brought huge pressure on the domestic camcorder market so they’re now cheap as chips. But my weapon of choice is a waterproof PanasonicHX-WA30 – a bit dearer (£350 ish) than the average but it has a fighting chance of lasting a year.

Despite their bold claims,if water smacks the domestic, flip screen ‘waterproof’ models with any force, the pressure breaks the battery seals. However it’s good enough to put down your wetsuit – and handle with wet hands – and that’s a real bonus of you’re swapping filming and sailing roles with a mate. If it’s got much less than a 15X zoom you struggle to see the detail in many situations. The big challenge is in waves where the action is frequently distant. For that I have a Digital SLR and 600ml lens which is a devastating piece of kit and frighteningly pricey– but happily a legitimate business expense. Most DSLRs now come with an HD video. The advantage is of course they have a viewfinder – so much better on sunny days than a flip LCD – and they take detachable lenses.

video 04
// Most digital SLRs have incredibly high quality video function. This one fitted with a 600ml lens is a fantastic tool for capturing far off wave action. But it’s also wildly expensive, heavy and quite difficult to use (no auto focus).


The relationship
There are two approaches. Getting someone to shoot you covertly so that you don’t wilt under pressure but play your natural game and display your everyday errors. The downside is that you may spend much of the session enjoying long reaches and do your interesting stuff out of range. The other approach is a planned intense session where you’re working on a specific move(s) in a specific area. As anyone who has been part of a watery photoshoot will tell you, planning and communication are key. You need to establish a set of hand signals or gestures which inform the rider to come close, go away, do it again, retire to pub time etc.  Decide which angle will reveal most? How far away can you be from camera and still get some meaningful images?

This latter point is crucial. When working with people, I remind them of that advisory sign on the back of lorries – “if you can’t see me, I can’t see you.” With most cameras, if you’re more than about 100m away, you’re not going to see much. What many sailors forget is that they control the situation because they are mobile. On crowded waters keep a constant eye on the cameraman and seek out the gap so a stranger doesn’t come between you and him just as you complete your best ever whatever.

For much of the time in most venues, by far the most coaching potent tool is the camera. I don’t use it all the time – too much scrutiny can be inhibiting – but I cannot imagine running an effective course without one, especially as we move up the levels Harty

The Cameraman/woman
So who’s going to be doing the shooting? I know many non-windsurfing partners who do a good job. But when it doesn’t work so well is when a reluctant girlfriend has been dragged from a stimulating sunbed session with ‘Fifty Shades of Green’ and handed an unfamiliar camera and ordered to shoot …she’s not sure what. Funnily enough the resulting sequences of a shaky, out-of-focus, zoomed out dot doesn’t thrill the boyfriend, especially not since she was filming the wrong bloke and missed his first loop.

Windy Mates
The best person to film a windsurfer in a teaching context is another windsurfer because they know what they’re looking for and can predict the move and sudden changes of direction.  The most fruitful sessions tend to involve good mates going for the same moves. One films the other and then you swap. It helps if the rivalry is under control to the extent that you both want each other to succeed. You can scrutinise the results as a team and mutually coach.

Video or Stills?
Both are good. We tend to use video because it seems to show more. However, a still of a key moment, if it’s sharp and close up can, sometimes reveal details that would be lost on video – like tense muscles, pained facial expressions, furrowed sails. Like a fine work of art, the longer you look at it, the more you see. The devil, and the angel, is often in the detail.

The Analytical Issue
There is an obvious flaw in this self-coaching master plan. You go to hospital and are shown a scan of your innards. It means absolutely nothing to you because you have no idea what you’re looking at. That is the job of the radiologist, the brand of doctor whose specific skill is detecting the smallest abnormalities that even regular doctors would miss. If I may big up the role of the professional coach for a moment –that’s where we earn our loot. We are windsurfing radiologists able to spot tiny details and get to the real root of problems. `

For example, on your video you note that you’re squatting back in your gybes, sitting on the tail. “Must lean forward” you deduce. Good. But why are you sitting back? The coach meanwhile might spot that the top 2 battens are hooking, revealing a lack of downhaul or too stiff a mast (or a mast with too stiff a tip). That stops the leech opening and releasing as you sheet in, forcing you to drop back. So what’s to be done? Well if in the same hospital the doc showed you an image of your guts and that of a healthy person, you may have a chance of spotting the problem. You need something to compare your performance with.

The ideal situation is where you’re practising in expert company. If there are pros about, film them in between your runs. If they happen to pull out the same move as the one you’re working on, perfect because they’re dealing with the same wind and water state. Failing that pull up a pro video from YouTube (or purchase a professionally made DVD – please see me after the show for details). The most fruitful video sessions I have on clinics often happen in the waves in places like Jeri where PWA pros happily (most of the time) mingle with amateurs. Here comes Tarquin doing some gentle turns – and here upwind of him on the same wave is Pedro throwing more spray than an elephant in a Jacuzzi. The differences are so obvious – not just the angles he takes up but also where he takes off on the wave, where he makes his turns, how he shoots off down the line and yet still manages to stay upwind.

Knowing what to film.
So to finish, and at the risk of turning everyone into their own guru and putting myself out of business, here are some filming and analysing tips for various moves.

Stance and set-up So many problems have their roots in the basics. Filming someone coming towards and going away from camera tells you so much. How much is the clew moving (assuming you’re not pumping)? Is the sail breaking up? Is there tension in the arms? Are you on and off the power? All of which suggest a set-up issue – too much too little out or downhaul which is preventing the sail from self-trimming.

Focus on how the board makes contact with the water – nose up nose down. Is it skimming or slamming? The latter can be a result of rig set but also boom height – too low and the balance of power shifts to the feet and the nose drops.

Too high and you often see a lot of windward leeward mast movement as you resist the rig by pulling down.

Gybes The first tip is to vary the filming angle as much as the venue allows.

One of my favoured exercises is to have people come across the wind, upwind of me. So as they initiate they should look at the camera  – only possible if they drop the rig into the turn to reveal the space downwind – which in turn sheets the sail in and gets them moving in the right direction.

In the shallow lagoon environment with the waterproof camera or GoPro I get people to gybe around me. From the centre of the circle you get the best view of which foot is moving where and when.

Being able to film looking dead downwind is rare (Sotavento, Dahab etc) but gives you the best overview of the arc so you can spot the timings of rig and foot change, which are invariably too late.

Like set-ups, it’s the basics, or lack of them, you’re looking to expose. Filming from upwind, you get the best view of how you prepare and initiate the carve. Freezing just before you engage the rail will tell you all you need to know. Are you tripping over your front foot, back heel lifting anticipating the accelerating downwind? Or are you heaving the rig back on bent arms?


 

THE WAVE ANALYSIS
Nowhere is the feeling more divorced from the reality, than in the waves. “I’m sure I got higher than that!” “Is that as far forward as I got?” are common laments from performers reliving the action. The man in the pic below, Andy Page, is great to work with in the waves because he’s incredibly fit, is out there all day, wildly enthusiastic and is a proper radiologist and so loves a bit of analysis. His first comment looking at the pic below was “I’m leaning back … I’ve got to get more rail in the water.” Spot on – both in the bottom and top turns. On the following day, that’s exactly what he did.

video 05
// Above Top It’s a great pic – Andy is absolutely in position A1 on the wave but he’s turning 100% off the tail and just using the back foot, which is almost excusable since he’s on quite a big board – but without prompting he worked out he had to project more forward.
video 06
// Above Below In a lot riding situations you can gauge progress just by how much rail you lay in the water.

Tacks
It’s very easy to film tacks and upwind moves in general because they happen within a short space (Whitey’s gybes though have been known to pass through 3 counties). They’re great for video and stills because they reveal so much about your general sailing and the way you balance. Here are 4 things to analyse.

The Head. You should tack and gybe without ever looking at the mast. The moment you turn the head to eyeball the rig, is when the tack stops and plops.

Rig distance. Check the space between body and rig. The moment it closes (rig hugging) is the moment you get blocked.

The trigger. So often the first move you make sets the tone – not good if it’s a wrong one. I have in front of me a sequence taken from a clinic last week of a bloke desperate to crack the short board tack. What the video reveals so plainly is that he starts it by moving his front foot downwind off the centre-line, which immediately destabilises the board. He had NO idea he was doing it. When he moved both feet simultaneously the problem was solved.

Body shape. During the tack itself you should be rotating as if on dry land with shoulders and hips directly over the feet. What the video reveals so plainly is the little biomechanical sins such as pecking at the waist, reaching for the rig and generally trying to balance with the upper body rather than from the feet.



GO PRO FEVER
I don’t have the figures but I’m guessing 50% of planing windsurfers own a GoPro or similar rugged point of view camera. I’ve mentioned in this magazine before, how mind numbingly dull the footage can be – but used well it’s an incredible self-coaching tool. Some angles are a lot better than others. The mast mount looking down shows you all you need to know about body and foot positions in the gybe. And the back harness mount (K4 fins) tells just what you’re doing with the rig on entry. On the head or helmet I find it’s most useful for filming someone else, although because of the wide angle, you do have to be worryingly close for it to be useful.


video 07
// Harty following a victim through a gybe with a head mounted GoPro – for his own safety he better not fall.


The Tricky Stuff
By the time you start using video to nail complex tricks you’re searching for the tiny visual clue to unlock the secret – but although the move is harder, the questions are much the same, where’s the wind? When do you sheet in etc. Take the forward loop – a classic move for video as blind fear usually erases all memory of the event. What you’re examining chiefly, is the angle you take off to the wind, the angle of the rig to the board and the moment at which you sheet in. What you commonly see in the forward, is a take off into wind, the rig dropped to leeward and the rider sheeting in before he’s taken off = dive over the handlebars. What you should see is take-off off the wind, rig to windward and sheeting in only once you’ve pulled the tail up and the nose has floated dead downwind.


BEN PROFIT – Video Master
One of our consistently top performers and very handy with a camera, Ben admits that he’s used video to learn pretty much everything. “One of the biggest ones for me was learning the stalled forward. As it’s all about sail and board positioning. I like to go try the move, film it, then try and get someone who can do the move to do it and film them from the same spot. Then it’s like spot the difference… it’s so easy to see where you are going wrong when done like that. I do this a lot with Justyna and it’s really helped. It’s fine someone telling you what your doing wrong but when you see it with your own eyes, that’s the moment it all clicks! I did exactly that with the stalled forward and realised I didn’t have the sail in the right position and was sheeting in too early. Well it’s a bit more complicated than that but when I filmed Ricardo I saw exactly what I was doing wrong!”

video 08
// Ben stalling – the video analysis clearly worked!


And so to the waves
Video is especially useful in the waves because so much is going on to which the novice is often blind. In the early stages, the challenge is tactical as you try to manoeuvre to the right spot, dodge the mines and catch the right wave. Often I will leave the camera on wide so the victim can see the bigger picture, see how and where the waves were breaking and where he should have been. Trepidation makes you eyeball the area straight ahead. But so much of wave sailing relies on you lifting the head, taking in the whole scene, anticipating trouble (and joy) and making smart spontaneous decisions. A typical case is heading out, getting trashed by a pitching wall and then seeing on video that if you headed just 5 metres downwind you would have floated over an unbroken wall.




WHITEY – a strangely astute self-analyst
Dave White lives on both sides of the lens these days – but despite his love of taking pics and video, he is still desperate to improve his own sailing and rarely goes out without a Point of View camera pointed at his lithe frame. Here are his thoughts on using the camera to coach. “Simple, put a f-hot mast mount and Gopro on your mast, press record and forget about it. Why forget? If you’re sailing for the video you’re really concentrating on correcting mistakes. But if you forget about it you’re more likely to show your instinctive bad habits – and they’re the ones you need to sort out.  I went out to do some forwards recently and they looked pretty good. But then the next day I was out practicing gybes and stuff. A couple of waves arrived up and I popped a forward without thinking. The GoPro then really showed what I was doing wrong. It’s the same with my gybes. When I’m not thinking, the GoPro showed that I let go of the rig completely in the rig change, which is not a great habit.”

DCIM101GOPRO

// Whitey from the mast tip – “front arm a little too bent and try to soften that front knee a bit mate …”(but he still probably came out of it at 40 knots!)

 


And if you keep ending up miles downwind, get your mate to film the whole circuit in and out. Compare it to that of the local hotshot and see where you’re losing ground. It may suddenly be so obvious. They bore away as they launched and planed through the downwind rip inshore. You didn’t. When they were off the plane, they really stuffed it upwind. You bogged downwind. On the wave after every downwind bottom turn they cut back upwind, sailed back side for a little way before kicking off again. You just kept charging downwind.When it comes to the jumps and rides, video is perfect for revealing cowardice and inspiring courage. Instead of really exploding on take off, it’s clear to see that you squashed the knees, sheeted out and flopped off the lip rather than rocketing. You won’t do that again. And turning towards a peachy, walling wave, did you open up and keep on climbing and present your nose to the pitching lip? No, you wimp, you over-sheeted, turned early, pretended it wasn’t there and headed for the shore.

More gems of technical joy from Harty in the next issue. Looking for a fine xmas present, you can order his new gybing DVD (and other titles) by emailing harty@peter-hart.com and more at www.peter-hart.com

The post PETER HART THE CAMERA TRAP appeared first on Windsurf Magazine.

Click here to read more: Windsurf Magazine

15Apr/15Off

MAY 2015 ISSUE – ON SALE

MAY 2015 ISSUE - ON SALE

Panel1

WINDSURF MAGAZINE #345 MAY 2015 ISSUE – ON SALE

The May 2015 Issue of the world’s only monthly English-language windsurfing magazine is out now!

Subscribe or grab your copy now in either App or Print  versions!
(Prices include delivery anywhere globally 10 times a year.)

001 COVER

WILD WEST – HUNTING PHILIP KÖSTER //  

TESTED FREERIDE SPECIAL – 105 LITRE BOARDS & 6.5 SAILS  // GET UPWIND WITH PETER HART // CABO VERDE ANGULO & KATCHADOURIAN // POSTCARDS FROM THE PROS // SUMMER WETSUITS // SLALOM FINS // JEM HALL WORKING WITH WAVES

BIG JUICY READS

MAIN SHOT Philip Koester Wild West Australia_0024

THE WILD WEST
The Elusive Philip Köster tries to go soul and solo in Western Australia, Sheriff John ‘pistols’ Carter goes on the hunt to track him down !

Ian Black Cornwall_0103
OUT OF THE BLUE
When you least expect it, the best windsurfing can still happen. John Carter tells the tale of two lucky strike missions in the UK.

IMG_4900
AFRICAN DREAMS
Kai Katchadourian and Josh Angulo drop into all time Cabo Verde. Kai reflects why this remote island has engraved such a lasting impression in their quest for windsurfing perfection.

LEAD SHOT kevin Pritchard_Photo Gabriele Rumbolo
POSTCARDS FROM THE PROS !
The Pros check in from around the world with a collection of good old fashioned ‘wish you were here’ postcards.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA
SAIL TO HEAL
Former Soldier, Andrew Hieghton-Jackson, survived an IED bomb-blast in Afghanistan in 2009, we learn how windsurfing has helped his recovery from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

THE LAST TIME
Peter Hart – One of windsurfing’s greatest characters undergoes Windsurf’s greatest wind up – the ruthless, grinding and hugely irrelevant questions of ‘The last time’ !

TN14_ls_D83_0178
PROFILE
Kurosh Kiani – Born in Iran but sailing for Denmark, Kurosh has a unique background and is the man responsible for developing live scoring on the PWA, we delve deeper in Profile.

GEAR SHED

IMG_9307
105 LITRE FREERIDE WIDE BOARDS - we test the new generation of ‘thin and wide’ freeride boards, offering performance for every level

STARBOARD Atom IQ 100
FANATIC Gecko 105
RRD Firemove 102
JP MagicRide 104
Tabou Rocket Wide 108
Simmer Freemove 110L

6.5 FREERIDE SAILS -

 Speed, control, early planing and manoeuvres, the 6.5 freeride sail has a large design brief, we test the contenders.

GOYA NEXUS 6.4M
NEIL PRYDE RYDE 6.5M
NORTH SAILS VOLT 6.4M
RRD EVOLUTION 6.4M
SEVERE GATOR 6.5M
TUSHINGHAM BOLT 6.5M

TEKKERS

PETER HART MASTERCLASS
The ability to cruise nonchalantly upwind should be at the top of your ‘to master’ list. Peter Hart tells us how.

MOVE ON UP
Jem Hall teaches us how to make the most out of moderate surf by ‘Working the Waves’.

BOARDSHORTS

120 Wetty345 2
SUMMER WETSUIT BUYER’S GUIDE
Shopping for some new neoprene to welcome the warmer weather ? Check out some fresh new suits here.

124 FINN2
SLALOM FIN BUYER’S GUIDE
We round up some of the fastest foils on market today, designed to keep your slalom board in front !

LATEST & GREATEST
Roll up, roll up; the new, very new and super all new stuff is here to enjoy.


SITTIN’ ON THE DUNNY

EDITORIAL
Pro Pro – Professional Windsurfers are actually a bunch of amateurs …confused ? The Ed. champions the men and women of the PWA

AFFAIRS OF THE HART
Round Hayling, Defi Wind; ‘tis the season to be going far on a windsurfer. Harty looks back at the history and glory of the long distance race.


Get your copy by App or in Print now!

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The post MAY 2015 ISSUE – ON SALE appeared first on Windsurf Magazine.

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16Mar/15Off

PETER HART – PLANING GYBES

PETER HART - PLANING GYBES

Planegybe opener

PETER HART – PLANING GYBES – THE SECRETS UNLOCKED

Planing out of a carve gybe is solid evidence of polished technique. Never planing out despite thousands of attempts, by definition therefore, proves that virulent bugs have infected the system.  In a piece that will surely talk to the vast majority of windies out there, Peter Hart, looks at every stage of the arc, identifies the common peccadillos and tells you what to alter in order to nail that speedy exit.  

Story PETER HART // Photos Simon Bassett/2XS

How would you describe not planing out of a carve gybe despite weeks, months, years of trying? Here’s a selection of the few printable analogies dreamed up by friends on a course. They express both humour and frustration … but more of the latter. “It’s like trying to master the Rubix cube – as soon as you get one bit right, another falls out of place.” “It’s like walking 100 miles across a scorching desert only to collapse 3 feet from a pub selling ice cold lager.”

“It’s like taking a girl out on a series of dates to the most expensive restaurants only to be rewarded with a peck on the cheek – very little interest from investment.” If you can get round a good number of your gybes, surely, with practice, the Holy Grail of the planing exit will organically evolve? And then, when you’ve done one, will not rows of light bulbs illuminate and the mystery be solved? Apparently not. Doing a planing gybe is less like riding a bike for the first time (once achieved forever remembered), and more like the golf swing. Through perseverance (monkeys and typewriters) you may indeed connect sporadically with power and accuracy only for the next shot to dribble 6 inches in an explosion of mud, turf and profanities. But for it to be repeatable, many basics have to be solid – the grip, the stance, the back lift and … that I’m afraid is where my golfing knowledge runs out.

Likewise with the gybe, happy circumstances – a fortuitous gust, a downslope – may combine to propel you occasionally to a rapid exit; but you weren’t aware of doing anything differently and, like a will-o’-the-wisp, that magical moment evaporates. And there’s a deeper problem. The measures you discovered to help you survive those first gybes are the very ones that all but eliminate the chance of a speedy finish. For example:

> washing off speed on entry so it feels safer.

>  dropping back against the rig so all the way round you feel a reassuring counterbalance.

> coming out clew first for the same reason.

> delaying the rig and foot change because surely you have more chance of staying in balance with the board stationary and stable?

They’re all defensive instincts, which in windsurfing terms inevitably involve resisting the power source rather than going with it – and sailing off the tail rather than the middle of the board. The bad news, therefore, is that to achieve the planing exit often demands a complete rebuild. But the good news for those who are nearly there is that the difference may just be a technical tweak – a shift of the hand, a drop of the heel, a turn of the head. So coming up is not a complete lesson in how to gybe. Instead I’m going to select elements from each stage of the gybe that specifically influence the chances of planing out. But lets set the scene with some generalities.

KIT AND CONDITIONS

Fear lies at the heart of most mistakes. Flat, shallow water you can beachstart away from after a fall and a stable, solid-but-not-over-powering wind, will free the mind and help you attack with greater speed, drop your body in the void and commit in directions and to an extent you haven’t before. Seek out that glorious 18-25 knot wind window (force 5-6). Much less than that and the planing gybe becomes very technical. You have little reserve power and are being pulled along by a thread, which is all too easy to break. You overtake the wind as you bear away, at which point the sail depowers. With little backhand pressure the big rig swings round ponderously. The longer the board remains unpowered, the more time it has to slow down. A planing exit is possible, but there’s no room for timing and trim errors.

And with much more than 25 knots, you start to have control issues. The wind is strong enough to destabilise the board and, in all but a few special places, kick up a vicious chop. You’ll have to depower the rig with a committed over-sheet, which is advanced stuff. And that feeling of full-on power can encourage that succession of defensive reactions listed above. The right sail choice is the one that allows you to sail 120º downwind powered up. Many people play safe with sail size to the extent where they can only plane across or just off the wind and slow down as soon as they bear away. For a planing gybe you have to get that feeling of being shot out of a gun as you foot off.

And the best conditions? A cross onshore 20-knot breeze and a clean, well-spaced lazy swell. Bear away onto the swell so you’re doing the rig and foot change (where most mess up) going downhill – but that’s cheating.

Planegybe 01
Stage One – the set-up
In terms of planing out, this is the most important frame of all – the preparation phase.  Say you started with 25 knots of speed when you were hooked in and hooning, you want every one of those knots now that you’re unhooked and ready to pounce. This is where most lose speed and stability. Disturbing the rig as they unhook. Sheeting out as they move the back foot out of the strap. Forgetting to move the back hand back. Doing all this after bearing away when the board is accelerating and especially sensitive to movement. It is SO much easier and safer if you prepare across the wind where you can hang off the boom and move feet etc. without upsetting the trim. The main points here are anticipation and body position. You’re like a 100-m. runner straining in the blocks, body in front of the feet ready to explode forward. You’ve born away a few degrees off the wind just enough for the sail to power up and pull you forward. So important now is to project forwards by softening the front knee and moving the head and hips almost level with the mastfoot. And where is your back foot? Don’t put it too near the inside edge or the toes will drag in the water and slow you down.
Top planing point.Take a couple of moments to let the board settle and make sure you are strong, stable and balanced. Taking the back foot out is NOT the trigger to give the rail a hoof.
 Planegybe 02
Stage two – initiation and triggers
So what initiates the carve? Clue: it’s not the back foot. This requires a major change for most people. You want the board to stay level nose to tail. You want the front section of rail to grip. You do that by rolling the front shoulder onto the boom, extending the front arm and dropping the rig forward and to the inside – at the same time holding the tension with the back arm (don’t sheet out!). That powers up the sail, loads up the mastfoot, drops the nose and ‘lays the rail.’ And how much pressure do you have on the back foot at this stage? Virtually none. Loading up the back foot too early and lifting the nose is death to the planing gybe.
Top planing point. By dropping the rig to the inside you create space for you to move into, you reveal the path ahead and can see where you’re about to gybe. If the rig is always blocking your view, you’re bound to be defensive and drop back.
Planegybe 03
Stage 3 – commit and drive
Every speedy manoeuvre has a moment where you just have to man up and drop your body into the void. This one such moment. As you drop the front hand and twist the rig, the sail wants to pull you over the centreline to the inside. Every instinct is to resist that pull and sit back – and there ends the chance of planing. You have to go with that pull. Yes there is a sensation of being catapulted – embrace it. But here’s the key bit – as your hips overtake your feet and make themselves the centre of the circle, that’s when you can drive off the back foot to steepen the carve. But with your body forward – and in – you’re not stamping on the tail, you’re driving the rail out behind you – it’s weight forward, pressure back and suddenly the board catches up with you.
Top planing point. Check the direction of the knees. They should be pointing at the centre of the circle. If they’re pointing at the mastfoot, you’ve sheeted out and will be centred over a flat board.
Planegybe 04
Stage 4  – preparing to change
Dead downwind, the gybe is less than 2 seconds old but already you’re into the transition as the backhand starts to open out. Downwind is where so many stand up and level out. No! This where you must be most committed, increase the rail pressure, tighten the carve, go yet deeper in the knees and increase your position to the inside. See how much rail is still engaged. If you’re analysing your performance from a photo, examine 2 things at this stage. What’s the angle of the mast? If it’s upright or, worse still, leaning back, you’re gybing off the tail and are soon to grind to a halt. Tilted way forward is the right answer. And look at the spray. There should be an even spray coming off the whole rail, not just a rooster tail.
Top planing point. As you accelerate downwind and the pressure drops, throw the front hand even further forward to maximise the power and create yet more space for you to step forward into.
Planegybe 05
Stage 5 – getting turned
If we just watch the board it should show no signs of anything going on.  Try to move the feet without making an elephantine weight transfer. We have close ups of that coming up, but the trick is to hold your position to the inside so your weight acts dynamically.  If you open the rig and let it turn your shoulders, your feet will want to follow and drop into the right positions. If the front foot doesn’t want to twist out of its strap, then you’re guilty of standing on it and letting the hips drift back over the centre-line.
Top planing point. The hips should already be in the right position to sail away on the new tack – all you have to do is rotate your feet beneath them.
Planegybe 06
Stage 6 –  the full-speed foot change. 
With the gybe just 3 seconds old, the feet have switched with the board only just through the wind as it’s hitting top speed. If you do nothing else but switch the feet earlier, you will smell the sweet scent of a swift exit.  And check the body position – moving forward on the board, not looking for the rig for support.
Top planing point. Switch early!

REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

Someone says to me “I need help. I don’t plane out of all my gybes.” Well nor do I –mostly through choice (well that’s my excuse).  The right situation doesn’t always present itself. Nor is a planing gybe always appropriate. To plane out, you generally need to widen the entry of the arc for maximum speed. But if the road ahead is a maelstrom of sloppy bumps, you’re asking for an explosion. Better in that situation to wash off speed and gybe tight. If you’re not fully planing on entry, you certainly aren’t going to be fully planing on exit. In situations where you feel the rails sticking and where the board hasn’t completely released, that’s the time to move to the back foot, crack it around on the tail to avoid a rail trip and forget the speedy exit.

POWER – AN ATTITUDE CHANGE.

When people are learning to forward loop, they head out looking for the smallest wave off which to stumble half-heartedly into a rotation. But when they can do it, they look for the steepest lip, because, with height, they realise they have time to complete the rotation – and completing the rotation is a lot less painful than half completing it. Basically they’ve changed their relationship with the wave – it’s their friend. For the less-than-confident gyber, their trigger to gybe is when they feel the pressure drop in the sail – i.e., when they’ve ridden into a lull. It’s an anti-catapult measure. But the planing gyber initiates when they enter the gust and feel the extra drive in the sail. Drive equals speed and speed leads (can lead) to a planing exit.  The sensation of a planing gybe is that of being pulled through the turn all the way up to the foot change. Change your relationship with the power – it’s your mate – and gybe on the front of the gust, not the back of it. The most useful training you can do is just speed runs, bearing away into big gusts, sailing broad, enjoying the feeling of the front of the sail loading up, extending the front arm to sheet in and resisting the instinct to choke power by bending it. What I’m trying to say here without resorting to vulgar parlance, is that you’ve got to grow some ‘cojones.’

Planegybe 07
Stage 7 – carving off the heels
It’s confusing in that to change the feet you need to unweight them – but once changed the key is to drop the hips and load up the heels so keep the board carving. To linger downwind at this stage is to lose all your speed. If you stand too tall, the board will level out. The back hand has just released and so important at this stage is to maintain your outboard position, keep looking out of the turn and let the rig come to you.
Top planing point. Don’t go looking for the rig or you’ll drop towards it and stop carving.
Planegybe 08
Stage 8 – sheeting in broad
Assuming the wind isn’t nuclear, to plane out you have to sheet in off the wind – and the more off the wind, the more power you get … and the greater the chance of a catapult … but then, in the planing gybe, you’re constantly flirting with that balance tipping-point. But the fact is, it’s out of your hands. You can only sheet in broad to the wind, if you’ve maintained speed and the apparent wind has swung forward. The faster you carve, the broader you can exit. Duck gybes have a greater planing success rate because you get the power back on earlier – that’s what we’re trying to emulate.
Top planing point. Only sheet in when the boom comes within easy reach. The faster you’re going the broader to the wind that will be.
Planegybe 09
Stage 9 – exit planing
That last frame caught the moment just prior to sheeting in where the front hand is still forward on the boom following the rig change. If you sheet in then, the rig will be too far back and will sink the tail. A subtle but vital detail is to slide the front hand back on the boom just before you sheet in so the rig drops forward and powers the nose down and away. At the same time as you sheet in, actively level the board off with the toes to minimise drag and stop yourself over-rotating.
Top planing point. Hands back, rig forward, board flat, mission accomplished!

About that gybe. 

It’s a step gybe in nicely powered up conditions. There are no ‘showy-off,’ lay-down, one-handed, ‘look-at-me’ bits. Laying the rig down and over-sheeting is only necessary if you’re stacked. If not, the game is to reduce the rig movements and just hold it at its most efficient angle to the wind all the way round, to maximise power rather than kill it. The more movements you make with the rig, the greater the chance of upsetting the trim.


TRANSITION ISSUES

Flipping rig and changing feet IS where the planing gybe is under greatest threat from wayward feet and hands. Turning yourself through 180º atop a fast moving object, while keeping it on its edge, as the sail swings round, pressures changing all over the place. It sounds like a tall order. So lets turn the camera round, get closer and identify the issues.

Planegybe 10
// This is a key set-up position for the foot change. Sail opening, shoulders following the boom and most important, pressure moving from front to back foot. With the hips to the inside, the front foot is weightless and ready to make its move. 
Planegybe 11
// It twists out of the strap and the heel moves right over to the inside edge to take over the job of carving from the toes of the old back foot.On a bigger wider, board with outboard straps, it’s a big move.The feet may end up in this ‘demi-plié´ ballet position, but isn’t essential as the feet can move almost simultaneously. Note too the front arm has bent for the first time in the gybe. It’s to pull the rig upright for a moment and allow the front hand to slide to the front of the boom before the release.
Planegybe 12
// Here’s the frame that most clearly displays the key points of the planing exit. If you can get to this position, you WILL plane out. – the rig is swinging away on a straight front arm so there’s plenty of room to move hands to the new side of the boom. As the boom swings back, the hips ease forward to stop you being pulled onto the back foot.The board is still carving through heel pressure. The shoulders stay outboard and you let rig come to you – don’t bend forward to get it! The trigger to release the rig is the front foot landing. If you power up clew-first, the pressures in the sail suddenly change and you have to drop back to resist them. Coming out clew first is a good training step and a way to save a gybe but, unless you’re a practised freestyler sailing very broad to the wind, you’ll quickly lose speed. 

HAVING A WORD WITH YOURSELF (AND GET VERY BASIC) 

In the photo sequence I point out various details. You can’t possibly crunch them all – and don’t try to either. One at a time maximum. What helps more in the beginning is to approach it in broader terms, change the mind-set and focus on concepts, which, if grasped, make you automatically take up better positions and do the right things. Here are five such concepts.

Speed

Economists will like this. It’s just a numbers game. Most boards begin to plane at about 10 knots. That, therefore, is the amount of speed you need to exit with to bag a planing gybe. So the more speed you’ve got to start with, the more you can lose and get away with it. Enter at 35 knots and you’ve got make a series of major mistakes not to come out at least semi planing. Enter with 15 and you’ve got to be bloody brilliant to keep it going at the end.

Trim for speed.

It’s all about maintaining speed. So lets turn it the other way round. What do you do if you suddenly need to slow down? Sheet out, stamp on the tail and head up. Surprisingly that’s what many do when they start to gybe even when they intend to plane out. So do the opposite. Gybing fast is very similar to sailing fast in a straight line. It’s all about keeping a constant source of power flowing into the board and holding a constant trim angle, nose to tail. In the gybe, of course, you keep the board on its edge, but the other elements are the same. It’s sudden trim changes that cause imbalance and drag, so think about giving the board the smoothest contact with the water.

Control the Nose

Those three words contain the nub of the challenge. 94.3% of control problems occur because people lose contact with the nose. It’s an MFP (mastfoot pressure) issue. When you sheet out suddenly or let your hips drop behind your feet, you lose MFP, the nose flies up, the tail drops, you drag the bucket and stop. Gybes that stop before the finish, or over-rotate, invariably involve an upturned nose. Think of the mastfoot as the front foot of your body. You’ve always got to have pressure on it, which you maintain by dropping forward and pulling down through the boom.

The slow-down zone

Clock the wind direction. Look at the area from broad reach on one tack to broad reach on the other. Imagine it infested with sharks and mines. It’s a place where you don’t want to be. You need to be massively powered up to plane in this area (think Formula kit) so the longer you stay in it, the more you slow down. If you think about getting through it as quickly as possible, you instinctively carve and get on with it – and getting on with it is the greatest gybe-planing tip of all.

Focus on the ending.

Talking about getting on with it, this thing is only going to last 4 seconds if it’s to be a planer. You haven’t got much time to pratt about. So as soon as you initiate, you’re projecting both mentally and physically towards the ending. You’re looking for the exit and you’re immediately moving forward and across the board to where you need to be to retrieve the rig, sheet in and power away on the new tack. It’s when you have to make adjustments to gather the rig that it all stops.

Time now to let the images do most of the talking. What should become clear is the knock-on effect of the good and bad. “Why don’t you plane out?” “Because I mess up the rig and foot change.” Possibly, but it’s a symptom not a cause.  The rig and foot changes are scrappy and awkward because you’ve lost speed, lost commitment, bent the arms, choked the rig, are standing over your feet, looking down at them too far back on the board etc., etc. The situation is an accumulation of errors so, it’s to the beginning of the gybe we look for the root causes. ‘Start well, end well’ is the mantra. Oh yes, and one other thing … initiate the rig and foot change about half an hour before you think is sensible.

By happy coincidence Harty’s new DVD ’10 steps to gybing’ which he made with Dave White, is now available by contacting him on harty@peter-hart.com. It discusses in beautiful moving Technicolor all the above and more. To find out more about his legendary clinics email him for his newsletter, check the website www.peter-hart.com or ‘like’ his Peter Hart Masterclass Facebook page.

The post PETER HART – PLANING GYBES appeared first on Windsurf Magazine.

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11Mar/15Off

APRIL 2015 ISSUE – ON SALE

APRIL 2015 ISSUE - ON SALE

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WINDSURF MAGAZINE #344 APRIL 2015 ISSUE – ON SALE

The April 2015 Issue of the world’s only monthly English-language windsurfing magazine is out now! Subscribe or grab your copy now in either App or Print  versions! (Prices include delivery anywhere globally 10 times a year.)

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Legends! // Dave White – The Last Time // Ho’okipa – Day In The Life Of // Keith Teboul – A Shaper’s Story.

016 HOOP

DAY IN LIFE OF HO’OKIPA
John Carter documents 24 hours on one of the best days of the season at the world’s most famous windsurfing beach.

032 RRD DAVE WHITE
DAVE WHITE – THE LAST TIME
The mighty Whitey undergoes Windsurf’s toughest test – the infamous questions of the ‘Last time’ !

THE FULL CIRCLE
Josh Stone takes his son Harley on his first windsurfing Trip to Josh’s old stomping ground, Diamond Head with trusted wingman, Brian Talma.

MOROCCAN MAGIC
Boujmaa Guilloul scores big at home, we get the low down on one of the best days of his winter and windsurfing in his beloved country.

ST LUCIA
JC discovers an unspoilt Caribbean Island that’s perfect for families, has great freeride windsurfing and makes us all in the office thoroughly jealous!

086 HORTON
WELSH WAVES – HORTON UNDERGROUND
Timo Mullen and John Carter take a devious detour to score some Gower Power at one of Wales’s finest wavesailing beaches – Horton.

094 KEITH
KEITH TEBOUL
Master shaper, legend windsurfer, Keith Teboul tells his story of life in foam dust and salt water.

TEST
95 LITRE CROSSOVER BOARDS
We review the ‘Swiss Army Knife’  board size. Designed for all round fun, we test the claims.

FANATIC Freewave 96,
Goya One 95,
JP Freestyle Wave 93,
Quatro Tetra 99 Thruster Freewave,
RRD Freestyle Wave 94,
STARBOARD Kode Freewave 94,

Tabou 3S 96,

5.7 CROSSOVER SAILS
From flat water to waves and everything in-between, we review the sails that have the job of doing it all.

Ezzy Elite 5.7,
Gaastra Cross 5.6,
Goya Eclipse 5.7,
Naish Boxer 5.8,
North Sails VOLT 5.9,
RRD Move 5.7,
Severne Gator 5.7,
Simmer Apex 5.7
Tushingham The Bolt 5.75,

066 Harty Technique
PETER HART MASTERCLASS
A real world journey. Harty plots the progress of Chris Grainger – a recreational windsurfer on a comeback mission.

MOVE ON UP
Jump Higher !, Jem Hall brings us his top tips for flying without wings !

FREERIDE FINOLOGY
A look at the world of Freeride fins with buying tips, a designer’s inside line and of course, wise words from our master teacher, Peter Hart.

MEDITERRANEAN TRAVEL GUIDE
From family friendly, flat water destinations to high wind hotspots, we highlight some of the best spots in the Med. to hang from your harness in!

GRAN CANARIA MICRO GUIDE
The island of windsurf champions goes under the micro guide microscope

LATEST & GREATEST
All that funky new stuff wrapped up on proper paper – bang tidy !

EDITORIAL – LEGENDS
Who or what are the legends in windsurfing ? The Editor sets out his case for the not so obvious answer.

AFFAIRS OF THE HART
Hot tips for Cold Comfort. Statistically UK waters are at their coldest this time of year – Love it or hate it ? Harty ponders the nature of cold water windsurfing.


Get your copy by App or in Print now!

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6Mar/15Off

RULE BRITANNIA – BEST OF BRITISH

RULE BRITANNIA - BEST OF BRITISH

RULE BRITANNIA – BEST OF BRITISH

”Hear Ye, Hear Ye People, lend me your ears..we mean eyes sorry !, as you may know Windsurf HQ is in Great Britain and we are proud of our island nation ! What better way to show it, than our completely made up, absolutely scurrilous and  potentially libellous homage to all things British and some of our best windsurfing characters and beaches. Read on while we disconnect the phones and hide behind the filing cabinet – PS – anyone know any good lawyers ??”

Let’s face it, the UK isn’t the rest of the windsurfing world’s normal idea of paradise. Our beaches aren’t lined with palm trees, we don’t sail in turquoise water or have  warm constant trade winds fanning along any stretch of our vast coastline but here at Windsurf we like to think, North, South, East or West, British is still best !

Words & Photos JOHN CARTER

We don’t need those superfluous prerequisites that the less intelligent conjure up when dreaming of the perfect playground. Our windsurfing scene in the UK may not resemble Hawaii or the Caribbean but nonetheless we are an Island surrounded by water, albeit mostly brownish and instead of day in day out boring trades, we have wild gales and sea breezes that blow in all directions, plus if you don’t mind driving, it is fair to say we have the quality and variety of waves, speed strips and blasting conditions on par with anything the rest of the world has to offer. Yes Britain stand up, hold your harness high and wave your tea bags, Union Jacks and copies of Windsurf proudly as this is our time to say just how blooming brilliant Britain is. With tears in our eyes and Rule Britannia on loop on the office ipod, here at Windsurf Towers we decided it was time to pay homage to a few of our National Treasures. So without any further ado, its time to salute some of the inspirational characters in our sport; drool over Britain’s finest beaches and revel in some of our nation’s finest traditions and idiosyncrasies that we think put the Great into Britain.

BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT

First off, we want to say bravo to some of the characters and unsung heroes on the UK windsurfing scene.While many key figures are on the front line, several of these guys are down in the trenches behind the scenes quietly going about their business and genuinely being involved and promoting the sport for all the right reasons.

Click here to read more: Windsurf Magazine

10Feb/15Off

LAST FEW PLACES FOR PETER HART RED SEA WINDSURF CLINIC

LAST FEW PLACES FOR PETER HART RED SEA WINDSURF CLINIC

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Peter Hart is returning to Safaga on the Red Sea from 14-21 April 2015 for a Red Sea windsurfing clinic to get your spring sailing in gear. “It was the first Red Sea resort I visited in the 90s and was my chosen spot for clinics, sail testing and for the Carve Clinic video series.” says Peter. “It’s a classic training spot with flat water, rolling swell and great trips out to fabulous Tobia island. Staying in the classy Shams hotel on a keen all inclusive deal with Club Mistral right on site. What is there not to like?” To get the best out of this clinic you should be able to plane in the harness. The course covers ‘General skills’ such as improving your technique for faster tacks, carve gybes, duck gybes improving on what you can already do. Peter tailors the programme to suit you. There’s a little bit of beach theory, loads of on water sessions with immediate feedback.

Club_Mistral_Safaga 480px

Date: 14-21 April 2015

Clinic Price: £1,399pp

INCLUDING – 5 days Peter Hart Masterclass. – Return flights from London Gatwick, UK. – 7 nights ALL INCLUSIVE 4* Shams Imperial Hotel on twin share basis. – Round trip airport transfers & assistance. – INCLUDING 1 week windsurf board hire.

Land only price £1,095pp  (Includes above except flights.) To book contact Sportif on  +

44 (0)1273 844919 or email

info@sportif.travel

 

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