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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18411

PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Two steps forward one step back Reply with quote

Darbonne wrote:
I have blasted along with the front foot in ...

Until Ingerbritsen's comment, I assumed your back foot was also in its strap. I'm not sure what blasting with only the front foot in its strap accomplishes, but the back foot makes a HUGE difference. I guess a lot depends on whether your straps are out on the rails or in towards the centerline.

Mindless blasting across chop in straight lines, ignoring the chop, requires (well-placed) confidence that your board will skim over it rather than spearing it. It also assumes the chop is small enough that it doesn't discombobulate you or the board. It promotes and hides bad habits that are rearing to bite you in the real (i.e., bumpy) world, especially in jibes.

In that real world, there are many thing we can do to mitigate the effects of chop. I can't find the tome I once wrote on techniques for mitigating chop, but they include foot-steering through it (which is GREATLY facilitated by inboard straps and a board that steers with the back foot in its strap) and soaking it up by flexing your knees as you hit the peaks. After all, the main difference between a jump, a harsh impact, and a silky traversal is how we use our legs as we hit the bump. What we do with a waist-high piece of chop (aka a ramp or a bank) depends greatly on whether we completely absorb it with our knees, leap skyward off it, or let it knock us completely out of whack.

Banking off of it is a whole 'nuther option, as is steering around it ... and the next one ... and the next one. Steering around them can be anything from a subtle, almost invisible foot and/or hip twitch to avoid a particularly high or sharp spot on a piece of chop to a significant direction change to go around the whole thing. This whole process of actually working or using the chop rather than just bulldozing it is a big step towards playing in swell and ultimately DTL wave sailing.
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westender



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 1036
Location: Portland / Gorge

PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're a lot better than when you started. It takes a lot of hours to get good.
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 3000

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you were in Galveston Bay (not Clear Lake), the chop can get pretty nasty, but not with 10-15 mph winds. On the learning curve, even a small boat wake can cause havoc, so it's just a progressive thing. The more chop you sail over, the better you get.

The other element that will speed up your learning curve is racing. If forces you to sail in directions and conditions (chop, wind), that you would not normally choose if just freeriding. Pointing, running, jibing and tacking at specific points challenge you and speeds up learning. Also, watch others and see what they are riding, and how they have tuned their rigs. Watch their on the water techniques, especially starting. Learn how to "hover", stay in one general area near the starting line without crossing it or drifting too far below it (assuming it's an upwind start). Lots of other hints, but reading a book may be better than listening to what I say.
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manuel



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 722

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing that I have noticed video reviewing my sessions though is that we never really step back. It's only a perception. We lose endurance, flexibility, willingness, but not skill per se.

http://traineatgain.com/muscle-memory-gains-permanent-think/

Life is a perpetual improvement!
It's also obvious that the more we move around trying things, the more we learn.

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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18411

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

manuel wrote:
we never really step back. It's only a perception. We lose endurance, flexibility, willingness, but not skill per se.

Ahh, spoken like a young man. Let's see how that holds up in your senior (50s? 60s?) years, as such things as balance, visual acuity, power output, coordination, etc. -- not even counting specific injuries and/or infirmities -- creep up on us. Your link is encouraging, but a similar and highly important adjunct to building muscle early is building our store of mitochondria early. They convert our fuel to energy, and are greatly increased and enhanced by HIIT, whether it's in the gym or outdoors. I and my oncologists strongly suspect that my ability to windsurf right through cancer treatments that reduce most patients to Jello is primarily due to a lifetime of HARD, highly varying play (or work, if necessary) more days than not. Put them in the bank early for huge returns later in life.
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boardsurfr



Joined: 23 Aug 2001
Posts: 1015

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

manuel wrote:
One thing that I have noticed video reviewing my sessions though is that we never really step back. It's only a perception. We lose endurance, flexibility, willingness, but not skill per se.

http://traineatgain.com/muscle-memory-gains-permanent-think/

I agree with you, but the link is funny in this context. Their concept of "muscle memory" does not relate to skill, but rather to size. That's rather different from the common use of the term .. at least outside of the body building world.
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manuel



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 722

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The link was only an example, there are many others. I mostly speak from my own experience reviewing videos and seeing my friends windsurf in their 10s, 20s, 30s, 50s and 60s as well as people learning advanced skills in their 40s, and late 50s.

I completely agree with the fact that it helps to build athleticism early in our life. Also, mowing the lawn does very little for our skills, finding gear (and head) that can evolve is critical.

I agree that injuries take longer to heal and are easier to trigger, willingness to push our limits diminishes with age (probably self-protection?), but skill itself can only move forward amazingly and thankfully! (Hard work pays off and cannot be bought Smile !) It's awesome and I would have thought the opposite until experiencing it myself!

EDIT: So I'd say that our steps vary in size throughout our career, they can become very very tiny but always greater than zero Smile Smile ! (skills-only though!) Did you know we made our least spelling errors at the age of 70? I thought that was interesting.

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wynsurfer



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 835

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

manuel is right! I know this to be true. I got good at windsurfing in challenging conditions while living on Maui in 1990. Decades passed where I would windsurf very infrequently some years not at all. I gave it up for about 4 or five years. Although my stamina decreased it did not take long at all to get back into sailing in high winds. Like about 30 minutes! Kind of like riding a bike.
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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 2093
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with Mike on this one, I'm 1/2 the Windsurfer I was 15 years ago (and
about 1/10 the skier I was). I MAY have more "skills" but I can't use them.
Still having major fun though. I sail with a guy who's almost 70. He's not
the sailor he was even when he was 50.

As for the OP, chop takes about 2 or 3 sessions to adjust to. Don't be too
hard on yourself, just take some abuse and you'll adjust pretty quickly.
An inland lake at 10-15 (with no power boats) just doesn't develop that much.

We were the hot sailors at our local sites in Utah. The 1st time we came
to the Gorge it was pure carnage complete with blood and broken gear.

A couple of years later we were really enjoying ourselves up here. So much
so that several took up residence and others now spend 60+ days a year up
here. Don't buy that Hobie, just spend some more time in those conditions.
You might start to like them ;*)

-Craig
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Darbonne



Joined: 27 Jan 2012
Posts: 241
Location: Farmerville, Louisiana

PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the encouragement guys. I have still not been in both straps after five years. I am going to BIB in November. Konajoe and I discussed many aspects of windsurfing on my visit. There are a few things holding me back, but the most prominent one is having no one to watch and copy. I also had some minor rigging issues on the Kona. At 54 years of age fitness and stamina are definitely and issue.
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