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Do you ever get bored on the water?
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18397

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:46 pm    Post subject: Do you ever get bored on the water? Reply with quote

Well, here’s your chance to get bored (or stoked; it’s your choice) just sitting on your butt, ‘cause this is long even for me.

Many windsurfers sometimes get bored even when there’s wind and/or feel stuck in a skill plateau. Growing our skills can mitigate both problems. When someone asked me recently what I’ve learned in the past several years, it piqued my interest and led to the partial list below. None of them require sailing partners, buoys, Go Pros, ocean access, big swell, Tricktionary 3, professional level talent, thousand-dollar boards, hundred-dollar fins, training camps at windsurfing destinations, GPS devices, organized events, etc. All you need are water, adequate wind, some WSing gear, and some imagination. (The LAST thing we need, in particular, is stoke-slayers dragging the thread into their usual personal crapstorm or dictating their own menus and techniques. More ideas or elaborations upon these are great; mandates are not.)

For the instant gratification crowd, sometimes including myself, you can do many new things adequately on the first day you try them. A loop isn’t a loop until it’s a loop, but linking S-turns is achievable on Day One, even though adding style, speed, intensity, frequency, walls’o’water, etc. may take more time and a more maneuverable board and fin. You can add freestyle tricks, racing, etc., if they interest you, for many more possibilities.

Here are some fun and often useful things I added to my menu years to decades ago and keep improving upon. Most of them are within quick reach of any aggressive intermediate WSer with planing conditions nearby. (Keep in mind that I sail almost exclusively on lakes; handy ocean access opens the door further.)

• Off-the-lip slashes with ever-increasing speed, power, control, and precision. (It doesn’t require real waves; thigh-high random bumps can provide learning fodder, and you can begin on even smaller chop.)

• Throwing up curtains of water in those OTLs that rain down on my head and sail during the following bottom turn.

• More powerful blasting, jumping, running, and/or carving deep downwind.

• Pointing ever faster & higher on the return, so complex team-effort downwinders are not necessary.

• Jumping and landing upwind.

• Terrain-following … linking long riffs of hard turns and jumps -- Left/Right/Right/Jump/Left/Right/Left/Left/Jump upwind/Right/Right/etc. -- almost as quickly as you can articulate the words aloud, clear across your venue, working the terrain at full speed, powered way up, without disturbing the sail, using only core and hip muscles and rear heel’n’toe pressure in its strap. You can start throwing up those shimmering curtains off even the smallest chop, and can add sail handling input when you feel ready for even more powerful slashing. When in the groove, it’s like dancing … one reason I love that Hood River shop’s great name: Windance. No other name I’ve seen pegs my WSing goals as well, presuming that it’s still considered “dancing” when done as rapidly as I can do it. It all adds even more choices to this extremely versatile sport.

• Significantly expanding my wind and point-of-sail ranges for fun and function. (Through various means and for >20 explicit reasons, I rig both bigger and smaller with each passing year to greatly extend the wind range for each sail.)

• Avoiding collisions during all the above when sailing across the grain in crowds.

• Reducing operator-error crashes while sailing on the edge of control.

• Challenging and expanding that edge.

• Doing it all hooked in to prolong sessions, days, and tendon health.

• Unhooking only when necessary, rather than routinely and habitually.

• Learning to tell when unhooking is necessary in time to avoid disaster.

• Testing off-the-shelf and tweaking custom head, body, and board armor for increased safety, comfort, and confidence.

• Setting up hook and lines so hooking in and out is second nature, effortless, smooth, and instantaneous in the midst of any move.

• In my case, mitigating the challenges of impaired balance, especially jibing in wide arcs and surfing unhooked with zero or maximum power.

• Improving timing, finesse, technique, spontaneity, and speed in tight full-speed jibes.

• Relearning how to jibe upwind when dramatically overpowered … i.e., swerving upwind rather than bearing off to jibe ... for several purposes including jibing effortlessly in extreme gusts.

• Transferring high-wind sinker skills to lighter winds, bigger boards, bigger sails, and smaller swell.

• Learning to judge whether and what to rig from observations rather than wasting an hour on avoidable trial and error.

• Charting air and water temps vs neoprene and comfort to help me dress right on the first try. Dress too warm and I FEEL tired, too cool and I GET tired, and coming ashore and changing all that crap wastes precious shred time.

• Learning how to make $#!++y conditions fun, or at least productive.

• Recognizing conditions so $#!++y they’re not worth the effort, including ...

• Knowing when to begin and end each sailing season.

• Finding more ways to avoid the long walk of shame so common in our holey winds often compounded by wind shadows and large flood (i.e., with-the-wind) current eddies. (Save your breath; fast tacks don’t save hundreds of yards.)

• Learning where I can lie in Da River and drift upstream in eddies if the wind quits or a mast or a knee breaks.

• WSing in very strong, gusty winds on strapless boards, hooked in, with emphasis on footwork and sail handling.

• Finding ways to avoid tailgaters crowding my leeward buttcheek when I'm shredding swell or waves. We can’t search the water behind us every dang time we rip off a lip. Would this sign on our backs help?:



• Sliding-into-third-base dismount at flat-out broad-reach top speed … a canned but simple and useful maneuver.

• Pulling a near-vertical wheelie at full speed to stop on a dime or dismount or just for the halibut.

• Jump-starts in chest-deep water (I hear they’re do-able in deep water; will have to try that.)

• Transitioning all those skills into starboard/goofy-footed tack.

• Slogging dead downwind while sitting on a sinker, including ...

• Popping to my feet on a plane when a gust hits.

• Rescue techniques for self or others.

• Forever tweaking harness lines, footstraps, sail design, boom height (often convincing myself that I had them right FOR ME in the first place. 32” harness lines, my ass; neither my legs nor my arms are long enough), and much more.

• Forever testing and comparing boards and fins for better performance and smarter buying choices.

• Ditto for sails, plus requesting functional modifications.

• Comparing new vs old-style boards in search of holy grails.

• Sailing big winds on injuries and/or chemo and hormone therapies that incapacitate most men physically and mentally.

• Jumping higher (until operator error + altitude + age broke a knee). I’ve seen guys get 6 feet of air on absolutely mirror-flat water and toss cheese rolls off a piece of ankle-high chop.

• Making sure I land with my knees slightly flexed.

• Sailing “nuclear” winds on strapless boards to safely rehab snapped ACL + femur and tibia fractures.

• Studying, testing, and improving sailing and training techniques, nutrition, gear (from fin screws to wetsuits), and OTC and prescription drugs to overcome increasing age, infirmities, weed invasions, wind shadows, crappy winds, evolving preferences, and much more. All that covers a LOT of ground, including …

• Maintaining my endurance at levels far beyond that of most WSers. (E.g., I sailed eight aggressive hours in a day hammered on a 4.2 last year at 73, and sailed several hours on many windy days this summer on 18 prescription drugs intended to crush energy levels.)

• Studying and comparing many wind forecast sources and nuances to make better travel, rigging, and launch decisions.

• Learning to distinguish between expanding my envelope and risking life, limb, or a season.

• Developing this list to assess my progress and choose where go from here.

That, plus much more including simply playing full tilt, floats my boat very high in the water. My shredding enthusiasm and aggression increase near sunset no matter how long I’ve been on the water, yet many of my avid freestyle devotee friends say they get bored after just a couple of hours. I’ve seen entire fleets of racerhedz go home in the middle of windy days just because the race is over. What do those say about the durability and internalization of the appeal of tricks and racing for these individuals?

I respect the work, skills, and time required to master freestyle tricks, but for many reasons in many sports, they have always bored me. There are many other ways to keep WSing interesting. There are hundreds if not thousands of things to learn and do in this sport, so don’t let anyone dictate which ones you must pursue or how you must perform them. Their highway is too narrow, IMO.



Bottom line: If we have planing conditions and are bored, it’s usually our own fault. Try changing something. The only partners we need for this dance are wind and water. The music comes from each individual’s soul, not from rules, manuals, or the internet.
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pete1111



Joined: 16 Apr 2005
Posts: 192
Location: The Dude

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mmmmmm must be winter somewhere
Laughing
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grantmac017



Joined: 04 Aug 2016
Posts: 399

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't need planing conditions with the right gear.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18397

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pete1111 wrote:
Mmmmmm must be winter somewhere
Laughing

Absolutely. I won't even be looking at forecasts or current conditions 'til April.
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JamesHardy



Joined: 29 Mar 2002
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No I don't get bored, there are these things I do when there is no wind or waves, they really help pass the time there called work, family, and friends. you should give one or all a try sometime they are surprisingly fulfilling.
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d0uglass



Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 1191
Location: Bonita Springs, Florida

PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't get bored but sometimes bad feelings about land-based things follow me out onto the water. Like, I might feel guilty or be second-guessing myself about my decision to windsurf as opposed to doing something else.
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dllee



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 3788
Location: East Bay

PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally, thats why I learned to play solid 4.0 tennis, ride my Cannondale road bike and Fischer mountain bike, keep 4 surfboards around, and keep my hiking options open.
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PeconicPuffin



Joined: 07 Jun 2004
Posts: 1632

PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tricktionary has more things to learn and do at every level than you can shake a stick at.


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Darbonne



Joined: 27 Jan 2012
Posts: 235
Location: Farmerville, Louisiana

PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No boredom, however sometimes I get a little lazy. Especially if the water is cold.
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westender



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 1023
Location: Portland / Gorge

PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bored in the Gorge? Some days are not the greatest but in winter you wish you had them back. Must be some reason so many people give it up or move on to other things.
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