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wsurfn
4th July 2009, 10:01 PM
Is it available in the US yet?

Roger
5th July 2009, 11:41 AM
Hi Mark,
I'm not sure.
I will check.
I have not tried the IDO, but Ellen had a ride on it down in Bonaire earlier this year when they did the IDO photo shoot.
R

johntr
7th July 2009, 12:46 AM
What did Ellen think of it? Is it really a way to learn to windsurf without the frustration?
John

Roger
7th July 2009, 02:34 AM
Hi Mark,
Yes, the first IDO's in the USA should be available later this month. They are in a container that's due to arrive mid to late July. MSRP is $199.

Hi Johntr,
I'll see if I can get Ellen to post something here on her IDO test.

I'll have to try the IDO, but I fail to see how it will revolutionize windurfing.
If you use a lightweight trainer rig like we use in the "A Taste of Windsurfing", and if you
get your alignments (board and sail aligned to the wind direction) then there is
really very little frustration.
How frustrated can a "never ever" sailor get if they are sailing around on their own after 5-10 minutes?
The IDO should make sailing easier for really small children, but then you face the problem of them sailing off over the horizon.......no?
R

johntr
8th July 2009, 10:56 PM
Roger:

I realize I don't have nearly the experience teaching beginners that you have, but my experience for newbies is much less happy than what you describe. With the Retro Ripper rigs and (older) Start boards, newbies get up and going pretty quickly, but they (a) still fall off on the tacks, and get frustrated with having to try to lift the rig at whatever random angle it fell into the water at; and (b) still slide downwind (both because they can't "feel" the right angle to sail and because of (a)). Most of the people I teach take 2-3 sessions before they're confidently sailing out across the lake and back to their starting point.

I wonder if part of the problem is that I should get one of the newer boards with a kick-down centerboard(?). What's your favorite gear to teach a newbie adult to sail? My typical learner is 150-200 pounds, 30-40 years old, reasonably but not superbly fit. What conditions do you like best? We can usually find 5 knots easily (but it's flukey, so we don't usually bother), and 10 knots if we wait a few days. 15 knots usually leads to a bad experience, because the waves knock them off the board while they're figuring out how to use the sail to balance, so I go sail on my own on those days :).

Thanks,
John

ricochet
9th July 2009, 12:53 AM
Our Club, the Montreal windsurfing Association has a tandem Gemini and an Ido. We found that for very young or very litle kids that gets blown away in 5 knots gust...the iDo in front of the Gemini with a teacher in the back will help them understand better how to manipulate the sail and where to place their feet.

After a few sessions of 30 minutes on the gemini and iDO, they were ready to go on their own on a Go or START and a small sail.

And I would add that we used it as well for a humane factor on some occasions, as the iDO keeps the small sail up by itself, we managed to bring on the water some kids that due to their physical health ( cancer ) would have never held a wishbone in their live.

But yes Roger, you are right, you CAN NOT let a beginner loose with a iDO if the wind is slighly offshore. Those kids can go a LONGGGG way before they realise their is a problem. Actually, the few ones we had to chase down the lake had never realised they were gone that far , they were simply convinced they were very good windsurfers :-)

Roger
9th July 2009, 06:51 AM
Hi John,
I'm pasting your last post in here and I'll try to answer each part seperately:

I realize I don't have nearly the experience teaching beginners that you have, but my experience for newbies is much less happy than what you describe.
Perhaps the differences are due to differences in what you teach vs what we've learned from more than 1000 students over the last 10 years in the ATOW program.

With the Retro Ripper rigs and (older) Start boards, newbies get up and going pretty quickly, but they (a) still fall off on the tacks,
OK.... this my be an area of vast differences in what we teach.
We found (with wide boards in particular) that the "old school" "flag tack" and stepping forward around the mast foot do not work very well.
We teach our students to rake the rig all the way back until the foot of the sail rests on the deck of the board near where the back footstraps would go. We try to get them to progressively rake the rig back and sheet it in more and more until it's past the centerline of the board. This "drives" the board up through the eye of the wind and a little beyond. That "completes" the first part of the tack.
Then they are taught to "step over" the mast which is raked all the way back. We try to get them to leave the sail/rig resting on the foot of the sail on the deck.
We even have them (on the simulator) hold the mast between their knees/thighs when they are facing the rear of the board with on foot on each side of the mast and centerline (fore and aft here) of the board.
If they don;t move/step forward of the mast foot they stay in the wider and more stable part of the board. They rarely fall in the water.
Then, to complete the tack, they hold the mast in the new front hand and pivot/lean the rig forward to turn the board the other 80-90 deg. needed to come to a fully neutral "T" positon with the rig.
Then we have then bring the rig up and across the centerline (so they can see the nose of the board through the sail) and sheet in with only 2 fingers of the back hand, reaching straight forward from their new back shoulder.


and get frustrated with having to try to lift the rig at whatever random angle it fell into the water at;

If they are taught to pull the rig straight up, and hold the mast in the new front hand, allowing it to pivot freely, they can then lean the rig forward or aft until the board turns across the wind and the clew of the rig is straight out (perpendicular) to the centerline.


and (b) still slide downwind (both because they can't "feel" the right angle to sail and because of (a)).
We teach them to feel the wind, and to sail "across the wind" from the "T" position which
prevents them from sailing off down wind. We teach them how to "steer" the board to the "T" position on the simulator and then again on the water in the first 5 min.
And, we teach them to sheet in very slowly and only about 5 deg. by rotating their upper body and shoulders so they stay in the middle of the board and balanced.
We try to get them to NOT move their feet at all.
Also we teach them that they need to have both feet behind the mast before they add any power to the rig.

Most of the people I teach take 2-3 sessions before they're confidently sailing out across the lake and back to their starting point.

With the above techniques, in 5-12 knots of wind, on a sail appropriately sized for the student, they seem to master sailing out and back in about 5-15 minutes.
Another thing I've added to the mix that really helps their confidence is use of a "tow board" with a tether line (3 ft of bungee in the middle) to do a couple of good things.
1/ They can't sail off downwind because the tether keeps them somewhat "aligned" with the tow board.
2/ If they are having issues about what to do, they simply "imitate" the instructor on the tow board about 20 feet ahead of them.
3/ They gain alot of confidence when you tell them their new "mission" is to sail well enough to keep slack in the tether line.
They focus on the tether line and soon forget to look at their hands and feet so they begin to do things far more "naturally".
4/ As soon as they can sail along with slack in the tether, we untie the tether and sail with them to ensure that they can sail across the wind on their own.
5/ Then we let them go and about 95% are able to sail out and back to where they started completely on their own.

I wonder if part of the problem is that I should get one of the newer boards with a kick-down centerboard(?).
What fins are you using in your 2001 Start?
I've found that a slalom fin about 40 cm long works far better than the funny fin that's supplied with the Start. Even another DC 40 or Stock Start 40 cm rear fin works tons better than the long silly fin they supplied.
We use 38-40 cm cleaver type fins on the back.
The stock Start center fin is too long front to back and actually seems to keep the board from turning well when tacking and jibing, and is no better upwind that a fairly narrow blade slalom 40 cm.

What's your favorite gear to teach a newbie adult to sail?
2001 Start, Hypersonic 38-42 cm block tip fin as a center fin, stock DC 40 Start fin in the rear.
Sailworks Retro Ripper 2.5-4.2 rig (depends on the sailor size and strength.
5-12 knots of sideshore or side onshore wind.
Oh, and on the "Tow board" I use the same size or one size bigger rig than the student has.
If they are on a 2.5 I use a 3.3...if a 3.3, I use a 4.2...if a 4.2, I use a 5.0.
The idea is not to "tow" them, just be able to stay ahead and give them something to chase after as they work on getting "slack" in the tether.

My typical learner is 150-200 pounds, 30-40 years old, reasonably but not superbly fit. What conditions do you like best?
We've had all shapes and sizes in students. sometimes we use smaller Starts for the little ones, but mostly they can all learn very nicely on the big wide Start.
With the'01/'02 Starts, I often kneel in front of the mast foot with small kids.
They learn alot, and their mom's are much happier with the "instructor on board".
It's difficult for moms (and dads sometimes too) to send their prized little ones out on the water.


We can usually find 5 knots easily (but it's flukey, so we don't usually bother), and 10 knots if we wait a few days.
I agree =< 5 knots it's really hard to teach as their is no pressure in the sail to do much of anything.
6 knots-12 knots (with careful student to sail size matching in the 9-12 knot range) works the best as the water is flat, and the boards actually move pretty nicely.



15 knots usually leads to a bad experience, because the waves knock them off the board while they're figuring out how to use the sail to balance, so I go sail on my own on those days .
Good idea John..... you need to sail as well.
Seriously, I am not being critical with the above suggestions, we need everyone out teaching that we can get.
But try the raking the rig all the way back to the deck of the board, and then step over the mast tacking techniques yourself.
I think you will find that it works pretty well.
Hope this helps,

Ellen Faller
10th July 2009, 08:47 AM
Hi,
Sorry, I've been off enjoying retirement and hoping we'd get summer sometime soon up here in New England.
I tried the IDO when I was in Bonaire, and those of us who tried it agree that it is a real help with easing the effort of lifting the sail. However, we also agreed that it would be a boon for "quick and easy" lesson for resorts, but would not really help the student who really wants to learn to windsurf. It is an *aid* but it won't eliminate the need for good technique and the teaching of good technique. If the student really wants to progress, learning to uphaul easily and comfortably is a necessary technique that cannot be avoided for long. It is a very clever and excellent invention in its own right.
It may also be a bit of a negative since because the sail/rig does not fall into the water, there will always be some wind in the sail and the whole package (rig, board, novice) will keep blowing away downwind, resulting in a more arduous trip back upwind. Pretty much as noted.
In addition to the quick lesson for never-evers at resorts, etc., I can see that it would be good for handicapped folks. But you would need to keep them on a tether line or keep a very good and close eye on them and be ready to bring them back before they got too far away. A Gemini might be the solution.
The IDO was pretty funny/fun for playing around. It was like one of those knock-down punching dolls. Knock it down, and it bounced right back up at you. You could lie down on the board, and the rig would keep on sailing while you stretched out. Off the wind. You still needed to work at coming back upwind.
Overall, if it helps with the "just want to go for a ride" and marginally motivated students, or the handicapped, it is fine. But the instructor will STILL HAVE TO KEEP A CLOSE WATCH on whoever is using it. There is no substitute for learning good windsurfing technique.
I second all that Roger and Richochet have said about the IDO. As an instructor, I would prefer to ride on a board with the younger kids and the lightweight but tentative student, or use a tether such as Roger has described with the others.
I hope this helps, but please let me know if you have any questions. I will pay attention now that the novelty of freedom has worn off (just a tiny bit...).
Ellen

johntr
13th July 2009, 08:49 AM
Roger:

Wow! Thanks for the detailed insights. Great stuff. I'll be mulling those ideas over for a while. Here's hoping it helps me be a better teacher :).

Ellen: thanks for the notes on the IDO. Very interesting.

John

johntr
13th July 2009, 09:30 AM
Roger:

Among other things, your message convinced me I should make a tether for myself. I thought I remembered a message a few years ago where you explained how to make one, and where you attach it on older boards, but I can't find it with a search for "tether" in the forums. (I have my 01 Start, and an 02 Start, and I don't think either have built-in tether gadgets.)

My memory is that your old message said:

1) Build the tether to be about 20 feet total, with a few feet of shock cord ("bungee") to reduce the sudden accelerations.

2) Attach the cord to the mast *of both boards*. I think the argument was that this attachment is best for limiting the "turning effect" of having a line on the board.

Is this right?

Thanks,
John

Roger
14th July 2009, 07:03 AM
Hi John,
The "instructor" board gets the tether attached to the mast foot (I tie a bowline on a bight with an extra wrap around the uni joint) but the student board needs to have the tether attached to the nose.
I think both your Starts have a hole through the nose, right?
I tie another bowline on a bight through the hole in the nose, so when I want to let them loose to sail on their own, I just pull the tail on the bowline and they are free.
I use 2 lengths of 3/16 or 1/4" nylon line about 8 feet long with a 2 foot section of 3/8" bungee chord in the middle.
This tether method works great, but remember to tell your students that the instructor needs to tack slightly before the student to keep the tether from tangling in the instructors fin.
Hope this helps,

Cathal Kavanagh
29th July 2009, 04:51 AM
Cathal here from Rusheenbay in Ireland
Just new on the forum and have really enjoyed reading all the different experiences of people teaching wiindsurfing

We all came up through the rya system and had the balance point as a basis of all good teaching and coaching - has this now disappeared?

We use Tushingham rigs on skinny carbon masts with light booms and therefore rig weight is as low as possible the Tushingham products are the best on the market

a great trick we use is to paddle/walk out 50 meters (150ft) and sail in to the shore for the first 3 times and then do the turn ps we do not include the turn in our demo as it is too much info

Loved the piece on the tack as we have been using this for years and it really works
we dont teach tacking until after gybing is mastered as we are in a shallow enclosed lagoon

please comment or post
Cathal

Roger
29th July 2009, 07:52 AM
Hi Cathal,
Welcome to the Starboard WS School Froum!

I'll paste in your post here as I have almost as many questions as you have :-)

"We all came up through the rya system and had the balance point as a basis of all good teaching and coaching - has this now disappeared?"
What exactly is "the balance point". Can you describe this.
We may simply have different terminology for the same thing here.

"We use Tushingham rigs on skinny carbon masts with light booms and therefore rig weight is as low as possible the Tushingham products are the best on the market."
I'd sure like to try a dedicated Tush trainer rig. I've sailed Tushinghams and they are indeed good, but I wonder how what you are using compares to the Sailworks Retro Rippers we use in the "A Taste of Windsurfing Program".
How long are your carbon masts and what size sails do you have to choose from.
We have 270-400 masts and sail sizes of 1.7; 2.5; 3.3; 4.2; and 5.0.
We have 270 Ripper Stick masts cut down for the 1.7 and 1.2 rigs.
We use some older Starboard trainer booms that are super light and have been doing
delightful service for 10 years.
Which brand is the best in the industry probably depends on where you are located.

a great trick we use is to paddle/walk out 50 meters (150ft) and sail in to the shore for the first 3 times and then do the turn ps we do not include the turn in our demo as it is too much info
Hmmm... Do you use an on shore simulator?
Do you have a crew of 2 persons that can do 25-30 students in a day.....95% of the students can move on to narrower boards and larger sails after their first 1/2 hour. on the water. We run each one individually on the simulator, and then have one instructor and usually 3 students on the water, but the first 10 min. with each student The "on the water" is normally on the tether until they show us they can sail on their own.
Then they get 20 minutes to practice on their own.

Loved the piece on the tack as we have been using this for years and it really works
we dont teach tacking until after gybing is mastered as we are in a shallow enclosed lagoon
We have always taught tacking first, and we teach it on the 7-12 minutes on the simulator so the students know how to tack before they go on the water.
We only allow students to gybe if they show us that they really have full control, can stay upwind well, and can return to the same place they launched from.
The way we teach tacking (with power, and the foot of the sail all the way down on the deck at the rear) they have no real issues with tacking.
Teaching them to gybe too soon creates 2 situations that give the instructors some issues.
First, if they can only gybe, they normally end up fairly far downwind.
Secondly, they have almost no control in a gybe as the board accelerates as they turn off the wind. Not a problem is there's plenty of room and no one else around, but big issues if we have to chase them downwind, or if there is alot of other "traffic" in the area.

I do not wish to start any sort of "contest" here, but Ellen and I have taught a whole lot of students, and the methods we have developed really work for us.
We do not do "group" lessons as we have found that personal attention, during that first
critical 5-15 minutes (both on the simulator and on the water) is critical to student success.
Hope this helps,

AndreM
16th January 2010, 10:18 PM
I am considering buying a 2009 GO 155 or 175 for my family.

Will the iDO work with these boards too? I read about the need to use screws to connect to the board or is that just optional?

ricochet
17th January 2010, 12:57 AM
Bonjour Andre,
At the APVM ( Monbtreal Windsurfing association, we found that the iDO did not have to be scrwed on the sides as log as the sail was a kid's rig less then 2.2 meters. As the iDo has 2 sets of bolts at the bottom of the base, it will give you a good hold of the rig.

For the stability of the board with the iDO, I would recommand the 175 lt. The more buoyancy you will have for your board, the more

Have a nice day, and BON VENT ( Good Wind ). Eric Gouin Président APVM

Roger
17th January 2010, 10:40 PM
Hi Andre M,
I'll defer to Eric from APVM here.
I have never been given an IDO to try out, so I have no experience with it.
I still maintain that good instruction combined with a tether system for instructor
control will get newbies up and sailing sooner than something like the IDO.
Also, the IDO can result in the board (with or without the sailor on board) sailing off
on it's own, so some sort of rescue craft is pretty much mandatory if you are using the IDO.
See Ellen's comments from her experience with the IDO last year.
Also, are you considering that the GO 155 or 175 does not have a centerboard or provision for a center fin. The older GO boards had optional side fins that provided "rig steering" for absolute beginners, but the current catalogue does not suggest that the new GO boards have this option.
This being the case, for absolute beginners, the Rio or Start, with a centerboard, might be better for the beginners in your family.
Especially for the really young lightweight sailors, foot steering is quite difficult and they are pushed downwind because there is no center fin to provide lateral directionality and also rig steering.
Hope this helps,

AndreM
17th January 2010, 11:40 PM
hmmmm... thank you. I thought the GO 155/175 did have an extra center fin position. Apparently wrong. As my kids are 13 en 15 they should be able to learn on something else than a Start or Rio but an extra fin (on the daggerboard position so to say) would be handy...

My aim is to get my family enthousiastic for windsurfing with a board that is not too hard to learn on but will not be too dull too soon. there fore: GO144/155/175... Any suggestions what to do next? I plan to surf in shallow water (1 meter) Btw. I bought a Loft Sails Spark 3.2 for my family last year. I did not work out with the narrow Bic Samba.

Furthermore are the Start and Rio the only boards that can use an iDO with the extra bolds or are there other boards that cater for the extra lateral rigidity by extra bolds.?

Roger
18th January 2010, 08:48 AM
Hi AndreM,
I think the IDO will fit on almost any board with a mast slot in it.
My guess would be the 2 bolts are in a line down the center of the board
like Deviator or Chinook 2 bolt bases.
You might look for an older Go (make sure you can find the side fins for it) or perhaps an early Start with the center fin box where you can install whatever fin you like (anything with a Tuttle head).
And, you can put a big sail on the old Start and have one of the earliest planing boards on the planet.
If your kids did not take to the Loft 3.2 m2 rig on the Bic Samba, then getting something wider is for sure your best option.
Please read over the instructional posts earlier in the thread.
If you follow them very closely, you probably do not need the IDO.
If you need further clarification, I will be glad to provide what ever I can.
Hope this helps,

ricochet
19th January 2010, 01:21 AM
hmmmm... thank you. I thought the GO 155/175 did have an extra center fin position. Apparently wrong. As my kids are 13 en 15 they should be able to learn on something else than a Start or Rio but an extra fin (on the daggerboard position so to say) would be handy...

My aim is to get my family enthousiastic for windsurfing with a board that is not too hard to learn on but will not be too dull too soon. there fore: GO144/155/175... Any suggestions what to do next? I plan to surf in shallow water (1 meter) Btw. I bought a Loft Sails Spark 3.2 for my family last year. I did not work out with the narrow Bic Samba.

Furthermore are the Start and Rio the only boards that can use an iDO with the extra bolds or are there other boards that cater for the extra lateral rigidity by extra bolds.?

Bonjour Andre,
at 13 and 15 of age, I feel you do not need the iDO. Kids rig are now easy enough to handle for young teen agers. I understand your dilemma to get them to enjoy windsurfing with the proper board and to be able to use this board for many years after , as they improve. One option you may have would be to rent a very stable board.There might me a renting place in your region that offers rental service. Most of the teen agers we tought windsurfing had out growned their big stable board ( 200 lt, wide beginner style) in less then 4 to 5 sessions. Thats way, once your kids are confortable with the basic of windsurfing, you could get a family board like the GO.


To come back to the iDO. Our club uses it mostly on the Gemini Tandem, to itinitiate very young kids or kids who have a physical weakness. We do not use the iDO as a long term training tool, as it does not react exactly as a normal sail does. But for a 3 to 4 year old kids , the first 30 minutes puts as big smile on their face.
When we put it on a single mast track board ( like on one of our Start fleet ) we always make certain we have an onshore wind , a very small sail, and less then 8 knots wind, and we always have someone on the water following that kid.

But for your teen agers, a simple good initiation session will do the work, as they obviously have the energy and strengh for it.

Hope me advise are usefull.