Thread: iDO
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Old 29th July 2009, 07:52 AM   #13
Dream Team - School Guru
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,177

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,

Last edited by Roger; 17th January 2010 at 10:11 AM.
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