I'm not running away from anything.
OK, you get my "PROGRESSIVELY" lecture now.
Nearly everything in windsurfing technique needs to be done progressively!!!!!!
You need to progressively sheet in your sail to get moving.
As the board moves "progressievely" faster, you need to move back on the board..... progressively!
Your rate of movement back toward the footstraps needs to match the rate as which the board is accelerating. Move back too fast, and the tail sinks and you've got to start over.
Move back too slowly and the rate of increase in speed gets ahead of you and you become fearful of
catapaults. and picking your feet up to place them in the footstraps.
Sheet in the sail
Board gains speed
You move back
Hook in to your harness or place your front foot in the footstrap (but do not put any weight on the front foot
or the board will turn upwind immediately (this is called "rounding up" and is a direct result of you placing weight off center, upwind which tips the board and it turns, just like it's supposed to)).
So, how to avoid putting weight on the front foot???? Big dillemma.....
Hook in just before you put your foot in the front strap, so the rig can take most of your weight.
Keep the arch of your back foot right over the fore and aft centerline of your board, and keep your weight on the rear foot. You can also steer the board... heel pressure you go upwind, toe pressure takes you downwind.....Your back foot is not so far back that you sink the tail of the board.
Where exactly is that.... it depends on your weight, your stance, and how fast the board is going.
So, you can "set up" for your gusts by moving back just enough that the board is all ready to accelerate.
With your footstraps in the middle positon (not beginner...but not "advanced") you may not be getting far enough back on the board with your back foot.
Normally, after you have sheeted in, moved back "progressively" as your speed increases, hooked in before you really have raked the rig back much (rig is still pretty open, not fully sheeted in or raked back)
You have the board all set to take off when you get enough power in your sail.
As soon as the board accelerates onto a plane, THEN you can worry about getting your back foot into the rear strap..... not before. But at your level, getting the back foot into the strap may not be so ciritical.
When you have moved the footstraps back and outboard all the way (the dreaded "advanced" position where the board can reach it's full potential for speed with control) (and at some point pretty soon, you will!!) your rear foot would be a little in front of the rear footstraps; you would be hooked in; your front foot would be in the front upwind footstrap; and you would be ready to sheet in and rake the rig back as soon as you feel there's enough power in your sail.
But, the key to all this is to do things PROGESSIVELY....
It's like shifting gears in your car.
1/ Start out in first gear i.e. sheet in and get the board moving across the wind on a beam reach
2/ Shift to second gear when your board has some speed and you can move back progressively (as the board gains more speed) without stalling the board.
3/ Shift to 3rd gear by hooking in and getting your front foot in the footstrap (keep your weight on the rig as mast foot pressure, do not put weight on your front foot. Weight on the front foot, that far off center, tells the board you want it to turn upwind... rapidly.
4/ Shift to 4th gear by sheeting in more, raking your rig back and trying to get your rear foot in the rear footstrap.
5/ Shift to 5th gear by moving your weight out away from the board to counterbalance the pull from the rig.
Remember.... when in doubt, let it out.
If you feel yourself getting pulled up onto your toes, sheet out slightly (actually a better term is "ease your sheeting angle) to reduce the loading on your sail.
When you find the rig supporting your entire weight, keep the board flat and you will plane very fast across the wind.
To turn upwind, a little heel pressure on the back foot... To turn downwind, a bit of toe pressure and lift the end of the boom slightly (un rake your rig slightly) to get the power in the rig forward a little to help turn you off the wind.
Hope this helps,