One way to learn a forward
Here is a new year present for all of you Girls.
Lets see more Girls doing forwards.
Here is a description of one way to learn the forward loop I use when I am teaching. Sorry it is very long but it should give you something to think about. This year I hope to do the Photos that will go with the article.
First we must train the mind and take out the fear factor.
A forward loop is a down wind rotation. So it is only a jibe done in the air which due to the speed of the rotation becomes a 360??.
When learning we are only looking for 3/4 rotation with a waterstart finish. As this means that the risk of over rotation is zero. Which I have found is the most common fear people have. Plus we want as flat (horizontal) a rotation as possible. This means that as long as you do the first 1/4 of the rotation you will slide the rest on your back, rather than hitting the water hard.
With this method a jump is not important. In fact until you have achieved 3/4 rotation we do not want to jump.
The first exercise is to be done in light winds and out of the straps.
We must find out how to get the power into the rig to create the rotation. The easiest way to find this is with a slam jibe.
Sail at 90?? to the wind, depower the sail and bring your weight over the center line of the board. The sail should be nearly perpendicular to the board and balanced. (This position in fact is the start position for everything you want to do in windsurfing) Now put the sail as far over towards the wind as possible with out engaging power. Once it is over as far as you can get it , you will find that your back hand is near your head. Now to sheet in just move the mast forwards a little and engage the power and lean back. The board will do a very fast turn down wind and jibe.
What you should be looking for is that when you move the mast forwards the power comes into the sail quickly and the power is in you front hand not the back hand. Also the board turns very quickly. If you just get pulled forwards you have not put the sail far enough over towards the wind. If you get pulled forwards before you can get the rig over you have not depowered the sail enough. When done correctly you will either just float around the front of the board and land in the water or the board will turn 180?? and you land in the water. The further over the rig is the more horizontal the float will be. Because of the light wind it will only be a float, not hard.
The next exercise is to do this in the straps. Again the lighter the wind the better as we are still wanting to concentrate on getting the power onto the front hand and learning to float around pivoting on the tail. Notice we are not throwing yourself or the rig forwards but looking for the rig to pull you AROUND and turn the board.
When you are comfortable with this and are being pulled at least 180?? you can go onto the next stage. Again exercises 1&2 the board only just has to be moving forwards.
The next exercise can be done just planning. You have found the position needed to make the board rotate. So you just have to do this a lot faster. The difference now is that you no longer lean back but allow the rig to pull you forwards AROUND the front. Make sure your back foot is well into the strap. You are aiming to slide around on your back so no jump is needed. Also it is important to get the rig as far over towards the wind as possible. This in fact can be done at very high speed and is an excellent way to control a high-speed catapult, in or out of the straps.
By now you have found the power needed to do a forward and it is important from now on to never release that power during rotation. Sheeting out is no longer an option. You will also find sometimes you stay in the straps some times not, it is not important. Keeping the power is
Now it is time to work on timing and releasing the board from the water. This is not a jump, you are just taking your weight of the board. You do not need to be planning fast just comfortably.
First we will look at flat water.
Sail at 90?? to the wind.
Step 1: Transfer your weight onto the back foot and release.At the same time move the rig as fast as you can over towards the wind. Timing: The release of pressure on the back foot should coincide with the rig being at its furthest point. You can practice this by letting go with your back hand. It stops you rotating to fast at this point and is very good for a Volcan exercise.
Step 2: The release of pressure and movement of the rig will have lifted the board of the water and it will be starting to turn down wind. Now engage the power and lift the back leg. Remember the pull is on the front hand and it is pulling you Around the front. The nose of the board will turn down wind very fast and go down. Do not worry about it touching as most of the time it will and it is not a problem, in some cases it helps. Timing: The moment the nose starts to go down wind you must try and get as much power in the rig as possible.
Step 3: After the initial pull the rotation seams to slow down. It is because your body is overtaking your equipment so you have to extend your front hand more and make sure that the sail is sheeted in (back hand near your face). Also make sure that your back leg is tucked up under you. This is when it can help to look back but is not necessary. You will find that you have rotated 3/4 of the way round and will be sliding on your back. Timing: You must be very sensitive to the slow down and react as fast as you can.
Step 4: Now all you have to do is extend your front hand the same as a water start and you have completed a wet forward.
In waves you can use the same technique but you do not need to be going so fast. Great so you can do it in a lull. The difference is that you do not need to weight the back foot as in step 1 but time the rig movement for when the nose of the board has just gone off the top of the wave.
Once you are really comfortable with the 3/4 rotation you can then do step 4 in the air. You normally land sheeted in hard and pointing dead down wind..
Now all the styles of forwards are open to you.
The further back you place your back hand the more power you can get into the rig.
The more vertical you want the forward the more forward you put the mast before engaging the power.
If you slow down just before take off, take off more upwind to get the rotation.
If overpowered take off more down wind.
If you do stalled forwards make sure the rotation is very flat.
If you find yourself over rotating make sure the second rotation is very flat.
Let me know how you get on. It is much easier talking people through this but I think when I have done the photos it will make it a lot easier
I hope some of you find this usefull and have fun trying.