In this instalment of his comprehensive series examining every aspect of wavesailing, Jem Hall looks to inject your forward loops with a serious performance boost…
They say “New year, new life”, and no doubt many of you who want to improve will be setting yourselves some targets for ’09 and looking forward to ripping it up in the waves. Hopefully you’ll want to set a new, higher standard as you look to gain more consistency, precision and style in your wavesailing, so with this in mind let’s look at getting your forwards better by taking on board these top tips. They really will take your looping to another level – higher, cleaner, faster and more efficient with better landings.
There are now a lot of people of all ages and abilities out there looping. You need only check out the loop club thread on the forum or Clive ‘El Toro’ Boden’s movie on YouTube, amongst others. With all this trigger-pulling going on you can now look to improve your loops so that planing loops, one-handed loops or even doubles can all be within your grasp.
Let’s use the formula to kick off and then get down to my pearls of wisdom later:
Who? Forwarding better is for those of you getting all the way round and on your back but looking to get them cleaner. It’s also for those who drag half the sea with them and do vertical ‘pole vault style’ forwards. Your masts should not need a clean, so let’s tidy it up please ladies and gents so that they don’t touch the water.
Why? Getting your forwards faster and more efficient will allow you to go higher, initiate later and land more cleanly. Better technique will see you landing upright so that you can keep momentum and bag another brace of jumps on your way out.
What? A better forward comes from getting a good high jump while carrying some forward speed and then bearing away with the sail open. Getting the rig across and then scissoring the board off the wind will turn you downwind and put you in prime position to pull that trigger. Critically, it will help you do it efficiently by using your legs and your arms and not just by sheeting in and hoping for the best.
Where? As you gain a more proficient looping technique you can now loop off anything from 6-inch chop to head or logo-high waves. This means you can practise the move a whole lot more and get that awesome feeling coursing through your body much more often. Yippee!
When? Bearing away smoothly with the sail open and looping faster and cleaner means that you can initiate the actual loop a bit later, giving you that all-important time to get higher and get your forwards more delayed. The self-confidence you gain from looping cleaner gifts you the double whammy of actually feeling you have more time in the air before you whip a quick, clean rotation on your descent, as opposed to rotating as soon as you leave the wave.
How? Let’s look at the toppest of tips right now…