Extreme Freestyle by Tony Tiffen
- Category: Misc Articles
- Published: 04 January 2008
- Hits: 8249
SO you can do it all can you?
Duck gybes, carve gybes, and slam gybes are a doddle. Plaining tacks
you can perform in your sleep. Aerial gybes are now boring. Spocks and Willy skippers are just part of your everyday sailing.
You laugh in the face of 360 degree loops.
What else is there to learn?
Where can you go to learn yet new techniques?
But help is at hand, there follows some manoeuvres you won’t find in Boards mag, no video is available to help with these outrageous windsurfing techniques.
1. THE DUMP
Pick a gusty day at Brogborough Lake. Now the whole art of this manoeuvre lies in observing the wind! As you see a lull developing behind a gust, you put total commitment into your harness lines, and then as you enter the lull, you perform the DUMP. The sail de-powers and the whole dam caboodle collapses back on top of you, as an added extra thrill, leave your mouth open as you collapse backwards into the drink, now breathe in!
Now, as and when you surface, you can throw up all over your board, enhancing its non slip performance. Any technical pointers needed for this can be obtained from our club expert on this particular manoeuvre Barry Laver.
2. THE SAIL DIVE
A totally different technique to the dump. Once again harness control is the key to success. You’re hooked in, powered up and flying. A gust hits you! Now just let the sail do the work, don’t fight it! Release the boom completely and at precisely the right moment let the harness pull you into the dive. The actual dive it self takes various forms!
A) THE STRAIGHT DIVE
It’s possibly the easiest to l(earn, so start with this one. Although it can be a little hard on equipment, but the pleasure of the clean dive straight threw your Tushingham T.Bird 7.5 far out weighs the loss of your sail, as you pass gracefully through it!
(B) THE SPREAD EAGLE OR JESUS DIVE
Roughly the same technique, but instead of the straight dive, this time spread your arms and legs wide, imagine you are freefalling after jumping out of a plane. This is a great way to personalise your sail. For repeated Jesus Christ dives will eventually leave a permanent imprint of your body on the Monofilm. Paying particular attention to the various protrusions, e.g. nose etc
(C) THE SAIL SIT or SS position
Just as the sail is pulling you in, release yourself from the harness lines, then as you fall, swivel in mid air, so that you collapse backwards onto the sail with your elbows resting on the boom and the rest of your torso sitting on the sail. You can spend many happy moments reflecting on past glories as you gently sink beneath the surface.
These are just a few examples; there are so many different permutations to this manoeuvre that they cannot all be described here. The Boom Butt is a personal favourite, but just use your imagination.
3. THE CATAPULT
Before attempting this, there are a few provisional preparations to see to.
Have you made your Will?
Is your insurance up to date?
Have you made peace with the wife and children?
And should you pass a church on the way to the lake, it might be an idea just to pop in and make your peace with God.
These tasks done and you are ready!
Now the harder it’s blowing then the more successful will be your attempt. A force nine would be handy. So don your wet suit. (Always remembering to wear a clean pair of underpants, though circumstances may arise that make this superfluous)
Now speed is the very essence of success here—thirty knots plus would do nicely.
So the time has come! You’re hooked in, which is a must, no chickening out and unhooking just because you’ve passed through the sound barrier. Now let the backhand out just a wee fraction and ease yourself downwind a bit. Your really stonking now. Ease the backhand out a bit more and push the rig suddenly forward
(It might be advisable to remove your feet from the straps just before this point. There is nothing worse for a lake Manager to find a drifting board with just two feet in the straps)
Now let nature take its course. You know it’s going to happen, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed on the shore as people jostle for a good vantage point. Ducks, Geese and Coots all stop what they are doing and their beaks drop open (several fish escaping certain death in the process) agog at the strange tapestry of life unfolding before him. MAN LEARNS TO FLY! Then it happens, the rig is snapped from your grasp, the board goes from 40 knots to a dead halt. What happens next depends greatly on your equipment- frayed harness lines or slightly old harness means flight is the order of the day. You leave the board like the Space shuttle at Cape Canaveral, something snaps and you join a flock of somewhat astonished gulls heading for Stewartby. Try spreading your limbs so that you gain height, than as gravity comes into force, go into a graceful swallow dive with an added degree of difficulty of a Tuck and Pike should you so wish. If you find the projectuary somewhat lower, try revolving so that you bounce across the water like a on your posterior like a skimming stone. This is not advised if you were approaching the jetty at the time, for the skill level needed to time your bounces so that you clear the Jetty between bounces 4 and 5 are incredibly high.
If, on the other hand, your harness is new and your lines are fastened well, then this will change the whole concept of the manoeuvre. Your launch is of the same velocity and initially the same projectuary, that is, until you reach the outer limit of the lines. You then travel in a very tight arc, with a G Force of about eight, usually spiralling as you go. You’ll hit the water at an incredible speed. Bones, muscles and tendons are stretched to breaking point and beyond. You eventually find yourself still attached to the harness lines that due to the spiralling motion have twisted themselves round at least six times into a tight undoable knot round your harness hook. The sail is above you and you are in fact contemplating becoming a fish.
This of course under the rather rash assumption that you are conscious and still of this world. If by some miracle you do surface, you are treated to rapturous applause from the onlookers on the bank. What other manoeuvre in windsurfing brings such appreciation from your fellow man, as they slap you on the back as you stagger ashore and compliment you on your extra height.
4. BOARD LEAPING
Not to be confused with board jumping. Board Leaping is performed from the water start position. Once again a force eight is desirable. After DELIBERATELY falling off during a simple Carve Gybe. You get yourself into the water start position, tentatively lift the sail, then as a gust comes, and go for it. Snap the rig upwards and lock out, so that you get the full force of the Gale that’s blowing around you. The rig is whipped into the air with you in hot pursuit. You land with a resounding splash on the far side of the board with great plumes of spray cascading over you. Get into the water start position again and repeat
So there you have it, just a few examples of the art of Extreme Freestyle.
Practice hard, for Brogborough Lake is holding its first Extreme Freestyle Event on Sunday April 31 st
Contestants will start at the top of the lake and proceed to leap their boards as many times as they can before reaching the shore. 60 percent of the marks will go to the number of leaps achieved, 40 percent for style and grace of leaps.
The program is as follows
10.00 am leapers meeting
10.30 Preliminary rounds
11.30 coffee and cake to aid stability
12.00 The Finals
2.00 A display of catapulting by the Lake Manager
2.30 A visit from St Johns ambulance service. Demonstrating replacement of limbs on Lake Manager
3.30 BBQ of roast bits of Lake Manager (surplus to requirements)