Break on through!

A beginners perspective on three critical break through skills

At this point in my windsurfing journey I have learned a great many things that have helped me to improve my skills but three skills stand out that I consider to be break through skills on my road to progress. Without proficiency in each I would have been hindered in my advancement to a far greater degree than simply not being able to complete the single skill.

  • Beach Start
  • Harness Lines
  • Carve Gybe

What makes these skills stand out as break through skills is that to gain proficiency I had to learn so much more than the skill itself and the resulting experience and expertise gained pushed me to a new level on my windsurfing journey. This post will focus on the first, the Beach Start.

Step on the board and go, I do it numerous times every time I windsurf but if you can Beach Start and really think about it, before each Beach Start you first gauge the wind both gusts and lulls, water conditions, etc. You probably maneuver your board into the right position using the sail and the mysterious (to a beginner) mast pressure, and once all is lined up you step not just anywhere but onto the center line of the board, not to far forward or back but just right as you let the sail pull you onto the board. (To be successful one needs to develop a single fluid motion which again is quite challenging for a beginner.) As the board moves forward your back foot also steps onto the board again at the right point of balance and you counter balance yourself with the sail or if caught by a gust you sheet out until you hook into your harness lines and once again counter balance as you begin your next run. All this and so much more as the conditions change is simply called a Beach Start.

All windsurfers are sailors first and the skills required/learned and hopefully mastered in the Beach Start have been critical for me as I learned sailing handling, board position, tacks and jibes, etc. and these important skills apply to every new skill I learn in my journey.

Without learning how to Beach Start I probably would have given up on windsurfing long ago and not just because up-hauling isn’t fun but I would have lacked so many critical skills required to move up to a new level and that is why I consider this skill an important break through in my journey.

If you are a beginning Windsurfer and reading this post, please take the time and effort to learn how to Beach Start. Ask for help, take a lesson, practice! You are going to fall, many times but hopefully with each step you will be just a little closer to breaking through on your windsurfing journey.

2 Comments on “Break on through!

  1. Pingback: Carve Jibe – Putting it all together | Tampa Bay Windsurfing

  2. Enjoyed the article Tom , nice meeting you at scenic point – thank you for your patience and advise with my questions

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