× Tips and techniques for getting the most out of surfskiing.

Turning up or down wind

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9 years 4 months ago #23336 by ToeInWater
I am a relative novice. In moderate chop I find I can go ok upwind and even downwind, but I get slow and tentative when turning between, which I suspect is the wrong tactic. What should I do to improve?

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9 years 4 months ago #23337 by [email protected]
I find that the faster I'm going, the more stable I am; if I'm moving slowly through choppy water, I often feel tippy.

Obviously practise helps, but I think the thing to keep in mind is to be assertive with the water.

Example: a few years ago we had a downwind race here in Cape Town from Monwabisi Beach to Gordon's Bay. Within ten minutes of the start, the wind swung offshore and increased dramatically. Soon I was in survival mode, heading towards Strand, parallel to wind and waves. I was paddling tentatively and felt very tippy and anxious.

Eventually a wave broke on me and I was in the water. While I was remounting, my paddling buddy came past and that changed my approach completely - if he was still racing, then so was I! And just by being assertive and working with the waves, suddenly the paddle was fun again...

(One of the paddlers came off, couldn't remount and spent 6 hours in the water before finally being rescued by helicopter, but that's another story!)

So yep, practise, confidence, attitude! (Works for me anyway!)

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...
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9 years 4 months ago #23347 by Bill L
Replied by Bill L on topic Turning up or down wind
On a windy day, with an onshore wind (so you are not blown away if there is trouble), continually do large figure-eights. This will expose you to wind and chop from all angles. Keep doing it as long as time and strength will allow.

Also, resist the temptation to over-steer and make too quick of a turn (at least while you are still learning). Using too much rudder will slow the ski down a lot and make you less stable. Generally, the higher the speed you can maintain during a turn the more stable you will be. Besides, everyone needs to learn to handle beam on waves and this will allow you to develop that too.

The more you do it, the more stable you will become. It is as much a development of balance within yourself as it is learning to drive the ski.

Bill L
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