MOVE ON UP - GET ON THE FRONT FOOT

Windsurf|Issue 396 - August 2020

MOVE ON UP - GET ON THE FRONT FOOT
This month we look at how our front foot weighting can affect and improve different aspects of our main windsurfing moves.
Jem Hall

WEIGHTY MATTERS Perhaps the most important action we take in windsurfing is not having too much weight on our back foot as this will sink the tail and lift the nose and make us go slow. As we progress through the sport we fully understand this, yet as we look to boost the core skills of early planing, and reaching higher speeds in more control, we should look to focus on getting more weight on our front foot. Furthermore, these two skills give us the keys to being able to learn and boost carve gybes.

Early planing starts with the front foot pushing the nose downwind in order to flatten the board and help it accelerate so we can get in the straps and fly. Acceleration then continues with the front foot, and leg, pushing down hard to flatten the board and lock down the rail to give us more speed and control.

Lastly, when the wind is decreasing and we are looking to keep planing we weight our front foot more, and move forwards and out, to take weight off our back foot to stop us sinking the tail and thereby losing speed.

Get on your front foot to boost early planing and top-end speed and you will boost your wind range, thereby putting you in a position to not only learn to carve gybe, but also have more attempts!

TACKING

This essential skill gives us a dry transition and helps us learn/improve gybes and gives us more options in a wave environment. One of the key aspects of nailing the tack is getting more weight on the front foot to allow us to shift our back foot in the foot change and thereby get ourselves round to the new side. If we look at the carving tack then there is a whole lot going on with the front foot; here are the key phases:

Preparation - moving our body forward and weighting the front foot more, to be able to reach the mast (or forwards on the boom) prior to unhooking.

Weighting the front foot to get the back foot out of the strap. • Approach - carving upwind more off the front foot helps our hips ‘keep up,’ so they can be shifted forward to make a good foot change/transition.

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Issue 396 - August 2020