Friday, August 17, 2007

Matt Pritchard's forward loop clinic

A week ago Matt Pritchard gave a free forward loop clinic in Kanaha.
Here's a few tips (if you can hear them...) from one of the best sailors in the world.


If you can't see it here, try here.

I had never tried a forward loop (and at this point, never will...) and had very little interest in learning... pretty much I just happened to be there with nothing better to do.
But it was interesting and I actually did pretty good in the beach break simulation so I went out sailing determined to try at least one.
Unfortunately (?) the wind got too light to attempt even a little jump.
Back on the beach a friend gave me a new wave board to try and that was the end of my forward loop carrier...

Here's my take on forwards and jumps in general.
The fun I have jumping is 1 compared to a 10 when I ride waves. So... why risk injuries that would keep me out of the water... not really worth it for me.
Matt says in the video that he broke his ankles three times trying backloops.
The other day I met an italian tourist who broke his wrist doing a forward on the first day of his three weeks windsurfing vacation in Maui.

Getting worked by a mast high wave while trying to hit the lip... that's how I'd rather get hurt!
Or dropping on a double overhead bomb at La Perouse!!!

PS. Do you guys like Youtube better than Dropshots? Did it make your browser crash at all? It did once with mine, but I'm not sure what's the problem...

10 comments:

Robin said...

Funny, I could have needed a bit of expert advice, as I started trying forwards this week. Nowhere to nailing them but it feels wicked to finally commiting to something I didn't dare to do in over 15 years. I tried about 50 or so and I'm slowly learning what I'm doing wrong. Coming days no wind. Bugger. Guess I will have to practice looping on my sup ;)

Hope all is well over there, say hi to Dolf from me when he's back (met him last week, nice guy). He told me to let you teach my GF how to windsurf when I get to Maui (not in the near future I'm afraid. I told him that I would be afraid that you would run of with her ;)

Anonymous said...

Hey Cammar,

Forwards are really easy. The problem is that all advice and explanations focus too much on sail technique. When I was learning them, I never got around. Tried hundreds of time. Till one friend gave me a crucial tip:

Forget about the sail and looking back etc....simply imagine you want to do a grubby....lift off small chop and kick away the nose of the board. Focus on nothing, but to get the nose of the board as downwind as possible. You will have completed your first forward in less than 5 attempts.

They are not dangerous at all. And let me tell you...they are a thrill. Its a great feeling every time over again.....

Just throw the nose of the board downwind and hold on !!!!

Bill said...

I have to agree...great fun chucking forwards! I just started doing them with regularity this past Spring, and now I am landing with the board under my feet 70% of the time, and sailing away about 30% of the time. Once you get over the mental block of the initial commit, they are quite easy to go around. I find it best to be fully powered, and launching off a steep, minimum waist high ramp. Actually, I prefer bigger air now when doing them since I use a lot of "body" for the rotation (I need though to work on using more sail), so I go around kind of slow, but I can definitely feel the rotation and now "sheet out" upon landing to sail out of of it. All in all, once you get over the mental block, it is no different than trying a lay down jibe. If you boom hit the water in a laydown, you often get catapulted, but in a forward loop, the only difference is that the board is in the air.

As far as body pain, the worst involves slaps on the water. There were a few "scary" experiences during the first few sessions when my board did not leave the water and my feet came out of the straps, causing me to do an aerial flip above the booms (held on to them!) and landing on my back on the sail. No pain at all, but just felt kind of scary. One key with forwards though is to "never" let go of the booms. Letting go, and I have done that many times too, can be pretty scary, since it is disorienting and you fear you will smack the mast or booms. Though for me, I always flew out ahead of the rig in that instance, and never had a gear contact experience. As far as pain, the back slaps are the worst you will most often experience. In the beginning, I would probably recommend wearing a shorty wetsuit, or something to protect against the back slaps. Once you are over the mental block though, they are so fun to try and especially if you land one, or at least land with your board under your feet. I waited a long time, to get back into them again, but now I wish I would have tried them earlier over the past years.
Now its time to try a Goiter once we start getting some decent surf here?!

Hey, was anyone successful in the Matt's Loop Clinic, or in any following sessions where the wind was ripe?

cammar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cammar said...

Hey Robin, reagarding you GF... yes, that risk you mention is definitely there, depending on how good she looks.
But put it like this: if you try to teach her yourself, it'll be the end of your relationship anyway (NO boyfriend can teach his own girlfriend... and this is not a myth, this is the TRUTH!), so...

Anonymous name is Sherif (a blog reader from Red sea-Egypt), since he also sent me an email with the same text and even a little video of a nice forward of him in flat water.
Hey Sherif (btw, did Bob Marley ever shot you?... just kidding),
thanks for your email but, as I said, I'm really not interested!
And the funny thing is that you assume I know what a grubby is...
I know, I know... I have a blog which is mainly about windsurfing... I've been judge of 5 between aloha classic and pwa wave contests... I live in Maui...
da hell, I should know what a grubby is!
The thing is that freestyle is like jumps for me. I really don't care...
But maybe Robin can use your tip and will let us know if it helped!

'Zup Bill!
thanks for the encouragement, but as I said...
I don't really know what happened in the rest of the clinic, because as soon as I put my hands on that wave board, I bailed out and went to uppers to try it out on the windswell wrap...
I was so focused on trying the board (the weirdest looking board ever: custom SOS 7.8 with double concave channels and unusually located sidebiters fins) that I didn't think about the forwards once! And I just had had a clinic from Matt Pritchard in person!
I'm really not interested...

The board? Sweet on the wave face but nowhere else. But I'm still working on the fin setup and it's getting better. Maybe I'll post something one day.

Anonymous said...

am i to understand matt uses some kind of land loop simulator?

cammar said...

Nope,
all we did is to plant our sail in the shore break (without the board), wait for a gust and pretend to do a forward.

Anonymous said...

Can you kindly explain in more detail the "shore break loop exercise"

cammar said...

Sure!
Well, I can try...
So, as said, you plant your rig in the shore break, no board attached, like in knee high water.
Of course, if the shore break is more than waiste high, is not a good idea...
At that point you wait for a gust (and maybe for a little wave to come in so that it makes the water deep enough) and just do a forward roll downwind and in front of the mast.
Same movement you would do in a forward loop, with the difference that you don't have the board attached to your feet.
You can do that on the beach too, but the landing in the shorebreak is in the water, so it's better...
Clearly you don't complete the roll. You land in the water under the sail with the clew facing the ocean.
Ah, of course, in Maui we have side shore wind and I guess that's a must for this exercise.
Don't try to do it without a gust, because you really need the power in the sail to be able to do that.
Hope it's kind of clear...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for elaborating on the forward loop exercise!