Landed The FWD Loop!
Today, I landed and sailed away from the forward loop! This is a major achievement in windsurfing, since the forward loop is the benchmark aerial maneuver which sets the bar for sailing discipline and lends confidence to master other air time tricks. Only a few sailors on the OBX attempt and successfully land the forward loop, and today I joined the ranks. I have been trying loops for years, and after breaking my leg attempting port tack forwards in 1996, I shied away from the maneuver. However, this year, I decided to attempt the starboard tack forward nearly three weeks ago. After about 4 southwest sessions (wind direction for oceanside starboard fwd loops), I have finally landed and sailed away. There is even evidence since Jim M was shooting photos of the jump session today at Salvo Ramp.
Conditions were SW winds in the upper 20 mph range with gust over 30. Keith, Jim, Caleb, Dan, Chad, and I were on hand for "Jump Fest." Waves were disorganized and averaged waist high with some bigger sets. The jump zone was lined up nicely outside providing plenty of board speed for the hit. Wave riding was minimal, but there were a few cutbacks to be found. I rigged a 4.7m Maui Sails Legend, and rode a Quatro 76 wave stick. This rig goes down in history as my first clean successful forward loop ride, since I began windsurfing nearly 20 years ago! All in all, it felt great to sail away clean after landing that first loop during the session!
All photos by Jim Myers unless noted.
What not to do when forward looping. Bill unwisely letting go of the boom on a botched loop attempt, though the crash was not too bad. Photographer: Keith McCulloch
Keith M showcasing a nice rotation
Bill B hitting a cutback on a small wave
Keith M getting some one-handed air time
Chad ahead of the curl