Starboard Forward Loops!

small surf at S-Turns  click to enlargeIn all the years I have been windsurfing, I have never tried starboard side forward loops. Port has always been my strong jumping tack and I have been trying loops on that side for many years; however today I tried starboard. The session was at S-Turns and though the surf was small to non-existent, it was fun for starboard jumps, and trying forward loops on the outside wind swell! Conditions were warm SW winds in the 25 mph range, and I was well powered on my 5.3m. I sailed solo, since the rest of the crew was at the Point in Hatteras. It was a nice sunset session, and though the water was pretty cold, it felt nice for the landing after rotating around.

Forward loops are definitely all mental, and once you try your first one, its time to try more. My goal was to try two with each tack out, and basically that was the case. Every attempt I fully rotated around unhooked and landed in a water start position, and often in the straps. The ideal ramp was a steep swell face about waist high. Next step for me is to just keep trying, and becoming more comfortable with the rotation. Sheeting in the back hand while extending the front hand to position the mast forward is all there is to it. Looking at for the clew of the sail is advisable as well.

Regarding the comfort zone, its kind of like high speed jibing. I can run full speed maxed on a small sail into a one handed laydown jibe without even thinking because I am comfortable with the move. I need to get to that comfort level with the starboard forward loop, and since we get so many SW days here on the OBX, it should come. As long as I don't break my leg like I did back in 1996 doing a port endo forward loop in six foot surf and overpowered 4.2m winds. At that time, I was a little too cocky and the results were painful! However, it was a long time ago, and I am ready for starboard side now!