A Look Back at the Jump Ramp

It’s been a while since we’ve seen any indoor windsurfing competition. The indoor discipline was certainly full of thrills and spills, and with the action close enough to touch it was a true spectacle for all.Do you miss the indoor action? What was your favourite move you saw landed in, or out of, the pool?Boardseeker revisits one of the staple windsurfing moves, adapted for the pool: the forward loop.The Indoor Jump Ramp.

You may never get to do this, but we bet you want to know how!

Some of the world’s best sailors can’t even sail up the ramp, whilst others are landing double forwards, so what’s the technique?!

KIT CHOICE

Firstly, you will trash the tail of your board on the start ramp so get sponsored or borrow someone else’s kit!

Secondly, success on the jump ramp is all about speed, so take a big sail, a fast board and get ready to hang on, as it’s blowing a very gusty 35 knots on the run up!

http://mpora.com/videos/AAdebgzs2tf3

“Take a fast board, a big fin and a cambered sail.”
- Josh Angulo, 2005 Indoor Jump Champion.
“You need speed but also control.  I use a 5.2 indoor sail which has a shorter mast and longer boom than normal and a 100 litre JP Freestyle board.”
- Ricardo Campello, 2006 Indoor Jump Champion..
“I use my 5.0m Hookipa sail (Neil Pryde Zone) and 91 litre Freestyle board”
- Alex Mousilini, Aloha Classic winner.
“You must have a wide board to be as stable as possible, especially as there is a strange gust before you hit the jump ramp and you don’t want a change of direction just before you hit the ramp!  Your sail needs to be stiff.  I use a Naish Boxer which is shorter up top.  I have been using a 5.4m sail, it is blowing 35 knots but you want power as the wind changes so much and has so many holes.”
Kauli Seadi, 2005 World Wave Champion.

So….to give you an idea of what it’s really like to do the jump, we gave French indoor hotshot Yannick Anton the Boardseeker headcam. 

From here you get the best view in the stadium.  Your heart is racing and you watch the sailor in front of you prepare for his jump.  Secretly you hope he doesn’t make a good one otherwise the pressure is really on you!
You are feeling very nervous, in less than a minute you could be champion of the show, in front of several thousand spectators, or getting dragged from the pool by the medics on your way to hospital – it’s a fine line that separates the two!  There is not a breath of wind up here which is strange when its blowing 35 knots just 5 meters in front of you.  Its also incredibly noisy and just to the right of you is a table with 3 judges sitting with clip boards waiting to rate your efforts
The marshal helps you fit your fin behind the locking bar that holds your board in place on the ramp until you are ready to go.
Get in the footstraps, rotate your sail and get ready.  There is still no wind except for the occasional gust that blows from the wrong side of your sail and keeps popping it around the wrong way.  Its very noisy!“I decide what move to do on the start ramp.”Alex Mousilini
Give the Marshal the thumbs up when you are ready and prepare for the drop.  Within a fraction of a second, you feel the board drop away from underneath you.  There is still no wind in the sail, so stay low and keep your weight over the board.
As the nose hits the water, you feel the wind surge in your sail and at last you can lean back against it!  Try not to let the nose dig in too much – maintaining speed is essential!
The wind is now at full force in your sail.  You will feel very overpowered.  Try not to bear off as you will distance yourself from the fans and the wind will drop very quickly.  Hook in and try to head up towards the fans.
Its all about speed.  The faster you go, the better your jump will be.  Its not easy though as you feel every single gap between the fans.  The wind is on, off all the way!  You have to keep the board smooth and aim just above the red guide bouy.“Go as fast as you can and relax but its important to hold the board steady before hitting the ramp.”Josh Angulo
The red bouy is there to help you line up with the slot on the jump ramp.  Stay just above it and you should be roughly ok.“Your approach to the ramp should be slightly upwind so if you are going to not get perfectly into the slot, you have more chance of being pushed into the right position once your board is halfway up the ramp. Go too far downwind and you will just go over the side of the ramp.”John Hibbard
This is the scariest moment!  You have to get the fin in the centre of the V slot.  Get it wrong and you will crash.  The trick here is not to bottle it.“The main thing is you have to try not to lift the board before you hit the ramp. Go for it but try to be controlled before the ramp.”Ricardo Campello
Sit back and hope the fin goes into the slot.  The ramp is actually quite slidey and you don’t feel much friction.  There is still power in your sail to propel your way up the ramp.  It is a strange sensation, not like hitting a wave – more like being on an escalator until you reach the rollers at the top which give you the kick you need to initiate your move.
If you get this far and the fin is in the slot, you are safe!  As you reach the top of the ramp, you will feel the rollers give your board an extra ‘kick’.  It is important that you don’t try to start rotating on the way up.  The ramp is straight and if you try to turn, you will come a cropper!  There is still a good amount of wind in your sail as you leave the ramp.
At the apex of your jump the wind is a lot lighter.  The higher you go, the lighter it is!  From up here, you are conscious that the pool is very shallow (less than waist deep), it also looks very small!
You have to put a lot of effort into your jump as the wind is so light.  Over-emphasise your movements.  The higher you go, the worse it is!“The only thing different is that you can not stall too much. If you go too high, you get to a spot where there is no wind, no speed and you’ve got to do much more body rotation. The easiest move is the forward loop. The push loop needs a lot of speed and you don’t seem to get a lot off the ramp.” – Kauli Seadi
The lights are dazzling.  It is strange to look back and see roof where there is normally sky!  Its also very noisy!
Try to land flat so you don’t hit the bottom of the pool – it is very shallow!
Bang, you get a fresh shot of ice cold fresh water in your face!! You are so far downwind when you land that there is hardly any wind at all.  Your landing technique has to be slightly different to outdoors.  Instead of bracing yourself for the sail to power up again, you actually have to land over your kit so that you don’t fall backwards.
Once the water clears, you have to come to a fast halt before you reach the end of the pool. You hear the crowd cheer over the noise of the fans and you wait to see your jump score on the large screen!! You have made it and you are still alive!

Hot Tip

  • Even if you know it is going wrong when you get close to the ramp, stay sheeted in and you will be catapulted clear over the ramp.  Sheet out or try to avoid the ramp and you are likely to make a head sized dent in it!

Do you want to see an indoor competition back on the PWA calendar? What made these events so special? Do you think we will get to see any monster moves inside in the near future? Let us know your opinion in the comments below! 

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