The waterstart is one of
the gateway skills; it opens up so much more of our
great sport. I still remember my first waterstart and the elation that followed.
The reason for this move is that we arrive on the board in the sailing position
and it is a more efficient way of getting going in stronger winds and bumpy waters.
It is a key skill for our progression down to sailing smaller kit.
The skill is built from having a strong proficiency in
beachstarts. From here a range of drills, including sailing
and dragging one leg in the water, sailing kneeling down
and sailing one handed helps us to move closer to our goal.
These drills can be interspersed through your sailing sessions
and a bit of feedback, coaching and video footage can speed
up the process
LET’S STEP UP
The waterstart can be broken down into smaller goals or
stepping stones. These being:
Deeper water beach start
Beach start with leg drag
Chest depth windy beach start
Full waterstart joy
Look where you want to go: We need
to move forward and in so we look at the mast foot to
get up and away.
Rig away: In order
for the rig to have the leverage to pull us out of
the water the rig is away through extended arms that
Rig recovery: Getting the rig out of
Board Positioning: Bringing
the board across the wind in a suitable position
and away: Exiting the water and arriving
in the sailing position.
Check wind direction and ensure
the mast is across the wind with board pointing into
backwards to release water off
the rig and draw air under it.
Pull rig over your head and into the
wind and place backhand on the boom.
Transfer front hand onto boom. Bear
board away by pushing down through an extended
Your body will be moving towards the back of
the board as your front arm is extended and bearing
board away. You should feel all the pull down through
the front side of your body.
UP AND AWAY
Lounging in the sweet spot. Your front
leg will be extended down in the water.
The rig is above you, low if windy and higher if
it’s light. If you are well powered manoeuvre
the board slightly upwind. If it’s lighter,
point the board downwind for more power. You will
be at the back of the board BUT well upwind
You are now ready for action. The back foot is placed between the straps with
the heel down and towards the windward rail, toes up. Arms are extended and you
are ensuring the board is in the right position.
Action. Pull board in with a bent back leg from your upwind
lounging position. The arms are extended and you are looking/eating
the mastfoot. Kick your front leg vigorously for extra propulsion upwards.
the front armand pull in with
the back arm whilst kicking hard with
the front leg. The front leg is placed relatively
late on the board. Remember you are pulling
your back heel to your bottom.
Stay low and keep
the back leg bent, as you do not want
to go out the front door!
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