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» May 2010
How to Handle Chop!

I hope everyone had a great weekend and had the chance to get some sailing in??? The wind here on Maui has been blasting!!!If you're thinking of coming for a last minute trip, it looks like we are in a good pattern, so get on that plane and come on over!

Speaking of planes, did anybody learn anything about pumping onto a plane from a couple of weeks ago? Hopefully so! Now that you are up and going, today we are going to talk about dealing with choppy waters!

Sometimes hitting chop at full speed can be pretty scary. We have all heard the saying  “speed is your friend,” and most of the time it is. When most people see chop coming at them, their first reaction is to slow down. When that happens, they straighten the legs and head up into the wind and usually end up hitting the steepest part of the chop and get bucked off! Sound familiar?

When I see chop coming at me, I hit the gas! I usually bear-off the wind, bend my knees and stick my butt out so that I can absorb the bumps. My “SEVEN 7” stance turns into a  “SIX 6.” Bearing-off the wind also takes some of the edge off the wind-chop and won’t send me flying. This is where those LONGER harness lines really help out! You are able to get further away from your rig and stay in control.

If things are really out of hand and you are getting bounced all over the place, get out of your harness lines, drop your butt down into the water and hang downward on your boom. This stance forces you to bend those knees and get low. It isn’t the prettiest looking stance but it will do the job and save you from getting flicked around. The name of the game is being in control and having fun!

Equipment setup for choppy conditions has a couple rules I like to go by:

  • - Having the mastrack forward helps keep the nose of the board low and down- this equals less tail walking.
  • - Putting your foot straps further inboard will give you more control, especially in the turns.
  • - If you are spinning out a lot, move your fin further back or your foot straps forward if your using a powerbox or tuttle box board.
  • - Make sure you have enough downhaul in your sail- too little and you will be getting thrown all over the place.
  • - The more overpowered you are, the more outhaul you can pull on- This kills some of the power in your rig and makes it easier to control.

Now all you need is some wind and water- get out there and GAS IT!


Posted: May 24, 2010 at 08:29 AM
By: Windsport Magazine

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