board: Fanatic AllWave 9'2" sail: 5.3 Severne S-1
A while back, I told someone the value of taking an ABK Clinic is that often you will not learn a move during the clinic, but at a later date, you will start trying the move again and it will start to come to you. For me, it is often not the move I really want to learn, but rather, something that they distract me with while I am trying to learn the move I want to learn because I am struggling or the conditions are lacking.
For example, when I wanted to learn a planing exit for my gybe, they had me sail backwinded in the light wind. Even when we had good wind and the planing exit was not happening, I learned to jump gybe. While trying to learn the vulcan during one clinic, they had me try upwind 360s in the straps, or in lighter winds, a donkey gybe. I don't know why. I had no real interest in learning any of these moves, but now, I can do them all.
Initially, I was not a LWF believer, but eventually, I did finally buy in. I can remember how hard it was for me to learn a non-planing upwind 360, and how good it felt when I finally got it. This year, I said that my light wind goal was to learn a duck tack. I did try a bunch at the recent ABK camp in the non-planing light wind at BIB, but no luck. I saw the sail either slam into the water to windward or helicopter past brushing the nose of my board after the throw. Only one of the campers could really duck with any consistency. He was older than me and from San Francisico (Richmond). Why are the windsurfers so good out west? I saw him practicing duck tacks on Andy's SUP in the light winds during the lunch break. Since, I have the same SUP, I figured later I would give it a try on a super light day here on Lake Travis.
Conditions today were terrible for windsurfing. Light lines of wind, with periods of no wind eddies. For the first hour, it was mostly switch-stance practice, with the usual outcomes after the throw. I know I looked pretty kooky to the weekend beach crowd. After an hour, I had one successful Duck Tack on port, but nothing even close on starboard. As the wind shut down again, I thought about calling it a day, but something inside said to keep going.
Then it happened. The key was to stall a few seconds after the hand cross-over but before the throw. I started to get it on both tacks, better than 90%. Now I realize it was on a SUP and not my sinky FS board, in 10mph wind, but finally I was learning something new. And that feels REALLY good.