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TECHNIQUE TIPS from the guru!
Cracking that elusive move, especially after loads of unfruitful practice, is often down to getting that little nugget of information that suddenly unlocks the door.

Each month, I'll be offering up a different tip that I hope will give you a leg up on a variety of moves and that will be relevant to all levels. And as I develop the website, I'll be adding video clips.

Drop me a line if there's a particular subject you need help with.


Watch out in 09 for a new series of Harty VIDEO teaching tips!

 
Knee to the water.
9th Feb 2009
tight gybe
It's when people try and suddenly tighten the radius of a gybe, especially if it's windy and they're powered up, that they lose it. All the forces, centrifuge and the power of the rig, are trying to pull you upright over the board so unless you take up some extreme angles, you're going to be whirled to the outside. One tip is to try and get your back knee to touch the water to the inside. To do that you have to drop the hips AND bend the ankle (things that you should actually be doing in every gybe)
 
 
Make like a MATADOR!
Dec 08
tack
At the end of moves involving a rig change be it a simple light wind tack or a screaming planing carve gybe, one of the most common reasons for blowing it is putting yourself directly bewteen the mast and the water. When you do that, you're canon fodder. You can't reach down the boom to sheet in (especially not with big sails) and so typically just pull the rig down on top of you. Like the matador, you have to dodge the rig - if it falls back, you move forward etc .
learn morelearn more.
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FOR HIGH HOPS - release your nose!
January 2008
chop hop
People are amazed at how the pros can get such mammoth hops and jumps off chop or even flat water. Well a lot of it comes from timing their effort with a gust, a favourable wind shift and a big bit of chop. But they also have explosive technique. In the absence of a wave the hardest thing is getting the nose up. The trick is to sheet out and release the mastfoot pressure just as you take off.
 
 

THE FRONT HAND BLUES

22nd October 2007
front hand
So what's the commonest and most corrupting error is in windsurfing? Sitting too much off the back foot? Not riding the board flat? Too much rig movement? They're all up there. However, for me the root of most evil lies in the front hand and having it too far forward on the boom. From waterstarts to loops - it infects everything.
 
 
The key to a smooth rig change is ...
11 Sept 07
Rig change
... to stay commited, keep the board turning and put some distance between you and the mast. It really is that simple. Yes of course it helps to move the hands into the right positions at the right time but if you adhere to the above - the rest are just details.
 
 
BODY FORWARD WEIGHT BACK
4th July 07
slam
When people want to tighten up their turns, be it a carve gybe, a slam gybe or a bottom turn, they rightly think they have to increase the back foot pressure and to make the board pivot. The mistake they often make is that of thinking they have to fall back and hang off the tail. Once you're hips are behind the back foot, you are in no position to control the rotation and recover.
 
 
LIFT THE HEELS, DROP THE TOES
March 07
jump west wittering
There's getting off the water and plummeting back down - and there's , sailing through the air and then landing on your own terms where you want. To experience the latter you have to make best use of all the lift that's on offer. Many think your height just comes from hitting a steep ramp as fast as you can and then let momentum to the job. But the really spectacular jumps come from playing with the board angles and getting the wind under the board. Just like sailing normally, trimming the board for flight comes through the subtlest heel and toe presure.
 
 
CARVE and DUCK
Jan 07
duck gybe
The duck gybe is officially the best move in windsurfing. It's fast. flowing, efficient, spectacular and functional. However, when the aim is just to complete one and tick the box, then it can look more like a drunken Scotsman wrestling with a set of bagpipes. Stylish success comes from remembering that it is part of a carve gybe. The more committed you are to the rail and the tighter you turn, the earlier you can go for the rig change and the faster the exit.
 
 
GET VERTICAL
Dec 06
wave ride
Getting caught parallel with the wave as it breaks can be painful and expensive. Riding downwind, the more vertical you can approach the lip, the more dynamic the ride and the less the chance of getting the end of the boom caught in the face. This tip will not only make you look better but also could save you money!
 
 
GET YOUR NOSE UP!
Oct 06
speed
To go really fast and in order to keep both control and speed in chop, you have to sail the board at the angle where it makes the smoothest contact with the water and creates the minimum of drag. Pros don't agree on much but the one thing on which they DO agree is that you HAVE to keep your nose up - the big question is how do you get it up ...if you see what I mean.
 
 
Leg Drag NOT Body Drag
Sept 06
Body drag
The main problem with the body drag is its title. If you do manage to drag your whole body it sounds as if there's a hurricane blowinf and/or, you're extremely light. The title is all wrong. The aim actually is to keep your body OUT of the water by bending the arms and holding the rig upright. The less of you that makes contact with the water, the less you slow down. It should be called the 'leg drag.'
 
 
LOOK OUT OF THE TURN
July 06
carve gybe
Most people don't plane out of their gybes because when it comes to the rig and foot change, they get defensive and look at their feet! Just turn the head to look were you want to finish and that will get everything moving the right way.
 
 

COMMIT TO THE HARNESS
(and all else will follow)

May 06
harness
If the board leaps around as you accelerate and step back; if you feel that you're slower to plane or just can't get into the straps without heading up, then ssomehow you're not transmitting either enough power or a constant flow of power into the board. It sounds susspiciously like you're not comitting to the harness.
 
 
REVEAL YOUR NOSE
Feb 06
gybe tip
If you had to pick out just one reason why people mess up the carves - whether it be the entrance to a standard gybe, a duck gybe, a 360, a bottom turn - whatever) it's because they don't control the nose of the board. It's all about where you position your body and how you use the front hand.
 
 
HIGH AND LONG!
Jan 06
harness lines
Your whole performance, right from getting into the straps to doing hooked in jumps and loops, will be transformed by sorting out your boom height and line length. A high boom and long lines ARE the way to go.
 
 
THREE TIPS for 2006
Dec 05
top tips
Three simple tips, requiring minimum physical output, that will help you find a new level in 2006. Sadly none of them involve eating a bucket of chicken from Chicken Rita's in Barbados!
 
 
TOP TACK TIP
Nov 05
tack
Tacking a big board is easy so why is tacking a small one so much harder? Because there's no room for error that's why. It's actually NOT hard - it's just about where you look and how you hold yourself.
 
 
FASTER WATERSTART - attack from the MAST TIP
date
waterstart
 

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