Top-10 tips for beginning speed windsurfers in 2010

Hereby my best 10 tips I could give windsurfers when they would like to start speedsurfing in 2010.
  1. When entering a gust slowly start to steer downwind, try to find the point with the highest acceleration. This 'sweet' point is rarely at the same place. Also try to notice where you feel unstable, lots of very good speedsurfers use a locked in style. In other words they have a stable setup, find your most stable setup!
  2. Buy your gps directly at www.gps-speedsurfing.com, ask for dylan he is the salesman of the gps'. The number 1 reason to buy your gps-speedsurfing.com is quick service! I broke 2 times my gps, it was just replaced and no questions asked! Also I believe it is good thing to keep some money in the speedcommunity, all events are great fun but need some funds...
  3. Start speedsurfing with some bigger gear at your local spot, if you have a 100-130 liters board it is OK to learn the basics of speedsurfing (going downwind+bodystance). Bigger gear gives more feedback to the rider, to develop a good surfingstyle big surfgear in essential!!!
  4. Visit a flatter speedsurfspot at least once, it would be even better if the water is shallow! At flatter water you learn how to sail in a more efficient way, this is the best way to learn how to get a high basic-speed. Windsurfing superefficient is a great feeling, like riding superfast on a bike. Strand Horst is a great example, but I think Sandy Point, Gruissan would be great to in lighter winds.
  5. Don't 100% believe all forumtalk, the last decade forums did help a lot for the windsurfingcommunity itself. But lots of (semi-)sponsored windsurfers try to get a sponsorship by telling good stories online, this is no problem and I believe in most cases they are telling the truth, BUT sometimes its bullshit. When you believe some bullshit the bad gear/tuning can cause a bad speedsailingstyle, especially in the beginning of speedsurfing good choises are essential!! Ignore unidentified members, still there are some sportive speedsurfers willing to advice under their own names, it is worth reading their advice!!!
  6. Try to find a shop with active speedsurfers or find a speedsurfer that is willing to help you make the right choises. At Kater surfshop I have no problems to help beginning speedsurfers getting the best they can get for their money, it is not only buying but also tuning the gear... sometimes you can get up to +10km/h just by adding one thing to your surfquiver. It is not needed to invest thousands of euro's.
  7. Don't buy a speedboard for start. BUT when you found flat water and have reached 30-35kn it could be interesting  to buy a speedboard. At this moment the fanatic falcon speed its now €599,- in the Netherlands surfshops. The falcon speed is a great speedboard. I don't know about 2011, maybe fanatic will finally release the new speedboard range.... This would mean the low-budget speedboard will disappear from the market... AND I don't think in the (near) future we will find faster boards on the market.
  8. Get some Time On Water with faster speedsurfers (top 100?? www.gps-speedsurfing.com), most topspeeders perform really consistent. This makes it much easier to see what works for you. Spots: Strand Horst, Sandy Point, Gruissan, Amstelmeer, Gouwzee, etc. Try to do at least 2-3 sessions with the same speeders.
  9. Be realistic, when starting speedsurfing don't push to hard. It is best to try to develop your surfstyle and tuning of the gear. Only at competition at higher level I would say you should be pushing it! When there is suddenly a big difference between your speed and the rest it is a sign of serious unbalance in your gear, find that unbalance and move on!
  10. Used gear can be overstretched/bended/damaged in a way you can't see/measure. It can effect performance a lot, the most polished board is definitly not the fastest!!! When buying used gear, try to buy something that has proven itself recently. Buying used gear is one of the best tips to save some money, but to get the right gear a little bit of KNOW-HOW would be helpfull.

Erik Loots

Erik is windsurfer for 10+ years. In his daily life he is professional in construction dewatering, advisor, troubleshooter. Erik likes adventures, explore and to challenge himself. During his life he is trying to get the best out of it and have respect for the earth, nature and future generations. The modern world is about sharing, in this blog Erik shares his experiences, selfreflection and lessons learned.

4 comments:

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  2. Hi Erik,

    very good read! I think I am your intended audience :) Started my windsurfing career in the summer of 2008 on a Go133 and been wanting to become faster ever since. Last year the best I managed was a session at 53.8 km/h average with my iSonic 101 and aiming for at least 60 km/h in 2010.

    Your first point is what's gonna help most I suspect. I think I may have been too slow at the half wind angle and then steered too far downwind straightaway, losing power rapidly while doing so.

    I've also been meaning to visit Horst this year to check out how it's different from the Lauwersmeer. The upside of the Lauwersmeer is the good tips I get from Gerlof, Pieter and Dirk Jan though, hehe.

    After posting on the forum of Windsurfing.nl I bought a second hand Manta 54 for this year which I hope will be easier to control, since my weight is pretty low (65kg and holding steady, lol). I'm very curious to see how that will work out.

    Should you happen to have any more tips, I'm all ears. :) Keep up the good work with this blog!

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  3. Great tips. I have been watching the windsurfers in Hawaii for the last several years and really wanted to try but was a bit nervous. I have recently been looking into getting some used gear and giving it a go so your tips are super helpful.

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