How to Ocean Waterstart

View count: 2917 | duration: 3:24 | date: 9 years ago on Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tempted to head out to sea?

This video will show you how to waterstart in the open ocean. The key thing is not to panic. Work your way up to the top of the mast, lift the sail up over your head - wearing a personal flotation device, like a life vest helps. You have to fly the rig higher than usual because you need keep it out of the rolling swell and waves, however the swell will keep it out of the wind a bit, so its not that hard to keep it under control. Work your way down to the boom, grab it with both hands, plonk your feet on the deck, sheet-in and let the sail do all the work, lifting you up out of the water and onto the board. You will probably have to moon walk a bit with your back leg, to pull the board around, because the rolling swell will push you all over the place. The most important thing is to get up, and get moving as fast as you can, before the next swell hits you and knocks you off the board. Once you are going you can tidy up your grip and foot position.

Posted by Henry Thomas, 9 years ago on Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Luke said...

Good vid mate, question though, how much wind is required to do a water/beach start. I was mucking round out in 10knots yesterday and wasn't having a great deal of luck! I was running a 150L board and 5.3 wave sail

Posted 9 years ago on Friday, November 18, 2011

Henry Thomas said...

Generally, you will need to be out in conditions you can plane in. If you are not sure what these thresholds are, try my windsurf gear calculator. But assuming you are of average weight, you would need about 16 knots to plane on a 5.3m sail. Its easy to tell when its blowing this strong, because dry sand on the beach will start to lift. Its also fine to go out in lighter conditions to practice, but you really need planing conditions to be able to lift you up out of the water and perform a water start. Beach starts can be don in any conditions. I will post a how-to video in beach starts soon.


Posted 9 years ago on Friday, November 18, 2011

simon blanshard said...

Im learning so much from watching your videos, thank England if you stay in the sea to long the only thing thats going to bite you is frost bite lol. Thanks again

Posted 9 years ago on Thursday, November 24, 2011

Henry Thomas said...

Hi Simon,

Yes we are pretty lucky over here, even in the middle of winter all I need is a spring suit, the rest of the time the sun is hot and the water refreshing - pleased you found the videos helpful.

Posted 9 years ago on Thursday, November 24, 2011

Jon said...

Hi Henry, great vid and good tips especially with regards to keep the sail high in swell. A few pointers from me to you (yes, I am a bit cheeky) 1) Avoid getting both feet/legs on the board in any type of waterstart (except if your board is flipped over). Keeping one leg in the water (the front one) will work like a daggerboard/fin and keep you from floating too much downwind - which can be a real issue if you are out in the waves 2) Hands closer together (unless you are overpowered, in which case do bring them a little apart for control) gives you more power in the sail overall, which assists you in getting back on the board faster. Great site!

Posted 8 years ago on Saturday, August 11, 2012

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