Learning to Forward Loop Drill 2
Loops Quick Launch:
This lesson is designed as an extension of Learning Guide #1 and the primary goal of this lesson is to get you (along with your board) around on your back. Once you are landing on your back then you can finally and truly practice this maneuver because you have moved beyond the fear of crashing on your gear. Keep in mind, most people are afraid of getting the board in air and throwing their body forward while first learning to loop. This is a natural and understandable fear because we have been avoiding getting pitched (catapulted) up to this point in our sailing career and so the action is not intuitive. But keep your unbending intent because learning to loop opens a new dimension to your sailing and the maneuver offers an exhilirating experience like a riding a roller coaster. Hopefully you have mastered Learning Guide #1 of my loop lessons (and have have engrained to muscle memory the technique) so your body will be on automatic pilot during this exercise. This lesson is best performed in slightly underpowered conditions (which allows you to sheet the back hand in more agressively) and with some small chop so you can jump the board in the air but with low height so you reduce the chances of getting hurt; albeit there is always a chance of getting hurt. Remember to wear a helmet, put on all the protective gear, and hang on to the booms because people get hurt when they let go. I also suggest to practive this lesson with a sail size you feel very comfortable sailing -- for me this is a sail between 4.2 and 5.0 square meters.
Rider: Royn Bartholdi
1) With good but comfortable speed, unhook, dig your feet in the foot straps, spread the clew hand really far back on the boom (a wide grip), and head slightly down wind on a beam reach. Psychologically you are in huck mode and you have been rehearsing the 8 elements of looping: Unhook, dig the feet deep in the foot straps, Back hand wide on the boom, Jump, Throw the rig forward, Look Over your Shoulder, Sheet In, Pull the Back Heel to your butt.
2) Look for some chop and start bouncing the board. Count one, two, and three. On three you are going to huck the loop. The bouncing is to get your body and board moving; the inertia and preparation needed to pop the board out of the water because you have to jump into the loop. You have to crouch and spring the board out of the water while throwing the rig forward. This is where you commit to the move and face your fear.
3) Jump! Throwing the rig forward and doing everything we practiced in Learning Guide #1. Remember for every loop: Hang on to the booms because they are your friend. Notice in this picture I am only about 9 inches out of the water but my fin is out. The fin must be out otherwise you will be get yanked right out of the straps and catapulted. A board in the water stays in the water -- the water is sticky. Also notive, my heels are pulled up toward by buttocks -- This points the nose of the board into the water like a pole in a pole vault.
4) This is the key picture and once you are here all is good. Notice I never look at the water because Ialways look at my rear hand. Looking at the water is almost a guaranteed disaster for learning a loop. Also notice my back hand is sheeted in -- in this lesson Keep sheeting in through the entire rotation.
5) Splash -- a loop just nine inches off the water but 85% complete. Just think about how much further you will be when you jump 18 inches off the water. The Front hand remains Extended. Sure, your going to get wet, but you are landing on your back and you have looped passed your fear.
6) The inertia will cause the board to rotate around the tail.
7) Clear the sail of water.
8) Begin the water start.
9) Water Start!
10) A song has now just seeped deep into your head. Perhaps a rap song. Something like this: Hey loop dog! Whatcha gonna say? Whatcha gonna say? You say, I am a loop dog today... I am a loop dog ... thats what I say... so stay out of my way... cause the loop dog is coming your way!
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