As I mentioned previously, it's been a weird sort of spring so far in the bay area. When I began my vulquest, I was thinking I would be getting 4 sessions a week with 25 attempts per day. Yeah that hasn't happened so much. I've been getting a bunch of sessions where I was pretty underpowered, only getting maybe 5 attempts which were underpowered attempts. Doing the vulcan underpowered is more difficult because a lot of the rotation you try to achieve involves using the sail's power to whip you around, both by sticking the nose and by sheeting in and popping you off. When you're underpowered, you sort of heave yourself sideways, hope you have time to get the nose down and (if you're me) splash down in an awkward display. I still go for them when I get the chance because I think at least you'll build some of that twisty jump muscle that will hopefully have value later.
I have had somewhat of a breakthrough, though. My first 250 or so attempts truly felt like an exercise in futility. I jump sideways, a rail catches, I splat. I jump sideways, a rail catches, I splat. I jump sideways, a rail doesn't catch, then I just end up sailing along the same direction I previously was. But I was trying really hard! I couldn't seem to get the nose down at all. Now I'm getting the nose down sometimes, which makes everything make more sense. Occasionally, I get spun all the way around, and a couple times it seemed almost like I could have sailed away from one if I had my faculties together once I got to the new side. Pretty cool, and encouraging!
Sofien said to me after one session, "you seem like you're torturing yourself out there." It wasn't all that bad. It's still a lot of fun going for it, to me. You really have to mentally reward yourself for those tiny increments of progress, like even just getting the board to 90 degrees was a really good feeling part, then getting past 90 made me feel proud, then actually feeling the fin spin out rather than the rail catching. You have to make those mental notes and give yourself an internal pat on the back to keep your sanity. It's a long merging lane to become a freestyle windsurfer.