Monday, May 5, 2008

Andy Brandt Klinik

Last weekend I participated in my first ever ABK clinic and to be honest, I went in as a skeptic. I've learned how to waterstart/footstraps/plane with decent speed and even stay dry on some jibes without any formal instruction in my *cough* several years of sailing. In the past couple years I've stagnated at a sailor, but I would mainly attribute that to little time on the water and getting a bit too satisfied just tacking my way through life when I actually got out.

But I decided that this year was going to be different. I'm finished with my plateau and I'm going to get to that elusive "next level". I started a blog to document my trials and tribulations, opening myself to the sharp-tongued criticism of anonymous internet meanies. This year, I'm going to raise myself up to the level of mediocrity if it kills me. So I shelled out enough cash to buy a sail and took the class. We got really lucky with the wind (peaked at 20-25 every day) so I would have just paid for the wind if that's how it worked. So here's what I think about ABK:

Andy is really friggin' good at what he does. And he works his ass off. He's got the people thing down. He remembers names. He gives criticism without sounding like a jerk. The lectures were, surprisingly, not boring and sucky (and I've got serious ADD). Understanding the concepts behind the jibe actually made a big difference for me. Having someone on the water as you went through jibe attempts at first seemed like information overload, but it actually made a big difference in the end.

I actually planed out of a couple in the end, my carve and entry work a lot better now and I'm staying dry quite a bit. Overall, I think the camp was a huge success for me(granted we got really lucky with consistent wind... I might have killed someone if we had spent any more time doing lightwind freestyle). I would recommend ABK to anyone. I think it easily saved me a year in my jibing learning curve.

Also, on the last day I got to see Andy and Matt Case doing a freestyle session right next to the beach at the Hatteras Island Sail Shop. Loops, Spock 540s, willy skippers, and many more aerials I didn't recognize. It was pretty awesome to see and it definitely inspires me to suck less, which is always good.


Andy said...

Hey Aaron, I didn't know you were up there! Congrats on the Jibes! You must've met my girlfriend Anne during the clinic, she too claims major leaps and bounds in her sailing from just two days with ABK!

We must've crossed paths, I showed up Sunday evening to sail with everyone (white and blue world sail). Too bad we didn't introduce ourselves! Maybe next time...

John said...

Interesting, maybe at some point i should invest in an ABK clinic. That guy bruce that was at windfest with us swears by them as well. I hear they cost alot though. Grats on the jibe man

Catapulting Aaron said...


I'll be by the store to say hey tonight... I saw you out there with andy brandt and matt rippin' through some spock 540s too! Nice work!

Anne was super nice, I'm sure you know you're a lucky dude ;-).

John, I think about all the money I've spent on gear and travel over the years, and none of it has half the value of a planing jibe, in my opinion.

Waterturtle said...

ABK is definitely worth it if you want to get to the next level. I stuggled for years the hard way...on my own and getting chewed up and spit out...before finally going to ABK in the late 90s. That started my ascent into serious windsurfing beware!

James Douglass said...

Aaron- "I started a blog to document my trials and tribulations, opening myself to the sharp-tongued criticism of anonymous internet meanies." LOL!

PeconicPuffin said...

Congratulations on the jibes! FYI I've done over a dozen ABK clinics over the years to pull myself out of the muck.