Friday, August 21, 2009

Extended Loop Attempt Video + Thoughts

I'm not going to claim to be an expert on looping, and I'm not going to describe the technique for doing one because there are tons of places on the internet to learn about that. I even recommend taking a lesson if possible (an ABK Freestyle clinic worked for me). I will, however, share with you the facts behind my loop experience thus far. I also wanted to include some of the best philosophical tips I received as I was learning the trick.

Me and Looping:

I still get nervous before my first attempt of the day. After I get through it (and invariably eat crap but sail away unscathed), I'm ready to try them until I'm exhausted.

The forward loop is the one move I've wanted to do since the first day I saw a windsurfer. I saw spocks and vulcans that day, but didn't find them nearly as impressive.

I'm not particularly fast, I'm not a particularly good jumper, and I'm not particularly brave. Many would agree that I have a bit of weakness in all three of these areas.

I had many days this year where I told myself I'd go for a loop but chickened out. I drove home mentally beating myself up. This has probably happened to you too if you've ever wanted to loop.

I sail with people who loop for about half of my sessions. On days that people are throwing loops, there's never a question in my mind about whether or not I'm sailing loopable conditions.

Taking a lesson helped me a lot (ABK). It was a windless day and I didn't get to make an attempt, but understanding how the physics worked and trusting in science really helped me overcome the fear.

Sailing "angry" would sometimes help me go for them, but I didn't get close until I was sailing relaxed.

Getting spun by the sail for the first time was as exhilarating an experience as planing for the first time.

The next day I attempted loops after the filmed one, I didn't waterstart out of a single one.

Best tips I've recieved:

"Sometimes you have to pick your days." --Kevin Kan

"There is no perfect time to go for your first loop." -- Kevin Kan

"Don't do it unless you're ready. And if you're gonna do it, move your hand way back and just freakin' do it!" --Sofien Sehiri

"Don't be angry at the move. Go take a couple more tacks, get your favorite song in your head, relax and try again." -Sofien Sehiri

"You are totally ready to loop. Piece of cake. You got it." -- Matt Case

"The only reason you aren't looping is because you aren't trying them." -- Andy Brandt


David said...

You need more pop - try bigger chop. Make sure you are actually jumping and not just rotating off the wave.

Dude, you're gonna be loopmaster by the time you hit Maui in October! ;-)

Catapulting Aaron said...

Dave, agreed that I need to get higher. Most of the good ramps in the bay require pointing somewhat high, so I've been going off smaller ramps on beam and broad reaches. I definitely want to get better at getting more pop off of less, or going for big jumps and bearing off in the air before I initiate.

I would like to be a good looper by the time I get to Maui, but I've got a nagging shoulder issue that's keeping me off the water a good bit these days...

Andy said...

Awesome video! The perfect duck jibes before loop attempts are pretty rad, too. I've found that pulling off something like a duck jibe, perfect heli-tack, whatever you can do- right before you attempt a loop- helps to build confidence in you and your gear. Then you're feeling good, and then you'll tend to have more success!

Waterturtle said...

Great post and $%#&ing hilarious video....very educational!

George Markopoulos said...

Amazing Aaron

MikeyZ said...

Aaron, nice loops!!! and nice tune selection - a little silversun pickups and a little radioHead always work for me. I can't wait to get to the bay and start sailing! I start work on Oct. 20th and will get into town a week or so before. Oh and btw, I have ended up trying my 8.5 on my 103L on a better day and it works : )

cammar said...

Good job Aaron.
But do me a favor: wrap that safety line around the camera mount/mast/boom/something...

Interesting how I never cared about front loops and duck jibes instead. All I want to do is to hit that lip. We all have our cups of tea, I guess...

Keep ripping (not the sail).

Unknown said...

You have inspired me to learn how to loop

Unknown said...

Nice touches!
Good to see some humor and less "aggro" working on moves.

Jeff, aka Peconic Jeff said...

fun video, I'm inspired to go for forwards... any day now...!!