In this instalment of his comprehensive series examining every aspect of wavesailing, Jem Hall looks to give you the skills required for the all-important nose-first landing.
Yes, the jumping onslaught continues! Summer’s smaller waves may not deliver classic riding conditions, but they’re perfect for logging some airtime.
But before we get to this month’s main event, now that you’ve all been sailing with heaps of passion let’s hit the pause button so you can reflect on how that really feels. We all have so much untapped potential that we need to, well, tap into. This is reflected in my e-mail signature, “focus, believe and enjoy”, which plenty of people take the piss about. There’s method behind the mantra though! For people to sail well they must focus on what they need to do, set targets, believe in themselves and their ability to reach those targets – and they should enjoy it. One of my most recent clients, who is a tennis coach, commented that if you are trying to do something well, then failure is an option, so focus on committing to your actions and engage in a positive self-dialogue. Phrases like “I can”, I will” are very powerful. As you well know, you set your limits. So what you will be focusing on, believing in, and enjoying after this article and this summer is nose-first landings.
There are many reasons why you need, need – and most importantly – want to nail down nose-first landings. Here are a few:
• They help you plane out of jumps, especially over white water.
• They improve steering and control of the board in flight, and help all manner of landings.
• You can control your landing if you lose shape in the air and the nose gets blown down inadvertently.
• You will be able to control over-rotated forward loop landings.
• It will give you the confidence to finish off those back loops when you’re working on those.
The nose-first landing used to be a lot more commonplace when the old-school boards were around. They were thin, long, had narrow tails and heaps of nose rocker, so were just perfect for a big jump into a nose-first landing (and then about five minutes of not planing afterwards). Truth be told, it’s an impressive move and should be in your skills armoury if you ‘wannabe a wavesailor’.