Before you can get onto a wave you need to get out through the other ones! Getting out through waves is one of the most valuable skills you can learn in wavesailing, so let’s check out some tips from the top:
“Always have a good look at the place before heading out. Observe where and how the waves break.
To launch over the shorebreak: there are always gaps in between sets, so make sure you chose the right time to leave the beach. Wait for a set, once the set has come through you usually have a bit of a calmer moment when you can head out.
Once you are out, if it’s windy enough to get planing, make sure you have as much speed as possible, it makes it easier to go over the whitewater. As you are about to hit the white water, give a little pop to your board, so you lift it out of the water slightly. The board will go over the whitewater smoothly this way and you will avoid a catapult. Non-planing, the key is to have as much wind in your sail as possible, and just before the whitewater hits you, push down on your back leg so the nose goes up and over, push both your sail and board forward at the same time.”
“Launching is really hit and miss, every spot has a different launch and even the best of us receive a fair bit of occasional humiliation. I have in the past been pinned under my sail praying nobody was watching. Getting out through waves becomes part and parcel of wave sailing. Every time you catch a wave to the inside you always have to go back to where you came from. Experience is key as it is all about reading the break, timing and always a fair proportion of luck!”
“The main thing to remember is to have the nose of your board pointing at the wave. If you have it side on, the wave will flatten you with its power. If the nose is facing straight at the wave, you will penetrate easily.”
“It’s always best to give yourself enough room, so my top tip would be to start far enough upwind that if things don’t go to plan you have enough space and time to get out of any trouble that you could be heading for.”
“Take a bigger sail as it means you are more likely to plane, which means you spend less time in the impact zone and can pick and choose when to go out.”
The Ultimate How To: Wave Edition is featured in the Autumn Winter 2012/2013 Wave Issue of Boards printed magazine. In this series Boards is joined by some of the best wave sailors from across the UK and around the world to guide you through the most important of wave skills. Every full article is available to read in print, but now online we bring you some of our favourite tips.