Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Beach Start

You stand with your board in knee-deep water. No, you're not sailing. One possible solution to this terrible situation might have you climbing on the board, balancing, hoisting the sail out of the water, and sheeting in.

A more elegant and fun method of starting to sail exists: the beach start.

Imagine... You grab the boom, aim, step aboard, and zoom away. It's a lot more fun than uphauling, faster, and the wind even does most of the heavy lifting for you.

A few limitations spoil the convenience of the beach start. You have to properly position the sail and board relative to the wind. This requires either planning or work on your part, but uphauling has the same problem.

Also, the water has to be deep enough that your board will float while holding your weight. At the same time, you can't really perform a beach start unless the water is shallow enough so you can easily step up on the board. That means water about knee deep, maybe a bit more, maybe a bit less. Unless your knees are in a funny place.

If the water is deep enough that you can't comfortably step onto the board, then you'll need to either learn the water start, or bite the bullet and uphaul.

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