Do you see the images of people windsurfing at Isleten with föhn and it looks all so easy but for you it is kinda hard to do or it all looks a bit scary?
More and more people enjoy windsurfing with Föhn at Isleten and anyone who can water start and has the correct equipment can learn it.
So, how do you do it? Here are 10 tips for windsurfing with Föhn in Isleten that I would like to share with you. Would be awesome If you can add your tips as well.
Tip #1: Use a low carbon mast
I assume you have a modern wave-sail (an old storm sail with a vario-top rigged on a 430cm mast is way to difficult to control. As of Fr. 250.- we sell Neilpryde combat, Gaastra Manic, etc.. After I switched to Gaastra Manic HD sails I needed a new mast. Someone recommended me to buy a low carbon % mast and not a 100%. My new 60% mast flexes slowly out in the gust and flexes back slowly back after the gust. The advantage is that I don’t have such a big shock when the mast comes back. A 100% carbon mast flex much quicker and is more difficult to manage.
Tip #2: Stick a smaller fin
I assume you are on a modern short and wide wave-board (the old narrow pintail wave board is way to difficult to control. As of Fr. 600.- we sell boards like Jp freestylewave, Tabou Pocketwave, F2 Rebel, Starboard Kode Someone recommended me to change the fin on my F2 Rebel. It standard has a 23cm fin. I bought more or less the same shape but in 19cm. It is a world of difference. No more bouncing from one chop to the next, but much more control.
Tip #3: Start at Isleten Beach and not at the Restaurant
Better do some walking to the beach to start easy and have a good start. Behind the restaurant might look less dangerous but actually there are high waves and wind that drops to zero. You lose your energy before you have even started.
Tip #4: Surf the ‘Isleten-path’
When the wind is strong it is scary (because too fast) to go downwind and I automatically surf upwind. The problem is on the way back I didn’t end at the Isleten beach, but much higher. You want to end up at the beach so you can take short brakes. To avoid this problem the anwser is to lose height and each time go a bit downwind. Look for flat distances on the water of about 10 meters and go downwind. So now I try when to sneak in those little distances going downwind whenever I see a flat or the wind drops a bit. I lose my height and this way I manage to come back to the beach.
Tip #5: Waterstarts without the board flipping upside down
After a crash the sail can be in the ‘wrong’ position for water starting. Before lifting the sail in the air, the sail must be dragged into the correct starting position for waterstarting. When lying in the water and pulling the sail up when not in the correct postion, the board often flips upside-down because of the wind. This causes for a new problem etc etc.
I found that while lying in the water, hanging your upper- body over the board while pulling the sail in the right position with the pull-up rope , stops the board from flipping because your upper body weight prevents ist. After the sail is dragged in the correct position you can now lift it with the hands and do a normal waterstart.
Tip #6: Don’t let go of the boom
Big gust, I crash and let go the boom. The gust still lasts and flies my rig a couple of meters away from me. I swim, I swim. If I don’t catch it soon the wind will pick it up again and the rig will fly away further. Next crash I will hold on to that boom..
Tip #7: Wear a colorful helmet & an impact vest
We once had 2 guys at the same time swimming after their rig. The red helmet we could track from the beach. Ahem the white helmet we lost sight of..
After seeing a guy breaking ribs after a crash on the boom and ending up in Spital Altdorf with Dr. Rippy, I bought an impactvest. I feel better wearing it. It has some buoyancy every time i crash against booms and masts I am happy wearing it. I got a Camaro which allows for integration of your waist harness so it doesnt ride up. (Fr. 149.- surfdeal)
Tip #8: Downhaul for control
Modern wave sails perform excellent when you put a shitload of downhaul in them and a neutral outhaul. If on the water I feel I get pulled forward / into a catapult, it is always the same thing: not enough downhaul.
Tip #9: Say hello
If you are not with a buddy ask someone to keep an eye out for you. You are also required to at least complain one time to a stranger about how strong the wind is..
Tip #10: Positive Mental Attitude
Focus every session on one thing to improve and repeat it. Say to yourself when out on the water: I am a very very very good windsurfer. You will do some cursing in the beginning at Isleten but it is oh so worth it to learn it.
It is all about making windsurfing at Isleten easier for you as in itself it is hard enough. Modern gear which is rigged correct makes it already so much easier. Good protection makes you feel secure. A good starting-point is less fatique and more energy for your session. Paired with the right mindset it is definitely doable to learn to windsurf with Föhn.
(Disclaimer: Windsurfing is an extreme sport with extreme powers. Carried out at your own risk. Surfdeal.ch is a website offered by Balanced Solutions GmbH. Balanced Solutions GmbH does not take any responsibility for accidents)
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